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Open Roads Forum  >  RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions

 > How do you folks plan travel for long distances?

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crasster

Dallas

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Posted: 06/18/20 09:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I keep finding that it's very hard to plan an RV trip. I'm doing it old school. I'll have my start point, destination, and manually find every "night stop" along the way.

It kind of stinks because it's starting to feel really limited out there. Everywhere is booked. If I want to go for 14 days from TX to Yellowstone so much is booked in between. I can get the reservation at Yellowstone, but I land much in between....

Is there ANY more simple way to plan? I dunno about sleeping at Walmart but I do have a family with me. (In our Travel Trailer - we have several types of RV's). Mainly, I don't want a "knock" at the door by the cops saying "you can't sleep here" or whatever. I have some small children with us and that would really stink to wake them and load up to drive on at 2:07am.

I may be missing something.... But all this seems so archaic and manual right now. Is there a better source for "planning"? Or is going to recreation.gov and all the individual state park sites, etc. etc. etc. still the way to go?

Tips, pointers, suggestions, experiences all appreciated.


EDIT: Has anybody ever been turned away from a campground or whatever and had nowhere to sleep?


4 whopping cylinders on Toyota RV's. Talk about great getting good MPG. Also I have a very light foot on the pedal. I followed some MPG advice on Livingpress.com and I now get 22 MPG! Not bad for a home on wheels.


Blazing Zippers

North Idaho

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Posted: 06/18/20 09:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Free camp sites.net-compendium, google earth, are sites to start with. Also, we find youtube useful for ideas on travel. Check Cabelas for some stores have good overnight parking--also Cracker Barrel has tight parking. Use Google Earth to check out the possible stops.
The Walmart parking trend is being stamped out in some places due to free loaders and "full timers" staying in the lot for days and weeks.
There are even "rest areas" that have signs reading no overnight parking. I'm not a trouble maker, but what is a rest area other than to be a place to rest?
As a last resort, truck stops can be used. We try to avoid them due to the fact that truckers are having to obey the log book laws more closely now and the truck stops are crowded. Plan on stopping before 3 P.M. if you can to guarantee a spot.
We're not cheap, but do try to avoid high dollar RV parks when just going from place to place--we've not had too much trouble getting a stop for the night in most cases. We also try to drive large cities later at night or about 4 A.M. to avoid crowds.

time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 06/18/20 10:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For enroute DW will start searching in the afternoon depending on how many miles/hours we want to continue for that day. Sometimes we have been in some small RV park not on the map and sometimes KOA works. Have always found a spot without too much trouble. But I get it, we did more planning when the kid was young. While travelling we frequently see small half full parks along the way. We like to stop and have a place before dinner. Definitely prefer to have reservations at the popular destinations.


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bob213

Fresno, CA

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Posted: 06/18/20 10:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We use rvparky. Tells you campgrounds.COE,state parks,Walmarts, Cabelas,rest stops, Cracker Barrel,. Just about everything you can think of. It's free. You can create and save your entire trip.


You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality – Ayn Rand


FULLTIMEWANABE

De Winton, Alberta

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Posted: 06/18/20 10:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

To each their own as always but ........ We use several sources but always first check out Freecampsites.net as well Ioverlander.com and then take it from there. We prefer to boondock/disperse camp than booking into CG's so we also will check out USFS MUV maps. We have a rough plan where and when we want to be somewhere but keep it all loose in case of desired longer/shorter stops in an area we thought of, or breakdowns/sickness which can occur of course.

Happy travels, we've never not found a spot to spend a night comfortably in over 2 decades.

afidel

Cleveland

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Posted: 06/19/20 02:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When I planned my 5k mile Yellowstone trip I used RV Trip wizard, when I did my 2,100 mile Acadia and NYC trip I used Furkot. To me if I was doing another big trip RV Trip Wizard is the no brainier, especially now that you can directly import the trip into the RV specific GPS in the RV Life app for a few bucks for a month pass, no question the route I'd go. It makes it so easy to see reviews, filter by amenities, price, etc and see the distance between stops and about where you'll need gas and check for stations ahead of time.


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valhalla360

No paticular place.

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Posted: 06/19/20 06:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This year with the corona things might be a bit different but never had an issue just showing up at parks (maybe call in the morning and try to arrive early afternoon)...unless you are trying to make the trip over a holiday or there is a big event going on I wouldn't expect a problem finding a campsite.

Overnighting in a big box store parking lot...we've done it a couple times in a pinch but really not a fun way to travel. That said, common courtesy is to go into the customer service and ask if you can park overnight...if they say yes and you aren't causing problems, I wouldn't expect the police to come by and kick you out.

We just look out our preferred travel distance and google campground to see what's around that area. Also, if you are just overnighting and moving on in the morning, they likely will have more flexibility as they don't need to find a single site that's open for multiple nights. Some places also have overflow lots that may have fewer amenities but at least you are secure.


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2oldman

NM

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Posted: 06/19/20 06:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A bit of effort on google maps will show you open areas off the road to simply pull over and park.

Bob806

Ohio

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Posted: 06/19/20 07:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm a planner, but we just returned from a 3 1/2 week trip just "winging it" through Arkansas, Texas, & Oklahoma. To my surprise, it wasn't all that tough to do. I will say that the Covid thing might have made it easier, since folks are probably a little leery of travel right now.

I like to use Campendium and RVparkreviews as a source to find campgrounds in a general area, and call to see if there are openings. Sometimes I use the Good Sam search as well.

Good luck & happy camping.

Desert Captain

Tucson

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Posted: 06/19/20 08:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just returned yesterday from a 4,150+ mile, 8 state run from Tucson to Yellowstone/Grand Teton NP's. While you probably need reservations at the ultimate destinations winging it along the way has its charm. Find a nice area, just stick around and explore, weather really good or bad... you will almost always have options. On a whim we diverted from our tentative route and went to Cody Wyoming g and had a blast at the Buffalo Bill Wild West Center - a MUST see if you are ver anywhere close.

We left a nice RV park {Riverside} in Provo Utah Tuesday morning planning on ending up at Jacob Lake {north of the North Rim of the GC} but when we got closes the entire mountain was engulfed by the Magnum fire. We reversed course back to Hurricane and ended up in St. George. We had a number of choices and it worked out fine... no harm, no foul.

Stay flexible and go with the flow.

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