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 > Getting Started - Longer Distance Camping

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Surgtech94

Midwest

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Posted: 02/17/21 01:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Tvov wrote:

Going longer distances camping isn't that much different than nearby.

What are you driving?

For planning purposes, use 50 miles per hour... this seems to work, not for your average speed, but for figuring traveling distances. It may seem odd, but figuring roughly going average 65mph on the road, then add in fuel stops, coffee - bathroom - rest stops, it actually works out to 50 miles per hour most times.

If you get tired driving, take a break! Figure in plenty of travel time so you can take breaks when you want to. We've gone to Disney World twice (Connecticut to Florida) and I found that stopping about every 1 1/2 hours for a break worked for me. Also, I filled up the trucks fuel tank roughly every 3 hours, so fit in with every other rest stop. Once I hit 1/2 tank of fuel, I started thinking about the next fill up and stopped if it was convenient. At 1/4 tank I stopped at the first gas station.

Figure out a possible route, then make a thread about it in this forum. People here will give advice, and most likely someone will have driven that route recently and can give a road condition update.

Plus, I find it fun helping others plan a trip!




Thank you. We were also talking about Disney, we Disney regulars. Did you stay in the Wilderness Campground there?

rexlion

Broken Arrow OK

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Posted: 02/17/21 04:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

New trailer, eh? Congrats. Be sure to camp near home with it for a night or two to make sure everything's working and all that. Nothing worse than getting 300 miles into a planned vacation and finding out they never hooked up the plumbing or whatever.

If I were you, I'd avoid Chicago traffic. I usually take I-65 south a half hour or more, cut over to US41 and continue south to US24 which I take west to I-57. Or continue west to I-55 if you like. You can go through or around St. Louis (your choice) with much less hassle than Chicago, and follow I-70 to Colorado.

For camping spots, you might want to look at (online or phone app) Ultimate Campgrounds, or RV Parky, or similar. You might like forestcamping.com for extra details on national forest sites. Also check out freecampsites.net for some less conventional ideas. Personally, I favor the state parks, forest campgrounds, and BLM and municipal CGs; I don't care for private parks. I have a 17' trailer that doesn't need hookups.

There is one IL state park I've been to, Beaver Dam SP north of St. Louis, and it was quite pleasant.

My strategy is to decide about how far I want to go each travel day, then use the above resources to pick a preferred CG plus an alternate or two. Then I go without reservations and if the first choice is full (which hasn't been often, for me) I fall back to the next one along the way. If I'm going to need to travel later than about 4 pm or if I'm trying to head to a popular destination, I will get reservations.

Some people will decide each morning how far they want to go, then pick a CG at that distance and phone for a reservation. That's another strategy that removes the pressure of having to meet a whole string of set-far-in-advance reservations. Another thing is, if you can't get into a CG you really want to go to but can camp within a couple hours of it, you can break camp early and hit the preferred place before noon, and often someone will have left and opened up a site; this is how I was able to get into Yosemite's Glacier Point CG for 5 days in 2013.

I assume you're going in the summer, right? Mountain passes can be snowy in spring and fall. Good luck, take your time, relax and enjoy Colorado's mountains and woods! Be sure to drive the Million Dollar Highway to Ouray, then loop around to Telluride.


Mike G.
Liberty is meaningless where the right to utter one's thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist. That, of all rights, is the dread of tyrants. --Frederick Douglass
photo: Yosemite Valley view from Taft Point


Surgtech94

Midwest

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Posted: 02/17/21 06:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rexlion wrote:

New trailer, eh? Congrats. Be sure to camp near home with it for a night or two to make sure everything's working and all that. Nothing worse than getting 300 miles into a planned vacation and finding out they never hooked up the plumbing or whatever.

If I were you, I'd avoid Chicago traffic. I usually take I-65 south a half hour or more, cut over to US41 and continue south to US24 which I take west to I-57. Or continue west to I-55 if you like. You can go through or around St. Louis (your choice) with much less hassle than Chicago, and follow I-70 to Colorado.

For camping spots, you might want to look at (online or phone app) Ultimate Campgrounds, or RV Parky, or similar. You might like forestcamping.com for extra details on national forest sites. Also check out freecampsites.net for some less conventional ideas. Personally, I favor the state parks, forest campgrounds, and BLM and municipal CGs; I don't care for private parks. I have a 17' trailer that doesn't need hookups.

There is one IL state park I've been to, Beaver Dam SP north of St. Louis, and it was quite pleasant.

My strategy is to decide about how far I want to go each travel day, then use the above resources to pick a preferred CG plus an alternate or two. Then I go without reservations and if the first choice is full (which hasn't been often, for me) I fall back to the next one along the way. If I'm going to need to travel later than about 4 pm or if I'm trying to head to a popular destination, I will get reservations.

Some people will decide each morning how far they want to go, then pick a CG at that distance and phone for a reservation. That's another strategy that removes the pressure of having to meet a whole string of set-far-in-advance reservations. Another thing is, if you can't get into a CG you really want to go to but can camp within a couple hours of it, you can break camp early and hit the preferred place before noon, and often someone will have left and opened up a site; this is how I was able to get into Yosemite's Glacier Point CG for 5 days in 2013.

I assume you're going in the summer, right? Mountain passes can be snowy in spring and fall. Good luck, take your time, relax and enjoy Colorado's mountains and woods! Be sure to drive the Million Dollar Highway to Ouray, then loop around to Telluride.


Thank you for all the information and advice. It will be very useful. Yes we’re going to camp here in Michigan and probably will go out west early September or late August. Our Michigan State Park System is that all parks are 100% reserveable. Which is a pain when ppl come in and they’re full, but there are empty sites. Hate they went to this.

rexlion

Broken Arrow OK

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Posted: 02/17/21 09:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That's really a bummer. I grew up in Michigan and I get back there nearly every summer for a visit. Not so long ago I was able to show up at McLain on a Sunday afternoon without reservation and snag one (of only two remaining) open sites... right along the lake. Happy memories. The new policy is discouraging.

time2roll

Southern California

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Joined: 03/21/2005

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Posted: 02/17/21 10:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Longer trip for us is less advance planning and more decisions on the go. Leave more room to find new foods and adventure etc. as you go.


2001 F150 SuperCrew
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Tvov

CT

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Posted: 02/18/21 05:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Surgtech94 wrote:


....
Thank you. We were also talking about Disney, we Disney regulars. Did you stay in the Wilderness Campground there?


Yes! Our last trip was 10 years ago, but Fort Wilderness Campground is fantastic and lives up to its' reputation as one of the best campgrounds in the USA.

There are a lot of forum threads you can review here about FW. When you are ready to start planning the actual trip, ask questions about routes and whatnot.


_________________________________________________________
2008 F-250 CrewCab 5.4L,
2004 21' Forest River Surveyor


valhalla360

No paticular place.

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Posted: 02/18/21 06:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

theoldwizard1 wrote:

valhalla360 wrote:

Not much else. Make sure the rig is in good operating condition.

I would carry a good tool kit including things like zip ties (several sizes), wire, duct tape, etc.


Of course, but even if only 50 miles from home, it makes sense to have some tools.


Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV


valhalla360

No paticular place.

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Posted: 02/18/21 06:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

CA Traveler wrote:

Plan ahead for reservations like now for the summer.


I would limit reservations to key stops...holiday weekends, prime locations...where you are likely to have difficulty getting in.

For the rest, I would prefer to keep it open. You don't want to feel pressure to keep making miles to meet up with a reservation. If the weather turns bad, will you really eat the $50/n reservation fee or keep on going in marginal conditions?

Also, sometimes, you see something new and want to stop. It's one of the great things about an RV. If you are on track to get to your reserved site at 7pm, are you going to stop at the silly road side attraction?

ken56

Tennessee

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Posted: 02/18/21 02:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A few years back we did the big circle tour from Tennessee, 9000 miles and the only reservations we made were for our destinations where we stayed 3 days or more. We used RVPARKY app and would start looking for a park on our route and about 3pm would call ahead to a park to check availability, we were never turned away.

Have an understanding on how much you have to drive for a day to make the timing of your trip work. I usually make the first day and the last day my long drives...like 8 to 10 hours and then the other days are I drive for 6 hours. It's nice to pull into your campsite at 3pm and relax the rest of the day but I know that is a luxury and some people can't do that.

Don't worry about the small things because they work themselves out. Don't over think it. It's just like what you do now but with a couple gas stops thrown in. It's supposed to be a fun getaway so don't get stressed out. Try taking secondary roads when practical.

blaczero

USA

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Posted: 02/18/21 05:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ken56 wrote:

A few years back we did the big circle tour from Tennessee, 9000 miles and the only reservations we made were for our destinations where we stayed 3 days or more. We used RVPARKY app and would start looking for a park on our route and about 3pm would call ahead to a park to check availability, we were never turned away.

Have an understanding on how much you have to drive for a day to make the timing of your trip work. I usually make the first day and the last day my long drives...like 8 to 10 hours and then the other days are I drive for 6 hours. It's nice to pull into your campsite at 3pm and relax the rest of the day but I know that is a luxury and some people can't do that.

Don't worry about the small things because they work themselves out. Don't over think it. It's just like what you do now but with a couple gas stops thrown in. It's supposed to be a fun getaway so don't get stressed out. Try taking secondary roads when practical.


We were the same way the last few years, but not so much this year. There is a massive influx of new RV'rs and new campgrounds have not caught up. If you're not planning ahead you're in a Walmart parking lot!

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