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Old 03-21-2019, 09:11 PM   #1
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1st long trip NJ to Utah, advise...

So after doing couple trips if just a week here and there were planning a month long trip across the US. So me the wife and three kids, 9,8 and 4 are heading west. Plan is to leave NJ July 11th. Head straight to mount Rushmore. Then south through Wyoming, Colorado, check out trans continental railroad meeting location in north Utah. Stop and see friends in Salt Lake City, west to Bonneville salt flats. South to Zion, Bryce area. South again to 4 corners. Then probably east through to Memphis, Nashville, stop and see friends and family in Raliegh NC. Then north back home to NJ.
So, does anyone have some advise? Anything in particular to pack, check out, avoid, do, see, go ? We've never boondocked before but not opposed to it. And we've never been out more than 10 days. I took off work and well be out roaming for almost 5 weeks.

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Old 03-21-2019, 09:34 PM   #2
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You might as well check out the North Rim of the Grand Canyon before heading over to the 4 Corners area.

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Old 03-22-2019, 12:26 AM   #3
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Cool trip. This is the 150th anniversary of the Golden Spike Ceremony for the transcontinental railroad.

Tips? Visit the national parks websites and download their visitors guides and read them. They give great tips and will point out any things you'll need to be aware of.
For finding campgrounds, shopping, gas, etc. we like the app parkadvisor.
It can be a long time between gas stations, so don't let the tank get low.
Layering of clothes like you do in the winter is helpful. Temperatures in the desert frequently vary 30 degrees during the day.

Last, but not least, mileage that trip out before you leave. 5 weeks is a long time, but not that long when you're driving the distance you've planned. You know how many miles you want to drive every day and remember that you'll probably be tired from all that site seeing and visiting.
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Old 03-22-2019, 12:32 AM   #4
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I'd already be laying in a detail route plan and checking availability/making reservations at campgrounds. Especially for the weekends.

Good luck and safe travels, sounds like a wonderful trip that your kids will remember for a long time!
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Old 03-22-2019, 07:01 AM   #5
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Some sort of towing plan. I have AAA Premier that will tow both trailer and TV 200 hundred miles to a service station or change a flat or run out gas.

Plus on a long trip the 10% off things and can quickly add up. On their website you can order very detailed maps, yes old school, for just every section of the US and have them in a week. To me opening a large sheet of paper to get an over all lay of the land of the land comes in handy.

We saved at restaurants, campgrounds, and even tourist traps. I figure we save almost the price of admission by remembering to use it. When we travel I have the app to remind me of savings near me.
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Old 03-22-2019, 07:10 AM   #6
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Wow! Please keep thread updated, as I want to do a similar trip to see my buddy who retired and moved there out by Zion National Park.
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Old 03-22-2019, 11:13 AM   #7
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yes get a plan mapped out and start making reservations. don't know what you will be driving but when i see east or south from zion you must check ouut the tunnel restrictions on the zion mt carmel tunnel. this may affect your route options out of zion. there's nothing special about 4 corners other than it will cost you to enter. but you have to do it once in a lifetime. you could continue east to durango. you mention an interest in trains and durango and their train tours. leave time for the kids to do kid things. gotta stop at wall drug on the way to rapid city
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Old 03-22-2019, 01:03 PM   #8
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You should also make time for Arches National Park if you are going to be in Utah. This is a must see. I did a similar trip without a camper several years ago. The advice from REVERSE_SNOWBIRD is right on. You will be surprised by the distance between each of the different areas. The all day drives and sightseeing will probably get to you and the kids. I agree five weeks is a long time but maybe not long enough.
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Old 03-22-2019, 01:11 PM   #9
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Trip Planning

I am planning a cross country trip for this summer as well. I strongly recommend getting reservations ASAP in National Parks. Some book up a year out. Also, if you plan on any boondocking, be sure it's somewhere where you can use your generator since there is a good possibility it will be HOT at that time of year. I have used the Good Sam Trip Planner for years but it is going away in April and now use RV Trip Wizard. You should check it out. Hope you have a memorable trip!
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Old 03-22-2019, 01:25 PM   #10
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Only comment I would make is why 1 month? There is so much to see, it would seem that you are only going to see the major highways. We went from Del. and traveled at a reasonable pace but stayed a few days here and there to check out the sights along the way. We spent 3 months and still didn't get to see all that we could have seen.

If your on I-80 ride through the bad lands of South Dakota, you might even get a look at Mitchel S.D as you go buy, or stop at the Corn Palace and see the pictures made from corn. A 5 cent coffee at Wall Drug along the route to Devils Tower, then to Yellowstone N.P.

Utah has so many interesting sights you might like but 1 month won't allow you to see it all. For my money Bryce Canyon is the best for color and beauty. Zion is ok if you like hiking off into the trails to see waterfalls and such.

Boulder Dam is a great stop to see how electric is made. In California if you have time go see the Sequia N.P. almost trees and a neat climb up a very high peak. Of course Disney Land the kids might like also.

Again so many places and more than I mentioned, to see, just need to spend a little more time if you have it.

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