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Old 07-20-2015, 10:14 AM   #1
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Long Haul Questions

We are planning a spring trip from Western MA, Niagara Falls, the FROG Ohio Amish Springtime Adventure then on to Texas. What is the average miles and/or time you travel per day on the road? Do you prefer "free nightly pk'g (truck stops/Cabela's, etc.) or RV campgrounds for your overnights?
Thanks for your inputs.

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Old 07-20-2015, 10:41 AM   #2
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Long Haul Questions

When traveling distance: if I only have to spend one night on the road to get to my camping destination I'll settle for free parking (I prefer Pilot type travel centers(safety in numbers and you can still get a shower before you take off again)). If it's going to take several days and I can't find a travel center I stay in campgrounds. I'm finding more and more places aren't enamored with trailers overnighting for free in their parking lots. I've done several Atlantic to Pacific, Canada to Mexico type trips. If i don't have set reservations and am playing it by ear - I go til I don't want to go anymore. I've found the longer I'm on the road the less miles I tend to travel in a day. Course DH and I are mid to late 60s and are retired. Our dog travels with us and the cats stay home with a house sitter relative, so we can pretty much just do what ever. It DOES get $$$ when traveling so we DO take advantage of the travel centers and HAVE overnighted at Walmart. Have even taken advantage of a Cracker Barrel or two to have lunch and take a nice nap before moving on. It also depends on who is traveling with you: dog = more pit stops ( you should stop every few hours anyway). Kids = campground with pool. Caravan = call ahead for reservations or you really can take advantage free overnight parking lots. All depends on you. State parks are cheaper than most commercial campgrounds if you can find some on your route. We usually only do 4 to 5 hours drive time in a day. Adding a lunch and several stops can give you a 7 hour trip. I've had drive times of 9 hours or so (Giving me a 12 hr trip) if I'm going to hit my destination campground. Have a great trip and stay safe!


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Old 07-20-2015, 11:10 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by MainelyUS View Post
What is the average miles and/or time you travel per day on the road? Do you prefer "free nightly pk'g (truck stops/Cabela's, etc.) or RV campgrounds for your overnights?
I know that my family averages an overall travel time of about 45mph once you account for stops. We are a little quicker if we go a short enough distance that doesn't require a meal stop. Otherwise, our meal stops take up a lot of time. As for as distance in a day- I prefer 200 miles days, but very rarely have the time available to me to go that short. I've made as many as 600 miles in a day (13 hours). And, everything in between.

For free overnight parking vs. campgrounds- I'm open to both BUT without a generator, I'm very much stuck to fair weather for parking lot stops. If it's too hot, I need A/C to sleep well. If it's too cold, I like heat to sleep well. I can't run A/C on battery and only have a single battery for running heat at night. So, much like Goldilocks- it has to be "just right". We've done it, but can't often do it.

For campgrounds, I like finding parks that target themselves to overnighting folks. These parks have long and level pull throughs- usually at the front of the park and are well setup for late check-ins.

Be prepared for the forum's "Walmart police" to show up and tell you that you're either cheap, irresponsible, or downright rude for using (or even considering) free parking services that are provided. Just ignore them. Many businesses welcome the traveler.
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Old 07-20-2015, 11:38 AM   #4
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Thanks for the great tips
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Old 07-20-2015, 12:06 PM   #5
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We initially have over nights scheduled, with a back up plan. Our cruise speed is 53mph and generally 7am-destination(dusk). "Living the Dream"...
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Old 07-26-2015, 02:50 PM   #6
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We go till I am tired of driving. Depending on WIND and traffic, usually 3-400 miles a day when we want to get somewhere in particular.
As above, we usually stay in campgrounds to have electric etc..
The better half's idea of ruffing it is getting microwave popcorn and I LIKE my AC in the summer time.
We use the internet more than anything to find campgrounds, the good sam's directory seems to have less and less campgrounds in it.
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Old 07-26-2015, 11:01 PM   #7
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We have made a couple trips down to the Tampa area from West Atlanta metro (about 500+ miles each way, could have done it with 2 stops but made it 3 instead) from Atlanta and two trips to DD's house (a little over 800 miles each way and 3 stops, destination 4th day) on the NW side of Houston. I like to keep the trip at 200-250 miles each day. Since TT speed should be kept under 65mph, I usually drive 55-60mph so interstate travel is not a necessity and I'm not traveling at their speeds. I like to see the scenery rather that billboards telling me about the next exit. I like to stay at Corps of Engineer campgrounds when they are near my route and also State Parks. Cost is more reasonable and they have water and electric. Seldom have WIFI or cable tv, many have full hookups, campsites are not close together and it is quiet. We a planning a trip in a couple months from Atlanta to Omaha and CoE campgrounds won't be used but rather private campgrounds. Use Passport America as much as possible. This trip is about 1100 miles each way and will take 4 stops, destination on the 5th day. We usually get going between 9-10am and stop from 2-3 pm. For many years I traveled for business 150-200,000 miles a year but dragging 3-4 tons around is a little more tiring so the rest is always welcome. I haven't stopped at rest areas (some states have a time limit) or truck stops (mainly because I don't usually travel the Interstate Highways), over the years I never cared for diesel smoke and engines running all night.

Another possibility would be to check some of the small towns on your route. Many have city parks with a small number of RV campsites that are at very reasonable costs. Or county fairgrounds since they always have RV sites and if there are no events happening they can also be reasonable (not the fancy campsite but usually secure).

If you haven't already got a Passport America card ($44) I would recommend it, also if you are over the age of 62 get an America The Beautiful Pass which is a one time (lifetime) cost of $10 and give you free entrance to most National Parks, BLM, CoE, National Forests (US Government lands) and will give you a 50% discount on campsites at most places. The CoE campsites I have stayed at have varied from $9 to $13 per night.


Like MarkB, before we got the RV DW's idea of roughing it was a black & white tv at the Holiday Inn.
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Old 07-26-2015, 11:49 PM   #8
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We just finished a 2,000+ each way trip. we would drive 300-400 miles a day. If we stopped for the night and there wasn't much to see there, we headed out in the morning. But if there were things to do, we will stay a few days. So if we drive hard then play hard. The last trip took us almost three weeks for 2,300 miles.
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Old 07-27-2015, 03:19 AM   #9
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We travel between 9 30 am to 2 30 pm and stop at almost all rest areas....speed 56-58mph...Sundays is when we go thru big towns Atlanta, Houston, etc....Sunday thru Thursday are good days for Fed park check in and also Passport America...Distance is between 0-250 miles per day....Flying J, Pilot and Walmarts are our free stops or VFW. We do not travel with schedule or reservations....that way can stay one to fourteen nights if find great place....or the season....we average 12-15 a night....when on road and there are lots of great places for 250/mo.....
It is a lifestyle for us so no hurry, weather also determines when we travel.....
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Old 07-27-2015, 08:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MainelyUS View Post
We are planning a spring trip from Western MA, Niagara Falls, the FROG Ohio Amish Springtime Adventure then on to Texas. What is the average miles and/or time you travel per day on the road? Do you prefer "free nightly pk'g (truck stops/Cabela's, etc.) or RV campgrounds for your overnights?
Thanks for your inputs.

Happy Trails
You have a bunch of options here and the search button is your friend. It really depends on what you want to do and how you'd like to travel.

We like 300ish miles in a day, have gone less than 200 on more than 400 when we are needing to get somewhere. If it's hot we plug in someplace and turn on both a/c's, if it's not we usually stop at Cracker Barrel or WalMart (not a fan of Truckstops). At times how full the tanks are determine where we stop. We also have a 3000W Generator and sometimes take it and sometimes leave it at home.

So I guess the real answer is .... it depends.
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