Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-12-2021, 04:27 PM   #1
dm6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 111
How do you make long, cross country trips with several stops?

We have been camping for 4 years now with a popup and love it. We try to make 4-5 trips per year, all within state, the farthest about 3 hours away and typically stay 3-7 nights per trip. We have a few campgrounds we like to go to, take note of the best sites, and then reserve them as soon as the booking window opens (usually 6-9 months in advance). It is nice to have a reservation, but also sucks that you have to plan that far in advance. We are thinking of getting a travel trailer in the future and part of the appeal to that is that we could go farther and longer. Do you have really have to plan out a long trip and make reservations along the way, even for one night stops, or are you able to just reserve where you plan to stay longer and are able to find one night stops along the way without reserving them?
dm6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2021, 04:34 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Zephyrhills FL
Posts: 947
In the past we would make reservation in the destination areas that are popular places. That is the only way to be sure you are going to get a site in some areas. We usually make our overnight reservations around mid day for that nights space because at that point we know about where we will be for the night. It usually is not hard to get an overnight site and if all else fails a rest area, Walmart, Cabela’s. Or Cracker Barrel parking lot will suffice for a night.

With the upsurge in people using RV’s in the last couple of years it might be a bit harder to find overnight spots, I don’t know for sure but I think there are not a lot more RV spaces yet there are more RV’s out there
__________________
2021 Coachmen Freedom Express 246RKS
2022 F150 Powerboost Hybrid.
DougW is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2021, 04:46 PM   #3
Member
 
RV Bicyclist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 39
Smile

DM6: THANK YOU for posting. I will speak for myself.... new to this RV'ing I am very interested in the replies to this question.
DougW: Thanks for reply.

I'm also hoping folks that have experience w/ this and can reply can add anything they know about regionality to the reply. For example, folks that have experience in Southeast vs. Northwest etc. where 1 may be easier/harder for whatever reason than another.
RV Bicyclist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2021, 04:48 PM   #4
llr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: SW Ohio
Posts: 1,433
Also if your overnight stays are not Friday or Saturday night it is much easier to find a spot
__________________
TT 2021 Grand Design 2800BH
Prior TT 2017 Flagstaff 831CLBSS Classic Ultra lite - SOLD 5/21
TV 2017 F150 6.5' bed 3.5 Eco-boost Max tow 1800lbs payload
prior TV 2014 Silverado 2500 HD
llr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2021, 04:53 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 20
My RV camping has, so far found me heading out on a wing and a prayer for most trips. In 2019, I joined Harvest Hosts (“HH”) and I’ve found participating sited to be real gems. There are some truly fantastic experiences to be had, and in the midst of pandemic, HH sites offer a way to distance myself from others (I’ve preexistings that put me at great risk.) in addition to mask wearing. Check them out to see how many there are along your planned route.
enjoytheparade is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2021, 04:56 PM   #6
dm6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 111
Good point. I always utilize part of the weekend now when reserving stuff but I suppose if you do more of the driving during the week, that would improve your odds. I forgot about the parking lots too in case that is needed.

As RB Bicyclist mentions, any overall experiences would be helpful. I just want to know how feasible this is, how fun it it, etc. if I am going to put out a bunch of money for a trailer. I don't want to do all that and then have the kids say "why can't we stay in a hotel??" Ha!
dm6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2021, 05:11 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 356
So far, we have made reservations at our final destination, and just planned stops as we go. We have never had an issue finding a place to overnight, and we only use RV parks. Some times they're just dirt lots with hookups, but that's fine for an overnight.

We try to plan for 5 hrs of driving, and to arrive during daylight hours. That's not because I don't want to drive at night, but I don't want to have to squeeze into a spot at night.
I don't plan overnight stops too much in advance, because I don't want to be married to a schedule.
So far, so good, but we do understand that there might be a time where we have to just find a place to park for a few hours. I haven't had to yet.
__________________
2020 Sunseeker 2860DS
n1acguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2021, 05:26 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: TEXAS
Posts: 5,173
Quote:
Originally Posted by dm6 View Post
I just want to know how feasible this is, how fun it it, etc. if I am going to put out a bunch of money for a trailer. I don't want to do all that and then have the kids say "why can't we stay in a hotel??" Ha!
KIDS? That definitely changes the equation if they are old enough to know what a hotel offers.

We have traveled across the county several times for two to three months at a time with a travel trailer. There are only two retired people traveling. Our experience has been mixed. My spouse says that I seem to have an instinct for finding city and county campgrounds that aren't on any map.

However, the stress of that gets old fairly quickly. If you divide up your trip into manageable days where you estimate how far you want to drive, you can make reservations along the way. If there are KOAs along the way, we usually use those because they have easy driving distance between them and they have pull through sites where we didn't have to unhook.

As DougW says, we sometimes made reservations the night before (many offices are open to 8 or 9 during the summer) or early the next morning before we take off.

I predict that the kids are not going to like parking lot camping. It'll do in an emergency, but it isn't fun and finding a place isn't easy.
__________________
2015 Dynamax REV 24TB class C
Reverse_snowbird is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2021, 09:21 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 513
We live in the Seattle Wa. Area and we have done Yellowstone. Planned 300 to 400 miles a day and made overnight reservations before hand for that trip. We have hauled it down to Disneyland 4 times and we overnight at a casino in Or. the first night free (Well the DW leaves a little cash behind, she did hit enough for breakfast for all of us one year) then we have reservations at a RV park in Lodi CA. the 2nd night. Then on into Anaheim for a few days at the parks. On the way back we will pick to stay a couple of days at the Lodi park or at the park at the casino. They do have a very nice RV resort with a free shuttle to the casino and back that DW will make use of.
__________________
Dale & Karen
2015 Lacrosse 311RLS
2006 F-250 The 06-6.0
Dwilcox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2021, 10:12 AM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 52
Thank you for asking this question! I am new to the RV lifestyle as well and was just about to post the same question. We are fortunate enough to have a really nice state park just minutes away that we used for our first trip. And now we have scheduled some longer trips in the area through the upcoming months, with the furthest being 3 hours away. But longer term we'd like to try some longer trips, especially heading out west. I'm really curious what the experienced folks do for planning and stayovers along the way.

Also, do you normally travel interstate or avoid the highways? Just curious as some of the aggressive driving and speeds on the interstates is ridiculous in the urban areas.
muttinthehut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2021, 10:42 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 202
We do a 4k mile road trip every year with our daughter since she was 1. We average 300 miles per day with some short days and a few 500 mile hauls.

1. On a spreadsheet, ever the dates you want to be on the road
2. I use a spreadsheet and place all the priority stops as 1 night each
3.. Next place the spots where you need to stop in between got reasonable drive days.
4. Now you can figure out how many nights you have available to stay at each place.

I generally stay at an rv park every 4th night to do laundry & dump/fill tanks.

I use a mixture of freecampsite.net, recreation. Gov and Google maps (searching campground)

On my spreadsheet I add the mileage and time for the day and where we are staying. One time I pulled up to wrong Yellowstone campground and had to double back to the correct one as it was getting dark.

Here is one of my sheets
Attachment 247701
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Screenshot_20210213-074050~2.jpg
Views:	490
Size:	76.5 KB
ID:	247699  
cpttimerstraint is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2021, 11:28 AM   #12
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpttimerstraint View Post
We do a 4k mile road trip every year with our daughter since she was 1. We average 300 miles per day with some short days and a few 500 mile hauls.....
Really good info and thank you for sharing cpttimerstraint.
muttinthehut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2021, 01:44 PM   #13
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 20
I use RV trip wizard to plan our routes. We like to drive about five hours a day. You can set the miles and it shows all the campgrounds (state, city parks, blm and Coe)
SheriP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2021, 01:49 PM   #14
Chris and Cecil
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Fleahop, Alabama
Posts: 147
Reservations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dm6 View Post
We have been camping for 4 years now with a popup and love it. Do you have really have to plan out a long trip and make reservations along the way, even for one night stops, or are you able to just reserve where you plan to stay longer and are able to find one night stops along the way without reserving them?
We are a different rv’ing couple. We use our microlite as a traveling hotel, going to places we want to visit and sightseeing then sleep and eat at “home”. Therefore we make reservations. We took 7 weeks to get to the GC and back home driving 4-5 hours between spots. I called ahead before we left home and reserved everywhere from Tupelo Mississippi to Williams Arizona, back thru Colorado, Kansas, Missouri and Tennessee. Never felt rushed ‘cause I left plenty of time to sightsee, and visit with friends. Places where we didn’t need to stay more than 1 night I still made reservations reservations. It worked for us.
Alabama Potter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2021, 02:00 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 183
We travel cross country often. We just drive wherever we want to go and about 3 pm start looking at the map to see where we want to end that day. We boondock if possible for 3-5 days in a row sometimes ending up at rest areas or parking lots for overnight. We prefer forest parking if possible. Maybe every 5-6 days we use a KOA or similar to do laundry. We will make a reservation only if we are going to a difficult place to boondock such as New Orleans or Miami, or a crowded park like Yellowstone.
medalguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2021, 02:19 PM   #16
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 51
dm6- Why wait to take your trip until you trade your pop-up for a TT. In August-September 2018 we took our pop-up on a 5 week, 8100 mile trip from Ky. to the Washington and Oregon coast. We followed the Lewis and Clark trail. Back then, we had no reservations and had little trouble finding a campground. Likely it's different now. We prefer state park, county and COE campgrounds. The pop-up was great on this trip, and much easier to pull than our current travel trailer. Good luck on your planning, and enjoy your trip. BTW, AAA was very helpful in planning our trip- maps, travel guides, tips, etc.
__________________
2020 Cherokee Wolf Pup 16FQ
2018 Honda Pilot AWD
2015 Rockwood Freedom 1950 pop-up
2009 Honda Odyssey
Multiple tents and an early 90's pop-up.
Bourbonfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2021, 02:25 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 111
We haven't had a chance to use Harvest Host yet but we do use KOA a lot for overnighting. Get yourself a Trailer Life campground Directory from Good Sam we always carry one with us.
BM Welder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2021, 02:28 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 428
Each year I try to make one cross country trip to the western US form central Pa. Shortest trip was 5000mi round trip to Colorado. Longest was about 9000 mi round trip to BC.

For each trip the entire time in the rockies and west was planned out with reservations. Most destinations were in parks that required reservations up to a year in advance, most were made about 6-8 months ahead.

Its already late to make reservations for Yellowstone. Even West Yellowstone may be fully booked this year due to increased traffic from the virus.

Traveling in the fall, Sept/Oct, I made a reservation the day of while traveling. In summertime I make reservations ahead of time for weekends traveling back and forth.

Next summer I am traveling with another camper to Idaho/Wash and we will make reservations for out and back a couple weeks ahead. We already have our reservations for the entire trip west of Nebraska.

First trips west I pounded out 500-600 mi a day and hardly unhitched. Now I go no more than about 400 mi a day(and 400 mi only if its all interstate) and will take 2 nights after 3 straight days of 300 or more miles a day.

Usually try to find a point of interest to visit at that place for the 2 night stay. On early trips I stayed at an occasional rest stop(like those in Ohio) or campground with no electric. No more of that in the summer time; I want A/C so I plan ahead.
__________________
Jeff

2016 APEX 215rbk
2016 F-150 4WD 3.55 3.5l ecoboost
jwfrede is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2021, 03:58 PM   #19
CA Happy Camper
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 37
I agree with many of the suggestions posted.
We have since Spring 2017 when we purchased our GT 270s Class A done three major long trips from SoCal.

Some additional observations:
* Anticipate some dead zones for cell service may interfere with calling ahead.
* also sometimes phone GPS maps are not available
* I used Satellite view to check gas stations due to my 30' class A and a towed Jeep.
* Plan on your daily distance tolerance. For me, 300 -400 miles daily range.
* try to avoid major metro areas during rush hour, although this year may not be as much as a problem due to Covid (Houston was a mess)
* pre-printing directions to pre-registered campgrounds that may be hard to find,
* consider allowing some float days between reserved locations just in case.

Our major trips were:

Cross country spring 2018 10,000 miles. (Preregistered in San Antonio, Houston, New Orleans, Sarasota, Disney World, DC, Williamsburg, Gettysburg)
The rest of the return including the Northern tier or states were day to day or a few days ahead as we picked destinations

SW Colorado, Utah Spring 2019 Mosely pre-booked.

No Cal and Oregon July-Aug 2020 (Pre-booked most of the trip due to Covid)

Good Luck

Greg Scott
SoCal
__________________
[/SIGPIC]
Greg Scott
SoCal
2017 Georgetown 270S
Toad: 2016 Jeep Cherokee Trail Hawk
scottrubarb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2021, 05:39 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Western AZ
Posts: 2,404
We just plan where we are going, then about a 1/2 to 1 hour and a half before wanting to stop we start looking on the phone for an RV park. Never had to stay in a Walmart or whatnot parking lot. Really not too difficult.
Enjoy your travels.
Mike
mike.t is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:50 PM.