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Old 09-03-2019, 08:21 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by Beachbourbon View Post
O.K., working on it in multiple posts.

Here are some things that went well:

- Doing your best to plan and prepare and then ultimately taking the leap of faith and hitting the road. Even if you don’t have the most experience, newest TV or fanciest TT/RV. Have AAA of course!
Thanks for your input and time to answer questions.

We are in the process of planning a 5 month retirement tour if all goes well. Still 15 months out. We are planning on traveling the "Northern Tier" US 2 from the UP of Michigan west to Everett WA and then around Seattle, Tacoma, and the Olympic Peninsula and down the West Coast to the Redwoods and then heading back east thru Jackson WY, Yellowstone, Black Hills and back home to Southern MI.

We have been using RVParky to plan the trip since the Good Sam planner is no longer and have been satisfied with their website. Yes, it does take some planning and the learning curve on the road can be steep.

Regarding tolls. We recently made a short trip from home in Southern MI around Chicago up to the Wisconsin Dells with our fifth wheel. We have an IPass since our son lives in the Elgin IL area to help with the tolls. On the way to the Dells I received emails that my IPass account reloaded twice on the way there. I checked and the one way tolls was $30. The trip cost us $60 in tolls. Had I not had an IPass the tolls would have been $120. A bit of a surprise since I live in a State with no tolls and driving just the car to our sons is only like $7.50 round trip.

As always, planning is part of the adventure and you feel like you're on the trip before you leave the driveway!
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Old 09-03-2019, 09:02 AM   #42
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We are planning a 6 bweek trip next May, June and July. Shouldn't be as long as OPs trip, around 5500-6000 miles and only 13 states.

We are REALLY looking forward to it. It will definitely be our longest trip so far, both in therms of miles traveled and length of trip in days.

Also more towing in the mountains than ever before. Should be interesting.

Our longest trip to date was just under 3000 miles that took in only 4 states, LA, TX, AZ and NM, over 3 weeks
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Old 09-03-2019, 09:10 AM   #43
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Great posts BeachBourbon - thanks for taking the time to share!

DW and I will be doing a head east retirement trip in about 2 years (once she follows me on the retirement path). We've thought about the heat in the south & east and are thinking we can do a late fall/early winter trip to avoid roasting (as San Diegans, we're weather wimps).

I'm saving a link to this thread for future reference - thanks again!
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Old 09-07-2019, 02:34 PM   #44
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Your recent trip

BeachBourbon,


I just saw your post on your trip and your willingness to share info learned. I haven't had a chance to read it all yet. We are planning to make a similar trip next year from the opposite side of the country, starting in NC. Boy would I love to hear all that you are willing to share. We have never done long distance camping but I'm retiring about November and we are planning for 2020.


What I'd REALLY, REALLY love to encourage you and the DW to produce is a multi-page summary of your trip. Not too in depth (like turn here now turn there) but maybe some general road info (take I-#, don't take Hwy-). The info on what Nat. Parks you did would be fantastic.


Additional info like "you'll need to stay here 3 days to see it all" and "plan not to do over ### hundred miles per day" or "get an early start and you can easily do ### miles from X to Y because there is not much to see here anyway".


Seriously, myself, and MANY others would love to have such a summary that you could email to us or post as an attachment in some way. Look forward to seeing that write-up soon.


Thanks a lot.
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Old 09-08-2019, 10:35 PM   #45
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I have a few questions for you.

I am headed to Vermont from KS. We have very few tolls and our system is incompatible with everything but oaklahoma and maybe Texas. I was planning on getting an Ipass via Illinois which should cover me all the way there via the ezpass system I believe. My questions:

What state did you get an ezpass from for your travel or did you stop and pay cash?

What were their fees (not tolls but did you get charged maint fees or pay for the ezpass) ?
Did you pay in advance or just add a credit card?

Did you need a specific pass for towing vs driving? I heard you need a regular pass to drive your vehicle but a blue pass to tow.

Thanks for taking the time to share your experience and answer questions for the rest of us.
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Old 09-11-2019, 10:40 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by dbledan View Post
I have a few questions for you.

I am headed to Vermont from KS. We have very few tolls and our system is incompatible with everything but oaklahoma and maybe Texas. I was planning on getting an Ipass via Illinois which should cover me all the way there via the ezpass system I believe. My questions:

What state did you get an ezpass from for your travel or did you stop and pay cash?

What were their fees (not tolls but did you get charged maint fees or pay for the ezpass) ?
Did you pay in advance or just add a credit card?

Did you need a specific pass for towing vs driving? I heard you need a regular pass to drive your vehicle but a blue pass to tow.

Thanks for taking the time to share your experience and answer questions for the rest of us.
We paid cash because it we are not used to tolls and had no idea about where and when. Turns out the whole northeast is running the toll scam, but we didn’t know Delaware would have tolls, for example.

The thing is, they really have you by the balls when you’re towing and unfamiliar with the territory. You live in fear of getting off a toll road and encountering a low bridge. Sure there are APPs, but in real time situations, they are marginal at best.

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Old 09-11-2019, 11:03 PM   #47
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Some things that worked

O.K., getting back to the real world is definitely NOT working for me! But here are some things that worked on the trip.

More Things that worked well

Made an extremely detailed spreadsheet

A cooler filled with ice cold drinks in the TV (and snacks) for the drive. Plenty of the drinks should have CAFFEINE.

A refrigerator/freezer filled with beer/booze/ice for when you get to your destination (or whatever you want to relax and celebrate your arrival)

Ignoring cars, 18-wheelers and other RV drivers on the road. They all hate you and want to pass you even if you are the fastest vehicle on the road. Ignore them, pick your cruise style and drive. I saw a few lead foots towing TTs pass me and later broke down by the side of the road. Plus it helps your gas mileage.

Not stocking up on food before leaving. We had multiple days to drive before camping, so we shopped closer to camping rather than transporting food for 2000 miles over multiple days. We did carry a few items (bourbon) that we knew we would need (beer) along the way (rum and daiquiri ingredients).

Giving everyone a set up and breakdown job to make it go quickly and smoothly.

Having two people do walk arounds before leaving.

Always doing a walk around when you get gas

Goodyear Endurance tires – you go on a trip like this and the crumbling infrastructure around this country will pound your tires no matter how gingerly you drive. Some of the huge potholes seem to come out of nowhere! I could not imagine making this trip on cheap tires.

Lanterns for when you get there late and need light to set up.

A tide pod and gallon of water in the toilet between destinations

Once the Fridge/Freezer was loaded, driving with it on gas power (except through tunnels)

Making sure your RV can withstand rainstorms – we had them everywhere we went and were shocked by this - it was summertime!

Have food, drinks, games, movies for a rainy day inside.

Make sure your AC is working if you camp the East coast in the summer!

Packing light – there are T-shirts where you are going and you will probably buy some so you don’t need to bring many T-Shirts/hats/etc.

Make your reservations as far in advance as possible to get the best spots.

In the OBX national Park CGs they let you pick your site when your get there, so get there as early as you can check in. This got us phenomenal sites at both Ocracoke and Oregon inlet.

Overnighting at Crackerbarrel or anywhere that has 24 hr access to bathrooms and coffee.

Strike up conversations with locals, tell them it’s your first time and ask for recommendations. For example, cops in Times Square gave us an excellent pizza recommendation. Security at the capital office building in DC gave us an excellent pizza recommendation. The rangers office in Salisbury gave us an excellent lobster recommendation.

Having a rig that is quick and easy to break down and set up. Like beds that require no set up or breakdown. This is huge if you are moving every few days.

Always have someone guarding your rig when not at a CG. Stopping for gas and everyone runs to the bathroom? Wait until they get back to go. If stopped at a restaurant on the road sit in full view of your rig and be able to get to it quickly.

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Drinks of choice: woodford reserve, knob creek & any great bourbon-just about any of San Diego’s craft beer and Pabst Blue Ribbon
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Old 09-13-2019, 04:26 PM   #48
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Things that didn’t work well

O.K., not everything was perfect and some lessons were learned by experience.

Ask not for whom the road tolls, it tolls for thee…tolls, tolls everywhere a toll in the Northeast. Since I find toll roads to be a criminal enterprise, this did not work well for me. The potholes in these same roads were an added “bonus”

Inaccurate travel times – despite best effort, travel times were nowhere near estimates. I used planners, APPs and even calculated myself (this was the most accurate), but still way off base. Part of this could be that almost every travel day on the trip, we hit a massive thunderstorm with monsoon rains. Day 1 – Tucson, AZ – a surprise storm in the desert that dropped temps from 109 degrees to 73 in 5 minutes and slowed traffic to 40 mph. The other part is traffic or who knows?

Looking for Bourbon and being told I had to find a “state store”. I should have brought an extra bottle to avoid the hassle and extra expense.

HEAT & HUMIDITY will make you crazy in the south during the summer!

Calling credit card companies to say I would be traveling. I did call and they wanted ridiculously specific details, so I said that was not reasonable and did not provide them. The two cards I brought worked fine w/o issue anyway.

Posting on social media that you are traveling. You forget Facebook friends living in areas you are passing through that you don’t want to stop and see and this can get awkward.

Keeping our campsite setup overnight or when leaving. Every time we did this it rained! Shoes, towels, everything soaked. We finally learned to keep our stuff dry.

No where to wash your rig. I wanted to use Blue beacon, but read stories about high pressure damage. How do you full timers wash your rigs?

Our plan worked well for the requirements of this trip, but if I do another long trip or eventually full time, I would plan to stay longer in each location and have fewer destinations.

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Old 10-23-2019, 01:44 PM   #49
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NYC with RV!

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Originally Posted by cmysstailights View Post
No you can not. No rv is allowed through any of the tunnels. Coming from nj, you have through staten island to the bqe to the williamsburg bridge. I would not trailer through manhatten as it is way to congested and tight and no camping spots anywhere in manhatten.

As part of our 2 week vacation this year we wanted to visit NYC. After much research I found a place in Jersey City called Liberty Harbor RV Park. Now the reviews were not the best but one thing was consistent it was the closest place to park your RV to the city. Had water/50amp and a dump station. Rather like a big blacktop ....not pretty and if you looked carefully you could see lady liberty and they have lots of rules.
So for $110 a night we booked.
Backing up is not our forte especially with our new 36ft 5ver but there was plenty of room and we got set up quickly.
If you are there during the week there is a free ferry just across from the park that goes into the city. On weekends you can walk to the subway or another ferry a few blocks away.
Across the street overlooking the harbor is an outdoor bar that also serves some food.
I recommend the ferry over the subway into the city it was relaxing and took about 15 mins.
I think this was a highlight of our trip!
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Old 10-23-2019, 06:39 PM   #50
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Beach bourbon, what was the absolutely biggest mistake you made on this trip?
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Old 10-30-2019, 11:44 PM   #51
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Beach bourbon, what was the absolutely biggest mistake you made on this trip?
More than one, really

Not hitting a Cat scale during the practice trips to get the actual data and make any adjustments. Camping trips where you drive at most a few hours are much different than trips across the country where you may drive 10 hours in one day. Those long trips loading makes a big difference, short trips not so much.

Not resting more at the rest stop south of Cleveland, OH. It was a beautiful evening and I was napping on the grass. As it came time to hit the road, the wind started whipping through the trees. I thought twice about hitting the road in the wind, but saw big rigs on the road, and thought it would be fine. Less than 60 seconds after starting to drive, I regretted my decision. A huge storm came out of nowhere with sheets of rain, Gail force winds and nowhere to hide. That was one of the worst white knuckle rides.

Assuming DW understood fully the concept of copilot/ navigator with regard to an RV. Which also means understanding there is only on captain and when the captain gives orders, 5hey need to be followed quickly and efficiently for The safety of all aboard. My DW is an intelligent professional, but it is a good idea to communicate what is required and why. Things that are obvious to you (and all males) may not be obvious to DW. Once you are on the road as captain of your rig you must give driving your undivided attention and when you need something, you usually need it quickly and efficiently. Example: the copilot must always, proactively know what is happening to the right of the rig where the on/off ramps are and inform the driver on a timely basis. The driver shouldn’t have to say, “could you stop looking at Facebook and tell me if I’m clear to the right?”
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Old 11-13-2019, 09:43 PM   #52
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Found widow jane

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Did you find any Widow Jane 12 bourbon?

I bet you had a blast, we just returned from a 10K mile 10 week trip from FL to Seattle and most of the NPs out west.
Finally got some widow Jane in Dallas, Texas. Unfortunately, I was there for a funeral, but this helped ease the pain. It was well worth it for smooth sipping.

This version knob creek was another I would buy again.

Thank you for the recommendation!

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Old 11-13-2019, 10:49 PM   #53
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Knob Creek SiB store picks are good.
Makes me a bit thirsty tight now.
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Old 11-13-2019, 11:13 PM   #54
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Finally got some widow Jane in Dallas, Texas. Unfortunately, I was there for a funeral, but this helped ease the pain. It was well worth it for smooth sipping.

This version knob creek was another I would buy again.

Thank you for the recommendation!

Wow, Widow Jane 14! I’ve only tried the Widow Jane 10. That must be a very rare bottle. Glad you enjoyed it. Had to get out both wallets though..
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