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catfish1953 05-13-2019 03:27 PM

Working to longer trips any suggestions?
I realize this is not that long of a trip but were working up slowly for longer term trips. Any advice would be welcomed. Were headed out for 9 nights total. Starting in New Orleans LA KOA 4-nights, 1-night in Biloxi, MS @ Beau Rivage Boondocking, 4-nights Sugar Sands RV Resort Gulf Shores Alabama.

CHICKDOE 05-13-2019 06:03 PM

you will be just fine. just do it. just check your vehicles before travelling and keep it safe. based upon what you learn on this excursion you can make adjustments for an even longer one later.

D W 05-13-2019 06:17 PM

Just a word of advice,... When we were younger we would spend a whole lot of time on the road to get to destinations. Fast forward 40 years and we have found that too much windshield time rapidly takes the fun out of camping, at least for us. We'd get to the CG, and be exhausted from the drive. We stopped doing that two years ago. We now make it a point to travel no more than 300-350 miles per day, and we take our time and stop periodically to stretch out. Yes, it takes us longer to get to planned destination, but we arrive refreshed and relaxed.

Just friendly advice.

Larry L 05-14-2019 04:58 PM

We learned to cut back the travel time after our first month. Now we shoot for 3-4 hours on the road and a minimum of 2 nights in a CG. Most stays are 3-4 nights.

OYO 05-14-2019 05:29 PM

Good advice above. We do 6 hrs max travel, 2 day min stay. Prefer 4 hrs and 3 days. Cutting back on drive and set-up/teardown time makes a huge difference in stress vs relaxation.

It's an adjustment. Before retirement we would drive SW Ohio to middle Keys straight through. I don't miss that at all. But we only had 'x' number of days to escape the cold.

It's not always the destination if you have the time.

Have fun, be safe.

CurtPutnam 05-14-2019 05:56 PM

Remember, there is generally no need for sewer hookups on a one night stay. Save that for the longer stays (assuming they have sewer hookups). Learned that the hard way.

Kimber45 05-14-2019 06:04 PM


Originally Posted by CurtPutnam (Post 2095796)
Remember, there is generally no need for sewer hookups on a one night stay. Save that for the longer stays (assuming they have sewer hookups). Learned that the hard way.

I was thinking the same thing. shorter stays means you don't have to worry about tanks being full or fresh tank being empty depending on what ammenties are available. I often stay 4-5 days with only electric and then can dump and refill for the next short stay.

waybeck2018 05-14-2019 06:45 PM

[QUOTE=OYO;2095776]Good advice above. We do 6 hrs max travel, 2 day min stay. Prefer 4 hrs and 3 days. Cutting back on drive and set-up/teardown time makes a huge difference in stress vs relaxation.

It's an adjustment. Before retirement we would drive SW Ohio to middle Keys straight through. I don't miss that at all. But we only had 'x' number of days to escape the cold.

It's not always the destination if you have the time.

If one is still working, we can not always afford the luxury of 3-4 day stops en-route to destination. Although sound advice if you have that luxury of plenty of time and perhaps retired not everyone has that leisure. Do what you can, be safe and enjoy.

Have fun, be safe.

catfish1953 05-15-2019 08:41 AM

Thanks for all the great advice. We have been camping in Tent, Pop-up, Travel Trailer on and off for the last 25 years. Have not retired yet 4 years until I am eligible. In fact that's the first part of this trip to New Orleans. We are going to our retirement seminar provide by my employer. We intend to ramp up longer and longer trips until I retire. Those are mostly destination trips so we would visit some along the way. Planning to make a 4-6 month walkabout when I retire. Starting slowly now working through what we need vs. want in our rig.
its not huge but plenty big enough for us. Making changes slowly as we learn what our camping style might be as we get closer to that date. Seriously considering joining Harvest Host next year. We love meeting new people and making new friends in our travels. We were both in the USAF and have friends scattered all over the country. Cant wait to meet friends we will make on this site also. Thanks again for all your input.

Chief Lou 05-15-2019 01:24 PM

Ive learned to take my time too!
Im retired but She Who Let the Dogs Out is still working. She works overnights and gets out on Thursday a 9am and doesnt go back until 1am on Monday, and so we plan travel on longer trips for using only 5 vacay days shes off for 16. Each winter we head south too. NOLA is one our regulars. We plan no more than 300 miles per day and recently started to stay more than one night on the road.
It is much more relaxing and on that first overnight is when we de-winterize!
This past winter we went to both NOLA and Destin FL. 4 days in each and a two night stay in Alabama on the way home to NJ...discovered Little River Canyon !
Much more relaxing stopping after only5-7 hours on the road.

ppine 05-15-2019 02:03 PM

DW knows what he is talking about.
I love being at home so anything more than about 3 weeks we head for the barn.

Bluepill 05-15-2019 02:56 PM

I'm 75, so I need a break about every 2 to 3 hours. It has to include rest for my eyes and back. Guess what? I have a portable bedroom with A/C that follows me around.

When it's mild weather, I just pull over to rest stops, large mall lots, or even truck stops. Fire up the generator or heat if needed and take my Senior Nap. If it's quite cold or hot, I will fire up the heat or A/C about half an hour before my stop.

Sweet Dreams!

The second most important thing is to plan to avoid rush hours in metro areas. I may start out earlier or later depending on the time that I will be passing through heavy traffic areas. Great stress-reducer.

Jakie-Boy 05-15-2019 03:55 PM

Last summer my DW and I along with another retired couple spent more than two months on a "Grand Tour" which included nearly every National Park west of Denver. The key to our very happy and enjoyable trip was more than a year's worth of planning, including making reservations at some of the most popular sites, notably Colter Bay in Grand Teton NP. We usually stayed 3-4 nights at each location so that we could make easy day trips to our destination parks. Rarely drove more than 3-4 hours each day in between stops. In between stops, even our drives towing our 35-foot fifth-wheel often included the "roads less traveled" rather than the Interstates. We rely on the Good Sam Road Atlas, and the Camping World RV Park Directory to find the best and/or most convenient RV parks. There are also some excellent smart phone apps that can help locate RV parks, but I refuse to carry a cell phone that doesn't fold up, and fit in the "watch pocket" of my jeans!! My wife is the one with the smart phone!!

Sebourn 05-15-2019 07:16 PM

Catfish, i'd be interested to hear your thoughts on the drive and the stops. Maybe you could share a few pics of the campgrounds too. We used to enjoy vacationing in Biloxi many years ago before we got our TT. We haven't made it back since Katrina. Just a couple of months ago we talked about someday making it one of our camping destinations. Safe travels.

Splashes3 05-16-2019 03:24 AM

So, I am going to buck the trend.....if we have a long distance between our home and final destination, we will drive 8-10+ hours to get there. We would much rather spend more time at the place we wanted to see, so that we have more time to sight see. Yes, I am tired after a long drive, but it doesn't take me much time to refresh and then we have more time to hike to see the sights we had on our list. Do agree, it is more relaxing being able to spend more time at destination.

If I get tired, DW will take the wheel allowing me some rest time. We stretch our legs during bathroom stops.

We do plan our departure times hoping to avoid rush hour in and around DC, and if reasonable will drive further to avoid going near larger cities.

I'm retired, wife still working.

TheWolfPaq82 05-16-2019 05:51 AM

I use to be...Go-Go-Go !! Now the only time I hit it hard is when I go to brothers. 900 first day, and finish with a 6 hr run on second. It's harder than it use to be.

Theo 05-16-2019 08:03 AM

Back in 2004, we took a Lap of America from New England to California using a southern route and back via a norther route. We were in a sedan and stayed in hotels the whole time. Just under 10,000 miles in 5-weeks. The trip was actually quite delightful!

Like others have mentioned, the key to making this fairly effortless was a full year's planning and making reservations at least 6 to 10-months in advance. Chief among the planning goals was not to drive more than 280-320 miles when we were on the road. Thus, our stopping points were carefully spaced apart and about 90% involved multi-night stays. We also recognized the need to divert from our original planning so we could happen upon serendipitous roadside attractions (e.g.; The Spam Museum in Austin, MN).

Also, back then I used MS Streets & Trips to plan our route by specifying maximum daily driving hours/miles between stops. I think that software has been abandoned, but I have recently discovered RV Trip Wizard and it seems to feature what I would need to plan a trip like this again. A planning tool like this also helps handle fuel stops and allows one to experiment with daily start times that might avoid arrival in or around major cities at rush hour.

It is also important to have the luxury of time. I think this would be especially true when towing a travel trailer. I note that you are retired USAF so perhaps this is a moot issue.

A word of caution: these suggestions come from a slightly OCD-riddled person. I actually enjoyed planning all the details almost as much as I did the actual trip!

Thanks for your service, catfish1953.

KNMIB 05-16-2019 08:12 AM

We left mid March and will return home June 1stish. We only run 3-5 hrs a day max. Some places we stay a week (like the Keys) and sometimes we stay one night. We have gone from central Illinois to the Keys and up the East coast to DC. We have a 28ft. motor home and we don't tow, if we settle in and want to see a lot we rent a car although we can unhook and go about anywhere. We keep it very simple we can hook up and unhook in about 10 minutes. We have about 4 more states to see then we start over. We all have different ways to travel, so do what fits your needs. Our goal is to see the country, so we go out a couple months then go home and spoil the grandkids. We are never in a hurry anymore. Safe travels to all.

Sticki 05-16-2019 08:20 AM

Returning from a 2 week trip to Rockport, TX in February I white knuckled it 585 miles in one day. The last half of the trip home was on divided 4 lane highway. I'm like a horse that runs back to the barn as fast as he can!!

Paulie1138 05-16-2019 08:24 AM

Our biggest plan is to avoid congested areas during rush hour! Time breakfast or supper to be pulled over to eat around those times. We try to head out before morning rush, and try to be in camp by 4pm-ish if driving that far. We really dislike trying to negotiate lane changes in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

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