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Old 12-09-2006, 11:57 AM   #1
Connorsmom
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Planning your route

Hi everyone,
I'm new, so please bear with me. I'm planning on taking a little vacation in January. I'll be leaving from Canton Michigan (outside Detroit), and headed to Texas, Florida and possibly New Mexico. I'll be traveling alone (except for the "kids"), so I won't be able to drive as many miles as a "team" would. Being an ex semi driver, I'm not concerned about that aspect of the trip. What I am concerned about is..how do you know where to stop? Do I look for campgrounds ahead of time, then try to make it there on a specific day? Or do I just spend my "down" time sleeping in the truck until I reach my destination? Oye, so many questions, so little time. Any help and/or suggestions sure would be appreciated!!
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Old 12-09-2006, 12:36 PM   #2
jrgwdenner
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First things first, Connorsmom....a big welcome to the forum. You've got my admiration for your career and your tenacity to travel alone. We like to use Microsoft Streets and Trips as well as one of the big campground books (Trailer Life, Woodalls, etc) to plan our trips. It makes us feel more secure about our traveling if we have a destination in mind. Safe travels!

Check out http://www.rvparkreviews.com/ for a review of campgrounds submitted by people who have actually stayed in the park.
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Old 12-09-2006, 12:56 PM   #3
DONnANNIE
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I, too, like the MS Streets & Trips if you like doing it yourself.

If you are a Good Sam'er, I think they have a free trip planning service. I have never used it, so I can't say if it is good, bad or indifferent.

Hope that helps.
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Old 12-09-2006, 01:05 PM   #4
H. John Kohl
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I use Delorme Street Atlas 2007.
Since you are traveling in the winter and RV parks in the colder states may not be open I would recommend planning ahead.
Either the Trailer Life Directory, Good SAMS on line or CD, or Google search for RV parks in the area. As you know overnighting at a Flying J or other truck stops is an option.
With the Snow Birds down south you may have a harder time finding an open spot by just popping in to RV parks.
If I was doing it I would try and identify a couple parks that were open, their office hours and then plan accordingly.
Good luck and tow safe.
Cheers,
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Old 12-09-2006, 01:44 PM   #5
ols1932
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We use Delorme Street Atlas and Earthmate GPS. Marge "sort of" thinks about the trip, finds the Delorme route and then makes changes to the route she thinks are best. Once in awhile she asks me my opinion but most of the time she does a bangup job. We only travel 250 miles a day. That way we don't get too tuckered out. But everyone has their own traveling time/miles.

Orv
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Old 12-09-2006, 02:35 PM   #6
Cat320
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We like Good Sam. On their printout you can select what you want printed (everything from rest stops to campgrounds). We always have them print the cumulative mileage and driving time...that way, before you leave home, if you want to drive 350 miles or seven hours a day, you can see by their printout where you will be...and find a campground.
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Old 12-09-2006, 07:32 PM   #7
patodonn
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There was a similar thread earlier...."How do you guys plan your trips". Check it out for some similar info..
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Old 12-10-2006, 03:05 AM   #8
padredw
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.how do you know where to stop?

I have used the printed Trailer Life Campground Guide for years and find it a generally dependable source. For several years now, we have added the Trailer Life CD on our desktop computer at home and on our laptop which we take on trips. This program makes it very easy to "visualize" end of day possibilities.

Do I look for campgrounds ahead of time, then try to make it there on a specific day? Or do I just spend my "down" time sleeping in the truck until I reach my destination?

Using the "guides" I have mentioned above, you have plenty of flexibility, and can easily adjust while on the road. You don't have to make it to a given campground on a given day. I usually have several different possibilities in mind even before I leave on a trip. For sure with such a wonderful "home on wheels" in tow, I would never sleep in the truck.
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Old 12-10-2006, 03:09 AM   #9
Mrs. CountryGuy
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Connorsmom,

Welcome to the forum, from a gal that lived for 15 years or so right next door in Westland.

If you have not done so, run over to Camping World in Belleville and find their book section. There are big fat books that list campgrounds by state. They have maps in the front to show you approximate placement of campgrounds.

From experience I can tell you that your first day or so out you are gonna have to haul butt or sleep in a Flying J or Walley world. If you are headed to Florida first, head out 75 south and keep going till you get to about Covington KY for the first commerical campground that is open all year long. It is a KOA, it is convenient, but, placed between a double set of railroad tracks and the highway, so you might hear some rumble and you will hear some horns! Now, I don't remember, but, the Ohio State Campgrounds might be open, so you might want to check that out and see what is available in January. (Now, disclaimer, I have not traveled this route in 3 or 4 years, there may be other campgrounds open now, that I am unaware of, north of Covington.)

OK, if you are headed to Texas, New Mexico, etc., suggest taking 94 west to 69 and heading south to Indianapolis. Hit I 70 and head west to about Effingham Illinois, then hit the 55 and 57 south through Illinois and Missouri into Arkansas, I 40 from there to ????? There are few campgrounds that are open in this area either, but you might check out just north of Indianapolis, there is a small campground that MIGHT be open, it is off 69 around mile marker 10. There is one near Effingham, I think the name of the town is Waters, but last year, this poor campground was left OUT of one of the major campground books, in error, even tho they had paid for their advertising, etc. They were a bit upset. Too bad, they are nice people. There is a KOA just into Indiana on the 69, Aurora??? Not sure that is right without a book in front of me. Not far down the road, but if you get a late start in the day, it might work for ya. They are open all year.

If you want to stay in campgrounds, you need to get the books, or quite possibly you can do a lot on line these days, even tho Al and I have used computers since the ice ages, we still use the old fashioned campground book. I currently do not have cell phone access to the internet all day long without using up mega minutes and my connection is very slow. Some day in the future we hope to get an aircard, but it will require some switching of services here at the stick built as wel, so that is on hold. Some use the aircards and surf while on the road looking for campgrounds etc. We just pull the ole book out, figure out how many more miles we can do before we are ready to get off the road (so many variables that sometimes we do this on the fly, long lunch, too many stops along the way that eat up time, bad traffic, stuff like that can throw ya off schedule). So, we figure out how far we want to continue driving, and start looking for campgrounds. Sometimes we find a little place and the next one is 80 miles down the road, and we are not prepared to do another 80 miles, so that is our choice.

Biggest problem at this time of the year is finding commercial campgrounds open in the north country. Many close in October sometimes and do not open again until April sometime.

We usually call ahead as soon as we decide which campground we are going to head for as soon as that decision is made, so that they hold a site for us. Snow birds and Winter Texans are on the move big time and these few places do tend to fill up each night. In fact, we have taken to calling some of the ones that usually fit into our travel scheme before we leave home to verify that they are still open ALL winter long!

OHHH, some people we know, haul for 2 days till they get into Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas area. They stay in hotels/motels until then. It is another option that might work for you.

Al and I don't do Flying J or Walleyworlds. I can do without water for 2 to 3 days, baby wipes for showers and cleaning up, but, I want my Telie and even more I want MY morning coffee in MY rig with MY choice of coffee! HA HA. I have a electric coffee maker, used to have a on the stove version, no longer take it. Getting a bit soft in my ole age!

Good luck and YOU GO GIRL!!!
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Old 12-10-2006, 04:34 AM   #10
Connorsmom
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Thank you so much everyone for your feedback and info!!! I'm starting to get more excited than apprehensive. The new truck has a Navigation system on it. I need to study all of the options on that bad boy. I also ordered the 2007 Woodalls Campground book. I think the parrots are going to appreciate my getting them to a climate they're more suited for...LOL Thanks again!!!
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Old 12-10-2006, 06:21 AM   #11
TheCoachPotatoes
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We have a Good Sam Road Atlas (Printed). We use it in conjunction with Woodalls or Trailer Life. Campgrounds are marked on the route. You don't want to go too far from the main route when you are just staying overnight and leaving again the next morning. We find the KOA's tend to be a little more expensive, however you usually will find them very close to interstates. The Good Sam Road Atlas does not only show Good Sam Campgrounds, it also shows non-affiliated ones.
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Old 12-17-2006, 12:03 PM   #12
sreigle
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The TL directory often notes when a park is open all year. Sometimes it says "OAY." If in doubt, I google the park's name and see what their website says. Or call them. Usually if you're around interstates there will be a few that are open. Some may be open but have the water shut off so carry plenty of water in your freshwater tank.
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Old 12-28-2006, 04:40 AM   #13
Connorsmom
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Well, one of the friends I was going to visit in Texas passed away suddenly:-( I don't know if I want to still take my vacation trip south or not. I had to fly down to Texas to help the other friend get their big RV rig back here to Michigan. I'm still considering going down to visit Florida, but my main plan was my friends in Texas. Thanks for all of y'alls insight and suggestions, it is truly appreciated. Jan
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Old 12-28-2006, 01:17 PM   #14
DONnANNIE
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Sorry to hear about your friend's passing.

You are TRUE FRIEND by going down there and helping get their RV back to Michigan.

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