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Old 05-16-2016, 11:07 AM   #15
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I use the Rand/Good Sam 7735 GPS to help me plan a trip. I book ahead with the CG I find on the route. On the last trip from St. Louis to Pensacola, I made reservations months ahead, for the first stop, I knew I was going to arrive 7:30 pm and they had my spot reserved and overbooked. I used the GPS to find a CG farther on route, it was another hour drive away.
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Old 05-16-2016, 11:11 AM   #16
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That's pretty much how we do it.

We've also discovered that, because people make reservations 6 months out, they forget them or stuff happens that prevents them from showing. As a result, we have never been unable to get a campsite, even at prime locations (knock on wood!)

Have fun and happy travels.

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Originally Posted by t55watson View Post
I have been rv'ing for 50 years and now snowbirding for 19 years.
As a retired person this is how I plan.
We are going to Alaska again this summer. My PLAN is to leave home the middle of June and return the end of Aug. We have 1 (one) reservation made. Denali National Park for 4 nights. End of plan.
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Old 05-16-2016, 11:26 AM   #17
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We only plan a general destination as the turn around point, and then find everything we can in between. I too was in a profession and position that required a lot of planning and decision making before retiring. When we travel we just look for places we like and have been before, and then for new areas so we can explore a little. So far we have done three long trips of a month or more and have had no problems finding a spot to camp for the night or several days. Some of the best spots we have found, or the best times we have had are in places we would have never thought of in a pre-planning mode, or places that told us they only had one day available over the phone, which turned into a week stay, as they had plenty of spots available.

We have only had to stay in a Walmart Parking lot once during all that time which believe it or not was in a very upscale strip mall type setting with several nice restaurants, Starbucks ect. So it was fun to stock up on supplies and then get up in the morning, and go out for breakfast before hitting the road. But that was our fault because we took too long messing around, took some wrong turns ect. It does create a little anxiety for a previous "planner type", but then that adds to the excitement of the trip, and lends more to the "journey is the destination" attitude.
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Old 05-16-2016, 11:33 AM   #18
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Hello everyone,

Here is the question: If you going to make a long trip such as 2, 3 weeks or longer, of course that you have to plan out your route because you have to know where you will be going as well as budget.

However, to what degree you have to plan? Down to the daily detail? Example: How far do you have to drive each day, which campsite will you be stopping at and how long, making the RV site reservation in advance, how far in advance that you have to plan ahead? do you have any problem with can not book the RV site if not plan out far enough? Daily activities? Etc.

I am a project manager by trade, therefore, everything I do has to be planned, some people called it too excessive. I will be in full retirement in few months and I have already had the plan for my long-term travel after the retirement to the end of 2017. I know retirement travel is "play", not "work", that is why I am looking for your seasoned RV traveler for advice because I certainly hate to drive up or short notice reservation to the RV park and found that they could not accommodate me.

This is a no wrong answer question. For us we look around 2 for a CG that is close to where we will be and call - if not able to get in we have no problem with a Dry Site, getting something later.

BUT - we rarely are in the heavily traveled locations in the Summer, so for us it is seldom an issue.

While we love people we Hate Crowds - Yellowstone is Heaven when the Buffalo outnumber the people 10-1!

JMHO,
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Old 05-16-2016, 12:10 PM   #19
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PMP certified ?

some of you people are giving Project Managers a complex here !!! You have a WBS and a Gantt chart for your trip !! LOL
(That's a joke, just so you know )

I am an Aviator, Engineer, and Project Manager and even i don't plan to some of your levels. I like to know where i am going and since i am not full time, "time" is always an issue, but it depends on why we are going and where. We usually layout an efficient path, then if we are just wanting to get there the reservations and CG at destination (like Disney for example). If we are going, but have time to investigate then i throw out a 50 or 75 mile boundary on the route and look for what comes back in the search. Sometimes that involves reservations but most the time it is a call a day in advance of where we decide and see what's available.
I look at two major things:
1. average gas cost for entire trip (gives me a budget to shoot for)
2.CG location and reservation if we stay there for more than 3 days.
The rest can be an adventure and only small planning required. Besides my girlfriend is a research addict and does all of it on line as i am going down the road, so i'm happy, she's happy and usually it all works out fine.

Enjoy your upcoming retirement and RV trips !!!
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Old 05-16-2016, 12:13 PM   #20
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I took a 2000 mi trip to visit colleges. Had every night planned including reservations and miles driven each day. Sometimes adds to stress, sometimes alleviates it.
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Old 05-16-2016, 01:18 PM   #21
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I am enjoying this discussion of various planning modes perhaps because I enjoy planning. Retired now in SoCal s&b, we usually take two trips each year; one for AZ spring training baseball and one 3 month trip cross the US and sometimes Canada. After rv'ing for over 40 years, much of that during our working years, "time" was an issue. Not wanting to "waste" any work/school vacation time, I started planning in some detail.
This year, our long trip will take us to Yellowstone and Minnesota to rendezvous with a caravan group. I've made a 5 day West Yellowstone reservation even though we will arrive after Labor Day.
We don't like to drive more than 250 miles per day. No Walmarts and few rest stops are used. After a few travel days, we take two or three days in one place to explore locally, do laundry and shop. I use AAA maps, Microsoft Streets & Trips, Good Sam and Passport America directories and RVParkReviews.com. Then I record my planning decisions with campgrounds, confirmation numbers, deposits and miles between daily destinations on a free internet calendar from WinCalendar.com. We e-mail our WinCalendars to our sons and some interested friends.
I do like the idea of just setting some destination(s) and making campground reservations a day or two ahead. Maybe I'll try that next year.
Drive safely. Have fun!
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Old 05-16-2016, 01:24 PM   #22
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It sounds like most of you don't have the problem with short notice CG reservation. It makes a lot of sense as one RVer said about long ahead reservation for a whole few weeks travel, should anything change on the schedule, it would be a very expensive cancellation fee.

Yes, and you are all right about the plan ahead could create a lot of pressure to be at a certain spot at a certain time or day, this would limit the ability to be flexible to stay longer or shorter at the location that one would "like" or "not like" respectively. On the other hand, a good plan would help alleviate the concern about where to camp at a certain place. It just a game of balancing act. Just travel enough to know what one want and how to do it right the next time. That was experience traveler is all about.
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Old 05-16-2016, 01:49 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Dennis Dean View Post
some of you people are giving Project Managers a complex here !!! You have a WBS and a Gantt chart for your trip !! LOL
(That's a joke, just so you know )

I am an Aviator, Engineer, and Project Manager and even i don't plan to some of your levels. I like to know where i am going and since i am not full time, "time" is always an issue, but it depends on why we are going and where. We usually layout an efficient path, then if we are just wanting to get there the reservations and CG at destination (like Disney for example). If we are going, but have time to investigate then i throw out a 50 or 75 mile boundary on the route and look for what comes back in the search. Sometimes that involves reservations but most the time it is a call a day in advance of where we decide and see what's available.
I look at two major things:
1. average gas cost for entire trip (gives me a budget to shoot for)
2.CG location and reservation if we stay there for more than 3 days.
The rest can be an adventure and only small planning required. Besides my girlfriend is a research addict and does all of it on line as i am going down the road, so i'm happy, she's happy and usually it all works out fine.

Enjoy your upcoming retirement and RV trips !!!
Wow, must be my long lost Brother, Fellow Aviator, Engineer and PM
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Old 05-16-2016, 02:01 PM   #24
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Wow. What fun.
Being a retired aerospace engineer I actually do enjoy it... Guess I better not bring up my "Moving Map Weather Radar" display that we use while underway...



Another "In Flight Planning Tool"!
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Old 05-16-2016, 02:08 PM   #25
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We usually have a main destination that we book our nights at. Then we just make our way there with interesting stops along the way. DW will call CGs while on the road to reserve as we approach stopping time.
For instance, on the way to the Mt Airy frog rally well spend a few nights at falls Creek SP in Tennessee on the way, and a few nights in the Savannah, area afterwards and a stop by stone mountain on the way home. But Mt Airy, (Andy Griffith's Mayberry) is the destination.
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Old 05-16-2016, 02:10 PM   #26
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Someone earlier in this thread said it's all about your nature, your personality,-- planner or not-- and I guess that's right.

If you've ever held a job then you've been scheduled to one degree or another. I spent a career as an airline pilot, so I've had my share of living by a clock. OTOH, in my younger days (in the '70s), I spent some time living and wandering on 3 different motorcycles. Crossed the country six times-- well, not true, some of my travels wound up being coast to coast, but a few times it was just somewhere on the east or gulf coast to the Rockies.

Anyway, the point is that I recall at some point in the travels I went a couple of weeks without even looking at a map. Sometimes I had a rough idea where I was because I'd ask someone or recognize a name on a road sign--
"Missoula -----> 43", but for the most part I was just wandering. I guess some folks could be comfortable living like that, and some wouldn't. De gustibus non est disputandum.


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Old 05-16-2016, 02:21 PM   #27
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Hey Stealth01, is there a weather ap like that for "we on ground dwellers"? Be awful nice to know the weather ahead with that davree of Sofistication!
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Old 05-16-2016, 02:57 PM   #28
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Hey Stealth01, is there a weather ap like that for "we on ground dwellers"? Be awful nice to know the weather ahead with that davree of Sofistication!
The application is nice... When I travel, I always use the app for my iPad and iPhone, it is free and it called "my Radar" it similar to Stealth01 apps. I believe it also available on Android device as well.

It is real nice to see the upcoming weather or how much more bad rain I have to go through before I could see sunshine again.
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