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Old 11-25-2019, 07:24 PM   #99
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A word of caution about Rantoul. The campground was a mobile home park on the former Chanute Air Force Base. It has large sites compared to a normal campground. However Rantoul has gone downhill since the base closed and has a drug and gun violence problem. If driving South on I-57, a safer one night stay would be $30 FHU at a small private campground (D&W Lake) on the North edge of Champaign.

If the original poster goes South to Indy and then West on I-70, they will be much farther South when they hit I-57.

When going South on I-57, it merges with I-55 at the bottom of IL. At that merge point, Sikeston is just a mile North. It has a food tourist attraction called Lamberts Home of Throwed Rolls. The food is great but the delivery method of the rolls is the main draw.
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Old 11-26-2019, 07:29 AM   #100
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Originally Posted by Vibeman View Post
Thanks Avalanchediv, we are only 20 miles of so from Port Huron and still not sure if we want to do the "Walmart/Cracker Barrel" thing or find RV parks every night. I have determined we can't run "wet" with our coach, too much danger of freeze up in January and I don't really want to de-winterize/re-winterize every night either, so for at least the first 2-3 nights we will be dry-camping no matter where we stay.
Thanks again to all the folks offering suggestions, this thread is a great resource for us.
It would depend on how much time we would be spending there for us. We generally pull in at dark and leave at sunrise. Every Walmart seems to have a good restraunt in the parking area for dinner. As far as dry camping, we fill up a 5 gallon water jug for drinking water. coffee, and use a cup full to flush the toilet. Dump a few gallons of antifreeze in the waste tank and you will be fine using the toilet with a cup full of water to rinse with. Hope you have a great winter and Happy Thanksgiving!
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Old 11-26-2019, 08:22 AM   #101
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Not sure if this was mentioned earlier ... but if you are dry, the toilet can be used if you “flush” with windshield wiper fluid. Carry several gallons to use until you get far enough south to water up. (Just make sure the black tank dump valve is CLOSED)
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Old 11-26-2019, 12:02 PM   #102
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De winterize it Just before u leave. U will want to use your facilities, dry camping in a class A doesn’t mean camping with out water, enjoy your trip an facilities. Congrats
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Old 11-26-2019, 03:33 PM   #103
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We live in the Ludington area. We leave much earlier than you (left in September this year) so never had to deal with the freezing issues. We have taken two routes to our winter destination in Texas- one taking 31 to 94 to 65 and then south to 24 and west to 57. 24 is a state road and has some stops but the road surface is OK. The other way we go is 31 straight south to Indy and the 465 then across the 70 to Terre Haute. The route through Indy and on to Terre Haute is rough roads and not a lot of fun to travel on. We prefer the route that goes near Gary. The way we travel is to have an optimistic itinerary and a realistic one. Often I need to take a break at lunch to rest a little and by 3:00 in the afternoon I am tired of driving. Don't push yourself- you won't enjoy the trip. Casinos will always let you park in their lots and they usually have security driving around 24 hrs a day. We prefer them to Walmarts and truck stops but have done those, also. Firekeepers Casino is near Battle Creek and they have electric hookup for $10. 4 Winds has casinos near South Bend and New Buffalo- both have RV parking and good buffets. The Camp Lakewood campground (mentioned earlier) in Effingham is very nice and you drive past the Walmart to get there. There is a Corp of Engineer campground at Rend Lake in Benton IL south of Effingham about an hour that is very reasonable and I think they are open year round. Enjoy your trip and don't take the fun out. Where are you going in TX?
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Old 11-26-2019, 09:02 PM   #104
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Going through Indy

I've been through Indy many times over the years, running to/from St. Louis either to destinations farther east on I-70 or north on I-69. I've never tried to stay anywhere near there, so I won't comment on stopover locations, other than the Pilot/Flying J just west of Indy does not appear to be overnight friendly - not a lot of space.


I-70 going through downtown Indy requires multiple lane changes. If you don't know they are coming from prior trips through, you can end up stuck in the wrong lane. It's been a few years since I did the north loop (due to now-completed construction) but it wasn't bad in terms of lane changes. I would recommend taking the north loop if you aren't real familiar with your vehicle.


The south loop has construction issues with the extension of I-69 from Bloomington into Indy. It's also quite a bit longer than the north loop or the downtown run. Avoid it, if possible.


I agree that at this time of year 500 miles is aggressive. I did 500 miles a day for three days last August running from Idaho back to St. Louis and was pulling into campgrounds near sunset each day. For the first couple of days, at least, 350 is much more reasonable.
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Old 11-27-2019, 06:55 AM   #105
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Have A Great Trip

Although electronic GPS devices are most certainly a must while traveling I always suggest purchasing the book "Next Exit"

https://thenextexit.com/

Exits with RV friendly gas and diesel noted in red. Exit exit lists stores, shops, gas, diesel, WalMarts, Cracker Barrels, etc. I use it more then GPS.

Enjoy your travels. Regards. Ed
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Old 11-28-2019, 09:43 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by Vibeman View Post
Hi everyone,
My wife and I just got our first motor home, a class A, and will be driving it to south Texas in January, we live in Michigan's "thumb". Due to our late season purchase and cold and snow here in Michigan we have so far been unable to take a practice overnight run so this may end up being our maiden voyage!
The first day we plan to take I-69 to Indianapolis then west on I-70 toward Effingham IL. The next day we will go south on I-57 and I-55 headed toward Little Rock AK. We have driven this route many times in our car so we are familiar with it but would like to hear from other RV'ers who are also familiar with this route and could suggest overnight parking locations along the way. We do not plan to de-winterize the rig when we leave, so for at least the first two nights we will be 'dry camping".
Effingham IL is 500 miles from our home and would probably be the absolute furthest we would want to drive the first day. Ideally we would want to stop a little sooner, somewhere around Terre Haute IN. We just want a spot to stop and put out the slide, fire up the furnace and get some sleep and hit the road early again the next morning. Then repeat this for a couple more days until we get far enough south to stop in a park, de-winterize, and fill up the fresh water tank. I am thinking rest areas, Walmarts, Cracker Barrels, etc. Any and all thoughts/suggestions would be appreciated, thank you.
-Ken
We have never found a Cracker Barrel with suitable easy-out parking for our 40’ + towed . When forced to we find Walmarts great. We buy dinner at their deli, shop and buy doughnuts in the morning before we leave.

When we first started RVing in our Motorhome we’d do 500miles+- a day. Now, 12 years later and full-timing, we try to keep the drive down to 250-300/day. If possible we’ll take a few days off from driving to experience the small towns in the area. American small towns are rich in history and a few even have wonderful restaurants.

The journey is often as good reaching the destination. Take your time to explore, be safe and enjoy.
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Old 11-30-2019, 10:26 AM   #107
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Will be starting from Quebec down to Nevada in two weeks , average temperature will be -25 when leaving here , but will still be de-winterizing before leaving , many class a coach have heated under storage . So there shouldn’t have any problem with your type of weather
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Old 11-30-2019, 02:52 PM   #108
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-25c is still -13f. that's a hard freeze and i certainly wouldn't de-winterize. good luck and safe travels.
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Old 12-06-2019, 10:33 AM   #109
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Vibeman,
We have frequently stayed at the Archway Campground in Mt Vernon, Ill. This is right off I-57. There are two choices for fuel and a handful of eating spots. Our rig is 42' plus the Jeep and I think we pay around $36 per night. This is a no frills stopping spot managed by nice folks. (There is also a Walmart at the same exit.)
Also, I agree with others, 500 miles on day one is a haul. Our daily rate is 400 +/- a few.
Hope this helps.
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Old 12-07-2019, 04:29 AM   #110
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Thank you Captain KC42, it looks like a nice place and right along our route. We will add it to our list.
-Ken
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Old 12-07-2019, 08:16 AM   #111
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Vibeman,
We have frequently stayed at the Archway Campground in Mt Vernon, Ill. This is right off I-57. There are two choices for fuel and a handful of eating spots. Our rig is 42' plus the Jeep and I think we pay around $36 per night. This is a no frills stopping spot managed by nice folks. (There is also a Walmart at the same exit.)
Also, I agree with others, 500 miles on day one is a haul. Our daily rate is 400 +/- a few.
Hope this helps.
Cool Runnings
Thanks, I've driven past that CG a couple of times, but it looked like the sites were too short for my 43' plus a tow. I'm always looking for a place that I can do a quick overnight that I don't have to unhook.

Steve
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Old 12-08-2019, 08:02 AM   #112
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Hello Steve,
We are 42' plus the Jeep. There are a number of sites that can accommodate us. Plus, the team that runs the place is extremely casual and helpful. (Ralph and his daughter Tiffany) Again, it is a no frills place but for the price it's hard to beat in the area any/or on I-57.

We've also checked out Carlyle to the northeast of Mt Vernon. Great looking camping facilities we may do when we are not in transit. (About 20 miles off of I 57 at the Salem, IL exit.

Happy Trails,
Kevin
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