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Old 05-31-2014, 06:43 AM   #1
Fleetwood Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 40
Planning A Trip

Hi everyone. We are new to the RV world. We bought our first rig in November 2013. So far we have limited out trips to in state, venturing a little further each trip trying to get some experience and familiarize ourselves with the RV.

My question: When planning a long trip, what do you use to route your trip and your stops along the way? Atlas? GPS? AAA? Apps? Do your make all your reservations in advance or try to go where the whim takes you? Do you use a truckers Atlas or GPS or a regular one?

So far, we have been familiar with the areas we have been and made advance reservations, but now we are ready to take some longer trips to see more of this beautiful country. Thanks for your ideas.

2014 Fleetwood Bounder 35K
Jeep Wrangler, Demco Tow Bar & Base Plate, Invisibrake
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Old 05-31-2014, 07:02 AM   #2
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Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: At the foot of Pikes Peak, CO
Posts: 853
We sit on the side of the aisle with the folks that like an advanced plan and reservations where needed. Plenty of people like to be purely spontaneous and that work fine too, just a personal choice.

For the basic trip routing we use MS Streets & Trips. It is easy to create a route and schedule your stops. Once we have a route or route segments that we like we export the file to the Garmin. We'll typically do a lot of research on the web to find fun and interesting things along the way. Living in the Rockies I like to look at the more mountainous sections of the route in How far did I run? - Map a run with On The Go Map, it allows me to see elevations and grades. For fun stuff along the way we'll take a look at Roadside America - Guide to Uniquely Odd Tourist Attractions. Food is always high on the list so a scan of Yelp, Trip Advisor and Diners Drive-ins and Dives Map, List of Locations, Videos, Reviews and User feedback from Guy Fieri's show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives always yields fun places to dine.

Have fun with your trip planning and happy trails.

Glenn & Mary
2000 Monaco Dynasty 34 York
Three Toads - 1997 Jeep TJ :: built for dirt
/ 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel :: built for comfort in the dirt / 1990 Miata :: built for fun
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Old 05-31-2014, 07:18 AM   #3
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Location: FullTime, North America
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Your question is similar to what should I see when get to Los Angeles. The simple answer is see what you want to see or plan how you want to plan.

When we were weekend warriors we had destination in mind that were usually busy so reservations were a must. As far as things to see well that was why we were going there to begin with, we already had things we wanted to see and usually never had enough time to see them all.

Now that we are full-timing we usually break up our travels by 150 mile segments and stay a week. To be honest the longer we stay the more we realize that we missed. But to find things to do I almost always hit up locals, visitor centers and just talk to people, almost every area has stuff to see and do that will interest you. Since we stay a week or more we usually reserve during summer season since places are getting more and more crowded. However during off season we usually call on the travel day and find a place near where we want to stop.

Trip-advisor is also a great place for things to do (not so much for their restaurant reccomendations) as are the local guides that are almost always downloadable.

I think the important thing is to figure out what you want to see and do (history, museums, natural beauty, zoo's, arboretums, amusement parks, lakes, beaches, etc) and then go see those things no matter where you are.
Steven and Stephanie
2007 Winnebago Adventurer 38J
2008 Hyundai Elantra
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Old 05-31-2014, 04:53 PM   #4
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Location: Artesia NM
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I am on that side that just lets it come to me....I try to see what route we may want to take going in the general direction of where we are in route too and then see what comes into view.......

...You have all the comforts of home right along with you so just let it happen..........You will have FUN discovering new places..........

We almost NEVER drive the Interstate system because what can you see on them besides more traffic.........We just made a trip from New Mexico to Florida and ONLY drove about 20 miles of Interstate Highway........The USA is made up of some real neat OLD towns that you don't get to see on the Big Roads.......We went East on US 84 and then came back West on US 82 a really great trip except for the price of gas, but you can't have every thing............Try it you will love it......................

Mike, Angel and the Peggy Sue (Boston Terror)
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Old 05-31-2014, 06:28 PM   #5
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Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 659
I plan our trip out to the T. Have tried several programs over the years. Had to LOL@MandG using MS Streets & Trips, have not used that program in 10 years since Microsoft abandon it. AT&T used to specify that we use that program back in the day, was like a flash from the past when you mentioned it.

Currently we have been using RoadTrippers. Its a free app/program that you can download and use. Its basically an overlay on Googlemaps. You can plug in each stop/destination and its pretty easy to move stops around if you decide to change things. It does have a tab for suggestions on what to do at each stop but we never use it, kind of just use the maping feature. While I do have some complaints with the program, for the price of FREE its hard to be too picky.

Here are a couple examples. First up is last years summer trip.

Next up is this years trip.

I assume it works for both Android & Crapple, but I only use Android so really dont know about Crapple.

Once we select a destination, typically hit up Trip Advisor to see the top 20 things to do in that particular city. Nice to see what others have done and get a feel for whats good.

Typically use RVParkReviews to see what parks are good and bad and get peoples input. Most of the time, have found the reviews to be spot on.

Good Luck!
2010 Fleetwood Discovery 40X
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Old 05-31-2014, 08:52 PM   #6
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The DW and I, both are missing the 'Planning Gene'. Over the past four years we've visited 48 states and with the exception of two forth of Julys and two Memorial days, it was all done without reservations. Some summers in the Northeast can be a little tight, but out West and in Alaska - no problems ever in finding campground sites. I figure if we are ever turned away, there's always room for us in a Wal-Mart parking lot...or similar location for a night's rest stop.

Sometimes, I do envy those that can plan far in advance but I don't like to 'Have' to be at a specific place at a specific time...there are too many interesting places to see and I'm too easily distracted. I guess I'm a believer in that "There is no well planned destination that has ever been made, that can not be deviated from". YMMV.
Jan and Bob

RIP 'Squeaky'
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Old 06-01-2014, 01:40 AM   #7
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Location: Mesa, AZ
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I like to plan my route and investigate available campgrounds. Likely overnight and layover locations will be roughly determined due to distances, terrain, weather, etc. I will use Allstays.com and Passport America to select candidate CG's, then use rvparkreviews to weed them out. That way, I have some notes to take with me on the trip to make it easier to sort through several at any desired locality. I also use Gas Buddy to see the best places to look for inexpensive diesel every 400-500 miles.

I rarely make reservations more than 24 hours in advance, and even that is rare. Two reasons I don't like reservations ahead of time:
1. What if something happens that you can't make it? If they have run your cc through, it may be a battle to get reimbursement.
2. I can't stand being on a schedule! I may find a place that we want to spend several more days at than previously planned. With reservations stacked up, you start letting your "planning" rule your life and interfere with your good time.

Having said that, there are times when you need to make reservations, and you will know those times when they come up. Other than addressing those particular times, I can't think of a better way to spoil a good time than committing myself to a "schedule" just because of a need to make reservations well in advance.
Ken & Jeannie
96 Vectra Grand Tour 35' DP
Jacey (terri-poo, waiting at the rainbow bridge), Jack (silky terrier)
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Old 06-01-2014, 07:35 AM   #8
Fleetwood Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 40
Thank you ALL for your input. I appreciate all the comments and advice.
2014 Fleetwood Bounder 35K
Jeep Wrangler, Demco Tow Bar & Base Plate, Invisibrake
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Old 06-02-2014, 12:05 AM   #9
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Tiffin Owners Club
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Location: Show Low, AZ
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I've done the option of preplanning every leg of the trip with various online resources and GPS. I've also done the point A and point B type of trip, where the only planning was the destination. Both work well enough.
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Old 06-02-2014, 12:12 AM   #10
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Monaco Owners Club
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Location: Granbury, Texas
Posts: 1,349
I normally use RV Roadtrip Navigator to plan our trips as it has RV parks built in and I can add our own info to the program. The replacement for the program is RV Plan 'N' Go but I do not like the new version so I continue to use the old version!

We normally do not make reservations for the entire trip before we leave as we may change our mind on how long we want to stay at a location. A couple of days before we head out to the next stop we will make those reservations. However, if we are traveling to a place that we feel we need to make reservations, like Disney World, or a place we know fill up during certain times of the year then we will make reservations weeks or months in advance. On our trip to Alaska in 2009 and our trip across eastern Canada and the east coast we made reservations 2-3 days prior to our arrival and had no problems.

Ronnie (WD5GIC) & Jan (WD5IHU)
2003 Monaco Dynasty Countess 42' w/tag, 2012 Ford Flex

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