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Old 06-02-2013, 06:12 PM   #29
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Being an ex-longhaul truck driver one of the worst things is to have a person on your tail, especially at night, as their lights tend to reflect on my mirrors.
I also do not want to have to worry about braking and have someone that is in a daze want to bump my back end because he/she is not paying attention
Thanks for that insight, never thought about that. When I do get behind the big rigs I do leave PLENTY of room. I'll keep the lights/mirrors in mind for the future.
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:33 PM   #30
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Well Luckys,
You are asking a collection of unanswerable questions.

The single biggest factor is what are YOU comfortable doing.

In the last 30K+ miles, I would guess that we paid for an overnight campground less than six times. Events don't count.

When we travel, we are in travel mode. Our coach is very effectively self contained. For a couple (more or less thousand miles and most of a week of travel mode, we will stop for gas, water and waste dumps. We work our own leg stretching and dog walking into that schedule. As I write, we are homeward bound from a mni-rally and we will be off to another Thursday.

Even with two drivers and a coach with an exemplary ride, a 550 mile day is long. We have done more but that was not fun. We stop at rest areas, truck stops (often noisy), Cabela's (preferred) and Wally's (Ok and you can provision as well). If you don't need a "camp ground" (25~40$us/night) why buy one. Do you often buy a lunch you don't plan to eat? Why drive 15~30 miles off your route just to stay where some people think you should?

So, Learn what works for YOU.
Most of all, be safe out there.

Matt
Matt,

You're right in that there is NO RIGHT answer. I really wanted to hear from others because the person I REALLY have to answer to is Mrs. Lucky!

I KNOW that we'll be travelling until it get's dark and frankly one of my main concerns is pulling into an unknown campground in the dark. When I said I don't mind driving in the dark I was talking about staying on the interstate, however most campgrounds aren't right off the exit, so I'd have to worry about low hanging branches and small roads in unknown territory for what - electricity and water?

During our trips the Mrs. makes sandwich's and we travel with enough water to last until our campground destination. The generator works well enough and the tanks...I don't dump until they're 2/3 full anyway.

I guess I just want to know what others are doing
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:37 PM   #31
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Since I am not retired, we never stop at a campground while in route to a destination. We ALWAYS stay at Walmart. I stop driving around 11pm, and get up around 5am. I have no need for hookups while traveling, and if air conditioning is needed, I can run my generator at Walmart. Campgrounds are too hard to find your reservation in the dark when it is well past closing, I don't like Rest Areas, unless they provide security, Truck stops are our second choice, but tend to be noisy. At Walmart, it is well lit, usually truckers and RV's are with you, and enough activity to fend off crime. BTW, we have done the Williamsburg to DC trip and it is one of our favorites. Enjoy !
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:57 PM   #32
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We've done one trip in our Erve that we needed to stop and it just "happened" that there was a Cracker Barrel at the midpoint... so that's where we stopped for the night. Good food, safe location, and no problems. Besides, I like the hash brown casserole too much to miss it!!!

Until we get some better lighting options, we won't be driving at night. I haven't yet adjusted to the difference in headlights.
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Old 06-03-2013, 05:35 AM   #33
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Passport America for overnighters $10-$20 for elec, water, dump. Most with wifi, some with cable. Dry camp in Nat Forest, Casinos, BLM, Friends, Relitives. Never used a WM. We take 6-12 days between WA & TX.
Thanks for the info about Passport America

To those who haven't "over-nighted" at a WM/Cracker Barrel/etc., just wondering why not?
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Old 06-03-2013, 06:04 AM   #34
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To those who haven't "over-nighted" at a WM/Cracker Barrel/etc., just wondering why not?
Never in enough of a hurry to forego a campfire, a fine meal, family time, and hookups.
Over a 1000 mile trip, calm and fun evenings adds only 1 day. Having fun for the entire trip and arriving refreshed and well-rested is quite grand.
The journey is our destination.
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Old 06-03-2013, 06:50 AM   #35
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We travel mostly during daylight hours and mostly the same route south in the fall then back north in the spring. It is about 26 hours non stop and we take about 3 days. Started out most always using a Flying J truck stop if there was a spot in the RV section. Maybe in the truckers lot if there were plenty of open spots as to not take a truckers space while he or she is working and we are playing.

A couple of times we found the FJ full and continued on to a rest area. Now days many of them are patrolled and not as unsafe as before. We never have had a problem in a rest area but have 2 fur covered alarms. The state welcome centers do seem to be the best rest stop to use since many have a concession building that is open 24 hours so there is an employee on site.

We have stayed at a Walmart a total of one time. Did the drill, asked permission, bought some stuff, parked way out of the way and didn't set up camp like we were at a CG. It worked out fine and we would have no problem doing it again.

We do plan some stops on the way back but only if we plan to stay at least a few days. It is to much of a hassle to check in, connect everything and break it all down for one night for us. We fill the fresh water and make sure the waste tanks are empty before setting out so we can get a shower or two if needed without being connected.
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Old 06-03-2013, 07:07 AM   #36
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Assuming you mean Washington DC, there are many opinions as to the best option for an overnight stop. I have to admit that we prefer to drive until we are tired and just stop at a Pilot/Flying J or similar. Easy access, fuel and security in numbers.

HERE is a link to a fairly accurate guide to overnight stops and a comprehensive list of services and facilities along I95.
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Old 06-03-2013, 07:37 AM   #37
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Traveling at night is a concern for me because of deer on the road. I can't drive anywhere without seeing a number of dead deer laying on the roadside. With this in mind we look for a place to park for the evening before the sun goes down.

We have stayed in truck stops but they can be noisy if you can't find an out of the way corner to park.

I have not stayed at Rest Area's due to security concerns and the road noise from the near by interstate. Some rest areas advertise that they are patrolled by security so I would consider those in a pinch.

We have stayed at Walmart's and we find them the best for a quick stop if we are not traveling with the Grandkids otherwise we find a campground for the night and pull off early to get set up.

We have not tried any other boondocking options but are open to suggestions.
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:35 AM   #38
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To those who haven't "over-nighted" at a WM/Cracker Barrel/etc., just wondering why not?
We've never really done it because we're retired and when in travel mode, still usually cover less than 350 miles per day. We're just never in a hurry and we far prefer pulling into a CG by 4 pm and enjoying a cocktail and relaxing. I just don't think we'd be as comfortable in a WM parking lot at 4pm.

I'm sure if we used two drivers and just had to be somewhere in a hurry we'd make a bee line to WM when we needed some rest.

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Old 06-03-2013, 10:14 AM   #39
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Traveling at night is a concern for me because of deer on the road. I can't drive anywhere without seeing a number of dead deer laying on the roadside. With this in mind we look for a place to park for the evening before the sun goes down.
I was the unlucky guy who had a deer hit me at high noon. It ran into the side of us. Talk about a surprise.
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Old 06-03-2013, 10:36 AM   #40
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I was the unlucky guy who had a deer hit me at high noon. It ran into the side of us. Talk about a surprise.
Ouch!!! I hope the damage wasn't too bad?
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Old 06-03-2013, 11:35 AM   #41
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I am doing the same thing as you, but in the opposite direction. We will be taking the grandchildren for a 1-week vacation to see the big mouse in a couple weeks. My itenerary is to overnight on the way down at the Thousand Trails on I-95 just inside of SC (we are Thousand Trails Zone Pass members), and to overnight on the way back at the RVactions in Selma, NC. Prior to retiring from my DC PD job in 2010, I made the DC to Orlando run 2 - 4 times a year for about 12 years (13-15 hour drive). I always made the run after 7 pm and would arrive between 10 & 11 am because I love driving overnight and that was certainly the best time for me when traveling I-95. I would love for this to have been an overnight drive, but I just thought it best for all involved to make a stop each way. My compromise was to pick what I though was the best ~75% done overnights each way. Since Thousand Trails is first come first served for sites, my SC pick going down was so I could get to Orlando nice and early while still being fresh. I did the same for my return trip picking the NC stop so I wouldn't be too overly tired to return to my after retirement job on Monday after returning home on a Sunday.
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Old 06-04-2013, 05:00 PM   #42
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Just curious for those of you who overnight at a campground, what is the usual time that you get there? I'm just wondering about the logistics of setting up in the dark.

Mrs. Lucky still isn't sold on the idea of using WM or Cracker Barrel for an overnight stop
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