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Old 06-01-2013, 03:18 PM   #1
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Using a Campground on a long Trip

We're going to be traveling from South Florida up to Washington next month. We've only got 2 weeks and we've got 4 spots on our agenda with 5 days in Williamsburg.

Now the Mrs can drive our Essex and we're only going to be taking the interstate between our stopping grounds.

As weekend campers I can routinely drive 8-10 hours because we need to get where we're going since we don't have much time. My wife and I are having a discussion about stopping halfway between Naples and Washington.

My preference is to stop between Savannah and I-26. That would be about 500-550 miles.

Now we stop every 3-4 hours for the pets and if I get tired I just pull into a rest area and have no problem taking a 60-90 power nap. The question I have for more experienced members is this:

A) How many people stop and campgrounds for the night then continuing

B) How many people stop at a W-Mart (or equivalent)

C) How many people spend the night at a truck stop/rest area?

Oh and one other question for you experienced MH operators... I LIKE driving at night time (after 8 pm) because there is a LOT less traffic. I've driven our prior MH at night and this one as well. I've found that there are less truckers but what helps is to just pull behind one and set the cruise and .....

Other than falling asleep, anything other to worry about driving at night?

2006 Essex
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Old 06-01-2013, 03:38 PM   #2
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I can't say for the first parts of your post, but the last part i can. Animals. Keep your eyes open, best to have an awake co-pilot. Just remember if you break down, service calls are big $$$ at night. Have plenty of flares and reflective gear for your self and the back of you rig. I too like traveling at night. But so do crazys and drunks.Safe travels.

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Old 06-01-2013, 03:52 PM   #3
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I'd say:

A) 65% will stop at a campground for the night.
B) Maybe 5% will stop at WMs.
C) Is actually a two part-er:
a) 15% will stop where the truckers do at truck stops because it's safety in numbers and there's usually some services like restaurants and restrooms.
b) 10% will stop at rest areas if there are truckers and other RV'ers there AND if the state they're in allows overnight or multi-hour parking.

You didn't ask about boondocking or freedocking but I'd say that's probably no more then 5% on average. Depending on weather. The warmer it is the more will do that.

Just a WAG based on full timing for 8 years all over the place.
'02 Winnebago Journey DL, DSDP, 36' of fun.

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Old 06-01-2013, 04:22 PM   #4
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I never thought about the percentages, but of the >1400 nights we've spent in the coach... only one of those was someplace other than a campground.

But, we're retired and have never had to cover a lot of ground in a hurry.

Man, you have a packed agenda on this trip. I hope that two weeks is for a one way and not round trip.

Rick, Nancy, Peanut & Lola our Westie Dogs & Bailey the Sheltie.

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Old 06-01-2013, 04:37 PM   #5
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Its only about 16 hours to Williamsburg. Only one power nap away.
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Old 06-01-2013, 04:51 PM   #6
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We've never overnighted in a campground. Always find a place along the route to pull over for the night.

Deer are the biggest thing to watch out for during night driving.
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Old 06-01-2013, 04:52 PM   #7
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I would say 20% for Wal mart love stopping there after all overt he last 46 years of shopping there and maybe $200,000 to $300,000 spent there,they don't mind and usally more there(RV,s).
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Old 06-01-2013, 04:59 PM   #8
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I travel more than camp, mostly because I want to get where I'm going. I drove coast to coast for many years as an owner/operator so I know my limitations. The routine: Start off, takes about 30 minutes to get the feel of the road again and refresh my memory about the rig itself. Stop at a safe place within the first 25 miles. Walk around, bump the tires, check the dolly and car. Back on the road and drive about 250 miles. Stop for fuel, stretch, restroom break. Open the Thermos and pour a cup. Drive till I get sleepy and stop, get out, stretch, bump the tires, check the lights, back at it. Drive 'till I'm tired, stop at next safe place, truck stop, Walmart or a rest area but I park in the car area generally at the end of it. I will not take a truck spot!. Get a good 6/7 hours of sound sleep. This generally nets me about 750 to 850 per session. Used to be a 1000 but I know my limitations.....lol
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Old 06-01-2013, 05:35 PM   #9
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There was a recent episode of Mythbusters that challenged the power nap concept. They were comparing what the captains on The Deadliest Catch (a crab fishing in AK show) often push their crews to 30hrs over a power nap. Their results were mixed and mixed between the two genders.
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Old 06-01-2013, 06:38 PM   #10
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The DW would not allow me to stay at a rest area, Walmart, or Truck Stop and I don't think I could get a good nights rest with all the activity outside the MH. I like staying in a place that I can attach electric to and run the A/c without the generator because the generator is right under my bedroom. I also don't drive at night because I found the windows in My Motor home can cause some very confusing reflections with headlights from other vehicles reflecting off more than one widow at the same time. The truth is, I'm in no hurry to get anywhere. I'm retired and that lack of a deadline causes me to adjust my travel to a slower pace. I understand that driving an Essex is very comfortable and doing 70mph is easy. I keep my speed below 60 because my gasser chassis just dosen't work great at higher speeds. When you slow down everything else slows down as well.
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Old 06-01-2013, 06:53 PM   #11
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When I'm trying to make the best time & miles, it's WalMart for me. Pull in, hit the bed. No check in, tight sites, levelers or slides. Sometimes I get an early start at sunrise or before if my route will be taking me through a large city that will have commuter traffic in the AM. Then I stop when I am on the far side of the area, make a quick breakfast and take a shower before heading out again.
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Old 06-02-2013, 12:15 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Playtime III View Post
There was a recent episode of Mythbusters that challenged the power nap concept. They were comparing what the captains on The Deadliest Catch (a crab fishing in AK show) often push their crews to 30hrs over a power nap. Their results were mixed and mixed between the two genders.
I saw that episode and the conclusion was that napping improved every aspect of the tests they did.

I would go further and say when you get sleepy, pull over either exercise or nap for a at least 30 minutes
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Old 06-02-2013, 01:22 AM   #13
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on your A,B,C, option I have
A never stopped at a campground just for one night
B Done the walmart stays, more than once
C Rest areas, more than a few times

I prefer night diving as well. My RV is equipped with Europe beam style headlights with silverstar bulbs. Really makes a difference at what you can see.
(RVM#26) THE U-RV 94 F-700/24 foot U-haul box home built RV
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:24 AM   #14
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Since you are taking a poll, I will give you my answers. We always stay in campgrounds, or perhaps a semi isolated boondocking site for overnights. Never a Wal-Mart. I did not work all my life so I could sleep in parking lots. I have had a couple of nasty experiences in rest areas and will not go to them after dark, and truck stops are too noisy. Different strokes for different folks.

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