Go Back   iRV2 Forums > CAMPING, TRAVEL and TRIP PLANNING > Camping Locations, Plans & Trip Reports
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 03-20-2013, 08:22 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 3
1st SW Trip to Grand Canyon & Albuquerque

Have read many posts, but never posted here before, so here goes. . .

We are planning a 2-month trip this Sept & Oct to the Grand Canyon & Albuquerque from S. FL. We have reservations at the Balloon Fiesta for the 2nd week and would like to spend an extra week in the area beforehand as well as visit the south rim of the Grand Canyon. We are usually on a planned schedule and not accustomed to "going where the wind blows us". This time we want to take our time and not miss a thing (if we can help it)!

We plan to head west via I-40 from Memphis and return east via I-20, so we can see different things going and coming home. Having never been west of New Orleans in our 43' diesel pusher & towing a Jeep, we are looking for suggestions of things to see & do along the way in Birmingham, AL; Memphis; Little Rock, AR; Oklahoma City; Amarillo; Albuquerque; Santa Fe; Flagstaff, AZ; Rowell, NM; DFW, TX; Shreveport, LA; Jackson, MS; Mobile, AL and places in between.

In addition, my husband would appreciate any tips, suggestions or road cautions (terrain, bridges, tunnels) that are known along the route. GPS & trip planners only give so much information.

RV park recommendations, would also be much appreciated. We can camp without hookups (if we fit), but know that we will need full hookups periodically for laundry, etc.

Thanks in advance!
__________________

__________________
YOLO is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 03-20-2013, 08:27 AM   #2
Community Administrator
 
Clifftall's Avatar


 
Fleetwood Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 29,111
Welcome to IRV2.

Cliff
__________________

__________________


Cliff,Tallulah and Buddy ( 1999-2012 )
Clifftall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2013, 09:37 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
DSL417's Avatar


 
Entegra Owners Club
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 6,205
Blog Entries: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by YOLO View Post
Have read many posts, but never posted here before, so here goes. . .

We are planning a 2-month trip this Sept & Oct to the Grand Canyon & Albuquerque from S. FL. We have reservations at the Balloon Fiesta for the 2nd week and would like to spend an extra week in the area beforehand as well as visit the south rim of the Grand Canyon. We are usually on a planned schedule and not accustomed to "going where the wind blows us". This time we want to take our time and not miss a thing (if we can help it)!

We plan to head west via I-40 from Memphis and return east via I-20, so we can see different things going and coming home. Having never been west of New Orleans in our 43' diesel pusher & towing a Jeep, we are looking for suggestions of things to see & do along the way in Birmingham, AL; Memphis; Little Rock, AR; Oklahoma City; Amarillo; Albuquerque; Santa Fe; Flagstaff, AZ; Rowell, NM; DFW, TX; Shreveport, LA; Jackson, MS; Mobile, AL and places in between.

In addition, my husband would appreciate any tips, suggestions or road cautions (terrain, bridges, tunnels) that are known along the route. GPS & trip planners only give so much information.

RV park recommendations, would also be much appreciated. We can camp without hookups (if we fit), but know that we will need full hookups periodically for laundry, etc.

Thanks in advance!
Let's start with see and do for some of your itinerary:
1)OKC - Cowboy Hall of Fame, great lakes/fishing across eastern OK
2)Amarillo - worth a stop at the 72 ounce steak place even if you can't tackle the big one in an hour
3)Albuquerque - no dis, but other than Balloon Fest which is great but crowded, ho-hum...lots of Indian casinos up and down I25.
4)Santa Fe - real beauty is SF north. Bandolier National Monument has some great hikes. Los Alamos Museum (ago bomb built here, but so much more), drive to Taos along Rio Grande (did it yesterday) is beautiful and then come back via Rancho de Chimayo. Then there is Santa Fe: food (Plaza and Shed cafes) and many others for spicy true Chili a la New mexico style cooking, the plaza and the Indian jewelry sales under the north portico, and so much more.
5)Ft Worth - just love this city versus Dallas (Ft Worth Botanical Gardens worth a stop in Forest park)

Both TX and NM allow overnights in their rest areas and are set up to accommodate, particularly at the entry to the states.

Not a lot of experience on RV parks yet. Albuquerque and Santa Fe will be tough during the Balloon Fest. If you camp elsewhere, traffic is a bear getting in and out on Balloon days. START EARLY and stay late. If you stay on site, dry amping and some have complained of some type of burrs that are tough on pets (I was told they solve that problem, but I doubt that assurance). Here are a few:

Santa Fe: not great, but Los Suenos is OK, north of Santa Fe saw one that looked OK (in Pojaque about 10 N of SF). Casino camping at most casinos on the I25 corridor (but likely will be crowded during Balloon Fest).

DFW area is pretty tough for good parks IMO. We did find Cowtown RV park very accommodating west of FW.

Flagstaff is beautiful for camping, but it has been too long to remember campgrounds.

Have a ball...but pay particular attention to wind forecasts, West Texas, OK and NM can be brutal. Here's a link for a great real time wind visualization.
Wind Map
__________________
Dave and Beth
2015 Cornerstone 45J
Ford F-150 and 2016 Polaris Razor
DSL417 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2013, 09:52 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Mcdonough, Ga.
Posts: 4,382
Make sure you take the tram ride at Sandia peak. Do not expect any campground discounts at balloon fest. We stayed at American RV park. About sixty a night during balloon fest.
__________________
1998 Pace Arrow 35 ft. F53 Ford V10 2012 Honda Civic toad
32 years mechanic at Delta Air Lines 15 year motorhome service manager. 3 popups....2 travel trailers....5 motorhomes....loved them all.
ga traveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2013, 10:03 AM   #5
Junior Member
 
cookingdad's Avatar
 
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 14
We have reservation at American RV for June on our way to Grand Canyon ( not during balloon fest). 1st time going in that direction. Can you give us any input about this park following your stay there?
__________________
cookingdad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2013, 05:19 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Enjoying the Western States!
Posts: 5,551
Once you get to New Mexico/Arizona I might recommend getting off the interstates and doing some exploring. We typically don't do interstates or big cities so can't help you there. You mentioned Rowell, NM but if you mean Roswell, don't bother. North of Albuquerque you could check out Santa Fe and Santa Fe Skies RV might work for you. With our 40' MH we enjoy Cochiti Lake Corps of Engineers park a little south of Santa Fe. There are large sites. We drive to the west end of town, park in the city bus lot and take the bus wherever you want to go in Santa Fe. It's very easy to do and parking is not easy in Santa Fe. You could also go up to Taos & Taos RV Park would be the best for you. Neither city has really good RV parks.
Then there's Hwy 84 north of Santa Fe which is the painter's Georgia O'Keefe country. We stay at Abiquiu Lake Corps of Engineers park to tour that area.
Los Alamos and Bandelier Nat'l Monument northwest of Santa Fe are both worthwhile.
Heading into Arizona if you take I-40 - not a lot to see until Flagstaff. However, you can drive through Petrified Forest Nat'l Park with your motorhome. The road is good.
Flagstaff - a very pretty drive is by taking Hwy 89 north about 15 miles and do the loop road of Sunset Crater Volcano Nat'l Monument where you can explore some ancient Indian ruins along the way and just seeing the black lava is awesome. We stay a Bonito Nat'l Forest campground just outside the Sunset Crater entrance gate. No hookups but a very pretty campground with some large sites. No reservations.
There are RV parks in Flagstaff but unfortunately, not the greatest. Some big rig folks like J&H RV on Hwy 89N. It's very small and gets good ratings on RV Parks Reviews and we always see big motorhomes in there so it might work for you.
From Flagstaff you could either take Hwy 180 or Hwy 64 to get to the south entrance. Definitely get a site in Trailer Village in the park for your stay. The campground is so-so but it's all about location. You will be very close to the canyon's rim and also the free shuttle busses stop just outside the campground entrance. They have full hook-ups. Folks will sometimes recommend staying in Williams and either driving or taking the train to Grand Canyon but that's a long boring ride and by staying in the park there will be so much to do for you. Have a great trip!
__________________
Full-timed for 16 Years . . . Back in S&B Again
Traveled 8 yr in a 2004 Newmar Dutch Star 40' Diesel
& 8 yr in a 33' Travel Supreme 5th wheel
twogypsies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2013, 06:40 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
rgvtexan's Avatar
 
Winnebago Owners Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: NE WA or S TX
Posts: 2,232
ALQ will be a zoo the first wk of Fiesta. By the way they have a nice Zoo. Res. will be hard to come by and $$$. ~50 miles west there is the Dancing Eagle Casino with E W and a dump. a few miles more is Sky City Casino with full HU. Make your reservations now if you want to be close to ALQ. We volunteer each year at the Fiesta and will be in ALQ 30 Sept- 12 Oct.
You will enjoy!
__________________
04 Horizon QD, 12 Ford Flex, Excalibar, Brakemaster, Winter Texan, RVin! since 1974
Norm, Donna & Tinker Kat 74 MGB-GT, 75 MGB, 01 Z3
Life is a Timed Event, you only get One Go Around!
rgvtexan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2013, 07:50 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Mcdonough, Ga.
Posts: 4,382
Quote:
Originally Posted by cookingdad View Post
We have reservation at American RV for June on our way to Grand Canyon ( not during balloon fest). 1st time going in that direction. Can you give us any input about this park following your stay there?
American RV park is a deluxe park. All paved roads and the extras. It is very nice and clean park. We stayed at the KOA in Santa Fe. It is a nice park, not a deluxe park, but more natural. We had a site that was off to itself with a lot of privacy.
__________________
1998 Pace Arrow 35 ft. F53 Ford V10 2012 Honda Civic toad
32 years mechanic at Delta Air Lines 15 year motorhome service manager. 3 popups....2 travel trailers....5 motorhomes....loved them all.
ga traveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2013, 08:12 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 463
I know it won't be popular, but two nights is plenty for the Grand Canyon unless you're into hiking. Once you've seen a sunrise and sunset and walked a bit of the rim it's just a great big hole. I've been twice and the second time was unnecessary. Nothing had changed.

Okay guys, flak vest on - take your shots.

Old town Albuquerque is neat and has some good restaurants, but the best are in Santa Fe. Try the Inn at the End of The Trail just off the square.
__________________
OldChief7155 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2013, 12:24 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Enjoying the Western States!
Posts: 5,551
Here's some suggestions on things to do at Grand Canyon. Some require more time than a few days.
Things To Do - Grand Canyon National Park

Definitely hike down the Bright Angel Trail if only for a short distance of 1/8-1/4 mile. You will get a altogether different feel of being IN the canyon rather on the rim. Take water and remember, you have to go UP to get out. We once did a 9 day raft drive through the canyon and we had to hike down the Bright Angel to get to the rafts. Even down, it was very difficult but a fabulous experience.

While in the area, also drive to Sedona for some absolutely gorgeous scenery. However, don't take Hwy 89 from I-40 with your motorhome - you won't like the curves and steepness. Take I-17 south. You could easily do 3 nights in Sedona, especially if you're hikers. The Verde Valley/Canyon train ride from the Cottonwood area is pleasant. Also, take a drive with your toad up to Jerome for a unique experience but don't take the motorhome! We always stay at Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Cottonwood to do Sedona andit's not a long drive but there are a few RV parks around Sedona, too. Try to avoid Sedona on the weekend because of the crowds.
__________________
Full-timed for 16 Years . . . Back in S&B Again
Traveled 8 yr in a 2004 Newmar Dutch Star 40' Diesel
& 8 yr in a 33' Travel Supreme 5th wheel
twogypsies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2013, 01:25 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Country Coach Owners Club
Retired Fire Service RVer's
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Ocala, Florida
Posts: 6,295
On another tone, can I recommend Big Rig Best Bets campground directory. This is available in either print or digital editions. The authors have personally visited all RV Parks listed in the directory.

I have the 2012 print version and the 2013 digital version.
__________________
FMCA #F431170, GS #822128658, Escapees SKP #112655
2012 Airstream Mercedes Interstate Class B
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
Medico is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2013, 11:49 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
TN Blondie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by YOLO View Post
Have read many posts, but never posted here before, so here goes. . .
......
We plan to head west via I-40 from Memphis and return east via I-20, so we can see different things going and coming home. Having never been west of New Orleans in our 43' diesel pusher & towing a Jeep, we are looking for suggestions of things to see & do along the way in Birmingham, AL; Memphis; Little Rock, AR; Oklahoma City; Amarillo; Albuquerque; Santa Fe; Flagstaff, AZ; Rowell, NM; DFW, TX; Shreveport, LA; Jackson, MS; Mobile, AL and places in between.

In addition, my husband would appreciate any tips, suggestions or road cautions (terrain, bridges, tunnels) that are known along the route. GPS & trip planners only give so much information.

RV park recommendations, would also be much appreciated. We can camp without hookups (if we fit), but know that we will need full hookups periodically for laundry, etc.

Thanks in advance!
In Memphis, if you're going to stay a day or two, I'd recommend Tom Sawyer RV Park. It's actually in West Memphis, across the Mississippi, but we checked it out since someone else recommended it to us. Sites are spaced well, full hook-ups, plus you can jeep into downtown Memphis easily. The road to get there looks rough (we did it in the toad, not the DP), but there were several DPs there when we went to check it out, so I'm guessing it was better in the larger vehicle. When you go into downtown Memphis, plan to pay $10 to park and definitely spend some time on Beale St, the blues music is fabulous. You can go to the rooftop of the Peabody and have a WONDERFUL view of the city. And no trip to Memphis would be complete without some BBQ. There are several to choose from, (world famous) Rondezvous is close to the Peabody and Beale St, plus there are all sorts of restaurants on Beale St itself. My personal fave place to eat downtown is a block away from Beale, a restaurant called Huey's. You can shoot toothpicks into the ceiling while you wait for your food, and write your name on the wall if you like. If you want to see it, Graceland isn't far (although I'm not an Elvis fan).

I'd meet you and take you around when you get here, but we're heading to the PNW in late August for a month so we'll miss your through trip.

Traveling the route you're coming will be fine, and GPS did a fine job of getting us to Tom Sawyer RV Park. Memphis to Little Rock was under construction this past fall, and if they're as fast in AR as TN road crews, they'll probably still be under construction fall of this year. The usual rush hour traffic jams apply in and around Memphis and Little Rock.

Hope we've given you some usable insight. Feel free to PM me if you've got any questions. We'll be doing that same trip in three years, so I'll be interested to see where you stop and what you like about each place
__________________
Andi n Doug (Trauma901) Shadow, Moose, Star (the labs)
2010 Tiffin Allegro Open Road RED
TN Blondie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2013, 12:12 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Bakersfield, Ca. U.S.A.
Posts: 386
In Albquerque there is the Nuclear Museum. It is worth going to.

Hope this helps.
Joe
__________________
99 F-350 4X4 PSD pulling a 24' Nash travel trailer
JRNOLL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2013, 11:03 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 285
Albuquerque also has great Old Town and museum of natural science!
__________________

__________________
Krashqueen is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:40 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.