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Old 02-21-2016, 02:22 PM   #1
TedandElle's Avatar
Thor Owners Club
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 64
Arkansas to Arizona Spring 2016

I spent the last hour+ reading the different forums and trying to decide if this should go here or in the Fulltimers forum or somewhere else. Mods, feel free to move as you see fit.

Our MH is a 2014 Thor Hurricane 34E towing a 2005 Honda Pilot.

My wife and I are planning to sell our house in AR and live in our MH for 6-12 months with our 11- and 8-yo boys. My job allows me to live near any one of 150+ airports in the US, and we plan to take advantage of that freedom to live just about anywhere we want. Our boys are also homeschooled, making travel that much easier for us.

The long term plan is AR-AZ for a month or two where we'll see Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest, Tombstone and much more. Then we'll make our way to MT for a month to see Yellowstone, followed by Rapid City for Rushmore and the Badlands. After that we don't have any specific plans other than a camping trip with our current church in October back in AR.

The overall trip is too much to consider at once because it's based on when I have to work, when the house sells, etc. I thought I'd start with my specific plans to get to AZ and work from there as time goes by.

The plan is to leave the Little Rock, AR area and drive to Tinker AFB, OK if there's room at the on-base CG. We have friends in Newalla and will spend a day or two visiting them.

Day 2 will be from Oke City to Tucumcari, NM. Since it's just an overnight, we're not looking for much. Cactus RV is a converted motel parking lot that is fairly well rated on rvparkreviews.

Day 3 we'll go from NM to Holbrook, AZ. After reading reviews, I'm leaning towards OK RV park for a few days while we explore the Petrified Forest.

After that I'm looking for recommendations for a good family RV park. You know how most of you look for places without kids because you want quiet? Well, I need places with kids, playgrounds, noise, etc

In Arizona, my choices for airports to live near are either Phoenix or Tucson, and I can change as often as I want. I intend to spend some time at Grand Canyon, but that will have to be during an extended days off period. I want to spend about a month in the PHX area, during which time we'll either bring the MH up to one of the Grand Canyon parks or we'll drive up in the truck and get a hotel.

I also have friends in Tucson I'd like to see, so we might spend a few weeks there, more if we find a great spot.

In summary, I'm looking for the following:

1) recommendation for east OK City if Tinker is full
2) recommendation for Tucumcari (or another spot between OKC and Petrified Forest if you think it's better)
3) Recommendation for family-friendly long-term stay in PHX
4) "" for Tucson

I plan to update this thread with a trip report for the AR-AZ segment. In a few months you'll probably see me start asking for recommendations to get from AZ to the Yellowstone north entrance area.

2014 Thor Hurricane 34E
2005 Honda Pilot 4-down
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Old 02-21-2016, 02:34 PM   #2
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Damon Diva's Avatar
Damon Owners Club
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 533
I just want to congratulate you on providing such a great experience for your children!
We took our son out of school for a 2 week family trip in the SW years ago. I was afraid he was not getting anything from the experience- but months later when he had to do a "State Report" he chose one of those states and got an "A" on it. He learned so much more on that trip than I ever realized!

May you have a safe and exciting journey.

Damon Diva ( Formerly Known as MonacoMama)
2015 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk
1999 Damon Daybreak (Blog)
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Old 02-21-2016, 07:39 PM   #3
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Posts: 4,054
It sounds like you have a great plan. I'm not sure when you plan to be in the Arizona area but keep in mind that Phoenix and Tucson are very hot (100+) in the summer. You also will not have a lot of choices for kid-friendly parks. Those cities are geared to snowbirders (55+). However, there are a few options.

Phoenix - Although they have a two-week limit the Maricopa County parks are awesome for a natural setting, big sites, hiking trails and some have playgrounds. You could move between two or three during your time. We enjoy Cave Creek, Usery, McDowell Mtn. and Lake Pleasant.


There's also Pleasant Harbor RV which has a pool, water sports


Lazydays KOA would be your best bet - pool and playground

For Petrified Forest and Indian ruin sites in Flagstaff such as Sunset Crater and Walnut Canyon, I'd recommend Meteor Crater RV. It's a 30-minute drive into Flagstaff.

If you could fly for work out of Flagstaff a good family park would be Munds Park RV which has a pool, trails, planned activities.

Williams, AZ would also be convenient to Flagstaff for flying out. There are some family-friendly parks there. It's also near the Grand Canyon although for touring the canyon I'd highly recommend staying in the park itself at Trailer Village RV. The kids could partake in the ranger programs and earn a Jr. Ranger badge.

Have fun planning. Hope it works out.
Full-timed for 16 Years
. . . Back in S&B Again
Traveled in a 2004 Newmar Dutch Star 40' Diesel
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Old 02-22-2016, 09:23 AM   #4
TedandElle's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 64
Thanks for the information. I'm hoping the house sells fast enough that we're able to hit AZ in the spring and then move north as the temps get hotter, winding up in MT/SD in the May-Aug months (but before Sturgis).

All that will of course be moot if the house takes a long time. We might go anyway and leave the house vacant, flying back to close the deal when necessary. One step at a time :-)

I'd love to be able to base somewhere other than PHX or TUS, but those are the airports my company allows. I need to leave my wife someplace that's a reasonable driving distance from the airport for when she drops me off and picks me up. I do occasionally get up to 2 weeks off in between work periods. If it works out we'll definitely spend time at Trailer Village. In the meantime I'll check out the places you recommended. I know AZ is a prime snowbird destination and I'm not the typical snowbird customer, but I'm sure we can find a place that will work for us.

Thanks again!
2014 Thor Hurricane 34E
2005 Honda Pilot 4-down
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arizona, arkansas

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