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Old 07-23-2013, 11:59 PM   #1
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Biting off more than I can chew?

Ok, Friday I am closing the deal to sell my veterinary hospital trying to downsize my commitments in life. We have adopted our 5 yr old nephew after finally getting our own son raised and out of the house. I want to do something's different this time around like actually being part of the family instead of being married to my profession. We have went to the Tampa Fla RV Supershow the last 2 yrs. never owned an RV but just bought a Haulmark Motorcoach 4504HB. This is similar to a Showhauler for those familiar with the. TLC RV shows. We will leave northeast Ga next Monday the 29th headed to Logan, Utah to pick up the Rig. Now I will be a Rookie. I have driven o big truck similar in size thru the Appalachian Mts where I live. I have to be back in Ga August 12th as the little guy starts kindergarten. I would like to go from Logan up to Grand Teton national park for a couple of days then try to have a couple of days to hit some highlights in Yellowstone and get a taste for what we want to see on a longer trip in the future to include Glacier. If anyone has suggestions on easy big rig friendly parks in those areas I would appreciate the advise or if you think I should pick up the rig, head east and just detour to Disney World as the first trip, the wife would probably like that too as she thinks I am biting off more than I can chew for a first trip in a rig not even supplied yet. Yikes! Can I drive this Rocky Mt. terrain with no experience of Appalachian grades only? Be as brutal as you need to be. Thanks for the help
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Old 07-24-2013, 12:35 AM   #2
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We were in Yellowstone and the Tetons earlier this summer. If I were you I would head north and park at KOA in West Yellowstone I would rent a car to your the park as the north part of the park is not terribly big rig friendly, and the best animal viewing is in the Roosevelt and Hayden Valley area. Then head through the park via Old Faithful and West Thumb then head south into the Tetons. This was my first trip in a DP in the mountains and I had no issues. Use common sense use your gears stay ahead of the mountain go slow and you will be fine. Also, we stayed at the Gros Venture (sp?) camp ground between Jackson and Moose junction it is quite nice and big rig friendly but does not have hook ups. They do have a dump station and water. If you have additional questions or would like to discuss via the phone PM me with your number and I will be happy to call you. Safe travels and good luck.
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Old 07-24-2013, 12:41 AM   #3
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Yes, I would definitely recommend another route that does not involve narrow mountain roads and steep mountain passes for your first trip if you will encounter any of these. You have to think of others on the road and not just about yourself. The mountains are no place to learn, I have spent a good deal of my life in the mountains and in the area I am in there is no way out (except one, a ferry) of here without hitting up yo an 8% GRADE up and back down. Not only can these grades do a number on your vehicle, they could leave you with a state of fear or regret you wish you did not have. I have driven by many an unfortunate situation from cars to rv's to big rigs and with chatting to friends in the police force, many of these could have been eliminated with more driver knowledge or respect for mountain roads. Now, this is no reason to avoid them, but please respect them for yourself and everyone else on the road.

This is my 2 bits, and I hope you find it useful. I wish you well on your retirement, this forum is absolutely awesome, you will find lots of wisdom on here.
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Old 07-24-2013, 08:34 AM   #4
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My 2 cents.
Logan Utah to Clayton Ga (assuming that's where you are headed) is 1,900 if my MapQuest skills are working this morning. You can drive as many or as few miles a day as you are comfortable with - but for sake of argument let's use my limit of 400 a day. If you headed straight home you would use 5 of your 14 days and have 9 to see the sites. I would not do that.

I would spend 2 or 3 full days in a CG near Logan to shake things out and familiarize yourself with systems and identify any issues that may present themselves. Run the generator for several hours, check engine and generator fluids, etc. Not sure if you are buying from dealer or not, but they will be easier to work with than handling issues while on the road. Operate on full and no hook ups.

There will be things you either don't have or will want to get - chairs - jack pads - grill - sheets - dishes - pots and pans - the list goes on. You don't need to get everything but ya gotta have some things. While in Logan rent a car and go to Wally World or Camping World and outfit your rig. Send DW to get homey things - throw pillow for the coach - whatever.

Once things have proven themselves and you have the basics, head for home. If you spent 3 days in Logan and took 5 days to get home - 8 days down and 6 to go. This gives you time to spare if your travel days wear you out and you need a break. I would. I didn't look to see what points of interest are along the way but there must be some. it won't be the Tetons but it will be a grand adventure with time for rest and relaxation.

If everything goes well and all systems are go - you're fully stocked and make good time - then adjust toward Disney World. You will need to get those CG reservations as soon as you know you're going.

I have been to the Tetons and Yellowstone many times. You can see it as many or as few days as you like, but your most likely going back. Moat everyone does or wants too.

My advice is based on buying a coach 650 miles from home - fly in, drive back. Your call for sure but you are contemplating biting off more than I could chew - or would want to anyway.

With luck your new adventure is just starting and you will have lots of time for journeys both large and small. But - none will be as big, enlightening, memorable and grand as this one. Why risk having issues or pushing yourself and time right out of the gate. No doubt being that close is tempting but it will be there. If you had another week my thoughts would be different. There are just too many unknowns at this time.

JMHO and YMMV
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Old 07-24-2013, 08:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flaggship1 View Post

I would spend 2 or 3 full days in a CG near Logan to shake things out and familiarize yourself with systems and identify any issues that may present themselves. Run the generator for several hours, check engine and generator fluids, etc. Not sure if you are buying from dealer or not, but they will be easier to work with than handling issues while on the road. Operate on full and no hook ups.
Take Flagg's advice seriously. You need to spend a few days near the dealer to work out the bugs.

I wish we had done that with our new coach, it would have saved us a TON of headaches. What should have taken a few days to fix, ended up taking 2 months and several trips back and forth... very frustrating.

Mal
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Old 07-24-2013, 10:12 AM   #6
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Just don't go to Disney World in August!!!!!! We love the place and spend the winter at "The Fort" but it's too hot now. I also agree that you should spent some time locally so you can return to Logan. No one can get everything right building something that big and complicated. You will need some little fixes. Yellowstone is nature's Diney World only better.
Have a GREAT TIME!
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Old 07-24-2013, 12:16 PM   #7
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From the response rate this might do better in General Discussion. Your call but mods will move if you ask. Your not really asking about where to stay so much as how to proceed.
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Old 07-24-2013, 02:07 PM   #8
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From Logan, to get to Grand Tetons and Yellowstone you are best to go up I-15 to U.S. 26 at Idaho Falls, and follow it into Jackson, GTNP, and YNP. I would strongly recommend you not try going through Victor, Idaho 33 and WY 22. That route is Teton Pass, with grades of 10% and few passing lanes. US 26 follows the Snake River and is relatively flat in comparison. You'll be visiting at the height of tourist season, try to phone and get reservations now for campgrounds outside the parks. Gros Ventre CG is in GTNP and usually open, but as said, no hook ups. In the parks, campgrounds are first come, first claim. People line up at 6-9 am to grab the next vacant site as folks leave. There are good spots in West Yellowstone, most people rave about Grizzly Yellowstone Grizzly RV Park and Cabins West Yellowstone (Montana ) - Campground Reviews - RV Park Reviews
I worked and led groups in and around the area for 20 years, if you'd like more info, PM me. -Bob
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Old 07-24-2013, 03:07 PM   #9
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Congratulations!

I just did the same thing! Cashed out and bought a motorhome, jeep and a bike. I bought a motorhome that was promised to be in "just like brand new" condition and we are a Week and $7,000 into getting ready for a trip so far.

Most of that has been just neglected maintenance and new tires With Nothing Broken! We had to wait 3 days just for the tires to get here and a day to put on. Because of that we missed out on our appointment for the preventive maintenance services and had to get back in line for 2 days...

I would allow even more time if everything is not promised to be "perfect"

At least these are cheaper than boats to get worked on!
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