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Old 04-15-2016, 12:30 PM   #29
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We've done 2-4 weeks west for the last several years. We make reservations when we specifically want to be somewhere..like downtown Moab for a few days. Other than that National forest campgrounds, BLM, and others almost always have openings. Pack for variety of weather...Utah in June very hot, CO mountains will still have snow up high and chilly. We tend to spend more time in one area. Moab is easily a week or two with so much to see. Have fun !
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Old 04-15-2016, 03:23 PM   #30
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You could also head to your main destination then take another - slowly. If you don't make it to the last ones on the list, so be it. At least you will have had a relaxing vacation done YOUR way. You can make lots of plans but they can very easily be modified or cancelled. Don't push yourself...everyone will be in a better frame of mind!
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Old 04-15-2016, 04:00 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irene67 View Post
Thank you! I found the Mountain Directory for about $20 and bought it. I was actually looking for something like this so I do appreciate you mentioning it!!

I also appreciate everyone's information!!! You guys are all so awesome. Wow.

I do think it sounds like we are trying to accomplish too much in too little time. But I guess I should also qualify that our purpose of the trip isn't necessarily to tour ALL of those states and see ALL the attractions. Our main goal is just to BE in those states and travel through those states and, spend lots of time just relaxing at a campsite with, hopefully, some beautiful views. With our handicapped child, doing a lot of activities will be difficult. We definitely plan on taking our car out for some backroads drives - one of our favorite things to do when we are home too. But seeing all the landmarks, museums, etc etc? Not sure. I do not want this to be a trip that is so exhausting that I need another vacation just to relax!

I don't know if I am being unrealistic, but we'll see!

But I still do love hearing what everyone else did and where they went! It is getting me so excited!!!!!!
IMHO, you aren't being a bit unrealistic. Plan it your way, do it, you will love it. It is all a bit of "exploring" and you sound like an explorer. Try it one way, and if you find that isn't working do something different. It shouldn't be a rigid sort of thing, at least it hasn't been for us.

Our kids made many 3 week trips from OR-WV and back with us while I was still working. I'm sure they were tired of driving, driving, driving, too, but they got to see a lot of NPs and other places.

My wife was a teacher too, and when I retired in '94 we spent a lot more time traveling in the Summer.

Best of luck.

Steve
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Old 04-16-2016, 08:16 AM   #32
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We had no reservations for on the way out and back. Since our destinations were the popular national parks, we had reservations for every night except our long leg from San Francisco to Yellowstone.

We knew our itinerary was aggressive. One of the stressful parts RVing for us is finding campgrounds while moving. The DW just doesn't like to make the choice. We decided to eliminate that by picking CGs before we left home. The peace of mind of knowing we had a place to stay balanced out the potential stress that making time may have added.

We did agree up front that if our pace was so fast that it was ruining our trip, we would cancel reservations and slow down. Didn't happen so we stuck to our plan.

We figured on the overall price of the trip, what would a few reservation cancelation charges be? Didn't come to that, happily.

We did show up to check in at one campground and got that blank stare -oops. Ended up being my fault. Pretty embarrassing, really. They were our second choice, but somehow on my mapping, were our destination. We had reservations down the road. They had no vacancies! Our reserved CG had no additional vacancies either. Boy, were we glad we had reserved there.
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Old 04-18-2016, 03:16 PM   #33
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Irene,
When you get a rough route planned out post it and ask for specific suggestions on where to stay.

Based on what you said about not wanting to be in a trailer park I would caution against the KOAs. To me they don't quite have the camping feel as they are too crowded. However, kids being kids, they are great if you want to give them a pool experience.

The national parks do tend to fill up fast, particularly for the larger sites. Try to get reservations at your most desired parks and then plan the rest of your trip around that. But if you can't get them don't despair. When we stayed at Trailer Village in the Grand Canyon (for example) the entire stay you could drive up and get a spot. However they never took the park full sign down. You just needed to know to ask.

In the west there are national forest campgrounds that don't take reservations. If you know where to look or just follow the signs you show up, fill out your envelop and get a sight. Need to keep small bills on had to pay cash. Here is a place we stayed at when visiting Yellowstone with no reservations.
1994 Brave 29RQ RV: National Forest camp ground just N. of Yellowstone

Here is a way to find them.
The Ultimate Public Campgrounds Project - Website Map

Here is a good source for RV park reviews.
RV Park Reviews - Trusted Reviews of Campgrounds & RV Parks

Your RV, at 37', is probably too big to use as a touring vehicle so plan to either tow or rent a car. If you rent you will need to plan your park stops accordingly and allow the additional time a rental takes.

Another caution. Unless you are staying at a commercial RV park (that looks like a parking lot) national forest service and the more natural campgrounds do not trim their trees to accommodate rigs. Expect to get scratches. Do not expect to get satellite TV reception if you want trees and shade.

If you do not have a Verizon cell phone I suggest you get one for the trip. Verizon has the best cell coverage in the mountain states. You can get one of the month to month ones at Walmart and just activate it for the month.

Many national parks have restrictions on dog such as:
Along established roads or in parking areas
In established campgrounds and picnic areas

They often aren't allowed on trails. However some places to allow them so you have to look at each park's web site. Preparing a matrix for all your stops with this type of info is very helpful when you have such a long trip.

While the big national parks are awesome to visit they are very crowded. Especially as Europe and other destinations have become less safe. Lots of international visitors. Maybe try to hit a few big ones and then seek out some of the more off the beaten tracks in between to get a variety of experiences.

I like some of the more low key experiences also. Such as:
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attracti..._Nebraska.html

You've got your pool, horse back riding, cook outs, rafting, stage coach ride for younger kids or pony ride, etc. This is like an ala-carte dude ranch. Our stay there:
1994 Brave 29RQ RV: Fort Robinson Nebraska State Park

Hope this is helpful.

Edit: Forgot to add that it can be very cold at night at altitude in June/July. If you have any plans that are at altitude make sure everyone has a coat.
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Old 04-19-2016, 12:10 AM   #34
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We live "out west" California, and have traveled to many of the states you mentioned. I think that's quite a lot of places in a short time, but that's just me. We have an autistic son so Rv travel is the best. We usually have a place already set. A time or two we have had to mae last minute plans and our go to have been KOA. We can reserve on line and know what we will get. For our son wifi and a pool are a plus. Near Yellowstone in Idaho is Henrys lake state park- we enjoyed that and it's about 20 minutes from the entrance to the park. Very reasonable- but remember your mosquito repellent.
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Old 04-19-2016, 06:53 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by micd View Post
Irene,
When you get a rough route planned out post it and ask for specific suggestions on where to stay.

Based on what you said about not wanting to be in a trailer park I would caution against the KOAs. To me they don't quite have the camping feel as they are too crowded. However, kids being kids, they are great if you want to give them a pool experience.

The national parks do tend to fill up fast, particularly for the larger sites. Try to get reservations at your most desired parks and then plan the rest of your trip around that. But if you can't get them don't despair. When we stayed at Trailer Village in the Grand Canyon (for example) the entire stay you could drive up and get a spot. However they never took the park full sign down. You just needed to know to ask.

In the west there are national forest campgrounds that don't take reservations. If you know where to look or just follow the signs you show up, fill out your envelop and get a sight. Need to keep small bills on had to pay cash. Here is a place we stayed at when visiting Yellowstone with no reservations.
1994 Brave 29RQ RV: National Forest camp ground just N. of Yellowstone

Here is a way to find them.
The Ultimate Public Campgrounds Project - Website Map

Here is a good source for RV park reviews.
RV Park Reviews - Trusted Reviews of Campgrounds & RV Parks

Your RV, at 37', is probably too big to use as a touring vehicle so plan to either tow or rent a car. If you rent you will need to plan your park stops accordingly and allow the additional time a rental takes.

Another caution. Unless you are staying at a commercial RV park (that looks like a parking lot) national forest service and the more natural campgrounds do not trim their trees to accommodate rigs. Expect to get scratches. Do not expect to get satellite TV reception if you want trees and shade.

If you do not have a Verizon cell phone I suggest you get one for the trip. Verizon has the best cell coverage in the mountain states. You can get one of the month to month ones at Walmart and just activate it for the month.

Many national parks have restrictions on dog such as:
Along established roads or in parking areas
In established campgrounds and picnic areas

They often aren't allowed on trails. However some places to allow them so you have to look at each park's web site. Preparing a matrix for all your stops with this type of info is very helpful when you have such a long trip.

While the big national parks are awesome to visit they are very crowded. Especially as Europe and other destinations have become less safe. Lots of international visitors. Maybe try to hit a few big ones and then seek out some of the more off the beaten tracks in between to get a variety of experiences.

I like some of the more low key experiences also. Such as:
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attracti..._Nebraska.html

You've got your pool, horse back riding, cook outs, rafting, stage coach ride for younger kids or pony ride, etc. This is like an ala-carte dude ranch. Our stay there:
1994 Brave 29RQ RV: Fort Robinson Nebraska State Park

Hope this is helpful.

Edit: Forgot to add that it can be very cold at night at altitude in June/July. If you have any plans that are at altitude make sure everyone has a coat.
Wow - thank you so much! You definitely provided a lot of information and I really do appreciate that!!!!

I am planning to start getting our route more planned out within the next week. I will definitely post here for suggestions as you all are wonderful and provide a plethora of things to think about!
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Old 05-17-2016, 09:17 PM   #36
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About 30 years ago took my family (kids from 6 to 15) and we stayed in KOA, my kids loved it as the had thing for them to do most evenings. My daughter still is in touch with a girl she meet. Most if not all have a pool and it gives them some fun time if sitting in RV during the day. We started out a little earlier when we were making a full day of driving so that there was time for fun at end of the day. I'm sure you'll have a great trip. I agree make sure to test out you air conditioner while still at home as it will be quite warm.
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