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Old 04-04-2009, 09:53 AM   #1
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How do you find a place to stay?

We are new to this RV thing and I envisioned just driving in a general direction and finding a campground a couple of hours up the road. Not so easy I find out, we usually end up staying in a rest area or Walmart if, for example, I am returning to MI from FL.

We are looking at taking a leisurely trip out west next year, about 10K miles in 8-10 weeks and wonder how much planning is really needed?

How would you do it?
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Old 04-04-2009, 10:26 AM   #2
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Good question??? We pick an area, lets say Oregon or Vancouver Island, google on the web!! We make no reservation, only if it is a tourist spot. Otherwise we just head for it and pull around 2 - 4 pm in a campground. Sofar we found always very good spots.... sometimes we stay even a lot longer. On your trip, you could just pick the main spots, that you like to visit and just head for it. Don't get sidetracked by new spots, e.g. when we used to drive from Canada to El Paso, we just did not stop anywhere else. Or on the other hand you can just drive and tour the area, that you want to visit and be prepared to change your routing, whatever your timeframe permits...
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Old 04-04-2009, 10:37 AM   #3
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Morning... I just wish i had the opportunity to do what you're planning.
Decisions i would make...+(IF)+
#1. Destination- end of the trip. or just a round about journey. either would be delightful.
#2. Interstate or main highways?- there's a awful lot to see if you stay off the interstate. small towns have generally small streets.if you stay in a nearby c/g you could(if you tow) go on side trips in that area
#3. I'd get a campground book(woodalls type),join a camping group or two-i.e.goodsams-passport America-fmca. then i'd sit down and figure how far i wanted to travel daily.i'd pick a campground in that area. there is a lot to see in these united states;if you take the time to look.
#4. Don't be in a hurry- so what if you stay an extra day along the route.it's a trip of pleasure- at your pace.
#5.have more than an ample supply of funds to cover those problems that are sure to arise.
#6. Stay positive to the adventure.

I hope this helps...
p.s. Ck our web site at the bottom of my signature-we've got a link to camprounds there...
Travel safe
...
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Old 04-04-2009, 10:44 AM   #4
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I buy the trailer life campground book every three years and use it to find sites while traveling. I usually check it during my lunch and pick three site in the direction we are headed and see what we find when we get there. Have not had a problem yet.
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Old 04-04-2009, 10:52 AM   #5
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On trips I make regularly I make reservations at campgrounds we like. On other trips I usually take a look at either Trailer life or my GPS and start phoning ahead to confirm a reservation. Just be careful of long weekends, you really need to reserve ahead unless you are out in the boondocks.
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Old 04-04-2009, 02:02 PM   #6
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I use the Trailer Life hard copy directory combined with the hard copy map that has all the T/L CGs placed on the map and the P/C program that puts the directory on a map. I also use the Passport America directory.
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Old 04-04-2009, 02:50 PM   #7
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We use a combination of Federal campgrounds, Passport America campgrounds among others. We research our route and reserve only if we absolutely have to (like when going to Disney World's Fort Wilderness or the more popular public or private campgrounds).

En-route, if we need to stop overnight and just want a place to park, we will use a Flying J or WalMart, but we don't overstay our welcome, see this link here: http://www.fmca.com/index.php/motorh...rnight-parking

We use Forest Service CG's a lot, a good resource is here: http://www.forestcamping.com/dow/list/nflist.htm.

Also there are several listings in the Discovery Owners site for campgrounds and overnight parking areas here: http://www.discoveryowners.com/cginfo.htm

Army Corp of Engineers campgrounds are also usually very good, we've stayed at about ten in the NC/SC/TN/AL/MS area and would recommend any of them. You can find them at the recreation.gov page here.
http://www.recreation.gov/

Hope this helps!
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Old 04-04-2009, 04:13 PM   #8
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On long trips we have taken we use a GPS which has all CG's within a 10 mile radius as you are traveling over highway. Also has gas, eateries and centers of interest.
Before GPS we had used the books, the disks and planned ahead but the trip always went off course and had to double back sometimes.
The GPS system just redirects you to quickest route for your finale destination.
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Old 04-04-2009, 07:06 PM   #9
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We are passport america members...I figue out our route and how far I want to drive that day....try to stay about 250 miles...then see if their is a PPA park in the area..call ahead to see if there is room (some parks only have limited PPA sites) or pick another park, and head there. We are on a cross country trip, and so far it has worked out great.
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Old 04-04-2009, 07:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ7ole View Post
We are new to this RV thing and I envisioned just driving in a general direction and finding a campground a couple of hours up the road. Not so easy I find out, we usually end up staying in a rest area or Walmart if, for example, I am returning to MI from FL.

We are looking at taking a leisurely trip out west next year, about 10K miles in 8-10 weeks and wonder how much planning is really needed?

How would you do it?
We fulltimed for about three and a half years. My favorite method was to find RV parks for the next few nights, and call ahead to collect info and reserve sites.

Try ContinuousTraveler.com's RV Park search to find parks. The easiest way to find RV parks is to move the map around to where you would like to spend a night (zoom in or out as necessary), click on the map where you want to find parks, then click the "Find RV Parks" button.

I give GPS coordinates for parks. The GPS coordinates have quality ratings to give you some idea how likely the park really is where it is shown. I started trying to verify locations and giving them ratings after some "too interesting" trips relying on locations shown by Google (or MapQuest, or Yahoo, or our navigation unit, etc).

As of today I have 3,000 RV parks in the database, and am adding more daily.
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Old 04-04-2009, 09:45 PM   #11
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I like to use www.rvparkreviews.com, in addition to Google searches,etc.
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Old 04-05-2009, 08:10 PM   #12
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Hi there CJ7ole, I'm also new to the RV experience. And I'm compiling the places for my dad's checklist. I'm also new to this forum and I instantly realized that joining this forum is already an education at itself.

Just like Jzick has mentioned, rvparkreviews.com is of immense help in planning your trip ahead. It's got loads of reviews on various RV parks and resorts, and it's got my head spinning with tons of prospective places to visit!
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Old 04-06-2009, 07:16 AM   #13
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Wow, thanks for all the great replys! So far we rely on rvparkreviews.com for those parks we plan on staying at for more than a day or two. Our Nuvi GPS and my wife's Iphone have been great tools, we just need to learn how to max out that technology integrating your suggestions. And we do use the TL hard copy directory. Keep those ideas coming!
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