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Old 08-15-2016, 04:35 PM   #1
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If I were you, where would I go.

I am planning a trip that will take us from Ottawa Canada down to Florida Everglades and then across the southern states and up the west coast and over to Glacier N.P. Providing our dollar isn't still getting beat up too badly, we will leave as early into January 2017 as possible and take 4 to 5 months. The bigger plan is to keep going to Alaska but for now I am researching all the NPs and Public Lands, sightseeing in general and I am overwhelmed at the possibilities and options.

If you were traveling that general route, what are the 2 or 3 places/sites that you feel you have to see again orneed to see yet? If you have some in several states please pass them on and let us know why you would return.

I know I want to see the Everglades, Yellowstone, do the CA coastal drive, Glacier NP, Grand Canyon, the Redwood forests. I hear parts of Utah are beautiful. Mainly scenic areas with moderate hiking.

We plan on boondocking as much as possible so if you have any great spots you don't mind revealing I sure would appreciate it.

I realize the winter is a busy time in the southern parks but I have no intentions of traveling on a schedule so I haven't made reservations anywhere but plan on dry camping as much as is possible anyway. Is finding boondocking sites going to be an issue as well? I have access to Day's End and Allstays for searching. I have been doing some lite research and I am retired so I can dig in now that we are back from a 3 month tour of eastern Canada.

Do you think that kind of mileage is too aggressive for 4 to 5 months? We, me, wife and dog, will be traveling in a 29ft MH with toad so we aren't too big. I'm still a newbie but ready to jump in with both feet.

Sure hope to hear from you. Just short mentions are fine also. No need to spend a lot of time responding.

Thanks so much.
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Old 08-15-2016, 05:13 PM   #2
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Sure you can do it and it sounds like a fabulous trip!

In winter you'll want to travel along I-10...until March/April, at least

Big Bend Nat'l Park, TX
South Utah Nat'l Parks - Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Arches, Canyonlands

Then the things on your 'bucket list'.

If your wife can help drive that would be great for you.

Since you're not into making reservations (we aren't either), just go with the flow to places you want to see. If you get tired or run out of time just head back home...or up to Alaska. Do as much as you can and you'll still have an enjoyable trip.
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Old 08-15-2016, 05:23 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by twogypsies View Post
Sure you can do it and it sounds like a fabulous trip!

In winter you'll want to travel along I-10...until March/April, at least

Big Bend Nat'l Park, TX
South Utah Nat'l Parks - Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Arches, Canyonlands

Then the things on your 'bucket list'.

If your wife can help drive that would be great for you.

Since you're not into making reservations (we aren't either), just go with the flow to places you want to see. If you get tired or run out of time just head back home...or up to Alaska. Do as much as you can and you'll still have an enjoyable trip.
Thanks. I recognize some of the park names you mentioned.

I guess then that the I-10 is well kept in winter but probably quite busy as well? As long as the money holds out (just one reason to boondock), we could be on the road for a year. I'm getting excited.
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Old 08-15-2016, 05:26 PM   #4
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Loved the trip we took to the Everglades! We stayed in the Flamingo campground about an hour & a half into the Everglades at the southernmost part of mainland Florida.
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Old 08-15-2016, 05:34 PM   #5
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Stop at the outer banks - Cape Hatteras area. It is right next to the Wright Bros. museum stuff and worth a stop. Will cost you some but it will be off season so prices will be down some. Camp Hatteras is my choice to stop at. jmo mark
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Old 08-15-2016, 05:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twogypsies View Post
Sure you can do it and it sounds like a fabulous trip!

In winter you'll want to travel along I-10...until March/April, at least

Big Bend Nat'l Park, TX
South Utah Nat'l Parks - Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Arches, Canyonlands

Then the things on your 'bucket list'.

If your wife can help drive that would be great for you.

Since you're not into making reservations (we aren't either), just go with the flow to places you want to see. If you get tired or run out of time just head back home...or up to Alaska. Do as much as you can and you'll still have an enjoyable trip.
All good choices.
I would add for the gulf of Mexico, hug the coast and near Corpus Christi go out to Port Aransas and camp right on the beach. It is hard and safe. Then down to the tip of Texas and take your pick of campgrounds, dozens of them in every town heading up the Rio Grande River. Stay along the river and see all the small border towns.When you get into Arizona there is a lot of Bureau of Land Management areas for boon-docking. Quartsite AZ is surrounded by BLM land and in Jan thousands of RV's gather for the largest RV show in the West. California offers a lot but bring money.
We did this trip in 2009 and continue North through BC the Yukon, 2 months in Alaska and back home to Michigan in the Fall. 9 month trip. We left home the 1st week of Jan and returned the last week of Sept. We spent a little over $ 1000 a month, $10,000 total.
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Old 08-15-2016, 06:18 PM   #7
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We too are into boon docking and rarely ever stay in a CG. DW gets irritable with the hassle of booking in and out for short stays, as well as many other reasons best left unsaid, so we tend to boondock or dry camp 99% of the time.

In Florida there is a Casino just East of Fort Myers I believe we've stayed at before doing the Everglades = perfect. For the Keys she likes to initially stay at John Pennekamp State Park and Islamorada for snorkelling and me for fishing also there (hard to find boon docking in the keys!), and we just drive down to Key West for a long day trip typically. Keys we personally find very expensive for RV parking overall especially during snowbird season.

Florida definitely does have places you can dry camp or boondock but when in areas where it's not favoured we typically stay at places like Oscar Scherar SP, and other SP's. Another thing that can work out really well are these, and we have to thank Nikki and Jason Wynn for highlighting this little known option for Florida boon docking: Fabulous Free Camping In Florida

We also use Casino Camper - Home a lot as well as free campsites.net, sanidumps.com (water and dump) locations. Of course Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart and several restaurants, boat launches, rest areas etc are typically more than accommodating as we drop our dollars in their establishments/towns shopping and eating, and of course various pull ins on our travels.

FWIW typically we only go into CGs in high density areas we are visiting such as NYC, LA, San Fran'. If we were doing a trip like you are proposing, assuming we didn't need to have our A/C's on continually when stopped we'd likely stay maybe a handful of times max in a CG, as to us it's about enjoying the area attractions not the CGs.

Of course there are BLM, NFS, Wildlife refuge areas, trust lands in AZ and many other options. Check out free campsites.net for a ton of ideas on your route and RVParkreviews for any places that you may want to stay in a CG ie; New Orleans.

Hope some of the above ideas help you with your planning for stops and overnights at least. We've done about 44 USA states in our travels over the years including Hawaii and Alaska, and only a couple of times have we stopped somewhere overnight that just didn't feel right and we moved on a little ways and found something else.

As for places to visit there are so, so many depending on what your interests are we like Fishing and kayaking, so lakes, rivers, beaches, mountains, quaint little villages and towns with yummy bakeries, beautiful parks to have a picnic in and people watch. Being generally country mice, we even shocked ourselves just how much NYC grew on us when we visited and would go back again in a heartbeat one day. We are not particularly fond of most museums but appreciate others are. We tend to search travel and tourism or the top tourist attractions for any state region our route will take us and decide our stops from what interests us there. Of course over time reading a lot on forums and blogs gives us new ideas all the time that we keep adding to our notes.
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Old 08-15-2016, 09:49 PM   #8
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Something to consider....IMHO, travel along the Pacific Coastline is better appreciated southbound (you don't have the other side of the roadway between you and the Pacific Ocean). Same story on the East coast but Northbound up the Atlantic seaboard.

Your trip sounds terrific. Hope that you enjoy it.


BTW...we thoroughly enjoy your wonderful country (we've traveled through 5 provinces so far) and its citizens as well. So great to have a wonderful neighbor.
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Old 08-15-2016, 11:36 PM   #9
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Pismo beach Ca, Morro Bay, Hearst Castle Cambria Ca. Big Sur Ca. Pismo coast Village $60 or Oceano State Beach next door are my favorite Ca beaches. Ca beaches can be difficult to get into with out a reservation, so...
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Old 08-16-2016, 07:04 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Lisablue85 View Post
Loved the trip we took to the Everglades! We stayed in the Flamingo campground about an hour & a half into the Everglades at the southernmost part of mainland Florida.
I was looking at the Flamingo CG and it's good to hear from someone who has been there. I read that it gets pretty busy in the winter and I was actually surprised to hear that winter in most Florida parks is labeled as the prime season. I know that at lot of people escape the winter there but it's more than summer vacationers? Is that the case all through the SW?
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Old 08-16-2016, 07:32 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by itsallgood View Post
I was looking at the Flamingo CG and it's good to hear from someone who has been there. I read that it gets pretty busy in the winter and I was actually surprised to hear that winter in most Florida parks is labeled as the prime season. I know that at lot of people escape the winter there but it's more than summer vacationers? Is that the case all through the SW?
The south is more congested in winter by snowbirds/sunseekers who want to escape the snow and ice of the north. Prime places for that activity is Florida , Texas, & Arizona.
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Old 08-16-2016, 07:47 AM   #12
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Do you think that kind of mileage is too aggressive for 4 to 5 months? We, me, wife and dog, will be traveling in a 29ft MH with toad so we aren't too big. I'm still a newbie but ready to jump in with both feet.
I think it is borderline aggressive. It all depends upon what you do when you get to a location. If you hike/backpack/mountain bike/sight see/look for interesting historical areas/other you don't have enough time.

If you just park and drive to see the normal tourist sights you have enough time.
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Old 08-16-2016, 08:13 AM   #13
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All good choices.
I would add for the gulf of Mexico, hug the coast and near Corpus Christi go out to Port Aransas and camp right on the beach. It is hard and safe. Then down to the tip of Texas and take your pick of campgrounds, dozens of them in every town heading up the Rio Grande River. Stay along the river and see all the small border towns.When you get into Arizona there is a lot of Bureau of Land Management areas for boon-docking. Quartsite AZ is surrounded by BLM land and in Jan thousands of RV's gather for the largest RV show in the West. California offers a lot but bring money.
We did this trip in 2009 and continue North through BC the Yukon, 2 months in Alaska and back home to Michigan in the Fall. 9 month trip. We left home the 1st week of Jan and returned the last week of Sept. We spent a little over $ 1000 a month, $10,000 total.
Port Aransas sounds like a must do if only to camp on the beach by the ocean! Like most people, we gravitate to water. Driving the coast is my first choice but in this case we will have to venture away from it to see other wonderful areas. Are you referring to paid campgrounds in that area? The only low cost camping I see is within the city limits for $52 (for the permit) with a limit of 3 nights.

Do you do a lot of boondocking? You did really good to travel on $1000 a month, in my thinking anyway.
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Old 08-16-2016, 08:30 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by SoonToBeFT View Post
We too are into boon docking and rarely ever stay in a CG. DW gets irritable with the hassle of booking in and out for short stays, as well as many other reasons best left unsaid, so we tend to boondock or dry camp 99% of the time.

In Florida there is a Casino just East of Fort Myers I believe we've stayed at before doing the Everglades = perfect. For the Keys she likes to initially stay at John Pennekamp State Park and Islamorada for snorkelling and me for fishing also there (hard to find boon docking in the keys!), and we just drive down to Key West for a long day trip typically. Keys we personally find very expensive for RV parking overall especially during snowbird season.

Florida definitely does have places you can dry camp or boondock but when in areas where it's not favoured we typically stay at places like Oscar Scherar SP, and other SP's. Another thing that can work out really well are these, and we have to thank Nikki and Jason Wynn for highlighting this little known option for Florida boon docking: Fabulous Free Camping In Florida

We also use Casino Camper - Home a lot as well as free campsites.net, sanidumps.com (water and dump) locations. Of course Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart and several restaurants, boat launches, rest areas etc are typically more than accommodating as we drop our dollars in their establishments/towns shopping and eating, and of course various pull ins on our travels.

FWIW typically we only go into CGs in high density areas we are visiting such as NYC, LA, San Fran'. If we were doing a trip like you are proposing, assuming we didn't need to have our A/C's on continually when stopped we'd likely stay maybe a handful of times max in a CG, as to us it's about enjoying the area attractions not the CGs.

Of course there are BLM, NFS, Wildlife refuge areas, trust lands in AZ and many other options. Check out free campsites.net for a ton of ideas on your route and RVParkreviews for any places that you may want to stay in a CG ie; New Orleans.

Hope some of the above ideas help you with your planning for stops and overnights at least. We've done about 44 USA states in our travels over the years including Hawaii and Alaska, and only a couple of times have we stopped somewhere overnight that just didn't feel right and we moved on a little ways and found something else.

As for places to visit there are so, so many depending on what your interests are we like Fishing and kayaking, so lakes, rivers, beaches, mountains, quaint little villages and towns with yummy bakeries, beautiful parks to have a picnic in and people watch. Being generally country mice, we even shocked ourselves just how much NYC grew on us when we visited and would go back again in a heartbeat one day. We are not particularly fond of most museums but appreciate others are. We tend to search travel and tourism or the top tourist attractions for any state region our route will take us and decide our stops from what interests us there. Of course over time reading a lot on forums and blogs gives us new ideas all the time that we keep adding to our notes.
Thanks for the ideas and info. Our traveling style and preferences pretty much matches yours to a T. Nature and small towns especially with rivers/lakes to sit by.
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