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Old 11-06-2018, 07:52 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twogypsies View Post
Wow! There are thousands and thousands of RVers who don't need 'protection'. It's not a 'risky' trip.
The only Protection I might recommend would be A possible Service Contract for the RV - Hoping that is what is meant by "Protection".

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Old 11-06-2018, 09:24 PM   #30
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Your trip to the west

Try BoondockersWelcom .com I'm just outside Yosemite Happy travels Hal
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Old 11-15-2018, 08:48 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by twogypsies View Post
Wow! There are thousands and thousands of RVers who don't need 'protection'. It's not a 'risky' trip.
I took Charles to mean protection for the RV. Like Coach Net Or Good Sam. I know for me I wouldn't drive mine across the street without it.
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Old 11-16-2018, 09:10 AM   #32
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Bayougal and everyone on this thread, thank you all so much...we're planning a similar trip next spring (we're leaving out of VA in March) so I'm reading everything I can to prepare.
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Old 11-22-2018, 04:55 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by mlh2013 View Post
I took Charles to mean protection for the RV. Like Coach Net Or Good Sam. I know for me I wouldn't drive mine across the street without it.
I was referring to flat tires and mechanical disruptions that require towing. Being in a strange place and trying to arrange this would not be any fun.
One blown tire can ruin the trip if you spend a day (or more) trying to get it changed/replaced.

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Old 11-22-2018, 05:20 PM   #34
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I know you said you wanted to stay at state parks for the price and beauty, but a passport America pass only costs less than fifty dollars, and gives you 50 percent discounts at many campgrounds. You have to do a little research to see if campgrounds near where you are going take the card. Most have restrictions on which days they accept them, or limit the amount of time you can stay. You have to check each campgrounds individual website to see. Some only except them in the winter, some only in the summer. Some only include Monday to Thursday, etc. Since you are traveling quite a distance, it may save you quite a bit. We bought one each of the two previous winters, and saved a bundle. It only takes two nights to repay the initial cost of the membership. We managed to get discounts at least three nights a week. Over two months traveling, it really added up on the savings. Here is the link to their website. If you search available campgrounds, it will list the campgrounds. Search the individual campground websites to find out which restrictions apply. Cheers
https://www.passport-america.com/?_v...kaAhWtEALw_wcB
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Old 11-23-2018, 08:49 AM   #35
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Individual commenters have touched on the following, but a summary:


We've spent the last couple years traveling around the western U.S., full-time in a 28' fifth wheel pulled by a 1-ton Ram. Lots of boondocking, but also longer stays in some RV parks. Currently wintering in Tucson. We're a retired couple, no kids, no pets.


OK, here's some stuff we've learned;


- During summer in northern areas, and winter in southern areas, you'll need reservations for most state parks, national parks and private RV parks anywhere near popular areas. We summer in RV parks along Puget Sound in Washington State and winter near Tucson. We have to book our sites almost a year in advance (but leave time in between for traveling and boondocking).


- We made the typical new-RVers mistake our first year by traveling too far and too fast. Now we plan our trips to make longer drives between destinations, but staying longer once we get there.


- You have a 35-foot fifth wheel. Be sure you know, accurately, how long your entire set up is (truck + trailer) and how tall it is. Lots of state and national parks have restrictions on height and length.


- Others have mentioned the America the Beautiful pass (we have my senior pass - cost me $20 and good for the rest of my life. They're now $80. but what a bargain). You have to be 62 years old to get the senior pass, but you can also buy annual passes This pass not only gets you into national parks for free, but has many other benefits including; 1/2 off camping fees, senior pass also honored at national forests, national monuments, BLM campgrounds and many other federal places.


- Boondocking. Some of the nicest places we've stayed are out in the boondocks. That's why we bought a 28' trailer to begin with, so we could get into tighter places. BUT - even with our "short" trailer we couldn't squeeze into a number of places; Redwood national and state parks are a good example. The infrastructure of many of the national parks and some state parks was built decades ago before modern, and big, RVs became so popular. As a result roads and campsites are tight, some tunnels are low (I.E. Zion Nat Park).
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Old 11-23-2018, 10:17 AM   #36
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If you enjoy caverns, check out the Caverns of Sonora. I've visited many caves, and this is the most beautiful, and one of the more interesting tours. (only three of us with the owner).

I stayed at the cavern's campground, somewhat rustic, with water & electric. Since I was towing a 17' trailer, I didn't pay attention to whether you would fit.

Some photos from my visit.
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Old 12-05-2018, 12:14 PM   #37
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Some general information about YNP (some general items apply to GTNP also)

YNP is about 45 miles E/W and about 65 miles N/S (2.2 mil. Acres total). The figure 8 loop road inside the park is about 140 miles around. The lower loop is 96 miles and the upper loop is 70 miles around and yes, it is bigger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined.

Whatever time that you think you will need to see YNP you better double it, or to say it another way is that you will see one half as much as you planned on in the allotted time. The Bison think that they own the road (they do!) and will slow down the traffic to walking speed or all stop for 1/4 mile or more blocking both directions of travel, the thermal attractions also tie up traffic and with a 5 month long summer tourist season that coincides with a 5 month long road construction season and a 45 MPH radar controlled speed limit it will take about a full day to see each loop and then you will only see the main attractions. In addition to the occasional construction delays they will also sometimes close whole sections of road (for uninterrupted night construction) between 10 PM and 8 AM in the morning, if you are running late and get caught at night in the wrong area it CAN be a LONG way around to your CG! (The entrance stations will have current construction information or go on line to check it out)

Then there is the elevation- YNP ranges from a low at Mammoth- 6239 ft to 7784 ft at Fishing Bridge or higher if you go hiking and there are passes on the grand loop road that are close to 8000 ft or so! Drink plenty of liquids and pace yourself when walking.

I recommend that you get up EARLY, leave the CG and be back by 4 or 6 PM have dinner and be sitting in your recliner drinking a cool one when your neighbor drags himself back to the CG at 8-10 PM. Remember that from mid May to mid July in YNP the sun doesn't set until about 9:30- 9:45 PM then there is a long twilight.

Cell Phone Service- Only at the major visitor centers, otherwise non-existent!

Clothing- Especially in the early or late season it is not unusual to have a 30 or even the occasional 40 degree temperature change throughout the day. Dress with easily shed layers of clothing. Also dress in bright easily seen clothing. I am sure that we all have been to a sporting event, parade or Disney World etc. and we blink our eyes and our partner/child has disappeared. My DIL was born and raised in HI, you guessed it, every Xmas, b-day or Father's Day I receive a Hawaiian shirt. One of them is shiny black with 4-5 inch dia. bright flowers. Not many of them in Wyoming and in YSNP, that is what I wear. If your partner has on a Violet blouse and a Orange scarf with a Pink hat I guarantee that she will be the only one within the boundaries of either NP. It can save you a few anxious moments.

Water- Now I will have to contradict myself, at the altitude of YNP yes, drink lots of water! HOWEVER, be aware that the flush toilet restrooms are are in the major tourist areas- Mammoth, Canyon, Fishing Bridge, Lake Hotel, Bridge Bay, Grant Village, Old Faithful, Madison Junction etc. The geyser basins and other thermal attractions areas only have pit toilets. I have seen the pit toilet line at the lower Geyser Basin (2 holes) 25 or more feet long (bless the tour buses) So be smart about drinking your water and use the major tourist area R/Rs before leaving the area! I.e. “Never pass up a flush toilet!”

Sun- At YSNP altitude the Sun is intense (uv)have and apply sunscreen, wear that old floppy wide brim sun hat, wear Sunglasses!

If your luck is like mine Old Faithful will have just erupted when you get there and you will have up to a hour and 10 to 15 minutes wait for the next one. Tour tour the O/F Geyser basin while waiting. O/F INN is a must see, reportedly the largest LOG building in the U.S. (Meals in the O/F dinning room are “OK” also.

We have lived about 110 miles from West Yellowstone, MT since 1964, go to YSNP 3-4 times a summer (normally before Memorial Day and after Labor Day) and haven't seen it all yet! So don’t be discouraged that you didn’t have the time to see all of it. Just plan on coming back another time!

I honestly don’t mean to scare or discourage you but to give you a heads up as to what to expect! After all there was 4.1 million visitors in 2015! As far as I know we didn’t lose one of them. Except those who by their own stupidity step off the board walks into BOILING HOT water and ignoring the warnings about the WILD ANIMALS! That is called purifying the gene pool!

Note I have seen on this blog and others about folks “day tripping” from YSNP to GTNP, it is done all the time (myself included) however remember this is BIG country and with the speed limits, animals and thermal attractions you will be doing a LOT of driving. From Grant Village Visitor Center (extreme S/E corner of the lower loop road) to Jackson, WY is about 80 miles with Coulter Bay being about 1/2 way then from Grant Village you have to add the distance to your CG it will be a Long days trip!

A point of CoulterBay clarification- there are two (2) CG’s at Coulter Bay, One the “Coulter Bay RV Park” a full service “RV Park” with FHU’S that takes reservations. The other is the “Coulter Bay Campground “ has no hookups and doesn’t take reservations. Both have about 300 sites and are basically across the road from each other.

When in the Jackson area I highly recommend seeing the Bar J Chuckwagon dinner show! If you go, MAKE RESERVATIONS and BE THERE EARLY TO PICK UP YOUR MEAL TICKETS/ TABLE SEATING ASSIGNMENTS! They seat you by when you show up to get your tickets NOT by your reservation number. Tim, their fiddle player has won the "Idaho state old time fiddle contest 7 times and the US open fiddle championship twice". If you decide to go you will sit at picnic type of bench seats/table, they get pretty hard, I recommend that you take along a blanket/pads to sit on. We day trip it there 2-4 times every summer just to see them! Disclaimer- We have no financial or other interest in the Bar J only that it will be the best $$ value for your money for your trip! Check out their website.

Bar J Chuckwagon

Also in Jackson check out the “COWBOY” bar, the bar stools are saddles and the # of Silver Dollars in the bar. The Wort Hotel Bar (just around the corner from the Cowboy Bar) also has Silver Dollars imbedded in the Bar
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Old 12-06-2018, 09:04 AM   #38
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Some general information about YNP (some general items apply to GTNP also)

YNP is about 45 miles E/W and about 65 miles N/S (2.2 mil. Acres total). The figure 8 loop road inside the park is about 140 miles around. The lower loop is 96 miles and the upper loop is 70 miles around and yes, it is bigger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined.

...

When in the Jackson area I highly recommend seeing the Bar J Chuckwagon dinner show! If you go, MAKE RESERVATIONS and BE THERE EARLY TO PICK UP YOUR MEAL TICKETS/ TABLE SEATING ASSIGNMENTS! They seat you by when you show up to get your tickets NOT by your reservation number. Tim, their fiddle player has won the "Idaho state old time fiddle contest 7 times and the US open fiddle championship twice". If you decide to go you will sit at picnic type of bench seats/table, they get pretty hard, I recommend that you take along a blanket/pads to sit on. We day trip it there 2-4 times every summer just to see them! Disclaimer- We have no financial or other interest in the Bar J only that it will be the best $$ value for your money for your trip! Check out their website.

Bar J Chuckwagon

Also in Jackson check out the “COWBOY” bar, the bar stools are saddles and the # of Silver Dollars in the bar. The Wort Hotel Bar (just around the corner from the Cowboy Bar) also has Silver Dollars imbedded in the Bar

I just had to say this is one of the best responses I have seen on IRV2. Thanks to the poster for this effort.
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Old 12-06-2018, 01:09 PM   #39
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I would make sure that you have paper maps as well as your GPS. They are good to have to give you both detail and the big picture. The best part is that you can get them ahead of time, unfold them on a table and start making plans. AAA has them for free with your membership and they also have an RV membership tier that can provide you with some roadside assistance.

You'll also love having the parks pass. Be sure to pick up a Park Passport at your first park. You can obtain a stamp at each park and after a while your book fills up and it's a nice way to remember your trips. There are so many other national park sites besides "national parks"!
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Old 12-07-2018, 06:32 PM   #40
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I wholeheartedly agree with a few of the other posters about trying to squeeze too much in during your allotted time. October 2015 I was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer and did a whirlwind 12 days "just in case" Before my treatment began. Flew to Phoenix, drove to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, then went to the North Rim, Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Arches, Western Slope of the Rockies, Denver, Sedona and back to Phoenix. All in 12 days!! Came back and successfully battled the cancer and now have plans to slow down and enjoy all of these places and more as I am now retired. I am glad I got to see All of the places and can only imagine how Awesome they are going to be spending more time relaxing and exploring them one at a time. Good Luck and Safe travels to you.
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