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Old 01-21-2013, 08:51 AM   #1
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Newbie traveling to Texas

Hi folks. I am leaving this week for my first long trip in the van I bought last fall. I've taken it on several shorter trips, 700 to 1000 miles round trip. Now it's winter, and I'm nervous about making a long trip in bad weather, although it seems the forecast is for sunny and cold all the way down. I was wondering if anyone has any advice on making the trip down I35? Suggestions of places to stay, things/places to avoid, tips, anecdotes would all be helpful. For instance, if I were to stop at a truck stop for a night, is there a protocol to follow? What about spending a few hours napping at highway rest stops? It's just going to be and my border collie, Kallie. If worse comes to worst, we can always stop in a motel. Thanks for any feedback.
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:46 AM   #2
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Hi and welcome to the forum.

I can't help you with specific stops along your route but I'm sure others will be along soon who can.

As for catching a few hours sleep at rest stops... many, many people do, while others find it "unsettling" and maybe even unsafe. If you choose to do it, I'd suggest just not opening your door to anyone.

Protocol in truck stops is probably pretty simple. Don't take up a truck parking spot with a van. I would think that parking the van in a normal parking spot would be alright while you catch some shut eye.

Rather than stay at a motel, you can try to join the thousands who overnight at WalMarts across the country... and you don't even mention RV parks as an alternative.

Best of luck and enjoy your adventure.

Rick
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:53 AM   #3
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Thanks, Rick. I wasn't sure if Walmart was still allowing people to overnight in their parking lots. I thought I had read somewhere that they had stopped allowing it. RV parks aren't out of the question either, but I've never stayed at one. I don't know if you need to make a reservation before hand, or if you can pull in like a motel. Like I said, I am brand new at this.
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:58 AM   #4
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FlyinJ has rv parking in the car/rv fueling lot. Usually just to the right of the pumps.
In TX the gulf coast is the place I like best. Madagorda Bay, Rockport, Port Aransas. The valley (Rio Grande) is way to crowded for me. I dont like cities. RV parks with hundreds even a thousand sites are way to crowded for me. Another good thing about TX. Your not a SNOWBIRD (said with disdain) your a winter texan. They love us.
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:00 AM   #5
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No worries.

Although I don't use them, it is my understanding that the vast majority of WalMart stores allow overnight parking if you ask for permission first and leave the place cleaner than you found it.

We have >50,000 miles and >1300 nights in RV parks and have only had reservations in about 1% of the cases. We just drive until we want to stop and then check the web tools to find a place up ahead. But, we usually stop driving by about 4pm. If you're going to be driving until late, you should call ahead, make a reservation, and inquire about their after hours process.

Hang in there. It can all sound so intimidating at first but it'll be second nature before you know it.

Rick
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