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Old 01-15-2017, 03:22 PM   #1
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Planning first cross country trip SC to CA

We are planning our first cross country trip since retiring. We plan to leave sometime in May 2017. The route has to go to Aspen, CO to spend time with grands before traveling on. We will be in a 40 ft motorhome towing a car.
Suggestions for routes, campgrounds, and things to see are much appreciated.
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Old 01-15-2017, 03:34 PM   #2
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Do not make the mistake of crossing Independence Pass in a motorhome if you intend coming into Aspen from Colorado Springs (from the east) This route will bring you into Aspen on hiway 82. Very narrow and curvy. Made the mistake of heading east out of Aspen once in a 36 foot MH and too late, got to the point we could not turn around. Luckily we were not towing.
That said, the trip across was beautiful.
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Old 01-15-2017, 03:59 PM   #3
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It's a big country out there! How much time are you planning; what kinds of things do you want to see; do you want RV parks or public parks; do you want to travel interstates or secondary roads; what states do you want to explore?

This site might help find you some spot to stay:


RV Park Reviews - Trusted Reviews of Campgrounds & RV Parks


Carbondale might be your best spot to stay unless you have something else in mind. We've stayed in Redstone national forest campground and enjoyed it but no hookups. Good luck!
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Old 01-15-2017, 07:06 PM   #4
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My wife I did a 7 wk trip from SC to CA last April hit 18 state and national parks and many other places in between for a total 8500 miles(mh and jeep).There is much to see and do you can't really hit everything on one trip.We made a list of places we had to see GC,Sedona,Moab,Yosemite,Zion,Bryce and several others but found some other places were just as great such as kern river in CA and Dolres CO.It was so much fun we're headed back out west leaving April 23 maybe we'll cross paths.Safe travels and keep an eye on weather it can be tricky early spring.
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Old 01-16-2017, 03:50 AM   #5
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My wife I did a 7 wk trip from SC to CA last April hit 18 state and national parks and many other places in between for a total 8500 miles(mh and jeep).There is much to see and do you can't really hit everything on one trip.We made a list of places we had to see GC,Sedona,Moab,Yosemite,Zion,Bryce and several others but found some other places were just as great such as kern river in CA and Dolres CO.It was so much fun we're headed back out west leaving April 23 maybe we'll cross paths.Safe travels and keep an eye on weather it can be tricky early spring.
Thank you! Another question if you don't mind. Were there any routes/places you wish you had avoided?
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Old 01-16-2017, 03:56 AM   #6
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It's a big country out there! How much time are you planning; what kinds of things do you want to see; do you want RV parks or public parks; do you want to travel interstates or secondary roads; what states do you want to explore?

This site might help find you some spot to stay:


RV Park Reviews - Trusted Reviews of Campgrounds & RV Parks


Carbondale might be your best spot to stay unless you have something else in mind. We've stayed in Redstone national forest campground and enjoyed it but no hookups. Good luck!
Thank you! Good questions! We are just beginning the planning so don't really know. We will probably start out on interstates and then get more adventurous. What were some of your favorite places to visit?
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Old 01-16-2017, 04:00 AM   #7
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Do not make the mistake of crossing Independence Pass in a motorhome if you intend coming into Aspen from Colorado Springs (from the east) This route will bring you into Aspen on hiway 82. Very narrow and curvy. Made the mistake of heading east out of Aspen once in a 36 foot MH and too late, got to the point we could not turn around. Luckily we were not towing.
That said, the trip across was beautiful.
Thank you! We flew into Denver last year and drove over Independence Pass in a rental car so I completely understand what you mean. Is there a campground close to Aspen?
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Old 01-16-2017, 04:13 AM   #8
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We've done four cross country trips and still haven't seen all we want to see.

Some obvious possibilities:

Grand Canyon
Moab, UT
Monument Valley
Yellowstone
Glacier Nat Park
Devils Tower
Grand Tetons, Jackson, WY
Bryce Canyon
Zion Nat Park
Black Hills, Rapid City area, Mount Rushmore
etc......
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Old 01-16-2017, 06:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan and Ann View Post
We are planning our first cross country trip since retiring. We plan to leave sometime in May 2017. The route has to go to Aspen, CO to spend time with grands before traveling on. We will be in a 40 ft motorhome towing a car.
Suggestions for routes, campgrounds, and things to see are much appreciated.
So the first thing I would ask is will this be in/on the I-70 corridor or the I-40 corridor?

With you leaving in May what sort of time frame are we working with?

So I'm Guessing you might be into the BIG LOOP Heading out in the South and possibly criss crossing at Aspen going out and coming back?

If this is the case, IMHO, it might be smart to divide the trip into at least 4 sections, SC to Aspen - Aspen to ?.................

Pet's and National Parks - might want to look into the rules of the park you are in/going to.

Really BIG country - so start with a list of what you have dreamed of seeing. Then add and subtract - with time and Route - With your likes and dislikes a better list of things to see.

Aspen - Maroon Bells, once you've seen it then you need to be there in September, to see the Aspen change in Aspen - Marble - Redstone - Independence Pass - Crystal Mill - Ouray - Telluride - Glenwood Springs......................... this list just goes on and on and we are just looking around Aspen. A lot of what you see and do depends on the route into and away from the destination, so you can see why so much more info is needed to just help a little.

Think about the trip - divide it up - list destinations - then possible routes - likes - time - dislikes - doing so will help us help you and make the whole thing a lot less daunting.

Side Note - I could/have spent the whole Year in just Colorado - just really a great state.

Only issue with Aspen is that the possible camp sites are limited.

Can't wait to hear see how this all turns out for You,

...............

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Old 01-16-2017, 08:22 AM   #10
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We've made several trips out to that area and in general make the loop of I-90, I-15 or I-25, and I-70 or go the reverse. We don't always travel on the interstate but they show the basic loop. We really enjoyed the SD Black Hills, the CO mountain areas, Cheyenne, Cody, Yellowstone & Tetons, the Utah parks. We've also substituted I-40 for I-90, but I like the northern loop better.
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Old 01-16-2017, 09:49 AM   #11
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We are also planning our first cross country trip leaving April 1 from RI and planning to see some of the highlights previously mentioned. Main interest, Big Loop. We, also, are not big into preplanned stops and reservations. Need to be home by June 20. Question: does anyone know if there is any kind of book similar to the Alaskan Milepost or Terri and Church (?) that would give information, sites, campgrounds etc...for traveling I40? For those of you that have done this trip, in your opinion, is Route 40 the best way to go? Plan to pick it up around Nashville but we are very flexible. Thank you.
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Old 01-16-2017, 10:25 AM   #12
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Two things I'd suggest for those never traveling to the Western states are:

1) Get online the 'Mountain Directory for Truckers and RVers'. It's available in many formats from a paper copy to one for your phone. Even though we traveled those awesome mountains continuously throughout our years of full-timing, before each drive we always re-checked the description of our route to refresh ourselves of what's ahead. There are many western mountain passes that a RVer can travel so don't let mountains deter you. That's where the scenery is. (It's also available for the eastern states, too.)

2) Also, get a good state Atlas and browse each state you plan to drive through. Then zero in and take a highlighter and mark things or places that may interest you. Then pick your roads to take you to those interests and you'll have your route.

Planning the trip is half the fun - for me, anyway.
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