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Old 01-06-2014, 02:42 PM   #15
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We have full-timed for 16+ years and traveled constantly in our 40' motorhome. We very rarely make reservations - even for the western national parks.

Even Yellowstone has campgrounds that don't even accept reservations, as does Grand Teton Nat'l Park. Get there early morning and you'll get a site. Stay nearby outside the park the previous night.

Public parks are always our first choices - national, state, national forests, COE, county, ciy. They have more space and are more scenic. RV parks are like parking lots to us. Of course, many of these don't have hookups which we don't mind at all. RVs are self-contained so everything works without hookups if you know how to conserve water and electric. It's very doable.

For the 3-day holidays, we choose places away from rivers, lakes and high tourist areas. We let the weekenders have their fun and noise and we hunker down at quiet places.

We now stay west of the Mississippi as we enjoy the wide open spaces. If you travel in the east things might be different. Don't worry...there are plenty of places out there. You won't have a problem. Enjoy your new lifestyle!
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Old 01-06-2014, 02:50 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pepper2 View Post
Any tourist areas and holidays should be reserved in advance. We have yet to be without a camp site in our 4 yrs. of Rving.
Been RV'ing since 1957. The only time we've been without a campsite was when I needed a few hours rest before continuing. Parking lots and rest areas (where allowed) work for us. We're both still working so time is a problem. Would prefer to travel long and hard to get to the destination campground.
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:42 AM   #17
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First. you need to sit on a full hook up site (For convenience) and dump your holdign tanks, then close the valve, fill the on-board fresh water tank, and shut off the park water, and see how long you can go.

Then do it again practicing water conservation.

Alone I can go a week easy likely can go 2, Wife and I once hit 8 days but normally dumped 2x a week.

There are many resources.. Microsoft Streets and Trips has about a 2 year old Woodalls directory in most versions (Takes that long to get it in print) You can and should check out Recreation.Gov site for COE and Forest service and other Federal parks, Your state park system and as you suggested Good Sams or FMCA or Escapees or all 3.

Now County, state and Federal parks you usually do not get full hookup. For example both the country park I'm in now and the COE park I stay at come March in this area I get 50 amps, and Water only, NO Sewer No Wi-Fi. (I bring my own Wi-Fi) of course since as I said I can do a week easy and I wont be here more than a week at a time no problem.. (I belong to a park about 20 miles away, Full hookup 30 amp there, last night I really was glad to be on 50 amps).

The park I'm in 12/night, The COE parks for folks with the senior pass, 12/night,, Some KOA's I've seen 80/night.. PLUS they charge for Wi-fi and .. Well the joke is Keep On Adding.

That said most KOA parks are very nice.. But as noted, very expensive.
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Old 01-08-2014, 04:50 AM   #18
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Thanks for the info will check it out.We are still on the hunt for a m/h.Leaving today to Ft-Worth to the m/h show and to look at some m/h at motor home specialist .Be at the show Thur ,then we have some art shows to set up at maybe a flea market in Grand Prairie (my dad built that 40 years ago) have not been there since he passed away 10 years ago.
Thanks again for the info.This helps a lot to listen to your experience.Tim
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Old 02-27-2014, 07:44 PM   #19
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Is there some way to find out which Walmarts will accept RVs overnight, other than calling each one? I have asked Walmart corporate office and have received no reply. The reason I ask is that out here in California quite a few cities have ordinances that don't permit overnighting in an RV. And if I'm just staying the night I don't need and I don't want to pay for resort amenities. For just 8 hours I don't even need a hookup.
And Walmart is not the only retailer with large parking lots that often permit RVs to overnight. I've stayed at Costco, Home Depot, a Grange, and even in a few supermarket parking lots. But I've been run out of Walmart, Home Depot, and a few supermarket lots. It'd be nice if there was a resource we could check while we're on the road and not have to waste time and gas searching just to find out that that particular town doesn't allow overnighting.
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:05 PM   #20
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:29 PM   #21
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I've never been run out of a Walmart yet. Stopped at one in Washington state one time that had signs up that said no overnight parking for trucks & RV'S. Went in and asked manager if we could stay there. He asked me if I could read. Lol. I decided to move along.
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:44 AM   #22
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We also run full water and 2 - 7 gal water tanks, empty the gray/blk. When leaveing the CG.
When I was a OTRTrucker we would always find a truck stop on the outskirts of the town we were delivering too. Then get up and go and deliver in the AM. I remember the RVer's would park between 2 semis with there MH's front end sitting at the rear of the trailer less noise and I am sure safer than at %% mart's. I have stayed just once @ a WalMart and it was scary, heard cars whipping past the MH all night.
Back to the truck stops for us.
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Old 02-28-2014, 11:30 AM   #23
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When we go to a festival or a planned gathering where we will be for an extended time (more then 3-4 days) we make reservations. But on the move, we have never had any trouble, there is always a mall, (keep credit cards away from DW) Lowes, Home Depot, Flying J, or just on a city street.

I made a mistake (just one) and pulled into Ft Sumner NM after dark and couldn't find a parking lot big enough for the 34' MH and Mini Van toad so we parked on the street. The next day we found out the we were on the back side of the court house. Another time we parked in the same block as the fire station and we gave them plenty of room to get the trucks out if they needed to.

In seven yrs we've only had one person approach the MH about moving and that was in a mall because we were waiting to his restaurant to open for lunch. Needless to say, after we told him we were going to be his customer he didn't mind us staying, he even let us come in about 20 minutes early.

We don't like to micro plan out journey because we don't know how far we're going to go today. One time I decided that I wanted to take a NAP and we had only driven 90 mi. I pulled into a church parking lot and ask the priest if we could spend the night. He even gave us the password for the church wifi.

If we had had reservations some place then we would have had to keep on going and that's not what our travels are about. We know roughly were we are going but it's always up for change. You never know what adventure lies around the next bend in the road.

THE JOURNEY IS ALWAYS THE DESTINATION.

.
Teffy - You're my kind of guy even though your Class A motorhome is 2/3 longer than my Class C! That's the way to live life. When we were cruising on our sailboat in the Sea of Cortez, and between the Sea and California, we frequently said ok, we're here. No matter where we were we were always "here" and enjoying. We stayed as long as we wanted, we pulled up anchor when we wanted. And you have pretty well said we will be able act the same way with the motorhome.
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Old 02-28-2014, 12:18 PM   #24
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Is there some way to find out which Walmarts will accept RVs overnight, other than calling each one? I have asked Walmart corporate office and have received no reply. The reason I ask is that out here in California quite a few cities have ordinances that don't permit overnighting in an RV. And if I'm just staying the night I don't need and I don't want to pay for resort amenities. For just 8 hours I don't even need a hookup.
And Walmart is not the only retailer with large parking lots that often permit RVs to overnight. I've stayed at Costco, Home Depot, a Grange, and even in a few supermarket parking lots. But I've been run out of Walmart, Home Depot, and a few supermarket lots. It'd be nice if there was a resource we could check while we're on the road and not have to waste time and gas searching just to find out that that particular town doesn't allow overnighting.
I use the Walmart App and it shows the location of all stores in my vicinity. I always telephone ahead as a courtesy. Many Asst Mgrs will ask you to park in a specific location. I do the same for Elks Lodges, VFWs and American Legions of which I am a member. Better to be a Good Samaritan. Why promote a bad reputation. Many times city councils pass ordanances to make RV Park owners happy and allow the town to collect more in taxes (Hotel Tax for you placing your head on your own pillow).
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Old 03-08-2014, 09:45 AM   #25
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Teffy - You're my kind of guy even though your Class A motorhome is 2/3 longer than my Class C! That's the way to live life. When we were cruising on our sailboat in the Sea of Cortez, and between the Sea and California, we frequently said ok, we're here. No matter where we were we were always "here" and enjoying. We stayed as long as we wanted, we pulled up anchor when we wanted. And you have pretty well said we will be able act the same way with the motorhome.
When we gave up sailing we had moved up to a 27' Cape Dory and were sailing out of Port Arthur, Tx, We would range between Corpus Christie and New Orleans. The good thing about sailing in the gulf was, you were never lost as all you had to do was put the morning sun on the starboard side and you'd eventually run into land, then just ask the swimmers where you were.

The difference between power boat people and sailers is, the sailers look at the journey as the destination and the power boaters can't wait to get "there". It took us 10 days to go from Alb NM to Houston. We had a GREAT time.

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Old 03-08-2014, 10:19 AM   #26
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We don't like to micro plan out journey because we don't know how far we're going to go today.
.
I totally agree with the above statement.

You generally do not need reservations but you don't want to arrive tired and have no place to stay. I drive until I feel like I only want to go another hour or two. Then I pull over and get out the computer and find a campground I would like to stop at which is an hour or two down the road and I phone them for a site. If no site available, I call another campground. Many times it is not a campground but a Walmart for the night. I always call Walmarts too when an hour or two away so if they say no I can choose someplace else.

The only time you need a campground reservation is for a holiday weekend or when you are going to a special event, or in places where most of the sites tend to be too small for your rig and you are going there "in season". (Maine is be one of these. The FL Keys is another).

Big Rig sites tend to be scarce in the Northeast so I do more advance planning when travelling there as my coach is 45 feet. In that case I will reserve at least a day in advance, unless I am going to stop at Walmart.

The goal is to keep maximum flexibility as long as practical, yet not find yourself at the gates of a campground or boondock site that can't accommodate you.
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Old 03-08-2014, 10:52 AM   #27
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Teffy: 10 days from Alb,NM to Houston. How many dams did you have to lock through? Eddie Elk.
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Old 03-09-2014, 08:36 AM   #28
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Teffy: 10 days from Alb,NM to Houston. How many dams did you have to lock through? Eddie Elk.
Lots of museums, labs for pro-time for the DW and beautiful countryside. She was having trouble with her Warfarin and we had to get it taken care of. We spent two days in a closed up restaurant parking lot watching the cows and passerbys, two guys stopped to see if we needed help. A priest at one overnight even gave us the passcode to the church wifi. Life is hard when you're retired.

One morning was comical. We thought we were in a closed up restaurant parking lot, only to find out the next morning that they were still in business. Everyone in NM must have come there for breakfast because the parking lot was FULL. I went into the restaurant to apologize for taking up space and they apologized for the customers blocking us in. It was a good breakfast, probably because I didn't have to cook it. It was 11:00 before we could get out. Then we only moved 4 miles to another closed up restaurant and spent 2 more nights. You always have to spend two nights in Roswell so you can go to the Alien museum and see if there are any pictures of family members. And how could any Texan drive through Pecos and not do the "Law West of the Pecos" museum. You can even overnight in their parking lot a listen to the trains that come through in the night.


.
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