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Old 07-01-2016, 08:50 PM   #15
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We're going too!

Hey all.. Glad I found this discussion.. We are traveling from Sarasota Florida in a 36 Tiffin gas rig wanting to start out in very end of August/begining of Sept to head to Page Arzonia onto Lake Powel,. Rv resort is Wahweap.. Looks nice... We want to make reservations, but since this is our first trek out /west.. How do you judge when to make the reservations??? We normally do 200-300 miles per day per trip... Haven't thought about which route to take that would be not too busy of a road... But not a dinky back road... Need to find campsites along the way and prefer a flat road vs hilly... Is there a place or website where I can find out which roads an RV can travel? Also... Is there a webpage to find out if it's safe with any wild fires out west???
We would love to caravan with others or even to follow their route that they have taken already...if you wish to share... Our ultimate plans... Hell we want to see it all but with two months I guess we need to narrow it down to Lake Powell and all its water play...maybe some tours close by.. Would really like to leave the rig in one place and do the scenic drives to the closest of the Utah parks. Any suggestions? We have 3 dachshunds who we take everywhere...we thought we could leave the rig in Wahweap, and drive a scenic route to Grand Canyon...Bryce and whatever else is suggested... Are we too far to do scenic drives? And also any advise on what site to take at Wahweap? Thanks.. Hope I gave all info needed to predict how long it takes to drive there, I'm assuming that there are different roads to take.. Any one better than the other? Thanks all for you responses... Steve and rory
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Old 07-01-2016, 09:48 PM   #16
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First, this sounds like a nice trip for you and September/October are good months for the Southwest As you're traveling to Arizona and Utah you don't have to make reservations, especially after Labor Day. If you feel more comfortable with reservations when you get near the big national parks, then try for five days previous when you can better judge when you'd be there.

The fire season will most likely be over as that's the tail end of the monsoon season and hopefully rain will have fallen.

http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/state/3/

You won't have any big mountains to cross to get to Page. We like driving secondary roads rather than interstates and you can pretty much follow I-10 or I-40.

I would advise you to get the 'Mountain Directory for Truckers and RVers' if you plan a lot of driving with the RV in the West. It's very helpful. Don't be hesitant to take some of the drives in the mountain areas though. Many RVers do it and you just take it slow. No one speeds on those highways.

http://www.mountaindirectory.com/

I wouldn't plan to do a lot of touring from one specific area if you're trying to see the national parks. It's just too much driving for one day and it won't leave much time to really explore the parks for a few days. You'd probably only go once if doing a day trip and a few hours isn't enough for those gorgeous parks in the Southwest. Move in or closer to the parks.

Sept. might still be hot in Page. Wahweap is a nice campground overlooking Lake Powell although we've not stayed there. For the immediate area you should take a tour of Antelope Canyon. There isn't a lot to do in Page itself unless you take the dam tour..errr, the tour of the dam. You could also take a boat tour of the lake.

Parks to visit in the area (but move to the spots) are Monument Valley, Grand Canyon South or North Rims, Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Arches and Canyonlands. Although they look close on a map they are too far for day trips.

Grand Canyon South Rim - Trailer Village RV in the park is the very best for full hookups. The free shuttle stops at the park. Note that in most national parks pets are not allowed on all trails so check each website for the national parks for info. The sites also give excellent details on things to do, camping, etc. At Grand Canyon pets can go on the Rim Trail which is a very nice flat walk.

https://www.nps.gov/grca/index.htm

For Zion, there are RV parks in Springdale right outside the park gate. Again, a free shuttle stops. Watchman campground in the park is very nice and has electric and water fill and dump station. Bryce - Ruby's just outside the gate is best for hookups. Again..the shuttle stops there. Capitol Reef - many RV parks in Torrey and for Arches/Canyonlands (both doable from one base), many parks in Moab.

Since you have dogs you might want to check out Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. It's a fantastic, large no-kill facility for all animals and it's in a beautiful area. They give tours, too. Ask about bringing your pets.
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Old 07-02-2016, 07:39 AM   #17
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We were at wahheap a couple weeks ago. It is pretty but it was also one of our least favorites of the trip. But a lot of the reasons were just personal to us. Others I know would feel differently

It was way too hot and way too windy. I didn't like that is was pricey yet showers were available only for an additional cost. And we had no cell service -att- and the wifi was awful. That usually isn't an issue but we had big rv problems and it was frustrating not to be able to research or make calls.
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Old 07-02-2016, 07:39 AM   #18
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Oh and yes, the mountain directory was wonderful and a must have!!
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Old 07-02-2016, 08:27 AM   #19
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Thanks!

You guys are all so helpful! Thank God there are forums like this to connect us all!
Twogypsies:
So in your opinion, with two months to play...when should we my reservations for the Wahweap? If leaving sept 1st driving route 10 approx 200-300 miles per day?
How long should we stay at Wahweap? Doing the antelop canyon, ( seeing Grand Canyon from there? Or too far?)
A few play days of doing nothing but water toys...

Then in ur thoughts we should drive closer to which park?
We do all things with our dogs....( I get nervous leaving them in rig for long amounts, if I do leave them, it's no longer than 3 hours) so what can I do at the parks w them?

We don't want to rush thru n rather maybe pick two/ 3 home bases....bc then we have to leave some time to drive back...

Ya know, I wish there was a service that u paid that can set up ur entire vacay, the route, the park fee, the itinerary that you sort of give em a feel for!cause I sure would pay!!
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Old 07-02-2016, 02:25 PM   #20
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I'm not going to be a big help with reservations times or pets. We don't make reservations and dry camping is good for us. We don't have pets.

In the national parks you will be limited on what you can do if you can't leave your pets behind. They can't go on trails and can't go on the shuttle buses. They can't go in public buildings (Visitor Centers). Since you're concentrating on the high points of this trip - the great national parks in this area, any chance of leaving the pets with a relative or friend for this trip? Otherwise, you might consider each of you taking turns doing things in the parks and one stay behind to stay with the dogs.

Perhaps someone with pets will chime in a tell how they tour national parks with them.

We're hikers and like our freedom. We love dogs but could never travel with them.
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Old 07-02-2016, 08:18 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by wetseal40 View Post
You guys are all so helpful! Thank God there are forums like this to connect us all!
Twogypsies:
So in your opinion, with two months to play...when should we my reservations for the Wahweap? If leaving sept 1st driving route 10 approx 200-300 miles per day?
How long should we stay at Wahweap? Doing the antelop canyon, ( seeing Grand Canyon from there? Or too far?)
A few play days of doing nothing but water toys...

Then in ur thoughts we should drive closer to which park?
We do all things with our dogs....( I get nervous leaving them in rig for long amounts, if I do leave them, it's no longer than 3 hours) so what can I do at the parks w them?

We don't want to rush thru n rather maybe pick two/ 3 home bases....bc then we have to leave some time to drive back...

Ya know, I wish there was a service that u paid that can set up ur entire vacay, the route, the park fee, the itinerary that you sort of give em a feel for!cause I sure would pay!!
We ended up leaving our pup alone in the RV more than I wanted. But we wanted to do things like do the Durango-Silverton railroad and, obviously, she isn't welcome. So we left her for 12 hours! She did well but I felt so bad.

When we planned a long day in Yellowstone I asked the RV park if they have any ideas on a sitter for her. Surprisingly, they had a list right there and there was a nice farm/kennel only about a mile away. She was so happy there and if felt good not worrying about her.

Yes, many (most?) Rv'ers seem to have dogs. But if you do plan to visit parks, you will be VERY VERY restricted. We took her to the Grand Canyon because we didn't have another option. It was definitely not ideal at all.
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Old 07-02-2016, 09:12 PM   #22
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Irene, wow 12 hours? I could never do that... I would come back to pee most likely... Or maybe not, but I myself would not choose that much time . We want to do tours, or maybe looking for any information on a scenic drive? My pups LOVE to ride in the car and they are soooo good. I would consider doing all the scenic drives with them, and I think one of the parks, lets you walk them on one of the trails.... I read if I stay at Wahweap, I can bring them to Grand Canyon...My pups are more into being "in a stroller" then walking...so I'm not concerned about "exercising " them... They are our family so we like to bring them along as much as we can. We will most likely rent a boat for the week and take them out on Lake Powell.. But to drive from Sarasota Florida all the way to Utah/Arzonia and NOT see at least one of the beautiful parks would be a waste of gas/ time and energy...IMO..so I need to make this work for all of us... Any other thoughts and suggestions are appreciated
Thanks!
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Old 07-03-2016, 02:55 PM   #23
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Old 07-03-2016, 03:33 PM   #24
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We are in the third month of an around the USA trip. The only reservations we made were for Memorial Day weekend. We have not had any difficulty at overnight stays. For trip planning we have a large plastic covered US map and circle places we would like to see or visit using a dry marker. Easy to erase and change plans. We then try to make a route using 300 miles as a target daily distance. Sometimes longer trips and sometimes shorter. We do use GPS for the travel but not for trip plans. Works for us.
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Old 07-04-2016, 06:40 AM   #25
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BAHAHA that commercial with the Hot dogs... It's the best... The whole thing... Every face on every Dachshund is precious...and I bet it didn't take them a whole lot to make them run like that!!
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Old 07-04-2016, 06:44 AM   #26
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Update: we are gonna give it one last try tomorrow and actually call three campgrounds.. Online.. All Is booked for Grand Canyon (except no hook ups) and we need hook up for the doxies...all is no vacanc for Lake Powel Wahweap , and Bryce and Zion... I put dates in so far ahead it wasn't even a laughing matter...it seems that they are booked til next year... I'm too scared to drive over 2500 miles not to have a place to settle down. We even tried just booking one place and taking the car from that point... Wow.. Guess these parks are totally touristy at all times of the year...
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Old 07-04-2016, 07:27 AM   #27
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wetseal - you're going to have a great time. Our mantra is before and during our road trip "the journey is the destination".

We are in our coach a great deal (more than 7 months per year), often with 3 grand daughters. During the planning I use a number of planning sites to help with the routing to avoid RV unfriendly routes, to find low or no cost places to stay and to focus in on things to see/do. We are Good Sam members - their software really helps for most RV unfriendly routes (low clearance, restricted roads, etc) and things to do. Definitely consider Mountain Directory for a final road check.

A couple of more tips on campsites. When we really have a place we want to spend more than 1 night at, I work at getting reservations. Good Sams is okay for this but I turn to Allstays to help here. Allstays has kind of a clunky interface but definitely worth the time to dig out the most campgrounds with various sort parameters based on cost, ratings, etc.

Once I've gotten a route based on what we'd like to see, found some likely campgrounds, I use RV Park Reviews to zero in on where to stay.

On occasions, I used Google Earth to look at specific "stuff" along the route, campground layouts, etc.

We've been very fortunate to have avoided poor routes (low clearances, hairpin curves, steep grades, narrow roads, etc) and lousy/unsafe campgrounds by planning.

One last tip, after you've looked at your route go to Gas Buddy. Most of us have easily a 300 mile safe radius for fuel. Often when we stop for fuel, we take on 50-60 gals. On a 4000 mile trip you will use 500-700 gals of fuel. If you wisely plan your fuel ups you can often save between $.20-$.40 per gal. Do the math, well worth thinking about your fueling stops. I pre-plan our fuel stops on the total route and then each morning, confirm best fueling spots. Enter Google Earth, make sure you can get your RV into and out of the fuel stop. Flying J almost always have RV lanes - plus if you are a Good Sams member, you save $.03-$.06 per gal.

Anyways - that's my story and we're sticking to it.
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Old 07-04-2016, 09:34 AM   #28
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wetseal - you're going to have a great time. Our mantra is before and during our road trip "the journey is the destination".

We are in our coach a great deal (more than 7 months per year), often with 3 grand daughters. During the planning I use a number of planning sites to help with the routing to avoid RV unfriendly routes, to find low or no cost places to stay and to focus in on things to see/do. We are Good Sam members - their software really helps for most RV unfriendly routes (low clearance, restricted roads, etc) and things to do. Definitely consider Mountain Directory for a final road check.

A couple of more tips on campsites. When we really have a place we want to spend more than 1 night at, I work at getting reservations. Good Sams is okay for this but I turn to Allstays to help here. Allstays has kind of a clunky interface but definitely worth the time to dig out the most campgrounds with various sort parameters based on cost, ratings, etc.

Once I've gotten a route based on what we'd like to see, found some likely campgrounds, I use RV Park Reviews to zero in on where to stay.

On occasions, I used Google Earth to look at specific "stuff" along the route, campground layouts, etc.

We've been very fortunate to have avoided poor routes (low clearances, hairpin curves, steep grades, narrow roads, etc) and lousy/unsafe campgrounds by planning.

One last tip, after you've looked at your route go to Gas Buddy. Most of us have easily a 300 mile safe radius for fuel. Often when we stop for fuel, we take on 50-60 gals. On a 4000 mile trip you will use 500-700 gals of fuel. If you wisely plan your fuel ups you can often save between $.20-$.40 per gal. Do the math, well worth thinking about your fueling stops. I pre-plan our fuel stops on the total route and then each morning, confirm best fueling spots. Enter Google Earth, make sure you can get your RV into and out of the fuel stop. Flying J almost always have RV lanes - plus if you are a Good Sams member, you save $.03-$.06 per gal.

Anyways - that's my story and we're sticking to it.
Lot's of good advice - The Drive/Trip is always First, the Destination second - follow that and you will love it - In the middle of the summer we have walked into Old Faithful lodge and gotten Rooms - wanted the kids to have the experience in the lodge - If you are worried about the heat head into the San Juan's of Colorado - or head up to Steamboat - just too much to see and do to sit home.

JMHO,
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