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Old 06-03-2009, 12:43 PM   #1
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Where to stay when making time

Hoping to take the family out west this summer for a couple of weeks, from Florida. Would like to maximize our time out west.

How many miles a day would you consider doing a day?
Would you overnight at a Walmart?
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Old 06-03-2009, 01:01 PM   #2
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Hi JC,
I'll be doing the same thing with the Gkids this summer. When making time, I try to stay in the 400-500 miles a day range. I will stay at a Wall-mart only as a last resort. When we stop for lunch, I get on the laptop and determine where I'll be at 4 PM. I find the CGs in that area and make a reservation, for the evening. When staying overnight, all I need is electric.
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Old 06-03-2009, 01:08 PM   #3
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Those were pretty much my thoughts exactly...

So, you will call around lunch time and try to get reservations for what ever CG you find in the vicinity of your 4:00 PM arrival/destination?

What time do you expect to depart in the AM? I'm planning on pulling a toad which I have not done before so I don't know how it may impact travel.
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Old 06-03-2009, 02:05 PM   #4
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Yep, stopping around 4 PM gives time for the Gkids to get outside and run off some energy, go to the pool, play mini golf, etc. The wife can cook dinner and I can clean the bugs of the front of the coach. My Gkids are 13, 11 and 8 (boy, girl, boy).

If I try to leave before 7 AM, there would be a revolt of the wife and Gkids! I try to leave at 8:30 AM. This should put me at the tail end of those going to work. Overnight stops are always a pull through site. I do not disconnect the toad for an overnight stop. This and 50 AMP electric are the top needs. If a CG can not accommodate my 64 feet of length in a pull through, then I'll keep calling around until I find a CG that has what I need.

An example of this summer is, our first stop is San Antonio, Texas. It will take me 3 days to get there. After that we have no long days as we tour across the southwest. We have reservations for all CGs where we will stay two or more nights. We eventually get to Long Beach, CA (Queen Mary tour and put our feet in the Pacific Ocean) The only other long haul is when we leave Rocky Mountain National Park. It is a 3 day drive to Goshen, Indiana for a rally of Newmar coaches.
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Old 06-03-2009, 02:54 PM   #5
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400-600 miles a day, and always WalMart because all I am doing is parking for a few hours and then back on the road. Over 60 different WalMarts in the past couple years and never an issue on the same game plan as you are planning (east-west crossings). No reservations, no disturbing anyone on your arrival/departure, and arrive/leave anytime allowing you much added flexibility in the daytime to snag a couple sights along the way (keep yourself and the kids amused - see Roadside America - Guide to Uniquely Odd Tourist Attractions). Easy restocking as well. Need dinner? Grab it inside. Leave the toad attached, park don't camp, and use the saved CG fees to run the genset as needed.

If you are planning a late night or remote WalMart arrival I'd check with the only multiple user verified source of WalMart parking info on the entire web (not all WalMart allow parking due to ordinances or some might not be accessible to RVs due to configuration) visit Overnight RV Parking there is no more accurate or more complete WalMart (and other freebies) info available anywhere.
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:54 PM   #6
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If we are going to be enroute for more than a couple we try to make 400 to 450 miles the max. Otherwise, you are beat to death. That said, a lot depends on what you are traveling on. If interstate you can generally go further than secondary roads. Not always but generally so. We try to make reservations in advance and at least 2 days in advance during the busy season. Have not stayed at a WalMart and probably wont unless my options run out. At a lot of WalMarts I don't even feel real safe close to the entrance. Enroute, I try to stay at CG with pull thrus and leave the toad connected. I try to full hook ups, both my wife and I like long showers and don't really like most CG showers. But, if only one or two overnighters enroute we don't need to dump the tanks. But with 4 people that may not be possible. I can live with 30 amp service but try for 50.
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Old 06-04-2009, 06:40 PM   #7
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about 4 or 5 hundred miles and just came back and over night stop at flying J or some truck stop
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Old 06-04-2009, 10:29 PM   #8
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My family knows the drill by now. We are on a 'mission' to get to our destination.

Dad (me) wakes up at 5am and starts driving while everyone is still sleeping in the MH. 9-10am, everyone starts waking up and I'm 250 miles plus down the road. Drive another 4 hours and stop for lunch. Drive another 4 and stop for dinner. Usually put in a few more hours after dinner and stop at a WalMart. That way we can 'make time' to the tune of 800-900 miles a day. We use a great book called 'The Next Exit' to find the WalMarts. Always feel safe, never had a problem. Just bring a pair of ear plugs because you may find 'peace' but you won't find 'quiet' there!

With only two weeks vacation, I want the kids to experience where we're going for the most time. Not dilly dally all the way there and back.
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Old 06-05-2009, 08:18 AM   #9
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Great input... Thank you all. Those are exactly the kinds of links and reference I was searching for...

This forum is awesome.
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Old 06-08-2009, 12:56 PM   #10
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We will generally do between 750 and 900 miles/day when we are focused on getting to our destination
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Old 06-08-2009, 03:04 PM   #11
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We travel like PanJH, and RVThere. But we will also stop at rest areas. We have only had one bad experience at a rest area. If we are staying at a Walmart, I go inside and ask for the mgr, just to let them know we are there and thank them. Walmart is usually more expensive than an RV park of course it is stuff we need.

I know that RV parks wouldn't like us pulling in at midnight and leaving at 7 AM.

Safe travels.
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:14 PM   #12
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I agree with Tom & Patty's quote on staying at WalMart being more expensive than a campground.

With a 24 hour Walmart, my family has the habit of going in to 'shop' when we pull in. As I'm ready to hit the sack, they come back with three new DVDs, microwave brownies, more RV toilet paper (just in case), and a case of Gatorade to the tune of $100!
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Old 06-08-2009, 10:06 PM   #13
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I'm so glad to be retired, no more forced marchs. We just cruise along at about 250 to 300 miles per day. And I will take advantage of all the free camping "WalMart, Flying J" and such as I can find. I didnt pay all that money for a self contained Mobile Luxury Condo to have to Pay a high fee everytime I want to rest for a night. If CGs would charge a reasonable price just to park, No services then it might be worth it. But as it is, NO THANKS MR CG owner. I will put that $30-$45 in my fuel tank
Did I mention my Diesel Genny only burns about 1/2 gallon an hr with the air running, do the arithmatic
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Old 06-08-2009, 10:09 PM   #14
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When we head out west in a few weeks, we will be staying mostly in Sam's Club parking lots (we're members and they have a restaurant for pizza, and then there's the rotisserie chicken... yum!). Although our first stop will be in a Wal-Mart (it's next to our favourite Cracker Barrel... just one last time). I've planned our stops to take advantage of Sam's Club stops (refuel & eat supper there) with morings having breakfast at Cracker Barrels (because we usually can skip lunch after eating there). Besides, no commercial campground wants to see us roll in. We'll look like a modern day version of "The Grapes Of Wrath"... Vintage Class C pulling a custom (bright yellow... can't miss it) hot dog cart, a 40 ft skoolie (formerly used for whitewater rafting tours... at least it's not school bus yellow) loaded to the ceiling with all our stuff, pulling my Jeep and Stacey squeezed in between us (hope we don't lose her along the way) in her Jeep. The only campground we will be in for the whole trip (1800 miles) will be a state park in TX. after the state park, we will be in rest stops mostly. We're planning on around 300 -375 miles per day. We're not in a rush to get out to NM.
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