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Old 02-28-2012, 07:56 AM   #1
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First Cross Country Trip - Need Advice

We are planning our first long trip across the US and wondered if we should make campground reservations or just wing it. We don't have any certain timetable for the trip so we might end up staying longer at some of the places along the way but none of this is planned ahead.

Do you plan where in advance where to stop?

How many miles and/or hours do you comfortably travel each day?

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Old 02-28-2012, 08:03 AM   #2
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We are full-timers, so we tend to travel on the "2-2-2" plan: Drive around 200/300 miles, stop before 2 pm, stay 2 days.

We modify that as necessary, of course, but overall its a pleasant, relaxing way to travel.

Some places we prefer to move on after one night, others we'll stay a week. I like to google boondocking or camping spots in advance, but we never make reservations except for something like staying at the beach during the winter.

Just the way that suits us.

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Old 02-28-2012, 08:19 AM   #3
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We normally will not make any reservations in advance. I really don't like to be under a time table of arriving at any one certain place. As you said you never know when you might like to stay somewhere a little longer.
We drive on a typical day 300-400 miles. Sometimes a little more and then sometimes less. Alot depends on the time we get started in the morning.
Again time on the road varies but probably 6-8 hours. Usually like to be off the road by 4-5 in the afternoon.
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:20 AM   #4
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To me one of the many benfits of RV travel, is stop and go as desire. Generally we do not make reservations and it seems to work 90% of the time. We also use the 200 -250 miles and stop early rules. But do make reservations for places like Key West or Yellowstone National Park during the tourist heavy season. Once in a while you will hit an area that might have something going that will fill up camping grounds and have to travle a little more than plan. We have found it pays to make our plans about noon where to stop and call campgrounds for spot.

Good luck and welcome to the wonderful world of travel freedom. We live in counrty with some much to see and enjoy. For the most part you will meet some very friendly people and open new doors.
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:53 AM   #5
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We took our CC trip to CA last year and never made a reservation. We left April 1 and returned the end of June. Most CG were not even close to being full. We extended our stay several times because we were either tired, or liked the area. If there is a holiday, or places that fill up fast then we will reserve in advance. We don't get a real early start in the morning, and we drive about 250-300 miles. We usually like to be settled in by 4:00 at the latest. Hope you enjoy your trip. Be safe.
Brenda and Frank, FTers, Zebulon, NC
Raisin our mixed hound and our cat BooBoo.
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:25 AM   #6
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Hi gmadams,
If it's pure travel days, I make reservations for the evening while having lunch at a rest area. However, I do make reservations, in advance, in these situations:
1. holiday weeks
2. know I'm going to want to be in the area longer than a few days. Take advantage of weekly/monthly rates.

Average number of miles per travel day varies greatly. The bottom line is it all depends.
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:56 AM   #7
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We made reservations along our route. We used rvparkreviews.com. We stayed 2-3 days at rv parks along the route and had a great experience. Figure your general route out/driving time and try looking at rvparkreviews and see how it works.
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Old 02-28-2012, 12:47 PM   #8
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I'll make reservations the day before travel if I know I'm leaving the next day. I also know how far or what my next destination will be, but as others stated I may not know how long I'll want to stay there if the area is really exciting.

If Holidays are involved i will make a reservation that covers the holiday travel time. An example would be Memorial Day Weekend, or Independence Day Weekend. I'll make reservations for the Holiday weekends because that seems to be when the working RV'rs can get out and they can fill up a park.

Happy trails - enjoy your trip.
Wayne MSGT USMC (Ret) & Earlene (CinCHouse)
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Old 02-28-2012, 02:13 PM   #9
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We rarely make reservations. About the only exception was when we belonged to C2C and RPI which required reservations. We stop early in the day...by 2 or 3...so have never had a problem finding a place to stay. If we're traveling around a Holiday, we'll stop someplace several days in advance and stay until the holiday is over. Of course, most of this is a moot point for us since we spend most of our time boondocking, so we don't have to worry about making reservations.
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:39 PM   #10
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crossed usa c to c never make rev. just call same day
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Old 03-01-2012, 01:34 PM   #11
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We traveled out West two summers and this past summer included Alaska. No reservations anywhere except on an upcoming holiday - no problems. We are planning to head to the Northeast this summer and I'm a little concerned if we can get away with that MO in the northern coastal areas. No experience in that area...might be a few Wal-Mart stays in our future.

We try to keep the daily mileage to 200 - 250 and in by 2-3 PM. Bob
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Old 03-01-2012, 04:39 PM   #12
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We have made at least three trips around the US and generally haven't made reservations ahead of time but when getting toward the end of the day my wife often will look in a camping directory and call to see if a particular campground will have a space for us. Sometimes they ask for a credit card to hold the space so I guess that would be a reservation. Mostly we just go until we think its time to stop which is usually about 3 pm or so. We don't stop at a particular distance or use "300 miles a day" idea.
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Old 03-01-2012, 06:24 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by 1ciderdog View Post
We have made at least three trips around the US and generally haven't made reservations ahead of time but when getting toward the end of the day my wife often will look in a camping directory and call to see if a particular campground will have a space for us. Sometimes they ask for a credit card to hold the space so I guess that would be a reservation. Mostly we just go until we think its time to stop which is usually about 3 pm or so. We don't stop at a particular distance or use "300 miles a day" idea.
Safe Travels

The only time we make reservations is when we are going to an area where we will be staying for more than one night. We have only been turned away from one campground due to it being full but we were able to find another campground within 30 miles.

Another reason for not making reservations and leaving a deposit is that sometimes when you get to the campground you will find it looked better in the advertisement.

Jon & Sue Francis (Retired U.S.A.F.)
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:56 AM   #14
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We are not fulltimers, and try to make one long trip per year.
We reserve our destination, but not our stops along the way

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