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Old 01-20-2012, 03:10 PM   #1
Rkc02's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: NW, NJ
Posts: 46
First RV Trip

Hello all. DW and I are planning a trip from northern NJ to the southern FL / Key West area. No set dates or schedules, just want to go and start rv'ing! (we are total newbies) Our MH (2007 Dutchmen Dorado 26BE) is new to us and our first. As this is a 'maiden' voyage I would prefer to not venture too far from home (northwest NJ) before being able to set up and check everything out. The problem is that everything up here is dry due to the weather and we don't know how far south we have to go before adding potable water to avoid freezing the pipes. So long as everything works, we'll just keep going, staying a day or two at each stop. We don't have reservations anywhere yet since we are still trying to figure it all out.
We would like to avoid Washington, DC area so plan to go down US 81 stopping in northern VA first, then make our way back to US 95 below DC. I'm DAV so can only handle 4-5 hours of drivetime per day. Any suggestions on CGs in northwest VA and either SC or GA would be appreciated along with any better route guidance.

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Old 01-20-2012, 04:19 PM   #2
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Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Wellington, Florida
Posts: 12,533
Hi Rkc02,
You have quite a voyage planned for the first outing.

Taking Interstate 81 is correct. Take I81 down to I77 in south west Virgina. Then take I 77 south to I26 and rejoin I95 in South Carolina. This is how I make the trip. For CGs along the way, consider getting the Trailer Life Campground Directory. Overnight stops are a dime a dozen. I would not be concerned about water freezing in the coach if you are living in it. My assumption is your tanks and lines are all in the basement or the coach proper and not exposed directly to the cold. It takes a couple of nights in the "teens" to freeze water inside the basement or coach.

Tis the season in the Keys. It will be season until April 1. This means there may be nothing available and if there is something it will be very expensive. Try Sunshine Key at mile marker 39. This is a very large resort and for the Keys, reasonably priced. You would be 39 miles from Key West. There are many things to do just North and South of the resort. PM me if you want specific suggestions, for the Keys. I need to know more about your interests and any accessibility requirements.

2005 Newmar KSDP 3910 + GMC ENVOY XUV 37K lbs Moving Down The Road
The Avatar Is Many Times Around The USA
Nobody Knows Your Coach Like Somebody Who Owns One Just Like Yours
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Old 01-20-2012, 04:20 PM   #3
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Location: Everett,PA
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81 to 66 to 17 to 95 Is the combo that has worked best for me.

81 to 17 to 66 to 17 looks shorter however many lights, Huge mountian to pull come off and get stoped for a turn onto a 45 mph road for several miles (full of deer). There are a few other options but the first combo is the best option I have found with the combo of time, distance, difficulty.

I was going to run 81 to 77 but my father (truckdriver) told me 95 is the flattest road to Florida. When we travel it we don't stop at any campgrounds, so I can't help out there. We just pull over and catch a few hours at a Walmart or Rest stop.

As far as water freezing I'm not familiar with a Class C (I googled your model nice coach btw). Is it possible that your tanks are heated? They are on my Class A so as long as the heat is running I am good. I have a friend that uses his coach all winter after winterizing but flushes the commode with windshield washer fluid. I can't verify this is acceptable but may be worth checking out. That way you would only need to shower at a campground. Just a thought.

My two cents for what it's worth. Good Luck and keep all of us stuck up here in the frozen north, up to date on your trip.
The Collins Family
Travis, Kim, Richard, Rebecca
2 Yorkies(Sophie and Annie)
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:00 PM   #4
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I cannot speak about the route since we start way west of you in Rochester NY. However we do get to I 81 in Harrisburg and continue down with a stop in Charlottesville VA (kids). This year we retraced to Baltimore and drove down the Peninsula to the east of DC and then crossed back to 95. We limit our drive time and made two stops out of Baltimore the first was a WalMart about 350 miles s of Baltimore and the next was Golden Isles CG in Brunswick GA that was a too long day of 468 miles - almost 200 miles further than we like to drive but we had a schedule.

Ad Alert! we use Passport America for half price campgrounds, Elks when there is a convenient Lodge (need to be a member), and Walmart, Cabelas, BassPro for running over night stops.

We fill freshwater in Rochester regardless of weather and dewinterize in the driveway. We have left in freezing temps and encountered temps along the way into the teens in our coach without any freeze ups. We keep the heat on at least to 60 if we are going to be away for any length of time (hours not days). We have learned not to leave any hose out and connected if overnight freeze is suggested. A frozen sewer hose is not something you want to contemplate.
Paul Rocking down the road in our '12 Phaeton 36QSH, (in service May 2012 ) We tow an '11 4 dr Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon - Read my blog at goldberg-online.net AKA RVM86
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