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Old 05-24-2013, 10:49 AM   #1
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Houston to RI: first trip, need advice!

We just took delivery on our 40' 2003 Monaco DP. Our first trip is to my daughter's wedding in Newport, RI, leaving Houston (Conroe, actually, to the north) about mid-day on Sunday, June 30. We can take our time, but need to get there by the 6th or so. I have never planned a MH trip, and we are totally novice campers/RVers!

We need all the help and advice possible! Is there a trip planner web site specifically for RVs that is good? I'm realizing we need to make reservations ASAP. We'd like nice, spacious camp sites so we can use the wireless fence for our 4 doggies!

Thank you in advance!
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Old 05-24-2013, 11:34 AM   #2
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There is an app called "AllStays" that is available for your android or iOS device which has listings of all the fuel stations that are RV friendly for entry and exit, campgrounds, as well as offering route planning so you do not get surprised by low overpasses on a route you would have normally taken in a passenger car with no problem.

If you use a GPS unit be sure to adjust your settings to reflect a "truck route" which will also help steer you clear of twisty roads and low overpasses.

Have a safe trip!
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Old 05-24-2013, 11:37 AM   #3
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I almost forgot.... Don't forget to sign up for fuel rewards membership cards at truck stops, and fuel stations... using the card will allow you to fill up with only two swipes of your CC at a max $150 fill per swipe, rather than most gas stations that stop at $75 per swipe. Fill ups go smoother, you get discounts on facilities (like dump station use, showers, etc.) and other stuff.
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Old 05-24-2013, 02:05 PM   #4
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Great to know ! What a great place where everyone shares valuable information!
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Old 05-24-2013, 03:03 PM   #5
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taking the puppies? Driven a MH that big a long distance before?
I wouldn't make reservations on the way there, we generally travel as far as we want and then lookup a place to stop. Definitely make reservations for your final destination...
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Old 05-24-2013, 05:31 PM   #6
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I suggest the Trailer Life RV Roadtrip Navigator. You can input RV size, starting point and destination and the software will do the rest. Like all tools, use common sense and think about what it is telling you to do. Avoid Washington DC, and NY City at all costs.
Drive each day until you think you're about an hour from stopping for the day. Then use this software, Allstays, or a phone app called RVParky to find a place for the night. My experience is that pre-planning stops along your route will cause you to either drive too long or stop too early almost every time.
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:02 PM   #7
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Some questions:
  1. Are you towing a vehicle?
  2. You said you are novice RVers ... what sort of travelling by vehicle have you done: motels, tent camping, pop ups,?
  3. What sort of driving experience do you have in driving something longer than a car or SUV?
  4. How many drivers do you have?
  5. What is the longest number of hours per day do you normally drive a car or SUV?
  6. How many days in a row can you drive that many hours?
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:13 PM   #8
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Hi, Are you a member of Good Sam Club? It so they have trip routing that you can do on line. Do you have road Service such as Good Sam ERS or Coach-net? BTW Coach-net does trip routing too.

I would stay away from I-95 as you can't go through the Harbor Tunnel as they don't allow vehicles with Propane. I would probably get my way to I-81 and follow that the I-84 and then go across.

Also no need to make reservations as you go but do like someone previously posted or even stay at Flying J's, Cracker Barrel or Wal-Mart.

Have a great trip.

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Old 05-24-2013, 07:29 PM   #9
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How mant total miles from your starting point to your destination?
Divided by 300 or so for the number of days.
You will be surprised how much it takes out of you driving a MH.
You want to be able to get there in one piece and enjoy your daughters wedding.
We where surprised last summer on how driving day after day from AZ to Buffalo, NY took it's toll on us.
Age also makes a difference, we are in our mid 60's.
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:44 PM   #10
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Call for reservations now! If not sooner, wow July on the Northeast coast it will be tough.
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:39 PM   #11
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answers to your questions!

Quote:
Originally Posted by skigramp View Post
Some questions:
  1. Are you towing a vehicle?
  2. You said you are novice RVers ... what sort of travelling by vehicle have you done: motels, tent camping, pop ups,?
  3. What sort of driving experience do you have in driving something longer than a car or SUV?
  4. How many drivers do you have?
  5. What is the longest number of hours per day do you normally drive a car or SUV?
  6. How many days in a row can you drive that many hours?
Here are the answers:
1. We will be towing a vehicle, but haven't bought it yet. It will probably be a Ford Edge, ot I think the smaller one was the Escort.

2. We moved down here from Rhode Island a year and drove with the then 3 doggies. We stayed in hotels, three nights it took i believe. We have never been camping!

3. DH has no experience driving anything large! We will be going with friends of ours who have a 5th wheel as much as possible before we leave in a month, and DH will have to get his Class B license.

4. DH is the only driver. He's such a backseat driver with the car, I refuse to drive with him in the car. Imagine what it would be like in that giant thing!

5. On trip, 8 -10 hours

6. Well coming down here it was 3
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:30 PM   #12
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Newport is a beautiful Seaport city. There are not many CG's in that area. The one out at 2nd Beach does not allow dogs. So, look into the CG at Fisherman's Memorial State Park, down by the Block Island Ferry. It is about a 20 mile drive to Downtown Newport. My son was stationed there for a short time and we visited but in the TOAD as we were staying at my brother's house in Mass. The Fisherman's Memorial State park is the only RV park I would consider in that area. It's going to cost $1 each time you cross the toll bridge, so stop on the first trip and get $10 worth of tokens and the first pass is free.

As for the route, we only travel 250 or so miles each day. From Texas City, Texas we have take routes on over to I-81N to I-78E then pick up Highway 33N before you get to Easton, PA. Follow it up US-209N. US-209N will take you up through the Delaware Water Gap. Not a bad road, but one little 2 mile stretch of detour is narrow with no sholder. Follow 209 up to I-84E. At some point off of I-84 you will have to find your own way into Rhode Island as I have not been off 84 in that direction, only to Mass.

Campgrounds along that route are few between but they are available. Some are definitely 1 nighters. Check out Pocono Vacation Park in Stroudsburg, PA. From Stroudsburg to Newport is about 275 miles. Somewhere around Cromwell you'll head South towards I-95 and roads east to Newport.

Happy trails.
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne M View Post
Newport is a beautiful Seaport city. There are not many CG's in that area. The one out at 2nd Beach does not allow dogs. So, look into the CG at Fisherman's Memorial State Park, down by the Block Island Ferry. It is about a 20 mile drive to Downtown Newport. My son was stationed there for a short time and we visited but in the TOAD as we were staying at my brother's house in Mass. The Fisherman's Memorial State park is the only RV park I would consider in that area. It's going to cost $1 each time you cross the toll bridge, so stop on the first trip and get $10 worth of tokens and the first pass is free.

As for the route, we only travel 250 or so miles each day. From Texas City, Texas we have take routes on over to I-81N to I-78E then pick up Highway 33N before you get to Easton, PA. Follow it up US-209N. US-209N will take you up through the Delaware Water Gap. Not a bad road, but one little 2 mile stretch of detour is narrow with no sholder. Follow 209 up to I-84E. At some point off of I-84 you will have to find your own way into Rhode Island as I have not been off 84 in that direction, only to Mass.

Campgrounds along that route are few between but they are available. Some are definitely 1 nighters. Check out Pocono Vacation Park in Stroudsburg, PA. From Stroudsburg to Newport is about 275 miles. Somewhere around Cromwell you'll head South towards I-95 and roads east to Newport.

Happy trails.
Thanks for all that. We moved from Newport last year and had lived there 24 years and raised three children there. My daughter's fiance's parents own a campground in Portsmouth, on the same island with Newport. It used to only have small cottages, but they are now adding RV camp sites, and they just put in the first one for us! So once we get up there, we should be OK!
Thanks for your well-wishes!
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Old 05-24-2013, 11:37 PM   #14
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With all those dogs, I think you will be lucky to travel 250 miles per day... at the outside 300 miles a day.

Driving a DP is much different than driving a car or SUV when turning corners. You are sitting IN FRONT of the front wheels... so when you turn a corner you do not turn until YOU ARE SITTING in the extension of the lane that you want to turn into ... find a large empty parking lot and practice turning corners ... use a plastic garbage can as a marker for the curb ... you are likely to hit the garbage can for the first few times ... the wheel base is very long!

You also need to some practice of backing into spaces because it is unlikely that you will always be able to find pull-through sites. The key to backing into a space is to determine where the rear dual on the inside of the turn must track ... go slow ... and have someone out watching and make sure they stay in a position so they can see you in your rear view mirror ... if you can't see them stop ... backing into a tree or power pedistal is a big NO-NO ... again you need to practice this in an empty parking lot ..

Have you thought of taking an RV driving course? ... it might save you lots of headaches (and money) later on
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