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Old 11-30-2014, 10:33 AM   #15
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X2 for Karen's post #12. She has described our preferred style perfectly. We plan about 250 miles per day driving at about 62 mph and averaging 50 mph including comfort/fuel/lunch stops. I know that seems slow but it is realistic and pleasant for us. We will do 300 miles depending upon the availability of highway-close campgrounds if we are "enroute" mode.

We are retired part timers taking at least one 3 month tour per year and maybe a couple more shorter ones. We understand the temptation to squeeze as many destinations into your trip as possible as we sometimes did that too during our working years.

Our best advise - Don't wear yourself out only to turn around and head back!

Drive safely and have fun.

Fred & Mary RVM135
2012 Dutch Star 3735 ISL 400
2012 GMC Sierra Ext Cab 4x4
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Old 12-02-2014, 10:38 AM   #16
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Sorry for the late response, I was (can you believe it) camping. Great weekend away and no data available which was in my opinion perfect. Only about 6 people at the state park where we were.

All great ideas and I have bookmarked most of the sites and references you have provided. I agree that it would be best to plan one longer trip with three weeks but that would take some planing with the work place that funds all of this. We are trying to decide where we want to plan to go this year. First year out and not wanting any major trips as we get used to the RV and the RV way of travel. Managed to get close to 9 MPG in a pretty stiff headwind this weekend.

I will definitely keep this thread saved for future reference.

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Old 12-03-2014, 10:03 AM   #17
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IMO the first 2 days of travel should be dedicated travel days where you go hard. This is the range where a long weekend will enable you to see everything. After that you slow down.
Gordon and Janet
Tour 42QD/inTech Stacker
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Old 12-03-2014, 01:40 PM   #18
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Hi Tim,

I can so resonate with you and time constraints, having only just recently being able to slow down a bit more and smell the roses with slower travels. As you say it's the work that enables us all to have the lifestyle to travel in the first place. There is absolutely no one right or wrong way to achieve the RV lifestyle that suits, but this is what we did during our fulltime work and school years to try to give ourselves the maximum experiences we could FWIW:

We bought our first RV in 1999, and our limitations were around the kids schooling, destinations of interest for them and the nearest warmest destinations, at least when there might be a snow/ice respite to be able to get out the driveway (LOL).

Our first trip of the year typically meant Easter = 10 day trip to Las Vegas (remember when they were converting Sin City to a supposedly more family orientated area in the late 90's?). LV was approximately 17hrs by car from door to door so for us 21+/- hrs depending on stops along the way, a semi taking our wing mirror off or a deer jumping out in front of us!

We would pick the kids up from school in the RV at 3pm and hit the road immediately with mini stops for a treat/gasoline and eating pre-prepared food as we drove. Being day 1 it was a novelty day so we'd get as much mileage under our belts as possible and the videos and walkman's would entertain. We'd typically stop finally at way past midnight dry camping. Day 2 we'd typically be on the road by 7.30am, stop after couple hours for breakfast, then lunch and by afternoon typically be pulling into Zion National Park area = the vacation had begun. Next day we'd visit the park for a few hours, then head a couple hours and stop at Mesquite and then another hour and a bit we'd be pulled up to check in for our next 6 night stay.

When it was time to head home, we'd drive the hour or so north to Mesquite, let them do the go-karts, mini golf etc, adults last casino fix and a big final day buffet, then the next day and a half was hit the road.

In the summer months it was always easier to plan travels closer to home, BC, AB, Rockies, MT, etc although we would sometimes do the same with getting good mileage under our belt the first couple of days, and then if we could get almost 3 weeks, try to do a bigger circle trip of say, Columbia River to Oregon & California Coast, back up through Grand Canyon, Utah home.

Apart from "weekend" true backwoods camping style trips closer to home, during our work and school years, we tried to experience as much as possible and actually spent very little downtime sitting parked in the RV anywhere. We'd tend to go from one location to another and often park the night before near a zoo or something we wanted to spend a few hours seeing the next morning. Yes it was an assault course at times, and I had routes, stops and times printed out, but we all have very fond memories of those years and mountains of wonderful experiences that can never be taken away from us.

Hitting the East Side and Travelling Across Canada we did in much later years when we could steal 5-6 weeks. Sure we missed a lot of little gems along the way, but they are where we will stop now as we take longer and slower travels. We truly have no regrets doing it the way we did and it worked for us at that time in our lives.

The best piece of advice, we received was "you can't do it all at once", as much as we wanted to when we first got our RV. We printed off several copies of maps of NA and then blocked into logical sections and highlighted major key things we wanted to see, then researched the areas enroute to add in a small detour or interest stop offs, to break up the monotomy of driving non-stop. Some days we'd put on 600 miles or more, but split down into a couple hours here, 30 mins there, 3 hours etc.

I have very detailed in a journal every trip we've taken since Day 1 in the RVs and that is shaping our slower travels today. I'd advise everyone to journal their travels, they are a wonderful reference in future years and often some laughable/embarrassing at times, reminders.
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Old 12-03-2014, 03:35 PM   #19
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You have a good plan, but I would suggest that you buy a copy of Street Atlas and a laptop if you do not have one already. Use SA for planning, it can also be used to navigate underway if you get a GPS for it and an inverter to run the laptop. If you start with a home point and a destination, SA will instantly give you a route and tell you how many days. You can set the drive time or distance. I suggest you use drive time. What that drive time is will depend on how comfortable you are behind the wheel.

We did the Yellowstone run from SE MI in September. We were seven road days getting there with lots of wonderful stops along the way. You have to be real ready to beat up the guide books to plan this sort of thing, but you can start that now.

You do want to carry the computer with you to adjust the plan as you go along. No matter how carefully you plan, that plan will be junk by the end of the third day.

We have a very comfortable to drive coach, and we have done an 1100 mile day, but it was no fun at all. Most of out days top out at about 300 miles.


A lifelong waterman and his bride going dry places for as long as the fuel money lasts.
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