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Old 11-09-2019, 10:48 AM   #1
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Vegas to Virginia

As the title states, we値l be traveling from Vegas to Virginia in late Jan/early Feb timeframe. I知 military, just finished 3 years in Hawaii. We will be shipping our truck (2017 F-250 KR Crew Cab Super Duty 6.7L Powerstroke) to the West Coast and we値l be picking up our camper in Vegas (Dutchman Atlas 3132 ML). We (me, my wife and our 8 month old daughter) will be traveling cross-country with a 55lb Golden Retriever and a 10lb Morkie.

Just looking for any travel tips or advice which we could use. We致e made a few cross-country trips before (in a Class C camper) so we are pretty familiar with the process of getting in and out of campgrounds; however, this time around we値l be much longer.

I致e been reading on this forum for a few months now and I致e already gotten a ton of great information (thank you all). I plan to purchase a subscription/membership to the RV trip wizard (specifically for this trip).

We are trying to figure out what is realistic in regards to how long/far we should go (per day). I知 thinking 400-450 miles is a realistic expectation, (before we stop for the night at a campground) but I would love to hear the group痴 thoughts/opinions on this.

Also open to thoughts/opinions/advice/experiences on how long is too long for our daughter in her car seat

We致e also discussed me driving the truck/camper and having mommy and daughter fly, but right now we are leaning towards driving across together.

We致e also recently considered getting a bed topper for the truck (preferably the soft top type ie. bestop or softopper) and have the dogs ride back there.

Again, I would love to hear other experiences and I知 more than open to your great advice.
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Old 11-09-2019, 11:04 AM   #2
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That time of the year the further south your travel route is the better. Especially since so far there have been an early set of midwest and mountain state blizzards that are predicted to last at least thru November. Of course the weather is unpredictable and Jan/Feb could be sunny and mild.


But right now I'd plan for I-20 and/or I-10 corridors. There are some parks in Southern AZ and NM you may want to see, and the south Rim of the Grand Canyon is open all year round and you'll be going by that. Big Bend is out of your way but the cool season is the best time to visit there. After that nothing much in the way of big parks until you get to Smoky Mountains in the Carolinas.



Lots of good Texas State Parks to check out, Palo Duro SP near Amarillo is a good stop. Alamo and the other missions in San Antonio. Plus there is a Seven Flags for your child. Big AF base there too and you may want to see if they have a FamCamp.


We usually stop at Rest Stops or other spots every 4 hours or so, it depend on your child. Let them run around for 15 minutes or so and stretch your legs.

I'm not sure what sort of soft top shell you could get that your dogs could stay under. You don't mean a tonneu cover do you? They would cook under that. Your wife must be more tolerant, mine makes a stink every time I mention keeping ours under my hard shell topper.



I was stationed at Pearl long time ago at the Sub Base.
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Old 11-09-2019, 12:42 PM   #3
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Remember in your travel time and distance calculations that that baby is going to need to stop often and no always quick stops to get changed and feed. I don稚 think there is any limits on how long of day it is for them. It just slows you down since most folks need to stop to meet the babies needs. I certainly would take them with you in the truck though rather than have them fly. Just be flexible and have good trip.
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Old 11-10-2019, 01:42 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Agesilaus View Post
That time of the year the further south your travel route is the better. Especially since so far there have been an early set of midwest and mountain state blizzards that are predicted to last at least thru November. Of course the weather is unpredictable and Jan/Feb could be sunny and mild.


But right now I'd plan for I-20 and/or I-10 corridors. There are some parks in Southern AZ and NM you may want to see, and the south Rim of the Grand Canyon is open all year round and you'll be going by that. Big Bend is out of your way but the cool season is the best time to visit there. After that nothing much in the way of big parks until you get to Smoky Mountains in the Carolinas.



Lots of good Texas State Parks to check out, Palo Duro SP near Amarillo is a good stop. Alamo and the other missions in San Antonio. Plus there is a Seven Flags for your child. Big AF base there too and you may want to see if they have a FamCamp.


We usually stop at Rest Stops or other spots every 4 hours or so, it depend on your child. Let them run around for 15 minutes or so and stretch your legs.

I'm not sure what sort of soft top shell you could get that your dogs could stay under. You don't mean a tonneu cover do you? They would cook under that. Your wife must be more tolerant, mine makes a stink every time I mention keeping ours under my hard shell topper.



I was stationed at Pearl long time ago at the Sub Base.
the soft shell we are considering is made by softopper...bestop makes them too just not for our year of truck just yet. I called them last week and they couldn’t give me a time when they’d be available. The softopper tops look good, it’s just that they don’t (at least that I’ve seen) offer a top with side windows.

Right now our track takes us through Amarillo so thank you for that recommendation.

Yea, we definitely want to take advantage of rest stops. Another reason we are trying to really plan out our trip, we’d really like to get the most bang for our buck with our stops.

Thx for your advice!
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Old 11-10-2019, 01:47 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by iowaone View Post
Remember in your travel time and distance calculations that that baby is going to need to stop often and no always quick stops to get changed and feed. I don稚 think there is any limits on how long of day it is for them. It just slows you down since most folks need to stop to meet the babies needs. I certainly would take them with you in the truck though rather than have them fly. Just be flexible and have good trip.
Yea, hear you on the 渡ot always quick stops that痴 why it痴 difficult to put a number or time on our daily progress.

Yea, agree with you and we are still planning to do the trip together, just trying to do all we can beforehand to help make things easier on the trip.

Thx
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Old 11-10-2019, 02:17 AM   #6
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One thing in your favor at that time of the year.....You shouldn't see too many of the dreaded "Road Work Ahead" signs.
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Old 11-10-2019, 03:31 AM   #7
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Watch your weather, get out in front of it so you don't get surprised. Use a good app to id your campgrounds, and get reservations. Snowbirds will be filling up southern roosts so you may get some surprises when trying for reservations. Don't wear yourself out on the long pulls, it will make for a tough trip. Give yourself a cushion so you are not late reporting into your next command.


Have fun, enjoy! Welcome back stateside! Thanks for your service.


cheers,
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Old 11-10-2019, 05:11 AM   #8
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Definitely will need to take the southern routes. No further north than I40. 350 miles would be reasonable and achievable goal, 400 is doable, 450 could be pushing the limits of not just you but your Navigator and VIP. Don't push the time behind the wheel needlessly.

Which part of Virginia will be home? Lots of great places to camp and the state parks are some of the best in the mid Atlantic area. And welcome back to CONAS.
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Old 11-10-2019, 05:45 AM   #9
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You should install the following free apps:
RVParky
GasBuddy
Pilot/Flying J

You can use RVParky to find campgrounds, rest areas, overnight parking (i.e. Walmart, Cracker Barrel, truck stops, etc.). People leave reviews, etc. You can customize the search criteria for specific items, above. The app integrates with Google Maps for directions.

GasBuddy will locate fuel stations in any area, along with the current prices. Again, it uses Google Maps.

Many Flying J's and some Pilot stations have RV lanes off to the side of main gas station part of the property. You don't have to go through the rear truck lanes for diesel. The RV lanes typically have fresh water, a dump station, and propane. They make it much easier to maneuver around the station. The app provides current prices and allows you to custom search for RV lanes and also RV parking (out front). Although Flying J's are price competitive gas with local stations, they aren't so much with diesel. If you are a Camping World/Good Sam member, you can get a 5 cent discount at the pumps. This app also uses Google Maps.

In any event, Google Maps on satellite view helps you "see" what you're getting yourself into before you arrive. It may help you determine if you can get into or out of that gas station with your camper attached!

You may want to get a stand-alone GPS, like Garmin, which allows inputting truck/RV data, such as length, width, height, weight, etc. Map routing will keep you off of roads you don't want to go down!

Good luck on your travels. Take lots of pictures along the way, so you can share them with your child when they get older!
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Old 11-10-2019, 06:31 AM   #10
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New2Road, that’s exactly what we’d like to avoid (full campgrounds), that’s why we are trying to determine about how far we’ll be driving each day. I realize it may be something we just won’t know until we hit the road though. Thx for your reply
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Old 11-10-2019, 06:37 AM   #11
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Sweetbriar,

I40 is our planned route so far. We are definitely trying to stay as far south as practical for the trip. My Father in Law keeps mentioning Flagstaff as a sketchy area if there’s weather. Luckily Flagstaff isn’t too far away from our starting point so we should be able to keep track of the weather there and start our drive accordingly.

We will be in the Hampton Roads area. Headed to Langley AFB.
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Old 11-10-2019, 06:49 AM   #12
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Rockwood, I just installed those apps and I’ll get familiar with them over the next couple months, I’m especially interested in recent reviews of the places on our route...and thank you for the advice on using satellite view (beforehand) to help getting in & out of areas.
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Old 11-10-2019, 07:24 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheels105 View Post
As the title states, we’ll be traveling from Vegas to Virginia in late Jan/early Feb timeframe. I’m military, just finished 3 years in Hawaii. We will be shipping our truck (2017 F-250 KR Crew Cab Super Duty 6.7L Powerstroke) to the West Coast and we’ll be picking up our camper in Vegas (Dutchman Atlas 3132 ML). We (me, my wife and our 8 month old daughter) will be traveling cross-country with a 55lb Golden Retriever and a 10lb Morkie.

Just looking for any travel tips or advice which we could use. We’ve made a few cross-country trips before (in a Class C camper) so we are pretty familiar with the process of getting in and out of campgrounds; however, this time around we’ll be much longer.

I’ve been reading on this forum for a few months now and I’ve already gotten a ton of great information (thank you all). I plan to purchase a subscription/membership to the RV trip wizard (specifically for this trip).

We are trying to figure out what is realistic in regards to how long/far we should go (per day). I’m thinking 400-450 miles is a realistic expectation, (before we stop for the night at a campground) but I would love to hear the group’s thoughts/opinions on this.

Also open to thoughts/opinions/advice/experiences on how long is too long for our daughter in her car seat…

We’ve also discussed me driving the truck/camper and having mommy and daughter fly, but right now we are leaning towards driving across together.

We’ve also recently considered getting a bed topper for the truck (preferably the soft top type ie. bestop or softopper) and have the dogs ride back there.

Again, I would love to hear other experiences and I’m more than open to your great advice.
How long do you have to make the trip?

Do you have plans to try to see things along the way?

Late January/February is WINTER, So Yes Weather on I-40 could be an issue.

Between the Dogs and the Daughter you should plan to drive no more than a Couple hours before stopping and taking a walk to keep everyone refreshed - Sleep time will be the best time to get miles in, so keep that in Mind. Also early starts will likely not happen. Pretty sure the Humans will be easier than the Animals. -

I grew up in a Military Family and the drives from Coast to Coast were always Great - actually some of the few times I had time/got to meet/know, my Dad - Submariner - (Nuclear) - those trips were the Best - National Parks and Family and Friends as we Crisscrossed the country (11 times before I graduated from High School) and saw the sights along the way, as I recall we usually took the better part of 3 Weeks, they were always in the Summer.

2,800 - 3,500 miles will be a test....and more than likely you will be closer to the 300 - 350 miles per day if you push it ....but will also be a memory you will never forget. I'd plan on being a little further south - Winter - Keep an Eye on the weather ? I-40 - Texas is Really BIG - Sedona - Carlsbad Caverns - Hill Country - Alamo - then likely just a push to get to the Base.

Look over this FREE App - https://www.waze.com/waze - IMHO it's the best travel/driving App out there, my kids (40'ish) both never drive without it. It's my go to - along with Paper maps. (I'm old so paper still works)

Get back to the Group with more specifics and we can help with the filling in of the Blanks. One last thing - break the trip into two and three day sections with post on those areas - likely will get more and Better specifics in those Posts.

This Will be an Adventure - Might send/email the specific states you will be traveling through fo maps and Info - it will really Help in Your Plan. Take three pictures every time you think One will Do!!!!!!

Best of Luck,

Few links that might help;

https://www.ventusky.com/?p=39.61;-1...temperature-2m

http://www.cross-country-trips.com

https://www.pbase.com/sparker1/root%26view=tree

Use the state DOT web sites as you travel for info
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Old 11-10-2019, 09:02 AM   #14
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Sounds like fun, but with an 8 month old, wife, and dogs, I'd plan 300 miles per day. Even that will most likely feel like a lot most days once you account for stopping to stretch, eat lunch, etc. It always takes longer when towing vs. driving a car in my experience.

Enjoy the journey and safe travels!
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