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Old 12-07-2007, 06:01 AM   #1
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Currently overseas and returning the end of 08 when I plan to buy a used truck and trailer to travel a year or so. I also plan to haul a motorcycle in the bed of the truck to sightsee while camped.

I am looking for suggestions on HOW to plan a year long travel around the States. Yes, I know that what each person wants to see and do will be different, but I am NOT asking what to see or where to go, but how I can plan this.

I would like some ideas on how to plan to do this with the least amount of unnecessary driving. I don't want to be driving haphazardly around each State and crisscrossing the United States unnecessarily.

Like most people, I would plan to see the northern States in the summer and southern States in the winter.

I have started requesting travel information from each State. Upon receipt, I will look through them and decide what I would like to see in each State.

Being retired, I am not locked into doing this in one year. I may like it so much, that I will continue longer than a year. Also, I am not a complete newby. I owned a small class C, Tioga II (16'9") for a few years in the late 70's. Yes, there were RVs back then.

Any and all suggestions on how I can plan this will be appreciated.
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Old 12-07-2007, 06:01 AM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: freeport, texas
Posts: 28
Currently overseas and returning the end of 08 when I plan to buy a used truck and trailer to travel a year or so. I also plan to haul a motorcycle in the bed of the truck to sightsee while camped.

I am looking for suggestions on HOW to plan a year long travel around the States. Yes, I know that what each person wants to see and do will be different, but I am NOT asking what to see or where to go, but how I can plan this.

I would like some ideas on how to plan to do this with the least amount of unnecessary driving. I don't want to be driving haphazardly around each State and crisscrossing the United States unnecessarily.

Like most people, I would plan to see the northern States in the summer and southern States in the winter.

I have started requesting travel information from each State. Upon receipt, I will look through them and decide what I would like to see in each State.

Being retired, I am not locked into doing this in one year. I may like it so much, that I will continue longer than a year. Also, I am not a complete newby. I owned a small class C, Tioga II (16'9") for a few years in the late 70's. Yes, there were RVs back then.

Any and all suggestions on how I can plan this will be appreciated.
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Old 12-07-2007, 11:02 AM   #3
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Hi Beachcomer,
Here's my thoughts and how I would do this for myself.

1. Keep all plans at a high level.
2. Plan to stay in a single CG until you exhaust all that you want to do. An example would be within a 100 miles radius of the CG.
3. Decide where to go next only when you are done with the current area.
4. Join the discount camping club of your choice. If staying less than a month, camping fees can get costly.
5. When checking into the CG, ask the staff for their recommendations on what to see. This is in addition to your own research. Tell them about the places on your list and see what they say about them.
6. Get a credit card that gives the best cash back for fuel and grocery purchases. I use the AMEX cash back card (5% after the ramp up, no limit to cash back and no fee for the card). There are other CCs for you to choose from. Put the CC on auto pay from an account that will have the $s. Set yourself up to get your bill online, so you can audit the bill, but don't need to worry about the task of paying it.
7. Get a discount fuel card. An example is the Flying J RV Real Value Member card. This gives you the cash price (even when using a cc) plus one cent per gallon discount. The card also unlocks the pump so you do not need to go into the office first.
8. Put your bills on auto pay and get Internet access to audit the bills.
9. One year is not much time to get around the lower 48 states. Have the highlights of your must see places to keep you moving.
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Old 12-07-2007, 02:08 PM   #4
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GaryKD gave good advice.

I would not plan much either, mostly just familiarizing myself with various regions and then picking 6-12 places that I definitely wanted to visit and then working the area as GaryKD suggests. You don't need a lot of trip planning to lay out the basic path, which will be dictated by your choice of places and the weather. You will probably run out of calendar times with decent weather before you run out of places to see and things to do.
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Old 12-07-2007, 02:39 PM   #5
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I would start by identifying the States and the "attractions" that I "must" see. I would then lay out a tentative route and timeline. If you are like me, the time line will only be a guide as you adjust the time you stay in each location. We are in the process of planning a 5 or 6 week trip to Calgary for the Stampede in July. The only fixed date is the time we arrive in Calgary. I know this is nothing compared to your odessy, but it gives you an idea of planning around events or locations.

I agree the longer you can stay in one location and explore using your toad is the best plan.
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Old 12-20-2007, 08:13 AM   #6
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You might think about joining AAA Auto Club. Offices all over the U.S. Pretty good road service that includes RV (optional). The best part, though, are the guides and maps for free. Get a particular state guide, and it highlights the best places to visit by region. Although the guides are geared for hotel folks, they have regional guides for camping sites. Their road maps are excellent, also. I keep thinking that I would like to discontine them to save money, but their service is worth it to us!

Besides AAA we use Woodalls camping guide for detailed info on RV parks.

Finally, plan your route carefully for the weather. Winter and summer weather has been brutal these last few years in many parts of the U.S., heavily influencing when we will visit a location.
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Old 12-21-2007, 11:26 AM   #7
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So far everyone has given great advice. My wife and I are doing exactly what you are talking about and traveling around North America for the next 3-5 years.

Our one rule is we have no plans. We know we want to see as many National Parks as possible, and have a few "Must See" places in between, but 90% of our traveling is done by meeting great people along the road and having them reccommend a neat spot a few miles away.

Many of the places that we knew nothing about have become our favorite places. And to counter that, we have visited a few spots that everyone told us to go to and not enjoyed them too much.

The best advice I can give is to take it slow, remember that you're in no hurry, and when you like an area, exhaust every possible side trip before moving to your next location.

The motorcycle will come in handy when getting to those neat little towns that most RV's dont fit in. We've logged 1500 miles on our dual sport motorcycle we keep on the back of our TT this year on side trips. With fuel prices the way they are, the bike saves us plenty of money on side trips.

There are plenty of websites like ours where people are doing exactly what you want to do. We learned a ton of tricks reading through them before we hit the road. You might want to try that, but just take some simple notes and dont set anything in stone.

Happy Camping, and make sure to let us know when you hit the road.

Pat
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