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Old 06-28-2007, 06:04 PM   #1
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I'd like to know how we all take our RV trips. Do you like to travel and use a guide to find a place to stop for the night, or several days. If so, what guide do you use. Or, do you prefer to have reservations, and do you make them yourself or use a service like Reserve America? I know it will depend on whether you are taking vacation time from work or just go whenever you feel like it. I think it will be fun to find out what we do to enjoy "the RV lifestyle".
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Old 06-28-2007, 06:04 PM   #2
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I'd like to know how we all take our RV trips. Do you like to travel and use a guide to find a place to stop for the night, or several days. If so, what guide do you use. Or, do you prefer to have reservations, and do you make them yourself or use a service like Reserve America? I know it will depend on whether you are taking vacation time from work or just go whenever you feel like it. I think it will be fun to find out what we do to enjoy "the RV lifestyle".
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Old 06-28-2007, 06:58 PM   #3
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Sallys Mom,

We started RVing in August of 1999 and have been fulltiming since April of 2006.

From the get-go I made reservations in advance,directly with the campground. I still do.

In the beginning I bought the Woodall's directory and chose campgrounds from that. After joining the FMCA (Family Motor Coach Association) I purchased their Atlas which showed many campground locations.

I soon began using Woodall's online website to find campgrounds.

After a few years I purchased the Trailer Life Directory from Good Sam and now use that along with the Trailer life online site as well as Woodall's online.

I always make my own reservations. Last November we traveled from Florida to California via I-10. We were on a schedule so we only took 8 days to get out their. I purchased Microsoft Streets & Trips with GPS to plan our itinerary. I made every night's reservation via phone or through the campground's own website before the trip.

Three months later we took 32 days to travel from CA to Knoxville, TN via I-40, then north on I-81 to PA and over to our present location in Long Island, NY. I plotted the trip on Streets & Trips, cross referenced campgrounds with Trailer Life Directory and Woodall's online - mostly. Again, I made all our reservations before we left CA.

Well, that's how I do it. Of course being a fincancial planner for 31 years probably has something to do with my approach!

Oh, and since I have a diesel rig I use The RVers Friend which lists every diesel truck stop and filling system in the US and Canada. I even preplan my fueling stops!
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Old 06-28-2007, 08:08 PM   #4
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We use RVparkreviews.com and Trailer Life as a backup. Garmin GPS NRoute on a Laptop. If the park is nice we stay for a couple days if not we move on after a night.
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Old 06-28-2007, 08:57 PM   #5
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It used to be "a long long time ago" that if you wanted to get the camper and go spend some time out with hookups or in a nice place you just went. But noe there are more and more folks going away for the weekend and the nice places are the first to fill up. We used to travel from Arizona to Florida up to Chicago and back and didnt need reservations. Now you risk a full sign when you pull into a park. We have started making resevations. In most cases our firstchoice is a KOA I like the friendship of the parks and have only found one that had some problems we got in late for a pull thru site and had to dodge cars behind motorhomes sticking out in the drive to get to our spot. they needed some night security to insure everyone parked right. We have a few state parks we like to visit that dont take resevations and that makes it scary on a few trips. We now prefer reservations. My GPs shows parks for trips, and the trailer life guide along with the next exit sit in the front seat while on trips.

Have fun.
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Old 06-29-2007, 05:31 AM   #6
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Great info - thanks for sharing. We, too, find that reservations are becoming more and more a "must". That kinda takes some of the fun out of a get-up-and-go trip, but is makes a good nights sleep easier to come by. Looks like we'll have to get a GPS system and a new TL directory and/or Woodalls. We have used Reserve America to book dates for California State Parks because that's the system California uses.
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Old 06-29-2007, 07:20 AM   #7
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We use the Passport America guide along with the Trailer Life guide. We never make reservations while traveling and in 4 1/2 years of full timing have never had a problem
We do call ahead an hour or so before we expect to arrive and make sure they have room.
We usually plan to stop by 3:00 or so.
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Old 06-29-2007, 12:48 PM   #8
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Boy, do I have Sometimers or not . . . I totally forgot that I use Passport America at every opportunity. I also joined CampClub USA as a back up.

On our trips to and from CA we used parks from these discount providers whenever possible.
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Old 06-29-2007, 02:35 PM   #9
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We seldom make reservations, except for holidays or for visits to popular destinations. When we do, I usually make them myself, direct with the campground (phone or online). I may use services like Reserve America for state/national parks and COE parks.

I make extensive use of the Trailer Life guide (including the CD version) to find suitable campgrounds and occasionally use Woodall's as well - we carry them all. Also the Passport America guide.
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Old 06-29-2007, 08:50 PM   #10
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We never make reservations ahead of time. Mainly because we never know for sure where we are going until we get there and we usually stop fairly early in the day. If we have an idea where and when we want to stop, I just go on line and find an RV park, call them and make a reservation for that same night. That is the nice thing about the aircard. I am online right now going down I5 south of Sacramento, California.

We just got back from Alaska, and anyone griping about Alaska roads, should drive I5. These are so much worse than anything we were on in Alaska or Canada. (and the rough places aren't marked by red flags)
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Old 06-29-2007, 08:52 PM   #11
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I use Trailer Life CD Version and Passport America to determine where we will stay. We also call ahead about an hour and stop about 3-4 in the afternoon. We are fulltimers and don't have any problems doing this. I spend some time pre-planning a route, but we never stick to it because of weather or really liking the area or RV Park and will stay over longer.

Only time we make reservations is when going to somewhere very popular.
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Old 06-30-2007, 04:56 AM   #12
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As a fulltimer for 7 plus years we have never made a reservation. It's hard to make a reservation when you don't know which direction you will be going. We try not to travel on weekends and that makes it easy if we want to get in a campground.

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Old 06-30-2007, 07:40 PM   #13
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We only make reservations if we are going to places like Yellowstone, Niagara Falls,and of course Branson for the rally; in other words tourist spots. Then, only when schools in session. One of the perks of retirement is traveling when you want. We usually stop early in the afternoon at a nice CG, before the folks trying to sqeeze as many miles as they can out of the day.
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Old 07-02-2007, 04:07 PM   #14
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We belong to Colorado River Adventures. For short trips we use our membership there to go to one of their seven resorts. For other trips like our Yosemite trip comming at the end of the month, we made reservations through RPI. Yosemite Lakes RV Resort gets full fast so the reservations were made 90 days in advance. We were lucky to get in.
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