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Old 08-28-2013, 11:12 PM   #1
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RV 101 question, educate me as to what I should do to plan a weekend trip.

Ok, here is an RV 101 question.


Well let me explain a little first. We purchased this RV for the purpose of pulling a trailer to the dragstrip so that when we go racing we do not have to stay in a Motel. In addition if we stay on the dragstrip grounds we do not have to come through the gate each day (wait in line) of a race.

It has occurred to us that we should also use the MH to take weekend trips to points of interest.


We have no knowledge of what this would entail.

Even the simplest of questions we have no knowledge of, and do not even know what questions to ask. Ex. Do we have to make reservations at an RV park to stay over a weekend?


How do you find “good” parks, what makes a park “good” (I am a good Sam Member)


Once we are there do we drive the RV to the Point of Interest?

Let’s say I want to go to Letchworth State Park. What kind of planning is needed (besides packing the RV with food and clothes?


What we have is a 1997 Fleetwood American Dream (Diesel pusher class a) 39 feet long. I also have a 1984 Jeep CJ-7 (a very nice survivor vehicle) that could be used as a tow behind. (even that is a question, (should I get a small enclosed trailer to put it in (could be used for storage in the winter, and keep it protected when towing behind the RV)) or just a dolly (pros and cons).


How do you find POI?

So don’t laugh at me and help educate me as to what I should do to plan a weekend trip.

I'm retired and my wife retires in another year, it would just be the two of us.
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Old 08-29-2013, 12:18 AM   #2
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For your first weekend getaway , I'd say , maybe stay fairly close to home say 50 miles, so you can run home for the stuff you forgot.
Reservations and a good park. Depends on your planned date of travel .
After Labor Day , you should be able to get in most anywhere.
Good Park , depends , do you want access to a golf course ? Beach ? Hiking trails ? What are your interests ?
POI. same issue , things that interest me , bore the DW to tears in 2 mins.
I spent 6 hrs going through Harraha's Auto Collection . She was ready to go in .... and retired to the Casino. Cost me a bundle .
Pull up the parks description of amenities online and look things over , ask yourself " would I be able to , relax there , or find something, I like to do for a couple of days."
If your planning on leaving the park, take the toad, breaking camp or even finding a place to park the RV is a hassle. Most parks will provide a list of nearby POIs.
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Old 08-29-2013, 12:48 AM   #3
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It will all come in time. You will get a handle on what you need and don't need as you keep going on outings. I normally reserve (specific sites I am aware of that I want to fit my coach into). With places I have never been to, I phone ahead and quiz them on the layout of the grounds (I always ask if there are low hanging trees and if their grounds are large enough to pilot a 40' coach around) I will not scratch my coach with low hanging trees.

By the way I checked out your Front Engine Dragster Forum......Nice.
I see we share some common ground.
I am the VP RACE FUEL Dealer up here for Regina and surrounding area.
Nice to meet you.
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Old 08-29-2013, 01:00 AM   #4
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Rv parks review on line is helpfull. You might check on your CJ towable with dolly. I don't think you can tow on dolly but four down is much easier with tow bar. An inclosed trailor would work for the CJ but you may have to look for a park that will allow it.
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Old 08-29-2013, 02:46 AM   #5
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Can you disengage you drive axles and put in neutral? I can on my liberty 4x4 with the simple push of a tiny button which allows me to tow 4 wheels down. . Look at your owner's manual or go online to JEEP.com for downloadable manuals. All the above advise given is golden. Making sure you call ahead to campgrounds for reservations is very important. Nothing worse than showing up and them being full and then it's "now what?". There are several GOOD checklists around to help you determine what to pack. You'll find how to short cut the packing process and get faster at it. Especially if you go by a checklist. One thing we found helpful is keeping certain clothing items on board. We wash as we go or as soon as we get home and then right back into the RV. Also some can goods etc. If you can't find any checklists I will share ours (EXCEL format). One thing also...don't be afraid to ask other RVers around you if you hit a snag and can't figure out how to do something. We have all been there and had to ask help from others. Great way to also break the ice, meet people and make new friends. You're gonna love it!
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Old 08-29-2013, 04:23 AM   #6
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I agree with Skip. In fact a great weekend trip for someone new to the lifestyle is a weekend while still parked in the driveway (if you're blessed to be able to park the motorhome at the sticks and bricks home). Plan your driveway trip as if you you couldn't get back in the house, and you will quickly pick up pointers for times when you really can't get back to the house. The upcoming three day Labor Day weekend would be a good weekend for driveway camping if you don't already have other plans.
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:26 AM   #7
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Once you have clothes and food the rest is you can wing. You already have the essentials from the races. The best trip to me is not so structured. I do use Rvparkreviews.com to find a place to park. After that I like discovery. I talk to the campground host and locals in the area. They usually point out places and restaurants that aren't in books. Love winging it!
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:02 AM   #8
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Ditto on RVparkreviews.com We swear by it.....Consider also an emergency roadside service such as Good Sam Emergency Roadside Service or Coach Net......I would agree that maybe a couple day shake out at your home might not be a bad thing.....then find a park and go.....The little things that I do are check the tire pressure before the start of every day I'm on the road....Now I have a 5er so there are some things unique to a coach that are probably a good idea to do first time out.....Also take the shroud of your A/C and blow out the fins and any other things that hide up there. I found the beginnings of a wasp nest this early summer....Check your exterior lights.....Im just throwing random things as they come up......Good Luck
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip426 View Post
For your first weekend getaway , I'd say , maybe stay fairly close to home say 50 miles, so you can run home for the stuff you forgot.
Reservations and a good park. Depends on your planned date of travel .
After Labor Day , you should be able to get in most anywhere.
Good Park , depends , do you want access to a golf course ? Beach ? Hiking trails ? What are your interests ?
POI. same issue , things that interest me , bore the DW to tears in 2 mins.
I spent 6 hrs going through Harraha's Auto Collection . She was ready to go in .... and retired to the Casino. Cost me a bundle .
Pull up the parks description of amenities online and look things over , ask yourself " would I be able to , relax there , or find something, I like to do for a couple of days."
If your planning on leaving the park, take the toad, breaking camp or even finding a place to park the RV is a hassle. Most parks will provide a list of nearby POIs.
Good Park , depends , do you want access to a golf course ? Beach ? Hiking trails ? What are your interests ?

I would define a good park as one that I can drive around in without scratching the RV, power hook up at lest, if no black water then clean showers. I have zero interest in golf course, Beach, Hiking trails.

I am a car guy, but I think the wife gets enough of that on race dates, I would be more interested in "national wonders" Great museums, etc

take the toad, I assume you are talking about the towed vehicle (what does "toad" stand for. Should I use a dolly or enclosed trailer to haul it? Would a towed trailer effect the length that RV parks allow (I have read a couple of posts that talk about max length

Quote:
Originally Posted by TRAILERKING View Post
It will all come in time. You will get a handle on what you need and don't need as you keep going on outings. I normally reserve (specific sites I am aware of that I want to fit my coach into). With places I have never been to, I phone ahead and quiz them on the layout of the grounds (I always ask if there are low hanging trees and if their grounds are large enough to pilot a 40' coach around) I will not scratch my coach with low hanging trees.

By the way I checked out your Front Engine Dragster Forum......Nice.
I see we share some common ground.
I am the VP RACE FUEL Dealer up here for Regina and surrounding area.
Nice to meet you.
I'm glad you enjoyed the FED forum. It has only been up since the beginning of the year. There are several big name people hanging out there.

I goggled Regina and found one in Canada and one in California, which are you from?

You have mentioned a subject I questioned above, if I tow a trailer will that limit the parks that will except me? I'm 39 feet long and then add a small enclosed trailer for the Jeep?????

Quote:
Originally Posted by stink View Post
Rv parks review on line is helpfull. You might check on your CJ towable with dolly. I don't think you can tow on dolly but four down is much easier with tow bar. An inclosed trailor would work for the CJ but you may have to look for a park that will allow it.
So are you saying the CJ would be squirrelly with the dolly? I would think that the short wheel base would not be a good idea for a tow bar. I have had the frontend aligned and added caster shims to get a front caster of 6 degrees (it is a 4X4 with fixed front axle) so it should self correct, but when driving it the steering wheel does not like to return to center.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TXUSGUY View Post
Can you disengage you drive axles and put in neutral? I can on my liberty 4x4 with the simple push of a tiny button which allows me to tow 4 wheels down. . Look at your owner's manual or go online to JEEP.com for downloadable manuals. All the above advise given is golden. Making sure you call ahead to campgrounds for reservations is very important. Nothing worse than showing up and them being full and then it's "now what?". There are several GOOD checklists around to help you determine what to pack. You'll find how to short cut the packing process and get faster at it. Especially if you go by a checklist. One thing we found helpful is keeping certain clothing items on board. We wash as we go or as soon as we get home and then right back into the RV. Also some can goods etc. If you can't find any checklists I will share ours (EXCEL format). One thing also...don't be afraid to ask other RVers around you if you hit a snag and can't figure out how to do something. We have all been there and had to ask help from others. Great way to also break the ice, meet people and make new friends. You're gonna love it!
My CJ has the original Dana 300 Transfer case which does have a neutral position. The front axle can be locked out so the drive shaft would not turn but the rear drive shaft would turn unless removed. I would not want to do that every time I would want to use it.

Our plans did include keep clothing on board so as not to have to pack them each time.

I would very much like to get a copy of your check list autoshop@rochester.rr.com

I am not afraid to ask opinions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeWat View Post
I agree with Skip. In fact a great weekend trip for someone new to the lifestyle is a weekend while still parked in the driveway (if you're blessed to be able to park the motorhome at the sticks and bricks home). Plan your driveway trip as if you you couldn't get back in the house, and you will quickly pick up pointers for times when you really can't get back to the house. The upcoming three day Labor Day weekend would be a good weekend for driveway camping if you don't already have other plans.
Drive way is not an option for a number of reasons (town stuck up ordinances, slope of the driveway

1/8 mile nationals are this labor day weekend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melmoses View Post
Once you have clothes and food the rest is you can wing. You already have the essentials from the races. The best trip to me is not so structured. I do use Rvparkreviews.com to find a place to park. After that I like discovery. I talk to the campground host and locals in the area. They usually point out places and restaurants that aren't in books. Love winging it!
I have book marked it "Rvparkreviews.com". I check on Rochester NY and none are listed. I was thinking of using Letchworth state park as a first RV weekend It is 50 miles away. Do you know of a way to look up RV parks near state and national parks?

Thanks for all the input.
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred1609 View Post
Ditto on RVparkreviews.com We swear by it.....Consider also an emergency roadside service such as Good Sam Emergency Roadside Service or Coach Net......I would agree that maybe a couple day shake out at your home might not be a bad thing.....then find a park and go.....The little things that I do are check the tire pressure before the start of every day I'm on the road....Now I have a 5er so there are some things unique to a coach that are probably a good idea to do first time out.....Also take the shroud of your A/C and blow out the fins and any other things that hide up there. I found the beginnings of a wasp nest this early summer....Check your exterior lights.....Im just throwing random things as they come up......Good Luck
I have the Good Sam Roadside Service. I purchased this RV off the internet, flew out of Rochester NY to Phoenix Az to pick it up. It was stated to be in road worthy condition but though it would be a good idea to have the plan in place just in case.

I used to be a local Fuel Delivery truck driver (one of my careers) I have a CDL-A so do know about pre trip and Post trip inspections. VERY Important.

I will check under the A/C shrouds.
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:32 AM   #11
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Some parks will charge for extra parking if your car , ( toad, towed vehicle, dingy, all the same thing ) car hauler and coach, don't all fit in your site.
Call ahead , if that info isn't on the web page.
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Old 08-30-2013, 10:47 AM   #12
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I came across this site

Campgrounds and Camping Reservations - ReserveAmerica
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Old 08-30-2013, 12:33 PM   #13
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I also use rvparkreviews.com when looking for camping spots. Also use google maps. After looking up the town, like in your case Rochester, NY, then put in RV Parks. It will show any RV parks around your area, like Rochester. Like the idea of going to a park that is close to start your camping adventure. Make a list of what you needed but did not have. And the kind of park you want entirely depends on what your interests are. You can check with city chamber of commerce for POI's that might catch your fancy.

Just get out there and do it. All of the details will come with experience. Have fun.

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