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Old 11-16-2015, 12:38 PM   #15
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Good luck with your plans. There is no bad decision no matter where you decided to go.
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Old 11-16-2015, 04:29 PM   #16
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We go west every year from Illinois in the same time frame. There is space in AZ on short notice. You might not always get a site at the first place you call, but there will be places with openings. If you go to AZ, at that time of year you should plan on dropping quickly down to Texas, and then driving west on I-20 to I-10. You can't make completely firm routing plans during January.
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Old 11-16-2015, 04:41 PM   #17
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What part of Illinois, snowman? Arizona is a possibility. Where do you go?
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Old 11-16-2015, 04:45 PM   #18
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Go south

Get compass, look for S and follow it until you hit the Great Mesoamerican Barrier Reef between Costa Maya and Honduras. Have a Mai Tai or Margarita. Set up on beach near Tulum for three months. Go out snorkeling, kayaking or swimming about in the cenotes, and visit Mayan archaeological sites. Start heading north in Mid-March. On return, drive to Labrador on Trans-Labrador. Repeat following winter.

Or go to SW US and boondock for months at $0/day. Great solitude and great starry nights. Happily, so few do.
Reed and Elaine
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Old 11-16-2015, 06:36 PM   #19
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That boy sounds like something you have done. Boy what a experience. How much drive time is involved?
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Old 11-16-2015, 06:36 PM   #20
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Mrs. Brain and I r in the same boat with you. We have our first rv trip south to az planned for the 1 st of January. Don't know where we r staying or camping. We r just going. Wish us well and let's us know if any of u want to meet for lunch or coffee. Or whatever u drink, haha.. Wouldn't that b a blast.. Mesa area is our goal by the 6 th of jan.
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Old 11-16-2015, 06:40 PM   #21
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We are planning on a Jan 5th arrival Quartzsite.
I'll have the coffee on.
Tim
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Old 11-16-2015, 09:50 PM   #22
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We are thinking of Az for a winter trip from Virginia. I will only have about twelve days total for the round trip. Is this a bit more than I should try? Lot of miles not much time... I may have to reconsider.
You can knock off about 600 miles by stopping in Texas. This looks pretty interesting. http://www.rvonthego.com/rio-grande-valley-rv-resorts
You may have to join Thousand Trails to take advantage of it though.
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Old 11-17-2015, 07:38 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by birddog2you View Post
We are thinking of Az for a winter trip from Virginia. I will only have about twelve days total for the round trip. Is this a bit more than I should try? Lot of miles not much time... I may have to reconsider.
I would reconsider. 4500 miles, divided by 12 days is about 400 miles a day depending on where in AZ. you intend to go, and that doesn't take into account the weather that time of year. Doesn't leave too much time to even catch your breath. If your looking for warmer temps than VA., then certainly go straight south til you can wear shorts & flip flops.
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Old 11-17-2015, 07:55 AM   #24
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South Padre Island Texas has great beach's and great weather Love it
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Old 11-17-2015, 08:30 AM   #25
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Cathy, we are up near Joliet. So it takes us the better part of a day just to get through the state. We got advised by friends who had been going to AZ for the winter in their RV. Their advice was not to plan on going I-40. It might be possible, but you have to watch the forecasts and be ready to drop straight south whenever the next day was going to have snow or ice. In fact we have only used I-40 once, when it was so cold everywhere that we had to stay in motels until we reached Las Cruces NM. The southerly route through TX takes about another day. If possible, on the third stop, we take a day off.

As far as AZ, so far we have stuck to the Phoenix and Tucson areas. We like state parks and the Maricopa county/regional parks, which are just like state parks if not better. The latter book up in advance, so you might not have any luck there on short notice except for their overflow sites. Some of those are nice, some are not. The overflow at Cave Creek is good enough to be worth stopping in a pinch. The park itself is great, which is true of all of them. Sites are huge. You can cancel reservations if need be. You might have some luck getting into Tank Mountain Park on short notice. Prior to last year, they did not have a dump station, which held down the demand. It might take a few years for word to get around.
Here is a website for the regional parks:
https://maricopacountyparks.org/

We have stayed at Catalina SP by Tucson. Half the sites have electricity and water, half do not. If you are willing to dry camp, you can get in on short notice. Same thing at Lost Dutchman SP by Phoenix.

If you want to be in a commercial RV campground, there are many. One that has had openings when we needed them was The Arizonian RV Resort, which is way out at the end of Gold Canyon, south of Apache Junction. It's beautiful desert out there. You can go walk in the desert right from the park. We would walk our dog in the desert.

There are parks in the Casa Grande area, right between Tucson and Phoenix. We have not tried that area yet. Palm Creek RV Resort is highly regarded. Bottom line, without reservations, you might have to hunt a bit, but spots are out there.

Once you try a little dry camping, you might find it very agreeable, because it opens up a whole world of opportunities out there. There is a huge network of pretty CGs at Roosevelt Lake, all are dry camping. As in the state parks, there are good restroom and shower buildings.

Then there is Lake Havasu, Quartzsite, and Yuma, to name the other big areas. We have not even made it out to them yet. My impression is that you could always find a commercial spot in Yuma. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

Really, the attractions of AZ versus FL are the dry sunny days, the desert experience, and feeling of wide open spaces. South FL is warm when no place else is, is more crowded which also means a more familiar type of civilization. AZ is more about getting away to someplace warm, sunny, outdoorsy, and completely different.
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Old 11-17-2015, 09:09 AM   #26
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Thank you Snowman9000,
Great write up. Answered some of My Questions. Your right on the weather, I used to drive OTR and I remember once up by Flagstaff it was really a nice morning and it was my turn to drive and by afternoon we were in ice and snow. We got thru it but it was white knuckles. I'm still not sure which way I'm going I'll watch the weather man ahead of time but it can change pretty quick.
Thanks again,
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Old 11-17-2015, 09:14 AM   #27
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Spritz

We have been down to Yucatan three times with last trip to include Belize for two weeks with one week into Guatemala (Tikal). We also took off from Belize and flew to Costa Rica for almost four weeks. Had to leave rig at customs holding area in Belize City. It costs us about $5 US ($10 Bz) a day surrounded by razor wire and an armed guard.

We leave on 4 December to do this again. It takes us about two days to Laredo, cross at Columbia Bridge and drive down on toll roads most of the way (they charge by the number of axles as do most toll roads). Make to Matehual the first day, San Miguel de Allende the second, Puebla the next, short two hours to Orizaba where we have friends, then to Villahermosa, then to a small restaurant half way across Yucatan which lets you set up for free if you eat dinner or breakfast (food is great and not inexpensive) and it is gorgeous, and then past Tulum. So that is about eight days or so but it should probably be done in two weeks or more to enjoy (and could be rushed to five or six but at 75 we are in no hurry). Kids and grandkids start to come down around 20 December in clusters. We will be taking tents for overflow. The place we stay has water (do not drink but great for showers), line power (which goes from 80 to 150 V and we run through battery charger to battery suite and power from there - if we have to), and adequate sewage. But it is 50 meters to beach and the coral heads start at about 10 m off shore.

Tikal, Guatemala as far as we would ever go with a 34' 5th wheel. The roads can get bad and narrow in Guatemala but good in Mexico and Belize.

Reed and Elaine
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Old 11-17-2015, 09:38 AM   #28
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Thank you for your plans. We have been all over that area but by a cruise ship.
Costa Rica was my favorite by far. The VP and her Husband where I used to work did 2 weeks and they loved it and she is pretty (how should I say)
I'd go in a heartbeat very friendly.
Belize been twice and both times were a disappointment. Sorry but maybe it's changed. It's been maybe 10 years ago. The country is beautiful for sure.
I wish I had the nerve to do something like your doing.
Maybe you can tell us how your doing down there.
Thanks again,
Tim
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