Welcome to the forum!!
You deserve your own thread for others to answer to!
You have asked a few questions that you will get many different answers for.
Some of these you will have to decide what works best for you.
Me..well..there are many times I leave knowing where I will be on each night. (I am a "list" person
) If I have not made a list...then I have at the very least called ahead to make sure a few places we may stop will have an opening. This helps me know if I will have a problem finding a place if I need hook-ups.
You may also find that it is sometimes easier to take shorter trips at first... or at least know you can travel at a comfortable pace for you. (This is not like driving a car!
You can find information from some of the Mapping programs as far as where campgrounds are ...
this is just a start for you...
Good Luck...and welcome again!!