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Old 07-13-2020, 04:12 AM   #1
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1st. Trip COVID-19 concerns

We are a retired couple (77 & 67) and both in fair health. We had cabin fever and purchased a new small travel trailer (Staying away from flying and/or hotels). For our first trip we plan to go to the Knoxville, TN. area then to the Ark Encounter, Williamstown, KY. We plan a few stops in North Carolina along the way, total trip 7-8 days, leaving before this week end.

This is not our first camper but we have not been on the road camping in 6 years. Our last trip 6 years ago lasted 6 months and we are looking forward to another extended trip soon.

So, with regards with this trip and COVID-19, our questions are:
Will we have any problems finding and booking campsites?
Will we have any issues with COVID-19 rules in KY. and/or TN. (We know NC & SC very well already).
Any other issues with this trip should we address?

Jim & Connie
Fort Mill, SC
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Old 07-13-2020, 04:51 AM   #2
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I would first contact each individual tourist attraction to see what their rules are. You should be able to pull this info up from their websites. You should be able to check the cities and states also. Some places are tightening things back up again.

I would make reservations ASAP. Don't expect the facilities (showers, restrooms, office, etc. to be open. You will need to be self contained at some of them. Some campgrounds have been full and some has been just about empty. The COE campground I am at now is fairly empty due mainly to everything is closed inside it even the playground equipment.

I am finishing up a three week trip and from my experiences you will need to be prepared to wear masks when shopping and when entering/exiting restaurants. Take masks and hand sanitizer with you. Pack as much food, etc with you where you do not need to shop.
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Old 07-13-2020, 07:47 AM   #3
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Quote:
So, with regards with this trip and COVID-19, our questions are:
Will we have any problems finding and booking campsites?
Will we have any issues with COVID-19 rules in KY. and/or TN. (We know NC & SC very well already).
Any other issues with this trip should we address?
You need to do some researching online and then contact the campgrounds/parks you're interested in going to. See what they have to say and make reservations ahead of time. I would not try to camp on the fly.

Can't help with Covid rules that Ky and Tn might have imposed. Again, you need to research, contact each state to see what's going on.

I know you're not asking this, but with recommendations/rules changing almost daily, I would not take off to far away places at this time.
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Old 07-13-2020, 07:53 AM   #4
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I have been on the road since late May and have experienced very little inconvenience or closures due to Covid. Masks in grocery stores and hand sanitizer with gas pumps. Most private parks are open and full on the weekends. National parks are open. Park bathrooms are often closed, but not laundromats and such.

When the history of this is written we will find that state based numbers are useless. Maybe Reno has an outbreak...but Ely NV, population 500? RVs don't visit urban areas and that is where the issues are.

Don't fear...plenty of cheap gas and groceries stores are open.

Enjoy your RV, many wish they had one so that they could travel virtually as safely as staying home!
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Old 07-13-2020, 08:09 AM   #5
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Any other issues with this trip should we address?
COVID-19. You picked the wrong year to restart traveling.

Just because things are "open" and you're not stopped at borders doesn't mean it's safe for someone your age and self-described as "in fair health" to be traveling. Stay home.
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Old 07-13-2020, 09:40 AM   #6
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COVID-19. You picked the wrong year to restart traveling.

Just because things are "open" and you're not stopped at borders doesn't mean it's safe for someone your age and self-described as "in fair health" to be traveling. Stay home.
How is staying home safer than staying in your RV? You still need groceries and you probably live in a higher risk Covid area than most RV parks.
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Old 07-13-2020, 11:54 AM   #7
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How is staying home safer than staying in your RV? You still need groceries and you probably live in a higher risk Covid area than most RV parks.
You’re more likely to come into contact with many more strangers in an RV park than in your home . . . unless you never leave your RV. And if you never leave your RV, what’s the point of leaving home?
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Old 07-13-2020, 03:42 PM   #8
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How is staying home safer than staying in your RV? You still need groceries and you probably live in a higher risk Covid area than most RV parks.
Reading the OP's post, it's obvious they aren't heading out to park their rig at a campground and stay put. Part of their plan is to hit at least one tourist destination which may be crowded. Then they'd have stops along the way, probably eating out some, getting supplies, etc,,,. State borders won't close but who knows what kind of measures may come into place if this stuff gets worse.

I know life is short but I'd wait a bit to take off. We nixed our trips this year so know firsthand how it feels to be at home so much. The inconvenience is worth it to my Family because we know it's the best thing to do at this time to help us all get past this mess.
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Old 07-13-2020, 06:29 PM   #9
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Traveling to low population areas is not all that different than staying home if you live in asome apartment or condo complexes.....probably safer.

I find it very easy to avoid contact whether travelling or staying at home. Mandatory outings...groceries, pharmacy, medical and gas. The same as at home....otherwise I am outside and distancing well more than 6 feet, usually over 10. Otherwise I am in my boat or motorhome or out for a walk...just like someone at home

Lifestyle is key, not location. While I dont suggest destinations where there are crowds...if you do similar things at home and take precautions...its no different than travelling unless you are going from a relatively cold spot to a hot spot.

I am so tired of people who cant see the difference and love to lecture how travelling is automatically bad.
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Old 07-13-2020, 08:41 PM   #10
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CJCamping,
With 25 years experience as a doc and someone who treats COVID patients daily, I can assure you that there are very safe ways to travel with your camper. I just got back from 2000 mile trip, heading back out next month again.

Many points have already been made (great comments in PSneeld's post), but:
1) Check ahead for camp sites. They are very safe, but simply follow accepted practices in social distancing and wear a mask the few times you are around others.

2) Gas via credit card, just wash up after (I keep alcohol gel in truck)
3) Food - we go out little, I love to cook, so we just bring our stuff. Few times we go out, we wear a mask, wash up.

4) The more rural you go, the more open space, the less the incidence/risk anyway.

You guys enjoy!
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Old 07-13-2020, 10:38 PM   #11
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CJCamping,
With 25 years experience as a doc and someone who treats COVID patients daily, I can assure you that there are very safe ways to travel with your camper. I just got back from 2000 mile trip, heading back out next month again.

Many points have already been made (great comments in PSneeld's post),
After recommending RVing for an elderly couple in "fair health" who plan to visit a possibly crowded museum, I have a few questions . . .

Are you a medical doctor?

What's your specialty and where do you practice?
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Old 07-13-2020, 10:56 PM   #12
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You’re more likely to come into contact with many more strangers in an RV park than in your home . . . unless you never leave your RV. And if you never leave your RV, what’s the point of leaving home?
We've been wrestling with this here too. Had planned a big trip to Oregon coast in May that we canceled, and we were hoping instead to go in August or September and that's now looking unlikely too.

Yes, you have to buy groceries at home or on the road, though less storage room and smaller fridge in the moho mean more trips to the grocery store. Then again, we just started using Wal Mart curbside pick up for groceries, and we've been very happy with that here at home. Hopefully we could find enough Wal Marts on the road that offer this service too.

The other potential risk could be when stopping for fuel, at least once per day on the way up and back. I always wear gloves when fueling and pay-at-the-pump means no face-to-face contact, so I think that risk is minimal.

The biggest thing keeping us from hitting the road is restaurants and points of interest potentially being closed. As mentioned above, if you're just going to stay in your camper you may as well stay home.

Being from Arizona we also have the problem that some states now don't want us unless we self-quarantine for 14 days. Those rules change day-to-day as well, so there's no telling what could happen while we we're gone.
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Old 07-14-2020, 12:00 AM   #13
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I'd definitely skip 'Ark Encounter'. Otherwise, your trip can be safe.

Stay out of the big cities. Find quieter countryside parks to stay. You can certainly bring enough food for a week & if not, just pop in quickly to get cold things, etc.

Use restaurant take out instead of going inside.

Always wear a mask and carry hand sanitizer. Use it often as you're out. Don't use public bathrooms if possible.

For a week just relax in nature and enjoy your new RV. Take some nice walks. This is not the time to do major siteseeing among crowds.

Have a good trip!
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Old 07-14-2020, 03:59 AM   #14
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After recommending RVing for an elderly couple in "fair health" who plan to visit a possibly crowded museum, I have a few questions . . .

Are you a medical doctor?

What's your specialty and where do you practice?
I guess the same questions could be asked of your advice?

I think the key is that travelling by itself has risks that can be mitigated, but lifestyle activities like going to a museum are high risk whether traveling or staying home. So if you engage in these lifestyle activities at home....traveling while not perfectly safe.....should not be that much more risky.

My occupation involved a lot of operational risk management. I helped write the early programs for the USCG and DoD in the late 90s. So as long as I can read what the "experts` suggest...piecing together safe activities is not out of the question.....I dont have to be one myself and not all experts can put their "expertise" into real life situations. Thus all the flip flopping with "expert advice".
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