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Old 03-22-2023, 06:44 AM   #1
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Wanting to do a 30 day road trip out of South Carolina

So Iíve been on this idea a couple years now. We have a 33 ft windjammer we tow. Two boys 5,7. So next summer 6,8

We want to go a little further than our usually drive 160 miles and camp.

However Iím not sure where to start planning this out.

Iíve read the 3,3,3 rule. Honestly my biggest worry is the kids unable to handle that many hours in the camper because they really have no understanding of how far we go. They just know we go to a campground that has water slides etc.

Trip needs to be worth it to see very notable things but yet stay in kid friendly parks where they can have fun for a few days.

Had thought maybe a 300 and 4 day rule which on a 30-35 day trip (approx) would get us around 1000-1200 miles away before we head back or make a circle loop.

Had thought maybe up towards penn NE area and circle back through Kentucky. Or could go out towards Arkansas and maybe Branson direction. But Branson can be a whole week probably.

Any advice on where to begin planning? Should we plan to have all stops booked ahead or a little more loose and free? Or book all but allow a couple buffer days.

This would happen prob through
Most of July and into very first of august. 2024.

Thanks for advice and suggestions.
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Old 03-22-2023, 11:38 AM   #2
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I think you're maybe overthinking it. The kids shouldn't be your first concern as they will just enjoy being with you seeing new things. They don't all have to be exciting either as kids, like adults, do have a limit to how much 'fun' they can have over time.

Yes, try to stay in RV parks that maybe have a playground but many don't but instead feature things to see...lake, rivers, rocks to climb, dark forests. Maybe do some dock fishing, or boating, or horseback riding. And many RV parks are remote and feature peacefulness instead of a kids park, but may be near fun things to do like hiking, wildlife viewing, and the other things I mentioned.

They will remember the fun they had as a family far longer then they will ever remember the places you went.
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Old 03-22-2023, 12:08 PM   #3
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Good advise from JimHiTek.
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Old 03-22-2023, 12:54 PM   #4
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Hi from Blythewood, SC and a few years ago the DW and I took a 30 trip out west to Monument Valley and other great places in our motor home. We were in our mid to late 60’s at the time. We found doing just under 250 was plenty of miles in a day, only stretching it when the CG was just over our limit. We plan for an average of 50 mph to account for bio/fuel/food/puppy needs breaks. We were more than ready to stop at or around 3ish. I suspect you, DW, and esp. your kids will be too.

Sometimes we would drive two consecutive days, then stop for two days before continuing. The three day or more is better for having a relaxing trip. If we were to do the trip again, we would opt for more time, a lot more time. Too many things to do and see.

It’s a vacation.
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Old 03-22-2023, 02:43 PM   #5
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"Road Trip" and kids not wanting to travel far is pretty much an oxymoron. But I wouldn't worry much about the kids and if you want to travel far just try to set some expectations with them at the beginning.

With 30 days you can go A LOT of places. So I think you need to first decide where you want to go Penn, Arkansas, etc.). But you have to pick a place/theme/destination first - then you can plan. Heck - Disney World isn't far and there is lots to do there (and spend LOTS of $$ too).

oh - forget all that 2-2-2 and 3-3-3 rule stuff. Travel the way YOU want to travel... e.g. short days or long?... stop just for overnight or for more nights along the way?... stop early so kids can enjoy the campground pool or pull in after dark?....

You didn't say if you are in a motorhome or trailer. Certainly it is easier to entertain, take naps, drive while kids sleep in a MH vs. trailer.
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Old 03-22-2023, 02:50 PM   #6
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Can't say if my plan would work for you but here is my plan for this summer from NC --> Seattle & back.

Weekends & Holidays I have campgrounds reserved for 3 - 4 days. Then plan to cover the drive between each reservation in no more than 3 days with stays at random unplanned Harvest Host (farms with animals may entertain your kids, or any of their other hosts). Worst case we Wallydock / Crackerbarrel but it is just Wife & I plus the hounds.

Trying to keep the weekdays fluid when hopefully things are easier to wing it. Weekends I'll assume will be more crowded at campgrounds.

Use https://tripwizard.rvlife.com/ to find campgrounds based on camper size & needs plus your family preferences.
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Old 03-22-2023, 04:17 PM   #7
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Some good suggestions so far. I think the kids would wear out faster if you bombard them with amusement park-types of things at every stay rather than being concerned about the long drives. Pack a good supply of things to do in the car along with snacks and drinks. Have them each have their own supply of things. Stop at rest areas to get rid of the liquids and then let them walk a big circle around the complex for a little exercise... with you. That said, I think around 250 mi/day for children your ages. Stay at least 3 days before moving on.... more if it's a real special place.

Camping should be an outdoor experience.... perhaps stay at state or national parks where there would be ranger programs, ranger-led hikes, campfire programs in the evening, nature, putzing in the park's creek or lake... playing with other kids. Have them gather a special rock collection along the way to take back to school for show and tell. Give them a disposable camera & let them make a scrapbook of places they saw and things they did. We did that with fall leaves of all colors and shapes. The kids loved collecting. Sitting around a campfire toasting marshmallows is always fun before bedtime.

When we camped with the kids we always stayed in public campgrounds and never went to amusement parks. They're in their 50's now and still remember the good times.... especially looking at the old photos.

Since you're going in prime summer I think it would be wise to make reservations unless it's just for an overnight and getting a place just for sleeping. However, without reservations, pull in around 3:00 if you don't have reservations and have a few options in mind in case one doesn't work out. Don't expect to pull in around dinner time or after to get a site without reservations. You could even call a place early in the day as you're driving to secure a spot when you have an idea of where you want to end your day. RV parks for travel days; a nice campground for longer stays.
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Old 03-22-2023, 09:23 PM   #8
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My take on it is that kids are good for 1 or 2 long days in a row, as long as there are at least 1 or 2 non travel activity days. In our RV travels I try to plan for not more than 350 miles per day, or 400 miles per day out west unless there is a destination we can get to by pushing just a few more miles, ie if the destination is 380 miles away we will tend to have a single travel day, instead of a pair of 190 mile travel days.


Here is an idea for a trip



I don't see you mentioning what part of SC you live in, so assuming the Columbia in the central part. If so Branon, MO is a long, but doable 2 day drive at 868 miles, Then stay days 3-6 in Branson doing Silver Dollar City, and the various tourist traps in town. Head west on days 7-8 getting across Kansas for another 800 miles to Great Sand Dunes National Park.



This now opens the door to numerous western destinations within shorter 100-200 mile driving distances, just 60 miles away from Great Sand Dunes NP is Anonito, CO where you can take the scenic railway train to Chama, NM, Pagosa Springs, CO is only 105 miles, Durango about 165. Mesa Verde is only another 35 miles west of Durango, Canyon Lands NP is only 150, for that matter the Grand Canyon is only 290 miles from Durango. Add on most of the 4 other national parks in Utah, Petrified Forest NP in AZ, along with numerous other sights in the region.... Then do a similar 2 days on 1-2 days off for the return drive so you get back home having seen an entire different side of the country with scenery no one would mistake for the southeast, because when it comes down to it the topography of Arkansas, Alabama and South Carolina is not all that different, at least not to the eyes of a kid, but show them cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde, the expanse of the Grand Canyon, or any of the other western National Parks and they will have memories for a lifetime.
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Old 03-23-2023, 05:08 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
My take on it is that kids are good for 1 or 2 long days in a row, as long as there are at least 1 or 2 non travel activity days. In our RV travels I try to plan for not more than 350 miles per day, or 400 miles per day out west unless there is a destination we can get to by pushing just a few more miles, ie if the destination is 380 miles away we will tend to have a single travel day, instead of a pair of 190 mile travel days.


Here is an idea for a trip



I don't see you mentioning what part of SC you live in, so assuming the Columbia in the central part. If so Branon, MO is a long, but doable 2 day drive at 868 miles, Then stay days 3-6 in Branson doing Silver Dollar City, and the various tourist traps in town. Head west on days 7-8 getting across Kansas for another 800 miles to Great Sand Dunes National Park.



This now opens the door to numerous western destinations within shorter 100-200 mile driving distances, just 60 miles away from Great Sand Dunes NP is Anonito, CO where you can take the scenic railway train to Chama, NM, Pagosa Springs, CO is only 105 miles, Durango about 165. Mesa Verde is only another 35 miles west of Durango, Canyon Lands NP is only 150, for that matter the Grand Canyon is only 290 miles from Durango. Add on most of the 4 other national parks in Utah, Petrified Forest NP in AZ, along with numerous other sights in the region.... Then do a similar 2 days on 1-2 days off for the return drive so you get back home having seen an entire different side of the country with scenery no one would mistake for the southeast, because when it comes down to it the topography of Arkansas, Alabama and South Carolina is not all that different, at least not to the eyes of a kid, but show them cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde, the expanse of the Grand Canyon, or any of the other western National Parks and they will have memories for a lifetime.
Man, thanks! All of the replies here were helpful in terms of how far and how often we can go.

However this reply really added some thoughts to where we might go and what to see.

Yes I’ve been to Branson as a kid. We went by motor home.

We have a 32ft Tt and I tow with an F150 super crew ecoboost. Goes great and roomy but not roomy like a motor home with bathroom and fridge. So you’ll be sitting in a seat and bucked car seats for the kids. 900 miles to Branson might be 3 travel days but maybe 2.

We are right outside Columbia. I figured many wouldn’t know where Columbia was and on a national scale of travel it didn’t make a great difference whether a potential trip was 850 or 950 miles.

This gives me some thinking to do.

Also you are exactly right about the memories. We did a few long trips while I was growing up. Made it to the Grand Canyon, through Yellowstone to Seattle, San fran, and back. But we were rushed more and didn’t have lots of stopping time. So while I remember the awesome scenery we saw, I also remember the tiring days and that’s been 25-30 years ago.

So wanting a good feel of what’s an unrealistic expectation if my kids at this age for travel days. I’m just a tad worried if they are having a terrible trip and get super cranky then we will have a tough trip.
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Old 03-23-2023, 05:37 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by twogypsies View Post
Some good suggestions so far. I think the kids would wear out faster if you bombard them with amusement park-types of things at every stay rather than being concerned about the long drives. Pack a good supply of things to do in the car along with snacks and drinks. Have them each have their own supply of things. Stop at rest areas to get rid of the liquids and then let them walk a big circle around the complex for a little exercise... with you. That said, I think around 250 mi/day for children your ages. Stay at least 3 days before moving on.... more if it's a real special place.

Camping should be an outdoor experience.... perhaps stay at state or national parks where there would be ranger programs, ranger-led hikes, campfire programs in the evening, nature, putzing in the park's creek or lake... playing with other kids. Have them gather a special rock collection along the way to take back to school for show and tell. Give them a disposable camera & let them make a scrapbook of places they saw and things they did. We did that with fall leaves of all colors and shapes. The kids loved collecting. Sitting around a campfire toasting marshmallows is always fun before bedtime.

When we camped with the kids we always stayed in public campgrounds and never went to amusement parks. They're in their 50's now and still remember the good times.... especially looking at the old photos.

Since you're going in prime summer I think it would be wise to make reservations unless it's just for an overnight and getting a place just for sleeping. However, without reservations, pull in around 3:00 if you don't have reservations and have a few options in mind in case one doesn't work out. Don't expect to pull in around dinner time or after to get a site without reservations. You could even call a place early in the day as you're driving to secure a spot when you have an idea of where you want to end your day. RV parks for travel days; a nice campground for longer stays.
I completely understand your post and Iím pretty sure I completely agree.

To clarify, Iím not saying we need amusement parks. In fact thatís not big on my list unless particularly notable such as if I went to Branson weíd probably do Silver Dollar City.

What I meant was, I donít wanna drive across the country and all the expense just to stay in state parks thatís donít really offer any entertainment. Example, a campground near us at Dreher island has prob 100 campsites and Iíd define it as one fairly run down old wooden playground. That would at best be a one night pass through stop for us. Not entertaining but if I want that I can tow 40 miles and stay there.

I also donít need a Disney experience daily.

On the flip side, if I am towing a long way the goal is to spend some days in Yellowstone park for an example, and as far as campgrounds go, our idea of a fun campground for a 2-3 day stay along the way is one with a pool, maybe a water slide, basketball, or other kids games like mini golf or something.

Off campground things I wanna see would be the painted desert, Grand Canyon type stuff, Mount Rushmore etc.

We have an F150 ecoboost and a 32 ft TT windjammer.

I know last year we did a double stop trip locally. Went to James Island near Charleston which is a short 130 miles. After a week we went down to Jacksonville. That felt like a long travel day for the kids. We stayed I think 6 nights there. But if we did that day last year, I would have been nervous about firing up the exact next day for another run like that back to back.

Also if we had to Walmart or cracker barrel lot it a night or two I think Iíd need a bigger generator to carry with us so we could have some air as weíd be doing this in the summer.
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Old 03-23-2023, 05:40 AM   #11
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Can't say if my plan would work for you but here is my plan for this summer from NC --> Seattle & back.

Weekends & Holidays I have campgrounds reserved for 3 - 4 days. Then plan to cover the drive between each reservation in no more than 3 days with stays at random unplanned Harvest Host (farms with animals may entertain your kids, or any of their other hosts). Worst case we Wallydock / Crackerbarrel but it is just Wife & I plus the hounds.

Trying to keep the weekdays fluid when hopefully things are easier to wing it. Weekends I'll assume will be more crowded at campgrounds.

Use https://tripwizard.rvlife.com/ to find campgrounds based on camper size & needs plus your family preferences.
This is good feedback too. Weíd be traveling likely the month of July. We certainly donít mind calling ahead and using online reservations as we go along but Iíd feel like I need some sort of mapped plan even if that plan got adjusted as we went. I also sometimes might need to spend a day working in the camper. I work for myself doing hvac design services so projects come at random times. People wonít wait 30 days so Iím certain it would come up that we would need to spend an extra day at some location while I set up my office to do a project while the kids hit the pool or whatever and then get back on track the next day.
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Old 03-23-2023, 05:43 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by wildtoad View Post
Hi from Blythewood, SC and a few years ago the DW and I took a 30 trip out west to Monument Valley and other great places in our motor home. We were in our mid to late 60ís at the time. We found doing just under 250 was plenty of miles in a day, only stretching it when the CG was just over our limit. We plan for an average of 50 mph to account for bio/fuel/food/puppy needs breaks. We were more than ready to stop at or around 3ish. I suspect you, DW, and esp. your kids will be too.

Sometimes we would drive two consecutive days, then stop for two days before continuing. The three day or more is better for having a relaxing trip. If we were to do the trip again, we would opt for more time, a lot more time. Too many things to do and see.

Itís a vacation.
Yes hi we are right over in Irmo.


I hear you. We are lucky to average 50-55 mph due to general speed towing around 65 plus kid and dog stops bathrooms and food. Plus it seems like anytime we stop it kills 30-40 minutes. Just taking an exit and navigating what gas station we can get into and out of and bathroom and puppy walks. You canít just make a quick hop in gas and go. So a 300 mile day you have to plan for 6 hours. Thatís basically a leave by 9
And youíre driving till 3 approximately.
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Old 03-23-2023, 07:04 AM   #13
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I think I’d plan a couple amusement parks and then try and do some sightseeing. Maybe Hershey Park and one other in the general area. Then hit a couple national parks that have some historical significance and see if they’re interested. Lastly, maybe some mild white water rafting or zip lines - something outside but more engaging and seeing nature.

Good luck and have fun.
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Old 03-23-2023, 07:09 AM   #14
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I agree with these numbers, even out west we rarely average over 50 mph on a travel day as everything goes slower with an RV, this includes fueling, stop and go acceleration, etc. 400 miles equals 8 hours of driving, which is not that bad on long summer days if you can manage a mid day point of interest stop for an hour or so.


Personally on longer trips I like to stop every 100-125 miles for a short break, either a refueling stop, lunch break, or just pull off in a rest area and walk around. We also often plan grocery shopping stops on travel days when we spot a nice large grocery store with ample parking, as that can make a good longer mid day break from driving, and must be done at some point anyway.
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