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Old 01-26-2023, 09:24 AM   #1
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Looking for planned route tips/advice, first cross country trip.

I'm planning on leaving the first week or two in Feb. I'm trying to hit as many national parks as I can. I'm towing a GD 2150RB. I will have a 3000 Ah with solar charging, the truck has a 7.2 KW power station built in and I will also be carrying a gas/propane genset.
26', GVW 6695 maybe less. RV is a 4-season unit, with a heated and insulated underbelly.
TV is a 2022 F150 Powerboost with 12.5k lbs towing capacity.
I can the northern route either first or second, makes no difference to me. Planning on making the drive over a month and a half to two months. Staying in a mix of campgrounds, legal retail lots, truck/rest stops, harvest hosts, boondockers welcome. Click image for larger version

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Old 01-26-2023, 09:37 AM   #2
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Wish I was going. Remember to take photos.

BTWÖ..you need to update your signature (no Tahoe no mo)
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Old 01-26-2023, 09:55 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaostactics View Post
I'm planning on leaving the first week or two in Feb. I'm trying to hit as many national parks as I can. I'm towing a GD 2150RB. I will have a 3000 Ah with solar charging, the truck has a 7.2 KW power station built in and I will also be carrying a gas/propane genset.
26', GVW 6695 maybe less. RV is a 4-season unit, with a heated and insulated underbelly.
TV is a 2022 F150 Powerboost with 12.5k lbs towing capacity.
I can the northern route either first or second, makes no difference to me. Planning on making the drive over a month and a half to two months. Staying in a mix of campgrounds, legal retail lots, truck/rest stops, harvest hosts, boondockers welcome. Attachment 385063
I would not attempt this in FEB. Many of these places have snow in May and June. I suggest that you go south to the coast, then go west along I-10. One of my fav spots is Big Bend National Park. From San Antonio, go west on US 90. We have stayed in Castroville, Marathon, and Alpine before heading to Big Bend and have enjoyed our times in each place. I also enjoy the area near Tuscon, AZ. Patagonia is a small town south of Tuscon where I have stayed before.
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Old 01-26-2023, 02:31 PM   #4
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Same advice I offered over on mygrandrv.com........

"...Looking for planned route tips/advice. First cross country drive..."

You will find that traveling out on another highway than I-10 or I-20 i(and maybe I-40) is going to be a long, cold trip. So set you daily travel expectations be worse than you expect; especially since this is your first trip. So (I think this is what your are asking) maybe the southern route out is the best and then the northern route taking all those National Parks in the higher elevations later in the trip.

I can't tell how often you expect to stop on your way out west and back again. But if your run between St Louis and the east coast is an expected single, non-stop run, you may want to reconsider that.

You'll most likely want/need reservations for just about all the NPs you expect to get into. For example: Zion and now Moab require a reserved time slot for certain days/months/times. And campgrounds in those NP areas fill fast. Make reservations now.

Since this is your first trip I'd suggest you may find you have bitten off a lot and will come across many surprises (how well/bad you truck tows in winds, how your rig does on long steep grades, road conditions, etc.). But if you plan to be gone for 6 or 7 months then you should have time.

If you only have a set amount of time maybe pare your trip down to fit within that timeframe. You don't need to do it all at once.

Finally- like others suggested - you should be using a trip planning tool like RV Trip Wizard or maybe myscenicdrives.com; Google maps is somewhat useful for planning stops but for details on parks, etc. find an RV planning too.

oh - please - leave the overnight stops at truck stops and rest areas for truckers - they need them more than you.
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Old 01-26-2023, 03:46 PM   #5
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On February 19, 2020, my wife and I began a well-researched and somewhat meticulously planned 4 month trip, similar to your own. The previous October, we had taken our small teardrop camper named Rosebud down to Florida, by way of stops in Shenandoah NP, to Fort Pierce, Fl. We left it in storage there, in an effort to avoid towing through snow the following February. Our planned route and stops attempted to avoid, where possible, multiple below-freezing temperature days while following regional/seasonal temperature predictions for our Route 10 west routing.

I've attached a screenprint of the route and, to the extent you can see them - some of our planned stops along the way. As others have suggested, a February start per your proposed route, will put you into some snowy situations and low temperatures. Taking Route 10 will not only keep you mostly, if not entirely, out of snow and icy road conditions, there are some beautiful State Parks and campgrounds along the way to Big Bend, as suggested by others. Check out BJ's RV Campground in Terlingua, just outside Big Bend.

Unfortunately for my wife and I, our planning did not consider the possibility of a pandemic that was to begin shutting down the public campgrounds where we had reservations. We ended up returning home after only six weeks on the road. Some parts of that return trip, purposely taken on rural roads and byways, were like scenes out of the Twilight Zone. In many instances we didn't see another car for miles and, traveling through small town villages and intersections, saw no people and businesses (excluding gas stations - thankfully) were mostly closed.

Anyhow, we hope to overcome our inertia and restart this trip sometime soon.

Good luck and enjoy the journey!

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Old 01-26-2023, 03:47 PM   #6
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Please consider doing your trip later than February. That's much too early in the season especially for the Rocky Mtns. Perhaps taking off in March and do the southern route including Arizona (gorgeous desert blooms). Head to California and the coastal regions on 101 then move inland to the Rocky Mtns. in May, at the earliest.

Another suggestion is to do the trip in Sept/Oct.
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Old 01-27-2023, 08:42 AM   #7
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Due to feedback here and other forms, I have revised my route as attached. Primarily to keep on or south of I-40 for most of the drive and to steer clear of Colorado.

NOTES:
*This is the only window I will have for a trip of this magnitude for probably 10-20 years. So its now or never for me. (I am nowhere near retirement age, I'm 36 and myself and my SO have very demanding jobs that would only allow 2 weeks of vacation max)

*Some are suggesting I travel on I-10 or I-20. I have done each of those routes (sans RV) multiple times including I-10 and I-20 since New Year's 2023.

*I have also already hit every national park south of this route.

*In some parks, I may spend a day or two exploring back packing, snow shoeing, biking etc. Some I may only do a few hour jaunts in.

*The lack of intermittent stops on the map don't indicate I'm trying to do it in a single day run, its just there to indicate the over all run. e.x. the run from MD to Grand Canyon.

Any new thoughts? You all have been SO helpful!!
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Old 01-27-2023, 08:58 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by chaostactics View Post
Due to feedback here and other forms, I have revised my route as attached. Primarily to keep on or south of I-40 for most of the drive and to steer clear of Colorado.

NOTES:
*This is the only window I will have for a trip of this magnitude for probably 10-20 years. So its now or never for me. (I am nowhere near retirement age, I'm 36 and myself and my SO have very demanding jobs that would only allow 2 weeks of vacation max)

*Some are suggesting I travel on I-10 or I-20. I have done each of those routes (sans RV) multiple times including I-10 and I-20 since New Year's 2023.

*I have also already hit every national park south of this route.

*In some parks, I may spend a day or two exploring back packing, snow shoeing, biking etc. Some I may only do a few hour jaunts in.

*The lack of intermittent stops on the map don't indicate I'm trying to do it in a single day run, its just there to indicate the over all run. e.x. the run from MD to Grand Canyon.

Any new thoughts? You all have been SO helpful!!
Your travel window will not alter the fact that it is still winter in the elevation areas with storms that can and do dump snow measured in feet. A rigid travel plan in this scenario would be folly.
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Old 01-27-2023, 11:26 AM   #9
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Thank you all so much for your input and advice.

Due to feedback here and other forms, I have revised my route as attached. Primarily to keep on or south of I-40 for most of the drive and to steer clear of Colorado.

NOTES:
*This is the only window I will have for a trip of this magnitude for probably 10-20 years. So its now or never for me. (I am nowhere near retirement age, I'm 36 and myself and my SO have very demanding jobs that would only allow 2 weeks of vacation max)

*Some are suggesting I travel on I-10 or I-20. I have done each of those routes (sans RV) multiple times including I-10 and I-20 since New Year's 2023.

*I have also already hit every national park south of this route.

*In some parks, I may spend a day or two exploring backpacking, snowshoeing, biking etc. Some I may only do a few hour jaunts in.

*The lack of intermittent stops on the map doesn't indicate I'm trying to do it in a single-day run, its just there to indicate the overall run. e.x. the run from MD to Grand Canyon.

Any new thoughts? You all have been SO helpful!!
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Old 01-27-2023, 01:09 PM   #10
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Since you only have 2 weeks vacation time and have to do this in February (wow... almost there) I'd advise that you skip California. You just don't have the time. You may luck out and have good weather.... hope so! Your photos with snow as backgrounds will be beautiful. Hopefully, not where you are staying or driving. Campgrounds with electric will be welcomed, I'm sure. You will need heat for your piping.

Each national park has an excellent web site for planning of closures and things to do. Keep looking at them for current information as you travel. I doubt you'll need reservations at this time of year.

Go straight to Grand Canyon (Trailer Village RV in the park, itself, has full hookups & is near the edge of the Canyon) then to Las Vegas. Then I-15 north to Hwy 9 and Zion. Watchman campground in the park has electric or else in town of Springdale. Lv through the park road to Hwy 89 north at Mt. Carmel. Then Hwy 12 to Bryce (Ruby's RV has full hookups & is just at the edge of the park entrance) and Capitol Reef (town of Torrey has RV parks; in the park - no electric) then I-70 east to 191 south to Arches and Canyonlands. Neither national parks have electric in the campgrounds.

Then 191 south (possibly work in Natural Bridges near Blanding - very unique hiking).

Then from 191 at Monticello take 491 to Cortez and do Mesa Verde NP on Hwy 160. (Some RV sites with electric in the park's campground)

Take 160 east to Durango to Pagosa Springs (for a long soak overlooking the river - awesome hot springs).

Pagosa Springs to 84 south into New Mexico and south to Santa Fe. Santa Fe Skies RV is very nice. Stay there and drive the truck to Taos for a day trip. Also, Kasha-Katuwe Nat'l Monument (Tent Rocks) can be done from Santa Fe. . very unique formations.

South on I-25 to Albuquerque and east to home.

I have a feeling you'll run out of time doing all of the above so you may have to pick and choose.

I think a lot of us have had to work in 2-week trips and it's not possible to see all you want. You'll just have to do it again!

Take very warm layering clothes, hiking boots, hats, gloves, extra blankets and you'll have a ball!!

You're young and hopefully both of you can drive so you'll be OK for long mileage on the way there and from.

Please report back and let us know what you were able to do.
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Old 01-27-2023, 03:14 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by chaostactics View Post
NOTES:
*This is the only window I will have for a trip of this magnitude for probably 10-20 years. So its now or never for me. (I am nowhere near retirement age, I'm 36 and myself and my SO have very demanding jobs that would only allow 2 weeks of vacation max)
Wait a minute.... am I reading this right.... you only have 2 weeks to do all this?

Seems overly aggressive to expect you can even drive all of that plan without stopping in 2 weeks.

I must be reading this wrong.
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Old 01-29-2023, 01:56 PM   #12
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Lot of confidence in that F-150 but nonetheless doable. Lot of pics for us still sitting in the cold and spring rains.
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Old 01-29-2023, 09:10 PM   #13
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2 ish months. 8-9 weeks
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Old 01-29-2023, 09:11 PM   #14
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Wait a minute.... am I reading this right.... you only have 2 weeks to do all this?

Seems overly aggressive to expect you can even drive all of that plan without stopping in 2 weeks.

I must be reading this wrong.
2ish months 8-9 weeks
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