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Old 09-10-2016, 11:30 PM   #1
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1st time trip planning

I am a NOOB looking for some opinions on whether to spend $$$ on campgrounds or just dry camp at Wallyworld during a Southwest trip from KC to Colorado Springs/Albuquerque/Phoenix/Grand Canyon/Hoover Dam/Las Vegas/Moab/Denver? Spending at least a couple of days at each stop except Denver... What will be our issues if we dry camp the whole trip? Does anyone have some knowledge of campgrounds or dry camping in the areas mentioned? Not against spending the $$$, but we are not camping, just sleeping and sightseeing. We will be visiting family and friends in Albuquerque and Phoenix, so probably will be in their driveway or curb side... We have a very driveable 24' Thor Citation 24SR diesel on MB sprinter chassis and am not towing anything. Thanks for any info!
Diane & Murray
2013 Thor Citation 24SR
Spring Hill, KS
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Old 09-10-2016, 11:44 PM   #2
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I see many a walmart parking lot in your future.... but be sure to know the local ordinances.. sometimes you find an area that prohibits overnight parking
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Old 09-10-2016, 11:46 PM   #3
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another decent resource is
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Old 09-11-2016, 05:46 AM   #4
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For us, the weather is the biggest factor when deciding whether or not to "dry camp". If the temps are much over 75 degrees - we avoid "dry camping" to the greatest extent possible. Most coaches are hotboxes - which makes AC a near must in order to stay comfortable. We're fine with running the generator "strategically" to cool things down -but running the generator constantly in order to keep the AC going is both noisy and expensive. When it's warm out - we tend to view an electric hookup as a must.
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Old 09-11-2016, 05:52 PM   #5
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Keep researching, state parks, army corp of eng, federal property forest etc. That maybe along your route/ Also join Passport America for 1/2 price stays for short stays , sometimes limited to wkdys. $44 a year. Can't go wrong. And google earth where you atre going.
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Old 09-11-2016, 07:12 PM   #6
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Other options are

Casino's, most allow overnight parking


Sam's club

Truck Stops

When we are driving from point A to B we will overnight frequently with the limiting factor is how full our Black and Gray tanks are. If we are in an area for several days we will try and find a campground, state park, corp of engineer camp ground. Sometimes local parks have camping, along with fair grounds. The internet is your friend if you know how to do searches you can find lots of information.
Jim J
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2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee w/5.7 Hemi
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Old 09-11-2016, 08:37 PM   #7
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Certainly doable most of the decision goes back to your comfort level. A/C or No A/C, daily showers or every few days, Meals cooked in the RV or going to a Restaurant, are you into after dinner relaxing outside or inside with radio/tv. While I don't like paying for a campground that I will be at just over night and not use anything except W/S/E nothing beats perhaps cooking a burger on the que or sitting outside under the stars, a nice hot shower without worrying about overflowing the gray water tank and the privacy of a campground. None of this you can get in a parking lot. Nothing says you can't have the best of both worlds - figure out what is your needs as far as hygiene and comfort then how much your gray/black and water tanks can hold before emptying or refilling and when you have figured that out perhaps you can stay every other day or every third day at an inexpensive campground to refill, etc. Your list of stops has some pretty large cities and well visited tourist areas I would do some homework before I left as in most tourist areas it is harder to locate free camping space and in the large cities you have to make sure where you are staying overnight is a safe area.
Bob and Cathy
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Old 09-11-2016, 10:08 PM   #8
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We just returned from a trip from Oklahoma through Texas,New Mexico, Arizona, and California. New did some of each. For just an overnight and driving on, we stayed in Walmart or Lowes parking lots or even rest stops. As someone else mentioned, if black water was getting too full, we chose a campground. In California, we stayed at a State Lake campground so we could take showers. Our hot water heater doesn't, so,cold showers or shower at the campground, Just shop around till you find what you need.

Melody & Mike, Jake the hearing dog
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Melody & Mike, Jake the hearing dog
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Old 09-11-2016, 11:58 PM   #9
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Parking lot stays are o.k. for one-night stays of just traveling through an area but you're going to some nice areas and you can find some very scenic places to relax for a few days in a quiet atmosphere.

You stated you will just be sleeping and siteseeing. Will you be out siteseeing from 8am to 8pm? In not, sitting in a busy parking lot passing some time isn't very pleasant.
Full-timed for 16 Years . . .
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& 8 yr in a 33' Travel Supreme 5th wheel
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