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Newtravels 04-14-2018 09:07 AM

First Timer Needs Route and Camping Information
We are planning our very first RV trip and need information desperately. We live in the Boston, MA area and would like to travel to Yosemite Park. I have check several web sites that provides camp sites locations and time of arrivals, however, the arrival times does not include overnight stays, stops, etc. We are thinking about driving approx 8 hours a day. Not sure if that reasonable. Any information to help these two newbies would be greatly appreciated.

momdoc 04-14-2018 09:28 AM

First off welcome. Lots of good folks and good info here.

If you have never traveled or stayed in an RV before then I would suggest a short very local trip, or even a night or two in your driveway, first just to see how everything works and gets set up.
As to travel time you will find that after 8 hours, especially if first time driving the RV, after a day or two you will be exhausted. I would rather keep it to a shorter time and like 250 miles a day or so. With little experience I would try to be at camp no later than 3 or so in the afternoon so you have time to set up and relax a bit before the dinner "rush" starts.

Here is a good web site to RV Park Reviews - Trusted Reviews of Campgrounds & RV Parks for camp ground info.

Enjoy the adventure and remember there will be lots of stuff on the trip you will wan to stop and see/explore.

Also how long to you plan to be on this trip? Two weeks will not be enough. A month will be tight.

sbleiweiss 04-14-2018 09:33 AM

Do you own the rig? Renting one? Either way good advice about the short trip or driveway camping first. Welcome to RVing.

ArmandV 04-14-2018 10:09 AM

I would also suggest getting either a Woodall's or Good Sam campground directory.

With either, you can see what campgrounds are available along your route (especially if you have no Wi-Fi available while traveling).

If you're not pressed for time, I wouldn't go any more than 300 miles a day and time your campground arrival times before dark.



winniman 04-14-2018 11:42 AM

Download the RVParky app on your phone. It gives you pretty much all the campgrounds anywhere you will go. It gives you reviews, price, what services they have etc. Best of all, its free. We have used it for 20000 miles of camping, and have never made a reservation ahead. I usually start looking once we know for sure how far we are going to be each night. Trying to plan too far ahead can be a problem if something comes up. A flat tire, or mechanical issue can put you days behind. This will leave you paying for camping that you never go to, as most campgrounds have at least a 48 hour cancellation policy. Passport America can save you 50 percent on campgrounds that accept it. For 44 dollars for the membership, it can be paid off in 2 nights. Download their app as well, and check the actual campground website for restictions on passport america. Most have some restrictions. Some only accept it in the winter, some only in the summer. Some only allow Sun to Thurs., some have no restrictions but only allow a maximum of two days stay. Good luck and happy trails

GScott423 04-14-2018 11:51 AM

Go slow
I agree with Momdoc. In the long run slow and steady is best. Go 5 or 6 hours tops. Relax and leave camp around 9 and get off the road by 3. It may take longer but the trip is more fun than the destination. As to camping I love ALLSTAYS Camp and RV app. Itís the best $10 I have ever spent. Plan route etc but make reservations only a day or two out. It is nice to sray a couple nights every so often to rest do laundry and see the local sites. I used InRoute for general planning purposes but I think it is IOS only. Good luck.

MSHappyCampers 04-14-2018 02:10 PM

Hi ! :wavey: Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang! :dance:

We limit our driving to about 6 hours per day.

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless! :thumb::D

Md11fpilot 04-14-2018 02:29 PM

Welcome aboard! We're on our first trip too. Took advice of folks here and aim for about 6 hours driving per day. We've done a couple 8 hr days and didn't like that at all.

You might want to add your motorhome info to your signature line so we know what you're dealing with.

TXTiger 04-14-2018 04:15 PM

You did not give any details of the type of RV you will be driving, your age and how much time you have available for your trip. When I was younger and had a smaller RV and was limited on time ( had to get back to work in two weeks) I could drive 10 hours a day, sometimes even 12. I had a 500 mile minimum day. I would shoot for 600-750 miles a day if I could. Now that I am retired, have plenty of time and drive a Class A Big Rig I only drive 6-8 hours a day and my goal is 400-500 max. Any more than that I get tired and it would be dangerous to continue. Hell sometimes I even pull into a rest stop along the interstate and take a nap in the middle of the day lol lol lol. And yes itís good to get off the road about 3PM find a camp site an relax before dinner.

Stever53 04-14-2018 05:24 PM

Hi :wavey:

X2 on RVParky.
We try to get about 300 miles a day. Good luck :thumb:

:wavey: this place is great :wavey:

Safe travels :cool::cool:

TonyDi 04-14-2018 09:26 PM

We drive 8 hr days. It works for us, however we do take an additional day midway to rest and do local sights, empty tanks, refill fresh water etc.

twogypsies 04-14-2018 10:49 PM


Originally Posted by Newtravels (Post 4136778)
I have check several web sites that provides camp sites locations and time of arrivals, however, the arrival times does not include overnight stays, stops, etc.

It sounds like you're trying to use a mapping program such as Google maps which will give you the amount of time it takes from A to B. You can't go by that. Break your trip into some chunks and it will be easier to manage. Make a separate map for every two days then it won't feel so overwhelming.

Figure 55 mph for an average of traffic, pit stops, lunch stops. So say you'd be able to drive 330 miles in 6 hours (300-400 miles is a good range depending what time you get started each morning). So from your starting point find where 330 miles will take you. That's the vicinity you'd be looking for a place to stay or if there are better options stay a shorter distance or a little farther one. Plug in some towns and see what park sites come up.

We like to arrive by 3pm so that we don't need reservations. There are always spots to be had at that time before the big rush later. You have time to relax, have a leisurely meal and plan your next day. You definitely don't have to make a ton of reservations, especially across the Plains. Don't overlook city parks in the small towns of the Plains. We found some real jewels. County parks and fairgrounds are other options (if no fair or other big event is in progress). You don't need expensive RV parks.

You have a long trip planned so I hope you're allowing a lot of time and aren't making Yosemite your only major destination. There is so much to see before getting there. Also, travel some secondary highways. You'll see much more of our beautiful country if you get off the interstates. Get a good atlas and highlight things you'd like to visit and then plan your route. You may be zigzagging somewhat but that's what you have to do.

I'd also recommend you purchase the 'Mountain Directory for Trucker and RVers' which will help you to decide what roads to take. Keep in mind that every highway listed in that directory doesn't mean you can't drive it. It only gives you a 'heads up' of what to expect. Yes, there are some roads RVers shouldn't be on but you'll soon learn how to weed those out. After you're half-way through Colorado you'll be pros at mountain driving! Also, in reading descriptions and you come across a 6-7% grade on secondary highways, you can find that same grade on the interstates.

mernmb 04-14-2018 10:59 PM

All good advice so far. I agree with most. I live in Cal. and depending on the route you are planning to take to get here, could determine how far you will drive for the day. When are you leaving? Going through Nevada is pretty boring.

CharlesinGA 04-17-2018 08:10 PM

If the OP will return and post some info on their rig, it will help immensely.

My one very long (for me) trip from Atlanta to the Black Hills, I "flight planned" 500 miles per day traveling to get there, and used Google maps and my knowledge of the routes as I had driven much of it before in a car, to pick possible stops.

I did almost exactly 500 miles each of the first two days, The third day went astray as I stopped to sightsee at Mitchell, SD and the Corn Palace. I had planned for this possibility and ended up using plan b. Plan A was to make it to the Badlands and stay there, but not being able to do that (they told me on the phone I would not make it in time, it would fill up) so I had the best evening of the trip, staying at a COE campground in the MIDDLE of the Missouri River, below Big Bend dam and Lake Sharpe. Most of my trip was hit and miss but I had a good place to stay every night and even the night after the eclipse, I managed a power and water campsite in a National Forest when everything should have (and was) full.

The OP is proposing a crazy long trip for freshly minted RV'ers, and really need to do some weekends and even 4 or 5 day trips in the NE to get acquainted with the RV.

Many people even suggest driveway camping at home to get a feel for what works and what doesn't.


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