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Old 04-09-2011, 04:43 AM   #1
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We are planning a long trip this summer across the country, Washington State to New Hampshire and back, about 8,000 miles. We plan to take our time but do it in two months.
My question has to do with planning for this trip. I have a number of tools at hand such as Trailer Life Campground Directory CD, Woodalls/CampClub Directory, KOA Directory, etc. I've laid out the route we plan to take in the Trailer Life software and adding campgrounds along the way using the guides.
How far ahead would you suggest making reservations as we'll be traveling in July and August the busy season? We want to remain flexible in our travels but don't want to end up in some place without a camp site or have to go to some undesirable place.
Any other suggestions or observations for a trip like this would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-09-2011, 07:15 AM   #2
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Hmmm...lots of variables here. Do you plan to take the same route home as what you did on the way out? If so, then you could spend more time up front visiting different sites/places and enjoy yourself. Then the trip home, just make the necessity stops to rest with minimal site seeing. If you plan to take a different route back, then you probably at least want to be at your destination near the mid-point of your budgeted time. Possibly set a reservation at your destination to at least have a goal to achieve. It might be good to research the areas(contact campgrounds in the area) you might like to stop and see what activities or festivals they have in the area as that might affect the ability to get a decent campsite. Sounds like a fun trip and at least you are starting the planning early....good luck

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Old 04-09-2011, 08:52 AM   #3
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Thanks for the tip Gossamar. The route back home will be different, we want to see as much of the country as possible. Part of my early research is things to see and do at the places we stop. I let the software tell me when to stop based on my inputs then look for campgrounds and interesting things in that area. If it's interesting then I plug in two or three days for exploring if not then just one night and hit it again the next day.<div siber__q92dpb7seovvtbh5__vptr="7cf7490" sourceindex="5">My big concern is getting reservations at campgrounds and then having to change them because we were having too much fun in one place. I don't want to make reservations too far out but still they need to be made. It could be tricky business to get the places I've planned on.
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Old 04-09-2011, 11:26 AM   #4
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Make your reservations on the run, I have called in the past in the AM to the point I plan on ending my day. One tip, grab a copy of "The Next Exit", it was very useful on the road. Also, carry a good GPS, love our Garmin with traffic alerts.



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Old 04-09-2011, 11:51 AM   #5
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We do a big trip each summer and we have found a couple of things. 1st, make sure you have reservations for the 4th of July because it will be busy. We usually do not make them until we are about 7-8 days before the 4th but we do not wait any later than that. We usually set a couple of "check points" in terms of being in a certain place on a certain date but even those are flexible. If you are going somewhere that is always crowded you might want to make reservations in advance. We have actually called places just to see how booked they were for the time we were planning on being there and almost always they have plenty of openings so we just "wing it". We have used this approach for the last 4 summers (Dakotas, Virginia, Florida, New England). During those 4 summers the only reservation we made in advance was for Bluewater Key RV Resort in the Florida Keys and we only did that because we really wanted to stay in that cg.
Have a great trip!
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Old 04-09-2011, 01:29 PM   #6
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The past three years we have made a long trip each summer. All our stops are in stone before we leave the house. Places like Yellowstone are filled up and it is just a peace of mind. I have met many on the road that just make them a day or two in advance or as they drive into town. I guess it is all about flexibility. We plan the trips research the parks and make the plans.




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Old 04-09-2011, 02:45 PM   #7
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Well last year we covered 4600 miles in 25 days All i can say is there is lots to consider with reservationsexpecially onholiday weekends ( a must) the trailer life cg directory was awsome for us!! also states are running out of money ex .. Az last year closed most of its state parks right before we left which seemed to have a huge impact on available sights on the regular campgrounds that were left. For instance wen we pulled in to Draper Utah ,mountain shadows was soo over booked they had motorhomes staged on the driveway hoping for a spot to open up it was the middle of july and we had our reservations since january if you are on limited time you just about have to decide howmany days and ware they will be spent unless you dont have to be home in two months have a great time !!!!

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Old 04-10-2011, 01:26 AM   #8
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George, What happens to your "in stone" plans when you decide to spend an extra day somewhere or something happens that causes a delay? I'd think that you'd have to scramble to shift all the reservations you've made for the entire trip. We will be staying around thirty different places on our trip.<div siber__q92dpb7seovvtbh5__vptr="6635510" sourceindex="5"><br siber__q92dpb7seovvtbh5__vptr="6635590" sourceindex="6"><div siber__q92dpb7seovvtbh5__vptr="662ef40" sourceindex="7">Dee and Bob, Did you run into many overbooked situations during your trip? That sounds reallyproblematicwith a rig the size of yours (same as ours). With the recently passed budget I doubt that there will be very many state and federal parks open.
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Old 04-10-2011, 01:51 AM   #9
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Ken,
That is a true fact that you loose the flexibility in staying one place longer if you want or need maintenance. So far cross our fingers that nothing bad has happened. But saying that some places have been booked so if we wanted to stay we still would have needed to move. We have found that most campgrounds will refund you or move your stay if you give them enough notice some as little as 24 hours. For example last year our trip tool us to Yellowstone ( Filled ) , then down the Washington coastline and all the state campgrounds (very nice I may add) were full each night. I think if maybe traveling when the little ones are in school maybe you can relax on the pre plan making. We were happy to make the plans for each stop.


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Old 04-10-2011, 02:13 AM   #10
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We've been roaming the country for 15 yrs,the only time we use reservations is late fall in our state parks to make sure we get elec. If you plan onstaying in Yellowstone you need res as they are full. We like the flexabilaty to stay an extra day or Cruise on by.By the way we've been from Niagra Falls,Valley Forge,Mammoth Cave on theeast &amp; southto western edge of Idaho/Colarado in the west.Have a great time hope 2 months is enough.
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