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Old 03-30-2016, 06:42 PM   #1
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Trip advice

My wife and I are going on our first long trip, leaving in May. We will be taking our two pups with us, a couple mini Australian Shepherds. My only real concern at this time is finding decent campsites to stay in. We are traveling from California to Kansas to visit family via southern U.S., and returning via northern U.S. Of course we will be making several stops at places such as Zion National Park, Mt Rushmore, etc.

We have Goodsam and just signed up for Passport America. I don't expect anyone to provide names of places to stay, but am looking for any advice on how to pick campgrounds that are friendly and clean (Goodsam book, website...)We will want either full hookups or at least W/E if only fo a night. Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 03-30-2016, 07:14 PM   #2
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Zion River Resort is a MUST. It's our favorite.
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Old 03-30-2016, 07:16 PM   #3
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My rv parks and reviews is a good place to start. I use them on a regular basis
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Old 03-30-2016, 07:20 PM   #4
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I'll look at both of those. Thanks!
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Old 03-31-2016, 08:16 AM   #5
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google and tripadvisor both have reviews for campsites that we have found really handy...
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Old 03-31-2016, 09:09 AM   #6
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During all my trips with a small dog finding a campground was not a problem. I used mostly the RV Parks review, Goodsam, and KOA to find a place to stay. The problem is going out to see the sites when the dogs are at home in the trailer. Some campers tie them up outside just to bark all day. Big NO NO at most places. I think it was only a couple who put is a pet area and in most cases it was close to a area where the dogs can run. Just be a good pet owner while walking the dogs (I hope I do not have to explain that) and you guys should have a great trip.
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Old 03-31-2016, 09:54 AM   #7
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Based on the number of campsites they have listed, I have used the following to locate, research and reserve.

recreation.gov and reserveamerica.com

I have been looking at additional resources but to date they seem to have the most info. My understanding is the reservation process is now run by active.com and some of their business policies irk me, and the cost per reservations is a $9 fee. They focus mostly on state and federal campgrounds. As you go through CO, plenty of weekdays that are open, weekends are generally already reserved for the timeframe you are looking at.

How far north are you going on your return trip? Northern CO (Rocky Mtn Park) or WYO (Yellowstone)?
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Old 03-31-2016, 11:24 AM   #8
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RVPARKY phone app. you can see what campgrounds are along your route. read reviews and call them for booking all while traveling.
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Old 03-31-2016, 11:30 AM   #9
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We use RV Park Reviews - Trusted Reviews of Campgrounds & RV Parks & Good Sam's.
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Old 03-31-2016, 11:33 AM   #10
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We took a trip in the fall of 2014 to the U.S. Southwest. We stayed in KOAs all the way and had no problems. Cannonville Utah KOA was very tight in terms of space. Cedar City Utah had just about the nicest KOA we have ever been in. We saw Zion NP from that location. Some things not to be missed on your trip: Bryce Canyon in Utah and Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona. Check out pictures of the latter to see why I refer to it as a bucket list place to see. Colorado is just stunning.
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Old 03-31-2016, 07:49 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the website commendations. I've seen a couple since posting and will look at the rest. To answer AbbaZabba, on the way back west we will be going through S. Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and possibly Washington and Oregon if we have time. Lone oak, those recommended stops look good and right up our alley.
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Old 03-31-2016, 07:59 PM   #12
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If I were able to get the time to make a trip like that, I'd definitely want to visit the Badlands, BlackHills National Forest, Yellowstone, and Craters of the Moon. No clue on campgrounds to visit, but all of those locations are on my list. But clearly thats a HUGE loop.
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Old 03-31-2016, 08:04 PM   #13
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Yes, this will be a huge loop. I would hit everything on your list AbbaZabba, but have other commitments and need to get back by July 1st at latest. I've been on a few short trips, but this will be our first long one. We will try to get to as much as possible without rushing too much...
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Old 03-31-2016, 08:08 PM   #14
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Such a balance, how much time is too little but not enough <shrug>, the Goldilocks Effect. My folks did a 5 month loop in their 29BH last year when my dad retired. He wanted to continue, my mom was done with the whole thing. Now thats a trip!
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Old 03-31-2016, 10:00 PM   #15
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We use the Good Sam "Plan a Trip" software to build every large trip. You can select GS, other Private, or Public campgrounds. Once I build the trip (and print it out) I export it to the Good Sam/Rand McNally GPS. When we want to be more spontaneous, we just let the GPS take us to our next destination; it knows the campsites also. Doesn't have detailed info, use the GS printed guide for that. We have two dogs that we usually leave in kennel for short trips. The "barky, howling" one is 14 yrs old, and as much as we love her, she won't be around much longer. The younger one is a much better traveling partner. (Except for the yellow lab shedding! LOL)
One thing we HAVE done on long trips is find a local kennel (like we did at Graceland) where we dropped off at 9am, and picked up before 5pm. A nice rest for all of us, and allowed us to enjoy the tour. Suggest you find local kennels around your destinations. Good Luck!
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Old 03-31-2016, 10:07 PM   #16
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Thanks Marty. We actually used the GS Trip Planner for the route. Since our trip will be fluid, we will be making reservations as we go. The planner is a great tool though. I've considered the kennels along the way, and wondered why campgrounds don't offer a kennel service, or do some? It should be a money maker. Not sure I feel comfortable leaving them in kennels too often which they aren't familiar with.
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Old 03-31-2016, 10:58 PM   #17
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Thanks Marty. .. I've considered the kennels along the way, and wondered why campgrounds don't offer a kennel service, or do some? It should be a money maker. Not sure I feel comfortable leaving them in kennels too often which they aren't familiar with.
All the kennels we used were referrals from the campsites. They know the locals. I didn't use internet for that. Our rule of thumb.... if they ask for shot records and Bordatella, then they are OK. Once the dogs are retrieved, they will be happy, and won't complain! LOL
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Old 04-01-2016, 08:19 AM   #18
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We have found the Good Sam reviews to be pretty accurate. We have gone into quite a few places solely on a Good Sam review and we have not been disappointed yet.
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Old 04-01-2016, 09:58 AM   #19
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About the Wyoming part...

Our daughters went to school up there at UWYO and one of them still lives up there. We've been up to visit many times and it never ceases to amaze me how much nothing then can cram into one little state. It looks so unassuming on the map, but Wyoming is actually a very large state and it takes forever to drive from one end of it to the other. In general, all of the good stuff is around three of the edges. The western edge has Jackson Hole and the Tetons. The north west corner has Yellowstone. The country up in the north is beautiful and the north east has the Devil's Tower and borders the spectacular Dakota Black Hills.

Don't expect to find a delicious nougat center because there really isn't one. And that east/west drive along the 80 will surprise you at how long it takes and how little there is to see. Trying to get home one time we left Laramie a little later than I wanted and we finally stopped in Evanston to get a room. We drove eight hours and didn't even make it out of the state.

My advice is to dip your toe in the state to see whatever you want to see (Yellowstone) and then pick one/some of the surrounding states to actually cover the miles. I-15 from Montana down through Idaho, Utah, a sliver of Arizona, Nevada, and eventually California is a gorgeous drive with plenty to see. The roads are good and fast there too.

This past January my wife and I set our distance record when we set out from Dillon Montana and made it all the way home to southern California. 1,050 miles in one day (not towing). I don't ever want to do that again. It was an incredible part of the country to see in a day though.
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Old 04-01-2016, 11:33 AM   #20
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About the Wyoming part...

Our daughters went to school up there at UWYO and one of them still lives up there. We've been up to visit many times and it never ceases to amaze me how much nothing then can cram into one little state. It looks so unassuming on the map, but Wyoming is actually a very large state and it takes forever to drive from one end of it to the other. In general, all of the good stuff is around three of the edges. The western edge has Jackson Hole and the Tetons. The north west corner has Yellowstone. The country up in the north is beautiful and the north east has the Devil's Tower and borders the spectacular Dakota Black Hills.

Don't expect to find a delicious nougat center because there really isn't one. And that east/west drive along the 80 will surprise you at how long it takes and how little there is to see. Trying to get home one time we left Laramie a little later than I wanted and we finally stopped in Evanston to get a room. We drove eight hours and didn't even make it out of the state.

My advice is to dip your toe in the state to see whatever you want to see (Yellowstone) and then pick one/some of the surrounding states to actually cover the miles. I-15 from Montana down through Idaho, Utah, a sliver of Arizona, Nevada, and eventually California is a gorgeous drive with plenty to see. The roads are good and fast there too.

This past January my wife and I set our distance record when we set out from Dillon Montana and made it all the way home to southern California. 1,050 miles in one day (not towing). I don't ever want to do that again. It was an incredible part of the country to see in a day though.

Good advice we will likely follow...thanks!
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