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Old 10-12-2021, 01:49 PM   #1
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Location: Augusta, Maine
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Advice for Newbie Snowbirds Maine to Florida January 2022

Hello Fellow Travelers,

Making our way from Maine to Florida for the first time next January.

Planning several stops along the way to pace ourselves and/or visit family & friends.

Looking for suggestions for overnight stays, as most campgrounds are closed in the northeast during the winter. Not crazy about Walmart parking lots and many rest stops are full (truckers taking up all spaces and then some).

Will probably make the following stops:
1) near the Connecticut/NY boarder
2) near Silver Spring, Maryland
3) somewhere in North Carolina (Fayetteville?)
4) near Savannah, Georgia

Would love to find some places we can plug-in to electricity, so we can be sure the heat runs consistently and we don't freeze our buns off during the night if the batteries give out.

We are not new to RVing but this is the longest trip we have taken and we have concerns about the cold weather. Any advice from fellow Snow Birders will be most welcome and appreciated.

Thanks in advance and happy journeys,

Marianne and Claude
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Old 10-12-2021, 07:36 PM   #2
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Welcome Tin. We’ve traveled south on the east coast many times. There’s a nice campground just north of Fayetteville called Fayetteville RV resort. Near Savannah there’s a nice campground called Creek Fire and just before Savannah near Hardeeville SC, Camp Lake Jasper. You didn’t mention what kind of RV you have. Lake Jasper is close to both Hilton Head and Savannah.
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Old 10-12-2021, 07:54 PM   #3
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Marianne and Claude-

A lot depends on your route. Here are some suggestions for I-95; all are open year-round:

Black Bear Campground in Florida, NY (farthest north park that is open year-round)
Philadelphia South KOA in Clarksboro, NJ
Cherry Hill RV Park in College Park, MD
Kings Dominion KOA in Doswell, VA
Fayetteville RV Resort in Wade, NC
Skidaway Island State Park in Savannah, GA

You will need to determine how many hours/miles you want to drive each day. I usually plan to drive about 230 to 250 miles per day, for about six and a half hours from engine start to engine stop.

The run from Augusta, ME to Florida, NY is longer than I would recommend for the first day, especially in late December, as daylight is limited. I plan on that first day covering 175 to 200 miles. Consider renting a hotel room. This allows for a late start and any potential first-day-on-the-road problems. I have stayed in hotels in Danbury, CT, West Coxsackie, NY (south of Albany), Parsippany, NJ and Mahwah, NJ.

The worst driving along I-95 is going through the Baltimore-Washington area. It's best to drive through on a Saturday or Sunday. If you want to spend more than Saturday night there (but less than a week) you will have to arrive and/or leave on a weekday. I've done that, but it's not fun.
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Old 10-13-2021, 05:42 AM   #4
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Winters are mild in NJ and South...so I wouldn't be too concerned. I always stop at RVacation campground right off I-95 in Selma, NC. The KOA in Fredericksburg, VA is only a few miles off I-95 and a very nice (quiet campground) stop. Gas up at Exit 130B at Costco, just before exit for Fredericksburg KOA.
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Old 10-13-2021, 12:21 PM   #5
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If you are just motoring down, and not concerned about the "camping" aspect, what we do is stay at Pilot/Flying J stations for the evening. Many have dump stations, and dedicated RV parking spots. Don't know if those down the East Coast have these features, but they do in the West.
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Old 10-13-2021, 02:04 PM   #6
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Before Harvest Hosts bought Boondockers Welcome recently, I would have recommended BW for free sites even in the winter at individual owner's homes, farms, etc. Alas no more.

HH/BW like their base Harvest Hosts which is for commercial museum, winery, etc campsites does not allow BW visitors to see the individual sites before you join. BW used to let you see everything except book an overnight stay which required a $50 annual membership.

I suspect the free individual owned campsites that BW used to list will be no more in a year or so. HH brings too much commercialism and is no longer a shared camping membership experience.

David
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Old 10-17-2021, 06:53 PM   #7
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Time for my two cents; We travel from New Hampshire to Florida every year in January, and don't come back until the snow melts. Our route avoids 95, because it sucks. We take I495 to the Mass. Pike I90 to I84 thru Conn. and into New York. At the point we get onto New York Thruway, I87, we take that south to I287 in the middle of New Jersey to I78 west into Pennsylvania then onto I81 south to I66 in Virginia to Route 17 to Fredericksburg. At this point we get on I95 and leave all the idiots in the Northeast corrider behind. It's about fifty miles longer, but not the tolls in New Jersey, Deleware.
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Old 10-17-2021, 07:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmo01830 View Post
Time for my two cents; We travel from New Hampshire to Florida every year in January, and don't come back until the snow melts. Our route avoids 95, because it sucks. We take I495 to the Mass. Pike I90 to I84 thru Conn. and into New York. At the point we get onto New York Thruway, I87, we take that south to I287 in the middle of New Jersey to I78 west into Pennsylvania then onto I81 south to I66 in Virginia to Route 17 to Fredericksburg. At this point we get on I95 and leave all the idiots in the Northeast corrider behind. It's about fifty miles longer, but not the tolls in New Jersey, Deleware.
We live in Delaware and I agree with you wholeheartedly!! I-95 from Delaware to south of DC is like a big NASCAR race. Since were not in a hurry, we take Rt. 13 to Rt 113 across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, then pick up Rt. 17 in Virginia. Its a beautiful 4 lane Hwy that goes thru the Great Dismal Swamp and rural NC. We pick up 95 in Rocky Mount NC.

Weve traveled on I-81 as well and its a beautiful drive.
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Old 10-17-2021, 07:26 PM   #9
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I use good same searches and Harvest Hosys for free accommodation . I stayed at a heat location in silver spring greater dc area last spring cherry was in the name very good large park!
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Old 10-17-2021, 07:28 PM   #10
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Cherry Hill … excellent!
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Old 10-17-2021, 09:35 PM   #11
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Stops from Maine to Florida

Carolina Crossings at Roanoke Rapids is a nice stop right off the interstate. Coastal Georgia in Brunswick Ga is another good stop
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Old 10-17-2021, 10:47 PM   #12
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You need to subscribe to a good camping App like Allstays - which will show you all the RV parks and campgrounds everywhere. There are actually an amazing number of parks on your route to Florida, and you will be surprised that many are actually open year-round.

I just opened up my app, and immediately found Cherry Hill Park in College Park, MD - right next to Silver Spring. They are open all year. I looked them up because we stayed there 3 years ago on our way south at the beginning of December.

Strongly suggest you get an app like this - you will be amazed at how many places there are to stay at in our RV.
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Old 10-18-2021, 07:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tin Trekkers View Post
Hello Fellow Travelers,

Making our way from Maine to Florida for the first time next January.

Planning several stops along the way to pace ourselves and/or visit family & friends.

Looking for suggestions for overnight stays, as most campgrounds are closed in the northeast during the winter. Not crazy about Walmart parking lots and many rest stops are full (truckers taking up all spaces and then some).

Will probably make the following stops:
1) near the Connecticut/NY boarder
2) near Silver Spring, Maryland
3) somewhere in North Carolina (Fayetteville?)
4) near Savannah, Georgia

Would love to find some places we can plug-in to electricity, so we can be sure the heat runs consistently and we don't freeze our buns off during the night if the batteries give out.

We are not new to RVing but this is the longest trip we have taken and we have concerns about the cold weather. Any advice from fellow Snow Birders will be most welcome and appreciated.

Thanks in advance and happy journeys,

Marianne and Claude
Once you get to VA you will find RV parks. I personally stay at Walmart and rest areas.
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Old 10-22-2021, 01:09 AM   #14
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Ron and Cindy - Great! We will check out those campgrounds on the web. North Carolina stop is just overnight. Brother and Sister-in-law live in Pooler, right outside of Savannah, so plan on spending a few days there. Thanks for the advice!
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Old 10-22-2021, 01:16 AM   #15
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Hi jmo - Yes - totally agree. We are originally from New Jersey and we do our best to avoid 95 as well.
On our visits back to Jersey we always go 495 to 90 to 84 and across the Tapan Zee (Cuomo) bridge - avoiding the GWB at all costs. Just a few minutes longer but well worth avoiding the hassle of the NY metro area traffic. Thanks!
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Old 10-22-2021, 01:19 AM   #16
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Terry - Yes, I found Cherry Hill online. Looks like a perfect place to stop. Planning to spend a few days there as I have a brother in Silver Spring. Thanks for the info!
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Old 10-22-2021, 01:24 AM   #17
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Hi Rick and Barb - Yes, tried the RV Trip Wizard which connects to Allstays. Very helpful and I like to do my research when planning any trip. Thanks!
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Old 10-22-2021, 01:29 AM   #18
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Thanks to everyone for your input and advice. We are working on our plan and hoping we don't hit any snow storms while we are on our way south.
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Old 10-22-2021, 01:33 AM   #19
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Hi Mark - Thanks for the campground suggestions. Yes, I thought maybe we would stay in a hotel for the first night at least. Maybe near Danbury...
We need one that is pet friendly - as we will have the pooch with us.
Any problems parking a motor home in hotel parking lots? We have a 30 foot Sunstar.
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Old 10-22-2021, 06:46 AM   #20
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Your first night is the one you need to worry about as it is very likely to be freezing overnight. I would start out with your RV fully winterized. This way you could stay at a hotel in Ct and not worry about it.

Then plan your next stop in the DC area at a full hook up RV park. That way you can flush your antifreeze out and refill your water tanks and stay warm with a plug in portable ceramic heater so you don't have to use propane unless it is really cold. Then the next stops can be RV parks, public campgrounds (although they may not be open in the mid Atlantic region) or "Wallydocking" sites. Walmarts and Flying Js are ok, but I like Cracker Barrels as you can easily pick up dinner and breakfast. You start seeing them regularly after you cross the M D line.

David
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