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Old 06-07-2024, 10:36 AM   #1
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First long distance trip planning?

After 10 months of taking care of a terminally ill family member, we're about to take our first MH extended tour. In late July, we're leaving our current (and soon to be former) home in Columbia, SC.
We're headed to Chicago, South Bend, Detroit, Cleveland, Canton, Buffalo, the Thousand Lakes area, then across New England to Bar Harbor, Maine. Then down through the New England coast to Connecticut and finally to our (soon to be) new home in Leesport, PA.

DW and I are retired now and we are in no hurry. We don't like driving the "bus" more than 5 or 6 hours a day. We also like to stop around 3:00 every day. One issue we're struggling with is how do we remain flexible. Reservations have been made in advance. But if we want more time at any given destination, will we have problems with making changes to our schedule? One thing we learned from this last year is to do it now. Wanna stay another day or two in Chicago, just do it. Chances are that the opportunity won't be there tomorrow.

Lots of you here have done a lot of these 3,000 mile or more trips. Is there anything that comes to mind that might be helpful?
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Old 06-07-2024, 10:59 AM   #2
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You have the correct planning in mind. When I do multiple stops to see things I will always add an additional day to what we have planned at first. In my opinion its best to build in an extra day to see what was missed or just relax before next stop.

Looks like a great trip have fun.
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Old 06-07-2024, 11:45 AM   #3
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We are not current on how full campgrounds are but we found that keeping on a set schedule was just not much fun!
We adapted to be less picky on some things we wanted in campsites and campgrounds. We always leaned towards going to state and national parks first and then looking at the lesser places if we found we needed to and that being open to taking the commercial sites if we could not get in where we wanted was often "good enough" for an added day to stay in the area until we could fit in at some of the better places.

We had to learn to ignore a lot of the stuff going on around the RV and just keep our heads down and leave for the day!
There is a definite downside to that in that we often did have to be ready and willing to move on semi short notice if we went in one place and kept checking where we really wanted to go. Things often open up suddenly, so we normally just tried to stay flexible as a way to avoid paying for campsites in advance that we never got there in time to use!
One thing that seemed to ease things a bit for longer stays like a week or more, was being willing to pack up and move from one site to another if we could only get 2-3 days on one site and maybe another for the rest of the stay.
That eventually led us to start cutting down what we wanted to haul, unload and then reload to change sites!

One of the tricks you will find is possibly why making reservations in advance is so difficult! There are tons of sites reserved for weeks in advance that are then canceled as the date gets closer! One thing to be aware of is that people do make lots of reservations and know they will not use them all!
So keeping close watch for sites opening at the last minute is one way to catch those as people drop out of places they never really meant to stay but reserved as backups for a change in plans!
Why no RV year, make and floorplan on MY signature as we suggest for others?
I currently DO NOT have one!
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Old 06-07-2024, 01:00 PM   #4
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Are you planning to go TO, AROUND or THRU Chicago?
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Old 06-07-2024, 01:23 PM   #5
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We've been traveling more or less straight for two years with our longest stay being a month in Palm Springs two December's ago.
We made the decision to book all of our campgrounds in advance. For example, we are booked through October for now.
We don't like to drive more than three hours a day.
We start with destinations like Santa Fe or Yosemite and fill in the gaps along the way based on travel times, places of interest, and quality of campgrounds.
We have altered our plans somewhat if the campground is a dump or the weather turns sour. I think maybe three or four times over maybe 120 or so campgrounds.
Campgrounds seem to be freeing up as we distance ourselves from the Covid RV boom, but it is summer and you'll be traveling through some high population areas.
Campgrounds near National Parks fill up fast. So Acadia and Bar Harbor would be a place to book sooner than later.
We feel it's OK to leave a place wanting more. God willing we can always come back.
Love the fact you're doing it now and not waiting. Our motivation as well. Nothing is guaranteed.
Everyone is different. Do what makes you feel safe and happy.
Safe travels and God bless.
Our current stop in the Sierra Nevadas...
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Old 06-07-2024, 03:07 PM   #6
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At one point we got into doing volunteer work and hooked up with Workamper as way to find the jobs we wanted. Boy, was that an eye opener into the way other folks do things. I'm sure the internet and far more access to information has changed a lot of things but as we got some really great places to stay the extended amount of time we wanted and also really get way deeper into the REAL local area where we went.
We found we were never really getting to know a place when we just went in and spent a day or so in a place as you don't really get to know the local folks or real history of a place until you spend some time and folks think of you as somebody they know!

That can be great or just really turn you off so that you may never want to go there again!
If you are interested in getting a real "inside " look at an area, I highly recommend doing some volunteer work. It can be great or less so, but when you get done you WILL have a much different idea about dealing with people!

We now use a different approach to searching out those standby/alternate campsites as we have so much more info from the internet and we can expect it to be much more accurate compared to written paper things!

We now are more prone to digging in on Google maps to spot the places we might like in any given area. We drill down to get the highlights that anybody can find but then go deeper by zooming into an area to look for the folks who may be as big as they want and just don't spend a lot of ads!
We'll drive fifty miles out of the way to get to a nice lake spot, so we do a lot of shoreline searching!
For you folks who like Phoenix weather, have you ever heard of Tonto National Monument? It's almost a secret and not at all near Phoenix but it is a great place ----once spotted!
Thirty days of great peace and quiet and lots of fun! It's the small pleasures we remember!
But you do have to search for those small nuggets!
Why no RV year, make and floorplan on MY signature as we suggest for others?
I currently DO NOT have one!
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