Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Winging it on your travels
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 > Winging it on your travels

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charming

Myrtle Beach

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Joined: 06/02/2013

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Posted: 05/07/19 05:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've read so many people post about going with the flow when they are traveling. Normally, as I've posted on here before, I'm a planner plodder. I was amazed by peoples tales of calling and pulling into a motor home park within minutes of locating it in the Woodalls or other source.

So, We had a three month road trip where we had to be in certain places on certain dates. We had to be in Indian Wells on March 2, Houston on April 5, Tallahassee on April 21, and Skidaway Island, GA on April 28. I made those reservations months before the trip. Good thing I made the Indian Wells and Skidaway reservations when I did they both filled up!

I posted my dilemma on where to go after Indian Wells. After looking at the weather forecast we headed to Phoenix for a couple of days and then back on I-10. We worked our way over to I-20 and on to several stops at Texas state parks before we hit a wall! We wanted to swing out to the hill country before going to McKinney Falls near Austin. So many places were full, wild flowers were in bloom and so were the RVs. We should have known things were going to get difficult.

I didn't have a melt down until we arrived at Palmetto Island State Park in LA. Lovely park with many great features. I thought we would stay there a few days then move on to AL or MS. I started looking and nothing! We needed a place between LA and Tallahassee. The park where we were was full for the weekend but we scored a cancellation that gave us a full week at the park, although we had to move to another site.

That left 1 night. We thought we would check at the new Alabama Welcome Center. All the signs said no over nights and there was no one on the grounds to ask. Not wanting a knock on the door in the middle of the night, we moved on. DH driving and me on my tablet searching for a place. We ended up at 9 PM at the Cracker Barrell in Spanish Fort, AL. What a great place to spend the night. Very quiet and a good breakfast in the morning. Thank you Cracker Barrel.

So, Sometimes winging works, but spring break, special events, holidays, etc. can make it next to impossible.

We could have made the drive all the way from Tallahassee to Skidaway but they were full so we spent two nights at Stephen Foster Folk Center. Interesting place.


Looking forward to new adventures and new friends.

Lwiddis

Los Angeles area :(

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Posted: 05/07/19 06:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Depends on what you need to “camp.” I prefer no hook ups so it’s easy for me.


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watts solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL pole for flags. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, USF&WS, state & county camps. Bicyclist! 14 year Army vet - 11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560)


swphotobug

varous

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Posted: 05/07/19 06:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When winging it you need to have Plan A, B and C. We just went to Yellowstone, hoping for Mammoth CG(only 2 cgs open, on N and 1 S) if not we were aware of 2 NFS service locations 15 miles down the road.

It also sounds like you were traveling late into the day(Visitor Center closed). We mostly settle in by 4 at the latest.

You also need to be aware of all the opportunities for an overnight. Cracker Barrel is one but there are so many others.

The other trick is not to travel on a weekend. Where we are on Friday(early) is where we stay until Sunday.

There are numerous campgrounds that don't appear in any books, you find them mainly on the backroads, not on interstates.

Harvest Hosts is a good resource if you belong. I have never been turned away from them. Also, Elks(you need to join) has numerous lodges across the US.

You will learn...........

Tom/Barb

Oak Harbor, Wa

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Posted: 05/07/19 07:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We get going early, and quit early, always get a spot in the camp grounds.


2000 Newmar mountain aire 4081 DP, ISC/350 Allison 6 speed, Wrangler JL toad.

ksbowman

Kansas

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Posted: 05/07/19 07:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We hardly ever book places with a certain date when traveling. My wife waits till we know how far we will get and 1-2 hours before we stop she calls and always finds us a spot. Our final destination we always have booked for the length of stay way in advance. If we happen to reach that destination a day or two early we have never been turned down although, it may be in a different spot than our longer term stay spot. It is only as hard as you make it.

gemsworld

Arizona West Coast

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Joined: 03/08/2009

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Posted: 05/07/19 07:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We always travel without reservations. We are almost to the halfway point of an 8K mile road trip across the US and Canada and have not made any reservations, and haven't had any problems finding a place to stay. The key to traveling without reservations is to travel before or after the summer and avoid holidays. Last year, we started our road trip in July and had some difficulty with availability but we still managed to get a place to stay.





Tom/Barb

Oak Harbor, Wa

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Posted: 05/07/19 07:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We are here tonight, the place is half full

Here

CharlesinGA

South of Atlanta, Georgia

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Posted: 05/07/19 09:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The smaller your rig, and the less demanding your requirements as far as site, hookups, etc, the more likely you are to find a suitable place to spend the night.

Indeed, some places, and some seasons require lots of prior planning and even reservations on occasion, but you always have to be flexible.

Charles

monkey44

Cape Cod, MA and Central Fla

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Posted: 05/07/19 10:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We've been on the road about two weeks or so, no reservations. Got a nice site each night - our choice actually as CGs are about half full now. Some said they fill up on weekends - but we'll be in Grand Canyon Thurs and catch a first-come site and spend three or four days - great place....

About mid-afternoon Genie grabs the phone and finds us a site ... we've been doing this for years, no reservations, early stops. Always find a spot ...


Monkey44
Cape Cod Ma & Central Fla
Chevy 2500HD 4x4 DC-SB
2008 Lance 845
Back-country camping fanatic

D.E.Bishop

Eagle Rock, CA

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Posted: 05/08/19 12:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My wife and I are one day at a time type. More than once we have altered our entire pre-planed trip and done something else. Last summer we were headed to Montana and Wyoming and ended up spending the entire summer bumming up and down the Oregon coast. Sharon my DW would check for a campground a couple of days before we had to leave a CG and find a couple of days here and a week here or there.

We have made reservations for specific things like Quilt Week in Paduka, KY or Spring Break week, but, very seldom.

We are both retired and in our mid and late seventies, heat has become very hard to tolerate for more than a couple of days at a time so we try to avoid more popular summer spots like beaches and lakes. We spent 11 weeks circomnavigating the US. Two or three days traveling and two or three days in one place. Twice in that time we did Home Depot camping but we left hone in mid-Sept and returned home Tuesday before Thanksgiving. We never called more than three days in advanced for a spot and only called then for week-ends.

You just have to find the way that works for you.


"I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to go". R. L. Stevenson

David Bishop
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 32V
Back to a 2006 Suzi GV
Roadmaster 5000
Roadmaster Invisibrake


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