Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Pre-planning for first long duration trip upon retirement
Open Roads Forum Already a member? Login here.   If not, Register Today!  |  Help

Newest  |  Active  |  Popular  |  RVing FAQ Forum Rules  |  Forum Posting Help and Support  |  Contact  

Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Roads and Routes

Open Roads Forum  >  Roads and Routes

 > Pre-planning for first long duration trip upon retirement

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 3  
Prev  |  Next
pitch

NY

Senior Member

Joined: 06/08/2005

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 08/12/21 05:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There is not enough time. We spent96 days traveling from NY to the West coast and back. We spent the entire trip paring things off our list. There can be no time limit .

dedmiston

The West

Moderator

Joined: 01/26/2004

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member


Posted: 08/12/21 07:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My wife and I took a mini-retirement trial run two years ago. She had just left a toxic job and then two weeks later my team was cut in a reorganization. My severance was generous because I'd been with the company for so long, so we decided to hit the road and see the sights before we panicked about work again. (Spoiler Alert: My company hired me back a few months after we returned, and my coworkers were all steamed at me for basically getting a paid sabbatical and going exploring while they had to deal with the reorg consequences.)

We only had three firm boundaries/destinations to plan around: We had to meet relatives in New Mexico on a certain date, we had to be in Sandusky, Ohio on a weekend because Cedar Point closed midweek after Labor Day and the record setting coasters were a big destination for us, and we had to be in Paso Robles, CA by a certain date because we had tickets to see Peter Frampton's farewell tour and our buddies would have been crushed if we cancelled.

Besides those three firm stakes in the ground, the trip was freeform. We only had one other soft rule: No backtracking.

We never had any reservations (pre-pandemic by about six months), so we were free to go wherever we felt like going. If we found someplace we liked, we'd stay there a few extra days.

The night before we'd hit the road again, I would tell my wife to pick one of the three available compass points (no backtracking on the 4th compass direction) and then I'd start looking at the map.

On the road the next day I would do the mental math and pick a rough destination and give my wife a 100 mile range within which she needed to pick us someplace to stay.

Every night was more or less a winner and we never regretted having no plans. Sometimes we were pleasantly surprised and sometimes we were moderately unimpressed but not disappointed. I think North Dakota surprised us in that there were so few places along I94 to camp, and the place we ended up felt like the RVers equivalent of The Shining (couldn't wait to get out of there the next morning).

We saw 19 U.S. states plus a lot of Ontario, Canada that way. The trip was just short of 11,000 miles.

We answered the questions for ourselves about our future retirement, compatibility after 31 years of marriage at the time, and whether our dogs were up to the adventure or not. By the end of the trip, the two of us were closer than ever and the dogs proved themselves to be perfect travelers and even more deeply bonded with us.

So my advise is to start out in a time of year when the country is emptier (spring or fall, or even winter if you can go further south) and just wing it for a while until you find your pace, style, and routines. Otherwise your trip will feel like a job if you have to make it to a bunch of committed reservations.


2014 RAM 3500 Diesel 4x4 Dually long bed. AISIN trans & 4.10 rear. B&W RVK3600 hitch • 2015 Crossroads Elevation Homestead Toy Hauler ("The Taj Mahauler") • Hooligan #3

Toys:
  • 18 Can Am Maverick x3
  • 05 Yamaha WR450
  • 07 Honda CRF250X
  • 05 Honda CRF230
  • 06 Honda CRF230



Lwiddis

Monterey, California

Senior Member

Joined: 08/12/2016

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 08/12/21 04:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

“What suggestions, pointers, tips, advice do you folks have regarding this adventure?”

Don’t push the miles or driving hours per day. 230 miles or stop at 2:30 pm


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watt solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL flag pole. Prefer boondocking, USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, state camps. Bicyclist14 yr. Army vet-11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560) IOBC & IOAC grad


4runnerguy

Glenwood Springs, CO

Senior Member

Joined: 03/10/2003

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 08/14/21 08:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you want to have a two or three month adventure, I wouldn't try to visit much here in the U.S. Instead, I'd explore Canada on the way to Alaska.

You might consider taking the Trans Canada highway 1 across to Calgary and see the various Provinces along the way. The downside of this route is that gasoline prices are higher north of the border. The alternative would be to work your way west on I-90 and then head north at Missoula. You could spend a few days exploring Glacier NP (US version) before heading north to BC 93 through Kootenay National Park to Banff. You can easily spend a week or 10 days just exploring Banff, Yoho and Kootenay from a base camp at Banff. Then head north on the Icefields Parkway up to Jasper. Again, one can easily spend another week in this park.

These parks along the Alberta/BC border are some of the most scenic mountains we have even seen. I've been in Alaska for 3-4 weeks a couple of times, and for me, the Canadian Rockies in many ways are more beautiful. (Of course Denali is in a whole league by itself.)


Ken & Allison
2 Camping Cats (1 diabetic)
1996 4Runner, TRD Supercharger, Edelbrock headers
2007 Fleetwood Arcadia, Honda EU2000i
4 mountain bikes, 1 canoe, 4 tents, 8 sleeping bags, 2 backpacks
(You get the idea!)


2g's

Arizona

Full Member

Joined: 02/13/2021

View Profile



Posted: 08/14/21 12:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Keep in mind.... your forum name is 'Salty Dog' so be sure to go to Homer, Alaska and visit the 'Salty Dog' saloon.... fun place!

First, you need to allow all summer for your Alaska trip.

Go up to Alaska on the Alcan and return via the Cassier Hwy for varied scenery and also a stop in August at Hyder and watch the bears fishing for their meal. Fun to watch!!!

Either travel across Canada or across northern U.S. and cross into Canada at West Glacier to get on 93 heading north. Fuel will be a LOT more reasonable in the U.S. than in Canada for that cross-country. We like to do Banff and Jasper on our way home because the trails are clear of snow. If doing them first thing in your trip you'll see lots of snow which is pretty buts depends if you just want to drive or stop and do things. Since you'll probably be leaving in spring some things along the Canadian route may not be open yet. You could head out via U.S. and do across Canada at the end of your trip.

Many people doing the Alaska trip plan to cross the border toward the end of May. Crossing too early, the lakes could still be frozen and campgrounds not open. They start leaving Alaska mid-August or some, even later.

There is a LOT to see in Canada and the Yukon before even getting to Alaska so don't pass things up.

This is not a trip to rush. How often would you be doing it? Probably only once (although we did it 3x).

Don't bog yourself down with reservations. The only ones we made were for Denali National Park and the July 4 weekend. Those we only made a couple weeks prior when we could better judge when we'd be in the area. As it turned out on one trip we were early for our Denali reservation so on a whim we boondocked nearby at a lovely spot and pulled into Denali early morning. We easily secured 5 nights in Riley Creek campground in Denali without reservations. Then we moved farther into the park to Teklanika campground for an additional 5 nights with our reservation. We saw 'THE' mountain 7 of 10 days. Many never see 'THE' mountain during their stay because of rain, fog, haze. We were so lucky. We also saw all the big animals; many more than once. We covered every part of the park that was available to us.

I'd highly recommend getting the Milepost for history and maps. We took turns driving daily so that the other could read from the book aloud about things we were seeing and the other could focus on the awesome scenery rather than driving.

Also get Mike and Terry Church's book 'Alaskan Camping'. It includes some of the U.S. near the border and Canada & Yukon. They lived in Fairbanks & traveled south yearly so they knew the spots. They give the RV parks and also beautiful boondocking areas... which you should think about doing at times.

Keep in mind that with this year's closing of the border because of Covid things may have closed down because of not having tourists. Their season is short & they rely on tourists. Be flexible in your plans.

Plan to take at least one glacier tour from Alaska. We did two - one from Valdez and one from Seward.

It's not a hard trip but it is just long. Don't think of it as a whole. Break it down into chunks of distance.

We didn't get any damage to our motorhome or our car during the trip. Drive more slowly than normal. When in areas of construction and gravel, you should be driving no more than 40mph, if that. If you see an oncoming semi truck pull way over to the right side and even stop, if possible. He'll be going fast and throwing rocks, most likely. As soon as you cross into Alaska you come to a stretch of highway that will have frost heaves. It'll only take the first one you cross at a high speed to know how to look out for them afterward! In the distance you'll see the road as 'wavy'. That's your clue. There are usually red cones or signs at these places but not always. Otherwise the roads from the U.S. border are good.

Have fun planning! NOTE: There's also a 'Canada and Alaska' section on this forum for additional information.

* This post was edited 08/14/21 01:25pm by 2g's *

Salty Dog

Upstate NY

Senior Member

Joined: 02/25/2004

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 08/24/21 02:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for all the advice! We have a lot to consider but one thing is for certain - both the wife and I want to do this! I truly appreciate the time you all took helping us on our way especially on the planning side of things.


Wife, kids, somebody else's kids, dog, kitchen sink

Cleverly disguised as an adult.


pitch

NY

Senior Member

Joined: 06/08/2005

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 08/25/21 05:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you are going to Alaska, forget sightseeing CONUS. No way to do justice to the American west in 3 months. Alaska should be a month or so on its own. Make it two separate voyages or extend the one to a year. Just too darn much to experience!

2g's

Arizona

Full Member

Joined: 02/13/2021

View Profile



Posted: 08/31/21 11:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pitch wrote:

Alaska should be a month or so on its own.


Alaska should be all summer - 3 months. Why rush? How often would you do the trip?

RickLight

Washington

Senior Member

Joined: 01/22/2017

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 09/01/21 09:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Probably the biggest adjustment will be slowing down and losing track of time and days of the week.

Take whatever time you want whenever you want to.


Rick,

2019 Grand Design Reflection 150 273MK
2015 Ford F350 CC SB Lariat Powerstroke
PullRite Superglide

NamMedevac 70

Reno

Senior Member

Joined: 11/09/2020

View Profile



Posted: 09/01/21 11:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Someone mentioned touring the west. The large wildfires in western USA have become a yearly routine in the summer and fall months and now closing all the NF in California. This is likely to continue for the long-term until everything is eventually burned up. I live within 50 miles of three large wildfires.

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 3  
Prev  |  Next

Open Roads Forum  >  Roads and Routes

 > Pre-planning for first long duration trip upon retirement
Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Roads and Routes


New posts No new posts
Closed, new posts Closed, no new posts
Moved, new posts Moved, no new posts

Adjust text size:




© 2021 CWI, Inc. © 2021 Good Sam Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved.