Déjà vu all over again - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-16-2009, 10:32 AM   #1
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It’s been about a year to this day since we picked up our first travel trailer, a Bigfoot 17.5CB, in Portland, OR. Now that that trailer has been sold we are about to embark on another journey to the opposite corner of the country to pick up our new to us 2005 Bigfoot 21RB. Before heading out to Portland I asked a lot of questions here and elsewhere. Being first timers, many of those questions involved towing, what hitch to use, how fast to tow, etc., the typical newbie stuff. Now with almost a year worth of experience under our belts I feel comfortable to only ask the other questions like what route to take, campground recommendations, etc. So, here goes….. We’re planning to pickup our new trailer in Biloxi, MS the first week of May and return to San Diego, CA about 2 weeks later. My wife will probably fly out to meet me en route primarily because of work obligations but I suspect mostly because she doesn’t share my enthusiasm for the trailer buying and pickup experience. Our slate is thus far clean for the return trip and any suggestions for stopovers, must see sights, restaurants (not many, it’s camping after all), campgrounds, routes, etc. would be appreciated. The only restriction is that we stay somewhat close to the I-10 and later I-8 corridor because of our approximate 2 week time constraint. Besides that we’re entirely open.
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Old 04-16-2009, 12:13 PM   #2
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Steve,
Sounds like fun! In Louisiana near Lake Charles (I-10) there's Sam Houston Jones SP
http://www.crt.state.la.us/parks/iShjones.aspx
On your way back you're going to see a whole lot of Texas. If you have time just east of Houston TX, swing down to the coast and check out http://matagordabayrv.com/
The hill country area of central Texas is very nice. Check out S. Llano SP near Junction TX west of San Antonio just off I-10 http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findade...th_llano_river/
Once you are west of San Antonio the speed limit does go up to 80 on the interstate FYI, but traffic isn't heavy or crazy.
Out in West Texas there's Balmorhea SP just south of Pecos (I-10) http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findade...arks/balmorhea/
That's all I got for the Texas part of your trip. Good luck.
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Old 04-16-2009, 01:08 PM   #3
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Thanks Brian! This is great! All of the locations with the exception of Matagorda look like winners and sites are still available according to ReserveAmerica. Matagorda looks good too but I think it will take us too far out of our way. I'll probably reserve a spot at Lake Charles for a few days after pickup. Beyond that do you think it would be better to reserve all the others in advance, as we go or just show up expecting to get something? I have no idea how fast campsites fill up in that neck of the woods.
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Old 04-16-2009, 01:45 PM   #4
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Steve,
The state parks might fill up on weekends but not necessarily during the weekdays. You are also traveling before the schools let out for summer so that's good. You can call the SP direct to make a reservation if it's less than 48hrs in advance. You might just carry some of those phone numbers with you just in case.

Another SP to consider if you want to stop before San Antonio is Palmetto SP:
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/f...arks/palmetto/ It's about halfway between Houston and SA.
If you like beer visit the Spoetzel Brewery in Shiner TX home of Shiner beer. It's also about halfway there.

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Old 04-16-2009, 10:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
The only restriction is that we stay somewhat close to the I-10 and later I-8 corridor because of our approximate 2 week time constraint. Besides that we’re entirely open.
I don't know if you'll have time for it but I highly recommend Bisbee, Arizona. From the I-10 at Benson, go south though Tombstone; Bisbee is close to the Mexico Border. If you and your wife like antiques shopping, this is the place. The Copper Queen mine rivals the Meteor Crater in size, and it's right in town. Just south of the mine is The Shady Dell. I stayed there during my visit in my Fiber Stream and I want to go back.

I set my cruise control at 55 mph, and Bisbee is 11 hours from San Diego. YMMV.
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:54 PM   #6
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Here's our 2 cents:

Balmoreah State Park (TX) - town and park are just off I-10 before you reach the junction where 10 meets I-20. GREAT CCC-constructed park with a mammoth (volume) hot spring pool - awesome. A few miles further west, visit Ft. Davis SHP if you have time. It was built to protect travelers on the San Antonio-to- El Paso "highway" in the earliest days. Also in the area is McDonald Observatory.

Las Cruces, NM - Sunny Acres RV Park ( http://www.sunnyacresrv.com ) If you are members of Passport America, enjoy this nice, older park for 1/2 price. Old Town is interesting, and there is/was a wonderful donut shop in walking distance.

Gina D stopped in a county or regional park near where 8 & 10 split - do a search for her post.

Gila Bend, AZ - Augie's Quail Trail RV Park on Butterfield Trail just off I-8 west of Casa Grande
(http://www.augiesquailtrailrvpark.com/ ) Wonderful folks, and the town has a super Italian Restaurant & Sofia's Mexican Food in a converted gas station.

Safe journeys and happy trails in your new rig. Take care, L 'n d
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Old 04-17-2009, 12:11 AM   #7
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I'll second Frederick's suggestion. Check out Dot's Diner on the Shady Dell link that he provided. We also recommend the Bisbee Breakfast Club. Check this link for the days / hours that they are open: www.bisbeebreakfastclub.com It is located immediately south of the Lavender Pit (Lowell District, the street with the old brick buildings). This is walking distance from the Shady Dell.

I've lived west of Bisbee for almost 30 years. Let me give you a loop tour if you can spare a day or two. Highlights are Tombstone, Bisbee and Kartchner Caverns. It is about 100 miles total, varies on which way you return to I-10.

Exit 306 to Benson, AZ (NOTE: Use exit 304 if you want restaurants, Safeway food store or Super Walmart).

South on Rt 80.

Tombstone is about 25 miles south. Park on the side of the road somewhere between Second Street and Fifth Street. Should be a space during the week, weekends are tougher to find parking. The boardwalk (Allen Street) is one block to the west. Just walk the walk, stop for ice cream, or a meal, a museum, or gifts. My wife bought her favorite leather coat in Tombstone. There are some RV parks in Tombstone. Consider the federal museum at the old courthouse, a short walk from the tourist area.

On to Bisbee. As you come down the hill on Rt 80. Old Bisbee is on your left. Explore this after your trailer is parked. Then the Lavender Pit is on your right. Immediately after is the Lowell District (old brick buildings).

Shady Dell is on Douglas Road. Go around the traffic circle, Douglas road is a sharp right immediately after the gas station. You might need a reservation.

Also consider the Kartchner Caverns on the way out. www.azparks.gov/Parks/KACA/index.html It is a live cave, still being formed by moving water. The colors are spectacular. Again, you might need a reservation. I've read that attendance is down due to the economy. It is about 11 miles south of exit 302.

There are several options for traveling from Bisbee to Kartchner Caverns.

Return the way you came, head south at exit 302

Or, at the Bisbee traffic circle, head west on HWY 92, thru San Jose, Palominas, Nicksville (4 miles of construction, Our doublewide is east of that big mound of dirt) to Sierra Vista (shopping, restaurants, etc). From Sierra Vista, take HWY 90 thru Huachuca City, Whetstone to Kartchner Caverns. I-10 is about 11 miles north.

Russ
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Old 04-17-2009, 06:21 AM   #8
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Two additional ideas ..... the most direct route through southeast Louisiana is I12 which connects with I10 and missed the southern dip that I10 takes through New Orleans. If you want to see New Orleans, stay at Fairview-Riverside SP and take the bridge across Lake Pontchartrain.

If you stay at Palmetto SP in Texas, be sure to drive into Luling and eat at City Market. It's among the best in the state for real Texas BBQ.

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Old 04-17-2009, 09:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
We also recommend [b]the Bisbee Breakfast Club. Check this link for the days / hours that they are open: www.bisbeebreakfastclub.com It is located immediately south of the Lavender Pit (Lowell District, the street with the old brick buildings). This is walking distance from the Shady Dell.


Thank you for that reminder!!! I loved that place!
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Old 04-17-2009, 11:09 AM   #10
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Additional thought from here, too - If you enjoy Native American history and artifacts, check out the AmerInd Foundation. It is just off I-10 between Wilcox and Benson - take the Dragoon exit and follow signs. Here's a link: http://www.amerind.org/

Hope you have time to follow up on the Bisbee/Tombstone/Karchner suggestions too - fun stuff!
L 'n D
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Old 04-21-2009, 11:48 PM   #11
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Shady Dell / Dot's Diner update

I went to Bisbee for truck parts and stopped in for a bite to eat. The new owners took over in Sept 2007. Young folks with enthusiasm and energy. The place looks really sharp. Dot's diner was closed for the winter, got new plumbing and fresh paint. Even had a bottle of Moxie - Been 50 years since I drank a bottle of Moxie - probably be 50 years before I drink another

Dot's Diner has its grand reopening on Friday. we would like to go, but we have to be 80 miles in the other direction that day.
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:26 PM   #12
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Sorry for not checking in earlier but all has not been going according to plans. We picked up the trailer in Biloxi as scheduled but the trip East was met with a slight mechanical problem with an alternator that had to be replaced. I'm also not stopping at the places suggested earlier. They just don't seem to be at a time when I'm ready to stop for the day. I'm currently in Henderson, LA at Cajun Palms RV Resort. It's a nice enough place but completely lacking in character in my opinion. On the positive side it's is located next to a great restaurant called Crawfish Town USA. I just got back from dinner there and had a great time with a terrific local couple that showed me the ins and outs of crawfish eatin'. Anyway, I hope to make it past Houston tomorrow and maybe get back on track with some of the recommendations suggested earlier.
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Old 05-05-2009, 01:14 AM   #13
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Hi Steve - sorry to hear you've had a few 'speed bumps' since picking up your Egg, and hope the rest of your trip goes smoothly. We look forward to hearing all about that. Take care, L'n D
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Old 05-05-2009, 07:08 PM   #14
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Made it to Columbus, TX today. I'm staying at a really nice private campground called Columbus RV Park and Campground. It seems to be perfect for this trip; close to the I-10 but far enough away that you don't hear traffic, extremely reasonable rates and spotless facilities and the nicest folks you could possibly meet. I didn't want to unhook the trailer but needed some groceries. The owner went out of her way to drive me to the closest supermarket. I really wanted to make it to Palmeto State Park tonight but I don't regret it now based on the hospitality shown here.

I hope to be somewhere past San Antonio tomorrow, which was the worst city that I traversed heading East.

Update - Someone at the campground suggested that I take Highway 1604 to miss city center.
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