Road Trip Questions - Fiberglass RV

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Old 06-09-2013, 11:03 AM   #1
Name: Katie
Trailer: ParkLiner ordered mid-March 2013
Posts: 44
Road Trip Questions

We’re so excited!

We’ve been watching the ParkLiner forum for months now, learning a ton about fiberglass rvs, the recent issues surrounding the Parkliner and the resolutions for each, and are now planning to pick up our own. Cameron and Chandler have been very flexible and have agreed to delay our date for pick-up from the end of July to mid-September so we can pick it up ourselves at a time when our employers can accommodate us being out of the office for three weeks. Now that we have an actual date and approved vacation time, we’re starting to plan our trip and we’d love to hear suggestions from any of you.

Starting in mid-September, we’ll take a week to get out to North Carolina, staying in motels along the way. We’re thinking about taking a more southern route, from Barstow straight across, or angling down from Reno to get out there with the most direct route. Then we’ll take 2 weeks to come back home to northern California, camping in the trailer through Badlands, Yellowstone and Grand Tetons.

My questions regard routes and traveling with dogs:
Is there one route across the south that is more scenic than another? It will be a fairly quick trip going out but we’d still like to enjoy the scenery as much as possible. Also, can you recommend favorite campgrounds coming home through the Badlands/Tetons/Yellowstone area, as well as along the way between N. Carolina and that area? We’re going to fly by the seat of our pants and not make any reservations, hoping that the crowds after Labor Day really are reduced in all of these places.

We’ll be travelling with our two dogs, Labrador retrievers. They’re great travelers for week-end trips as long as 5-6 hours in the car at a time, but they’ve never done anything like this. They’re 1 and 2 years old, so young and full of energy. We’ll be on the look-out for dog parks, high school football fields, rest areas, etc., where we can run them at least once during the day and then again when we stop for the day. Long-leash walks also work fine. Does anybody have suggestions for other places to watch for to accommodate exercising the dogs?

We’re so excited about our move from a basic pop-up tent trailer to the Parkliner but we’re also preparing ourselves for the surprising differences in terms of things we’ll need to be aware of and take care of, like a toilet and shower, etc. We’re sure there will be lots to learn, so any suggestions or thoughts to keep in mind for our first shakedown trip are most welcome!

Thanks for any information and recommendations!

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Old 06-09-2013, 11:34 AM   #2
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We spent about 5 nights in Grant Campground in Yellowstone a couple of years ago. This campground is in the southen part of Yellowstone. It is not too far from Old Faithful Lodge (30-40 miles maybe). Check this site out for closing dates as everthing (except the Northern most area of Mammoth Hot Springs) starts shutting down for the winter during September.

Facilities' Opening And Closing Dates - Yellowstone National Park

On your way home to Barstow, if you come down the Western side of Utah, I assume you'll be coming down I-15. If so, do not miss Zion NP. A wonderful area. If you plan to come down the Eastern side of Utah don't miss the Moab area with its many NP's. Upon entering Northern Arizona, stay a night at Navajo National Monument. The park is beautiful and everything (camping included) is free.

Have a wonderful and safe trip.

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Old 06-09-2013, 11:05 PM   #3
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Name: Frederick
Trailer: Fiber Stream
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Red face I take my scenery where I can get it

Originally Posted by k8t View Post
We’re thinking about taking a more southern route, from Barstow straight across, or angling down from Reno to get out there with the most direct route.

Is there one route across the south that is more scenic than another? It will be a fairly quick trip going out but we’d still like to enjoy the scenery as much as possible.
I recommend you concentrate on getting to Gibsonville, North Carolina as quickly as possible, and if you're going through Barstow that can only mean Interstate 40 practically all the way across. I've done I-40 many times, and your route from MicKinleyville looks like 5 or 6 days without the trailer, but due to crossing time zones going east 3 of those days will effectively be only 23 hours long, which will eat into your progress...

I find Barstow to Kingman pretty desolate; I'm not a desert aficionado.

Kingman to Albuquerque is picturesque.

Albuquerque to about Elk City, Oklahoma is B-O-R-I-N-G.
If there ever was a road made for Google's self-driving car, this is it! The road is straight to the horizon, and there is no there there.

Elk City to Fort Smith is less boring, as there are rolling hills and towns along the way.

Once you make it to Fort Smith, the essence of the country changes. The wide open emptiness of the Desert West and Midwest becomes the scenic quaintness of the east. Lawns! Trees (with Canopy)!!! Topography! Lakes and Rivers!
Frederick - The Scaleman
1978 Fiber Stream 16 named "Eggstasy" & 1971 Compact Jr. named "Boomerang"
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Old 06-10-2013, 12:03 AM   #4
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My thrust would be to get to NC and pick up the trailer. Then dilly dally coming back.

If you are in McKinleyville, I wouldn't go south to Barstow that's day drive just get out of CA. If I were you I'd go 299 and on east to Reno then out to Fernley and take highway 50 across Nevada which changes to I-70 in Utah. Just stay on I-70 to St. Louis, then 64 to Lexington, KY then figure a route to NC.

Whether you are on I-70 or I-40 there is not much out there until you get to nearly to the Mississippi river. Then as Fredrick said the terrain changes from Western Desert/Plains to Midwest more lush and scenic.

As far as camping on the way back you shouldn't have a problem with campsites other than some places like NP's start closing mid-Sept. But reservation, nah!!!

Dog might have to drive around looking for them. Most likely the exercise will be on leash. They'll do fine. As pups you might have to stop more frequently.
Joy A. & Lily
and "Puff", too
No. Ca. Sierra Foothills
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Old 06-10-2013, 05:39 PM   #5
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Trailer: 2011 Scamp 13'
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Your return camping trip is almost identical to ours when we picked up our new 2011 Scamp. Our first campground was Railley's at Pine Mountain Resort, close to Backus, MN. Staying there gave us a chance to check out our trailer thoroughly knowing we could easily go back to the manufacturer should there be a problem. Note: Everything was in tip-top shape A campground we really liked was Custer State Park in South Dakota. It is full of natural beauty, a lovely campground and a pretty lake. We got our first ever close-up glimpse of bison here! We missed it but you might want to check out Wind Cave National Park nearby.

We loved Yellowstone but weren't prepared to fall in love with the Grand Tetons!

My only recommendation is to bring comfortable bedding because the Scamp beds are FIRM! A cushy comforter will go a long way on your first trip until you can make a custom mattress topper of Therma-foam. (see photos of my bedding).

Happy Camping!
Gilda (Jill-da)
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Old 06-10-2013, 06:58 PM   #6
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Name: Gayle
Trailer: 2010 EggCamper "EPod"
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Last fall I stayed in the following campgrounds/RV Parks and would recommend them:

Colter Bay Village Campground, Grand Teton National Park
Yellowstone Grizzly RV Park, West Yellowstone, MO (Just outside west Yellowstone entrance)
Spanish Trail RV Park, Moab, UT
Ms. Gayle 2010 EggCamper (Purchased April 2012)
Camped in 2012-IA, MO, NE, WY, MT, UT, NM, AZ, TX/2013-AR, LA, AL, FL, GA, SC, NC, TN, KY, KS, CO/2014-FL, MO, MN, MI, WI, IA/2015-SD, IA, MO, OK, TX/2016-AR, MS, FL, MO
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:16 PM   #7
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The KOA in the Badlands has a fenced in large exercise area for your dogs.
Never in doubt, often wrong
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:17 PM   #8
Name: Katie
Trailer: ParkLiner ordered mid-March 2013
Posts: 44
Thanks everyone!

We're leaning towards the route down through Reno via 50 and 70, and basically veering straight over to North Carolina. We agree about pushing to get out there as soon as we can and then relax as we can on the way home.

I really appreciate the comments about the different campgrounds, especially the lack of need for reservations! We'd love to hear more!

Does anybody have any to suggestions for places between North Carolina and South Dakota? We're looking at maps and we 're finding just how rusty our geography is regarding anything east of Kansas and Nebraska. (kind of embarrassing!) We're having a blast making marks and putting pins in a giant wall map above the kitchen table. So if you know of some nice camp area along our route, we'd love to hear about it.

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Old 06-10-2013, 08:18 PM   #9
Name: Katie
Trailer: ParkLiner ordered mid-March 2013
Posts: 44
Thanks Jim! That's great to know. By the time we get there they're REALLY going to need a run off leash!

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Old 06-11-2013, 09:01 PM   #10
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Trailer: Chevy AWD Van Conversion
Astoria Oregon
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Hi Katie, i hope you two have a great time on your delivery run!

This might not be the place to ask... but did you decide on having Chandler install the MaxxAir MaxxFan 5100K like he did for us?

I did an amp-draw test on ours this week and the fan draws .5 amp at the second setting up that i would liken to our old fantastic fan's low setting...usually plenty for us in the PNW. On what i would consider the Fantastic Fan's medium setting it draws ~2.5/3 amps.

Best mod we asked him to do ...ok well the other must have easy mod for him was swapping out the galley window. A MUST have for us if we want to use the galley during the rain!

: ) Thom
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:26 PM   #11
Name: Katie
Trailer: ParkLiner ordered mid-March 2013
Posts: 44
Yes on the MaxxFan

Hi Thom,
Thanks for the good wishes!
Yes, we did ask Chandler to install a MaxxFan and he agreed without hesitation. The clincher for us was the ability to be able to use it in the rain. It just has to be that way with our wet climate.

Needless to say, we're really looking forward to our maiden voyage! We're still kind of pinching ourselves that we actually get to take this trip. It's been a dream for so long, and now to be able to combine it with bringing home our new PL... Well, life is good!
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Old 06-11-2013, 11:37 PM   #12
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Name: Hillary
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There are a few sites that list dog parks in map form, here is one. It might be worth figuring out which general areas have decent concentrations of them, or especially nicely reviewed ones, to make a point of stopping there.

I personally always make sure I have copies of my dogs rabies certificates with me, their physical license tags and rabies tags and it's probably not a bad idea to also have a letter from your vet stating they're up to date on their vaccinations. Also a great suggestion that I've read and need to implement is to always travel with photos of them in case one goes missing! Unfortunately sometimes weird circumstances collide and even amazingly well trained dogs freak at the wrong moment and bolt the wrong way... Better to be prepared and able to get flyers out ASAP than waste precious time getting together what you need!
Have a great trip! I agree with everyone else on booking it on your way there to get more time in the trailer on the way back!
Hillary & Jeff
Camping with the sighthound variety pack and leaving 4 cats at home
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Old 06-12-2013, 04:49 AM   #13
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A day east of Gibsonville, N.C. is the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The NPS campgrounds are open into October. The water will be very warm and the beaches almost deserted. Might make a good shake down. Raz
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Old 06-12-2013, 05:41 AM   #14
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Kentucky has beautiful state resort parks with lakes, lodges, live theater troupes, etc. Well worth checking out. Indiana has very nice campgrounds in state parks, too. Starved Rock in Illinois is good place near I80, too.

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