Planning trip from Navarre, FL to new Mexico and Arizona in the fall. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-28-2019, 07:17 PM   #1
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Planning trip from Navarre, FL to new Mexico and Arizona in the fall.

OK folks this flatlander is headed on the second leg of the bucket list camping trips to the Grand Canyon and southwest.
Basically taking I40 (the new Route 66 I guess) taking in Taos, Santa Fe etc and I am looking for some guidance and suggestions for the trip.
We went to Yellowstone and Glacier National park last year and spent a few months on the road doing that.
There is a Hamfest in Albuquerque Sept 19 - 26 and we are on a waiting list for a spot in the Isleta Casino RV park which may not be built in time or filled.
Is there another good place nearby?
We are starting out September 6 or 7th on our way wandering out.
Whatcha Got?
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Old 06-29-2019, 07:53 PM   #2
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Route 66 Casino west of Albuquerque is also a good place. Isleta is south of town.
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Old 07-01-2019, 07:32 PM   #3
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What activities do you enjoy? What type of campsites and amenities are needed? North or South Rim or both? We generally camp on public lands without hookups and may be able to offer suggestions for that scenario.

We just returned to NC from a western trip with a good bit being along I-40. Highly recommend a stop at Palo Duro Canyon State Park outside Amarillo. The play Texas will likely be closed at that time but is darned near worth a separate trip, especially if you're a veteran. Lots of road work from NM east with associated delays and bumps.
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Old 07-02-2019, 05:19 AM   #4
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North Rim of the Grand Canyon is more remote but much less crowded. From there, I would wander into southern Utah, Zion NP and Bryce Canyon. Zioin requires reservations if you want to camp there.

Cadillac Ranch is a must stop briefly west of Amarillo.
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Old 07-02-2019, 06:08 AM   #5
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We are going to try boondocking some this trip and we are setup fairly well for that except for the all electric setup of FrankenScamp. Towards that end we do have 300 watts of solar panels on the roof and an MPPT controller with 200 AH of battery (~100 disposable).
We have a compressor Norcold 704DE fridge and a mini-split heat pump.
for AC power we have a Pulsar PG2200BiS inverter generator that runs on LP gas or gasoline.
We plan to run the generator for short periods of time to cook if we don't use the Coleman propane stove.
We have used FrankenScamp for fairly long periods of time, but usually with AC power so we have a learning curve to contend with.
We also have no experience with the weather in the Southwest and we don't know how much heat or AC we need in September - October in New Mexico and Arizona at altitude.
We are basically following the old Route 66 from the Oklahoma - Texas border to as far west as we want to go with side trips to see the sights along the way.
We have never stayed on a Walmart parking lot or anywhere "off the grid" and this might be part of the adventure, but we have no experience to draw from.
We also plan to boondock on public land BLM or parks and the above still applies.
We did "Boondock" for 4 days in Yellowstone last year, but the single flexible solar panel failed to keep the batteries charged to suit us and we ended up using ice in the fridge to keep the food cold. We should be ready this time!
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Old 07-02-2019, 06:46 AM   #6
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JD, your timeframe to the southwest should be fine for not needing AC although the roof fan may come into play. October here in my desert is the start of the tourist/snowbird season as it's getting cooler by then.
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Old 07-02-2019, 08:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
OK folks this flatlander is headed on the second leg of the bucket list camping trips to the Grand Canyon and southwest.
Basically taking I40 (the new Route 66 I guess) taking in Taos, Santa Fe etc and I am looking for some guidance and suggestions for the trip.
We went to Yellowstone and Glacier National park last year and spent a few months on the road doing that.
There is a Hamfest in Albuquerque Sept 19 - 26 and we are on a waiting list for a spot in the Isleta Casino RV park which may not be built in time or filled.
Is there another good place nearby?
We are starting out September 6 or 7th on our way wandering out.
Whatcha Got?
Depending on what you call near by, there is the Black Mesa Casino about 22 miles north of Albuquerque off I 25. Electric only sites for $20.00 per night; essentially a parking lot. A central location for water & a dump station. I doubt you will need reservations - it was practically empty during the Balloon Fiesta last year.

While the food in the Casino is cheap, I couldn't stand the smoke. The food is better in the truck stop next door.
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Old 07-02-2019, 08:43 AM   #8
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You hit it with its all about altitude. Tremendous variation in temperatures. Bryce Canyon and North Rim Grand Canyon are higher elevation and cooler. Zion NP is lower elevation and hotter. Its not so much how far north you go, it's how high you are in elevation.

+100 On smoke filled casinos. They are missing the boat. If smoke bothers you then the restaurants in them are probably not for you.

I have camped at a couple of casinos near Albuquerque and they were low cost and easy access. We stayed at Sky City last time through. Check in was a disaster, as it used the casino's hotel front desk which was ill equipped to handle anything. Off season, they have an office at the campground but it was closed. Sky City CG is mainly if not all pull throughs, with bigger sites than Dancing Eagle.
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Old 07-02-2019, 01:43 PM   #9
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North Rim of GC - Plenty of dispersed sites available just outside the Park in Kaibab NF. If its cold, Lee's Ferry Campground (Glenn Canyon NRA) is just off 89A and less than two hours drive from the entrance and will likely be much warmer since its located next to the put in for rafters running the Colorado through the Canyon. Water, dump station and flush johns. On the northeast side of Page there are lots of options on the shores of Lake Powell - Lone Rock is a popular spot. We really enjoyed the boat ride and short hike to Rainbow Bridge. Combine this with a tour of the dam for an all day event.

If Carlsbad Caverns is on your list, Brantley Lake State Park is a good choice for hookups and a shower ($14). Be sure to sign up for the Lower Cave tour if you like caves. For remote camping in this area, Dog Canyon campground in Guadalupe Mountain NP is lightly used and about an hour from the Caverns. This is also near Sitting Bull Falls Recreation Area in Lincoln NF which is a nice stop. Plenty of dispersed camping in the NF itself. I don't recommend staying at GUMO's main campground near the Visitor Center - literally an asphalted parking lot!! McKittrick Canyon hike is pretty.

We've seldom had a problem finding a site in National Forests and there's lots of BLM land in the west so you should be good if hookups aren't a requirement. Hope you enjoy your trip and be safe.
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Old 07-02-2019, 05:57 PM   #10
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Thanks for all of the information.
I will try to get Connie to read these as well.
She is the planner, I am the let's see how this works out guy...
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Old 07-06-2019, 10:53 AM   #11
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camping apps

I suggest you get a couple of camping apps, Allstays Camp & RV is excellent, includes everything from BLMs & NF to national parks, little local/city or county campgrounds. ParkAdvisor is another one, and RVParky. If you have a GPS you cal also download POIs from the POI Factory.

Be aware, places like north rim of the grand canyon may close early October because of snow, etc. I make the trip out to WY a couple of times a year, usually stopping in NM, AZ & UT either on the way out or on the way back. So many places to see out there! A nice road from Bernalillo to Farmington is 550. From Farmington you can take roads to get to Four Corners and beyond depending on where you want to go. Monument Valley is always good and inexpensive dry camping at Goosenecks SP in UT.
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Old 07-06-2019, 11:06 AM   #12
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I lived in Albuquerque for about a year. There is a lot to see and do there. Have fun at the hamfest (W7DAF). If you are doing Abq on your way west, plan a stop on your way back in early October (5-13). You don't want to miss the ballon festival. Last time we were there, we stayed at the KOA off I 40 on the east side of town. There is also camping on the festival grounds with varying utilities and price.
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Old 07-06-2019, 11:26 AM   #13
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NM in the fall

I would avoid the casinos unless you are a casino player. ABQ is number one in the country for auto theft and casinos can be a hot spot. There is a good RV park west of ABQ on I-40 - American RV resort. Don't expect to get a camping site unless you go on the BLM during Balloon Fiesta - October 5-13. Should be a bucket list event!

Probably won't need heat or air those months, though Gallup area can start getting cool in October.

If you are going north to Taos and Santa Fe, lots of BLM land north of Espanola on west side of SR 68. Would be a good home base for visiting both areas.

Have fun!
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Old 07-06-2019, 12:45 PM   #14
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Careful with Walmarts

I noticed that you mentioned staying overnight at Walmart. On a recent trip that went through Texas I called about 15 Walmarts and none would allow us to stay overnight. They cited local ordinances against it. I recently discovered that other states are also cracking down. Just a warning not to always count on a welcome there. Safe travels.
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Old 07-06-2019, 02:53 PM   #15
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Thanks for all of the input.
Even Connie has read most of it!
Thanks again.
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Old 07-06-2019, 04:47 PM   #16
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Too bad your stuck up on 40.

Coming from Florida Big Bend NP in Texas on the Rio Grande is a great place to visit, then head up to Guadalupe NP and maybe a day trip to Carlsbad.

Then swing up to White Sands with the great military stuff around there and then you can head up to Albuquerque. On the way to the Grand Canyon head up through Santa Fe and catch Taos. Great Sand Dunes NP across the Colorado line is awesome then head back down by Ghost Ranch for some awesome scenery then over to Chaco for some great history and , then , head for the North Rim. All the Zions and Bryces are up there. If your ready to head back head south to Organ Pipe, Saguaro NP around Tucson. If you do that you could head in on 40 then catch white sands and the Texas parks on the way back to florida.

We did all that last fall from California in September and October. Got reservations in October for the North Rim. We got snowed out on the 15th of October but that was a 500 year snow.


Maybe this is more than you want to take, but coming that far, see it all if you can. Lots to see in Arizona and New Mexico. Beautiful state, especially northern NM.

Have fun.
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Old 07-06-2019, 08:37 PM   #17
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New Mexico along I-40

If we have only one place to take visitors along I-40 in NM it is Acoma Pueblo. Sky City is the Acoma Pueblo's casino, right on I-40 and I cannot speak to RV facilities. But about 15 miles off I-40 is the actual Acoma Pueblo, known as "Sky City" because it is located on top of a mesa. Known as the oldest continuously inhabited "city" in North America, they offer tours and a museum. The Pueblo is still inhabited to this day and is very historic, and with the your you will get acquainted with a whole different culture. Reservations highly recommended, go to web site for many more details.
Another great stop is El Morro National Monument with historic Inscription Rock, not too far off I-40. Small campground with state of the art vault toilets, water available, and several pull-throughs. Free! Google it!
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Old 07-07-2019, 08:22 AM   #18
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I believe the Hopi village of Old Oraibi is the oldest continuously occupied town in North America. All great places to visit. Donít overlook Canyon de Chelly, which has a nice small campground.
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Old 07-08-2019, 12:27 PM   #19
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Free overnight in Amarillo

We have camped the night several times at the TX Welcome Station on I-40 on the east side of Amarillo. Itís a block off the interstate so is reasonably quiet with little passerby traffic. RV friendly, big lot, and very nice restrooms. There are usually several RVís and a couple of 18 wheelers there. The 18 wheelers have a separate parking area. No hookups. Just a nice free roomy concrete parking lot.
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