Not full timing, but a two month trip! - Fiberglass RV

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Old 07-08-2018, 05:04 PM   #1
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Name: JD
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Not full timing, but a two month trip!

Connie and I are headed out on a longish trip to Decorah IA because SWMBO wants to go to a seed saver exchange meeting and then a convention a month later.
The side benefit for me is that we are taking a tour of the north middle of the country including the Crazy horse monument, Mt Rushmore, Yellowstone etc.
One issue is that the Harley ride in in Sturgis is during this time and that means many motorcycles and more loading on the campgrounds and attractions along the way.
Has anyone made this trip and have any advice?
We are headed out in our restored 1985 FankenScamp and towing with our 2016 Chrysler Town and Country.
Lots of things to see in the three weeks or so we have for the trip.
As an aside we are stopping by the Scamp factory to pick up a Fammia awning for the rest of the trip.
So we will be leaving Decorah and headed to Bacus July 24 for the install.

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Old 07-08-2018, 09:54 PM   #2
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A couple fun things we did near Black Hills is the 1880 Railroad in Hill City SD, and Devils Tower which has a very pleasant campground (no hookups).

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Old 07-09-2018, 06:04 AM   #3
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+100 Devils Tower. Watch the movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” before you go!

Avoid Sturgis during bike week. If you are into road side attractions, go down to Alliance, NE and see Carhenge! It’s a hoot!

Wind Cave NP is nice too. Came through it once around 7am and the hillsides were covered with sleeping bison.

Stayed in Sinks Canyon SP (WY) on the way to Yellowstone. Really liked that park, interesting river formation.

Some stops are only worth a night or two, others are worth a week. Make reservations at Yellowstone if you haven’t already.
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Old 07-09-2018, 07:51 AM   #4
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I was surprisingly impressed with Rushmore.

I had a wheel bearing start making noise so had to stop for a repair in Hot Springs SD and really liked walking around that town.

Otherwise have fun! Not everyone gets to spend any real time on the road. My personal experience is to not over-schedule. I’m sure it’s not for everyone, but you know that feeling of pulling into a town for gas and thinking “this is a cool town, I wish we could stick around and check it out”? it! Stay for a night or two. Rather than planning the whole thing out.

I drove around for four months once with no schedule other that a loose route I wanted to take. It was great.
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Old 07-09-2018, 08:05 PM   #5
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Last year we spent two nights in a campground in Custer, SD. Big Pine Campground May 28th and 29th. Crazy Horse was great we thought. Also visited Mt Rushmore and Devil's Tower. Drove through Custer State Park, Needles Highway, Iron Mountain Rd and Norbeck Wildlife Preserve and Norbeck Overlook in Black Hills National Forest. You get a different view of Rushmore from the Overlook. Lots of wildlife on the State Park wildlife drive. Had supper and ice cream at the Purple Pie Place in Custer. The last two springs we have done two month trips from Maine to the West and back mostly touring National Parks and Monuments. I would recommend that the drives I mentioned above be taken in your tow vehicle only!
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Old 07-10-2018, 05:02 AM   #6
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Decorah - visit Dunnings Spring. They have a new bike trail there if you ride bikes. Canoe the Upper Iowa. Visit the Norwegian Museum. Take in the fish hatchery where the famous Decorah eagles nest. If you don't camp in Decorah itself, there is a private campground we have used, Sampson Springs. They did have a flood earlier though, so I am not sure how they recovered. Kevin grew up there, and we both went to Luther.
As for SD, we have been there during Sturgis and many other times, as we volunteer on Pine Ridge when we can. Make campground reservations before going and plan on seeing bikers. They like to tour the sites also. Don't miss Crazy Horse. Take the bus tour to the base. We like it better than Mt.Rushmore. Drive some of the backroads of Custer Park and you see more wildlife. We did Wind Cave too but did not care for the guide's tour. They need a Lakota doing the tour. Stop in the Badlands on the way out and even hit Wall, if you want to see loads of tacky souvenirs. If you make it to Hot Springs, they have a nice local museum. We stay at the KOA outside Custer and steer clear of the KOA at Mt. Rushmore when in season.

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Old 07-10-2018, 06:35 AM   #7
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One “mistake” I think people make is they have to pack in every single attraction into one trip. Sometimes hanging out in one place for a week can be a lot more enjoyable. Then save some of the attractions for another trip.

Our last trip we spent ten days in one spot.

Now our next trip will be different: Alaska and back in one month. Our longest stop will be three days(twice), two days (three times) and all other stops one night. If we could extend our trip to six or even eight weeks, I’d probably just add more days at several stops and not increase total miles at all.
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Old 07-11-2018, 08:21 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
One “mistake” I think people make is they have to pack in every single attraction into one trip. Sometimes hanging out in one place for a week can be a lot more enjoyable. Then save some of the attractions for another trip.

As Bill notes, less can sometimes be more. I've often found that trimming my list of places to go has made trips more pleasant...

On the other hand, a friend in Wyoming says the Buffalo Bill Center of the West museums in Cody are really impressive, and it looks like you might be headed right through there on the way to Jellystone Park...
- "Wag more, bark less." -
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Old 07-12-2018, 04:03 PM   #9
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On the road to Memphis today and now parked at South Haven RV park (under the Memphis FedEx take off path).
Tomorrow we head to Branson for a few days.
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Old 07-12-2018, 05:21 PM   #10
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Nordic Fest starts July 26 in Decorah, so it's good you're leaving before then and coming back later. Campsites will be scarce!

Also, plan on a reservation for the Black Hills any time during vacation season. Custer has several campgrounds. We like the KOA there.
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Old 07-20-2018, 05:33 PM   #11
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Smile Longish trips

We drove with Homelet south from Washington State to Arizona each winter from 2011 to 2016. We never had an itinary just drove as we liked. We left beginning of January and returned beginning of March. There are other posts of mine on this forum if you are interested.

From 1978 to 1988 we drove from Washington State to Wisconsin every summer to visit the folks.

We lived in Wisconsin 1962-1977. My 21st birthday until we migrated.

(These trips were made using motels, not our RV.)

The sights to see along the northern tier are Yellowstone, Custer Battlefield, Devil's Tower, The Black Hills, Wall (Wall Drug) and Mitchel (Corn Palace) in SD, depending if you are history buffs or not. Rochester MN has the Mayo Clinic and displays there for the medically interested.

In SW Wisconsin there is the Cave of the Mounds, The House on The Rock, a natural bridge, in Baraboo the Circus World Museum, Tower Hill SP where they made lead pellets from the many deposits of lead in the area, Wisconsin Dells, (which has been really commercialized) around the rock formations along the river. This area of Wisconsin is known as "The Driftless Area" where the glaciers which formed much of the landscape in the area, split and left many interesting rock formations.

In Galena IL, is President Grant's home. Near Williams Bay WI is Yerkes Observatory with the largest refracting telescope in the world.

Then along the eastern part of the state many views of Lake Michigan. It is unusual to view a fresh body of water where you can't see the far shore.

Then south to Illinois and Chicago.

There is a lot to see in the area you are traveling and I gave you a sample for you to pick from depending on your interests. Bon voyage.

I am a little confused. You state in your title, Two Month Trip, but then in the body you say three weeks.
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Old 07-20-2018, 10:58 PM   #12
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Old Yesterday, 11:34 AM   #13
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If you get to Bozeman, MT, go to the Museum of the Rockies. Some great dinosaur fossil exhibits. Also in the Rapid City area is the Black Hills Institute in Hill City, SD, which is a commercial fossil-hunting outfit with a very impressive showroom/museum.

Oh, and Reptile Gardens.
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Old Yesterday, 11:59 AM   #14
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Thanks for all of the suggestions.
We have reservations for the first few days of our time and from there we will wander and wonder.

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