How do you decide what to do? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-01-2017, 03:17 PM   #21
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Sometimes we make reservations and sometimes we don't.
Whether you are retired or still working , time constraints , camping style , destination ,time of the year , if it's a holiday weekend , medical issues , finances , etc all have an affect on whether you need to plan or just wing it.
We don't camp at Walmarts or Cracker Barrels , and tend to camp at State or County Parks. After driving for 8 or 10 hours the last thing I want to do is spend 2 or 3 more hours driving around in the dark looking for a campsite and then setting up camp when I am half asleep.
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Old 09-01-2017, 04:01 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by jgilliam1955 View Post
How do folks plan a trip? Weekend or Week?
Sometimes we feel we have missed stuff because we don't plan well.
When I was working we had a saying on the wall. Plans are useless, making plans are quite valuable.
There's another one that comes to mind. The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.
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Old 09-01-2017, 04:06 PM   #23
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Sometimes we feel we have missed stuff because we don't plan well.
There are so many fabulous places! Just remember to cherish what you are doing - you will never see it all.
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Old 09-01-2017, 05:15 PM   #24
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Old 09-01-2017, 09:17 PM   #25
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Sometimes we plan a bit - other times we just go camping. Often we head to a lovely Provincial Park a little over an hour away - no electricity, no running water, so very basic. There is a PorttaPotty for night use and I can get quite a bit of food into the fridge with some overflow in the car. Advantage - we have always found a campsite if we go early in the week (we usually leave on Friday so non retired people can find a spot). It is quiet, relaxing, we go for walks, canoe rides, take photos, read, visit other lakes with a lunch etc. all while at a lake side spot.

Longer trips we decide where, pack what we can and take off. No reservations arranged because we thought we'd get into having to leave a good spot before we had finished seeing and doing the things we wanted. Again, we changed campgrounds early in the week. Spent several weeks exploring the Badlands. Also spent weeks in the Rockies.
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Old 09-01-2017, 11:32 PM   #26
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Hazel--that really sounds lovely. What you wrote is inspiring.


We have so many others here who are inspiring, too. It helps me when I'm in the middle of the trip planning to remember why we want to go in the first place.


Here by the US West coast, it's not always that easy to find a place.


But, really, we've just begun this phase of our camping. We'd always been weekenders before; now, since summer of 2016, with Peanut and Paul retired, we have all the time in the world. I hope one day to have a favorite park we can go to like you do. That sounds so good.


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Old 09-02-2017, 07:01 AM   #27
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Minimal Planning

We travel 7 months and only destination plan when a reservation is required. In seven months of travel a year we probably only make a reservation a handful of nights.

Our planning primarily consists of picking a direction. We head South in a couple of days and for a month of travel we only have one reservation, a place of few campgrounds near Princeton, NJ.

After 17 years of traveling up and down the east coast we can always find a place to stay.

We stop when we've driven enough, look for a place and explore the area, generally staying until we're ready to go. Some our favorite towns are place we never heard of and if we planned would never have stopped in. Rving is a life of discovery.
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Old 09-02-2017, 08:31 AM   #28
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...take HALF the clothes, and TWICE the money, and you will have a good time!

That struck a chord, Wayne. We'd rather do a shorter trip with a liberal purse than a longer trip with a tight fist.

On a serious note, I would return to the basic premise of this thread...
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgilliam1955 View Post
...Sometimes we feel we have missed stuff because we don't plan well.
Travel, like any other pursuit, can become an obsession based on "keeping up with the Joneses." Plan more if you like- some good resources have already been mentioned- but don't let plans become your master. As long as you're enjoying the places you have been and the people you are with, I wouldn't worry overmuch about what you might have missed.

I suspect there is a right balance of planning and flexibility for each person. With us it's about days and nights. Unlike Norm and others, we do want to know where we'll be sleeping at night, and a rest stop or Walmart parking lot is not it, so we book our campgrounds in advance. For the most part we leave the days wide open. If there is a specific attraction we want to visit, we do check online in advance to find out if reservations are needed. We booked the night observation program at Kitt Peak Observatory, for example, when we planned a trip to Tucson.

But often the spontaneous excursions turn out to be the best. We've been known to wake up in the morning and jump online to find something to do locally- a visit to the Cal Poly campus while we were camped at Pismo Beach was the result one time, and it sparked an interest in chemistry in one of our girls. Talking with other campers is another way to turn up interesting leads.
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Old 09-02-2017, 03:18 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Kai in Seattle View Post
Hazel--that really sounds lovely. What you wrote is inspiring.


We have so many others here who are inspiring, too. It helps me when I'm in the middle of the trip planning to remember why we want to go in the first place.


Here by the US West coast, it's not always that easy to find a place.


Kai
We lived SE of Seattle for many years and did a lot of last minute camping. As soon as Chinook Pass opened, we would head over the Pass and camp at one of the dozen or more forest service campgrounds. No hookups, no flush toilets, just outhouses. That scared away most of the RV crowd. Weather there was totally different, think sun, dry and warm, but not hot. We'd head towards Yakima during the day or back to Mt Ranier NP. It was quite nice.

We were 45 miles SE of Seattle so we could get a jump on the rest of the working world and we were only about an hour from Chinook Pass. As I type this we are going to have to do this trip in 2018!

On the mobility issue limiting camping I highly recommend weight training, for core strength and mobility. Nothing more sobering than the simple face up get up movement. Then do a step over box increasing the height over time, then do step ups with weight. We are aggressively putting effort into extending mobility as long as we can!
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Old 09-02-2017, 04:06 PM   #30
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Come to California where you have to plan 8 months ahead and the first day of the month you log inot a site at 8 am sharp and try to post for a specific camp site. By 8:01 you find out if you get a site or not. If not you pick another site. All the good popular site is gone by 8:30 for the whole month. Next month you get to try this again for the following month for 8 month later spot. Weekends and full week spots in the summer go so fast. Tuesday through Thursday spots hang a little longer.

Its hard out here if your planning around your personal work schedule.
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Old 09-02-2017, 04:36 PM   #31
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Kind of like our site in Golden CO. 60 days in advance, but you can book up to 14 days so the last day you are 73 days in advance. We start our reservation on a Sunday when working people are leaving. Then we book the next week or in this case the next two weeks. So we are able to get two wkds before they are available.

Knowing the system is critical to winning the reservation game.
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Old 09-02-2017, 05:32 PM   #32
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Come to California where you have to plan 8 months ahead and the first day of the month you log inot a site at 8 am sharp and try to post for a specific camp site. By 8:01 you find out if you get a site or not. If not you pick another site. All the good popular site is gone by 8:30 for the whole month. Next month you get to try this again for the following month for 8 month later spot. Weekends and full week spots in the summer go so fast. Tuesday through Thursday spots hang a little longer.

Its hard out here if your planning around your personal work schedule.
I guess if you feel you have to have reservations that's the price you pay. I camp often in CA and never have reservations. But, I usually camp in the winter.
Even in the summer I can find hundreds of campgrounds that don't accept reservations.
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Old 09-02-2017, 06:13 PM   #33
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thrifty bill: well I hear you about the national forest campsites, yes, you can get them readily. Often they have stack toilets, no trash receptacles, no power, no water, even, maybe, and being in the Cascades, can be rainy and cold. they are beautiful, quiet, and I agree, you don't really need reservatons. They are plentigful, if one hasn't got room just drive a bit longer and go to the next one. The loop around Ohme Gardens and Leavenworth and then north to Lake Diablo has some fabulous places to stay. that opaque, aqua lake by itself is almost worth the entire trip. We've done that; none are "favorites" and while well worth going once, we want to go elsewhere. If one just goes and doesn't mind where one ends up or what one sees, fine, by all means, cast your bread upon the waters. I want to know where I CAN stay, not where I MIGHT stay these days/nights, and I don't mind at all making reservations and looking up things we could do and see nearby. We don't have to do any of them. Last May we went to Maryhill in WA (reservations) and drove down to The Dalles where we lived near the beginning of our marriage and we found where we lived and were amazed and the changes time had wrought. It was a trip down memory lane, for sure, one we hadn't even considered until we were there. We saw Stonehenge (that WAS planned) and enjoyed Dallesport yard sales, but missed the game farm and didn't go to the observatory. Another time.


Most places have something to see and do; some don't. Online are great possibilities of finding out...not all campgrounds are particularly special unless you want to partake of their specialty. Many are "fishing" camps; some are hiking camps. Some are waterfall-based. Some have lakes, cliffs, desert, rainforest...


We've camped both ways. Both have their advantages. I really suggest you block out enough time before a trip to get an idea of what features you're passing and that will be near your route.


I must say, some trips are easier without dogs. But we have the dogs, so we're taking them with us.


I hear the original poster about wondering what you're missing. You'll never see it all. Even if you live in the same place for decades, you'll never see it ALL. But you can hit some highlights...even if they're not everyone's highlights, they'll be YOUR highlights because that's what you saw and did and experienced.


We often don't take photos but buy postcards, showing more popular places in their best lights. Literally. We used to take physical souvenirs, but mostly don't, now. (See The Long, Long Trailer for our opinions on hauling "special" rocks found along the way). Many places insist you take only pictures and leave only footprints...that's not a bad guideline for us these days.


It includes those plastic cups from Chicago that changed color when you put cold drinks in them...seriously? Did we need them? They were fun until we ran 'em through the dishwasher which killed most of their magic.


Oops!

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Old 09-03-2017, 01:17 PM   #34
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I'm a spontaneous person but DH is extremely rigid, concrete, and highly anxious. Planning makes him less agitated. However I let my concerns over HIS comfort outweigh MY comforst last year planning for a month in the Canadian Maritimes. Between his not packing his passport and then being uable to find it when I put him ton the Atrak back home and back to where I was camped with the cats and then extra time when our oldest cat managed to escape from our camper and we couldn't find him for 24 hours, and having to upend the whole first part of the planning in early Spring when I was assured the ferry from Maine to NS didn't run till mid to late June and then finding it did start 6/1...and losing close to 2 weeks while we searched for and then replaced DHs passport, well...I began to see that I was being driven nuts by his insistence on having every little thing planned out. The trip assumed an importance to me that made all these upheavals extremely distressing. I don't think I ever want anything to mean that much to me ever again.


In future there will be some light planning a month or two prior, never again will I plan 2 years ahead.
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Old 09-03-2017, 02:13 PM   #35
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Mitzi-
We keep our passports in our vehicle all the time. They are always where we need them, whether traveling with our rig or going to catch a flight.

We have never taken the Maine to Nova Scotia ferry. It's not much of a time or driving savings.

I find when one person is anxious, the other takes responsibility for the details. Eventually this builds confidence as a team.

How did you like the Maritime Provinces?
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