We Should Crowd Source a Travel/RV Camping Guide - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-08-2015, 11:12 AM   #1
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We Should Crowd Source a Travel/RV Camping Guide

I'm just starting to plan a trip and I am surprised how hard it is. If I want to stay on the Interstates, fairly straightforward; but if I want to stay off of them, fairly challenging.

I am looking for routes, traffic & construction info, terrain, campgrounds (with price, amenities, cost, attractions), fuel stations, propane, dump stations, grocery stores/restaurants, etc.

Lots of good info already on the web, just not in one place.

Maybe we could start a crowd sourcing project.
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Old 11-08-2015, 11:55 AM   #2
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Huck,
Almost by it's nature a forum like this is crowd sourced.

We've been traveling almost full time for 15 years and the difference is we've moved from paper to the Internet. All Stays camping and RV offers the ability to see all kinds of information, stores, gas stations, campgrounds, ...

Traffic and construction appear on most mapping programs, Waze for immediate traffic issues.

As to Interstates , except for some areas of the Northeast it's not too difficult to ignore the Interstates. For example we rarely drive VA's interstates and can ignore them in most states. A little pre-travel planning on a smartphone is normally enough.

It's amazing how easy it is to travel now compared to 15 years ago,
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Old 11-08-2015, 12:04 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
Huck,
Almost by it's nature a forum like this is crowd sourced.

We've been traveling almost full time for 15 years and the difference is we've moved from paper to the Internet. All Stays camping and RV offers the ability to see all kinds of information, stores, gas stations, campgrounds, ...

Traffic and construction appear on most mapping programs, Waze for immediate traffic issues.

As to Interstates , except for some areas of the Northeast it's not too difficult to ignore the Interstates. For example we rarely drive VA's interstates and can ignore them in most states. A little pre-travel planning on a smartphone is normally enough.

It's amazing how easy it is to travel now compared to 15 years ago,
I hate smartphones. I travel alone and using a smartphone requires pulling off to get info I need. Big difference between having a navigator and not. Plus for me, the info is too small and not enough displayed on the screen of a smartphone. Did I mention I hate apps?

If I'm going to have to pull over, I'd rather use my laptop with a bigger screen.
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Old 11-08-2015, 12:11 PM   #4
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Get an iPad. Like a smartphone but big enough to read!
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Old 11-08-2015, 12:12 PM   #5
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Hi, I would like ignore the interstates, but you punch in where want to go on our GPS and they route you through the interstates. Weather it be avoid tolls or freeways, the other options are way out of your way or through bumper to bumper through not so good of an area. That is so when you use google maps on our PC at home to. I am tempted to throw every thing out and use paper maps. But like Huck says, I like to know where every thing is. Maybe it is that I am just new at it and am not a savvy traveler as of yet.
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Old 11-08-2015, 12:30 PM   #6
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Hi, I would like ignore the interstates, but you punch in where want to go on our GPS and they route you through the interstates. Weather it be avoid tolls or freeways, the other options are way out of your way or through bumper to bumper through not so good of an area.
Sounds like you need to build your own roads.
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Old 11-08-2015, 12:52 PM   #7
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Huck,

There's not much one can do about a 'hate'.

There are all kinds of solutions that are big enough to read if that's what you want. Smart phones come in an amazing range of sizes. We own smartphones, pads and laptops. We use the smartphone in te car.

Actually while driving I never use my smart phone. Directions are audible.

I set up the GPS, if we're using it before we start.

Personally a smartphone or equivalent has made our travels dramatically easier and reduced the need for all kinds of items.

The most recent version of Maps allows highways and tolls to be blocked.

Carl,

There are all kinds of non-interstate roads that crisscross this country. We chose them over Interstates when they do not go thru high population density areas. We virtually take non-Interstates for most of the way to FL once we cross the Del. Mem. Bridge. They are not as fast, not as fuel efficient but more comfortable to us.

For examlpe we've taken Route 2 fro Wi to Seattle. Rt 93 from Missoula to Wickenberg, AZ. The roads are there. There are books on the red roads.

I have a great road partner but without one you just need to prepare before hopping on the road. The available tools, books, information are all there.
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Old 11-08-2015, 01:19 PM   #8
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I can't imaging enjoying a road trip if I couldn't take a few minutes now and then to update my route. If you had printed books, hopefully you wouldn't be reading them while driving. We usually use our lunch stops to update what's what in the area where we have stopped.....


And, there are RV specific GPS units that will tell you everything you might want as you drive along, but a bit pricy, abt $350.


And yes, while modern times can seem to be a harsh mistress, the pleasure from that slight additional effort/pain is hard to beat.



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Old 11-08-2015, 02:25 PM   #9
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Hi, thanks for your replies Norm, Glenn, Bob. I have the Good Sam 7" Magellan. just have not yet learned to use it right,I guess. That is how I like to travel, the smaller roads, I have lots of time, do not have to be anywhere. Now that I learned how to use the camper I will not be apprehensive about turning off someplace and getting into something I can not get out of. Carl
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Old 11-08-2015, 05:24 PM   #10
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Nothing beats experience and willingness to take some risks. Risks on finding a place to sleep. Once I solved that problem it's been nothing but fun. Planning is one of those thing I don't like to do. Rough plans are ok, but not detailed plans. We take a trip every winter that's 3 to 4 months long. This year's trip starts around the 15th of December and arriving near New Orleans 23rd of Dec. Leave there 5 days later and start heading back west. Sometime in February show up in Death Valley. All the rest of the time is anybodies guess. A stop in Galveston, Padre Island, Big Bend possible. A stop in Deming NM area, maybe. Could be a few days in southern AZ, in one of several places. All this depends on weather, and how we feel.

The trouble with hard plans one is always concerned about keeping on schedule. I would rather decide on how long to stay someplace on several other factors that needing to be someplace else by xxx date.

I know some people use the internet while on the road. That can be done. We generally have the possibilities on paper before leaving home. Note that's possibilities rarely anything cast in stone.

Almost every time we've tried to plan a trip, whether it was a local backpacking trip, an overnighter in the local area or a cross country trip the plans were changed on the fly. After a few years we decided that plans were a negative and not a positive. In our backpacking days we'd get to the end of our driveway and ask which way do we go. Some of most enjoyable trips, both short and long were trips without plans and the surprise of where we ended up.
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Old 11-08-2015, 05:49 PM   #11
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Garmin and Magellan GPS units usually have a setting that allows you to avoid interstates. I like to travel on the old US highways (US 11 is a favorite up though the Shenandoah Valley). I use a 7" tablet as a GPS in a RAM Mount.
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Old 11-09-2015, 04:10 PM   #12
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United...bered_Highways
The old original highways.
I've been on several like rt1 from Va to the Keys and rt 40 all the way west until it turns into I80 (was 40). Slow going but who's in a hurry hehe
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Old 11-09-2015, 06:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Pa View Post
Hi, thanks for your replies Norm, Glenn, Bob. I have the Good Sam 7" Magellan. just have not yet learned to use it right,I guess. That is how I like to travel, the smaller roads, I have lots of time, do not have to be anywhere. Now that I learned how to use the camper I will not be apprehensive about turning off someplace and getting into something I can not get out of. Carl
Nothing wrong with this post but he has a link to his etsy sales page in his sig. has anyone contacted him about this? it's overtly commercial - even if it is lovely and well made
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Old 11-10-2015, 09:49 AM   #14
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I agree with Jannet H....putting links to commercial sites that have nothing to do with camping, travel trailers or FGRVs should be blocked.

Concerning the original post....travel is an adventure....we belong to AAA and use their excellent maps (remember paper maps covering states, major cities and regions of the country?) AAA has the best maps...updated every year free for members. They cover the United States and Canada....never asked about Mexico (gotta be crazy to drive in Mexico...hazardous to your health).

Traffic...there is always traffic...gotta go with the flow.
Buy a good GPS...I use a Tom Tom with lane guidance. It allows me to select the fastest route or the roads less traveled...I just keep selecting "alternate" routes until I find one that works for me...or...use those paper maps and do my own thing!

Having a GPS saved my son from a lot of grief last month in South Carolina. The National Guard had dozens of roads closed off. He found himself wandering from one closed road to another in the dark...no detour guidance signs anywhere!
He was in the middle of nowhere and resetting his GPS every time he encountered yet another closed road due to flooding.
It took him most of the night to get home...a drive that should have taken less than an hour!

If you do not own a GPS get one because you never know!
In my son's case things were so bad even the alligators were using the roads to deal with the extreme flooding!
Drive safe!

Happy Camping!
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Old 11-10-2015, 10:42 AM   #15
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I have a Garmin Nuvi 3580 GPS. While Garmin provides a computer based planning application (Garmin Base Camp) I have not found it useful. If you use it to plan a non interstate route, when you load it into the GPS is usually changes the route to what ever the GPS feels like!

My solution has been to route to set the GPS for no highways & no tolls, then choose individual towns & cities located on my chosen route as destinations. When I reach one, I chose another further along the way.

Of course you may have to apply some logic to the process. For example, if I want to go from my upstate NY home to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, if I chose "no tolls" it adds 600 miles to the trip to avoid paying the bridge toll at Niagara Falls. There are also parts of the country where the interstates are the only practical road to take.

Overall, I find combining the GPS with paper maps works well. There is no way I could carry paper maps for the entire country as detailed as the GPS, but I still use a Walmart Atlas almost every day.
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Old 11-10-2015, 11:05 AM   #16
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Hopefully Jon you don't need your GPS to get to Niagara Falls anyway but good thinking about avoiding tolls sometimes you can't. We lucked out after the Niagara rally heading to the Mississippi one crossing at Buffalo, no toll because they are only on the Niagara bridges entering Canada. Of course we had paid to get into Ontario at Port Huron-Sarnia in August!

Our method of planning route avoiding the interstates if possible is to map out ahead on the iPad and take screen shots of the route. Then I can glance at the maps if needed enroute and they much more readable than using the iPhone. We don't have data plan on phone in US so this is handy. We used this method in September past Buffalo through NY, PA, OH, IN, IL. Sometimes you can be surprised for example just off the route in OH was a state park at which we stopped, not the best sites but lovely new shower building. On walking that evening along the canal discovered the quaint town of Grand Rapids OH, so had to take Beth there on leaving the morning and could hardly get going that day for all her shopping!

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Old 11-10-2015, 04:23 PM   #17
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When we travel through the states we often stop at information stations located close to state lines. They are most often manned by local people who have a vast knowledge of the area and love to talk about their own special places. We have seen places and things that are not in any brochure and enjoyed some wonderful conversations. Ten to fifteen minutes of friendly chatter after miles of road watching leaves you relaxed and ready to tackle the next hundred of take a side trip to a magical destination.
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Old 11-10-2015, 07:50 PM   #18
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Information is where you find it. This past weekend while taking the kid to the Fair we walked through one of the buildings housing booths with Government and non-profit type displays. One of them was the local Fish and Game Dept. I picked up a brochure for a very large Wildlife Management area next to a National Forest. Turns out there are several "primitive campgrounds" in the Wildlife Management Area shown on the map. I had specifically searched on the internet for information on camping down there and found nothing! Here I am just walking around and find info on boondocking activities not far from the house.
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