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Old 07-24-2018, 06:38 AM   #21
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Name: George
Trailer: 85 Uhaul CT 13
North Carolina
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Since this is your 1st week long trip, figuring 2 days travel to and from, you have 5 days to camp. I'd pick a destination, research campgrounds in the area, make my reservation ahead of time and enjoy the 5 days exploring and enjoying the great outdoors adventure!
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Old 07-24-2018, 07:34 AM   #22
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Yep, everyone is different, and each individual often changes travel routines over time.

While working my preference is to blast to a chosen location, then sit and relax for a good length of time. I love to explore an area and learn about it, it's people, it's geography, it's history, all interesting stuff.

To accommodate this type travel, I usually tow at at least the posted speed limit up to 120 km/hr and often drive for at least 10 hours. This type of hurried travel often sees me stopping at Walmarts or similar overnight spots.

Of course that is what I have been doing as a working stiff. As I head into retirement the plan is to travel shorter days often, and spending more time getting to where I am headed, and maybe find some of those out of the way jewels. Having no time restraints will have a huge effect on how we travel.
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Old 07-24-2018, 07:56 AM   #23
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For a first trip I would choose one place and stay there for the week. You want to spend time getting to know your trailer. You don't want to spend all your time driving and set-up/tear down.

Unless you're just trying to get from point A to point B, I can't imagine staying fewer than three days in any place, assuming it's worth going there at all. You can always make day excursions.

7 hours... if that is normal driving speeds without a trailer, I'd count on at least 9-10 hours towing. You will be driving at a slower pace, and everything takes just a little longer with a trailer- getting gas, stopping for a meal, finding a parking spot...

For us, a long, grueling one-day drive is sometimes the price we pay to be able to have four full days relaxing at our destination. Because we're still working, our vacations are limited to about a week at a time.
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Old 07-24-2018, 08:23 AM   #24
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Trailer: 2019 Oliver Elite II
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I think a lot has to do when driving more miler per day is what tow vehicle you have and trailer size. I can not say from experience, but I would think that an undersize tow vehicle would wear me out right quick, that is, having to deal with engine power, trailer weight, and all the things that go with towing. I always tell new prospective buyers to get more tow vehicle then the recommended minimums, they will be much better in the long run. Our 2017 Ridgeline handles our 2018 Casita like it's not ever there, just a pleasure to drive and pull the trailer. This way your time driving is not so dependent on worrying about the trailer all the time and our time is much more relaxed behind the wheel. I see many on this forum fighting a loosing cause just because of there tow vehicle/trailer combination's, what can you say.

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Old 07-24-2018, 11:21 AM   #25
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This is an orientation trip for you. Use it to begin discovering what kind of travelling and length of stays you prefer. There is no "right" way. Everyone is different. Some people easily drive eight or nine hours and others are done after three hours. Learn the positives and enjoy the "nomadic" freedom to stop when you want for a lunch or dinner break or a bathroom break or to take a nap.

Campground reservations: Can cause undue pressure on you to get there in time for your reservation, which contributes to the twin mistakes of driving when tired and driving too fast.
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Old 07-24-2018, 11:55 AM   #26
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New York
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I have the advantage of being retired, so no time pressures. Back when I worked I still had less time pressure than most because I had fairly long (although widely spaced) 30 day vacations. Then I usually drove 300 - 400 miles per day; now I hate to do over 200.

I do take long trips, typically 8 - 10 months, staying in the desert in Arizona for the bulk of the winter. I prefer to stay at least 2 days at each campground along the way, but with the short drive, I usually arrive early enough to enjoy the rest of the day if I'm making a one day stop.

I prefer to go without reservations so I can stay longer in an area if I find it interesting (or leave sooner if I don't). It does seem to be getting more difficult, at least with national & state parks to find sites without reservations, particularly for more than one night. You have to plan for things like Spring Breaks, holiday weekends, etc.

If I'm not heading for BLM dispersed camping, one solution I often use if things get busy is to call campgrounds where I expect to end up at the end of the day the morning before I leave the previous one, checking to see if sites are available, and, if necessary, make a reservation for that day. Doesn't work on line or at many state parks because they don't do same day reservations. Still, calling is good since the office can often tell you how empty the campground is and what your chances are.

Don't pass up on city, town & county campgrounds. Fewer campground guides list them, and they often will have sites available, sometimes free, with hookups. The Ultimate Public Campground Project has the best coverage on non commercial campgrounds. Along with All Stays Camp & RV, I often use their app to find sites.
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Old 07-25-2018, 11:12 AM   #27
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My general preference for that time would be one destination, planning some day trips from it.

That said, as this is new to you, you might take it as an opportunity to explore how you feel about the time and energy spent setting up and taking down a full camp, and pick some destination not too far, and stay there for 2-3 days, then head somewhere else a similar distance from home (for that, I'd pick two destinations for the week you have; I've said for years that my comfortable car based tent camp set up has a 3-night minimum, and although I haven't yet taken a week plus in the camper, pretty sure that attitude will be similar when it happens).

Other than finding out more about the process for you, I'd say the choice is simply driven by the destination desire.
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Old 07-25-2018, 01:01 PM   #28
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Boerne, Texas
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This is an interesting discussion. Some folks are campers and some are travelers. We do both. We like to camp and get away from it all to enjoy parks and BLM land. We also like to travel, stopping to enjoy cities, museums, etc. We’ve found that 3 or 4 nights in a national or state park is long enough to explore, hike, etc. The times we’ve spent a week or longer in one spot were places like Washington DC, Asheville and Las Vegas where we alternated days of “seeing the sights” one day and chilling the next.

We shoot for 300 miles a day when we’re going somewhere. I drive 60 to 65mph depending on the roads. Our rule of thumb for figuring time is 50mph so we include stops. So, 300 miles is about 6 hours. 400 miles is our target max. The times we’ve done more than 400 we always say, “not doing that again!”. But, every now and then we do.

It boils down to personal preference and camping/traveling style. It’s interesting to read how others do it! Mike
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Old 07-25-2018, 02:34 PM   #29
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Name: Lynn
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Rochester, New York
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We often don't unhook even if we're staying a few days in one spot. For leveling, I carry a half dozen 2x6s with angled ends to bring up either side of the trailer or the front or back of the tow vehicle. Bring down the stabilizers and front jack slightly, still on the ball, and you're good to stay. Our vehicle is wired to automatically disconnect when off, so no battery worries. My wife still enforces the rule from our pop-up days, "No beer until you're done setting up." I've gotten pretty quick.
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Old 07-26-2018, 12:36 PM   #30
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Name: Jann
Trailer: Casita
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Originally Posted by Lorrie View Post
Thank you all for your feedback. I’m hearing lots of good advice. I’m getting a feel for the best length of stay for my family but I know that can evolve and may depend on the trip we are taking.
How long you drive and stay someplace depends on you. We usually drive 250-300 miles in a long day going someplace or to a destination. Then we stay overnight if not our destination and move on or stay a few nights depending on what we want to see and do. We just got back from 6 weeks on the road. We drove 1 long day and 1 short day to our destination that we stayed in for 2 nights then on to the next one for 2 nights. The next one was 5 nights since there was a lot of hiking, sightseeing, etc to do. Some days we only drove 50-100 miles to our next destination. So it depends on your plans and what you like to do. If you only have a week I'd do the 7 hours so you'll have more time at the destination. Four days driving for 3 days on a place just won't give you the time you'll really want when you get there and back home.
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Old 07-26-2018, 02:40 PM   #31
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It depends on how well you like your campground and how much you're enjoying your stay there. If you like it, no reason to go anywhere else. If it's just so-so, pull up stakes and move.

I guess you can tell that I don't make reservations.
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Old 07-26-2018, 03:50 PM   #32
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We camp on the KISS system, always works for us.

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