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Old 11-29-2019, 07:53 AM   #21
Senior Member
Name: Bob Ruggles
Trailer: 2015 Escape
Posts: 1,525
Several years we went from Michigan to Colorado caravanning with another couple. Every time we stopped for whatever reason we got out the atlas, spread it open on the truck hood and decided where to go next. I canít tell you how many changes we made to our itinerary. We had no set plan, just where to? Completely unplanned in advance with no reservations.
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Old 09-28-2021, 04:48 PM   #22
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Name: Guy
Trailer: Dub Box USA
New Mexico
Posts: 13
The DYRT just releases an updated version of their Trip Planner a few days ago. It now overlays your trip against your choice of maps (BLM, etc) which is a great upgrade.

This assumes that you're on the pro-version.
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Old 09-28-2021, 05:24 PM   #23
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Trailer: Boler 13 ft
Posts: 1,814
just me but on our cross country trip, 3 years ago, we didn't make any reservations at all. Maybe things are different now but our go to book was Next Exit book and around 2:00 PM the wife would look up campgrounds in the next area and we would call.
we always tried to make these calls on a weekday and stayed mostly in National Park or State run campgrounds near the areas we wanted to explore. When just passing though we would do the normal Wal*Mart thing.
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Old 12-10-2021, 03:52 AM   #24
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Name: Carol
Trailer: M6
Posts: 6
An exciting road trip I took in the US was from Vegas to LA. On the way, I suggest you stop at Death Valley. It's absolutely amazing and as frightening as it sounds.
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Old 12-13-2021, 02:26 AM   #25
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Name: Carol
Trailer: M6
Posts: 6
An exciting road trip I took in the US was from Vegas to LA. On the way, I suggest you stop at Death Valley. It's absolutely amazing and as frightening as it sounds. My friends and I got the chills as soon as we entered that area! We usually use to book our trips, but unfortunately, it's unavailable in the US, so we had to take the car. We're not sorry for it, though! It's a beautiful experience. Anyway, I know more about European places, so if you're ever interested, let me know
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Old 12-15-2021, 08:16 PM   #26
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Name: Gigi
Trailer: 1972 Lovebug 1970 Eriba Puck 1991 Mallard Sprinter Class C
Minnesota & Arizona
Posts: 192
Polarsteps App is gorgeous! Check it out. Thanks ShallowGal

What a great recommendation!
Polarsteps is gorgeous!
Thanks for posting this, ShallowGal

Originally Posted by ShallowGal View Post
Lots of great info above! We just finished a 19,000, 5-month meandering journey from Florida to Alaska & back. We used a lot of what was mentioned above. (We traveled like Raspy, few hard plans, winged it in between.) I have two things to add.
If you have a Ford, do not rely on the nav system. Ours sent us down some horrible roads & told us the wrong exit much too often.
Check out the Polarsteps app. It is simple to use & is a great way to track and share your journeys with family & friends.
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Old 12-20-2021, 07:06 PM   #27
Name: Rufus
Trailer: Surfside TM14
Posts: 38
I don't schedule much - my style. There are some issues I've found important:

1) A fully offline GPS app which does not need the inet. With the capability to dl maps for _all_ the places you might conceivably touch - because at the time you realize you need a region, you may not have the connection to dl it. There are half dozen at least options to available on the net and many other commercial offerings. But their performance varies depending on your phone and they have widely differing features, reliability, strengths and weaknesses. IOW, it will take some serious work to find one that meets _your_ specific requirements more or less fully. IMHO, it's well worth 50 hours to find a likely app and then learn to use it - quickly, seamlessly and with minimal error.

An example is OSMAND+ which I purchased the pro version 5+years ago and support them through their online fees (they offer real time updated maps online like google for monthly fee, a couple$, IIRC. (However, the last few versions have upped the hardware requirements so much that my 2018 phone will no longer calculate routing effectively.) So the app must fit the phone and that requires some searching and testing.

There are some features that you should consider and then test:

- Usable routing. Google's routing is very good, but not perfect; I find there are some apps with _much_ better displays than Google, but none so far match it's routing and amenity look-up. Test for 300 mile+ routes. Other apps, the routing varies from just slow to completely unusable. One thing to check is how the app responds, what options it offers when you deviate from it's selected route. Does it shut up gracefully after 3 or 4 "you're off the route" complaints? Can you "Pause" it? Will it automatically reroute when you UnPause it?

IMHO, it _is_ absolutely necessary to run a GPS app offline at times, so even if it's a chore, vetting and learning an offline GPS app is time well spent. Google will allow downloading regions to use offline, but the last I looked the dl's expired after 30 days or something. And they weren't particularly large.

- Recording your track onto your device, all day every day with options to stop, save, name and then restart the tracking is a good feature for some people. So far I have not found an app which does it automatically, seamlessly, invisibly - but some come close.

- Note taking feature. Add notes, photos, audio to "pins" you put on your map. This I find important, don't know how others feel. Saves me time next trip, lets me flag route problems which look to be there for a while, etc. Helps planning.

- Which leads to: A feature to graph miles and estimated time AND elevation and grade for a route. Can be a huge plus when you have a big load which strains you vehicle. Many elevation changes also usually equate to twisty turnee roads which mean much slower travel. Absolute elevations also hint at road conditions and weather to plan for.

- "Night" display. This can make the difference between having a GPS display at night and not...

- Display "Profiles" which allows selecting predefined (by you) displays for different types of activity such as driving, hiking, bicycling, sailing, and more.

- The display on the GPS can affect how easy it is to use - OSMAND allows customizing what is shown (see last para). I keep the next two routing commands at top of the screen, which usually included street names, plus the name of the street I'm traveling on.

- Customizing the little "You" icon which moves along your displayed route, making it large, coloring it, selecting it's shape and setting blink rate can also make following your route much much easier.

2) "Last Mile" navigating. This issue is what I really use google GPS for and has been the most problematic. So this is a heads up. This can be a royal pain in large cities or large shopping malls. Google is probably the best, but don't bet the farm on just driving up to the door... I had google completely miss a necessary exit when entering Charleston from the north in a downpour. Rerouted through half flooded city streets in heavy traffic. Not a happy camper. But it happens. Something like this occurred maybe 10 times over the 8000 miles I traveled 2021. To me that means better not be too blithe about that last mile...

3) Pick and EXCELLENT size and location for you GPS. Very important. I may experiment with tablet sized GPS displays, but the the Motorola G5+ screen has proven mostly good. I guess first I'll look at putting the dash mount in a better place... But, IAC, find a good size and position for the display is important.

OK, other stuff:

One gizmo that I feel is absolutely necessary, regardless of any other kit you may get yourself, is one of the two vehicle data dash displays: "ScanGauge" or "UltraGauge". These plug into the OBDII socket above your left knee. There is only one reason I say everybody must have one of these: Transmission temperatures. They can display hundreds of vehicle data, temperatures, speeds, power levels, timing, vacuum... But those all fade into insignificance - the _real_ item is the tranny temperature and the alarm you set for it. I use "UltraGauge" because it has a large screen and can display more pieces of data, but it takes up a little more real estate on the dash. You can use the OBDII Bluetooth reader mentioned below in conjunction with your phone to see the same stuff, but I have much more important things to do with my phone. But whatever you use, get an OBDII readout (easily readable and with an alarm) for you tranny temp. Having a separate readout makes it much easier to see and track this deadly temperature...

Another app is your vehicle log. I use Fuelio and IMO, it's hands down the best out there. Expenses, maintenance schedules, graphs, etc.

Another app is your vehicle OBDII code reader. Get a $30 bluetooth dongle (Amazon?) that plugs into the OBDII socket every car has above your left knee. Get a phone app that reads all the vehicle info for you and allows clearing codes, etc. I use "CarScanner" and again, IMO, it's easily the best. But I use it only to record my vehicle's operating data to establish a "normal" to refer back to, and to record recurring problems to show the mechanic. And, of course, to see what immediate problem may be causing that miss or slow accelleration or whatever.

Well, I guess that's enough techie stuff. It's what I have found to be important. _Two_ gps devices would probably be a good idea.

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Old 12-20-2021, 07:22 PM   #28
Name: Rufus
Trailer: Surfside TM14
Posts: 38
Non-tech stuff for traveling a lot.

- Locks for your trailer.

. Hitch pin lock.
. Hitch ball lock
. Removable (easily) chains
. A "Boot" for longer term stays

- Cable locks for the trailer spare and the TV spare

- Double propane tanks with automatic switching

- Exterior lighting 360degree with switches you can easily find and operate in the dark

- Duct tape (don't use on pain of hours of clean-up later)
- Electrician's vinyl tape. Doesn't leave a mess. Usual width is 3/4" but can be found wider. Stick pretty well, lasts pretty well.

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Old 12-20-2021, 07:25 PM   #29
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Glenn Baglo's Avatar
Name: Glenn
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B
British Columbia
Posts: 8,040
I carry gaffer tape. No duct tape ( or Duck tape ). No mess.
What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
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Old 12-20-2021, 07:37 PM   #30
Name: Rufus
Trailer: Surfside TM14
Posts: 38
200 miles max/day

Arrive at destination before 3pm, winter, 5pm, summer. You need to get there before the crowd, with enough daylight to find your spot, and enough left after that to settle properly. If you're "dining out" daylight is also important to unhitch and then find and case your prospects. Also: When traveling west, a setting sun can be actually blinding and dangerous.

Google is nice for finding eateries. I search and then discard everything that sounds like a chain. No promises, but at least it's a little closer to "home made".

At rest stops.
Think before parking. Don't be afraid to do a U-ie and drift back against traffic flow to take another run at parking places. I like to place my bedroom window away from big light, but I also like to have light on my door. Farther from the highway you park, the less noise. I use semi's and field buildings for highway sound screens Except... Can't control semi's with engine running or reefers. Luck of the draw.

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Old 12-20-2021, 07:39 PM   #31
Name: Rufus
Trailer: Surfside TM14
Posts: 38
Yeah, gaffers tape is nice if you find it. Don't know how long it sticks if left out in the weather, but it's sure nicer to take off!

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