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Author Topic: Planning Our First RV Trip  (Read 1010 times)

Albert64

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Planning Our First RV Trip
« on: May 25, 2017, 10:40:39 AM »
As Newbies, my wife and I are planning our first RV trip. We live near Kansas City and are planning a 2 week trip to visit our son in Portland, OR. I wouldn't be so concerned about the timelines except my wife is still working, so we have to come up with a travel plan that gets us there and back within the two week period she has off (I'll be so glad when she retires and we don't have to worry about timelines!).

Right now, when we travel by car, I generally won't drive more than 8 hours a day, and of course we have experience knowing the kinds of hotels we stay at, so our travel planning seems pretty simple. Now that we're going to be traveling by RV, I'm wondering if driving 8 hours a day to our destination is a reasonable expectation in an RV. According to Google Maps, our trip from KC to Portland will be about 1769 miles and if we are able to average 60 MPH and drive 8 hours per day, we should plan on 4 days to get there. I'm just wondering if my expectation of driving 8 hours per day and averaging 60 MPH is reasonable? Also, since this is new to us, I'm wondering how difficult it will be to find campgrounds along the way? My expectation is that we'll do a mix of boon docking and full hookup campgrounds but I have no experience in locating either of these kind of places. I guess the bottom line is that we'd appreciate any advice on trip planning, especially reasonable expectations on how far we could drive in a day and then the best way to find places to stay along the way. Thanks for any advice you have to offer!

SeilerBird

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Re: Planning Our First RV Trip
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2017, 11:05:11 AM »
never mind
« Last Edit: May 25, 2017, 01:59:24 PM by SeilerBird »
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Albert64

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Re: Planning Our First RV Trip
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2017, 11:44:25 AM »
Interesting. So a two week trip to Portland isn't possible in an RV.

Oldgator73

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Re: Planning Our First RV Trip
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2017, 11:53:20 AM »
On long trips like you are planning I drive from about 6am and stop between 10pm and midnight. I start looking for gas at a little below half a tank and try not to let the needle get below 1/4 tank. Sometimes we eat when we stop for gas and other times we pull into a rest stop and make sandwiches in the TT. I try to find either a rest stop, Walmart or truck stop for the night. I like either Flying J's or Pilot. I couldn't tell you what I average as far miles per hour. I look more at how miles per day I need to go. I know others will tell you driving that many hours a day is crazy but that is what I am used to. We normally have one of the grandkids with us (5 & 7). Good travels and have fun.

SeilerBird

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Re: Planning Our First RV Trip
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2017, 11:55:48 AM »
never mind
« Last Edit: May 25, 2017, 01:59:08 PM by SeilerBird »
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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Lowell

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Re: Planning Our First RV Trip
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2017, 12:05:43 PM »
I tow our TT at 60 mph on Interstate highways.  I find that if I plan for average 55 mph I usually come out pretty close to my estimated time.
Lowell

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pulled by 2009 Dodge 1500 Crew Cab 4X4
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Oldgator73

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Re: Planning Our First RV Trip
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2017, 12:24:17 PM »
Mapquest estimates a 25 hour trip from Kansas City to Portland. If I were planing this trip I would allow 2 1/2 days. That's pulling my TT. So 5 days round trip. If I had 10 days to two weeks then I could plan staying for 5-9 days. Have you ever driven long distances before? If you don't know your limitations then maybe you shouldn't try it . But I really think this is doable for you at 8-10 hours a day.

SeilerBird

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Re: Planning Our First RV Trip
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2017, 12:47:39 PM »
never mind
« Last Edit: May 25, 2017, 01:58:52 PM by SeilerBird »
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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Oldgator73

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Re: Planning Our First RV Trip
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2017, 01:00:47 PM »
1800 miles in 2 and a half days. 700 miles per day. Wow.  :o

Yep. We were in the military for 24 years and all our family lives in Florida. When I took leave we wanted to make the best of it so learned to drive 12-15 hours a day to get to our destination as fast as possible. When stationed at Barksdale AFB in Bossire City, LA we had a 1973 GMC Gremlin. It must have had. 30 gallon tank. My wife would fry two chickens and we would fill a cooler with sodas. Didn't stop for gas until we hit the Florida panhandle and on to Daytona Beach. It's just what we're used to.

Rene T

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Re: Planning Our First RV Trip
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2017, 01:08:48 PM »
I don't believe you'd ever be able to achieve 60 MPH 0n average in a MH. I think it would be much closer to 50 MPH for an average. For me, I wouldn't think about doing it in a MH unless there were 3 or 4 drivers. I think one way would be closer to 5 eight hour days and that would only leave 4 days to visit. Then you'd have to turn around and drive back. I would go in a car. The average MPH would probably much closer to 65 MPH.  In a MH, you'd have to drive closer to 12 to 13 hrs. a day to make it worthwhile
« Last Edit: May 25, 2017, 01:34:00 PM by Rene T »
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UTTransplant

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Re: Planning Our First RV Trip
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2017, 01:25:19 PM »
So much depends on how comfortable you are with time in the seat. You really won't average more than 50-55 mph, driving at a 65 mph speed. If you are comfortable with more than 8 hours a day you could do that. We have a tendency to drive long days to get to a destination, but we do take a nice relaxing break at lunch and alternate drivers every two or three hours.
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Oldgator73

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Re: Planning Our First RV Trip
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2017, 01:34:30 PM »
If I drive 700 miles a day I would count on 14-15 hours on the road. That would be about 12 hours of actual driving. That's factoring in gas stops. At 700 miles and 12 hours I would average about 58 mph.

SeilerBird

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Re: Planning Our First RV Trip
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2017, 01:35:43 PM »
never mind
« Last Edit: May 25, 2017, 01:58:32 PM by SeilerBird »
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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Larry N.

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Re: Planning Our First RV Trip
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2017, 01:37:29 PM »
In all our RV travels, running at 65 mph on major highways, or the speed limit if lower, we tend to average about 50 mph overall, including rest stops every couple of hours (bladder and old bones), and a 20-30 minute lunch stop. Your comfort and endurance, along with your (and your family's) likes and dislikes will play a big part in how far you get in a day. Do keep in mind that RV parks aren't quite as plentiful as motels, even if you consider state and local parks (sometimes a hassle for just overnight, and often require reservations well in advance for weekends/holidays).

So I'd suggest that you reduce your average speed (for calculations) to between 50 and 55, then consider that it actually takes a bit more concentration driving an RV than it does just driving a car, thus wearing you out a bit quicker. So, as you probably noticed there are varying opinions from various people as to what is "reasonable" to do.

Since I'm one of those who, in my pre-RV days, would drive 12-16 hours a day, when needed, and have occasionally spent more than 10 hours (including rest stops) on the road in my RV, I'd suggest that if you and your family can stand the gaff that 8 or 9 hours a day can work, provided you don't get so tired/sleepy that you become unsafe on the road. But I'd not recommend a steady diet of this.

I'd also suggest that you get the Allstays Camp and RV app, which provides a listing of almost all camping facilities in the U.S., whether KOA, Independent, Forest Service, COE, State and National Parks, etc., along with the facilities they provide, relative expense, map and directions, and will even dial the phone to call an RV park to check on site availability. We've been using this for years, and typically about mid-afternoon we start looking on Allstays for sites in the area we plan to stop for that day, usually two to three hours ahead of us on the road. Mostly we get verbal assurance that spaces are available for us, but occasionally we make a reservation if there is any question whether they'll get full before we get there.
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Larry N.

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Re: Planning Our First RV Trip
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2017, 01:41:14 PM »
Not in an RV.

Actually, Tom, some people can do that on occasion -- I've done it (yes, in an RV), but I don't make a steady diet of it. At my age I need somewhat longer to recover after a day or two like that, than I used to need. Mostly I keep it shorter, but...
Larry and Mary Ann N.
2016 Newmar Ventana 3709 -ISB6.7 XT 360HP
2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited toad
Formerly: Trailmanor 2720SL, Bounder, Beaver
  de N8GGG

Rene T

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Re: Planning Our First RV Trip
« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2017, 01:41:45 PM »
When I drive to FL towing a 5vr, 1600 miles, the first day we put in 13 hours, the second day 12 hours and the 3rd day 4 to 5 hours.  I set the cruise at 63 MPH. That averages about 53 MPH. We stop every 3 to 4 hrs. for fuel, lunch or bathroom call. The first two days are very long days.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2017, 03:43:48 PM by Rene T »
Rene, Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

SeilerBird

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Re: Planning Our First RV Trip
« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2017, 01:51:42 PM »
never mind
« Last Edit: May 25, 2017, 01:58:14 PM by SeilerBird »
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Favorite 2017 shots:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/y0HbMU5KYa2hx02E3
My portfolio:
https://goo.gl/photos/Cx4SaYhGfYFShSty7
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HappyWanderer

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Re: Planning Our First RV Trip
« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2017, 02:05:54 PM »
Since we're still working, our vacation days are limited. We sometimes have to push hard to get there, then push hard to get back home. For me, 500 to 600 miles a day is pushing hard. A realistic number is 50 MPH on average, when you include meals, fuel and potty breaks. That equals 10 to 12 hours on the road, and I can't do that for any more than 3 days.
I don't have gray hair. I have wisdom highlights.

UTTransplant

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Re: Planning Our First RV Trip
« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2017, 03:36:05 PM »
Hey Tom, I am surprised you deleted your comments. Was it because someone disagreed with you? I doubt that the people you disagree with would delete their comments because we don't all think the same way. You should get thicker skin. No one will agree with all comments, no matter who makes them. Thick skin is required around the internet.
Pam and Kevin plus Lily the cat
2014 Outdoors RV Timber Ridge 240RKS
2015 Ram 2500 Diesel
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SeilerBird

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Re: Planning Our First RV Trip
« Reply #19 on: May 25, 2017, 03:54:03 PM »
Hey Tom, I am surprised you deleted your comments. Was it because someone disagreed with you? I doubt that the people you disagree with would delete their comments because we don't all think the same way. You should get thicker skin. No one will agree with all comments, no matter who makes them. Thick skin is required around the internet.
No, I just hate arguing on a forum. I got sucked into it and decided to duck out.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Favorite 2017 shots:
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My portfolio:
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My Grand Canyon shots:
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Oldgator73

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Re: Planning Our First RV Trip
« Reply #20 on: May 25, 2017, 04:22:22 PM »
Tom, I apologize if my posts were perceived as arguing. I certainly did not mean it that way. I just saw it from a different perspective. I thought you had some very good points but I wanted the original poster to hear the other side. I'll be more careful next time.

SeilerBird

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Re: Planning Our First RV Trip
« Reply #21 on: May 25, 2017, 04:30:21 PM »
I accept your apology oldgator. I made a vow not to argue online anymore. It is pointless with a he said/she said discussion. It only gets blood pressure up needlessly.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Favorite 2017 shots:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/y0HbMU5KYa2hx02E3
My portfolio:
https://goo.gl/photos/Cx4SaYhGfYFShSty7
My Grand Canyon shots:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/Nc1AT8tQp25wJwfm1

ArdraF

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Re: Planning Our First RV Trip
« Reply #22 on: May 25, 2017, 04:42:33 PM »
Quote
I'm wondering how difficult it will be to find campgrounds along the way? My expectation is that we'll do a mix of boon docking and full hookup campgrounds but I have no experience in locating either of these kind of places. I guess the bottom line is that we'd appreciate any advice on trip planning

We like the paper resource Good Sam RV Travel & Savings Guide & Campground Directory which has thousands of public and private campground listings arranged by state.  Each state starts with a map showing where campgrounds are located and then descriptions follow arranged by city or town.  It's easy to "look ahead" for accommodations along your route.  Another good resource is Next Exit which might be particularly useful for your trip because it's devoted to the interstate highway system and shows what businesses and emergency facilities are at any given exit.  It includes fuel stops, some campgrounds, restaurants and other businesses of interest to travelers.  Those with parking suitable for large vehicles like RVs are shown in red.  The RVer's Friend shows fuel stops on major U.S. highways along with that retailer's amenities such as restaurants.  With these three publications in hand you could travel across the U.S. and find most of what you need along the way.

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

Oldgator73

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Re: Planning Our First RV Trip
« Reply #23 on: May 25, 2017, 04:48:02 PM »
I accept your apology oldgator. I made a vow not to argue online anymore. It is pointless with a he said/she said discussion. It only gets blood pressure up needlessly.

I have scotch to help with the blood pressure.

Albert64

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Re: Planning Our First RV Trip
« Reply #24 on: May 26, 2017, 06:37:09 AM »
Thanks to all of you for your terrific input. As Newbies we do find it very helpful. Also, as Newbies, considering our time constraints we think the trip to Portland by RV may be too ambitious for our maiden voyage. This time we'll probably do this trip by car, but we will do the trip again by RV when my wife retires and we don't have to worry about the time constraints. We are excited to get started with our RV adventures, but don't want the first time out to be filled with unnecessary frustrations.

SeilerBird

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Re: Planning Our First RV Trip
« Reply #25 on: May 26, 2017, 07:01:46 AM »
I have scotch to help with the blood pressure.
Both my parents are dead alcoholics so therefore I don't drink at all.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Favorite 2017 shots:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/y0HbMU5KYa2hx02E3
My portfolio:
https://goo.gl/photos/Cx4SaYhGfYFShSty7
My Grand Canyon shots:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/Nc1AT8tQp25wJwfm1

Oldgator73

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Re: Planning Our First RV Trip
« Reply #26 on: May 26, 2017, 08:48:30 AM »
Both my parents are dead alcoholics so therefore I don't drink at all.

I sent you a PM.

John Stephens

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Re: Planning Our First RV Trip
« Reply #27 on: May 29, 2017, 09:49:19 PM »
Albert, I think you are wise to decide to drive the car this time. You didn't mention what type of RV you were going to use. If a MH, I can share my own experience with you that may assist you in the future. But any amount of driving you may do will depend on your age and health, something that many fail to consider. When I was in my 20's and 30's, I could drive for 15 hours without a break, but no more. Now that I am in my 60's, I make the trip part of the vacation rather than trying to get there asap so my vacation can start. Taking more time to get where you're going does several positive things, including keeping your stress level lower, allowing you to enjoy the road, scenery and general trip more, conserve fuel, drive safer, not get as tired, etc.

Many veterans of this and other boards will tell you to follow the 3:00/300 rule. Stop every day at 3PM or after you have driven 300 miles. This may sound very conservative, but after you have made a few trips in your RV, you may appreciate driving fewer miles and taking more time. Personally, I plan my trips for 350 miles per day, which will usually take seven hours of driving since you'll probably find it difficult and even dangerous to average 60 mph. You can set the cruise at 60, but when you hit mountains or large hills or curves, you're going to slow down, so don't get the mistaken impression that you'll be able to average the higher speed. If you want to average 60, you're going to have to drive 70 on flat roads. I assume I am going to average 50 and if I beat that average on a particular day, I simply get to my stopping point a little earlier. My 350 miles will take me 10 hours when I add in a potty break every 90 minutes for our 14 year old Sheltie, one year old Collie, and my wife and myself. We need 15-20 minutes each stop to do our business and stretch our legs, which will wake you up and make you feel better. Along with a lunch stop that usually takes 45-60 minutes if we want to cook, or 30-45 minutes if we want to eat sandwiches. Again, we take extra time just to get off the road and clear the mind. It makes the driving so much easier and more enjoyable.

As far as boon docking vs. campgrounds, we try to hit a middle ground in order to save a little money so we can afford better resorts at our destinations. We will stay in Flying J's, Cracker Barrels, and the occasional Walmart while driving to our destination, but there have been occasions when we have found a resort or campground at the last minute because our planning didn't pan out, such as thinking a Flying J had RV parking but didn't, or thinking a Cracker Barrel's RV parking would accommodate our rig, but then finding out the parking spaces were much too short. Not all CB parking is created equal. It really depends on your own preferences and how much you want to spend while on the road. We have skimped and boon docked every night on some vacations, and made reservations for campgrounds for every night on other vacations. It all depends on our budget that year and how long our vacation will be. I suggest getting the All Stays app for your phone if nothing else to aid you in finding decent accommodations.

In my opinion, your trip from KC to Oregon should take you no less than five days coming and going. Please remember you're going to slow down when you come to the Rockies. Whatever you decide, good luck and enjoy your trip.
John
Cape Coral, Fl.
2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J
Acme EZ Tow Dolly and 2007 Azera

decaturbob

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Re: Planning Our First RV Trip
« Reply #28 on: June 03, 2017, 07:26:25 AM »
Both my parents are dead alcoholics so therefore I don't drink at all.

I would suggest a series of 3 to 4 day trips to get accustomed to your RV and the time it takes for everything.  No need to jump on a 1800 mile trip out of the gate.
proud to have a 2008 Tioga 31M MH

Landis1659

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Re: Planning Our First RV Trip
« Reply #29 on: June 05, 2017, 03:02:44 PM »
I too am new to RVing, I found an app called Allstays, it costs you a one-time charge of 9.99 but from what I've seen I think it will be very helpful with finding campgrounds, boondocking sites trucks tops etc. Also road work, gas stations. Been very helpful with planning my first trip. Good luck on your trip, safe travels. Pepper

 

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