Help the newbie plan please ☺️

Discussion in 'Campground / Trip Planning & Suggestions ?' started by adairable, May 2, 2019.

  1. adairable

    adairable New Member

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    Hey all! Need some friendly advice.
    So, I am a first time popup owner and will be taking to the road for a pretty epic first time trip this summer. Without too many details we will be going from NJ to El Paso, TX then up to Tacoma, WA. If you guessed that we are military...points!
    The trip from NJ to El Paso is really just to get to our other car which is here. That trip is all hustle. We are going to try to do this for that leg:
    1st day NJ to Smoky mountains National Park
    2nd day above to Hot Springs AR
    3rd day above to Monahans TX
    4th day above to El Paso(get our truck) then to Phoenix
    Second leg of the trip with two cars and a popup:
    5th day Phoenix to pick up our road friends and then up to Bryce Canyon
    6th day Stay in Bryce Canyon and hike/sightsee/etc
    7th day above to grand Tetons or Yellowstone if we make it
    8th day stay in Yellowstone home/sightsee/etc
    9th day Yellowstone again
    10th day above to Spokane
    11th day above to Tacoma WA then up to Seattle to stay in a hotel

    We would love to stay in the national parks whenever we can and any insight to the ones we will be at or near would be awesome. I really appreciate any tips or advice ☺️

    Thanks
     
  2. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Make sure your tires are good , and inflated. Bearings greased and all that. Check to make sure the tires are not overheating on the trip. Make sure you have a jack that can lift the pup, and some extra wood incase you are on a hill. Camp at home to make sure you know how stuff works in the pup, and take a basic tool box in case stuff goes wrong. Thats one hell of a first trip!
     
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  3. adairable

    adairable New Member

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    Thanks! Those are great tips and advice. The pup is my husband’s parent’s so he has been it and knows it as much as any high school kid who pays attention to those things....so it’s not brand new to us but it is.
     
  4. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

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    Spending 22 1/2 years in the military I am familiar with the hassle of moving but once at the new duty station and getting settled in. There is a whole new world of outdoor activities to explore and adventures to have. Good Luck at the new duty station and thanks for your service.
     
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  5. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Got it, lol. Just bring stuff for the kiddo to do. Unfortunately thats lots of dvds.
     
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  6. adairable

    adairable New Member

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    Thank you for your kind words! I am a big fan of new adventures as well. So far we have been lucky- Hawaii for 7 years, El Paso for 3 and now up to Tacoma to finish out my husband’s commitment.
     
  7. adairable

    adairable New Member

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    Super excited to bring the kids eventually! They’re only 2amd 4 so they aren’t as used to our road trip shenanigans yet. They will be back with the grandparents in NJ for this first trip and I think that will help with the stress!
     
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  8. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    That will definitly make things go faster! Hope all goes well for your husbands new assignment. If in nj , and you guy need anything , just shout.
    Side bar, dam nineoaks 22 .5 years in service, congrats, hats off to you!
     
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  9. Blackripley

    Blackripley Active Member

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    The first 3 days of your time table seems very ambitious. That is a lot of miles to go in a day pulling a trailer.
     
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  10. adairable

    adairable New Member

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    Agreed. I think crazy might be a better term! We are pretty content roadtrippers but the added layer of pulling a trailer is a bit unnerving. As long as I have coffee, I could be driving all day.
     
  11. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    It doesn't look like you actually gave yourself any time for Bryce. It's high altitude--you can't rush it. :p

    Remember that you will have to be very very lucky to get camping in the big parks without reservations.

    Congratulations on finally ending up in Washington! It's darned nice.
     
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  12. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Active Member

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    It is all doable, here are a couple of things to think about. Mileage wise, you can do that driving each day if you want to put in at least 12+ wheel hours. The main concern that I have, for the first day for sure and maybe the third is making time going through / around cities. You have a few big cities on the first day and if you hit rush hour, your plans will be toast, so think about that. Same thing on the other days, it takes a lot longer to navigate a big city if the traffic is bad. Sit down with a spreadsheet and google maps and plan things out and look at times that you hit larger cities, you may have to change leaving and arriving times.

    Bryce - you really can't reserve in the park, but you can reserve at Ruby's and that is right outside the park, so you should be fine. YS, you can make reservations, but you need to do that ASAP in the park. You don't have any slack time built into your schedule, so if you have an issue, the plans downstream all go out the window. If you can find a couple of more days, that could help you out a lot because as it is, you are doing major miles virtually every day you are traveling. We take some mega trips ourselves - will be out 19 days this summer out to Whidbey and back, but I don't think I would plan a trip on a razors edge quite like you are doing on this one. If you can stretch what you are doing to 14 days, I think it will make a world of difference on your trip, and even then it will still be a lot of driving.
     
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  13. BillyMc

    BillyMc Well-Known Member

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    Avoid Holiday travel and rush hour traffic.
     
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  14. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    Remember that there is more to set up and take down with a pup. At the end of each day driving, you have to park, set up the pup, move stuff around (things in the car get moved to the pup, things in the pup get moved outside, etc.). The next morning you have to reverse that in order to get back on the road. If you are used to tent camping on road trips, then no problem. But if you did hotels then you might want to test out with a weekend road trip moving each day before you take on this trip.

    You will either be doing a drive through at Yellowstone to see as much as possible OR only seeing one or two things at a more leisurely pace. Personally, I would choose one or two sites and spend your two days exploring them to the fullest. You can always go back and see the rest. Same with Bryce - pick one site and explore the heck out of it in the one day you have. I find that to be less stressfull and mor fullfilling than the "rush to see as much as possible".
     
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  15. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

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    We always planned our long trips to be able to settle down somewhere before dark...

    Roy Ken
    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Muller 5

    Muller 5 Active Member

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    I used the app roadtrip Parky to help plan from MO to OR. We are budgeting 6-8 hours on the road, up early every morning and time for stopping on the way or explore at the campground.
     
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  17. RebekkaStar

    RebekkaStar New Member

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    I usually don't like setting up the camper for just one night. We do an epic trip with our popup but spend at least 2 or 3 days in each spot. Might be worth spending more time in each spot and going to less places. If you are going to be at bryce it would be a shame to miss Zion NP if you haven't been there before. Good luck!
     
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  18. Muller 5

    Muller 5 Active Member

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    Better than setting up a tent every night!
     
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  19. PointyCamper

    PointyCamper Active Member

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    YIKES.
    I have friends who travel between MD and TN and that is 12 hrs.
    You might consider driving south to Cape May and taking the Lewes ferry and going via to Rt 13 in DE to Norfolk and avoid the DC area.
    Also I know several people who bought cars in TX (eBay) and had them shipped and said it saved $. (If the only reason is picking up car??!)
    Ymmv but Safe Travels however you route :)
     
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  20. adairable

    adairable New Member

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    Thanks for confirming my fears about getting reservations. My husband and I have different philosophies on reserving but I’m not a fan of showing up and hoping. I’m going to try to get them ASAP.
     

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