Semi Cross Country

Discussion in 'Campground / Trip Planning & Suggestions ?' started by Dammitjim, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. Dammitjim

    Dammitjim New Member

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    So, we live in Central Florida, we have an HTT and my 5 kids are 7, 5, 4, 2 & 2. How crazy would it be to make a trip to the Grand Canyon? How many days would this trip take? Is it doable with so many kids being on the road so much? Am I just dreaming? I picked the Grand Canyon just because that's like a place I've always wanted to go to. I think Bryce Canyon is nearby and I have been there and I would love for my kids to see all that. Maybe they are too young. Maybe I should be shooting for somewhere else? Any ideas?
     
  2. kimlovescamping

    kimlovescamping New Member

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    You are very brave. I am going to try it from SC to WY next summer but mine are 11 and 13. Good luck. I am sure it will be fun!
     
  3. Dammitjim

    Dammitjim New Member

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    Oh no no no... I'm not doing this... yet... just getting feedback to know if I'm crazy or not.
     
  4. kimlovescamping

    kimlovescamping New Member

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    Okay, my vote is crazy. ha. :)

    We are going to research south FL for next Christmas vacation.. any suggestions?
     
  5. busdriverwc75

    busdriverwc75 Chester County, PA

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    Crazy? Nah! Families travel all the time. The Grand Canyon is such an incredible place though, I would wait a few years so the younger ones will actually be able to remember the trip & not just see pictures of themselves in family photos.
     
  6. MIPeaceDudeCamper

    MIPeaceDudeCamper New Member

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    If you aren't crazy now for considering it (and I'm thinking maybe you are) then you will be crazy afterwards. Then again, having 5 kids in todays world (and I have 5 also) makes you crazy already, so maybe go for it. ahahhahahaa, kidding with ya, I think it is a good thought but I'd wait until the youngest are around 4 and solidly potty trained before such a long trip. They'll remember it better too. A fun suggestion is the Great Smoky Mtns, lots to see and do and it is a much shorter trip.
     
  7. Dammitjim

    Dammitjim New Member

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    Funny you say that because I was thinking the opposite... less potty stops. Man, every single time we are traveling, one goes, but not the other and 20 minutes later we have to stop again for the one that didn't go! :D

    Smokeys sounds like a great idea!
     
  8. Travelhoveler

    Travelhoveler New Member

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    I would suggest waiting until at least late spring. We much prefer the North Rim of the Grand Canyon to the crowded south side, and it will be closing for the winter soon if it hasn't already.

    Great Smoky Mountains is open year round, though some campgrounds and facilities close, and some roads may close due to snow. Smokemont and Cades Cove campgrounds are open year round. You'll love it.
     
  9. coverus

    coverus castra magna est

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    My vote is not crazy.

    When I was younger my family did this (2 adults + 5 kids ages from 13 to 6) in a modified Ford van (dad redid the interior to make room for sleeping area mostly) from Indiana to California. It was fun and we had a blast as kids. Of course there were times when there was conflict but that was few and far in between the fun. To keep the boredom to a minimum my parents would make numerous stops at some interesting places. Looking back on this they really put some effort in planning the trip to find all the interesting places to stop. This took about 6 weeks of travel time for a round trip.

    My family (2 adults + 1 kid) has done it also a few times. Mostly before getting our camper. I would recommend driving the US highways instead of the Interstates if possible. Mainly because it seems there are much more interesting sights to see.

    If you are planning on doing this next summer I would suggest head for the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. It is much less crowded than the South Rim. Also do not forget the Petrified Forest and Painted Hills as well. You can hit those either on the way to or from the Grand Canyon.
     
  10. cwolfman13

    cwolfman13 Active Member

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    Not crazy at all, but I'd wait until the kids are a bit older to really enjoy a trip like that. A trip like that, I'd need to make sure I have plenty of time available to me...I wouldn't just want to war drive to the Grand Canyon and back...just too much to see and do along the way...I'd need at minimum, one month.

    I've taken the liberty of planning out a rough draft of the route I would go (of course, this is based on what I would want to see and do on such an adventure):

    Day 1 - Central Florida (Orlando?) to New Orleans - ~ 10.5 hrs (limited stops)

    Day 2 & 3 - New Orleans

    Day 4 - New Orleans to Dallas - ~ 9 hrs (limited stops)

    Day 5 - Dallas

    Day 6 - Dallas to Santa Fe - (war drive) ~ 12 hrs

    Day 7 & 8 - Santa Fe

    Day 9 - Santa Fe to Grand Canyon - ~ 8 hrs (limited stops)

    Day 10, 11, 12 - Grand Canyon (camp at Mather CG)

    Day 13 - Grand Canyon to Bryce Canyon - ~ 5.5 hrs

    Day 14, 15 - Bryce Canyon

    Day 16 - Bryce Canyon to Arches - ~ 4.5 hrs

    Day 17, 18 - Arches

    Day 19 - Arches to Durango ~ 3.5 hrs

    Day 20, 21 - Durango/Mesa Verde NP

    Day 22 - Durango to OK City (war drive) ~ 13 hrs

    Day 23 - OK City to Memphis TN - 7.5 hrs

    Day 24, 25 - Memphis, TN

    Day 26 - Memphis to Charleston, SC - (war drive) ~ 12 hrs

    Day 27, 28 - Charleston, SC

    Day 29 - Charleston to Orlando - ~ 7 hrs

    Day 30, 31, 32 - Take a few days off to gather yourself and settle back into home life.

    85.75 hrs of drive time...and memories that will last a lifetime!
     
  11. Hawkester

    Hawkester Hawkesnest

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    We have traveled from Wisconsin to Oregon several times, we only have three kids but we started doing this when they were 2,4, & 6 and have never stopped. Our very first pup trip was to Mt Rushmore with all of us in a Ford Ranger…all 5 of us, 14 hours of driving…..that’s why we are all so close today [:D]

    Are you crazy for thinking about doing this? My opinion is only you can answer that. You know your kids and family. How well do your kids travel, behave, help out......

    When we made our first trip to Oregon we only had 10 days so we had to hustle, no time to smell the roses. We left at 2am while everyone slept i drove. Stopped around 7am for breakfast. drive till noon and eat lunch and then drive to 4pm and stop some place for the night that the kids can play or run around while I tried to recover [:D]. Back on the road by 9am drive til noon stop around 5pm. we did it in three nights without killing ourselves. Coming home is just the opposite because you leave at 9am and get back late.

    I used Microsoft streets and trips and programmed 60 mph travel speed with 1 hour stops for food and gas, and it was unbelievably accurate. I then used Google to find places to stay and eat, find an exit that has gas and food next to each other and you can have one person fill up while the others go to the restaurant and get seated.
    If you have time, I would take it slower, this is a great country and there is so much to see, The Grand Canyon is a beautiful place and the North Rim is exceptional without the crowds, but there is also the journey, and getting there is ½ the fun!

    I say plan it out and include the whole family and go for it.
     
  12. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    I got my love for the long tour style of camping trip because that's what we did every summer when I was a kid. We drove from St. Paul, Minnesota all over the western U.S. These trips were three weeks long because that's how much vacation my dad had to use. So, that brings up a critical point for your questions. If you want to drive from Florida to Arizona and back, how much time do you have?

    It's somewhere around 2,600 miles from central Florida to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. At 400 miles a day that's 13 days of driving, 6.5 days out and 6.5 back. Pushing to 500 miles a day it's still 10.4 days of driving -- and that's just to see the canyon. There are many other wonderful things to see along the way and it would be a shame to miss them. IMO, you'd need at least three weeks to do this trip and have time to actually enjoy being at the places you want to see -- and a month would be much better.
     
  13. speckhunter80

    speckhunter80 Well-Known Member

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    wolfman,
    Interesting itinerary. I have been planning a make believe trip to the Badlands, Yellowstone by way of St. Louis from here on the coast of NC. Be a along time before we will do it if ever as the wife can not get the time off. But with having to take down the camper and put it back up after finding a site, I am trying to limit the travel distances to 400 miles or about 6.5 hours a day. I see you have 10 and 12 hour road trips. HOW???
     
  14. Dammitjim

    Dammitjim New Member

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    Those are good questions; however, at least wolfman has given me a general idea of what to look for...
    I like everyone's feedback... I agree that I might have to wait (also because I should probably upgrade TVs to something more powerful) besides waiting for the young ones to turn 4 or so. It's just such a neat idea to get to know our great country... no interstates.. just rural roads.. so many people to meet, so many things to learn, so many things to enjoy. I'll keep dreaming for now, but hopefully we'll make a long trip soon (maybe when I take a sabbatical or something) LOL
     
  15. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    It's true that 400 miles divided by 60 mph is 6.6 hours but in my experience driving 400 miles takes longer. Most people don't drive the whole 400 miles without stopping. You have to get gas, eat and use the restroom. Most "experts" will tell you that it is best to get out and stretch/walk around for 10-15 minutes every two hours. I combine those two things. Then there is the issue of road construction and other areas (especially in the mountains) where you can't go 60 mph. In the end, my experience is that 400 miles takes closer to 8 hours than 6.6.
     
  16. cwolfman13

    cwolfman13 Active Member

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    Well, like you said, it's make believe and anything can happen in make believe land [:D] . That aside, I do, for the most part have at least one or two days at each stopping point along the way. I think the only single overnighter I have on there is OK City, so the camper wouldn't be going up and down daily for most of the trip. To boot, when traveling like this, setup is minimal; it would take me about 10-15 minutes to set up and take down on a trip like this...longer at the parks because I would have other camping gear out at the CG. But just stopping to crash at a KOA for a night or two, I wouldn't bother with any kind of elaborate set up. In fact, I would probably opt for a hotel in a couple of those cities; in reality, that's the only way DW would even remotely consider such a trip.

    Actually, when I was younger, the family did similar on a few occasions. One of my best family vacation memories was our roadie from Denver to Seattle and back. We took the very long scenic route and basically did a big loop from Denver to San Fransisco...north into Oregon and up to Seattle then back through Yellowstone and home. I don't remember all of our stops along the way, but I do remember spending a few days in San Fransisco, a couple days in Portland...a week in Seattle (visiting family)...several days in Yellowstone. All in a p'up! I remember driving for seemingly hours on end...pulling into KOAs well past dark (I was always crashed out) and dad popping the camper up...we'd all just shuffle off to bed, get up and quick shower..by the time we were done, dad would have the camper down and hooked up and back on the road we went.

    If it was more realistic, I'd probably add a few more stops along some of those longer stretches...I used to be able to go 12 to 15 hours in the car pretty easy, now about 10 hrs is my max...but I'd prefer more like 7 or 8. I actually have a similar dreamed up roadie somewhat mapped out whereby we are actually headed to Orlando with multi day stops in San Antonio, New Orleans, Pensacola (for a little beach time on Santa Rosa Island) and then 4 days at Walt Disney World (in laws have time share points so we'd probably just opt for that) and then looping back home via Charleston...Nashville....Memphis....OK City and then home. I have a couple of war drive days on there, but for the most part I'm in between 7 and 10 hour runs with a couple of shorter ones. Like you, it may never happen...but a man can dream. I don't know when I'll ever have that much time off available to me. To boot, we'd want to do it when the kiddos are a bit older which means we'd have to do it during the summer (not to interfere with school) and it's almost impossible for me to take more than 3 or 4 days off at a time in the summer, and even that's a stretch...it's my busiest season.
     
  17. speckhunter80

    speckhunter80 Well-Known Member

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    OK, I assumed this was a camping cross-country trip.
     
  18. cwolfman13

    cwolfman13 Active Member

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    For me, it would have to be a combo...no getting around that with DW. When we first had the p'up, I started mapping out my little dream roadie and had it all camping...even selected CGs...some were just quick stop KOA types, and others were SPs and the like...and of course, the Camp Disney or whatever it's called...I thought the kids would get a kick out of that. DW basically told me that I needed to stop smoking whatever it was that I was smoking.

    As it stands now, my super dream roadie plan has us in a hotel in San Antonio and New Orleans...camping in Pensacola (probably Grayton Beach SP)...time share condo at Disney, then camping Charleston area (I'm thinking Buck Hall Recreation Area in the Francis Marion National Forest)...hotel in Nashville...then camping Memphis (Meeman-Shelby Forest SP...I was stationed in Millinton, TN briefly and Meeman-Shelby is a beautiful SP)...hotel in OK City and then back home to recover from our month long roadie.
     
  19. speckhunter80

    speckhunter80 Well-Known Member

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    I agree and the 400 would be pretty much max. Closer to 325 would be a good day with changing campgrounds etc.
     
  20. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    In my purely personal view camping trips don't include cities, nor do they include hotels/motels except in emergencies or unusual, unavoidable circumstances. For me camping is not urban. This is not to say that people shouldn't tour or vacation in cities. It is great fun to see the sights, history and culture of cities. I've done it and enjoyed it but I fly in, rent a car and stay in a hotel when I do it.
     

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