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Old 11-05-2018, 06:15 PM   #1
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Driving Cross Country towing a 17B

Hello everyone,

Tomorrow we are starting on a 32 night return road trip to San Jose Ca from Orlando, Fl. We have reserved Camp Grounds along the route going & coming using RVParkReviews & RVParky. We will be visiting Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, San Diego, Quartzsite & Austin among others. We are driving up I-40 & I-10 coming back.

Our Story -
We drove to Chilliwack last year to take delivery of our 17B & started camping as total newbies, as we had not camped or towed in our lives. Towing on the mountain passes in Washington state was quite a experience to remember to me a total novice. On our way back we had our struggles, called Tammy & Reace with dumb questions a few times, fellow campers along the way helped & taught us many things. We visited Seattle, Yellowstone & some other cities on our way back on this 8000 mile journey..

Initially our plan was to get started with a 17B for weekend trips in Florida & nearby states & test the waters to see if we take to camping & towing in the first place. In a years time, although we went on a couple of trips, we could/did not camp as much as we wanted & then this Family Get Together came around & we decided to make a cross country camping trip out of it.

The 17B feels small for DW, me & our 20lb Snauzer, so already we are thinking of getting a 21' as we now we are smitten by the bug of travelling with our little camper. Our 2017 Highlander tows the 17B very well along with the E2 WDH with Sway Controll Bars.

I will keep updating as we are on this trip & welcome input from anyone who has traveled this route or even otherwise.

Thanks
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Old 11-05-2018, 07:01 PM   #2
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After owning at least a half dozen campers before our first Escape and joining Passport America for their 50% off fees we tried making reservations going cross country. After the 3rd stop we stopped making reservations because the pressure of having to leave a very nice cg after one night. Some places we wanted to stay, others we regretted staying. So now we do not make reservations, no Passport Club, but drive until we get tired and pull over at a rest stop and sleep in out Escape. Next day we hit the road and around lunchtime we start looking for a KOA, call ahead to hold a site and arrive before 5 to get our site that was held for us. If we do not like it we go to another site or another cg. Takes all the stress out of having to make a certain distance in a certain time and still get disappointed. KOA's always seem to have a spot available and 3 out of 4 for being clean and nice enough to return another time.
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Old 11-05-2018, 08:10 PM   #3
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Try to spend an extra few days in Tennessee. Nashville and the Grand Ole Opry is a blast and Memphis offers Graceland, The MLK Memorial, and Beale Street Blues. Highway 40 is fabulous in New Mexico, and Arizona. You’re going to have a great time, hopefully no more than 250-275 miles a day. Enjoy your mornings and get into camp in mid-afternoon. Enjoy the journey, disneydoc
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Old 11-05-2018, 11:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disneydoc View Post
Hello everyone,

Tomorrow we are starting on a 32 night return road trip to San Jose Ca from Orlando, Fl. We have reserved Camp Grounds along the route going & coming using RVParkReviews & RVParky. We will be visiting Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, San Diego, Quartzsite & Austin among others. We are driving up I-40 & I-10 coming back.

Our Story -
We drove to Chilliwack last year to take delivery of our 17B & started camping as total newbies, as we had not camped or towed in our lives. Towing on the mountain passes in Washington state was quite a experience to remember to me a total novice. On our way back we had our struggles, called Tammy & Reace with dumb questions a few times, fellow campers along the way helped & taught us many things. We visited Seattle, Yellowstone & some other cities on our way back on this 8000 mile journey..

Initially our plan was to get started with a 17B for weekend trips in Florida & nearby states & test the waters to see if we take to camping & towing in the first place. In a years time, although we went on a couple of trips, we could/did not camp as much as we wanted & then this Family Get Together came around & we decided to make a cross country camping trip out of it.

The 17B feels small for DW, me & our 20lb Snauzer, so already we are thinking of getting a 21' as we now we are smitten by the bug of travelling with our little camper. Our 2017 Highlander tows the 17B very well along with the E2 WDH with Sway Controll Bars.

I will keep updating as we are on this trip & welcome input from anyone who has traveled this route or even otherwise.

Thanks
We started in 2017 with our 17B. We had 92 nights in our trailer in the first year including a 5+ week trip from Vancouver to California and Arizona in February and March covering 5,000 plus miles. We did several short trips and two other long trips that year as well. This year we did a six week trip south in February and March. However, we too found the space small, and so, to cut a long story short, we pick up our new 21 in the middle of next month, ready for heading south in the new year!!
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Old 11-06-2018, 09:52 AM   #5
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Raj,
Will be looking for you on the road. Safe travels!

Fred M.
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Old 11-06-2018, 11:12 AM   #6
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Agreed...what CPHarley said. Love the open road and no strings attached....Just wing it!
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Old 11-06-2018, 12:24 PM   #7
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I-10 and I-40 crossings

Raj, we have traveled both east and west on I-40 and I-10 countless times in our various RVs over the years. I am not sure what you are wanting to find out but one thing I can say for sure is that RV travel is just great fun. At least we think it is. I would really dread the thought of multiple nights in multiple motels on a lengthy, cross country trip. If you have any questions on the two routes you mention, I am sure I or someone else on the Forum will have an answer for you. Safe travels and enjoy!
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Old 11-06-2018, 12:40 PM   #8
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To wing it or not, that is the question...

I wanted to offer some comments on Jim and Myron's comments on "winging it when on the open road". I think that is entirely a matter of personality and personal preference. As an old pilot who is stil alive to tell this tale, I am very uncomfortable unless I know exactly where I am going, how I am going to get there, how long it will take, will we need a fuel stop, where will we be staying, etc. Old habits die hard, I guess. So, I am definitely not in the "just wing it" camp as regards trip planning. And, for me at least, doing the research on routes, attractions along the way, fuel stops, campgournds, etc. is definitely part of the fun of the trip. You get to enjoy the trip when planning it and again when on the road. Double fun!
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Old 11-06-2018, 01:22 PM   #9
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i'm in between, and will plan a lot of things day to day for many trips, others where I know camping will be likely booked we plan way in advance. gas stops, I plan on the fly with my phone
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Old 11-06-2018, 02:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyronL View Post
Agreed...what CPHarley said. Love the open road and no strings attached....Just wing it!
Just like the cowboys and settlers along the trails, we will stop when we get tired....
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Old 11-06-2018, 02:27 PM   #11
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I did a lot of business travel during my career. Due to that, most of the ones I knew assumed that my “break in trip” from Chilliwack to Asheville would be heavily planned. But instead, I called it “the crooked road home” and had no initial itinerary except for a beginning date and location and an ending date and destination. It was fantastic! We kept the drive to 150-200 miles per day. Each night I would plan the next days travel. Only stayed in one commercial campground and made very few reservations. (Stayed in federal, state, county, municipal, etc) Today, my trips are much more scripted and I dislike paying reservation fees. There are just too many fellow campers in the populous SE US. Either way, I feel lucky to travel. Just me and my indoor cat these days.
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Old 11-06-2018, 06:46 PM   #12
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Thanks every one for chiming in-

Day 1, we just settled in the Alliance RV Resort in Marianna, Fl.

We started about 11 from Orlando, drove 330 miles in 5 hrs most of it in rain & with low visibility, I wanted to reach before the sunset for ease in hooking up.
We saw the devastation of Hurricane Michael up close with lots of uprooted trees along I-10 & the destruction of houses, lights & street signs in this small town in the Florida Panhandle. Mother nature with 140 mile wind & rain at its worst, I dread to imagine the sad scene in Mexico City, which is not too far from here.

As we are still new to camping, DW insists on making reservations, it does ease up my mind & gives me a sort of destination for the days drive. It was a great help today in this persistent rain. As we gain time, we may be get to be comfortable in the foot loose & fancy free ways of the seasoned campers in our forum.

Our dog, ' Happy ' keeps looking up at us in this small 17B space & seems to be praying " Please do not step on me".Thanks everyone for your comments, am sure I will have questions in due time, more in next, with regards.
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Old 11-06-2018, 07:04 PM   #13
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In Ocrober 2013 after bringing our new to us 17B a month previous we went to Sedona. That was when a Govt Shutdown made us go to boondocking as we weren't going to pay $60/night at Rancho Sedona(nice park btw). Been doing that as much as possible ever since.
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Old 11-07-2018, 11:03 AM   #14
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Regarding winging it across this continent... that's what GPS, WalMarts, Cabelas, Cracker Barrels, etc., are there for (except for in metropolitan New York/New Jersey/Philly/Hartford, etc)

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Old 11-07-2018, 11:06 AM   #15
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and highway rest areas....
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Old 11-07-2018, 12:22 PM   #16
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Freedom of choice is a wonderful thing. An Escape Trailer gives us the option of choosing longer or shorter drive days, commercial parking lots, rest areas, public or private campgrounds. We all get our first choice
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Old 11-07-2018, 12:29 PM   #17
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If you need anything when you're passing through Austin PM me. Where are you staying in the Austin area? Our 5.0TA will be rolling onto the production floor in a few weeks, the anticipation is building.
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Old 11-07-2018, 09:07 PM   #18
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Day 2 - At the Goshen Springs Campground in Brandon, Ms. Another rain & fog filled driving day from Mobile Al to Jackson/Brandon Ms.

The best part of the day was a nice and calming drive on a small section of the Natchez Trace Pkwy, with lots of trees & Pearl river on the side. I got educated on its long history with Bison, American Indians & its use as a trade path.

David, we will be staying with my brother in Austin.


With my best
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Old 11-08-2018, 08:06 PM   #19
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Day 3 - At Fernbrook RV Resort, Longview Tx.

Drive from Jackson Ms was uneventful, except the state of I 20 needs improvement in Ms & La, our Camper got its earthquake like conditions alright driving to here today.
The food spilled in the Refrigerator, Lids fell off the added increased width Sewer Hose Carrier and the Rhino sewer hose fell off somewhere on the road. We purchased a new sewer hose - Revolution from Walmart today, will need to store it in the Front Storage in a bag, as its width may not fit in the sewer hose carrier which came on the Camper.
Anyway, we learn to make quick adjustments when on the road.
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Old 11-09-2018, 06:06 AM   #20
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Your Journey

Thanks for taking us on your journey and I always say you never loose anything it just finds a new owner so your sewer hose has a happy new owner. Imagine that guys wife, Hey Honey you wont believe what I found today !!!!!!!

I envy you and will admit wish I was doing what you are doing. I had a major change in my career status in February and since then I'm having a hard time getting motivated to work and find myself wishing for some open road. Financially I think its doable but will admit my concern is how much $$$$ is enough especially when you have no retirement benefits all self funded (not sure I trust SS to be there at least for all my retirement years). Yes at 56 that would be great to retire now but unfortunately my best 1/2 is not in a position yet to retire so I've just warned her honey you might have to miss me some in the next few years.

As far as the 21' goes we went from a 17' Casita to the 21' Escape and 2 weeks ago was our first trip together, it rained the whole 3 days so spent more time indoors then usual and all the extra space you get in the 21' is all one would ever need.

Enjoy the travels!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Safe and fun travels to all,

Steve
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