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Old 02-24-2014, 09:32 PM   #21
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Location: _, Texas
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Staying in truck stops and parking lots is not my idea of camping. There's a difference between getting from point A to point B in short order and an enjoyable trip with a new Escape. Look at this trip as a vacation. When will you get a chance to explore the western US again? Start creating memories. Stop in the state parks and national forest campgrounds, use the gas buddy app. and as suggested cook & eat the food you would normally consume at home.

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Old 02-24-2014, 09:40 PM   #22
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Location: Portland, Oregon
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When Jim (cpaharley) bought his 19' trailer, he plotted and planned a trip to pickup his trailer at Chilliwack. Those plans busted.

But the idea is good. How many miles you would be comfortable tugging along and how many hours? I can eat cold food for months, chicken salad, tuna salad, BP&J, cereal&milk... whatever it takes to go from A to B. "Cheap" is different for different folks.

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Old 02-24-2014, 10:04 PM   #23
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I intend to take it easy, especially at the beginning, and keep my drives to a few hours or less. Long stays, short hops.
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Old 02-24-2014, 11:36 PM   #24
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Have not tried this but it might be a useful app, lists all of the sani dumps stations....
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Old 02-25-2014, 04:55 AM   #25
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Location: Asheville, North Carolina
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I am fortunate in making my pickup trip coinside with the start of retirement. Have done a lot of business travel where every night is planned ahead. Our goal is to keep travel to an average of 100 miles per day. Stay in National Parks,forests - using my senior pass and solar. We picked up a lap top and DeLorme maps to plan a few days at a time. The farther from home, the more we want to explore. No Walmarts or truck stops for us!
Thanks to the interstate highway system, it is now possible to travel across the country from coast to coast without seeing anything - Charles Kuralt
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Old 02-25-2014, 06:13 AM   #26
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I think it depends how late at night one stops. If absolutely all we were doing was sleeping and then leaving early the next morning, a Walmart or a rest area could work -- We have done that, but only on a couple occasions. Usually we would stop by late afternoon and then even if it was for one night we would want to be not only in a nice place, but in the absolute best spot in the campground. Having several hours in the evening made the travel day an integral part of the trip. To make dinner outside and just look around at something new is what I love about travel trailering.
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Old 02-25-2014, 08:31 AM   #27
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Mike you didn't indicate your spring pickup date. As you know from living in Florida, the farther south you travel, the warmer and more humid it will likely get. Trying to sleep in parking lots is impossible. Without shore power for air conditioning, your left with two choices. Shut the windows to keep out the noise and smother...or keep the windows open and experience cars and large trucks moving through the night. Walmarts, truck stops, and the roadside areas can be 24 hour crime locals where local scumbags prey on travelers. Get a campsite and save cost else where if you must. You are invited to plug into my house for a night if you need to here NW of Houston. Enjoy your very long trip home with your new Escape.
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Old 02-25-2014, 09:01 AM   #28
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The best we can do to save cash is stay in public CG's, stay out of restaurants, and limit expensive tourist attractions. Like Ruthie we prefer to pull over early, as in mid-late afternoon and enjoy camping, Walmarts and such are not in the picture. If I were driving a long day, pulling over at 8 or 9pm, I might try one.
Happy Motoring
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Old 02-25-2014, 09:06 AM   #29
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho
Trailer: 2013 19' Escape
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Has been mentioned before in other posts but we found "Allstays RV Dumps" (Android devices) and "Allstays Walmart ONP" very helpful. As seniors, our National Park pass saved us the most money. We also found several nice campsites by stopping in minimarts and chatting up the locals. It may not be a novelty for some, but the blackberries growing wild and free in Chilliwack were a real treat for us. If and when we decide on a 21 or 5.0, we will pick it up in July or August and have blackberry pancakes again.
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Old 02-25-2014, 09:24 AM   #30
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Boise, Idaho
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If you stay away from major cities like Seattle, Portland, and Denver you should be able to drive all the way across the western US without having to pay for camping. There are so many spots off dirt roads on BLM and Forest Service land that would easily fit your camper.

You can camp for free on BLM land about 20 minutes from downtown Boise so the possibilities are endless.

Find the free dump stations and get the solar installed and you will be good to go for lots of free camping.

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