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Old 05-04-2023, 09:24 AM   #41
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I like Benson, AZ. Close to Tuscon but not big city. Went to Titian Missile Museum as was recommended, and Bisbee (Queen Copper Mine Tour), and Tombstone, and Kartchner Caverns (in Benson). There are 2 movie sets nearby, however they were closed when we were in Benson. We stayed in the Butterfield RV Resort & Observatory. Great park, and star watching from observatory was great. Only downside was the trains running all night long. I got earplugs. If I went to Benson again, I'd stay at the Cochise Terrace RV Resort.
Thank you, Dana! I appreciate it. We will look into Benson, AZ as well. Right now, I am on hold waiting to clarify the reservation picture for Big Bend and Chiricahua. That will decide whether we go to TX first and AZ second or to AZ first and TX second.
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Old 05-04-2023, 09:25 AM   #42
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Second the Desert Museum. Don't miss it.
Thank you! It is at the top of the list. We will not miss it!
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Old 05-04-2023, 10:26 AM   #43
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+100 Catalina SP. Visit Taliesin West while you are there.

I assume you have been all over Utah, in winter Zion NP and Snow Canyon SP are both winners (we winter in St G).
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Old 05-04-2023, 11:31 AM   #44
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+100 Catalina SP. Visit Taliesin West while you are there.

I assume you have been all over Utah, in winter Zion NP and Snow Canyon SP are both winners (we winter in St G).
Thank you! Catalina SP is on the list. I have added the note about Taliesin West!

Yes - Utah parks are closer to us and we have visited them many times. Heading to Capitol Reef in 3 weeks. Going to repeat a trail we almost perished doing a couple of years back for not carrying enough water! We had 3.5 liters per person and barely made it out...
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Old 07-01-2023, 10:13 AM   #45
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With all the fantastic help I received on this thread, I wanted to provide an update on the plan we ended up with -
  • Dec 10-15 - Picacho Peak State Park campground - between Phoenix and Tucson, AZ
    Farther from Tucson than we preferred but is close enough. Seems to have good hiking. It has a Pay-as-you–go ($3.99/day) from a third party provider. Reading a comment that "Airebeam Wi-Fi was lightning fast" one one of the websites from a camper resulted in us settling on it - as this is a partial working week for both of us and good internet connectivity was of critical importance to us. We plan visit the key Tucson attractions and hikes from here (about 30-40 miles away) as well as hike locally.
  • Dec 15-18 - Bonita Canyon - Chiricahua - Campsite 11
  • Dec 18-19 - Plan to reserve - Las Cruses, NM - Campground TBD (can use recommendations)
  • Dec 19-20 - Plan to reserve - Davis Mountain State Park campground
  • Dec 20-25 - KBAR-2 - Big Bend backcountry
  • Dec 25-28 - Croton Spring 2 - Big Bend backcountry
Still undecided about the return path. One must visit location is Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge (still looking for the best campground around that...

The part we are most apprehensive about is winterizing strategies and camping while winterized. We are thinking that on return - we will winterize in Las Cruses, NM before going up towards Albuquerque and into either Utah (the direct routes) or NV if we go via Las Vegas (to minimize winter weather, depending upon forecast). We could delay winterization based upon the forecasts at the time but will have to tackle that regardless.

So far, we have never camped with a winterized camper and we will likely have an extended period of that regardless of how we do it. So, that'll be a new experience.

Once again, that's so much to a number of people who have given me very valuable advice on this thread.
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Old 07-01-2023, 10:36 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by kavm View Post
With all the fantastic help I received on this thread, I wanted to provide an update on the plan we ended up with -
  • Picacho Peak State Park campground - Dec 10-15.
    Farther from Tucson than we preferred but is close enough. Seems to have good hiking. It has a Pay-as-you–go ($3.99/day) from a third party provider. Reading a comment that "Airebeam wifi was lightning fast" one one of the websites from a camper resulted in us settling on it - as this is a partial working week for both of us and good internet connectivity was of critical importance to us. We plan visit the key Tucson attractions and hikes from here (about 30-40 miles away) as well as hike locally.
  • Bonita Canyon - Chiricahua - Campsite 11
  • Dec 20-25 - KBAR-2 - Big Bend backcountry
  • Dec 25-28 - Croton Spring 2 - Big Bend backcountry
Still undecided about the return path. One must visit location is Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge (still looking for the best campground around that...

The part we are most apprehensive about is winterizing strategies and camping while winterized. We are thinking that on return - we will winterize in Las Cruses, NM before going up towards Albuquerque and into either Utah (the direct routes) or NV if we go via Las Vegas (to minimize winter weather, depending upon forecast). We could delay winterization based upon the forecasts at the time but will have to tackle that regardless.

So far, we have never camped with a winterized camper and we will likely have an extended period of that regardless of how we do it. So, that'll be a new experience.

Once again, that's so much to a number of people who have given me very valuable advice on this thread.
I'm sure you already know this but just in case. Picacho Peaks's water supply dried up years ago so make sure you come in with your water tank full, They truck in water for the rest rooms.
Also hwy 10 is very close to the park and it's an extremely busy and very visible from the campground also there is a train track beside the freeway. The park itself is very nice and has great wildflowers in the spring. When I stay there I I always reserve a site in loop A which backs up to the small mountain. The hill hides a lot of the the freeway movement and noise which I find takes away from the beauty of the park.
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Old 07-01-2023, 11:19 AM   #47
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So happy you scored our favorite backcountry spot at Big Bend, KBar 2 - you will love it there, photo below. We will be there in mid-November. And even in December, very cold weather will not likely be a problem. Croton Springs 2 is also a great site. There is a water fill spigot at the Panther Junction visitors center, not far from either of those sites, where you can fill water jugs and take back to your campsite.

At Davis Mountains State Park, unless you really prefer a full hookup (they have a very convenient dump station), some of the water/electric sites are nice and private, we like #40. The sewer connections at their full hookup sites are not great, the stub ups stick way up out of the ground and make it difficult to get the hose to drain properly.
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Old 07-01-2023, 11:24 AM   #48
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I'm sure you already know this but just in case. Picacho Peaks's water supply dried up years ago so make sure you come in with your water tank full, They truck in water for the rest rooms.
Also hwy 10 is very close to the park and it's an extremely busy and very visible from the campground also there is a train track beside the freeway. The park itself is very nice and has great wildflowers in the spring. When I stay there I I always reserve a site in loop A which backs up to the small mountain. The hill hides a lot of the the freeway movement and noise which I find takes away from the beauty of the park.
Hello Diane,

Many thanks! I am indeed aware of the water constraints there. They warned us about it up-front. With 8 days planned in backcountry campsites in Big Bend later in the trip, we will definitely think about and plan on methods to refill the fresh water tank using remote water. Picacho Peak will give us a starting point. We still need to research nearest dump facility and shower options to use during the trip.

We are in the A loop - site 13. Hoping the noise isn't too bad.
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Old 07-01-2023, 11:30 AM   #49
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So happy you scored our favorite backcountry spot at Big Bend, KBar 2 - you will love it there, photo below. We will be there in mid-November. And even in December, very cold weather will not likely be a problem. Croton Springs 2 is also a great site. There is a water fill spigot at the Panther Junction visitors center, not far from either of those sites, where you can fill water jugs and take back to your campsite.

At Davis Mountains State Park, unless you really prefer a full hookup (they have a very convenient dump station), some of the water/electric sites are nice and private, we like #40. The sewer connections at their full hookup sites are not great, the stub ups stick way up out of the ground and make it difficult to get the hose to drain properly.
Hello David,

Many thanks for all your help and advice! KBAR-2 was the first site I tried. Couldn't get it for the full duration but still happy for 5 nights there.

Thanks again for Davis Mountain State Park. We will look for site #40. They only take reservations 5 months in advance, so need to wait till August 1. Will also check later in July, in case they offer it weekly. Sewer connection isn't that critical. Of course, going to and coming from backcountry sites in Big Bend, we will make sure we start with empty black and gray water tanks.

Many thanks!
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Old 07-01-2023, 11:36 AM   #50
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One nice thing about those Big Bend backcountry sites - both of those have large, open areas where you can orient your trailer in whatever direction you like....no tightly defined narrow strips to have to back into
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Old 07-01-2023, 11:40 AM   #51
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One nice thing about those Big Bend backcountry sites - both of those have large, open areas where you can orient your trailer in whatever direction you like....no tightly defined narrow strips to have to back into
Great! That will be a new experience for us. New to camping with a camper, we have been shy to boondock. This way, we will have a gentle (due to a reserved location) intro to it - and it will, hopefully, grow our confidence in doing it in less structured settings. So, really looking forward to this aspect and new learning from it.
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Old 07-01-2023, 12:46 PM   #52
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Hello Diane,

Many thanks! I am indeed aware of the water constraints there. They warned us about it up-front. With 8 days planned in backcountry campsites in Big Bend later in the trip, we will definitely think about and plan on methods to refill the fresh water tank using remote water. Picacho Peak will give us a starting point. We still need to research nearest dump facility and shower options to use during the trip.

We are in the A loop - site 13. Hoping the noise isn't too bad.
A13 is a good site!
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Old 07-01-2023, 02:01 PM   #53
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A13 is a good site!
Excellent! That's reassuring to know!
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Old 07-01-2023, 11:40 PM   #54
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A13 is a good site!
P. Peak has a dump site in the park. They also have restrooms that I thought have showers...I may be wrong I only use my on board
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Old 07-02-2023, 08:20 AM   #55
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Homolovi State Park Is right off 40 at Winslow Arizona, convenient.
It doesn’t look like much at first, but soon it becomes apparent why it became a state park.
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Old 07-02-2023, 08:23 AM   #56
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P. Peak has a dump site in the park. They also have restrooms that I thought have showers...I may be wrong I only use my on board
Indeed. That’s what the website says. When constrained in the water use, we will use the campground showers.

We are looking forward to the entire trip, including the Picacho Peak. My concerns about that campground are about internet speed we get rather than anything else (due to our work related needs).

Thanks again!
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Old 07-02-2023, 09:13 AM   #57
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The last time I was at Picacho Peak (2019) I did a couple of speed tests - AT&T provides 35.1Mbps down & 10.5Mbps up. Verizon is all over the place. A couple of tries wouldn't even make a connection, but when it did, I got 48.3Mbps down & 20.6Mbps up. There is WiFi sold by Airbeam for $3.95 per night that I didn't try.

They did have working showers...
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Old 07-02-2023, 06:12 PM   #58
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The last time I was at Picacho Peak (2019) I did a couple of speed tests - AT&T provides 35.1Mbps down & 10.5Mbps up. Verizon is all over the place. A couple of tries wouldn't even make a connection, but when it did, I got 48.3Mbps down & 20.6Mbps up. There is WiFi sold by Airbeam for $3.95 per night that I didn't try.

They did have working showers...
Thank you! We plan to sign up for Airbeam and see what it gets us. Also, we have T-Mobile and it is showing 5G for the park as well. Unfortunately, we will only know when we get there and see what’s the reality for our camping spot. Keeping our fingers crossed.

Showers help - as we like to take a shower after hiking (which will be every day). Also, not using the camper water might allow us to make the gray tank last for 5 days.

Thanks again!
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Old 07-02-2023, 06:15 PM   #59
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Homolovi State Park Is right off 40 at Winslow Arizona, convenient.
It doesn’t look like much at first, but soon it becomes apparent why it became a state park.
Thanks! Not sure if we will travel on that part of I-40. Unless Utah weather on return is very difficult, we will likely go North on 191 towards Chinle, Blanding and Moab… But, it’s good to know as the final route will depend upon weather at the time…
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Old 12-10-2023, 09:03 PM   #60
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We are now on the trip that I sought and received a lot of very helpful feedback on. So, thought I’d share the experience so far:
  • Day 1 - SLC to Cedar City: Had to start late due to work meetings, but made it to Cedar City around 7:30 PM. Stayed in Abbey Inn (recommended) as the camper was winterized and we did not want to fill water in it or stay without a working toilet. Walked to Centro Pizza (highly recommended) for dinner. Nice town with lightness that comes from being a University town.
  • Day 2- Cedar City to Willow Wash campground: Not too long a drive. We went into Las Vegas to a very nice cafe/restaurant - Gäbi Coffee and Bakery (highly recommended) for lunch and my wife to pass time while I dealt with a conference call. The campground in Willow Wash is very nice indeed. I am sorry that we did not stay a second night there. The setting (on the Colorado downstream from Lake Mead) is austere but beautiful.
  • Day 3 - Willow Wash to Cave Creek campground outside of Phoenix: OK drive. The campground isn’t bad but could have skipped it.
  • Day 4 - Cave Creek to Picacho Peak state park: Short drive. Really like the campground and setting. Went on a hike to Picacho peak but started too late (the check in time is 2 PM) and had to turn around as it started to get dark. It turned into a fairly long night hike but was really enjoyable. We are staying here till Friday. Business meetings in the morning and hikes in the afternoon! Will find time to visit Tucson and see some of what it has to offer.
This is our first trip with Starlink. Really pleased with it so far. It will allow us to take more trips as I get more confident about being able to be available for critical stuff while camping.

To be continued… We go to Chiricahua NM, Davis Mountain SP, Big Bend after this…
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