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Old 09-27-2017, 01:06 AM   #1
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Trip planning?

Does anyone have any recommendations for trip planning software where I could input departure and destination locations with planned average speed and hours per day and it will recommend routing and show campgrounds?
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Old 09-27-2017, 03:05 AM   #2
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There are several. We use TripWizard combined with Good Sams, Allstays, RV Park Reviews and Google Maps. I am a planner - sometimes to the extreme but I don't like winding up into what I call rabbit holes (a place that is easy to get into and a real pain to get out of). Trip Wizard is an annual fee based tool that does all the things you mentioned - to include hazards (height, restricted tunnels/bridges, etc). While Trip Wizard, GS and Allstays will show campgrounds - I use and contribute to RV Park Reviews. We've avoided some real ugly places by reading reviews. Caution here though, the higher and more recent the reviews, the more accurate the reviews will be.

Hope that helps.
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Old 09-27-2017, 03:15 AM   #3
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I'm with Ben on this one. When planning a cross country trip I will start by using google mapping to just get my approximate distances/destinations down. Then I will use our Good Sams book and the RVParky app to find campgrounds and look at their reviews. Once I locate a possible CG I will look at Google earth to see how difficult it looks to get into and how the surrounding area looks. I also consult my Trucker's Atlas if I will be venturing off Class I designated highways just to make sure I am not surprised by a 10' overpass.
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Old 09-27-2017, 03:15 AM   #4
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Good stuff, bigben. Thanks. I'll take a look at TripWizard.
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Old 09-27-2017, 04:07 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Joe-FL View Post
I'm with Ben on this one. When planning a cross country trip I will start by using google mapping to just get my approximate distances/destinations down. Then I will use our Good Sams book and the RVParky app to find campgrounds and look at their reviews. Once I locate a possible CG I will look at Google earth to see how difficult it looks to get into and how the surrounding area looks. I also consult my Trucker's Atlas if I will be venturing off Class I designated highways just to make sure I am not surprised by a 10' overpass.
Thanks, Joe.
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Old 09-27-2017, 11:16 AM   #6
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I use a similar procedure: Google maps to get the basic route down, RV Park Reviews to check on campgrounds, and occasionally I'll use Road Trippers and/or Roadside America to find interesting places to stop along the way.
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Old 09-27-2017, 12:31 PM   #7
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I am rather ocd about planning, like others. I start with the Good Sams trip planner as I like being able to identify rest areas, flying j as well as campgrounds. Once I have the initial plan set there I start using other resources for reviews of campgrounds and have several phone apps for gas and such (RV Parky, Rvillage, Gas Buddy, Coverage? to name a few).

I got the new Garmin 770LMT RV gps and it also came with a trip planning software that I have as of yet not used extensively. I'll be taking a deeper look at that since I can move the trips onto the garmin from there.
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Old 09-27-2017, 12:36 PM   #8
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I also take a look at Rand McNally's TripMaker...
(Multiple sources help to confirm things... )
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Old 09-27-2017, 12:40 PM   #9
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Just a side note about pre-planning when your destination involves CG's in larger cities you are unfamiliar with. When I bring it up on Google Earth I will also go down to the street view and check the surrounding area. I have looked at CG's before that may get 3 or 4 stars ratings but then I see where there is sketchy public housing or a huge commercial 24 hour factory of some type right on top of them. You can learn a lot by seeing a street view of the surrounding area and it only takes a couple of minutes. I also use crimereports.com to check an area. You type in the address and it shows all the crimes reported in that area. About 75% of the police departments reports are included in that site so just about anywhere you are checking will be in there. I don't check these sites with all my planned stops but some I do, especially Walmarts I am thinking about trying.
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Old 09-27-2017, 12:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe-FL View Post
Just a side note about pre-planning when your destination involves CG's in larger cities you are unfamiliar with. When I bring it up on Google Earth I will also go down to the street view and check the surrounding area. I have looked at CG's before that may get 3 or 4 stars ratings but then I see where there is sketchy public housing or a huge commercial 24 hour factory of some type right on top of them. You can learn a lot by seeing a street view of the surrounding area and it only takes a couple of minutes. ...
Good point: I also use streetview, but not for those purposes. I use streetview to look at the navigation points along the route: identifying landmarks, odd intersections, the occasional bridge, etc. That way when I get there I'm already familiar with the intersection.

As a bonus: If you have a Samsung Phone and Gear VR you can use the VISO places app to virtually stand at any intersection in the US that is captured with streetview.
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Old 09-27-2017, 01:04 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Joe-FL View Post
Just a side note about pre-planning when your destination involves CG's in larger cities you are unfamiliar with. When I bring it up on Google Earth I will also go down to the street view and check the surrounding area. I have looked at CG's before that may get 3 or 4 stars ratings but then I see where there is sketchy public housing or a huge commercial 24 hour factory of some type right on top of them. You can learn a lot by seeing a street view of the surrounding area and it only takes a couple of minutes. I also use crimereports.com to check an area. You type in the address and it shows all the crimes reported in that area. About 75% of the police departments reports are included in that site so just about anywhere you are checking will be in there. I don't check these sites with all my planned stops but some I do, especially Walmarts I am thinking about trying.
Streetview is fantastic...It saved us one trip as the campground entrance and main road had a lot of low trees....no way I would have gotten Lucille down that road without major damage....
Crimereports is a good idea...i'll add that to my ever growing trip planning repertoire
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Old 09-27-2017, 01:24 PM   #12
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We all know how important Situational Awareness is.

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Old 09-27-2017, 01:40 PM   #13
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I really appreciate all your responses, this is good stuff. I have been blessed with a good sense of direction and spent most of my days in the military as a navigator. When the wife and I have travelled, my usual technique has been, look at a map at home to see where we're going, then put it away and go there - that's worked well for me for 70 years. With an RV, the whole game changes, though, and requires a little more detailed planning, especially with the toad (overhead clearances, turn radii and angles, side obstructions, making sure to keep the gas tank at least quarter full, etc). In the Air Force, I just made sure to fly higher than the obstructions :-). Thanks for the help!!
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Old 09-27-2017, 01:42 PM   #14
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Good point: I also use streetview, but not for those purposes. I use streetview to look at the navigation points along the route: identifying landmarks, odd intersections, the occasional bridge, etc. That way when I get there I'm already familiar with the intersection.

As a bonus: If you have a Samsung Phone and Gear VR you can use the VISO places app to virtually stand at any intersection in the US that is captured with streetview.
I'm a newbie, but on my maiden voyage going from dealer to campground in Arlington, TX, I had originally looked at one route with Google, and then when heading there, I think because of traffic on the interstate, Google had me get off the exit before and as my wife was manning Google, she didn't really know which route I was planning to go (we will work on that going forward) and I didn't realize it had me exit early until I was making a right instead of left.

Long story, short, it brought me down a two lane road with low hanging branches. It's possible if I had used google street view, that might have been obvious.
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Old 09-27-2017, 02:12 PM   #15
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Is there anything wrong with saying:
"Hey! Let's go thataway!"
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Old 09-27-2017, 03:29 PM   #16
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Is there anything wrong with saying:
"Hey! Let's go thataway!"
Nope, not at all...as long as you're sure your rig with fit "thataway"
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Old 09-27-2017, 03:59 PM   #17
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I need practice backing-up anyway!
If "thataway" doesn't work: "Thisaway might!
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Old 09-28-2017, 01:08 AM   #18
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Like JeffnBeth above, we have a Garmin, ours is an older Garmin 760 LMT RV. We had some sticky situations in the years before it came to live on the dash of our Vegas. Before we start out for a day, I enter the destination so the Garmin can keep me from low clearances, etc.

I find the Good Sam trip program better than using Google Maps for planning RV trips, but I use each on occasion.
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