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Old 09-15-2021, 06:49 AM   #1
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Traveling in 2021

We are currently into our fourth week on the road and I thought I would throw out a few observations on our part with travel this year.
1st as I said in another thread with all the "new" RV's on the road these days the freedom of just loading up the motorhome and hitting the road is for the most part gone. If you haven't got a reservation in the National Park or the RV park close to the popular destinations forget rolling into town unannounced and expect to find a spot for a few days. Unless you are living a sainted life and catch a park with a cancellation expect to be staying and driving a good ways away from the area you want to visit.
2) Crowds are bad period. We have in the past timed our travel start the last week of August on into September figuring kids are back in school. Errr !! No more since COVID, and even before their are more and more families doing the remote schooling. A laptop and the web and junior does school from the West Yellowstone RV Park.
3) Did I say crowds? Visiting Yellowstone even after Labor Day the crowds at the various attractions were awful. Might as well been standing in line for the Tower of Terror in Disney World..
4) Prices. The increase in RV's on the road these days have not only been a boon to the RV manufacturer the RV Parks are making hay as well. What used to be a $35 - $45 dollar a night park is now getting $65- $75 a night with a Good Sam discount. One instance we were getting blown all over the highway in South Dakota and called the nearest Kamp Ground to get an overnight. Now mind you this park is basically in the middle of Podunk S.D. not nestled right up the street from the 4 heads ( wife's description of Mt Rushmore) The lady at the desk that day said they could swing us in for E & W no S for $75. Needless to say we said no thanks drove another 30 miles and stopped full HU for 40 bucks. The point evidently these parks are getting somebody to shell out that kind of coin. New folks that don't know better yet? IDK.
5)Fuel Prices. We have seen gas all over the map on price. Same brand ten miles down the road in the same state .20 -.30 higher. Maybe local road taxes? Or maybe the only game in town and the market will bare the price? Don't know. (Rule of thumb fill the MH and the Toad at least 30 miles from the popular parks or figure on getting hosed for 30%-40% more for your fuel.
6) My biggest complaint about traveling after peak season is somebody needs to tell the National Parks, Forests and BLM that people do use campgrounds after Labor Day. National Forests & Bureau of Land Management start closing many campgrounds the week after Labor Day. Yellowstone and Glacier follow suit with the bulk of their campgrounds closed by mid September.
Finally this trip has had it's trials but we wouldn't want to travel any other way. I've been camping and RV'ng since I was a kid in the 60's. Been married to the DW for 40 years and been camping & RVng since before we tied the knot.
We have had to adapt these days and make more reservations but RVng in our opinion is the only way to travel and see this great country!!
Peace Out & Goodnight from Craters of the Moon in Idaho!
Mark

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Old 09-15-2021, 11:49 AM   #2
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I've made 3 trips in 21, March/April AL-AZ, July AL-NC, September AL-WV. Still on #3. Spring trip I found some places with high occupancy but still openings. July trip mostly full, This trip full on Labor Day and weekends but thinning during the week. At least in the sane south, schools are back open in session so that has cut some travels. But expect heavy traveling and camping every nice weekend till close to Thanksgiving. Been that way for years actually. Much lighter RV road traffic this trip than July trip.

If you have the ability and freedom to travel due to work and/or school issues, do so during the week and unless you are trying to hit the major national parks, you should be OK. Yes costs for RV parks are up significantly and reservations are recommended unless you like truck stops as sleeping arrangements.
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Old 09-15-2021, 12:13 PM   #3
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I have noticed that state campgrounds are still full of elderly singles after school starting. I suspect that category may have driven the RV sales boom and they are all out there using their new MH.

David
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Old 09-16-2021, 03:03 AM   #4
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MJC62
Welcome to Idaho. Craters of the Moon, in my opinion has the nicest dry camping spots around. Hope you enjoy your stay. Where are you headed from there?
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Old 09-16-2021, 03:41 AM   #5
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MJC62
Welcome to Idaho. Craters of the Moon, in my opinion has the nicest dry camping spots around. Hope you enjoy your stay. Where are you headed from there?
Sadly heading home :ermm (Wife is hosting her club end of September.) We will take US 26 out of Arco to I-15 pick up US 30 in Pocatello to Wyoming then I 80 on a slow roll home.
Back on the road again 1st of October for a Michigan Fall color tour
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Old 09-16-2021, 09:39 AM   #6
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During our June - August trip from SC to WY and back.

No reservations, no spots. Campgrounds were full and turning last minute, no reservation folks away.

Mid-week mid July Yellowstone had no, repeat, no crowds at any of the attractions.

Be prepared for a mechanical breakdown even in a newer rig. We experienced 3 DEF breakdowns during the trip.

In the event of a breakdown, more time can be spent modifying plans than creating the initial trip.

Some RV parks will not refund deposits even during a breakdown.

Many campgrounds have turned into dumps due to lack of maintenance and COVID is always the excuse.

We are currently on a three week trip from SC to VA then NJ, a chapter rally in NC and then dropping the rig off at the dealer for the end of warranty punch list.

Enjoy the travels. I believe these times are an indication of what you can expect in the future. This has become the norm with no going back to the ‘good ole days’.
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Old 09-16-2021, 11:39 AM   #7
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We are 4 weeks into a 6 week trip and currently near Burlington, VT. We planned this trip in March and made all the reservations then including tickets for the COG Railway up to the summit of Mt Washington. Many years ago on a family vacation with the kids doing a seat of the pants thing broke me from the spontaneous stuff. No RV then and started looking for a room at 6 PM and everyplace we stopped for over a hundred miles was booked. At 2 AM came across a place that rented by the hour from the looks of it. Got a room and did not even take our clothes off. Up at 5 AM and back on the road. Granted with the RV there are options like truck stops, Walmart, etc., but being an OCD engineer I tend not to be spontaneous.

Many folks do not like KOA campgrounds but we tend to use them a lot. They vary all over the map from dumps to downright nice places. We just left the Twin Mountain KOA in New Hampshire and it was a great campground. The reason we like KOA so much is you can log into the website a year ahead of time and reserve a site without ever talking to a person. We are up very early and have made reservations at 4 AM. Many campgrounds require you to fill out a form and mail in a check and do not allow online reservations.

Besides the new storm of young RVers with families taking over the campgrounds on the weekend there is the old weather chasers who monopolize sites in campgrounds with season long reservations to camp in the north in the summer and Florida, Texas, etc, in the winter. Walking around the campgrounds in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont you would think you were in Florida due to the number of Florida license plates.

We tend to be travelers and don't like to stay in one place very long. Where we live the weather is a good compromise and we tend to travel for the adventure and not the weather.
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Old 09-21-2021, 02:31 AM   #8
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Home, with just under 4000 on the ACE and 1100 miles on the toad.
Average mpg for the V10 pulling the 4200 lb Cherokee Trailhawk, 8.3.
As I said fuel prices for 87 octane regular gas all over, from a high of 4.59 a gallon in Island Park Idaho to just under 3.00 in Iowa. Average was around 3.79 with a surprisingly consistent 3.59 at all the stations in West Yellowstone.
The smoke from the fires this season is the worst we have seen in our travels through the Rocky Mountain States over the years. We thought the smoke was bad during our 2018 trip to Glacier & Yellowstone. No comparison, this year tops all previous trips. We got a first hand look at a fire camp along the Pioneer Mountain byway in Montana. Whatever those firefighters are making, it ain't enough! After battling a blaze all day they return to tents, porta-jons and a shower trailer in the middle of a field. Tough peeps, God Bless um!
After this trip I have concluded before we take the F53 out on the Great Plains again it needs a steering stabilizer! Our travels with this RV have been primarily in the midwest or mid south states. The ACE behaved rather well with a just front end alignment and the CHF. You do get some wind in the midwest but nothing like the relentless 20-30 mph that blows all day across the plains. The constant see sawing the wheel wears a body out!
Final observations; the wife likes to pass the time by counting trucks and RV's. The average of RV's on the road at the same time we traveled was 1 per minute!
And where the hell are all those trucks on the road going? The highways were loaded! Every rest area & truck stop all along I80 & I90 were jammed with trucks. The rail lines that follow the interstates were rolling along with monster size trains as well. I find it hard to figure the economy isn't on the way back with all that commerce on the roads and rails!
4 weeks and 4000 miles on the ACE and no major issues. The Cherokee on the other hand has a camera issue the Active Cruise Control and Forward Crash Control went out as well as the head unit on the radio the GPS took a dump. These issues should be a warranty fix as the Jeep is sitting at 25000 miles.
We will get the house back in order after leaving a 24 year old grandson in charge for a month then off to see fall colors in the upper midwest.
Peace out & safe travels! Mark
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Old 09-21-2021, 03:27 AM   #9
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I travelled extensively from the beginning of July until this last weekend. I did not encounter any over priced campgrounds or have any trouble getting reservations for my overnight stops. I used an app on my phone to find our next stop and make reservations and most campgrounds were under $50.00 with the exception of a Jellystone park in Mississippi. Sure a lot of the campgrounds were pretty full, but not booked solid. That being said, I avoided state and national parks as they are not the same as I remember from the 60s and 70s and I have also heard they are crowded. We don't go to amusement parks or any other things that attracts large crowds. We stay off the beaten path as much as possible. It does make the trip longer in miles, but more enjoyable and we are retired anyway. I agree with the fuel price conundrum. Some states have exorbitant fuel taxes. Again, we used an app on our phone to research fuel prices and generally fueled up in between stops. What interstates we travelled on were packed and in poor shape, but the amount of RVs didn't seem any different to us than last year. Maybe it was a regional thing as all of our destinations this summer were east of the Mississippi River. I hope next year will be as easy when we take our north western swing. We plan to use the same apps and avoid the big tourist stops and visit some of our old military haunts from days gone by.
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Old 09-21-2021, 12:09 PM   #10
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It is interesting the difference in experience thus summer based on routes taken

We found 50% of the parks we stayed in had higher rates

Most had slacked off on maintenance and had some facilities closed

Only a few didn't have electric meters on each site

We tend to stay in 65 feet long sites so maybe a difference there

Garden of the Gods in CO Springs was the only park that was immaculate and we got our typical Pikes Peak view

Price was higher also

As others noted the 2 lane parks are the best value
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Old 09-22-2021, 11:48 AM   #11
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I've made 3 trips in 21, March/April AL-AZ, July AL-NC, September AL-WV. reedom to travel due to work and/or school issues, do so during the week and unless you are trying to hit the major national parks, you should be OK. Yes costs for RV parks are up significantly and reservations are recommended unless you like truck stops as sleeping arrangements.
We went mostly to different places than we had been before so my "costs are up" didn't do an evaluation of previous rates. If doing online reservations their site might not figure in discounts such as good sam, military, etc. so calling may be necessary. I'll stick with my comment to travel during the week it that will fit your schedule. Weekends most places will be higher occupancy by locals as long as the weather holds.
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Old 09-26-2021, 02:02 AM   #12
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MJC62
Welcome to Idaho. Craters of the Moon, in my opinion has the nicest dry camping spots around. Hope you enjoy your stay. Where are you headed from there?
We Idaho residents are fortunate. We live in a different world.

I have used my Class A normally over the last two years except for twice cancelling Alaska. I RV about 1/2 time. We usually boondock and spend $0. I sometimes use boondockerswelcome.com, which is free to me because I host. I mostly use the Ultimate US Public Campgrounds App to find my spots. It gives GPS coords.

I occasionally use Idaho State Parks, Idaho Power parks, and county Fairgrounds some which have electric and water. I rarely pay over $25 a night and usually $0.
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Old Yesterday, 11:19 AM   #13
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I've made 3 trips in 21, March/April AL-AZ, July AL-NC, September AL-WV. Still on #3. Spring trip I found some places with high occupancy but still openings. July trip mostly full, This trip full on Labor Day and weekends but thinning during the week. At least in the sane south, schools are back open in session so that has cut some travels. But expect heavy traveling and camping every nice weekend till close to Thanksgiving. Been that way for years actually. Much lighter RV road traffic this trip than July trip.

If you have the ability and freedom to travel due to work and/or school issues, do so during the week and unless you are trying to hit the major national parks, you should be OK. Yes costs for RV parks are up significantly and reservations are recommended unless you like truck stops as sleeping arrangements.
Where in WV? We were at Stonewall Lake in June. Beautiful place.
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Old Yesterday, 11:28 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Lt Keefer View Post
I travelled extensively from the beginning of July until this last weekend. I did not encounter any over priced campgrounds or have any trouble getting reservations for my overnight stops. I used an app on my phone to find our next stop and make reservations and most campgrounds were under $50.00 with the exception of a Jellystone park in Mississippi. Sure a lot of the campgrounds were pretty full, but not booked solid. That being said, I avoided state and national parks as they are not the same as I remember from the 60s and 70s and I have also heard they are crowded. We don't go to amusement parks or any other things that attracts large crowds. We stay off the beaten path as much as possible. It does make the trip longer in miles, but more enjoyable and we are retired anyway. I agree with the fuel price conundrum. Some states have exorbitant fuel taxes. Again, we used an app on our phone to research fuel prices and generally fueled up in between stops. What interstates we travelled on were packed and in poor shape, but the amount of RVs didn't seem any different to us than last year. Maybe it was a regional thing as all of our destinations this summer were east of the Mississippi River. I hope next year will be as easy when we take our north western swing. We plan to use the same apps and avoid the big tourist stops and visit some of our old military haunts from days gone by.
What app?
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Old Yesterday, 12:59 PM   #15
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Where in WV? We were at Stonewall Lake in June. Beautiful place.
Small new/er RV park in Alderson right on the Greenbriar River. End of the end of the road, only 13 spaces FHU. GF found it and you don't end up there by accident. Very nice, not many amenities. Did some sightseeing in the area including Greenbriar bunker, and New River gorge NP. Tried to visit a fish hatchery in White Sulphur Springs but because it's federal, was closed.
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Old Yesterday, 01:02 PM   #16
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What app?
There are several and like listing credits for something, I'll miss many/most. RVparky, Allstays, Campground reviews.
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Old Yesterday, 01:27 PM   #17
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Traveling in 2021

It has been all over the map in my experience this season.....

The trend I am seeing is if a campground is near a popular destination, the prices are high and they were sold out 6 months ago.

We stay at a campground near Raystown Lake in PA in each year. They raised the price 25% from last year to this year with no changes to the CG. They also raised their "visitor fee" from $5 (which I thought was ridiculous last year) to $8 this year. We spend the days on our friends boat and then they come over to our place for dinner. It cost me $48 to have them over 3 nights for two hours each night. We won't go back next year. Already booked a spot at the Raystown Lake Campground for 2022.

I booked all but one campground in January for our trip from August - October to Nashville, Teddy Roosevelt NP, Glacier, Yellowstone, Tetons, Mount Rushmore and Badlands NP because we knew this would be a very crowded camping year.

We just stayed at Boots Campground in Medora near Teddy Roosevelt NP and Fireside Buffalo Valley near the Tetons in the past few weeks. They were both $79/night for full hook-ups. Decent places but very basic and over-priced because of proximity to National Parks.

We just got to the Glenwood Springs KOA in Silt, CO last night. I booked it two days ago after we altered the rest of our trip. It may be the nicest KOA on our trip so far and it is $68/night for their premium patio site on the Colorado River. Their WiFi is good and the water pressure is 80PSI. We are a little over an hour from Vail so the price is very reasonable. This is a fairly large place and for a Sunday night in late September they only had 3 open spots left.

The other day I got lucky and got the last spot at the KOA in Green River, UT for Wednesday to Friday this week so we are going to hit Arches NP for a day on our way to Tucson to have the lousy Scwintek Slide System replaced with the Vroom Slide System.

Here are some pics for the $68/night premium sites at the KOA in Silt, CO.

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Old Yesterday, 01:57 PM   #18
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We have had an awesome 2020-2021 rving. Plenty to see and do away from the crowds and worrywarts. Fuel cost were great until February so this year we have only gone about 7,000 miles so far. One trip to SOCal and back. The rest on the Pacific Northwest beaches and Eastern half of WA, Oregon and Idaho Sawtooth Range. Lots of friendly people enjoying the fresh air and communing around campfires sharing the beauty of this great country. Can't get enough.
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Old Yesterday, 10:09 PM   #19
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Small new/er RV park in Alderson right on the Greenbriar River. End of the end of the road, only 13 spaces FHU. GF found it and you don't end up there by accident. Very nice, not many amenities. Did some sightseeing in the area including Greenbriar bunker, and New River gorge NP. Tried to visit a fish hatchery in White Sulphur Springs but because it's federal, was closed.
Alderson women’s penitentiary is where Squeaky Fromme is housed (Manson’s accomplice). What’s the name of the place ?
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Old Yesterday, 11:22 PM   #20
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Alderson women’s penitentiary is where Squeaky Fromme is housed (Manson’s accomplice). What’s the name of the place ?
River Ridge and it's just down the hill from the prison. Ole Squeaky also attempted to assassinate Gerald Ford. In the 80s I was a helicopter pilot for the state of WV and took some state officials there. Got a tour of the place. Didn't see Squeaky. Didn't look either. Also went to Moundsville, scary place, and a couple others in the state.
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