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I’m planning on making my first cross country trip in a month or so, probably the Grand Canyon.

does anyone recommend any of the trip planners out there ?

just don’t want to be looking for overnight spots as I go.

 Thanks 

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Hi Hubert!

My husband and I traveled full time 2019-2021, and visited 19 states. We found RV Parky very useful in planning our trips. Other apps that we used in conjunction with RV Parky were Allstays, Recreation.gov, Good Sam, (and the Yellowstone app specifically for Yellowstone). Just an FYI: If you plan on visiting any of the more popular National Parks during peak season, it is best to get your preferred reservations well in advance. The same goes for wintering in Florida - we made our reservations mostly at state parks, which go really quickly for spots, especially  in the Florida Keys. Hope that this helps!🙂

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If you like Grand Canyon, you will be amazed by https://www.nps.gov/cany/index.htm  It was also formed by the Colorado river.

Utah (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov) 

If wildlife is your goal nothing beats Rock Mountain Natl Park NW of Denver.

Scenery?  There are more 10,000+ peaks in San Juan National Forest than anywhere else. 

While there take the narrow gauge train from Durango to Silverton.  https://www.durangotrain.com/

If you are a member of Good Sam they offer a trip planner.  Trip Planner | Good Sam Club

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I use RV Trip Wizard exclusively for planning all of our trips.  In my opinion it's the best available and well worth the annual subscription.  It will let you set all of your coach important parameters, travel  preferences and route you accordingly.  It will show you all of the campgrounds, fuel stops and let you choose other points of interest you may be interested in.  You will also be able to click on the campground icons you may be interested in and pull up ratings photos etc of those CG's, plus a lot more.

Safe traveling and like Patricia mentioned the National Parks are now turning towards requiring reservations to get in.  I think ZION started it and now ARCHES has implemented it as well.  Another thing to be aware of is that in another month you'll be getting in to one of the prime tourist season for those western places, like Moab and Utah and anywhere in the SW in general because of the cooler temperatures.  You'll need to be making reservations well in advance and in some places that may mean 6 months to a year in advance.

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On 8/10/2022 at 11:12 PM, Patricia Ferrara said:

 The same goes for wintering in Florida - we made our reservations mostly at state parks, which go really quickly for spots, especially  in the Florida Keys..🙂

What an understatement. I spent many days getting up early to be at my computer right when reservations opened for John Pennekamp park. After many days with no luck I gave up. Don’t know if it’s the time delays inherent in the internet, I am victim of bots or something else.

Ed            
‘05 HR Ambassador

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4 minutes ago, saflyer said:

What an understatement. I spent many days getting up early to be at my computer right when reservations opened for John Pennekamp park. After many days with no luck I gave up.

Indeed! My husband did the same. We got lucky on John Pennekamp, but we were stuck with one night between with no reservations. He found a web site, wanderinglabs.com, that searches for specific dates/campgrounds, and notifies you when a site becomes available. They have a free version, but for $20.00, their search engine will check more frequently for openings (which sure beats dry camping at a Cracker Barrel lol!). Hope that this helps!

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2 minutes ago, Patricia Ferrara said:

Indeed! My husband did the same. We got lucky on John Pennekamp, but we were stuck with one night between with no reservations. He found a web site, wanderinglabs.com, that searches for specific dates/campgrounds, and notifies you when a site becomes available. They have a free version, but for $20.00, their search engine will check more frequently for openings (which sure beats dry camping at a Cracker Barrel lol!). Hope that this helps!

Tried the WanderingLabs thing. Still couldn’t get on fast enough after getting a notification of an opening. I wonder how many people are trying every day on the FSP site and how many use WanderingLabs. Maybe thousands?

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Sorry that you didn’t have much luck with FSP/wandering labs. You are correct in that there may be 1000’s using those sites… the competition is quite fierce, but my husband lucked out. However, after one winter in Florida, even though the weather is mild, we decided that it wasn’t worth doing it all again. We’ll do south Texas or Arizona instead - much less hassle!

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I use the Garmin RV 780 GPS in the coach and car because many times we are in locations with no cell service which causes problems for cell-based systems. A RV profile can be set-up on the GPS that avoids unusable roads.  The RV 780 has many campgrounds built-in and has the KOA parks as a separate listing.  Garmin also has a mapping program that can be installed on the computer called BaseCamp: Download BaseCamp | Garmin.  I agree with many, this program has a learning curve and is not very intuitive.   However, I have been using it over 15 years and have a lot of data in mine.  There is a group where you can get help Garmin760@groups.io | Home   The program lets you create routes on the computer and then transfer them to the GPS.  This lets me shape a route to go where I want to go verses the computer programmer. I can then transfer and review the routes in Google Earth to look at the entry into a campground, campground layout, cleanliness, and road problems if going someplace new.  In conjunction, I use the KOA, Goodsam and local information websites to get an idea of the RV park.

If you want more information, join the group and start asking questions.  Also, there are some files and sites shown.

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For me there are different aspects to trip planning. one is to find, review and reserve campgrounds for your trip. There are a number of websites and apps that can be leveraged, such as those mentioned and others.

Another aspect is sequencing the campgrounds and the detail daily route planning with the RV. This includes (for me) checking the route in terms of elevation, gradient and other hazards. For this we used RV TripWizard and found it very easy to learn and use. We used its GPS features on the phone and also used the campground reviews to supplement our other apps.

The map (see below) is also a great way to explain the overall trip to other people when discussing it without trying to explain the 46 stops (yes that was our count). I also agree with a previous post that it is well worth the money for the annual subscription.

Trip-Jan-2022.png

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