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trailertraveler

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  1. trailertraveler

    Travel Trailer questions and your thoughts needed...

    In order to match your Grand Cherokee with a trailer, you will need to become familiar with some terms such as Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR), Max Towing Capacity, etc. The GCWR may be less than the sum of the tow vehicles GVWR and Max Towing rating. I suggest using the trailer's GVWR in any calculations of tongue weight or GCWR. Since you have the Jeep, load it up as you would ready to travel and weigh it. This will let you calculate the maximum tongue weight that you can add without exceeding the Jeep's GVWR and also the real max towing by subtracting the loaded Jeep's weight from the GCWR. This calculator may help you keep all the capacities within limits. Another consideration is the relationship between trailer length and the wheelbase of the tow vehicle. Here is an article that discusses this.
  2. trailertraveler

    Towing Course

    I believe the RV Driving School requires that students provide their own equipment. This quote is from an individual that states they are an instructor for the RV Driving School. I contacted the RV Driving School about this statement and did not get a definitive answer just BS about their liability. The RV Driving School's past advertisements for instructors on this forum and others do not say anything about certification as a driver training instructor being required. One recruitment advertisement I remember stated that a CDL (not a CDL instructors certificate) was a plus. Their website says that the owner is certified as a safe driving instructor in one state. (I had to take a safe driving course every two years for my job. It never included any behind the wheel training.) I do not belief that certification as a safe driving instructor is the same as certification as a driver training instructor in most states. Any training is likely better than none and practice and experience is definitely needed.
  3. trailertraveler

    How often do you make reservations?

    Curious which questions you are counting? These three (total 6 responses) seem to indicate or imply past difficulty finding sites resulting in now making reservations. 1. Didn't used to but have begun doing so because we have trouble finding a place to stay or have failed to find one occasionally. 2. Didn't used to but have begun doing so because we have trouble finding a place to stay or have failed to find one frequently. 3. I frequently make reservations because in the past I had difficulty locating a place to stay. I also wonder how the respondents to this question would have found out that reservations are needed? Is the question meant to mean that the facility does not take walk ins? Always or most of the time because they are needed where we stay. Lots of Passport America and other cash/check only parks will just take a name and agree to hold a spot. I consider that a reservation and if for some reason our plans change, I give them the courtesy of a call to let them know. If they have my credit card information. I would consider that a reservation and make sure that I called to cancel if for some reason I would not arrive as scheduled.
  4. trailertraveler

    January travel near the border

    We have spent a fair amount of time in Deming and Las Cruces in October and never had any problems. Be aware that the average night time lows for those areas in January and February is at or below freezing. You may encounter some border patrol check points on the main highways.
  5. trailertraveler

    How often do you make reservations?

    Of the 21 written replies, Seven (33%) have indicated that they call ahead. Is this considered a reservation? It certainly is not the same as just driving in and taking one's chances. Why bother to call if campgrounds are never full?
  6. trailertraveler

    How often do you make reservations?

    Another issue is what kind of place are you willing to stay. Those that do not mind staying at Walmart, other parking lots, truck stops, etc., are likely far less concerned about site availability than those that want or need at least electric all the time. Although there are areas like some in Florida where it would at least be good to know whether blacktop docking is permitted. Likewise, those that will stay multiple nights with no hookups can take advantage of sites without hookups at public campgrounds that either have few or no sites with utilities. I have been to several COE campgrounds and State Parks where the sites with utilities have been full every night while the dry camping area always has multiple open sites. In my experience, many of the first come first serve campgrounds in National Parks and on National Forests do not have any hookups at all. These same campgrounds and some with utilities often have few or sometimes no sites that will accommodate the larger RVs, so size can also matter. No number of vacant spots will do you any good if the RV will not fit.
  7. trailertraveler

    How often do you make reservations?

    We really don't fit in any one answer. Finding a spot for the night is different than finding a spot for the weekend or a week or two. We rarely stay a month in one place but when we have, we made reservations several weeks in advance. We travel 200-250 miles (4-5 hrs.) max, usually 10AM-2PM. I have a list of possible stops and start calling about noon. I ask if they have been filling up at night or something similar and may give a credit card number if necessary to hold a spot. Once we arrive, we will talk about what is in the area, look at brochures and websites to see if we want to stay more than a night. If it is Thursday or Friday, we will discuss the possibility of staying the weekend and pay for the entire stay. We don't like to switch sites within a park and have moved on a number of times because the site we were in was not available for additional night(s). For week long stays, we start to look for our next stop about a week in advance. If nothing is available, which seems to be happening more frequently, we will look at a different area. We like COE, Forest Service, BLM and State Park campgrounds. If there are reservable sites available, we will make a reservation. For first come first serve sites, we will call the area manager to discuss whether they are full every night and what is the best day/time to arrive.
  8. trailertraveler

    CreekFire Motor Rance, Savannah GA

    Read this thread.
  9. trailertraveler

    CreekFire Motor Rance, Savannah GA

    The situations near Salem/Roanoke VA and in Kansas that I previously described were as close as we have come. If we had not had a list and called ahead at noon, we most likely would have not found a spot other than a parking lot or much farther than we would have wanted to travel that day. As I stated in the previous post in the Virginia case we stopped short and actually added a day to that leg of the trip. In the last three years, we have had some locations like Saint Augustine, FL; Mount Dora, FL; Kingsland, GA; Savanah, GA; and Wilmington, NC where we actually changed our route and destination or could not stay as long as we would have liked because we could not find a spot. The past two falls, there have been COE parks and State Parks in New Mexico that we really like that we have not been able to get into with about a weeks lead time.
  10. trailertraveler

    CreekFire Motor Rance, Savannah GA

    I didn't say it did. in fact I said: Everyone has different experiences and develops their perceptions based on those experiences. We have apparently had different experiences and thus formed differing perceptions on whether it is becoming more difficult to obtain an RV site. Time of year and location likely plays a major role. To the extent that destination may dictate the route traveled it well may have an effect on locating sites on the fly while traveling. A couple of years ago, traveling through central Kansas, every RV park in about a 50 radius of our projected stop for the night was filled to capacity with pipeline construction workers. Just bad luck for us. Fortunately a state park had sites because they had a 14 day stay limit. My perception based on experience/observation and discussions with park managers and staff is that many RV parks and public campgrounds have seen a substantial increase in visitation even if they are not always full to capacity. New Mexico State Parks and COE campgrounds across the country seem to have been "discovered" and seem to have become increasingly popular in recent years. It is also my perception that many parks have more permanent/long term residents and that there are more traveling workers which results in fewer sites available for the traveling RVer. None of this has anything to do with CreekFire Motor Ranch, but may influence why folks do not post reviews or identify their favorite parks.
  11. trailertraveler

    CreekFire Motor Rance, Savannah GA

    We travel much as you describe most of the time. Finding a spot along the highway for a night in route is not normally a problem with some exceptions like along I-81 near Salem/Roanoke, VA where there are very few to begin with. Last spring we ended up taking an additional day because we could not get a spot anywhere in the area we wanted to stop. We travel about 250 miles (4-5 hrs) max and do not stay in Walmarts or other parking lots unless it is an emergency as we do not want to spent 18-20 hours in a parking lot and like to explore the local area which we would not leave the trailer in a parking lot to do. We have stopped intending to stay a night and stayed as long as a week when we found interesting things to see and do. In the past 3-4 years, it has been my experience that getting a space has become much more difficult, particularly for more than one night. Our destinations are not normally events like Escapade or volunteer assignments where we would have a dedicated spot waiting for us. I can think of several RV Parks, state parks and COE parks in Arizona and New Mexico that are very hard to get a spot with electric as a walk-in or even to get a reservation other than months in advance. We are usually there from the middle of August into October. These parks have been mentioned in almost every post about their areas on this and other popular RV forums. We have experienced the same in Florida, Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi in February, March and April. The number of RVers seems to me to be increasing much faster than the number of RV sites available.
  12. trailertraveler

    CreekFire Motor Rance, Savannah GA

    RV Park Reviews and the Campground Views Website linked to in this forum are completely separate as far as I can tell. I think Campground Views is the newer of the two. Websites like Campendium, RVParky, Trip Advisor and likely others have reviews. The HDT folks from this forum have even created their own RV Park reference guide. We have stayed at close to 300 different campgrounds and RV parks in the past 14 years. I have added a number of previously unlisted locations to RV Park Reviews. I know I am not interested in posting reviews on every possible website and I doubt that many folks are. If one looks at the number of responses to many of the travel questions posted on this forum, that number is generally far fewer than the responses to a question about an RV related technical issue. One can speculate as to whether that is due to the fact that some do not travel all that much or whether the increasing difficulty in getting into places (especially without reservations) makes folks reluctant to identify places that they like and want to return to.
  13. trailertraveler

    back with questions

    Tom Sawyer, Riverview, Warfield Point
  14. trailertraveler

    back with questions

    US-61 is not the Natchez Trace Parkway. I am not sure the Parkway has a highway route number. It runs from Natchez, MS to Nashville, TN. Here is a link to the Park Service Maps Page.
  15. trailertraveler

    back with questions

    If you take the Great River Road (US-61) instead of the Interstate, you will go through or near Tunica, Vicksburg and Natchez which all have things to see and do. Vicksburg would be about half way between Memphis and New Orleans. You can explore parts of the Natchez Trace Parkway. US-61 is also known as the Blues Highway. Depending on the flood stage of the River, you may be able to stay at one or more of several parks right on the river where you can see the barges going up and down the Mississippi.
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