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Boondocking advise


j&k

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New to RVing. Will be traveling I-40 thru New Mexico next month on our first major trip. Any suggestions/experience as to a good place to spend the night? Plan to get at least to Albuquerque or maybe as far west as Gallup.

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There are a couple of good overnight stops on top of Nine Mile Hill just West of Albuquerque, both off the same exit just as you reach the top. They are on the access road along the South side of I-40. The first one you come to on the left is quite decent and likely less expensive than the fancier second park. We have stayed in both.

 

Be aware that I-40 can become very difficult or even impassable in winter storms, especially between Santa Rosa and Albuquerque. Also, apx 80 miles West of Albuquerque between Grants and Gallup as you cross the Continental Divide you are over 2,000 feet higher than Albuquerque with corresponding much colder temps and icing conditions. We spent a week in Grants visiting family when our my was new and the temp never got over 15 below zero. I saw temps to 40 below when I was in high school there.

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Your topic title says boondocking. So guessing that you mean free. I believe New Mexico still allows overnights in their rest areas. There is one at mile 207. The Route 66 Casino at exit 140 use to allow overnights in their parking lot, not sure if they still do. Dancing Eagle Casino at Exit 108 has an RV Park for $10/night and has in the past allowed overnights in the parking lot. Acoma Sky City at Exit 102 has an RV Park, but last time we were there had signs prohibiting overnights in the parking lot.

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New to RVing. Will be traveling I-40 thru New Mexico next month on our first major trip. Any suggestions/experience as to a good place to spend the night? Plan to get at least to Albuquerque or maybe as far west as Gallup.

Spend the night at Walmart in Grants. Easy off and back on the interstate. Call and ask permission. Park away from the store entrance. There are also several casinos with RV hookups between Abq & Gallup. Use http://www.rvparkreviews.com/ to select one to stay at. I don't recommend Gallup, kind of a rough looking city.

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Welcome to the Escapee forums! We are happy to have you here and will do all we can to help out.

 

I am not a big name in dry camping but we have done so at times at both Walmart stores and at Lowes & Home Depot. Many truck stops will also allow overnight stops in route. Where in north TX are you located? Several of us here are also based in north TX but that still leaves a pretty large area.

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The area around Gallup, NorthWest New Mexico, is a beautiful area. BUT March is a little early to enjoy, will/could be cold. The Wolf Sanctuary south of Gallup is a great stop. Camping use to be a $10 donation. Listening to the Wolfs howl in the morning & evening and the tour is a once in a lifetime experience. Also check out the Green Ice Caves.

 

rocmoco n AZ/Mexico

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Welcome to the Escapee forums! We are happy to have you here and will do all we can to help out.

 

I am not a big name in dry camping but we have done so at times at both Walmart stores and at Lowes & Home Depot. Many truck stops will also allow overnight stops in route. Where in north TX are you located? Several of us here are also based in north TX but that still leaves a pretty large area.

Wichita Falls area. thx for your comments

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For March I would advise to head further south to I-10. If you're ready to stop around Deming, NM, the Escapees park is the place to do so.

 

I-40 can get some big storms. We ran into one the end of April that closed down the interstate for 24 hours. It's especially bad between Flagstaff, AZ and Albuquerque, NM.

 

Have a safe trip!

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If you are prepared to booddock in the cold it is doable but be prepared for layovers for bad weather. The good new is there are a no. of rv parks and on this route. Depending on where you are coming from in Texas there are a couple of really good Texas rest stops I have used There is one between Witchita Falls and Amarillo and the one in Amarillo are both good. Just across the line the NM tourist bureau is good. I am hesitant to recommend NM rest stops between there and Albuquerque since they may be closed for construction. I came east in early Nov and some had reopened and some had not. I believe the route 66 casino west of Albq. does allow it as stated. I expect the advice about Dancing Eagle and Acoma casinos is correct. If you are SKP members and have or access the travel guide there are couple of good deals in for RV parks. Several of the small townd like Tucumcari, Santa Rosa, Moriarity have a lot of large lots you can boondock on for a night. I haven't stayed there but there one or two in Grants that i have heard some good things about but have not use. I did one night at the Walmart there. If you do Walmarts try to avoid the one in Albuquerque at I4O and Eubank. A number of rvers use it but the lot is so busy that it can be a pain and I conider it rude to tie up spots in one that is so busy.

 

If you start that way and it get too cold you can turn south almost anywhere on the route.

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I don't know of any ski resorts around Gallup that someone else mentioned. However, if you take the first Grants exit (as you're heading west) and follow the Forest Service road toward Mt Taylor (Cibola National Forest), you'll soon be on USFS land where you can boondock all you want.... 14 day limit. If there's snow, don't try this! Otherwise, keep an eye on the weather and you'll be fine for a night or two.

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Head south ...way south. Deming might be a good place to stop....Walmart.

I've never stayed at the Walmart in Deming, but we have stayed in Walmart parking lots in other places. We do not shop at Walmart because of the way that they treat their employees, and I am originally from Northwest Arkansas where Walmart headquarters is located so I know a thing or two about them.

 

In the Deming area we really enjoy the Petro truck stop on the (I think) west side of town. If you don't feel like cooking the restaurant there is fairly good (not exactly great). We have stayed the night there several times while on our way to Las Algodones Mexico (near Yuma Arizona) for excellent but inexpensive dental work.

BobK & Joy

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