Overnight suggestions on a cross country trip

newellnewell Posts: 129Member
     We're planning a cross country trip this spring from Central NY through Sugar Creek, Ohio (for some upgrades) then down through probably Tennessee , west out through New Mexico and Arizona to San Diego.  Anyone out there have any favorite overnight stops, waypoints of interest, general advise?  We'd love to hear from you. Photos are appreciated too. 
Earl & Sue | Central NY | 2017 T@B 320S | TV: Chevy Silverado
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Comments

  • StevieStevie Posts: 29Member
    A few places I can recommend that we stayed on our cross-country in October. I have some mil fam camp recommendations too if you would like them.

    Short stay recommendations:
    • Lebanon / Cincinnati NE KOA (FORMERLY CEDARBROOK CAMPGROUND)
    • KOA Casey, IL 
    • KOA Salina, KS
    Hang out awhile recommendations: 
    • Norris Dam State Park, Lake City, TN
    • KOA Holbrook/Petrified Forest, AZ
    • KOA Williams/Circle Pines/Exit 167 - my fave KOA so far
    Not sure if these pics will help all that much but I like to share them. ;) Like the noob that I am to RVing I didn't get pics of our camp setup hardly anywhere along the journey. 



     Our route from RVTripWizard. Meandering, I know but that was half the fun!

    Norris Dam State Park, backed in at the edge of the mountain


    Grand Canyon day trip based out of KOA Williams.


    Camping on the beach in CA.


  • newellnewell Posts: 129Member
    Great stuff Stevie,  thank you very much.....
    Earl & Sue | Central NY | 2017 T@B 320S | TV: Chevy Silverado
  • newellnewell Posts: 129Member
    Stevie, how long were you out and where was the beach camping in California?  We just returned from a non camping trip to Santa Anna. All the beaches we found were fifty cents to ten bucks and hour just to park. 
    Earl & Sue | Central NY | 2017 T@B 320S | TV: Chevy Silverado
  • StevieStevie Posts: 29Member
    We took 45 days. That was Fam Camp at Del Mar Beach near Oceanside on Camp Pendleton. 

    If I didn't have Military Fam Camp privileges, I would look at CA State Beaches especially Doheny, San Clemente, San Onofree, South Carlsbad, or San Elijo State Beach. Here is the CA State Park reservation website.

    I'm also a Passport America member and they have good options in SoCal for 1/2 price stays it looks like. I see Mission Bay RV Resort which looks good and Santa Fe RV Park Resort which are both at the beach. The thing about Passport America is that you can usually only stay a night or two at the half-price rate You have to check the rules with each campground I've learned.

  • newellnewell Posts: 129Member
    Thanks Stevie.  I don't think one or two night limits would be a problem since we're going to be on the move most of the time anyway.  We're planning on six weeks for our trip.  Not quite sure what the return route will be but like you said, meandering is half the fun.  Thanks again for the advice..
    Earl & Sue | Central NY | 2017 T@B 320S | TV: Chevy Silverado
  • newellnewell Posts: 129Member
    Since we'll be on the road for a couple of months, it would be nice to find a few places to pull in for the night without having to pay for a campsite. Aside from Pilot truck stops and camping world,  does anyone have any suggestions? 
    Earl & Sue | Central NY | 2017 T@B 320S | TV: Chevy Silverado
  • easttntabeasttntab Posts: 18Member
    Newell, what part of the country are you looking for a overnight? I'm alittle south of Knoxville,Tn
  • dragonsdoflydragonsdofly Posts: 501Member
    @newell, many other places to overnight free, but not a great many are incredibly scenic or fun. Many walmarts allow overnight stays (use allstays walmart app) which will tell you if it is allowed and give commentary about noise, safety and ease of access. Although some don't like the idea, we've done it a few times. It offers some security as they are usually well lit and many have patrolling security. We've taken refuge in Cabelas too. In driving, torrential rain, paved lots offer generally level areas with adequate drainage. Again, an overnight stay. It is not camping, and you don't get out the lawn chairs or grill. There are apps, like the already mentioned allstays and ultimate cg. There are listings for many other options also. Out west some municipal areas offer free to very low cost sites. We stayed at one in Kansas where we had thirty amp service and water. The charge was $10.00, paid by the honor system. Just put the money in an envelope and drop in the lock box. There are listings for BLM (bureau of land management) and U.S. Forestry sites. On federal land most locations have few to no amenities, but are usually minimal cost. It depends on how adventurous you feel at the moment. Please take a while to check some of these options out. I'm also sure there are many other resources out there and others will chime in with their recommendations. Good luck and happy t@bbing!
    2017 t@b sofitel(Dr@gonsFly)TV 2005 gmc envoy xl. Wyandotte, Michigan.
    Draco dormiens numquam titilandus.
  • SAMSAM Posts: 1,655Member
    Check out Boondockers Welcome.  https://www.boondockerswelcome.com/
    Sharon and John - Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Blue and Silver 2017 CSS towed by a 2015 Salsa Red Toyota Sienna
  • newellnewell Posts: 129Member
    easttntab said:
    Newell, what part of the country are you looking for a overnight? I'm alittle south of Knoxville,Tn
    We are planning on going down through Tennessee on our way out west and we hoped to get close to the Smokies which I think is pretty close to Knoxville.  Was that an invitation?  :)
    Earl & Sue | Central NY | 2017 T@B 320S | TV: Chevy Silverado
  • newellnewell Posts: 129Member
    dragonsdofly:  We do have the allstays app. We got that when we were up in Quebec last summer and we have really learned to rely on it.  The walmart stays are really big up in Canada but we haven't tried one yet.  I think when we get out to Arizona and New Mexico we will try out some of the BLM areas.  That is a great idea, thank you. I don't know about Cabelas though.  If I stay there it might cost me more than if I went to a campground if you know what I mean.  Thanks for all the great advice.  See you on the road.....
    Earl & Sue | Central NY | 2017 T@B 320S | TV: Chevy Silverado
  • dragonsdoflydragonsdofly Posts: 501Member
    @newell, yes, I believe that was an invitation fron @easttntab. There was an open invitation made by easttntab to everyone on the forum a few months ago. Don't want to presume, so my suggestion is to contact them and find out. As I recall that posting they were near great smokey mtns park, which sounds like what you're looking for. Enjoy!
    2017 t@b sofitel(Dr@gonsFly)TV 2005 gmc envoy xl. Wyandotte, Michigan.
    Draco dormiens numquam titilandus.
  • jkjennjkjenn Posts: 4,385Member
    Your options for free Boondocking, apart from Wal-Mart and other retailers are limited in East of the Missippi. The further west you go, the more options. Once you get int9 the Mountain time zone, free BLM and NFS camping abounds. If you aren't driving during hit, humid weather and you are not looking for more than a safe spot to pull over and sleep, Wal-Mart is a good option.

    Many Wal-Mart's allow overnight parking. I use RV Parky and joined a Wal-Mart Overnight Parking group on Yahoo to help give me an idea of which Wal-Mart's allow it. That group provides pretty regular feedback. I also check out the area with Google Maps streetview. You should call ahead and plan to park, only. That means, no stabilizers or jacks down and no cooking out of the Clamshell.  There is a published code of conduct by a group trying to establish a code of ethics to do what can be done to maintain the good relationship between Walmart and the RV community. I also pull in later at night and am on my way, early when I overnight at Wal-Mart. Especially on a stormy night, a Wal-Mart parking lot can be a Godsend.

    If it is hot and/or humid, I am more likely to pay for a campsite. I recently saw online, an overnight parking area that had electric, water, and a dump station for $10 near the Badlands and Custer State Park. If I-80 had some more of those, I would definitely use them.


    Jenn Grover | 2015  T@b S Max Silver/Turquoise Trim | 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk v6 | Nights spent in T@b: 148 | Pittsburgh PA

  • newellnewell Posts: 129Member
    jkjenn, we have the Allstays app and we can set the filters to tell us what Walmarts allow parking if you call ahead and which ones don't.  Thanks for the heads up on the no stabilizers down etc.  I didn't know that and as this would most probably be our first time with them, I wouldn't want to do something wrong.  If you run across that code of ethics publication, it would be great if you could send us a link.  I see you mentioned I-80.  Is that the route you favor over I-40? I'll have to look that up as we've been concentraing on I-40 with our planning.
    Earl & Sue | Central NY | 2017 T@B 320S | TV: Chevy Silverado
  • jkjennjkjenn Posts: 4,385Member
    newell said:
    jkjenn, we have the Allstays app and we can set the filters to tell us what Walmarts allow parking if you call ahead and which ones don't.  Thanks for the heads up on the no stabilizers down etc.  I didn't know that and as this would most probably be our first time with them, I wouldn't want to do something wrong.  If you run across that code of ethics publication, it would be great if you could send us a link.  I see you mentioned I-80.  Is that the route you favor over I-40? I'll have to look that up as we've been concentraing on I-40 with our planning.
    Route all depends on where I am going and time of year. I take I-80 because I am usually headed to Colorado or Utah. I had a trip planned across I-40 last year that I had to cancel. I love I-40 in the southwest until you hit the TX/OK area. After that, it doesn't get interesting, again until Little Rock. My favorite route is I-90, which is what we are taking to Wyoming this summer.

     I will be sure and send you the link. I have found some dated information on Allstays, but I have heard the iPhone version is much better than the Android version.

    Jenn Grover | 2015  T@b S Max Silver/Turquoise Trim | 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk v6 | Nights spent in T@b: 148 | Pittsburgh PA

  • irvingjirvingj Posts: 310Member
    For just an overnight, we've often stayed at state highway rest areas. Just depends on the state and how much traffic, but worth checking out.
  • newellnewell Posts: 129Member
    irving:  That sounds like a great idea but is it legal? I suppose if I leave everything hooked up and only put the back stabilizers down it wouldn't be any different than the truckers. Anybody else want to comment on this?
    Earl & Sue | Central NY | 2017 T@B 320S | TV: Chevy Silverado
  • irvingjirvingj Posts: 310Member
    edited January 19
    You're right, and some rest area are clearly marked, "No Overnight Camping"... but we've had good luck that way, I guess. Some on interstates, some on smaller state roads. Even checked with the attendant at one --it was pretty quiet there-- and he said, "Sure, go ahead." Nice thing about rest areas are heated restrooms with hot water and ... flush toilets! 

    One of our favorites, every time we come back to NH from "out west," is the eastbound rest area at Unadilla, NY on I-88 just northeast of Binghampton. Beautiful spot, likely to see quite a few deer in the evening & early morning in the field behind.

    For sure not a permanent solution, just for a quick overnight and back on the road again (hmmm... sounds like a good song there...) in the morning. Just another possibility.
  • jkjennjkjenn Posts: 4,385Member
    I have mentioned it before, but it bears repeating, that every other rest are on the Ohio Turnpike (I-80) has overnight parking areas with electric, water, and a dump station. It is not free, I think around $20, but nice safe spits. Also, Ohio has some of the nicest services plazas around. You can also use the dump stations for free.

    Jenn Grover | 2015  T@b S Max Silver/Turquoise Trim | 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk v6 | Nights spent in T@b: 148 | Pittsburgh PA

  • irvingjirvingj Posts: 310Member
    Thank you, Jenn, I didn't know that!
  • newellnewell Posts: 129Member
    Thanks Jenn, we're going to be coming down through Ohio on our way to Tennessee from New York so we might just take advantage of one.  We have to stop off at nuCamp for a little work.  
    Earl & Sue | Central NY | 2017 T@B 320S | TV: Chevy Silverado
  • newellnewell Posts: 129Member
    irvingj said:

    One of our favorites, every time we come back to NH from "out west," is the eastbound rest area at Unadilla, NY on I-88 just northeast of Bighampton.

    Small world,  Unadilla is about 30 miles south of where we live up near Utica NY.  We'll be coming back that way in a couple of weeks from a car trip down to Miami.  We'll have to check it out.  I guess while we're traveling we will start looking at rest areas with future T@B adventures on mind.....
    Earl & Sue | Central NY | 2017 T@B 320S | TV: Chevy Silverado
  • newellnewell Posts: 129Member
    I just looked at the Ohio travel plazas of route 80 on their website.  I guess I should have remembered even numbers go east/west on the interstates.  Unfortunately we won't be using the tunpike on this trip out west but maybe on the way back.  Great website if anyone is interested. Here is the link:  https://www.ohioturnpike.org/travelers/service-plazas
    Earl & Sue | Central NY | 2017 T@B 320S | TV: Chevy Silverado
  • irvingjirvingj Posts: 310Member
    Oops... that's BINGhampton, not Bighampton.... typo corrected!
  • jkjennjkjenn Posts: 4,385Member
    irvingj said:
    Oops... that's BINGhampton, not Bighampton.... typo corrected!
    Actually, it's Binghamton....

    Jenn Grover | 2015  T@b S Max Silver/Turquoise Trim | 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk v6 | Nights spent in T@b: 148 | Pittsburgh PA

  • irvingjirvingj Posts: 310Member
    OK, I give up! (Thanks... must've been thinking of Hampton, NH.) Gettin' old....
  • pthomas745pthomas745 Posts: 371Member
    In California, it is legal to stay for  8 hours.

    http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/maint/ra/policy.htm

    Some California rest areas are equipped with RV dump stations, but not too many.  There is a link on the above dot.ca rest area page.

    Here is another web page with a list of the different states rules on rest areas.  Seems to be fairly up to date, and has a nice focus on interstate rest areas.

    http://www.interstaterestareas.com/overnight-parking-rules/



  • newellnewell Posts: 129Member
    Great link on the rest areas pthomas745.  That will come in handy on our trip.
    Earl & Sue | Central NY | 2017 T@B 320S | TV: Chevy Silverado
  • SGH0004SGH0004 Posts: 56Member
    We went on a month-long journey in October. We stayed at a Cabelas one night.  They actually had 24hr security & a dump station.
    We only had one reservation for the entire trip.  We used our RV Park Reviews app almost every day to find somewhere to stay.  We never had a problem & the reviews were pretty much spot on. 
    Before we left we made sure the bearings were packed & actually stopped at a NAPA on the way home to pick up a grease gun & ran new grease through.  Also bought new radial tires for the T@b before we left.
    If you're going to TN via Ohio or vice versa & are in the area (more like going to Nashville than Knoxville), I recommend staying at the horse park in Lexington, KY.  It was nice (beautiful country).  We're not big whiskey drinkers but really enjoyed going thru some distilleries in the area. 
    Good luck.  We wish we were going on another big trip already.  
  • jkjennjkjenn Posts: 4,385Member
    You shouldn't have to repack the hubs with grease unless they get dirty or wet. I have camped in some pretty dusty conditions in the southwest and dirt getting into the hubs has not been an issue, to date. The Dutchman T@bs are different and you would use a grease gun to squirt more into a zerk fitting, I believe.

    Jenn Grover | 2015  T@b S Max Silver/Turquoise Trim | 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk v6 | Nights spent in T@b: 148 | Pittsburgh PA

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