Yeah, THIS is what I was planning for! Jekyll Island, GA in Nov

Yeah, THIS is what I was planning for! A perfect sunset at Jekyll Island, GA in Nov

Fall in Mammoth Lakes, CA

Fall in Mammoth Lakes, CA

Some time ago one of my blog readers asked me a very good question about how we actually plan our RV travels. Do we pre-plan all our routes? Do we pre-book? How do we decide where to go? And when? These are all excellent questions and make the basis of a few very nice blog posts, and thus today’s topic.

Now the truth is there is no *one* perfect way to RV, fulltime or otherwise. Every RVer will do things a little differently depending on their budget, RV size, comfort level & preferences…some wing it all the time, some boondock all the time, some plan absolutely everything. We are *very* particular about where we go especially when it comes to weather and green space + pet-friendliness, but we also like to keep things loose so, depending on the season, we actually do a mix. I’ll share my own ideas here and then you guys are welcome to add yours in the comments. Here it goes:

1/ Weather, Weather, Weather

It may be windy, but there are NO BUGS! New Mexico in Spring

It may be windy, but temps are perfect and there are NO BUGS! New Mexico in Spring

They say buying a house is all about location, location, location…I’ll take that and say RVing is all about weather, weather, weather. We learned this lesson the hard way when we spent our first year on the road camping through a particularly humid, hot, mosquito-infested summer in the Mid-West. There was practically no-one in any of the campsites, but there was also a reason for that. The bugs were so bad we couldn’t be outside more than 5 minutes at a time, the heat so intense our RV jacks melted into the asphalt (never knew that could happen), we had a massive flea infestation and we even contracted Lyme Disease (thank goodness we caught and treated it early)!!! What were we thinking?!? Truth is, we were spoiled by living in southern CA and never thought about weather or bugs until we starting living in a 40-foot tin can with pets. That year changed our entire planning outlook and we adopted totally new rules:

Cool and comfortable at 9,000 feet in CO in 2011

Cool and comfortable at 10,000 feet in CO in Jul 2011

Follow the seasons -> Our general goal is cool summers and mild winters, and we plan our travels around this basis. For summer this means either high mountains (e.g. CO, WY, MT etc. -> we’ve found we need to get above min 8,000 feet in the “heat” of summer to be comfortable) or the NW coast (e.g. OR, WA). For winter this means either the Southwest (CA, AZ), Southern TX or Southern FL. The rest of the months are great travel months and September is excellent just about anywhere (yes, even the Mid-West). I call this our “flip flop barometer” and we regularly use US Weather Maps and other such tools to help simplify the process. So our first planning tool is “where will we spend summer”, our second one “where will we spend winter”. The rest of the plan then flows from there.

The PERFECT time to be in the Smoky Mountains - Oct 2010

The PERFECT time in the Smoky Mountains – Oct 2010

Avoid the bugs -> We battled mosquitoes and bugs so badly our first year that I swore to avoid them as much as possible for the rest of our RVing lives. It’s impossible to be completely bug-free (although most of Western US does a pretty darn good job), but travelling through “high bug” areas (e.g. the Mid-West and SE) in cooler months will definitely make that easier. Our 2010 fall trip to the Smoky Mountains and the SE Coast (SC, GA) was an example of just such perfection. It was cool enough that there were almost no bugs so we got to enjoy the amazing fall color change and coastal beauty at it’s best.

2/ Book Ahead For Summer (And Sometimes Winter)

There are many RVers who wing it all the time. Nothing wrong with that, but given our “beastly” size and the fact that we really yearn for green, spacious spots (many of which are popular in good weather months) I’ve taken a mixed approach to booking.

We got a prime site in summer at Cape Dissapointment because I booked ahead

We got a prime site in summer at Cape Disappointment, WA because I booked ahead

Summer-Time -> In summer, especially while kids are out of school, I will almost always book all our sites ahead of time. State Parks and National Forests, especially in the mountains & on the coast get particularly crowded during the summer vacation very simply because they are the perfect places to be! I start summer planning around March and usually have all June/July booked by the end of that month. If we were smaller and perhaps had an easier time boondocking (especially in the mountains), or we were less “picky” about the kind of spots we like to stay I probably wouldn’t plan so much, but I like this part of our yearly travels to be “fixed”.

No need to book here, baby -> boondocking on BLM land outside of Yuma, AZ

No need to book here, baby -> boondocking on AZ BLM Feb 2013

Winter-Time -> Our absolute preference for winter is the wide, spacious southwest due to its moderate weather, open land and inexpensive camping. Since we boondock many of the winter months on BLM land or go to San Diego (where it’s actually low season in winter) we almost never bother booking. Those looking to stay in particular private parks especially in the “popular” winter areas will probably need to book ahead, but if you boondock alot like us you can wing it and be fine. Our only exception to this was the year we traveled to Florida. Unlike the SW, FL has very little BLM land and it is a *huge* winter RV destination. Many parks, especially the most popular ones, will book out up to a year ahead!! For our winter in FL I booked 6 months in advance, and even then we had to move 3 times in our park north of Miami…it was a pain, but at least I knew we would get to enjoy paw-friendly State Parks and nice, green areas while we were there.

Fall in the Sierra's -> such a golden time!

Fall in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, CA -> such a golden time!

Spring & Fall -> Spring and fall are what I call the “golden” RV months. Generally speaking kids are in school, many parks open up and you can “wing it” just about anywhere. We rarely book these months unless we’re going somewhere particularly popular, and will often choose places that have a good amount of first-come-first-serve sites (e.g. BLM campgrounds in the Sierra Nevada Mountains). It’s the easiest time to RV!

Big Holidays -> The once exception to above is big holidays such as Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Spring Break and July 4th. These holidays are generally PACKED with people out camping and it really does help to book ahead. Contrary to our normal routine we’ll often book Private parks during these times, just so we can get away from the crowds and noise. This past Memorial Day we spent in a quiet park in central Portland, for example and it was the perfect way to relax on a very busy week-end.

3/ Seek Out Green (And Paw-Friendly) Sites

Yup, it's all about the paws. Spring at Lake Powell, AZ

Yup, it’s all about the paws. Spring at Lake Powell, AZ

Our absolute preference for anywhere we go is open, green space and paw-friendly location. That means we spend almost 90% of our time on public land such as BLM, COE, State Park, National Forest etc. Almost without exception these spots will have open areas, decent site separation, places to hike with pooch and no paw restrictions. I plan a lot of our travels using these resources and we almost always end up somewhere nice. The only places we tend to avoid are National Parks, not because they aren’t beautiful (they are!), but because they generally don’t allow dogs on the trails. Almost every National Park is bounded by some kind of paw-friendly (and less visited) National Forest and that’s where we chose to stay.

4/ Take It Slow (And Smell The Roses)

You never know what you'll find if you take your time. Exploring art in Bisbee, AZ Mar 2013

You never know what you’ll find if you take your time. Exploring art in Bisbee, AZ Mar 2013

One of the biggest lessons we learned early-on in our RV travels was to take it slow. Our first year, as well as making silly weather decisions, had us bouncing around every 2-3 days like tourists on a crammed vacation. By the end of the year we were exhausted and needed winter just to recover!! Our second year we slowed down considerably shortening our travel days down to ~150 miles and staying a minimum of 4-5 days in each spot. The following year we slowed down even more spending weeks (or even a month) in places we liked. Obviously if you’re a week-end RVer this may not be an option for you, but for fulltimers it helps to get out of “I’m on vacation” mode and into “this is my life mode”. Trust me, you will enjoy your travels SO much more!

The above rules are what I call our “general” plan. In part II of this series I’ll take you through more detailed route-planning including how we actually map our travels and (even) find boondocking sites.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the product links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. That said, I only ever recommend products or services I personally use and love! Wheelingit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

97 Responses to Planning RV Travels Part I -> 4 General “Rules” For Planning Where To Stay & When To Go

  1. Any apps available to find blm land or USFS spots?

  2. rjrvtravels says:

    Thanks for the informative post and I can’t wait for Part II. I couldn’t agree more about “slowing down”.

  3. Rob says:

    I am really curious as to where you were to take that sunset picture from an island off the Georgia coast. I even went to map to take a look
    http://goo.gl/maps/qFvNf and see if I could make a guess… it’s not like you’re on an island in the FL Keys… I am really curious.

  4. Brian says:

    That all sounds about right to us. There are times, and places, where you absolutely need to plan ahead and the rest of the year, not so much.

    As you point out, following the weather is a big consideration in our planning, too. Mother Nature, we’ve found, is a relentless taskmaster. If you want to keep drive times short, AND travel from those warm weather winter destination to cool northern ones in the summer AND hit all the awesome places in between it really does require a bit of planning. Because of that we tend to have our stops during each season pretty well mapped out in advance.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Makes total sense, Brian. I’ve found the larger distance you want to travel summer->winter (say, if you’re looking to go all the way from FL to Alaska) the more planning it takes too. Our last few years we’ve kept entirely to the west and have ratcheted down our miles alot, so that’s made planning a little looser/easier. Cheers for sharing your experience!
      Nina

  5. Adventures Unlimited says:

    Great ideas. I can hardly wait to start traveling.

  6. Ha – I just wrote a post on the same subject, although not in as much detail. Not checking the weather, not making reservations, and trying to go too fast have all been mistakes we’ve made. I can’t tell you how much we’ve used your blog as a resource!

  7. Mary Klinger says:

    You have some beautiful pictures!
    As always. Thanks for sharing!

  8. So interesting, Nina! All of us still on the couch, metaphorically speaking or for real, enjoy your trailblazing and cogent remarks! A friend just gave me an old book which has some great tips, also: Cooking Aboard Your RV by Janet Groene, Ragged Mountain Press, 1993. It details planning your kitchen & compact recipies. For your next ‘series’ or at least a blog post, I’d love to know how you engineer feeding everyone on bioard

  9. …uh, on board. On our latest trip up the Oregon coast, sans trailer, we looked at most of the RV parks last week on the way, but were unimpressed with most. When we get the truck/SUV, we’re definitely joining Boondockers and using your recommended maps. Muchas gracias for your entertaining and informative blog!!

    • libertatemamo says:

      So happy they’re helpful! For many folks boondocking is the *only* way they will travel. It’s definitely fun to find spots and you can end up in some super-sweet locations.
      Nina

  10. Mark Wise says:

    Great comments, Nina! I’m retired Army and only into the fifth day of full time RVing and I do learn from your posts!

    Mark Wise

    • libertatemamo says:

      Well congrats on the fulltiming!! May you have many happy travels ahead of you! As retired Army you also get access to some wonderful Military only campgrounds. They also tend to be in nice spots with good space.
      Nina

  11. rvsueandcrew says:

    Interesting post, Nina! And very helpful. Your points have a lot to do with the “art” of RVing full-time. Hello to Paul and Polly!

    • libertatemamo says:

      Heya Sue! How very lovely to see ya on the blog and cheers for the comment. Kisses to wiggly Bridget and Spike! Maybe we’ll see you this winter somewhere.
      Nina

  12. Renee Lenz says:

    Great tried and true advice for us newbies! Maybe we’ll come with out RV to Jeckyl Island to meet you this fall! Renee

    • libertatemamo says:

      This fall we’ll probably be back in the Sierra Nevada mountains…staying west I’m afraid. So won’t be able to see that gorgeous GA coast. It’s a great time to go though!
      Nina

  13. ann cabezas creed says:

    Very useful information! Thanks a million!
    We travel “the seasons” in a 17 foot Casita Travel Trailor. Our Little House on Wheels” This year fall is the Blue Ridge mountains.
    Ann and Ken Creed

    • libertatemamo says:

      Oh how lovely! I have SO MANY good memories of the Blue Ridge mountains. That fall color change is like nothing else I’ve ever seen. It’s the perfect time to be there. The mountains are POPULAR during the color change and many campgrounds book out completely, but we managed to get by without reservations by picking first-come-first-serve only campgrounds (Rock Creek in Erwin, TN and Lake Powhatan just outside Asheville, NC). Great locations & we had flexibility to stay or move as we wished.
      Nina

  14. Bettina says:

    Your timing on this series is perfect as usual. We are picking up our new 5th wheel and heading out on the road- we have the next 3 months planned. I was beginning to scratch my head as to how far to I take the planning- very helpful hints. I look forward to the rest of your series:)

    • libertatemamo says:

      I think 3 months will be more than enough as long as you’re willing to camp a little off-the-beaten track for winter. I planned out EVERYTHING in the beginning so I totally understand what you’re doing. It’s scary, especially when you first start out, to go without reservations and just “wing it”. One thing I can recommend is seeking out first-come-first-serve campgrounds. That will give you lots of options for trying out sites without having any bookings, and give you a feel for whether you enjoy that type of travel. You’ll find your groove soon enough!
      Nina

  15. Tom says:

    As beginners, leaving in October and going where ever.
    Thank you so much for this . Only the first month planned…whew.

  16. Bob Wells says:

    Nina, loved the post, full of practical ideas! The photographs are stunning! But the models you hired were the best part–they must have been expensive!!
    Bob

  17. Spooky! Déjà vu … We are in Florida; hot, mucky and bugs. Did I mention mucky? And few if any people in the rv parks we are/have stayed at. That said, we are learning, seeing and doing things we never would have done if not for our new to us motor home. Your advice is golden.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Totally know what you mean! FL is hot, hot in summer although it’s not toooo (?) bad if you can access the beach and water. Gotta get that butt in the water. Enjoy your trip.
      Nina

  18. Allen says:

    Less than a year to go until we are full time and starting our planning now. Your helpful blog is appreciated.

  19. Sheila says:

    Nina, Howard and I are planning a summer/fall trip to Montana, Oregon and Washington and will use your wonderful and experienced advice to help plan our trip. Since retiring in August of 2006, we have travelled mostly during the winter months – south! We only enjoy staying in state, county and federal parks so we better be well prepared. (Have not done too much boondocking – yet.) Thank you for your continued, informative and wonderful posts. Yours photos, in this post, are just stunning and thanks for posting a few of yourself. Fun to see! Polly in Blue, as I call it, would win a photo contest and/or be published! As a lot of your photos.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Sounds like a fabulous trip!! Should see some gorgeous spots out there.
      Cheers for the compliments too :)
      Nina

  20. Great post. Thank you for the information. This is something I think about a lot. Like Allen we are going full time next year but a little over 1 year from now. Looking forward to Part 2 of your post. Curt

    • libertatemamo says:

      Planning can seem like one of the most daunting things when you first start out RVing. Almost everyone plans obsessively at the start (I did!), but as you go along you’ll find your grove and comfort levels.
      Nina

  21. Janna says:

    Great post Nina and we totally agree with all your points, now if I could just get the DH to follow the “slow down” rule instead of driving until he is exhausted! We are heading to Oregon in early August and would love to meet you, Paul and the paws. Once on the coast we are visiting friends in Coos Bay, just up the road from you, have you stayed anywhere near Coos Bay? I’ve looked at all your Oregon posts over and over, last year and this year for helpful hints on where to stay and what to see.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Oh excellent! Looking forward to seeing you! Regarding Coos Bay we’ve never stayed there, but we looked at Sunset Bay State Park which is in a great location nearby. It doesn’t have a ton of big rig friendly sites (only along the very beginning (2-way) section of the campground, if I remember correctly), but it’s a pretty spot. In a pinch you can boondock at the Mill Casino right in town. They also have a paying RV park there which many seem to like.
      Nina

  22. Good point about elevation in summer. After a week of 100° days in Zion in June, we headed up to Bryce at 8,000′ and 70° days. Didn’t want to leave!

    • libertatemamo says:

      Yup, we had the same experience traveling through Utah our very first year in the RV in June. We got relief in Bryce and also in the Dixie National Forest at around 9000 ft overlooking Capitol Reef. Gotta get high in summer :)
      Nina

  23. Samantha says:

    That’s one helluva rose…

  24. gary simpson says:

    An excellant blog and information. Though my wife and i are not yet rv’ers we are planning to do so in the next two years. It makes perfect sense to hit the high hills in summer and the low hills in the winter. I particularly like your point about taking it easy. I think it is so easy to fall into the trap of feeling you have to see it all “right now!!” and we tend to forget we do have time on our side for awhile. Thanks for sharing

    • libertatemamo says:

      Yeah, I really think the sooner you manage to take it slow the more you’ll enjoy your travels. Can’t tell you how many people we met who gave up after their first year of RVing simply because they were too exhausted!
      Nina

  25. Dave says:

    Even as a weekender and once or twice a year in vacation mode, we take it slow, try not to go to far from home and generally just slow it down. My favorite thing about flying to Maui is getting to Kaanapali and literally not going anywhere for the entire time we are away. Take it slow and relax. While in our EV Weekender, we dont ever leave our space once we are there. Even though it is quite easy to move about with the van.

  26. As usual… a fantastic post full of great general guidelines.

    As much as we’ve set intentions to have guidelines to follow weather and pre-book amazing spots in amazing locations in ideal climates, life seems to pre-empt us.

    After 7-years on the road, I really can’t find many general rules we’ve followed in our travels for picking and planning – other than, if there’s an event we want to attend, that’s when we book a spot.

    Otherwise, when we make plans we’re more often than not canceling and rescheduling and losing deposits – which has its own frustration & cost factor.

    Whereas, when we allow serendipity to be our guide, it never fails us. I really can’t recall a time that we’ve been stuck without a spot in a place we end up needing/wanting to be. We’ve really come to trust that if we’re meant to be there, it’ll work out.

    Although, we have been caught in unpleasant temperature ranges to be the places when we need to be – due to family, events, break downs or searches for our next home-on-wheels.

    • libertatemamo says:

      You guys definitely have a special relationship with serendipity, but you’ve also bought up an excellent point which is..no matter what your plans “stuff” happens and you’ve got to be flexible. That will most certainly be in my next post!
      Thanks for sharing!

      Nina

  27. Doug and Tracie says:

    We love, love, love your blog, pics and tips. My favorite pic is the bench on the beach. We are a mile high in elevation here in Butte, Mt. Very few bugs here, it really makes a difference. 44 degrees here last night.

  28. barrigoni says:

    Hi Nina,
    As we prepare to hit the road do you have any tips on organizing your closets and specifically the basement area?

    Thanks!
    Bettina

    • libertatemamo says:

      That’s a good one…and pretty much deserves a whole separate post! The short answer for the basement area is lots of plastic storage bins in various sizes -> almost all our stuff is organized that way. For the closet we (honestly) have so few clothes and have gotten rid of so many along the way that we’ve only got a few shelves of stuff left (not much to organize).

      Maybe I’ll do a longer post on this one day.

      Nina

  29. Ellen says:

    Nina — Another awesome post and great info! We celebrated four years full-timing in May (this is our fifth summer on the road) and I say “ditto” to most of what you’ve discovered. A couple of summers ago we downsized out travel rig so we don’t make reservations any more. This means we don’t ever feel the pressure to get from A to B in a certain period of time. Our current rig is more boondock-worthy, so we feel much more relaxed about that alternative if we don’t get a site someplace with hookups.

    It really is a unique thing — but Mother Nature really is the primary Master when it comes to our decisions about travel. Even heading south again in the fall we find ourselves thinking of when the high passes might freeze and when we need to leave to get through them before that happens…. So far so good!

    Love your photos!!!

    • libertatemamo says:

      I TOTALLY understand the whole downsizing idea…it’s something we’ve thought about often especially when I’m planning travel. I do think almost everyone gets in synch with mother nature after a few years of full-timing. Lovely & wise comments!
      Nina

  30. Tamara says:

    Looking forward to the continuation of this series very much. We set of goal of 100 RV days when we both retired last year, and are upping it to 120 days for 2014. We’re in the midst of our longest trip yet – two months, and still can’t believe we’re are lucky enough to be doing this!

    I’m completely anal about booking in advance, and it will be interesting to see how and if that changes going forward. The way I determine how long to stay somewhere is primarily driven by how many interesting hikes of 5+ miles there are. One day for each hike is pretty much what I do! At least at this point, slowing down is a really tough concept for me. It may just be my nature to stay in a state of constant stimulation, which moving every few days provides, but again, it will be interesting to see what happens over time!

    Anyhow, we are having the time of our lives, and I’ve learned so much from your blog about how to handle our increasingly longer trips, so thank you!

    • libertatemamo says:

      Hiking & green space is definitely a big consideration for us too. It’s part of the main reason we camp 90% of our time on public land…almost always some good hiking in those spots.

      With regards to the planning side, it really is a very personal thing, but most fulltimers I know do become more “lose” in their planning as they spend more time on the road. Then again, I know folks who plan absolutely everything too! I think it’s just a question of comfort level. The more you travel, the more you’ll find your own personal comfort level.

      Nina

  31. Dianne says:

    Another great post, Nina! Thank you for these tips!

    We have been following your travel blog for over a year now and enjoy them immensely. As a matter of fact, we followed up on of your recent posts and contacted Greg Ryder regarding volunteer opportunities on the Oregon Coast. We start tomorrow as lighthouse hosts in Port Orford for the month of August. We are on pins and needles tonight learning the history scripts, I’ll tell you!!

    Anyway, thanks again for sharing so much information about being full time RVers. We are learning a lot from your site!

    • libertatemamo says:

      Oh HOW COOL!!! We’ll be in Bandon all this month so come on up and say “hi” if you get the chance. We love, love, love Cape Blanco (even in the wind) and hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
      Nina

  32. Michael Spencer says:

    Great information!! I love reading your blog and this one was great! I’ve traveled alot around the US, but my wife hasn’t, so this should help explain why I make some of the decisions where we will go!! From, Totally West Coasters!!

    • libertatemamo says:

      I do love the West Coast too LOL! I really enjoyed the year we went East, but I must admit my heart is out here in the West.
      Nina

  33. Gary and Carolotta Presson says:

    We love your blog. It is on our daily list of things to check in on. My wife and I retired two years ago and through the months have been slowly learning some of the same things that you mentioned in this post. The part about slowing down has been the hardest part. We have begun to stay in our chosen locations for a month at a time. Turns out it is cheaper that way. One question I would like to ask is about boondocking. So far we have not done a lot of that. Being newbies at this we are still a little unsure what to expect. How do you handle getting the tanks dumped and getting fresh water when you are staying in a BLM spot or some other remote area? I’ve stared longingly at some of the areas that you have stayed in, but that still comes to mind. Keep up the great work, and be well.

  34. Jil says:

    Great post….yeah stuff hapens which is why our plans are always made in jello….

  35. Peter says:

    You mentioned San Diego as a travel spot for winter…This really surprised me. Would you recommend a park? We usually end up in Yuma for a month or so….San Diego and all it’s attractions would be a great addition.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Yup, we often spend at least a month in winter in San Diego. Our absolute fav spot is Mission Bay RV Resort -> it’s not much of an RV park (just a parking lot really), but it has good monthly winter rates in an awesome location with pet-friendly beach to boot. Our second fav is Santee Lakes -> bit further from town, but LOTS of green and space. It is more popular tho’ so you may need to book ahead for that one.

      Nina

  36. Peter says:

    Thank you Nina…Does the monthly rate get halved with passport? Sounds real good if that’s the case.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Sadly no. Passport will only work Mon through Thursday at Mission Bay. It doesn’t apply to the monthly rate. There’s nothing that cheap on the CA coast :)
      Nina

  37. LuAnn says:

    Great post Nina. Your wonderful tips have made our RVing time much more pleasurable. Thanks so much! :)

    • libertatemamo says:

      Thanks LuAnn…hope we get to caravan again soon. Thinking of you both!
      Nina

      • LuAnn says:

        We are looking forward to that day. We head to Columbus in a few hours to begin Terry’s treatments. Last night we had the paramedics take Terry’s dad to the hospital as he wasn’t feeling well. Hopefully all will be well on both fronts. Send us some more of those gorgeous OR photos soon, ok? :)

  38. AJ says:

    #4 is by far my favorite. When you spend your whole life looking up the road and never down at your feet it is sure hard to slow down. What a great piece of advice. Young or old, time is the only commodity that guaranteed to get more valuable the older you get.

    • libertatemamo says:

      It can be super-hard in this day and age of getting everything “right now” to slow down and actually appreciate the moment and the journey. Still can’t say we’ve “mastered” it, but we keep trying.
      Nina

  39. Hi, Nina. Great post. It’s hard to believe that next month will be our anniversary of fulltiming. It definitely is a learning experience. I agree with all of your points. We book in advance for peak seasons, and even have parks reserved in October for New England since June. And, yes, the size of the rig does matter. I tried to make a last minute booking at a state park in St. Augustine Florida in spring, but they only had three spots that would fit Island Girl (39 feet), and they were booked! Also having pets can narrow your choices at times. But if you are aware of those possibilities, it’s much easier to accept and make the best of it. Flexibility is key! One more important point is to understand the change/cancellation policies when you do book in advance so that you can try to avoid fees if you have to change plans. Brenda

    • libertatemamo says:

      Has it already been a year? Wow!
      Sure know what you mean about booking in FL. It can be hard to get a spot last-minute, even in spring I guess. Good point about knowing the cancellation/change policy (those $$ can get you if you book and change alot). And yes, flexibility is KEY.
      Nina

  40. Agree on 1 and 2 but on no 4 I think we are guilty of still being in the vacay mood. We moved too fast. But as you would say it all depends on the goals and the state of health. We are striking hot for we are still nimble, and I am sure it will change down the road. Great post as always.

    • libertatemamo says:

      You guys have definitely travelled fast since you started! But I know you’ve enjoyed the journey too. Some people just love moving. We knew a fulltime couple who were on the road 10 years and they moved every 2-3 days that entire time!! Too much for me, but it worked for them.
      Nina

  41. […] a detailed planner, as you might already know, and I plan our service with the same depth that I plan our travels. We are careful to maintain our rig to the standards she requires not only for our own peace of […]

  42. […] states, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Oregon and California (with a very quick touch into WA). Following our typical planning process, our focus was to follow the weather at a relaxed pace with extra time in spots we really loved. […]

  43. […] For those of you who’ve been following the blog for a while you’ll know that I do most of my summer planning in the early winter months. Summer is typically our toughest time to plan because kids are out of school, state parks […]

  44. Nicole says:

    I just stumbled accross your blog after googling about camping and spent my whole lunch hour lost in your adventures. I wish i could pack my two little ones and husband up and buy a rig to go riding through the country. Your travels are so inspiring. Living so free must feel like heaven. We only have a modest pop up camper and get our 7 or 8 weekends a year, but I sure hope that one day we may be blessed enough with circumstances that allow such a rich fullfilling life. Thanks for “taking me out” for lunch. Sincerely, Nicole Newton (San Antonio, TX)

    • libertatemamo says:

      Hi Nicole,
      Well glad you made it over here to enjoy the blog. Getting out is great, even if it’s just a few weekends each year, and the beauty of a popup is that it can go anywhere and fit anywhere! Good travels to you!
      Nina

  45. […] I admit I don’t always get it right. Despite my near obsessive-compulsive approach to planning, I sometimes miss the ticket. There’s been times we’ve ended up in totally the wrong […]

  46. […] slows to whatever pace you like. From here on out I will think no more about reservations until I start my planning for next summer. Ahhhhh, so […]

  47. […] Planning RV Travels Part I -> 4 General “Rules” For Planning Where To Stay & When To Go […]

  48. […] all part of the yearly RV planning process that I’ve written about in detail before. Sometime in the next month I’ll do a wrap-up post of our 2014 travel year, and map out our […]

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