Not sure if I’ve mentioned it or not, but we’re getting ready to go on an epic (at least epic for us) road trip. We’re looking at being gone at least 38 days and perhaps 40 or more depending on how things are going. And we’re hoping we’ve got all of the kinks worked out of Larry, the Dog Transport Vehicle. For me that means lots and lots of planning to make our adventure as seamless as possible.
And, I’m kind of nerdy in the fact that I like to have checklists to go by and also like to have things pretty much planned ahead. Sure, I can be spontaneous but I prefer to be spontaneous once I get where we’re going. And Thom doesn’t mind my nerdiness so it works for both of us. I plan, he drives. I’ve been working on our road trip by planning our stops and who we’re going to see and where we’re going to stay. One online site that I’ve found extremely helpful and easy to use is called RV Trip Wizard.
I’ve used RV Trip Wizard to plan our route and our stays. It’s so darn easy to use. It allows you to enter your gas mileage, the height of your vehicle, how far you want to travel every day, where you want to stop along the way and sights you want to see, then helps you organize it into a very nice itinerary. In addition, it connects to many camping/RV park websites so you can make reservations for camp sites right on the site. It also provides you with campground names, addresses and websites, and points of interest along the way.
You can see our route planned out above. We’ll be visiting eastern Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Oregon and back to Washington. The plan is to see family members and some old friends from high school. We’ll be staying anywhere between 1 and 6 nights at stops with most stops at 2 nights. We’ll spend more than 2 nights in SD where I grew up, in Colorado for some vacation time with my brother and sister-in-law and Utah for some vacation time on our own. The nice thing about RV Trip Wizard is that we can adjust our route on the fly and make changes as we need to if we decide to stay longer or shorter at one place or another.
Other apps that I plan on using while we’re on the road are:
- Trip Advisor – I mean really, who doesn’t use Trip Advisor to find fun things to do when they’re traveling, including great places to eat and seeing reviews of the camp sites we’re staying at.
- Good Sam – we’re members so it’s nice to know where the Good Sam campgrounds are and also the Flying J and Pilot gas stations. Both Flying J and Pilot give discounts on gas purchases to Good Sam members.
- KOA – we’re also members of KOA so it’s nice to be able to check out their campsites through their app and make reservations through the app.
- i-Exit – we use this app to tell us what’s at the next exit so we can see what types of services are there, including restroom, restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, etc.
I’m hoping while we’re in Utah that we can try some boondocking and see if we like it. We’ll probably spend more time in UT than any other state with CO and SD coming in second and third. I went to USU in Logan, UT for college and want to see Logan again, plus I’d like to see Bear Lake in the northern part of the state and of course, there’s the 5 National Parks that are all located in UT.
- Capitol Reef
- Bryce Canyon
Not to mention all of the State Parks and BLM/Forest Service land. We’ll see how it goes but I hope we get to do some boondocking – also called “dispersed camping” or “dry camping” while in UT just so we can see if it’s our “cup of tea”.
And, one more thing, we have our road side assistance plan all set up so if we do have trouble we’ve got some kind of back up to get us back on the road.
Next, I’ll be working on checklists – we’ve got one for the dogs while we’re road tripping, but I’ll also be working on departure checklists, arrival checklists and packing checklists. After all, who doesn’t like a good checklist?
Stay safe out there and enjoy making memories.