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Old 06-24-2009, 07:04 PM   #11
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I'm repeating a trip I did last year to northwestern Pennsylvania, from Denver, CO. It's going to take us four days:

Day 1: Denver to east Nebraska
Day 2: East Nebraska to East Illinois
Day 3: East Illinois to East Ohio
Day 4: East Ohio to West Pennsylvania

We'll probably spend 8-10 hours driving each day except the last one. We try to arrive while there is still some sunlight out, as it sucks to back in after dark (and we don't like to disturb other campers with our setup activities once they are asleep!).

This is an hard two day trip for me in a car without the TM, but I can do it. With the TM, 4 days is hard and a lot of driving. Remember, you're doing a lot more setup/teardown then you would without the TM. You'll also stop for gas more.
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Old 06-24-2009, 07:19 PM   #12
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Default Driving Time

When Rving... it's all about stopping to smell the roses... so we always plot our stops around 300 miles and try to spend a least one day at each stop to see America... this always makes the setup and tear down more bearable... When driving in those parts of the US where there isn't anything interesting to stop and see we will drive up to 450 miles... This has proven to be very enjoyable in our Rv travels...
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Old 06-26-2009, 06:33 PM   #13
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Default Thanks!

Thank you everyone for your comments. They are very much appreciated.

Hopefully there will be many times when “smelling the roses” will be the main mission of the trip, but then there will also be times when the end destination is still priority one.
DW and I are still working, and will be for some time, so we still must fit trips in a designated period of vacation time for now.
My initial question was based on a theoretical trip to Yellowstone. This is a 2000 mile, one way trip for us. I fully understand the concept of “nothing concrete”, but the bottom line is if you have a fixed amount of vacation days, and you want to fit as much time in at this great park as you can, priority one would be to get there as soon as you can.
Another example of this are planned trips to sports car racing events. The event is a fixed day and time so you need to be there on time or miss what you going for. If the race is 900 miles away, we could easily make this now in 1 day in the van, but with the TM this would become a 2 day drive, meaning we would need to leave a day earlier.

As for Yellowstone, it would be sometime before we could devote 8 days of drive time just to go and come back, not to mention the much needed time to enjoy the park. This info alone may make us do a “fly in”, or “car only” trip soon, and possibly follow up later with a TM trip.

My thinking is when planning a longer trip, I would try to plan daily drive time around state parks. Shooting to make a park that is in the 400 mile range every day.
The comments about arriving before dark and “pick-up/setup” time are invaluable as it makes me realized that all of this needs to fit into your daylight hours of driving.

For now, the TM would be primarily used within 1-4 hrs away from home for several reasons…
1) to first fully learn all there is to know about the TM
2) so friends and family could possibly meet us, spend the day, and then drive back home for the night
3) quick getaways for long weekends
4) we have family obligations that require us to be relatively close
5) limitations of my TV (I wouldn’t attempt mountainous terrain with the Astro, at least until I know how it performs with the TM.)
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Old 06-27-2009, 07:37 PM   #14
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We rarely drive from point A to point B to simply get somewhere. When we do I do not drive more than 60mph and then make as much distance as the body can endure. Our preferred method is to take long trips of a month or so and travel two lane highways as much as possible. We look for small towns and locally owned cafes to explore and sample. I use the interstate only if in a real hurry to get to a particular point (this isn't often).

In fairness, I should explain that we are retired and time is not as critical to us as it might be to others.

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Old 06-28-2009, 12:21 AM   #15
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We also work full time, and must get to point A to point B as quickly as possible sometimes, so I like to stretch it if I'm driving with just the kids. However, I don't like to pull in so late at night that we disturb our camping neighbors. We're usually pretty quiet though, and the TM doesn't make much noise as we set it up. We don't shout directions at each other or have a diesel truck. If we're just stopping for the night, I don't unhitch or hook up water or sewer, just the electricity and cable tv , if there is any. We just eat whatever's in the frig, take a shower in the campground facilities in the morning, and get on our way again.
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Old 06-29-2009, 06:04 AM   #16
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Default Yellowstone

We just got back from the big Yellowstone trip. We live on the Virginia east coast and planned several stops on the way towing the TM 3124. We drove 650 miles the first day because we already have seen most bigs things between Virginia and the Mississippi. The second day, we wanted to stop and see the arch at St Louis so we drove around 450 miles. We then stopped at the Badlands and Mt Rushmore and spent 4 days in this area! (ONly planned to spend 2 but there was so much to do and see here we spend the extra days). We then went the long way to Yellowstone so we could visit the Little Bighorn National Battlefield (MOntana) and then Cody, WY (a very interesting little town) before going the extra 100 miles to Yellowstone. We spent 6 days in Yellowstone before getting the emergency call to return home (wife's father died). We drove 500 miles the first day, 650 the second and over 900 the last day to make the funeral.
The bottom line, the TM is such a great towing vehicle that you hardly notice it is there. It really does not restrict you (I do tow with a full size pickup, this may not be true with a smaller vehicle). The trailer is not the restriction, it is what you want to do and see. I will caution you that I had 2 trailer flats on this trip, I didn't check the rated speed of the Marathon tires and was travelling in excess of 70 MPH for most of the trip (expcept the mountain areas of course). Don't exceed the rated speed (65 in my case). I don't know if that would have helped or not. I didn't join this forum until I got back!

Have fun and plan the comfortable route. ON flat roads, 500 miles is actually pretty easy. Yellowstone is absolutely fantastic.

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Old 06-29-2009, 09:17 AM   #17
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I had an Astro and took it on a trip from SC to Yellowstone tent camping/ moteling with a schedule. It was a comfortable vehicle for hours at a time. I wouldn't even try it pulling a Trailmanor in my opinion while trying to do long distances. You can see what I have now. We did take a trip to Alaska last summer, and there are things you can do to make more miles in a day if that is your goal. Your idea to make local trips first is good to see if you still want to try a distant trip. There are some things we discovered.
1. Trailmanors pull so well that neither my wife nor I were nervous or tense pulling the trailer for long hours.
2. Traveling at 65 instead of 75 only cost us 100 miles in 10 hours and was more relaxing, so we could drive longer.
3. Having cereal for breakfast, a picnic lunch at a rest stop, and a quick preplanned supper in the Trailmanor gave us back time that we would have spent in restaurants.
4. You have to check in at a motel and bring stuff in to your room. Not much different at a campground except your stuff is already there.
5. If your TV and TM are set up level while traveling, then a few leveling blocks under the TV or TM tires will let you stay hooked up over night, or if you are lucky you may be already level.
6. You don't have to put down the stabilizers, but we always did. A battery drill makes this much quicker.
7. Although it isn't fun, we have had days that we were up at 6 AM and on the road at 7 AM and traveled to 8:30 pm. We showered at the camp ground, and were in bed by 10 PM. About 700 miles was our longest day, but we could have left earlier in the day.
8. At Yellowstone ( for example ) if you go with the Trailmanor, you are already in the park when you start your touring which saves time. You can move from one camp area to another within the park to save time. It is about 80 miles from north to south and many miles to go outside the park to a motel. You can compare costs of lodges within the park, outside the park, to campsites within the park. Money in your case might not be as important as time.
9. Something that we have never done but others do to save time, money, and allow long hours on the road is to pull into Walmart parking lots, where allowed, for a few hours of sleep.
10. Flying may be best for you. Be sure to factor in the time waiting at airports and finding places to eat once you get to Yellowstone.
I bet you can't guess how we would go. We are prejudiced, but we understand that all situations are different. We hope the above might be helpful.
Bill and Jane
2003 3124 KS, 2007 Tundra 4X4 TRD
Reese WDH, Prodigy
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