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Dwainkitchens

East to West

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I don't have an Ollie yet, but like to dream a little.  Just wondering, if I picked up Ollie in from factory, and wanted to go out west, look at Grand Canyon, etc..., it looks like I-40 would be the best route.  I am from Sarasota FL, and my wife and I have never traveled out west.  We don't even have a TT, so this would ALL be new, and maybe too adventurous for our first trip.  Your  thoughts?

 

Also,  I would not want to travel more than 8-10 hours a day.  Where would good RV parks be located to stop on the way.  I would want full-hookups on this first adventure.

 

Thanks for any responses!

 

Dwain

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Stay away from Interstates entirely, wander along on secondary highways, take your time, learn the patterns of towing and living in a trailer. Interstates are full of too many nasty big rigs traveling too fast and too close together. Interstate highway travel is sometimes required if you need to cover a lot of miles, but it is seldom enjoyable when towing. It is always stressful.

 

There are a bunch if camping apps, download a few and study them and you will get a feel for what is out there.

 

I just hate those Interstates....

 

IMHO of course.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Dwain:

 

First, welcome to our Oliver Community!  I'll leave the tour and travel recommendations to other that know all the stops and routes better than I.

 

I do recommend that you spend a lot of time with the Forum and Oliver University.  A lot of time.  You can search just about any topic you can think of.

 

Please plan on spending a couple of days in your Ollie somewhere near the Mother Ship (Hohenwald) WITH your wife.   Remember they are not staffed weekends.  But Phil is always available by cell to new pick-up owners.  He is a dream come true.  Plan on spending ALL day with him on Thursday.  They pay for the first night camping... use it.  Then travel a few miles, southeast, but not too many.    You'll have a lot of question and being nearby should a problem not be solvable, a quick trip back there on FRIDAY is essential.  You would want to be close so that if they have to do some work, they can do it on Friday early as possible.

 

Be sure to get a tire pressure monitoring system and a good air gauge.

 

John


Tug:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Trailer Tow, FX-4, 4X4, Rear Locker

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Dwain -

 

Both John's give you good advice.  When one has the time it is certainly better to get off the interstate and explore.  However, I do not find interstate travel to be stressful at all.  In fact, there are traffic studies that claim that the interstates are safer - primarily due to the lack of "cross traffic".  Unfortunately, the interstates tend to be boring - very boring and not as "scenic" as other alternatives.  Having said this, interstate 40 has some particularly nice areas.  While dangerous (think curvy roads, rock slides and the trucks and cars that JD mentions) the Pigeon River Gorge section of interstate 40 (just east of the TN/NC line) and the section of 40 west of St. Louis are very nice.  I used to think the Great Plains as seen from the interstate were boring and lacking in virtually any human stimulation.  However, over the years I've developed a liking for those vast fields of sun flowers, waving wheat or corn fields and gently rolling hills.  If you look for it and open your mind to something different that what you are used to, you can find beauty and interest in some of the strangest places and/or things (who would have thought that the Corn Place would be a place of interest?).

 

I certainly would not plan some grand trip for my first excursion in a brand new camper of any sort.  Give yourself a bit of time and experience with the new Oliver.  You will feel more comfortable and confident and relaxed once you are more familiar with this home on wheels if you take a few shorter trips first.

 

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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I concur with Bill.  On our maiden voyage with the Ollie we took a lot of back roads through Tennessee and then Missouri exploring the Ozarks and stuff, which was awesome by the way.  But after a couple days of windy narrow undivided roads with no shoulder to speak of, semis coming the other way in the rain, cross traffic, etc, getting back on the interstate at Kansas City was a huge relief.

 

I did not find towing on I-70 to be stressful at all.  Took I-40 to California this past winter, no problems there either.  Much less draining to drive on the interstate versus back roads.

 

My recommendation would be to not avoid interstates completely.  Certainly take your time, get off and see things, spend a day or two on back roads.  But consider not doing back roads for the majority of your trip.

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2018 OLEII #344   |   2018 Ford Expedition


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I too advise avoiding the interstates as much as possible. I also advise avoiding private RV parks as much as possible. We took our Ollie from the factory west to our home in SE Arizona and have traveled rather widely since then.

 

Since you have time to plan, I suggest making reservations at state and national parks with RV hookups along your route. They are often less expensive and, in our experience, offer better amenities (like cleaner showers and restrooms), more campsite space, and overall environment. You will have to plan carefully, for the reservations must be made many months in advance--they get snatched up quickly.

 

You can access reservations for many of these parks at Reserve America.

 

Happy travels!

 

 


Onward through the Fog!


EarthPicks of Cochise County


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A number of people have taken their new Ollies on long trips, though I think many were at least moderately experienced in towing, and camping.

If a newbee, a longer stay in Tennessee to learn the systems would be a great idea, before heading out to the great beyond.

But, leaving Sarasota, and picking up in Hohenwald, you're already about 1/3 of the way to the Grand Canyon, if that's on your bucket list.

For me, it would depend a lot on pickup date. I don't like traveling in the west in the summer heat. I did enough of that as a kid.

Interstates are great when you want to put some miles behind you in a day. The smaller roads are usually more scenic. You can always mix it up....

Sherry


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Dwain:

Welcome to our Oliver Community!

 

This is an interesting topic - backroads or interstates.

 

For me, it all just depends, on many things, - where am I headed, how much time do I have, seasons/time of year, and past travels/experience. Certainly not all inclusive,  but it serves me well.

 

We currently reside in Mid-Tennessee, if we are headed west, say this summers trip destinations, for the first 1k miles its almost all interstates. There is not much of GA, MS, LA and TX that I haven't seen or driven through. But once we reach - say Midland TX - and head north, I'll kind of hop scotch around in a northerly direction, exploring. Also understand for us, most of the south - and across Texas in the summer, is drive through, head to altitude, asap territory. Now, early spring, fall, winter, I love the south.

 

We will spend the bulk of our time in less traveled areas, use the interstates to get between them - use them as fast connectors - quickly.  As far as where to camp - well that's also variable. On the "I"state scene it can be a good rest stop, a wally world, side road RV, or such,  -- in the less traveled areas, its explore, try out the unusual, maybe a destination spot, requiring a  little pre-planning. Given the connectivity and resources we have today, figuring it all out can be simple and somewhat stress free.

 

Since finding Campndium, (and a few others) my world of camp spot possibilities has greatly expanded. We optioned our Oliver to be flexible, variable, no need for improved RV sites. Thus pre-planning is much more seat of the pants. Our best experiences usually happen in this mode.

 

Perhaps I'm not making much sense here, but for us, the best times and best trips come about from exploration and spontaneity, somewhat contained with in the time and ultimate destination construct. What I'm saying - is - don't constrain yourself to much - feel it out - have fun. Try the full service, and the not so full service spots.  Head west, turn right enough times to finally arrive back home. Works for us - 43 years and counting, from tents, to vans, to the Ollie, all good times.

 

Go have fun.

 

RB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 

"Die young - As late as possible"

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On 4/18/2019 at 10:41 AM, Spike said:

I too advise avoiding the interstates as much as possible. I also advise avoiding private RV parks as much as possible. We took our Ollie from the factory west to our home in SE Arizona and have traveled rather widely since then.

 

Since you have time to plan, I suggest making reservations at state and national parks with RV hookups along your route. They are often less expensive and, in our experience, offer better amenities (like cleaner showers and restrooms), more campsite space, and overall environment. You will have to plan carefully, for the reservations must be made many months in advance--they get snatched up quickly.

 

You can access reservations for many of these parks at Reserve America.

 

Happy travels!

 

 

Spike,  My wife and I are planning a trip this April from Hohenwald (service) to AZ and returning to AL for the annual rally.  We're going to end up at some point at Catalina State Park to see some friends and also sight see.  I think we're going to hit the northern part of AZ first and then dive south before heading back east.  Since you've made the trek from TN to AZ, can you lend some suggestions of places to drop anchor along the way?  Thanks, Hobo


2018 Elite II, Hull #414 (the very last 2018 produced).  Trailer name "2 HOBOS" .   2006 Dodge 3500 Megacab, 4x4 with 5.9L Cummins diesel.

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