Woodinville, Wa To Branson, Mo

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by Tour 931, Mar 9, 2018.

  1. Tour 931

    Tour 931 Junior Ranger

    I'm going to an Army Reunion in late April/early May in Branson, MO. It will only be for four nights but I'm going to take a week to get there and a week to return. I'll be gone a total of 18 days and will travel just over 4,000 miles roundtrip.

    My daily average traveling will be just under 300 miles so I plan on driving about six hours each day. That allows me about ten hours a day to see the sights. I don't plan ahead where I am going to stay and often choose at the very last moment. I won't be camping and state parks are not all that desirable to just park for the night. More to my liking is truck stops, rest areas and Walmart parking lots. I've traveled like this for months at a time so a short 18 day adventure won't take much planning.
  2. Tour 931

    Tour 931 Junior Ranger

    Will my TV charge the battery enough in 300 miles of driving each day? Chances are I will not be using a lot of 12v power in the trailer. Just a few lights in the evening.

    Also I'm wondering what to bring. I doubt I will ever use the two tables and even the ice chest might not be used. If I don't take the cooler how will the stove travel? I have a smaller cooler that will hold about 12 cans of pop. I use it mainly for storing sandwiches for a few hours. I plan these trips as a "road trip" and not camping.

    I won't be doing much cooking either. Mostly just boiling water for tea or coffee and hot oatmeal. Other than that I will eat lots of fruit and PB&J's. I don't eat fast food but will stop at a nice café about every other day for a more hearty meal.

    The Subaru and Camp-Inn sure is a big step-up for me. My last TV was a $1,500 Bronco II and the Little Guy cost $4,500 new. But I will be traveling in much the same way, making a lot of stops for pictures. I try to position the car and trailer in as many famous and scenic places that I can find and take glamour pictures.
  3. Tour 931

    Tour 931 Junior Ranger

    Did I say it wouldn't take much planning? My girlfriend can't take 18 days off work and I don't want a shorter trip. So the solution was I'll take four days to get to Denver, Co where she will fly into. We then take three days to get to Branson, MO and stay there for four nights. She will then fly out of Branson and I will take another seven days to drive home.
  4. Evan

    Evan Administrator Staff Member

    You shouldn’t have any trouble running 12v lights in the evenings after driving all day.
  5. Tour 931

    Tour 931 Junior Ranger

    Thanks. I didn't run enough things in the Little Guy to matter. It still had the original battery in it after ten years and would not hold a charge. I just got used to being on the road with no interior lights.
  6. Handben

    Handben Junior Ranger Donating Member

    I'm planning a trip this summer with very little cooking involved. I'll basically be towing the teardrop from Baltimore to northern Michigan and setting up on the beach at my wife's family cottage. There aren't enough beds in the house for everyone and I prefer sleeping with the sounds of the lake at night.

    That's a great idea - to jettison the tables. It will make using galley much simpler if it is just a matter of opening or closing the hatch. Since I deleted the propane and stove, it's simple to set up kitchen on the camp table. This also keeps the galley much cleaner. I may try leaving the tables at home on weekends when I know I'll have access to a camp table. Ben
    Tour 931 likes this.
  7. lorieandkeith

    lorieandkeith Novice

    I think you should take more time. I did a mapquest, and you could go through the Rapid City area. I think you should spend 4 days in the Black Hills. It is marvelous. If you decide to do so, I can tell you about campgrounds and scenic drives.
  8. mariusz

    mariusz Novice

    That's going to be some nice trip
  9. Tour 931

    Tour 931 Junior Ranger

    Tell me more. I'm open to suggestions.
  10. TimeCapsule

    TimeCapsule Newbie

    I camped in the Black Hills for the first time last summer on a trip to California to pick up my CI. Spent 2 days there before driving to WY to see the total eclipse. The Black Hills are gorgeous and I now get why people go there. I'm usually not very touristy, but Mount Rushmore is pretty impressive to see first hand. Reserving a spot would be a good idea as the campgrounds will be pretty full on weekends.
    Tour 931 likes this.
  11. lorieandkeith

    lorieandkeith Novice

    The Black Hills:

    1. Bison. Bison. Bison.
    2. We watched a prong horn toy with a pack of coyotes.
    3. Narrow and hairpin scenic roads that no one else can drive on with an RV, other than us.
    - Needles Highway
    - Iron Mountain Road from South to North (Multiple tunnels that the arch of the tunnel frames Mt. Rushmore.)
    4. Great breakfast all day in Custer at the 7th Cavalry Cafe.
    5. The Michelson Bike trail crossing the black hills from North to South.
    6. The badlands are just to the east.
    7. About 3 hours north, on your way home, is Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Feral horses, more bison and badlands.
    8. Crazy horse.

    Have you ever been in this area? It is spectacular. You would have to carry a lot of PBJ if you went to Theodore Roosevelt. Even in the black hills, depending on where you camp, you want to be provisioned well due to distances, and defintely in the badlands.

    \\black hills - Recherche Google
    Tour 931 likes this.
  12. Tour 931

    Tour 931 Junior Ranger

    Thanks for the replies. I have seen Mt. Rushmore and the Badlands before. Mt. Rushmore was a hundred times better before they put in the new parking garage and it is no longer a destination for me. The Badlands on the other hand remain the same beautiful place on earth and man hasn't ruined it.

    I drove long haul through these places dozens of times if not hundreds over the decades but being under load doesn't allow you to stop to smell the buffalo chips.

    Currently my plans are to head west on I-90 from Seattle and taking I-82 to I-84 and heading southeast down through Oregon and Idaho. When I hit I-15 I will take it south. I could stay on it till I hit I-70 but I'm thinking that hwy 6 from Provo to Price and then I-70 might be better. I usually do not take interstates and much prefer secondary roads but this trip will be limited in time. So I might be driving up to 500 miles a day instead of the 300 mile average that I need to do and then take several days through this section. I have done the LA to Denver run several hundred times and am quite familiar with the route and view from the interstates.

    Our plans to fly Miss Evelyn into Denver has changed because of flights and time constraints. But she will be flying into St. Louis and will spend one night in the trailer with me. We will be staying in a hotel with the group. Then I take her back to St. Louis for the flight home. I will take a week to get back to Seattle but I have found that once the horse heads for the barn it doesn't want to make too many stops. Knowing this I might just take three full days of driving to get home and take those four extra days going. That will mean 11 days + 4 days + 3 days for the same total of 18.

    I will not be staying at state parks or private campgrounds and much prefer truck stops and rest areas with maybe a few Walmarts thrown in. Is my days of driving long haul showing?

    On a side note I took three weeks in my Little Guy to go from Seattle to the Twin Cities and a large portion of that was through the Badlands.
  13. Randy

    Randy Ranger Donating Member

    Crazy Horse! Great Natuve American museum there also.
  14. Handben

    Handben Junior Ranger Donating Member

    I'm curious about your experiences with truck stops. I've never really considered this as an option. I'm pretty sure it would be a no-go if my wife were there but if I were traveling solo it might be ok. My preconceived notion though is that non-truckers aren't particularly welcome. I get the sense that for truckers, there are only so many options for where they can park for the night to rest and they don't take too kindly when non-truckers clutter up their space when they have plenty of other options (public parks, private parks, etc.). Is there a space that is "ok" for non truckers to pull in for the night at most truck stops? thanks. BH
  15. Tour 931

    Tour 931 Junior Ranger

    That is a cool spot and if I remember right it was close to the interstate.

    Most of my time will be spent in OR, ID, UT, and WY and when I am heading home through SD I'll not stop as much. But at some point in the future I would like to spend a couple weeks on that route.
  16. Tour 931

    Tour 931 Junior Ranger

    Handben, most truck stops have separate entrances, parking, and fueling areas. Keep in the car entrance and lot and you will be fine. Rest Areas on the other hand can be a problem. The signs clearly state cars with trailers must park in the truck area and truckers understand that. The big issue is they can't see you if you are tucked deep between two trucks and you take up a full space even though you are only using a few feet of it. Try to park on the outside ring where they tend to line up instead of parking side by side. Or any place where you only take up as much space as you use. The first side by side spots are also good for smaller vehicles as you can see them on the approach. Truckers know this and often will not take them if other spots are available. Try to double up with another small car/trailer if possible.

    The truck stops are great. They have showers where you pay $5 to $10 to cleanup. In addition they have laundries and most other services. Some are like small cities and you can get a haircut, see a movie or watch TV in the truckers lounge. The biggest downside is they tend to be noisy.
    Handben likes this.

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