PDA

View Full Version : Need ideas for trip to disney....


cMeGo
12-26-2008, 11:54 AM
Hello! We are relatively new to rv'n, and are planning a trip in January to the Fort. Since is going to take 24 + hours to get there, we are thinking of breaking it up into 2 1/2 days. Now. The thing I am wondering... where do we stay for the 2 nights?? We would like to just park the camper somewhere and sleep in in (we have a 5th wheel) but where other than campsites can we go? If is too cold we may have to stay in a hotel, but would like to avoid that if possible. Do truck stops or other places have power and or water? We are starting in Wisconsin where it has been a lovely big fat 0 all week. Today it is a balmy 15. Can't wait to get to Disney!! It is for my son's birthday. Hope to hear any ideas from you all!

djblu883
12-26-2008, 12:11 PM
We have stayed at a Wal Mart on the way down on trips in the past...too loud and no power... so we opted to stay at campgrounds...more secure and water and electric to keep pipes from freezing...unless you plan on keeping it winterized until you get to the warmer climates I think that would be your best bet....spending a few extra dollars on the way there and back could save you hundreds in repair bills!

BradyBz12
12-26-2008, 12:15 PM
We have a 21 hour drive to the Fort and usually do our relatively short "nap time" in Walmart parking lots. Walmart allows this in many parts of the country although the counties in/around WDW have an ordinance against it (I also think that it's forbidden in the county Daytona is located in??) They are well lit, security patrols them, and you'll generally find a few other campers there as well. Just park out in the outlying areas of the lot, out of the way of the regular shoppers. The upside is that is you need anything, lots of these are super centers and open 24 hours. We've done this many times now, and have never had any problems.

We tried truck stops a few times, but they were VERY noisy, not always very well lit, and some of them were kind of... sketchy.

Neither option gives you power or water. We only use power for the lights, so the batteries take care of that, and I bring a few gallons of water with us for drinking, washing and flushing (unscented baby wipes are also good for quick clean ups). Our camper's heater runs off propane, so we've never had a problem needing to turn the heat on if it's chilly and we frequently do, as we usually go to FW in Dec and are traveling to/from NH.

Our itinerary goes like this...

Leave NH about 5pm
Drive to approx. Richmond (couple of Walmarts there right off 95) and stop at Walmart around 1-2am-ish. Sleep until 7-8am.
Continue south - get to Jacksonville FL around 8-9pm, stop at Walmart. Eat and do our grocery shopping for our stay (easier than doing it when we get there), sleep until about 7-8am.
Continue onto Ft. Wilderness - arriving usually by 11am.

We have a hybrid TT, but instead of putting the ends out for these quick overnights, we just make the bed on the sofa/dinette before we leave, so it's all ready to hop in when we park. Being in a 5th wheel, you'll be all setup anyway. :)

Good luck and have a wonderful trip!:drive:

PS - Just wanted to add that if you go the Walmart route, you might want to map out where they will be along your way so you don't have to go hunting for them. I think Walmart actually publishes a book themselves for this, and there are other RV books that give you lists of what's off the exits on major highways around the country (just make sure you get the most current version)

BradyBz12
12-26-2008, 12:21 PM
We have stayed at a Wal Mart on the way down on trips in the past...too loud and no power...

We've had some WalMarts that were very noisy indeed (the Jacksonville one typically is until about 11pm) and others that were very quiet.

water and electric to keep pipes from freezing...unless you plan on keeping it winterized until you get to the warmer climates

We actually did winterize before our trip, and put anti-freeze in the toilet. We don't use any of the other plumbing until we arrive at FW to avoid any problems. Works for us, but it's definitely "roughing it" a bit for some. :)

clkelley
12-26-2008, 01:10 PM
I overnight at campgrounds. I try to stop at Good Sam campgrounds with pull-through sites right on the interstate. Pull in-plug in and go to bed. I use the campground comfort station for my personal needs. This trip I couldn't flush the antifreeze out of the camper till I reached Florida.

Most of the time, the sites are less than $25. Well worth it to have electric, and a comfort station.

cMeGo
12-26-2008, 01:27 PM
Thanks for all the information! I'll keep the walmart idea in mind. Where is a good place to look for those 'pull in' campsites? I'll have to start mapping out potential areas to stop at here soon.
Haven't told my son yet about the trip in case the weather doesn't allow us to get out. Right now we have a pile of snow bigger than the trailer that is in the way of it getting out. Thank goodness we have a skid loader to move it. I have been starting a pile of stuff to keep my soon to be 6 year old occupied on the trip. The last road trip we were on was only 3 hours and he started the 'are we there yet' half way through. Sigh. He watches his pictures on dvd from our last trip to Disney about once a week so he will be very excited. Course I think I am looking forward to it as much!

LuckyinGa
12-26-2008, 02:16 PM
I purchased this book two years ago and we use it on every trip. It gives you several options on how to find a campground on your travel route. It lists all the amenities and has been a very useful tool for us to find campgrounds in our travels.

http://www.borders.com/online/store/TitleDetail?sku=0470069295

This is also a good website to do your research:

http://www.rvparkreviews.com/

Have fun and enjoy.

BradyBz12
12-26-2008, 02:17 PM
Good luck digging out! I envy you LEAVING the piles of snow to head to the Fort. We left FW on 12/19 when it was 80 degrees and came home to 17 degrees and 3 feet of new snow on top of the devastation left by the ice storms. I so wanted to turn around and head back south!

Have a great trip - safe travels!

SCCamper
12-26-2008, 02:24 PM
I would opt for finding campgrounds along the way. A good place to start would be Woodall's website. Depending on where you want to stop on the way, you can search their site and find some campgrounds in the area. When we "boondock", we usually just use the fresh water in the camper and use the stove to cook. We usually just dump the gray and black water when we get to our destination....Hope this helps.:goodvibes

cMeGo
12-26-2008, 03:35 PM
Ha. I'm secretly wishing that we can't get home for a while due to weather and I'd have to work from Florida for a while. :) I'm thinking the campsite thing would be good. I like my showers in the morning, and the way the temps have been I'm betting we will need the heat goin.

4mickey2
12-26-2008, 08:56 PM
i have to make a recommendation to you (esp if you don't have gps) print out gas prices before you leave. you will have the exit numbers for the fuel stops and an idea of the prices. i do this every trip we take.

the next exit is also a good book to have.

i print out flying j, loves and pilot. it gives us the ability to know that there is a fuel stop ahead or if we need to fill up now..

it will probably be cold in the 5'er. you could check out some koa's on the way. we normally just stay in rest areas, truck stops.... have a great trip.

dtum
12-27-2008, 05:53 AM
We take 2 1/2 days also. Go the camprgound route (pull-thru site always) so we do have water and electric. We don't unhitch our 5er, so in the a.m., unhook water/electric and back on the road we go. We use Trailer Life campground directory and look for Good Sam parks. Actually just got a road atlas from Good Sam that shows all the campground (there's and others) right on the map...very handy. Also, can't live w/o our "next exit" book. Pulling a 5er with a diesel really limits our gasing up choices and this book has it all--it's a few years old now and I have all the places we have stopped in the past marked so we kind of know where we can go on our next trip. Good luck on your trip and glad to see you aren't trying to to the whole trip in one day...go the safe route and take the extra time--a good thing! :goodvibes

mdoc
12-27-2008, 10:04 AM
We drive to the Fort from northeastern Illinois (just a bit south of the WI border). We generally split the drive into two days. If we get a really early start (5 am), we'll drive for roughly 15 hours and get south of Atlanta. If we leave later, we'll aim for 10 hours or so and stop near Chattanooga. We then go directly to FW the second day. We've done truck stops, but they're noisy. We used earplugs in order to sleep. You can also stay in many Walmart parking lots. There are yahoo groups that have lists of Walmarts and which ones let you stay (some cannot let you overnight because of local ordinances). There are other places that allow RV'ers to stay as well (Cracker Barrel comes to mind). You're not going to have power or water with any of these options, and if you're not stopping until later at night (which is our usual M.O.), the truck stops/rest areas are often full. We usually just stop at a campground for the night. There are a number of campgrounds right off the highway along I-75. We personally have stayed at Holiday Trav-L-Park in Chattanooga (really Rossville, GA), Harvest Moon in Adairsville, GA, KOA in Calhoun, GA and Twin Oaks in Elko, GA. All were acceptable for an overnight. I would recommend Trav-L-Park, Harvest Moon and Twin Oaks. There are other campgrounds as well, we just haven't stopped at those. We currently travel in a motorhome; when we had a travel trailer and a fifth wheel, we didn't unhitch for these quick overnight stops. We just plug in to electric and go to sleep; we don't even hook up the water. Because we're long (45' motorhome pulling either a utility trailer or a Suburban) I always call ahead to either make a reservation (if we know where we're going to stop) or to ask if their large pull-through spots are likely to be full. Since we're always arriving when it's dark and the campground office is closed, it's important to us that it be easy-in and easy-out. There have been times that our campground of choice was full, so it's good to have a backup in mind. I'd suggest checking out campgrounds at rvparkreviews.com.

We have a Garmin GPS and I generally rely on that for fuel stops, rest stops and the like. We only stop at truck stops for fuel since we need diesel and lots of maneuvering room. I've also started using Microsoft Streets & Trips for route planning, and it gives you a list of campgrounds that are within a certain distance (specified by you) of any stopping point you request. I take that list and then do some quick research on the campgrounds before we leave.


Enjoy your trip, and I hope the weather gods smile on you, both there and en route!

mdoc
12-27-2008, 10:10 AM
We drive to the Fort from northeastern Illinois (just a bit south of the WI border). We generally split the drive into two days. If we get a really early start (5 am), we'll drive for roughly 15 hours and get south of Atlanta. If we leave later, we'll aim for 10 hours or so and stop near Chattanooga. We then go directly to FW the second day. We've done truck stops, but they're noisy. We used earplugs in order to sleep. You can also stay in many Walmart parking lots. There are yahoo groups that have lists of Walmarts and which ones let you stay (some cannot let you overnight because of local ordinances). There are other places that allow RV'ers to stay as well (Cracker Barrel comes to mind). You're not going to have power or water with any of these options, and if you're not stopping until later at night (which is our usual M.O.), the truck stops/rest areas are often full. We usually just stop at a campground for the night. There are a number of campgrounds right off the highway along I-75. We personally have stayed at Holiday Trav-L-Park in Chattanooga (really Rossville, GA), Harvest Moon in Adairsville, GA, KOA in Calhoun, GA and Twin Oaks in Elko, GA. All were acceptable for an overnight. I would recommend Trav-L-Park, Harvest Moon and Twin Oaks. There are other campgrounds as well, we just haven't stopped at those. We currently travel in a motorhome; when we had a travel trailer and a fifth wheel, we didn't unhitch for these quick overnight stops. We just plug in to electric and go to sleep; we don't even hook up the water. Because we're long (45' motorhome pulling either a utility trailer or a Suburban) I always call ahead to either make a reservation (if we know where we're going to stop) or to ask if their large pull-through spots are likely to be full. Since we're always arriving when it's dark and the campground office is closed, it's important to us that it be easy-in and easy-out. There have been times that our campground of choice was full, so it's good to have a backup in mind. I'd suggest checking out campgrounds at rvparkreviews.com.

Enjoy your trip, and I hope the weather gods smile on you, both there and en route!

5stljayhawks
01-17-2009, 11:33 AM
When we have traveled from STL, MO to FL I will map out the KOA, they are normally close to the highways, only 20-30 buck and quick in and out.

Millermouseketeers
01-17-2009, 12:15 PM
We also use gasbuddy.com for our trips from Texas to the fort.

Cdash
01-17-2009, 12:21 PM
For trips down to Disney, or other long trips, we overnight in a lot someplace. Our furnace runs on propane with the help of our 5'er's battery, fridge runs on propane, and we travel with a full tank of water. We got everything we need, so why spend $30 to park at a campground? All we need is someplace to park. We have done Cracker Barrels (get a good breakfast before we head out) and truck stops. They may be noisy, but at midnight after driving for 15 hours, we aren't picky!!

We tried to find a campground that was right off the highway once to stop at for the night. After 12 miles of a windy country road in PA, and signs still pointing forward we gave up, got back on the highway and went to the next exit and stayed at a truckstop. It was our fault for lack of planning, but just confirms the way we'd like to travel.

I think the responses to questions like this are pretty polarized. There are two camps, those who mostly always go for campgrounds and those who mostly don't. To each their own, we all do what works best for us. They are also polarized as to those who drive to 4pm each day and those that drive to midnight or beyond.

I have a feeling that some that answer "stay in a campground" would eventually be on here complaining about me when I pulled into a campground at 1 am and took more than a couple minutes to park my rig with its rumbling diesel.

grumblegrumble
01-18-2009, 07:21 AM
I purchased this book two years ago and we use it on every trip. It gives you several options on how to find a campground on your travel route. It lists all the amenities and has been a very useful tool for us to find campgrounds in our travels.


Thanks for this. This book looks like exactly what I'm looking for.

I was able to find the book for $10 cheaper on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0470069295?ie=UTF8&tag=data09b-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=******&creativeASIN=0470069295)

:drive:

LuckyinGa
01-18-2009, 05:15 PM
Thanks for this. This book looks like exactly what I'm looking for.

I was able to find the book for $10 cheaper on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0470069295?ie=UTF8&tag=data09b-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=******&creativeASIN=0470069295)

:drive:

Glad I could help.