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Old 02-26-2021, 07:06 AM   #1
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Best Books on National Parks and Campgrounds

Hi
My husband and I are about to embark on traveling throughout the country to visit every National Park. We are starting by going down the east coast from Mass. Can anyone recommend a good book to have as a resource to the parks and campgrounds and or suggestions on what not to miss. Thanks
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Old 02-26-2021, 08:30 AM   #2
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Hi,

Your quest, is similar to ours. Seeing and or camping in, all the National parks is on my bucket list. Might take a while, (think years, maybe 20) but ones got 'a have a goal! Our trip ended up being delayed some and we have not started it yet, but will in the hopefully semi near future.

I found these 3 books below helpful. Again I have never done this trip yet, but consider it a place to start. There is so much to read, and each has different things. When you get into some of the small towns along the way, look and see if they have an "Information" booths/stores. There is usually a local person staffing them that knows everybody, and everything that goes in in the area. They can help tell you places to see you may never find in a big book. We do this often when we go east coast cross state camping.

Hoping some of our more cross country traveling members can relate their experiences.

- National Geographic Guide to National Parks, eight edition.

- National Geographic, 50 states, 5000 ideas

- Your Guide to the National Parks, 2nd edition, by Michael Joseph Oswald, through Stone Road Press

Good luck and let us know how it goes. Remember, we like pics of Sunlines in action!

John
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Old 03-02-2021, 06:46 AM   #3
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Thanks for the info. I do have National Parks eight edition. I ordered 50 states and 5,000 ideas on your recommendation. I did contact AAA to find out about any road/parkway restrictions for camper travel. I do know NY and NJ have some. Seems like an overwhelming task to get everything organized and ready. We are hoping to head out the end of March head furthest South (the Everglades) then head back North to follow the warmer weather home.
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Old 03-03-2021, 05:11 PM   #4
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Everyone does cross country travel with the camper different. I have friends in AZ that travel east to PA to see family, then down to FL to see more family, then into TX and then, back home again. They also go up the west coast and back to AZ. As a general rule, they stay off the interstates and try to avoid toll roads to save funds. They only preplan/reserve a campsite for special needs. The wife is the CG hunter on her Ipad and phone while the hubby drives. She has like 8 apps on her phone for campsites, and many of them free. Their schedule is super flexible other than the few camps that they have reservations at. Their camper and truck are as big as ours. We camped with them often when they are passing through.

So far, we are sort of the other end of the spectrum. Our multi cross state travel is all preplanned, campsites with reservations, directions of the routes figured out where we will fit and go. This takes a lot of time in planning, but the execution comes off well. These are one month long trips. Doing this for three or more months is a lot to prefigure it all out. I’m still in the “figuring it out” stage on how to do cross country with 3 plus months’ worth. I expect it will morph into a blend of, figure it out on the way and preplanned.

Hopefully some of our other members who have done cross country will chime in on how they do it. I know we have several members here who have done this and are still doing it.

Have a safe trip and post some pics of the travel. They are always nice to see.

John
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Old 03-06-2021, 05:28 AM   #5
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We’ve been cross country 3 times west and back, and down to Florida 5 times. I use the Allstays Camp and RV app. It’s $10 but I find it to be the best for finding campgrounds. We use gas buddy app for fuel. It’s amazing how much you can save by shopping fuel cost. The paper Rand McNally WalMart atlas is a must for the attractions it has on the map. We enjoy stopping in the middle of a days drive to tour something (ie. a presidents house) then get back on the road. It really breaks up the drive. (don’t miss the Iowa I 80 Truck Stop Free Museum) I usually dig around on the internet to chose specific hikes at a park, and of course the visitor center rangers are your best final source before you set out on a hike. I remember stopping at the visitor center at Pinnacles National Park and discussing the loop we planned with the ranger, who suggested we do it clockwise as opposed to our planned counterclock....all I can say is thank God we asked LOL! Don’t miss National Monuments. They usually have one tenth the crowds and are amazing. I like reservations because we enjoy staying in the National Park. It’s VERY difficult to get those though. You have to be online the moment they open and reserve. We did have to drive home from Arizona to PA one time for an emergency with no reservations, and it worked out fine to find a campsite the day we needed one. It’s more the destination areas that we aren’t comfortable unless we have a reservation. I’m not a fan of walMart and Cracker Barrell type over nights. It’s noisy and we’ve had 2 very bad experiences with beggers. You will have so much fun! Even the stupid things we’ve done make good stories after they’re over....like the time we pulled over at a rest area called “Camp Disappointment” opened the door of the camper to find we had left the water pump on and the fresh tank water was all over the floor. Yep true story and we were really disappointed!
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Old 03-08-2021, 09:24 AM   #6
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Hi Pam,

Thanks for posting. Good info.

And yes, talking to the locals about what is in the area is good thing to do. Park rangers and staff are usually always helpful. In little towns, find the "information" place. Those staffers, usually a person who knows everyone and everything... that goes on in the area. A great free resource for an outsider would trying to find out areas of interest.
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