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  1. Default Road trip from Chattanooga to Austin!

    I'm currently planning a road trip to celebrate my 50th birthday next year. The plan is to head out toward the end of February of next year for a 10 day round trip.

    I'm about to purchase a towable camper for the adventure and I want to be able to see the sites ...stay at state parks at night ...enjoy a campfire each night and enjoy the interesting things all the way to Austin and back.

    Does anyone have any advice? Brand of camper? (I'm buying a towable that can sleep at least 4). Are there enough state parks on this route or should I look at KOAs too? Questions, questions, questions.

    Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Happy, happy birthday!

    I just celebrated that landmark birthday myself. And welcome to the Roadtrip America forums!

    Gosh, there are so many brands and styles of campers, I'm thinking other forums that focus on these issues might have more people with experience to offer you advice on this. I can only say that I've done the truck/camper and then truck/trailer thing and I much prefer driving in a vehicle without towing that mass behind me (or hauling it on my back, so to speak). Tent camping is easy enough to do for a roadtrip, imho.

    However, I'm also a bit of a fairweather camper so my camping season is now limited due to cold and rain. I've deaming of owning a teardrop trailer. Small, lightweight, very easy even for a small car to do, and it gives you a galley to cook in plus a warm, dry place to sleep. There is a smaller trailer called TAB that is also appealing. And some smaller trailers by Casita and Scamp that are kinda cool. My last suggestion would be to check out some really cool hard-side, pop-ups a-frames by Aliner and Chalet. Of course, there are also the soft-sided pop-ups, bigger hard-sided pop-ups by TrailManor, and hard-sided trailers with soft-sided pop-outs, plus your conventional trailer. Whew! The options are almost endless.

    There is no one best trailer so it's hard to make recommendations. I suggest doing a websearch for the various brands and types of trailers, learning as much as you can, and talking to other trailer owners to get their input. I wish you luck on this.

    I'm confident that you'll find numerous campgrounds along your route to Austin. There are national campgrounds (national parks, BLM, Army Corp of Engineers, to name a few), state campgrounds, and some counties even have campgrounds. Add to that the wealth of commercial campgrounds of which KOA is just one of many. There are some other chains, some "mom and pop" single campground owners, etc. ReserveUSA is a pretty good website that has many of the national and state campgrounds in one location to research and make reservations at (if you choose to do that, not always necessary but sometimes recommended depending on how busy that particular area is). And there are some great books out there that would be helpful. If you're a AAA member, they have some free guides for campgrounds. Or check out some of our recommendations. You might also enjoy these recommended books about RVing.
    Last edited by PNW Judy; 02-12-2008 at 01:38 PM. Reason: fixed typos

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Central California

    Default Personal preferences


    First, congrats on hitting the halfway mark (don't know about you, but I plan to live to 100).

    As Judy says, there are no best choices in RVs. Your personal preferences and how you plan to use the trailer are determining factors. If you've done any research you know that there are many variations to choose from. And, the vehicle you will use to tow it with will help deteriming how big and heavy a trailer you should get. A trailer can be a popup camper, towable behind a car or SUV, to a large unit with many slideouts that requires a big diesel pickup.

    A good place to start looking is at an RV show. There is one in Chattanooga this weekend, Feb 22 - 24! If you can't make that, visit your local RV dealerships. Yes, you'll probably get the hard sell, but be firm and let them know you are "just looking". All the brochures and online research won't give you the feeling of being inside one of these units. You need to look at the kitchen counter space, cabinets, amount of storage space, materials used in construction, overall convenience (4 people in a small space can be very uncomfortable if the space isn't laid out well) - all things you can only see by being there. Also, don't get the heaviest unit your vehicle can tow. Leave yourself some slack, even after you figure the weight of the stuff you'll be taking along.

    There are lots of non-commercial campgrounds between you and Austin, TX. In February you may find that some campgrounds are not open yet, even that far south so having a good directory from Woodalls or Trailer Life, or, as Judy said, from AAA, will be valuable.

    As for resources for more info, there is a page on this site that will get you started.

    Also, there are RV sites such as where you can ask specific questions of owners of different kinds of rigs, and get advice on all the aspects of RVing (our preferred method of traveling).

    I hope you have a wonderful birthday celebration - all 10 days of it. Try to get in a stop in San Antonio and New Olreans if you can.

    Craig Sheumaker
    co-author of the travel guide: America's Living History-The Early Years

  4. Default Going to the Chattanooga show

    thanks so much for your advice ...I'm going to attend the Chattanooga show tomorrow!

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