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  1. Default 14 day road trip from New Jersey to California (LA)

    Hello! I知 new to this forum but excited to start using it! It Seems like people have so much great information that can really help me. I知 moving out to Cali on Feb. 1st so I decided to make the drive across country and have some great experiences along the way! I知 planning on 14 days with a friend from East Brunswick, NJ to Los Angeles, CA. We love to camp so I decided the best way to really see the country and spend the least amount of money would be to just stay at camp grounds along the way and some occasional hotels. There is so much to see and so little time, after reading over some of the forums I decided to take the southern route along I-40, hit Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, a little part of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and end in Cali. I知 totally willing to go off of I-40 I just figured I give you guys something to go off since I really am open to anything! If anyone can give me some tips on what to stop and see, (obviously I need to see the Grand Canyon), or any campgrounds or other routes I should take it would be greatly appreciated! This is just as much about site seeing as actually getting to my location in Cali. Hopefully through this post I値l be able to narrow down the trip a little more and start asking some more specific questions. Thank you in advance guys!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Sorry, it appears your post slipped through the cracks and was a rare one that didn't get a response within a day.

    As far as your plan, it certainly sounds like a good one. 2 weeks will be a nice amount of time for a one way trip, and the route you've listed seems like a perfectly decent one - since its based. You shouldn't have too much difficulty finding places - and state parks and similar public options are usually my preferred option - however the time of year will make this more challenging. Even though you are going farther south, it will still be cool to cold at night - especially as you make your way west and increase in elevation. You need to be prepared to be spending most of your nights sleeping in below freezing conditions, which means heavy winter camping gear will be needed for this to be enjoyable.

  3. #3

    Default Start checking ahead as to campgrounds

    Hello tkisch,

    I'd consider looking ahead to get a general idea of where you might want to camp (and the suggestion for state and local parks is a fine one) in order to do some calling around to see what's going to be open in early February. The reason for that is even here in NC, many campgrounds close for the winter due to the need to drain their water systems to prevent freeze-up. In particular state and local park campgrounds are prone to close for the winter where light traffic conflicts with operating budgets (ie the government can't afford to keep them open with light revenues from usage). I suspect the farther west you go, the more likely this is the case, too.

    I find using a published campground guide is very handy. It gives you a recent description of the facility, what's there, whether or not they accept tenters (many commercial campgrounds don't!), and the guidebook Woodall's gives a "rating", as well. Some of the more prominent state and local government campgrounds are listed in Woodall's, too.

    While you're route planning with your atlas, locate units of the National Forest system and then check their websites for camping info. National Forests are liberally sprinkled with small campgrounds which are not typically listed in a guidebook like a Woodall's. Camping is typically semi- or completely primitive (offering only a picnic table, an outhouse, and water), but it's cheap and some of the facilities are in very nice settings. I have a +20 year-old copy of "National Forest Campgrounds of the Northern Region" which does a Woodall's-style listing of hundreds and hundreds of NF campgrounds in MT, ID, WY, and CO, and there very well might be a sister publication for the southern portions of the Mountain West. Lastly, a good-quality highway atlas will sometimes locate NF campgrounds, and a state-by-state publication such as Benchmark Publishing's atlases does certainly locate NF campgrounds. The Benchmark's are a little spendy at $16-25 per state, but in my opinion there's no better resource when it comes to route planning and very detailed local conditions.

    Best of luck and have fun planning and taking your Winter RoadTrip!


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