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  1. #1

    Default Meandering from California to Louisiana

    Hello all

    I am taking somewhat of a 'meandering' trip in my Land Rover Discovery and small 14' fiberglass (Burro) travel trailer, originating from central California, traveling with just my two dogs, leaving late February this year. I plan to boondock half the time in rest stops, parking lots & BLM land, then state / fed parks the rest of the time. Lavish RV parks is just not my style (or my budget :)

    I am planning to take I-40 and take in part of old Hwy 66 - some of the out of way places I have an interest in visiting is Sedona, Canyon de Chelly, Santa Fe & Albuquerque NM. Then from there I plan to head southeast into Texas then into Louisiana. I don't really have any idea what to see along the way after Albuquerque to the gulf coast of Louisiana - or what route to take besides just the interstate. In reality I am more than a little scrambled - having difficulty planning. Any suggestions would certainly be welcome.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Please don't!

    Hi, and Welcome to the The Great American RoadTrip Forum.

    There are others here, more qualified than I to advice you on your route. It is not an area with which I am familiar.

    But I do share your style of travel, and I too, try to park away from commercial camp grounds as often as I can. Whereas it is a great way to get around on a budget, I need to warn you against overnight stopping in rest areas. This is one of the most dangerous things you can do. It is illegal in many States, and only where rest areas have armed gaurds in attendance is it safe.

    One place however, which you did not mention, is truck stops / travel plazas. Many truck stops make RVs welcome, and so long as you park in the designated area, you will be welcome and you will be safe. Truck stops are 24 hour operations, are well lit, and have people coming and going all night. Before leaving be sure to return the favour and fill your tank. Showers are also available at most (fee) and they offer a wide variety of eating outlets.

    In the Truck Stop Directory, you will find those which make RVs welcome.

    Last edited by Lifemagician; 01-24-2012 at 02:35 AM. Reason: add link

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default To Do and Not To Do

    Just a few of the many possibilities along your general travel route that you should at least look into include: Mojave National Preserve, Jerome AZ, Dead Horse Ranch State Park, Tuzigoot National Monument, Red Rock State Park, Slide Rock State Park, Wupatki National Monument, Sunset Volcano National Monument, Walnut Canyon National Monument, Petrified Forest National Park, Petroglyph National Monument, Madrid NM, Taos Pueblo, Pecos National Historical Park, Buddy Holly's hometown, Texas Forts Trail, Sea Rim State Park, Creole Nature Trail, etc. Note that for the most part those are free, very low cost, or come with a single National Parks Pass (camping not included). Which brings us to what NOT to do. As Lifey has noted, it is illegal to park overnight in roadside rest areas, and your parked trailer will be an open invitation to a visit from the constabulary (at best) or someone seeking to take advantage of the fact that you are inside asleep (i.e. unconscious). Similarly, 'camping' in random parking lots will often result in being rousted during the night and being told to move on - again, best case scenario. Even Walmart, the infamous boondocking heave, is cutting back severely on where and when it will allow overnight 'parking'. And any plan to simply pull off on the side of the road in a 'deserted' area will mean that you are trespassing in an area where people take the right to protect property by means of deadly force very seriously. If you can talk to the property owner, store manager, or park superintend ant and have permission to set up camp, then fine and dandy. Otherwise you are a thief and should expect to be treated as such.


  4. #4


    thanks much for the tips. I don't mind one bit pulling up in a truck stop for a few hours of sleep. I certainly wasn't aware of the danger at a rest stop. I will give that some serious consideration; I do intend to travel with two rather intimidating dogs and some bear spray.

    I will google those places mentioned, thanks

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Intimidating to whom?

    Quote Originally Posted by scrambledegg View Post
    I do intend to travel with two rather intimidating dogs ...
    Your danger in rest areas, and such, is not from wildlife or natural events. It is those who are hell bent on getting your money and anything else of value, and who are likely to be armed, for whom the dogs may not pose a threat.

    Better be safe than sorry!


  6. #6


    no, I was thinking about two footed critters, not four footed ones, but thieves do want easy targets which I wouldn't be. Even so, your warnings are well taken... again my thanks

    on another note, weather wise, does anyone have experience traveling through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas & Louisiana in late February - early March - with what I am reading right now I woudn't want to be out on the highway.. is that likely to change in another three weeks? A little rain is no big deal, but I don't want to be out in some blizzard, tornado or hurricane :)

  7. #7


    here are my 'rather intimidating' travel companions !

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    The fact is, you'll be sleeping, and dogs or not, you'd be about as easy target as they could find. This is not something to brush off. Two dogs can easily be eliminated, and rest areas are prefect targets because they are typically in remote locations, along a freeway but away from towns and police. People have become victims and even paid with their lives, and the people most likely to become victims are those who think it couldn't happen to them.

    As far as weather, it is simply impossible to say what you might see in 3 weeks. It will still be winter, and as such, it is certainly possible that you will see snow and ice. You do need to be prepared for the possibility. Tornadoes are rare this time of year (although they do still happen), but we can safely say you won't see a hurricane!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    I've been around RV'ers all my life, and for awhile, I was one. If you really find the need to boondock someplace, you're better off trying to find a friendly 24-hour store parking lot that doesn't mind if you park overnight. Wal-Mart used to be pretty friendly about this, as long as you were a good neighbor and don't try to bring out the grill and the awning. Some Wal-Marts (including the one in my area) won't allow it, because of local regulations (though they did relax it when we had the fires in both '03 and '07). Try a grocery store, Target, or similar. It's a lot safer!


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