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Thread: Road Trips

  1. Default Road Trips

    Hi am New here first post..
    I am wondering if anyone knows of a program or app that will help me along a route. I want to be able to put in the route I am travelling and how far I would like to travel in a day, mileage of my vehicle. In turn it would let me know abouts where I need to stop for fuel and places nearby where I like to spend the night. If was travelling 2500 miles and only wanted to do 450 miles each day where could I stop, and how far would I get on each tank of fuel.
    Thank you
    Brad

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Working it out can be fun and beneficial.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    The very essence of the road trip is about going to, and stopping at places where you want to go, not where a computer program places you. A lot of it can be done simply on a calculator, for example 2500 miles would take approx 5.5 days to drive if you were to cover 450 miles per day on average. You would need to know the tank capacity of your vehicle and the 'average' miles per gallon you would expect to get in return, once you have that simply divide the numbers, I don't like to be under a qtr of a tank so if the number for example is 400 miles to a tank, look at 300 miles to be topping up. But that shouldn't dictate where you stop, you might have extra days available, or you could travel 350 miles one day and 550 the next, although we don't recommend travelling much more than 550-600 miles in a day. There is rarely a shortage of gas stations so once again you can pick and choose when to stop, if you have got half a tank of fuel but want to stop for a stretch, or something to eat etc, just top it off.

    The RTA Map centre [in the tool bar above] is an excellent tool for the early planning stages. You can create a route [using waypoints if needed] and find a list of attractions aslong the way. To get an idea of where you could end up the night, you have the option of 'Drawing Circles' with the radius set at different distances.

    I understand that 'Streets and trips' has many features for trip planning, but I will leave that for others to comment on as I'm not familiar, the point is that to get the most out of your trip you need to put a little into it. Planning is half the fun !!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default Best App - your brain!

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The only program that I believe will plot stops every "X" number of miles is Microsoft Streets and Trips, although S&T is software that you have to pay for and I don't use it myself, so I can't say for certain.

    It is pretty easy to figure out good stopping points using google, and most other online maps, that offer a "drag and drop" feature. Simply look at the map, guess points that would be roughly 450 miles apart, using your example, and then check to see how long the segments actually are. If a segment is too long or too short, simply move the stopping point markers until you find segments that are of equal length.

    When it comes to gas, I do not know of any program that will suggest refueling stops, nor would I recommend using one if there were available. Really, preplanning your fuel stops is not a good idea. While you should have a pretty good idea of how many miles per tank you can get with your car (and of course, that varies with every model) as long as you start looking for fuel by the time you get down to the quarter tank mark, you really shouldn't have any problems. It is very rare for any section of an Interstate to even 50 miles before available fuel stations, and the few cases with longer gaps have warning signs so you won't be caught by surprise. If you try to preplan fuel stops, you're much more likely to run into problems, especially if you have a leg of a trip where you get worse gas milage than normal (driving into a headwind, more stop and start traffic, big elevation climbs, etc) and you simply can't make it to your preplanned fuel stop.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    Microsoft Streets and Trips can do just about everything you need if you want to buy some software. I use it in conjunction with a Rand McNally road atlas and Gasbuddy/Hotels.com apps for my Android smartphone. I do not overplan - I get gas when I need it and walk into hotels when I feel I'm done for the day.

  5. Default

    Hi there and thank you for all the ideas and welcomes. I totally agree about just get on and go, ride to wherever the sun takes you. This time was trying to plan a trip for a larger group through the summer weeks, sometimes finding camp grounds without reservations can be tough. Last summer I got on my bike went for a trip by myself, went where I wanted stopped a lot along the way taking in many views that would normally just drive right on by thanks to the point A to point B trips usually take. Thanks for all your help. have a great day.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    For campgrounds, you should get a Woodall's directory.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Not what I meant.

    Hi there and thank you for all the ideas and welcomes. I totally agree about just get on and go, ride to wherever the sun takes you. This time was trying to plan a trip for a larger group through the summer weeks, sometimes finding camp grounds without reservations can be tough.
    I think you may have misunderstood. I wasn't saying don't plan your stops, in fact I was suggesting the opposite, accept for rather than let a computer decide where you go, you should do it for yourself. Study a good map and do some research to see what appeals and then start to work out how they can fit into your plans. Once you have got a couple of dots on the map and let us know your time frame we can then help, by making suggestions and to help you 'fine tune' your trip.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default RTA Custom Maps Planning Circles can do most of that

    Quote Originally Posted by Br4d View Post
    I am wondering if anyone knows of a program or app that will help me along a route. I want to be able to put in the route I am travelling and how far I would like to travel in a day, mileage of my vehicle. In turn it would let me know abouts where I need to stop for fuel and places nearby where I like to spend the night.
    Actually, the RTA Custom Maps program can give you a good approximation for this. It's called the "Draw Circles" program -- you create your custom route and then use the Draw Circles program to see where you'd be if you were driving different increments per day from 100 to 500 miles per day.

    Mark

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