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Thread: Slow and Easy

  1. Default Slow and Easy

    Hello and thank you for reading!

    I'm planning to road trip from Indianapolis, IN to Los Angeles, CA later this summer, roughly mid-end July departure. Right now it will only be myself and my Jeep making the trip.

    I honestly have no time restraints besides trying to be there before it gets cold in the middle of the country. Along the way I plan to sleep in my car/camp and have a cooler with food in it for myself.

    I would love any advise for places to stop and visit. I'm leaning mainly towards things outside BUT I am open to all suggestions. I'm sleeping in the car/camping to save money to enjoy things along the way and to just enjoy a new experience.

    So anything from historical sites to national parks to great campgrounds..whatever! I'd love to hear them. Also, routes would be great too. Slow and easy is the pace I plan to take and enjoy things in this country I've never seen. I've driven from NM - IN a few times but my time was limited because I was on leave while in the Air Force. So driving won't be a problem. Anyway...I look forward to the advice!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    You'll find that one thing we recommend here on RTA is to camp out and try NOT to ever sleep in your car on a trip UNLESS you have the ability to stretch out full length in your vehicle. A tent, sleeping bag and some sort of pad or mattress is much preferable. You can find campsites in state parks, national forests, and even some county and city parks, just by looking at a paper map and finding little green triangles. In our years of camping and RV'ing, my husband and I have found few public campgrounds that were unacceptable. Those few were in really weird locations (such as right next to a logging road that was buzzed at all hours of the day and night).

    Do you have a good road atlas or some paper maps? If not, get one or all. If so, take it out and see what looks interesting to YOU between Indy and LA. Throwing out some ideas here - Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, Arches NP, Canyonlands NP, Bryce Canyon and Zion NP's -- just to name a few.


  3. Default

    Thank you for the welcome Donna!

    My seats fold down and I have plenty of room to spread out but camping would honestly be my first choice. What was the average cost of the campsites that you found?

    I know I have one, but it's exact location is a mystery at the moment haha. I will take your advise and look over the route. I just know some places have quirks that you don't know about until you have been there that could be problematic when you just show up out of the blue.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Good maps are essential to planning a roadtrip. If you don't know where yours is now - or if it's several years old - go out and get new ones. You can get a Rand McNally atlas for under $10.

    The prices of campsites can vary quite a lot, but I'd say $20 is a good average number for most public campgrounds. Of course, if you don't stay at campgrounds, your options for safe places to spend the night while sleeping in your car starts going down pretty significantly.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Public Lands Campsites.

    By far the best way to find low cost public lands campsites is to ask the locals. Last year I spent much of my trip camping on public lands. The cost averaged under $20. The best way I found these campgrounds along my trip was to stop at any (and every) public lands office I saw - Parks offices, Forests offices, Ranger offices and BLM offices. They know where the spots are and how much they cost, and especially at the BLM they will tell you of all the free camping spots. Many, but not all are marked on good maps. Be aware, most of these do not have water or electricity, and just basic toilets, but are often in the most idealic natural setting.

    Failing that, I have on quite a few occasions been directed to a public lands camping spot by a law enforcement officer, when I was unable to find one of the above offices. All these resources are underutilised but extremely helpful when on the road. Visitor centres can sometimes also tell you where public lands campsites are, though most are reluctant to do so.

    As for sleeping in your Jeep, if the seat folds down it may pay you to get a piece of good foam to lay over it. It gets pretty tiring sleeping on the bumps and lumps of a car seat. Besides, in a jeep, especially if you also use a large cooler, it won't leave you much room for other luggage. You will want to be able to roll over during the night, and still be comfortable. Maybe a tent is the better option.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Many options.

    With few time constraints you could go just about anywhere you want. For a high concentration of National parks, diverse scenery and scenic by-ways, the Four corner States take some beating imo. Rocky mountain, Black Canyon, Mesa Verde, Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce canyon, Zion and the Grand canyon are a pick of National parks you could visit. Great drives like the Trail Ridge road, US6 over Loveland Pass, the Million dollar Highway [US550] through the mountain towns of Ouray and Silverton in Colorado, UT24 and scenic 12 is a great drive linking Arches and Bryce canyon. You have so much to choose from you really have to study the maps and do a little research and once you have some 'pointers', we can help fill in the gaps.

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