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  1. Default Michigan to Grand Canyon

    Hi! We just purchased a fifth wheel and would like to take 3 weeks this summer and head out to Grand Canyon National Park. We also want to stop in Longmont, Co. to visit our son and Las Vegas to visit friends. I really need some advice as to must-see sights and places to camp along the way. :) Any great advice?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default For starters.

    Hi, and welcome to the Great American roadtrip Forum.

    By far your best bet is to get hold of some good maps, and then follow the advice in this paragraph:-

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck
    Start with maps. Not GPS, not software, not Google, but real honest-to-god paper maps that show you your entire route, that you can mark up (and erase), that you can stick pins in, and that show something about the land you'll be driving through. Those are your essential tool in any RoadTrip planning process. Start by marking all the places you know you want to visit. Then connect the dots. Then look for more places of interest and scenic routes along the lines connecting the dots. Repeat until you've got as many sites and roads as you think you want.
    Good detailed maps such as those one gets at AAA (free to members) and from Rand McNally have a wealth of information on them to help plan your trip. Much more than you will ever see within the confines of a small screen. Besides being invaluable for planning, good maps are essential when you are on the road.

    It is hard to recommend 'must see sights' as one persons must see, is another's must pass by. On the maps you will see what is there, and choose those attractions which are of interest to you.

    If you are wishing to stay within the National Park - highly recommended - you will need to book those camping spots a.s.a.p. Especially for the Grand Canyon, but also for some of the other parks along the way, which you might choose to explore.

    Once you have your must sees, feel free to come back and the experts will help you refine your route in fill in the blanks.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    If you wish hookups for your 5W at Grand Canyon, that would be at Grand Canyon Trailer Village. It's nothing but a pull-through parking lot with hookups, but you will have electric and water. (I believe there is a dump station available.) Otherwise, Mather Campground has more ambiance, but no hookups. Showers are at a central facility to both the Trlr Village and Mather, and you must pay extra to use them.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Some More General Advice

    Without knowing where you're starting from exactly, what you hope to get out of the trip (other than visiting your son and stopping at Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon), what your interests are, how accustomed to RV traveling you are, who all is traveling with you, etc., etc., etc., it's difficult to give you any specific advice so let's start with some more general pointers.

    First of all: there are no such things as "must see" venues, only those places that appeal to you and your traveling partners. These can be scenic, historic, educational, artistic, athletic, etc., etc., etc. But again, we know nothing of your interests so it's really pointless for us to tell you what we'd like to see.

    Second: or first in your planning process, is mapping out your basic routes. Note the plural. By all means you should plan on taking two separate routes westbound and eastbound. The two most direct, all-Interstate routes are 1) I-80/I-76 to Denver, I-70 to central Utah, and I-15 to Las Vegas and 2) I-75 or I-69 down to I-70 and then take that west to St. Louis, I-44 to Oklahoma City, and I-40 to northern Arizona. Those are the roads you should be looking at on your maps to see what's along them that intrigues you, what side roads are worth exploring, and where the accommodations are. You can of course take either route in either direction.

    Third: pacing and lodging need to be addressed. Normally we recommend an upper limit of around 550 miles per day for folks driving the family car and staying in motels near the highway. That figure has to be lowered in your case because your rig will be slower, camping sites will be farther from the main roads, and set-up and take-down times have to be factored in. Maybe 450 miles a day would be a decent target for those days that you don't plan to stop and see anything. If you would like to stay in any national parks, start trying to make reservations now, and keep trying for a spot right up until the time you leave. Needless to say, they are the most popular places to RV 'camp' and they fill up early. Less crowded opportunities exist in nearby state parks and in other national lands such as national forests and BLM holdings.

    Fourth: start taking care of incidentals. If you are going to visit four or more national parks, purchase a $80 annual pass at the first one you come to. The year starts on the day of purchase, so it doesn't make sense to buy it beforehand. If you're over 65 (or so) you can get a lifetime pass for only $10. These are good for entrance fees but not for other fees such as parking, concessions, camping, etc. Make sure that your RV is thoroughly checked out before your departure including drive train, all water systems, heating and cooling, etc. Breakdowns on the road can be expensive in terms of money of course but especially in terms of time taken from your vacation and lost reservations.

    Always: plan, daydream, discuss, fine tune, and prepare. Ultimately the success off this, or any, RoadTrip depends on how well you tailor it to your own desires. We can help with specifics as your plans finalize but only you can plan the perfect trip for you.

    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 12-29-2015 at 10:53 AM. Reason: Typo

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