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  1. Default Planning a very big trip

    I am a 52 year old semi retired gal that is getting prepared for a trip of a lifetime. I am planning to get a teardrop trailer (a lightweight tag along with basically a bed) and I am going to hit the back roads of America with my dog.
    any comments suggestions, thoughts, opinions... before i get involved? Target date is to take off in the spring of 2017.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Lots of time to plan.

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    It was at about that age that I first hit the road, and am still at it. Now almost 200000 miles later, I am planning my eigth trip to North America. What ever you do, don't leave Alaska (and Northern Canada) off your plan.

    I'd start with a large map of North America and start marking on it - with post it notes or pins - places to visit as they come to your attention. Much closer to your trip, you will then be able to start looking at routes which go by most of the places marked on your map. Meanwhile keep doing your research, read through these forums and pages of this website.

    For how long are you planning to be on the road?


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    I am in agreement with Lifey - get a good map (or set of maps) and start looking at what you want to see. Once you start marking it, a route will begin to form, and you can be a little more specific about your timetable.

    Before your purchase of the trailer, you can research those, too. About a year ago, we were on an RV lot locally and noticed that the teardrop trailers come with various features. You'll have to decide which features might be important to you. I know I would want one with a decent stove and maybe a little sink, and a place to store not only my clothing, but some basic cooking equipment. (I include this just as some things to think about. Your needs may be different from mine. I just wouldn't want to cook outdoors all the time, especially during inclement weather, nor would I want to be eating at restaurants for days and weeks at a time.)


  4. Default

    Thanks Donna. I start looking at the trailers this coming month and figure i will choose towards the end of this summer. I go back and forth on the "kitchenette" but i am leaning towards it, even if just for more convienence.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Fridge vs Cooler.

    Quote Originally Posted by katebaldwin View Post
    Thanks Donna. I start looking at the trailers this coming month and figure i will choose towards the end of this summer. I go back and forth on the "kitchenette" but i am leaning towards it, even if just for more convienence.
    Kitchenette or not, Kate, think seriously about having a fridge, not a cooler. It will require you having a second battery installed to fuel the fridge, so that you can start the car next morning. But be sure they wire it up with a good heavy wire (10 or 12 guage - which is almost 1/4 inch in diametre). Many auto electricians are wiring fridges and batteries with much smaller wire.

    A fridge such as a Dometic or Engels will serve you well. I have two, one at home, one in the US and they have served me well over the years. It need not be excessively large - mine is just a Dometic 35, and whereas I occasionally wish I had more space, it holds all the food I need. With a good battery, I find I can stay put for two days without it draining the battery. I also run my computer off the 'house' battery.

    Sounds like things are coming together for you.


  6. Default

    I have no time table. Figure I will take off to actually work (wildland fires) late july and august if i need a break. Sounds like a great plan. Getting my big Map this week!!!

  7. #7


    where are you starting and do you have any destination in mind? I used to travel most of the US for business and I am one trip planning mofo. I am new to this site but not to travel and planning, of course most of my trips ended the evening in a hotel but I like to tent camp and always take the road less traveled

  8. Default

    I am a pretty experienced driver from Idaho to Arizona and california. I have done 3 cross country treks to drop kids off at school and such. Mostly I camp for work (wildland fires) so all that tells me is I would rather not sleep on the ground and my cot takes up valuable room in my car. (IE teardrop plan) I figure I will start on the west coast, southern calif. and head east on the southern route to take advantage of the balmy spring (and hopefully not full time rain). then head along the canada/US border ziging and zaging north as I can during the summer months.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Thank You.

    Hi Keith, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    Thank you for jumping in with your first post, and asking the one question we did not.

    On the other hand, at this stage it is probably not relevant, since it sounds like she wants to be on the road for quite some time, though we have not yet been told how long.

    Feel free to start your own trip, anytime you need help planning a roadtrip.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Ft. Collins, CO.


    I highly recommend a few weekend-only trips to start with to get the routine figured out and the gear sorted before you commit for the big trip. Of course you can make changes along the way in the big trip but heading out for the big one with some confidence born of practice would be comforting.

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