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Organizing your trip planning info and trip memories?

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  • Organizing your trip planning info and trip memories?

    Many of you have been on the road for a while.

    How do you organize your trip planning material?

    How do you keep track of potential campgrounds and those you want to return to? Activities you want to do in the area?

    What about tracking when to make reservations?

    I have a binder for all of Ruby's paperwork, manuals, repairs, and how-to information for when we don't have Wifi, but that's getting full.

    Is there a better option than a spreadsheet?
    Lisa and Bill (first-time trailer and truck owners, but long-time campers)

    2004 Nash 19B - Progressive EMS-HW30C, Maxxis tires (LT), 2 new propane tanks, (2) 6-v golf cart batteries, TST 507 TPMS
    2011 Ram 1500 - Hemi with 5.7

  • #2
    Oh how I wish we had known you were wondering about this when we met up last month. We, and when I say "we" I mean Cathy, has an awesome system. And, it does involve a spreadsheet that we print out. Especially for those really long trips we take. There's a lot more to it, it isn't complicated, but is really helpful. We also get paper maps from AAA. They have info on them that many electronic maps don't have. One of those paper maps saved our bacon when we were headed to Mt. Rushmore. Nav wanted us to go on Needles Highway. No signs about no RVs. Well, AAA map had that info on it. We save the RV park maps we get at any RV park, government or private. Cathy keeps a journal to keep track of when to make reservations. Also, we keep a paper calendar in the house to write things on. I could go on, but it might make more sense to talk about it in person.
    2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD Denali 4x4 Diesel
    2017 Arctic Fox 22G.

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    • #3
      When planning a new trip, the first thing I do is print out a calendar of the weeks/months we'll be traveling. In popular areas and campgrounds, booking 6+ months in advance is a must!

      Then fill in the dates at each location. This gives us a 'running idea' of how many days to add/subtract at a park, campground, boondocking, etc. while planning how long we'll be gone. It's easy for three weeks to turn into four+ weeks if not careful.

      It also prevents 'double booking' a day when making reservations.

      After finding the exact dates / locations we want to stay, I make a list of each park. As I call the park / make a reservation, I check off that 1) the park was called 2) the reservation was made 3) the reservation was confirmed.

      Some smaller parks (especially in Canada), don't use computer reservation systems / don't send email confirmations. Making a list prevents double-calling a park, when we already made a reservation at that park (embarrassment factor). It gets confusing when 20+ parks / location reservations are made on a trip.

      On longer trips 8+ weeks, I always add a couple of 'flex days'. These are days, that if needed, due to illness / mechanical issues, we can make up the days later. If your down for 1-2 days, it's hard not to cancel many future locations. Some parks aren't keen on last minute cancellations. If the flex days aren't needed, then that more time at a RV park, campground, etc.

      We make a copy of the calendar and park list for the RV, for the truck while driving and for family at home. We also carry each reservation confirmation when available.

      On the road, we make a daily entry in a travel diary book, with dates, park names, etc. There have been many times when planning a return to an area, that we referred to the diary for park names, best park sites, etc. We also list total miles driven on a trip for trailer mileage.

      I guess most of this can be done on a smart phone app.... but I'm 'old school' and like paper copies!
      Travel Blog: www.rocklinroamers.wordpress.com

      2015 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD: SRW, Duramax / Allison 6.6L Turbo-Diesel, Extended Cab, Long Bed, 4x4, Reese 16K Hitch, 50gal In-Bed Fuel Tank (85 gals total)

      2016 Arctic Fox 29-5T: Six-Point Leveling System, Fireplace, Two A/C's, Two Honda EU2000i Generators, TST "507" Tire Monitoring System, King-Size Bed, Progressive 'Hard-Wired' 50amp Surge Protector, 16gal Water Heater, Slide-Toppers, Power-Reel, 'G Rated' Sailun Tires.

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      • #4
        Oh, I should add that our truck's center console holds hanging file folders. Yeah, we are totally organized when we hit the road.
        2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD Denali 4x4 Diesel
        2017 Arctic Fox 22G.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Hammster View Post
          Oh how I wish we had known you were wondering about this when we met up last month. We, and when I say "we" I mean Cathy, has an awesome system. And, it does involve a spreadsheet that we print out. Especially for those really long trips we take. There's a lot more to it, it isn't complicated, but is really helpful. We also get paper maps from AAA. They have info on them that many electronic maps don't have. One of those paper maps saved our bacon when we were headed to Mt. Rushmore. Nav wanted us to go on Needles Highway. No signs about no RVs. Well, AAA map had that info on it. We save the RV park maps we get at any RV park, government or private. Cathy keeps a journal to keep track of when to make reservations. Also, we keep a paper calendar in the house to write things on. I could go on, but it might make more sense to talk about it in person.
          I wasn't wondering about it when we saw you!

          You are on for talking about it in person. I really would like to see Cathy's system. I have a big paper calendar in the kitchen that I started getting years ago when the kids had three different swim practices and Bill traveled a ton. Now, it works well, at least at home, to start tracking our travels on a basic level. But I get so much information here and I want a place to be able to add those recommendations to.

          Thanks for the heads-up on the AAA maps. The truck has 2 glove boxes, one for the usual stuff and the other is for maps and passes. I think there is a good Oregon map in there as well as Forest Service maps. I'll have to check when "Hemi" gets back from the shop. Eye roll.
          Lisa and Bill (first-time trailer and truck owners, but long-time campers)

          2004 Nash 19B - Progressive EMS-HW30C, Maxxis tires (LT), 2 new propane tanks, (2) 6-v golf cart batteries, TST 507 TPMS
          2011 Ram 1500 - Hemi with 5.7

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          • #6
            Originally posted by RocklinDave View Post
            I guess most of this can be done on a smart phone app.... but I'm 'old school' and like paper copies!
            So do we, and the paper map doesn't rely on data availability or batteries.

            2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD Denali 4x4 Diesel
            2017 Arctic Fox 22G.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by AdventureGirl 55 View Post

              I wasn't wondering about it when we saw you!
              Oh, I know. Too bad though. Anyway, let's try to hook up in Feb when we'll be in your area again.

              2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD Denali 4x4 Diesel
              2017 Arctic Fox 22G.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Hammster View Post
                Oh, I should add that our truck's center console holds hanging file folders. Yeah, we are totally organized when we hit the road.
                Hanging file folders? That's impressive.

                When I first saw the Ram's cavernous console, all I could come up with was "beer cooler," but that's probably because I had started listening to country music again.
                Lisa and Bill (first-time trailer and truck owners, but long-time campers)

                2004 Nash 19B - Progressive EMS-HW30C, Maxxis tires (LT), 2 new propane tanks, (2) 6-v golf cart batteries, TST 507 TPMS
                2011 Ram 1500 - Hemi with 5.7

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm just getting organized, I got a paper RV camping journal. Amazon has several varieties. It has spaces for fuel use, maintenance, comments about the camping location and a lot more. https://www.amazon.com/s?k=rv+journa...b_sb_ss_i_3_10

                  Camper Chronicles Blog has a great spreadsheet that I've adopted: https://camperchronicles.com/budgets/

                  We plan to fulltime starting in May.

                  For future planning I keep a list in a text file on my computer. Every time I see an interesting looking spot, usually online, I add it to the list organized by state. That could be better organized.

                  I have Benchmark maps for each state we plan to spend a lot of time in. I don't save maps from parks since you can get them online. I also have downloaded 7 MVUM maps for boondocking ideas in National Forests.

                  I use RV Trip Planner software for trip planning, it does take RV height and length into account when drawing routes. It also exports to an Excel file. For in truck navigation I use Street Atlas 2015, dead software but the main roads do not change rapidly and it still works. I have RV Plan 'N' Go software, it will display the FS road network along with other minor roads. Handy for boondocking. It shows FS Road numbers.

                  So I have a lot of parts and I need to pull them together someway. We probably aren't going to camp inside NP that much anymore since we discovered that boondocking sites are often available right outside the parks. We boondocked at a spot outside Tetons this summer and had a spectacular view of the Teton mountains right from our campsite. Stayed 4 days, cost zero and no reservations.

                  For some really large parks camping inside is probably a good idea YNP for one, Yosemite certainly, and maybe Big Bend. Glacier cg are all along the edge of the park anyway.
                  James and Cindy Krämer
                  North Florida
                  Arctic Fox 25Y
                  2012 Ford F350 6.7L

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