Trying a New Way to Travel – Part II

This posts strictly deals with the our new way of traveling and picks up where Trying a New Way to Travel leaves off.  We have learned quite a bit over the last several weeks and I want to share all of that with you as it happens.  Our next stop after the last campground was a State Fairgrounds in Lewisburg, but before we could leave we needed to get our tires fixed.  I made numerous calls to try and find someone who could replace our G tires on our RV and thankfully I found Corridor H Tires.  They were terrific.  Not only did they perform the work expertly, they also replaced the truck brake pads for a very reasonable price.  The waiting room was also super puppy friendly, and Jack and I hung out there while it was being done. 

 

 

 

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Ready to roll

It took us longer than we thought to reach the State Fairground and there was extra confusion when we arrived because the site number that we had booked wasn’t clearly marked.  Lee had to call the office to find out what was going on and we were told we could take any spots The outer edge had 50 amp but the sewer hookups were so overgrown and we initially couldn’t see them.  Finally we found a spot and settled in. 

For $45 dollars a day I wasn’t that impressed, but Jack loved it.  There was a HUGE field in the back we could let him run around off leash and I will say it was close to everything we wanted to do and the cell coverage was great.  It was fine for a few nights, but I wouldn’t actually recommend it, but once again there weren’t many options.   All the state parks were booked for the weekends, which continues to be a common theme this fall. 

 

View from my window

 

Big field for Jack

 

While we were staying at the State Fair Grounds we tried to book our next stay and we realized there was nowhere close that had cell coverage.  After numerous phone calls we found a place about 30 miles from where we had just left, which caused another Sunday travel day and lots of extra miles.  Lessons learned from this was to book farther in advance as we could have avoided all of this extra travel. Here is a Google map representation of what we did.  

 

Oh one thing. We couldn’t actually got up 219 because the road was not big rig friendly. It had 10 % grades and all other sorts of nasty things for a fifth wheel.

 

This route kept us on major roads and took most of a Sunday.  Well at least we are seeing lots of the state 🙂

Once we arrived at Elkins, we again realized the campground would not work for us.  It was across a narrow bridge and railroad tracks and I lost cell as soon as we started to go down it.  Thankfully we were able to back up and we headed back up the road to a place we had passed on the way.  Smokey Bottom Campground wasn’t listed on any of the sites, but it was terrific. The owner was very nice and only charged us $32 a night.  There was lots of area to walk Jack and we had really nice neighbors Don and Dottie and Jack was able to play with their dogs.

 

 

 

 

 

Behind us

 

View from my side window.

 

This was by far my favorite place we stayed in during our time in West Virginia with the single exception of an escape by Jack.  I got too comfortable letting him off leash and one day he ran up a steep hill behind our place to railroad tracks.  I had to climb the hill (Don was kind enough to go with me) and finally I reached him at the top.  Going down was even more brutal and I was very unhappy with Jack for a couple of days.

Our next place to stay was in Maryland, but once again we had a nasty surprise.  Lee had called twice to verify our reservation, but when we were one hour out we learned the owner had given our spot away. Thankfully again it was a Sunday, but there was nowhere close to stay and ultimately we had to go back to West Virginia and stay at Falling Waters Campsite.  Don’t get me wrong I was super grateful to find a place for $40 a night with weekend availability, but I really wanted to be in Maryland.  Plus trying to find a campground last minute (no lie I found the place about 3 miles before we had to exit the freeway) is super stressful. 

We spent precious little time in Maryland before going back to West Virginia.  We did NOT enjoy our visit.

 

The campground has a fantastic RV parts store

 

The spaces are tight though.

 

View outside my window.

 

Actually this whole “winging it” has been way too stressful for us.  We have had to change campgrounds three times for various reasons and the cost has been on the high side.  Not planning costs something in the east and after this last adventure we decided to lock our calendar in.  We are now booked through the beginning of January and although this gives us less flexibility than we would like it does give us more peace of mind.  

I am sure some of you are thinking “I travel like this all the time and don’t have issue” and that may be true.  But with the absolute need for strong cell coverage and desire to visit as many places as possible we need more rigor around our schedule. In a nutshell, our lives just don’t lend themselves to not planning ahead!

Next up we are headed down to a campsite Lee found in Maryland where we get to spend two whole weeks and do a good amount of sightseeing around Washington DC! Lots more to come. 

 

Jack is becoming a veteran traveler. He is too cool for school.

 

 


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8 thoughts on “Trying a New Way to Travel – Part II

  1. I think planning ahead only makes sense when work schedules and cell connectivity is a key consideration in maintaining your life on the road. I have never been able to just “wing it”, just not in my nature and too nerve wrecking.
    Having a plan a few months out doesn’t mean you can’t change it with short notice, but having a plan that can be changed as needed is much easier for me than trying to make plans one to two weeks out, especially as we get into the winter months and all the snowbirds plus full timers head south. Having a plan is well worth the peace of mind!!

  2. I’ve never liked last minute planning – way to stressful for me. That’s why we do Walmart’s, etc. for quick overnights – don’t like dealing with the drama of finding a campground last minute (not to mention the costs just to sleep). Glad you’ve found places but I agree knowing where you are going is much more relaxed.

  3. Interesting post, as were approaching our first “move”. First we have to relocate rig for a month due to CG shutting down for winter then it’s back to MORryde for our suspension upgrade then a 5 day relocate to Rockport Texas for the winter. We’re all booked in and route planned, Sounds like last minute planning is as stressful as I thought it would be. Experientially speaking it might be interesting, but I hope we don’t make a habit of it.

  4. I am the planner….we rarely go anywhere without knowing we have a site. East Coast is much different from other parts of the country, especially if you have a big rig. The campgrounds are older and tighter. It is only getting more difficult as more people are RVing since they can work from home. Homeschoolers and Homeworkers are hitting the road. Also east coast travel needs to be planned or you can find yourself in some tricky situations…tight roads, low bridge clearances, etc. Add to that the traffic on major highways near BIG cities. I always have a reservation and a route planned before we head out. It just makes life much easier:o))) You don’t want to come to Florida in the winter without a reservation…. promise it won’t turn out well!!!! Even with our new smaller rig….we still plan:o)) Safe Travels and Happy Trails…….

  5. We also found that WV was really difficult to find sites this fall. We must have been a week or so ahead of you on this route. We stayed at Cherry Hill RV Park and did the DC thing. Unfortunately protests cut our time in town short and we did not do a night tour of the monuments. Very sad. Hope your parks are better going forward! We almost stayed at the Fairgrounds. Good thing we didn’t, although we’re we stayed was not much better!

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