(C)  2002-2014  J. Watson       All rights reserved  

WEBSITES FOR RVers (and other travelers)

To us the logical sequence of planning a tour is to first have a prime destination, Americana;
then add want'a sees
Along the way; next do the
tweaking that refines the plans to the reality of time and personal preferences;
plus the
Miscellaneous things that you may consider at the planning stage

Please visit again to see new entries.  We're always adding new ones
Sites are selected based on personal opinion and we receive no income from any site
No reciprocal arrangements have been made though we welcome listing by other sites
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Travel Letters
Click any underlined link
Americana - Places of special interests that you consider high prioritiy
Along the way - Refining the route to include other places that you want'a see  
Tweaking - weather, traffic, & related
Miscellaneous - RV sites, travel & RV blogs
Trip planning...   We believe these sites can help RV travelers plan their trips.  It is only after we
decide what we want to see as tourists that we consider our route.  After a route is developed
lodging, dining, recreation, and entertainment fall into place.  

I've played with numerous map sites and continue to rely on the old printed maps which enable us to
notice nearby places we had not been aware of.  We sometimes use
Streets and Trips and seldom
use the GPS feature.  For this reason you won't see map sites listed unless there are other
interesting features.  

Americana  What makes America so marvelous?  
    ...It's the natural beauty  -- the magnificence of its mountains, lakes, oceans, deserts.  
    ...It's the effects of civilization -- the history, workplace, cities.  
    ...It's the excitement of the people who make it work!  
    These sites mention places that pull it all together.  Some are the bread and butter of the
    tourists -- others are the quirks that make it unique.  You won't see it all -- just a slice.

    National Heritage sites
    National Historic Landmarks
    National Parks, monuments, battlefields, etc.
    National Register Listings
    Travel Itineraries
    ... all this in addition to in-depth information of the history and characteristics of
    many places that are significant.  Hundreds of interesting places are presented.
    Campers and RVers will be interested in camping information.

    The story of our presidents is a vital part of the American Heritage.  Travelers
    can visit many locations -- homes, museums, libraries, etc.  Travelers should refer to
    each of these sites, plus others, as each has locations that are not in the other.
    National Park Service has extensive information of the biographies as well as
    locations of importance.  Adding to this is ..
    Presidential Museums a non-government site.  Maps help history buffs locate
    places relating to our presidents.  

    Recreation  This US government site describes facilities operated by agencies that
    provide diverse recreational opportunities from camping to climbing to off highway
    vehicles to wild life viewing and  more.  Represents US Army Corps of Engineers, USDA
    Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, and others.  

    The "old west" and the development of the country can be traced at a
    number of locations.  
    National Park Sites:  The following National Park Service sites provide historic
    perspective, outline auto-routes to trace the routes (though in many cases the
    routes have been obscured by "civilization").  
    Other, non National Park Service:  Definitely worth a look...
    Historic Route 66   Good detail on this historic road that was America's
    first cross country route.
    Ghost Towns  (Click on the top bar to access locations by state or
    province)  Good info on sites including the GPS coordinates, history, type
    of road access, photos of remains.
    Route 66 & ghost towns  Another comprehensive rundown of bygone
    Legends of America  Mentions many places of historic interest

    State Parks  This site has links to the state parks in each of the fifty states.

    Civil War  The sesquicentennial of the Civil War is underway.  These sites cover
    details of the war as well as scheduled events commemorating this 150th anniversary.
    NPS.gov/civilwar   The sidebar to the left of the screen has links to over
    seventy locations  that relate to the war.  
    civilwartraveler.com  A detailed, but well organized for purposes of planning a
    trip to the battlefields, museums and events.  

    aaa.com     I generally prefer old fashioned printed maps -- but this runs a close
    second.  The AAA TripTik Travel Planner®  is a map program with provision to locate
    attractions as well as services.  Importantly, there are brief descriptions of many
    attractions.  This material seems as comprehensive as the printed material.  Maps also
    show location of accommodations, gasoline stations with prices.  I appreciate the ability
    to modify the route by dragging a dot without the map becoming cluttered with markers
    indicating the changes.  This is an excellent overview of cities as well as the
    intermediate points of interest.  Cities have such diverse activities that an overview is
    welcome.  Importantly, has links to road conditions and suggested trips.

    Fodors.com   Descriptions of many places, including cities, can give helpful
    information.  This site is definitely worth checking.  

Along the way.  With a plan shaping up, you may pick up a nugget that you may wish to add to
    your "wish list".  Those that can't be squeezed into this trip might be added to next
    year's trip.  (We like to say that these left-overs give us a reason to return.)

    Lighthouses  What's more nautical and less apt to make you seasick than a lighthouse?  
    Here's the place to learn where lighthouses are situated and whether they're open for tours.

    Factory tours USA  Have you wondered how it is made?  Over 500 factory locations are
    listed.  Now you are invited to visit motion picture studios, furniture factories, autos, more...

    Road trip America   A diverse site catering to travelers, some short trips - some extended.  
    Covers planning and reports of trips by auto and RV.  At least worth checking out.

    roadtripusa  This site takes the user off the interstate highways to favor the two lane roads
    that cross America.  It is comprehensive and well researched.  We were particularly interested
    in the detail of sections on "Route 66" and "Oregon Trail" (just click on the left sidebar for
    details).  It is a commercially oriented site, to sell their book, but this does not detract from its
    usefulness as a planning resource.  

    Roadside America   For tourists who want to visit the offbeat places as diverse as the
    George Washington Masonic National Memorial and Museum of Pez Memorabilia this is the
    place to check out.  

Tweaking the route.  Knowing what you want to see and having a pretty good idea of where    
you'll go, you now get to working up the route.  

    Google Earth, which you probably have installed on your computer can be invaluable as a
    planning aid if you are concerned about the roads, altitude, etc.  You are able to "fly" along
    your planned route and in some cases "drive" the route.  It even provides coordinates as well
    as route mapping .

    byways.org  Descriptions of the 150 official byways noted for archaeological, cultural,
    historic, natural, recreational, or scenic qualities.  Routes are clearly presented.  Worth a look.

    Traffic, Weather and related  Consulting these sites while planning your trip can help to
    avoid unpleasant surprises.  

    United States Naval Meteorology Portal   Once in a while it is nice to have
    information on the time for the rising or setting of the sun and moon or tide conditions.  
    Knowing the time of sunrise and sunset in advance lessens the chance of having to
    drive in the dark before reaching the destination.  It's remarkable how much sunset can
    differ in just a day's travel, especially in the northern part of the US and Canada.

    Weather Underground  This is one of our favorites for trip planning.  After entering a
    location enter a range of dates (show the dates you expect to be in the area for the
    past year -- not the current year).  This provides the high/ low temperatures - with a
    graphic display of day by day average and extremes for a year -- an excellent way to
    anticipate the weather for your visit, even if it's next year as you get a sense of daily

    Weather.com This site, in addition to weather forecasts, has a number of pages that
    assist the traveler.  For instance, maps of fall foliage as the fall color progresses from
    north to south, weather at National Parks, suggested scenic drives, pollen and other
    heath conditions related to the weather.

Miscellaneous   Sites of general interest to RVers focused on their special needs

    Government and other data sources.    

    Canadian Government Customs   This site describes what visitors (as well as
    Canadian residents) should expect as they cross the border into Canada,  required
    documents, rules and restrictions, etc.  Might as well get the straight scoop instead of
    hear-say that's out of date.  Keep in mind, this does not cover requirements of the US
    government for people who are re-entering the US from Canada.  

    US Government Customs   This site tells us everything (and more) that we need to
    know to enter the US.  It seems as though the regulations are always changing so
    here's the way to be sure you're up to date.

    Missouri Census Data Center   This is an easy to use site with US Census data that
    statistically profiles communities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.  I'm
    inclined to look at statistics more than most people, so I just had to mention this one,
    which is one of the easier to access.

    Of broad interest to RVers...  These sites have such diverse content that you should look
    at them to see what appeals to you.  There are so many good websites for RV travelers that
    we can only mention a few.  Many have thoroughly researched specific interest areas  so they
    should be reviewed to learn the depth of information available.

    www.rv.net   Sponsored by the Affinity Group.  Monitored forums have generated
    thousands of threads that can be followed on subjects as diverse as beginning RVing to
    full-timing as well as technical subjects, routing, campgrounds, pets, etc.  This is
    strengthened with articles on even more subjects.  

    www.rversonline.org   Totally non-commercial.  You'll get completely involved in the
    thousands of pages of useful information at this site.  There are a number of articles on
    solving problems plus valuable information on purchasing RV units, travelogues, links to
    manufacturers, etc.  We have enjoyed some of the places mentioned in Stephanie's
    folksy snapshots that tell of their activities -- where they've gone, what they've done.  
    We frequently check this site because of its usefulness.  

    cross-country-trips  Lolo's Extreme Cross Country RV Trips is the apt title of this blog
    that describes nine summer road trips.  This high energy family has taken   3½ week
    trips to 49 states, many National Parks -- and more.  They describe their trip planning,
    places visited, and more. They provide both a description and travelogue of the many
    places visited.  It appears to be rigorously researched.  We used the write-up of their
    Alaska trip in planning our own trip.

    RVparkreviews   The reviews by users of the site are sometimes informative and
    useful.  Because I have seen some highly misleading comments I prefer ratings by
    professionals using a standard rating system.  It's sort of like a GPS, usually right but
    sometimes off-target.  Astute campground operators monitor these reviews to attack
    problems mentioned.

    travellogs   This site is rich in details of many places visited by Mike and Joyce Hendrix
    since they retired in 2000.  It is presented in an interesting manner with photos of  trips
    they took in 2004 and later.  

    Wal-Mart  This non-Wal-Mart site shows locations of the stores and also notes whether
    or not RV overnight parking is permitted.  
    IMPORTANT:  Permission must be obtained at the store (customer service
    counter) to confirm that overnight parking is permitted, and if so the area where
    units should be parked.  These are private parking lots and RVers should not
    give the appearance of "camping", i.e. no levelers, no extended awnings, no slide-
    outs, no disconnected trailers,  no grills,  no chairs, etc.  Abuse of these common
    sense practices has led some communities to prohibit overnight parking.  

    interstate rest areas  This site lists the rest areas along the interstates.  At the
    present time some states are closing rest areas, so they are subject to change.

    RV dumps  Sewage dump stations are listed by state.  Of course a list of this type is
    subject to change.

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