07.29.16 Challenges of RVing in the Northeastern United States

CTDEMEMDMANHNJNYRIVTxlgSaturday, July 16, 2016 – We’ve experienced challenges RVing in the Northeastern part of the United States that we haven’t experienced anywhere else. Don’t let this stop you from traveling up here because what you see and experience far outweighs the challenges, just be prepared for it. We were not!

If we were quite wealthy we could probably avoid some of these issues because we could choose to stay at the one that has it all regardless of the cost.

We have some criteria I use when finding a place to stay: Do they have space for Dora’s length? Do they have 50 amp, water, sewage or any combination of those. Are they along the way or are they way out of our traveling path? Is there a Coast to Coast resort in the area? How much do we have to pay if we’re not staying in a free Coast to Coast resort.

The issue with length is a problem with a lot of Boondockers Welcome, National Parks and State Parks RV spaces which cannot handle a 39 foot RV. Most regular RV parks can but others (like those I just named) cannot. We haven’t found traveling anywhere on the roads and highways up here to be a problem with Dora’s size, but finding a place to stay has been difficult because of this.

In our normal traveling life throughout the South, Central, West and North Westany the RV parks we stay at provide us with water, electricity and sewage hookups. This is considered a Full Hook Up to RVers. In the Northeast we’ve become use to not having at least one (sometimes two) of these at every park.

At some parks in the rest of the country, we have to pay $2 to 5 dollars a day to get 50 amps and we always gladly do that. Up here, either they only have 30 amp (which is a huge difference from 50 amp) or they have no sewage hookup. All have had water but not having a way to get rid of the water (dishwashing, bathing, clothes washing water which collect in the gray tank or the “stuff” that goes down the toilet into the black tank), life is difficult.

Not having 50 amp, like I said, is a huge difference from having only 30 amps when you have a large RV like Dora is. We have two air conditioners, a full size refrigerator, a microwave/convection oven, washer and dryer, hot water heater and television with a speaker system. To run all that at the same time you need 50 amps. Smaller RVs have only one air conditioner (which is all 30 amp can handle), no washer/dryer, smaller refrigerators, smaller powered or no microwave/convection oven, and no speaker system to drain the power.

MV5BMTQ1NDY0MDgxOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDU4OTU2MjE@._V1_UY268_CR87,0,182,268_AL_When we only have 30 amps we can only run one air conditioner. We also can only run one of the following: hot water heater, or microwave, washer/dryer at a time. Life becomes a little like “Green Acres” when they only had so much to use and had to alternate between appliances. This does not make for a relaxing, good quality life which we love to have! It’s become our norm lately to just have to accept being without.

We have an adapter that lets us plug into two side by side 30 amps to get 60 amps allowing us to run everything. To be able to do that you have to have no one parked next to you which has only happened once since we’ve been up here.

This is a Honey Wagon

The issue with the sewage seems to be handled by the parks without sewage hookups, by a “honey wagon” which is just a large tank driven from RV to RV on specific days of the week after you’ve signed up and paid for it. I just think this is terribly crude. One park I asked about it when it kept happening that there was no sewage hook up offered, said that their RV park is built on granite and that they’d have to blow up the ground to install the sewage connections. I haven’t asked others but we haven’t had a sewage hook up for weeks since we started traveling throughout the upper northeastern states. Even with them sucking it all out, we’ve been faced with our tanks being 100 percent full of grey water before the sucking day arrives. We’ve had to ration water so that we don’t fill up before our time. The disgusting thing is that when your grey tank starts to overflow it doesn’t do it outside, it does it in the shower coming up through the hole in the shower floor.

The issue with Coast to Coast up here has been a severe lack of parks. Three of the northeastern states have zero Coast to Coast parks in their states. Two others only had 1 or 2 and not in a ctc-master-logogood location for us. One of our options is to stay in a Good Neighbor Park using trip points through Coast to Coast. Normally parks in the rest of the country ask for 1500 trip points per day. In the upper north east they want between 3000 and 4000 per night. Because of these limitations up here we’ve paid more for RV stays this last two months than we normally do in a full year or more. We really work at creating a traveling path that cost us the very least in diesel for travel and in which park we stay in for cost.

passport america indexPassport America up in the northeast does not allow you to stay at their park normally for more than a day or two at a time, and a lot don’t take PA during the summer months. I did find two places that let us stay there for five days and that was after searching through dozens of RV park listings in Passport America. At those two parks we paid almost twice the normal daily rate we are used to at other Passport America parks.

The hills, mountains and valleys are beautiful up here but a good number of the parks have very unlevel parking spaces which cause us to have to use blocks and even one time our back tires were up off the ground. At the one park we were still leaning which causes some disorientation when walking through Dora.

Lastly reservations need to be made up here at least a month in advance to be assured of a spot. That is not the cast in the rest of the country. As long as we made reservations three days in advance we’ve always been able to get a spot.

This will continue until we return to the South which makes for a little darkness over the otherwise amazing places we’ve been blessed to visit. Roy has jumped in and is helping me now with the planning for our travels. It gets so complicated sometimes that I just can’t do it and he even gets quite frustrated with it.

We’ve honestly wished we had unlimited funds to be able to not concern ourselves with this but then we know we are “quite” blessed to be able to do this at all.

I don’t like to complain about things so I hope you find this a little unusual for me. My main reason for sharing this is to prepare other RVers for what to expect in this area.

I’m happy to say we have reservations most everywhere along our path until mid September except for a week or two around Virginia Beach near the end of August.

That’s it for our issues up here in the northeast! Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!!



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07.04.13 Happy Independence Day!


A friend of mine, Erin Bendily, posted the complete lyrics of the Star Spangled Banner today.  It is such a beautiful, meaningful song and I thought ya’ll might enjoy reading it as it reminded me of how precious our country is.   With the direction our country is going in, it can’t hurt to be reminded of the joy and wonder that was felt when freedom was still new.

Happy Independence Day everyone!

Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.

Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

watermelon baby

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!