3.5 weeks, Southern States HELP

Jul 5th, 2019, 03:05 PM
  #21  
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Vttraveler, awesome exactly what I needed. I'm a bit of a history buff when it comes to Civil Rights and if I'm honest the Civil War too, so lots of research to do.
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Jul 5th, 2019, 03:10 PM
  #22  
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sf7307, that would be amazing, where are you traveling?

Still to work out route but in and out of Dallas. Wanting to visit:

Memphis, Tupelo, Nashville, New Orleans and San Antonio as a rough plan. Maybe we will go further East, time and weather permitting. We wont book anything in advance so we can come and go as we please. We do tend to cover a lot of ground but like to be flexible.
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Jul 6th, 2019, 02:26 AM
  #23  
 
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For civil rights do not miss Montgomery Alabama and the Southern Poverty Law Center's monument designed by Maya Lin. I consider it to be one of the most moving and effective monuments ever made.
I'll also mention that many cities in the US do not have really good public transit (bus/train) to rely on.
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Jul 6th, 2019, 04:00 AM
  #24  
 
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The historic Natchez Trace Parkway runs from Tupelo to Nashville so you could consider taking that. There is a page on the Park Service website about limits on RVs. I am not sure what it would be like in the winter --we were on a section farther south in April and things on the actual Trace were not open. I know there is a big Visitor Center near Tupelo and a complex of Indian burial mounds not far from Tupelo.
There is a lot of information about the communities along the Trace on the National Park service website and natcheztracetravel.com.

When you are going from Nashville to New Orleans you could consider a route taking you down the Mississippi River through Vicksburg (major Civil War battlefield) and Natchez (a major cotton port, lots of plantations) and Vicksburg (major Civil War battlefield)
The area west of NO has a fascinating cultural history and good music (Cajun)
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Jul 6th, 2019, 02:25 PM
  #25  
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Such great advice, thank you. We have mapped out the Natchez Trace Parkway, so thanks for the extra tips. And now researching more on Montgomery.
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Jul 6th, 2019, 10:23 PM
  #26  
 
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Well if you've taken an RV to all of the states on that map, so be it!

If you haven't worked it out already, there are a couple of major chains of RV parks in the US. One is Thousand Trails and the other is KOA (Kampgrounds of America). My in-laws were full-timers for several years. They did make it to the part of the country where you are traveling.

And the only time Thousand Trails let them down were the old directions at the TT Natchez Trace Campground. The old directions said something like "don't drive down the center of the road, stay to the side." Well, they did and the bridge they went under peeled the top of the trailer right off. Apparently they were supposed to drive in the ditch next to the road. As you can imagine, it was a pretty big deal, they had to go to Houston to get it repaired.

It appears that campground now has much more thorough instructions now. But I thought I'd warn you since you specifically mentioned Natchez Trace, to read those instructions very carefully.




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Jul 7th, 2019, 04:42 AM
  #27  
 
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You probably know that you have to be very careful of clearance when going under bridges with an RV. My husband and I rented a camper van for a trip in NV and CA last year. At one point we were directed to go on a route that went under a one-way railroad bridge. I double checked the clearance amount against the information in our manual, then looked up and said to my husband that I didn't think the RV in front of us had enough room. It didn't.

On our road trip in April we visited Birmingham and Montgomery Alabama with an emphasis on seeing civil rights sights. The places we saw in Montgomery were:
-The Rosa Parks Library and Museum. It tells the story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott of the 1950s. The Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church where MLK preached is nearby but we didn't do the tour there..
-The Civil Rights Memorial and Center is just down the street from the Dexter Avenue Church. It concentrates on the stories of people killed during the Civil Rights movement. As noted in another post there is a small very moving memorial designed by Maya Lin (best known for designing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in DC)
-The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration and the Memorial for Peace and Justice opened in 2018 and are very powerful reminders of the story of racial inequality in our country.
https://museumandmemorial.eji.org/
-The Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail. We drove this and visited one of the interpretive centers on that trail. It follows the route of a march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965. If you decide to go there I'd recommend watching the movie Selma.

Montgomery also has other tourist sites including the state capital, the capital of the confederacy museum and the Hank Williams Museum
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Jul 7th, 2019, 05:22 AM
  #28  
 
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Yeah, we’re headed to New England next - no covered bridges this trip!

Aussie, I’ll send you the info I promised this week, but we weren’t in many of the same places. I do have general parking observations though, since we lost our tow vehicle way back due to a blown transmission.
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Jul 7th, 2019, 04:03 PM
  #29  
 
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Originally Posted by Vttraveler View Post
You probably know that you have to be very careful of clearance when going under bridges with an RV. My husband and I rented a camper van for a trip in NV and CA last year. At one point we were directed to go on a route that went under a one-way railroad bridge. I double checked the clearance amount against the information in our manual, then looked up and said to my husband that I didn't think the RV in front of us had enough room. It didn't.
Good for you to realize that! I don't believe there was a height listed in the old directions. But I am a little surprised that my in-laws didn't call and ask for clarification before they made the trip.
Did you have one of the camper vans that folds up short? Those are kind of cool, especially the ones that have a kitchen still.

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Jul 7th, 2019, 04:28 PM
  #30  
 
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If you are looking for low/no cost areas to camp, my sister did a cross country trip and found that many Wallmarts and Cracker Barrels let folks park for free if they asked, and the campers were assigned an area away from the hustle. National Forrest and BLM land has places too. The other place is at most casinos, which often have a designated area for campers.

The Vicksburg Civil War siege/battlefield site is very interesting.
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Jul 8th, 2019, 03:58 PM
  #31  
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sf7307 that would be great, thank you.

Vttravler great info, thank you.

5alive, wow how awful.

emalloy, more great info thanks. Loved staying in national parks etc. in Canada and some parts of the US previously, so will look into that. Good to do every other night or so.......I do like to have power though, so we tend to look at that first.
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Jul 10th, 2019, 04:45 AM
  #32  
 
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<< Did you have one of the camper vans that folds up short? >>
We rented a van out of LA from a company called Escape Vans. We had one of the Maverick vans shown here
https://www.escapecampervans.com/campervans/

The rental last year was a trial to see whether we should pursue the idea of buying a van. We now have converted a Honda Odyssey van which is smaller than the Maverick was and drives much better. Still working on all the equipment. So far we've managed to avoid staying at Walmart parking lots which would not be my idea of a good camping experience. We did enjoy camping on NAtional Forest and Bureau of Land Management land.
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Jul 10th, 2019, 08:10 AM
  #33  
 
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Originally Posted by Vttraveler View Post
<< Did you have one of the camper vans that folds up short? >>
We rented a van out of LA from a company called Escape Vans. We had one of the Maverick vans shown here
https://www.escapecampervans.com/campervans/

The rental last year was a trial to see whether we should pursue the idea of buying a van. We now have converted a Honda Odyssey van which is smaller than the Maverick was and drives much better. Still working on all the equipment. So far we've managed to avoid staying at Walmart parking lots which would not be my idea of a good camping experience. We did enjoy camping on NAtional Forest and Bureau of Land Management land.
That sounds intriguing. I still have a minivan. ​​​​​​ What did you do to modify your Honda Odyssey? Is there a company you used? And where did you get a bed?
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Jul 11th, 2019, 04:47 AM
  #34  
 
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Re the van conversion: we (mostly my husband) did this ourselves. We bought a used van from a model year where it was easy to take out the rear rows of seats. My husband built a platform for the bed. We are both short (5'1 and 5'8) so it is big enough for us but would probably not be comfortable for much taller/bigger people. One really helpful feature of the Odyssey is that it has two rear doors so each of us can get in and out easily. We also take a small tent along but we haven't been pitching that.
There are companies that specialize in van conversions. We also looked at some DIY books, mostly by people who are living in vans most or all of the year. That is something I could not do!

aussiedreamer--sorry to hijack the thread.
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Jul 13th, 2019, 09:11 AM
  #35  
 
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Originally Posted by Vttraveler View Post
aussiedreamer--sorry to hijack the thread.
My apologies as well! I hope your trip planning continues to come together.
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Jul 15th, 2019, 05:21 PM
  #36  
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No apologies needed

Quick question, we collect the RV at around 1pm and will head towards Memphis first, any suggestions on a one night stop on the way? The RV depot is out by the airport.
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Jul 16th, 2019, 03:04 AM
  #37  
 
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Look on booking.com. after you are on the road and have an estimate of where you might be when you want to stop. You will have to spend some time with the rental agency getting a tutorial, I imagine.
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