Remember that when you leave this Earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received, only what you have given, a full heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage. -St. Francis of Assisi

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Planning a Route Back to Illinois

I'm planning the route from the RV dealer to my home.

I am picking up the RV in Seffner, FL (near Tampa). If everything is ready for me on time when I get there, I should have 6 days to get home. I can take my time and not have to drive 8 hours a day.

I want to stop at some beaches. I will not take the default route through Georgia and Tennessee that the map programs suggest.

I ordered a copy of Microsoft Streets & Trips with the GPS locator from Amazon, I have to get it installed on my Netbook before Tuesday. I also have to stop at Sprint and get one of those Wi-Fi devices so I can have access to the internet all of the time.

I'll go through the panhandle of FL and through the southern end of AL and MS. Does anyone know what the Mobile (Alabama) Tunnel is?  I probably need to make sure I can drive an RV through there. 

Then head north through MS, and keep going north...
This route is 295 miles longer than the other way. Of course, all of this is subject to change......... depending on time and weather.

I thought I would stop in these cities and probably some others:
Port Richey, FL
Panama City Beach, FL
Ocean Springs, MS
Bay St. Louis, MS
Tupelo, MS
not to sure which way to head after this, have to study my maps.

I have the Escapees 2011 Travel Guide. It lists discounted RV Parks, I don't think I'll be boondocking on this trip.

Any suggestions for things to see or places to stop overnite along this route?


  1. Once you get going, we have a membership in the two leading 50% off clubs,Passport America, and Campclub USA. They both have hundreds of campgrounds listed and Passport American even had some State Parks, one of which we stayed at in Delaware Ohio, Alum State Park,our both memberships paid for themselves the first time we used them they run about $30US a year for each so you might look into to them. Have a safe trip and Good luck. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

  2. Hi Teri,

    Everyone has different thoughts and ideas, but in general, Ellie and I try and stay in the Federal parks. That is, we much prefer Corps of Engineers parks, National Parks, National Forests parks, TVA, that sort of thing. You can use Streets and Trips to find them along your route. We use Streets and Trips heavily, but combined with a COE book and National Parks book available from Camping World (that and of course the internet - I don’t know your age, but one of the obvious benefits of the Federal parks is using “America The Beautiful - Access Pass” for what is generally a 50% discount. For example, you mentioned “Panama City Beach”. Right up the road in the Pensacola area is the National Seashore (, you might give this some consideration. Hope this is helpful/useful to you.

    If we can help you further, please feel free to send an e-mail.


  3. I have been through Mobile on I-10, and don't recall any tunnel. It should be a straight shot to Ocean Springs. Ocean Springs is just a few miles from the refuge I'm on. You could stop here overnight for free, or stay at the National Seashore. :)

  4. There is a tunnel on I-10 through Mobile, but should be no problem with your RV. We've pulled the 40ft long, 12.5 ft tall 5th wheel through there several times. Traffic tends to back up at the entrance as there's a turn and you need to slow down for the tunnel, but it's not a problem otherwise.

    I highly recommend the Destin, FL area. BEAUTIFUL BEACHES!! We generally stay at the Air Force base camps in that area, but that's probably not an option for you.

    We recently joined Passport America even though we're not fulltime yet. I we paid $40 for the year and broke even after our first 2 night stay. We just stayed 2 nights in another PA park and now we're ahead $32.

  5. On my post comments you mentioned you had just given your blog address to your family. If yours is like many other's you may find they don't check in or leave comments as often as the blogging community does.

    Good luck on your purchase. If you haven't sealed the deal, are you prepared to walk away if it isn't what you want?

    Be strong, be smart, be safe.

  6. Being a westerner I can't offer any advice about your route. Just wanted to wish you luck and say safe travels to you. You sound very excited and I hope everything goes well for you.


Hi, I welcome your thoughts and comments.

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