Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Thursday, February 18, 2010

AAA Maps

The package from AAA arrived today. I think they must be trying to save money, because for a 3000+ trip they sent the triptik accompanied by the Southeastern and Southwestern maps. It used to be you got a map of the US, the regional maps, and all state maps for the area covered by the triptik. Another matter of lesser quality is the triptik itself. Remember the long narrow pages, bound at the top? They were easier to read and easier to follow, and could tell you at a glance how far you traveled on that particular page as well as how far you had to go.

Now the maps are printed on paper approx. 5 x 8 and bound on the side. The individual pages aren't as easy to glance at when you are driving (with no navigator) as the actual area of the map itself measures less than 4" x 4". I could have printed these out just as well on my home printer, but I was thinking of the old style, bound triptik that I've known and loved for years. Is there any other reason to be a member of AAA if it isn't the maps and triptiks? I am really disappointed in the direction they are taking with this. For those of you who prefer to print your own maps in the first place, I say go for it! I don't want a bunch of 8 x 10 sheets that are difficult to handle while driving, or stopping at a rest area, for example. Lest I get comments chiding me for looking at maps whle driving, I will say that the old triptiks were so visually perfect it just took a quick glance and you could see what you needed to see. And I always look ahead before starting out in the morning, when stopped at a rest area or a fuel stop.

Sometimes if I'm traveling a route I've never been on before, I will print short concise directions in large print with a black marker. That way I can set it beside me on the console and see at a glance what I have to do. This is especially helpful when going through an unfamiliar city with converging interstates.

My decision to quit fulltiming does NOT mean that I am going to quit RVing. I'll still be out on the road again, probably as often as I am now, only with a smaller and more manageable rig plus the comforts of having a home base. I won't have to carry everything I own with me at all times. Actually, carrying it all with me hasn't posed a problem for me so far because of the size of my 5th wheel and the fact that any storage is all mine.

For some reason I am still not at all looking forward to my upcoming trip west - the travel part of it, I mean. I think it must be the first time in my life I haven't been eagerly anticipating a trip. I still can't figure out why, and maybe I never will, but I just hope it goes well. Looking at the route I wonder if I will stick with it, as there are certainly a lot of off-interstate highways. Those are usually my favorite kind, except when towing a 34' 5th wheel. I have a week to mull this over
and I will probably make up my mind within 10 miles of pulling out of Cockspur Island!


  1. Gypsy: I had commented a couple of weeks ago that we hoped to see Ft P while you were still there. However, with the weather as it is, we are hesitant to leave FL next week. So...I'll continue to read your blog and perhaps we'll meet some day. Have a safe journey to CA and take your time. As a side comment, good thoughts to you about your long term changes. My husband and I full-for 5 years, the last two of which he battled a still on-going virus which has affected his balance system (inner-ear nerves were affected). While we love the RV life-style, we bought a condo this summer near our daughter and grandkids (near Indy) and we are happy to have the benefits of having a sticks and bricks which is easy to leave as well as our NuWa to use for several months. I really admire your spunk--I could never do the RV thing full-time alone. All will work out for you, I'm sure. See you someday down the road. Dione from the NuWA forum

  2. We finally heard from the dealer and we SHOULD be going to the dealer on Tues or Wed morning. We're going to miss you this time around, but we'll meet up when we're on the road. Good luck and hope you can post your travels on the way back to Calif. We read your blog daily.

  3. Hi Gypsy, Glad your AAA package arrived finally. Too bad they had to change the Triptik format. We haven't gotten one in a long while, but I agree with you, they used to be so easy to utilitze. Sounds like you have it down to a science in getting some of your directions down with the black marker, easy to read. You're a smart cookie!

    I'm glad to learn that you are not going to give up the RV life. Just doing the lifestyle modification will serve you well.

    Hope your weekend ahead goes well!

  4. I have had certain Rvs that I dreaded taking on a trip. I don't know why, they just didn't fit me right.
    I know that is why I sold the last little Mirage MH. I thought that I would be able to put an extra window behind the passenger window. I couldn't, due to the curves on the MH.
    I like to see what is coming down the feeder when I'm coming off a freeway. Or look out that window when stopped at an intersection. I felt like I was driving in a box with just the front windows!
    I didn't like driving any of my Class A's either, too much width between the mirrors.
    I just feel comfy with the narrower van front of a B, B+ or C. If the mirrors go through, you have it made! But it still must have a window behind the passenger window.
    I hope that once you get on the road, it will all be Happy Trails, Penny, TX

  5. I used to like those old triptiks too Gypsy, but now I'm a solid GPS convert. I only look at maps now on my computer when I'm planning a trip.

  6. Is there anyone that you could take with you as a navigator? Will your granddaughter be finished school in time to go with you?

    I'm sorry you've decided to give up fulltiming but I can only imagine how difficult it is for you on your own. It's certainly not something I could do with a truck and 5er!

  7. I have been reading your blog concerning the use of the triptiks and I cannot but help wondering why you do not use a GPS, which would seem to be a good solution. I also would recommend a inexpensive map planning program like Streets and Maps by Microsoft that allows you to pre-plan the way you would like to travel.

    I use both as we travel. The map program to determine the route and the GPS to track that route as I travel. We have gotten to the point that we always use the GPS. It is not perfect but better than any other method I know of.

  8. Triple AAA has probably adopted the 'greed creed' like most other companies. 'Minimum amout of product for maximum amount of money. When I traveled alone I always wrote notes about turns, roads, etc & clipped them on the dash for easy reading. Luckily Kelly has caught on to reading maps plus we use the GPS for going through large cities but give me a map anyday for planning a route!!

  9. Sounds like someone is ready to downsize. I'm thinking a camper if you're keeping your truck?

    Excited might come once you hit the road...