If you know where you are planning to go, most state's tourism departments have bicycle route recommendations and these would be better than regular road maps. Still, the AC maps are better than anything else. Money well spent.
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My Litespeed Blue Ridge came with 32 spoke (I think) wheels with Mavic Open rims. This limited me to 28mm tires. I had custom 36 spoke wheels made with wide Rhynolite Sunrims. I can now use 37mm tires.
I even got talc powder years ago from my Gran, to put inside the inner tube. Apparently stops air bleeding through the tube!!!
I certainly wouldn't be opposed to touring on carbon, but I think I'll wait until someone actually makes a touring bike in carbon...