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  1. #1

    Default Advice needed for a massive trip

    My boyfriend and I are in the very early begining stages of planning a massive road trip to begin in April 2007 with no specified end date...

    We are starting in Chicago and right now thinking about heading out toward San Diego first. We plan on using old route 66 as a guide for most of the way after that maybe heading up the west coast to B.C. and then over to Maine and then dow the east coast to the FL keys... very long...

    Since this is the longest Road trip either one of us has ever been on I have some pretty novice questions to ask...

    1. What are the laws regarding sleeping in your vehicle at rest stops and stuff? We're hoping to have a conversion van with us on this trip and will probably not be spending every night in a motel.

    2. What are some things we may not be thinking about that will be important on the road?

    3. Has anyone out there attempted something this big? any tips of advice we can get would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Crystal

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default For starters

    Welcome to the RTA Forum! I have to agree, massive is the right word to describe a trip of this magnitude. That however, is a good thing!

    1. What are the laws regarding sleeping in your vehicle at rest stops and stuff? We're hoping to have a conversion van with us on this trip and will probably not be spending every night in a motel.
    Rest Areas usually are not a great place to sleep. In many places it is illegal, and even if its not forbidden by law, its not a very safe option.

    Better cheap and low cost choices include truck stops, which are well lit and patroled regularly. Public campground usually aren't free, but they often are cheap. In both of those cases, showers and other restroom facilities are also available which can be nice. Some Wal-Marts will also allow overnight parking, but you should always check with store managment before spending the night in any private lot.

    2. What are some things we may not be thinking about that will be important on the road?
    One of the bigger things people tend to underestimate is the cost of travel. I don't know what you are thinking in this aspect, but make sure you not only have enough money to get where you are going, but also to have some money available for unexpected costs.

    3. Has anyone out there attempted something this big? any tips of advice we can get would be very much appreciated.
    There are many others who spend their entire life living on the road. I'd say your best bet for general advice is just to dig around on the forum. I think you'll find lots of tips and ideas to help you get started!

    Good Luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default Welcome

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    You may be surprised, but many of us on here, while considering this a "big" trip, wouldn't blink given the opportunity. In fact, there have been many posts on here where the poster has taken at least as long of a trip. So, you are not alone in this endeavor!

    Now, one thing you're going to want to do from the get-go is take a look at our planning pages. In there, you'll find our Route 66 page, and the all important Roadtrip Compatibility Quiz.

    As far as sleeping in the vehicle in rest areas, in many places it is not allowed; in others, I have seen a "sign up" sheet (Interstate rest area in the information building), though it's not common. A financially reasonable alternative would be to set up at a campground.

    I think one of the best things you can do at this point is determine what it is, exactly, that you'd like to see. That way, we can help steer you (no pun intended) towards what interests you in the areas you will be staying.

  4. #4

    Default Thanks!

    We're really excited about this trip and I think just knowing that there are others out there to ask the occasional question of is a huge weight off.

    I'll check out the recommended pages and look into campgrounds... That's excellent advice! Thank you.

    As far as what we'd like to see I think we're interested in off the beaten track locations beautiful country we might not otherwise see... we want to keep the trip fairly spontaneous... so anything worth seeing is where we want to go... I'm figuring about 6 months (or longer) for this trip so we're really not interested in not rushing things...

    Thanks again for the advice... I'm sure I'll be around the forums a lot infor the next few weeks! :)

  5. Default

    I know that overnight parking in parks here(BC), is prohibited and this also includes rest stops.

    if you are comming up from washington state i would suggest that you either, drive up the coast to port angeles and cross to victoria on the Coho(vancouver island has lots of nice scenery, fantastic upisland round port hardy) if you are going to drive, take the pacific truck crossing or sumas or aldergrove.

    I-5 drops you at peace arch, but you will wanna try and avoid peace arch and hwy 99. if you come up, at sumas then your in abbotsford, which you can head west on the trans canada hwy(number1) west takes you to vancouver and east it runs thought almost all the major canadian cities.

  6. #6

    Default Big Trip - How Long?

    Hi Crystal,

    Sounds like you've started the planning process - I'm not sure how much travel of this magnitude you've done before, but I would suggest that it wouldn't hurt to start out with a few shorter trips to start. Say a few weeks of undetermined mileage.

    Doing so will let you figure out your own comfort level for daily mileage. And you'll also get an idea of what the costs for travel on the road might be.

    My wife and I, (and 2 boys), have spent about 3-4 weeks each summer for the past 8 years crossing the country, and Canada in an RV. We've just finished 49 states and much of Canada.

    Trying to see it all is a great goal, but if you try to do it on too short or rigid a schedule it will start to seem like WORK, or worse.

    Regarding your questions - we've slept in SuperCenter Walmarts, and Flying J gas stations in our motorhome without charge or concern. One night in a rest stop, but I wouldn't recommend it.

    Final advice is to try to plan an overall trip without too many reservations, and give yourself the freedom to go with the flow as new opportunities present themselves, and move on if it starts to rain too much.

    Safe travels,

    Herb
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 12-08-2006 at 09:41 PM. Reason: clarification

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Tel Aviv, Israel
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CrystalLaurey View Post
    3. Has anyone out there attempted something this big?
    Not yet, but my husband and I are actually planning a bigger one around the same time, beginning in Route66, too

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