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  1. #1

    Default Adventure Roadtrip

    Hi there, i'm gonna jump right in and give details of my trip... but basically, i'm just asking for people's opinions of the 'idea' and any further useful info that they can pass on

    here goes:
    I am hoping to drive (flying solo) around USA following the MX season. There are 13 events (12 rounds + world cup) dotted about the whole country. It starts in 19th May and finishes on the 23rd September. I'm flying over on 25th April and leaving on the 17th October (both LAX). So the trip will last just under 6 months.

    From -> To (amount of time) [approx. mileage]
    1. Sacramento, CA -> Mt Morris, PA (6 days) [2500]
    2. Mt Morris, PA -> Southwick, MA (13 days) [532]
    3. Soutwick, MA -> Newport, MD (6 days) [400]
    4. Newport, MD -> Buchanan, MI (13 days) [666]
    5. Buchanan, MI -> New Berlin, NY (13 days) [666]
    6. New Berlin, NY -> Lakewood, CO (6 days) [1733]
    7. Lakewood, CO -> Washougal, WA (6 days) [1250]
    8. Washougal, WA -> Millville, MN (13 days) [1800]
    9. Millville, MN -> Delmont, PA (13 days) [840]
    10. Delmont, PA -> Wortham, TX (6 days) [1330]
    11. Wortham, TX -> San Bernadino, CA (6 days) [1550]
    12. San Bernadino, CA -> Newport, MD (13 days) [2660]

    Route Points
    As you can see, there is a fair amount of driving involved, especially on parts 1,6,7,10,11,12. However i do believe i can do it, and my current job as a delivery driver is getting me prepared for spending large quantities of time behind the wheel.
    I also think there is plenty of room for me to visit sites, national parks etc during the trip.
    I also have approx 4 weeks before the trip, and 4 weeks after the trip in order to do any extra sightseeing, although this will mainly be concentrated around the west coast, california.

    My Preparation
    I have got both Streets & Maps, and Delorme for navigation, as well as a couple of USA road atlas's.
    I will be buying an RV for the trip so I don't need to spend any money on motels etc... but I am looking into cheap/free places to park (i'm thinking probably walmarts etc). I'm also thinking about sleeping during daytime so as to avoid problems with overnight stays.
    I'm also gonna try and change my sleep pattern to have lots of little sleeps rather than one big one to make driving a little easier, and avoid peak-times for travelling.
    I have friends dotted around USA that i will be meeting up with at different stages so that will get some creature comforts

    Food: $40 per week
    Drink: $60 per week *ahem* i like to drink
    Petrol/Gas: $5000, using delorme's calculator
    Tickets for the races: $1400
    got other bits and bobs budgeted for as well.

    Total predicted spending: $20,000 (inc 2nd hand RV)
    Total saved: $26,000

    Things to see
    I've been to America twice before, and did a 3 week tour of California (LA, SF, SD, LV), and also a 6 week tour of New York, Boston, Niagara, Chicago, Washington DC.
    That was using the Greyhound buses and Amtrak rail, and hostelling. So i've seen a number of the major cities.

    This time around I wanna see outdoors things. National parks, more out-of-the-way things, not stuff in the cities. Scenic routes are definitely something I wanna use as i'm gonna spending A LOT of time driving, at least it should be nice to look at.

    Zion, Bryce, Grand Canyon, Mt Rushmore are my definites as i've heard a lot about them. But i've seen a lot of other names mentioned, so i need to add places.

    Not too bothered about cities as I don't wanna be driving around them much, and i don't want hassle finding places to park.

    1. I need things to do in the NE/ East coast of USA
    2. Places to go, central USA
    3. Places in the NW, and also SW canada is a possibility
    4. Scenic routes near my intended routes
    5. Free places to park, that aren't car parks (links to maps maybe?)

    don't worry... i'm not being lazy, i will look around as well, its just you got the experience, and probably a wealth of extra links

    one last thing, i've setup a website to document, blog, video diary the whole trip including the MX races. feel free to have a look around, although its currently not finished, it will be by the time april kicks in.

    thanks in advance, i've probably missed off some information so just ask about anything.
    like i said at the beginning, anything that you can think of would be brilliant
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 02-21-2007 at 01:11 PM. Reason: Preferred URL format on this Forum

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Pretty well thought out

    Quote Originally Posted by dbulmer View Post
    Hi there, i'm gonna jump right in and give details of my trip...
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! You have spend a good deal of time and thought on this project -- so I will just add a couple of comments....
    I will be buying an RV for the trip so I don't need to spend any money on motels etc...
    How are you handling the insurance and registration issues and how much have you budgeted for this 2nd hand RV?
    but I am looking into cheap/free places to park (i'm thinking probably walmarts etc). I'm also thinking about sleeping during daytime so as to avoid problems with overnight stays.
    Over here, we call this boondocking and here is an article about rural boondocking -- one of our expert RV analysts is preparing one about urban boondocking which I think you will find useful. We will publish it in April. Here is another article about purchasing a used RV and this check list is one you ought to print and take with you when you are looking at use RVs!

    Food: $40 per week
    Alarm bells! I don't think you can make this stick. $100 per week is much more likely. Here are some more tips about traveling cost-efficient. And this thread is has some very realistic price estimates posted by folks out there right now!
    Drink: $60 per week *ahem* i like to drink
    Seems reasonable.
    Petrol/Gas: $5000, using delorme's calculator
    I would re-run those #s with our calculator....
    Total saved: $26,000
    I am realy curious about this! How do you figure this?

    Like I said, you have spent some good time thus far, but I wonder if your budget is really going to work.


  3. #3


    arrgg sorry... i've forgot to convert a few of the prices from English £ into US $... and also converted when i shouldn't have done....

    revised budget:

    Food: $80 per week (£30-40 duh!)
    Petrol: $4000 (£2000).... i have over-estimated due to a flexible routing (in order to take in more sights.... 17,000 miles at $2.5 per gallon, running 10mpg = $4250

    i have given myself $8500 to buy a used-rv.... i am looking at eBay dealers (eg. companies that do a lot of selling thru eBay, rather than private citizens)

    i have got an insurance quote from a company for 30ft 1992 RV, registered in Redding, CA (a friend's address) for 6 months for $800 using Thum Insurance, which was pretty reasonable, i thought. I am planning on setting up a PO Box in Oregon so that i don't have to pay sales on it, which would also be beneficial for other things, but if i don't manage to get it setup, i do have friends in a few states.

    what do you being curious about my savings?
    do i have enough? or are you wondering how i managed to save that amount of money?

    thanks for the prompt response

    EDIT: dunno why it went into the "off the beaten track", pretty sure i chose summer planning
    Last edited by dbulmer; 02-21-2007 at 02:52 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Adventure Roadtrip

    hi there, as part of a much bigger road trip.... i have this little route ahead of me

    Dallas -> Las Vegas - 8 Days

    Now i know there are A LOT of things between those places... so i'll name the ones i would like to visit...

    - Grand Canyon
    - Bryce Canyon
    - Zion N.P.
    - Arches N.P.
    - Monument Valley

    i was wondering if it is possible to see these things in that time-frame... and also the order which i should visit them in... i have looked at them on a map, but its hard to plot a course as i don't know exactly where in the N.Ps i should goto. (eg. which entrance is best for the Grand Canyon?)

    also, i shall be in an RV, so i just need places to park up/boondock (don't need hook-ups).... and i would like them to be free if possible

    i was thinking if i visited the parks early in the morning, and was a them all day, then found a free place to park at night..... then set off early for the next park in the morning.... that could work??

    anyway... i just need some advice really, so any help is much appreciated


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Salt Lake City, Utah

    Default The Grand Circle

    Hi, all of these areas are in "The Grand Circle". Just Google "The Grand Circle" and you should have plenty of links to sites to help you plan your route. Arches is way east of the other national parks so it depends on where you are coming from (the way you approach Utah--from the south or from the east?) I've heard the South Rim is the more touristy stop for the Grand Canyon. If you hit the Grand Canyon first, Arches will be WAY out of your way as it's closer to Colorado (and you're heading to Northern California). I guess it depends on how much "out of your way" you want to go (if you are heading west on I-70 though, Arches would be easier to stop at--then could work your way down and over to the rest). May I also suggest Capital Reef? Great hikes and beautiful scenery. It's in the "circle" too and on your route if you hit Bryce Canyon. The only way to do these stops fast is to just do the driving tour and not the major hikes (some are very short). It's all pretty scenery so just driving through is nice too.


  6. #6

    Default my two cents :)

    I've done the grand circle route thingie :) one of the best drives ever! I think it's well worth it to go out of your way to see Arches.
    And if you are doing all those parks, then your best bet (in my humble estimation:) would be to go to the North Rim in the Grand Canyon. It is the higher of the two rims, less people, better viewing points, and just a short drive down from Bryce and Zion.
    also, ever heard about the national parks pass?

    Also if you're heading up from Monument Valley (which you should try to hit near sunset for breathtaking landscapes), to Arches, check out Canyon de Chelly.

    sorry, don't know too much about free places to park, you could try the reststops along the interstate.

    if you do drive by night, you're going to miss all the scenery :(
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 03-07-2007 at 03:37 PM. Reason: Navigation link to RTA field report of North rim

  7. #7


    thanks for the response

    i think what i'm gonna do is hit monument valley.... then grand canyon, north rim.... then bryce followed by zion
    fortunately i think i should be able to see Arches at another stage, even if it does mean a slight detour

    don't worry mikphire, i plan on doing most of my travelling in the early morning, not at night.... like i said.... spend a day at each place, sleep... travel in the morning

    glad you mentioned a couple of other places.... always up for some things that aren't massively famous

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Goblin Valley and Valley of the Gods

    Quote Originally Posted by dbulmer View Post
    always up for some things that aren't massively famous
    You have got to make time for these places then -- Goblin Valley and the Valley of the Gods....


  9. #9


    i'm using MS Streets & Trips for my trips.... and all i ever seem to be doing is diverting it so that it uses I-70 lol

    really looks like one of those roads they use for car awesome

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