Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. Default 10 day roadtrip LA to Denver

    Hi everyone! This is a great forum. Hopefully some of you will have advice for me too... My family (2 adults and 4 children) is planning a short roadtrip from LA to Denver as part of a 'once in a life-time' visit to the USA in mid-Sept 2008. I'm trying to work out the most affordable option: renting a large car (7-seater) and staying in cheap motels en route; or renting an RV and staying in campgrounds. So, I have a few questions: 1) if renting an RV, is it necessary to stay in campgrounds each night, or is it acceptable (legal) to stop overnight in parks or other such locations? 2) how restrictive is driving an RV compared with a car - in terms of places you can go to (parking, narrow streets etc?) 3) If renting a car, can anyone suggest the most affordable family motel accommodation? 4) Is a 10-day timeframe realistic for the LA - Denver route?

    Any advice on routes / roads to take (or avoid) would be very much appreciated too!

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default My Take

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Renting an RV, especially one-way, is almost never cost effective. Even if this were to be a round-trip back to L.A. from Denver and you engaged in "boondocking", I doubt that you'd save money with an RV. There are several relatively low cost motel chains where renting two rooms would still come allow you to save money over the daily rental fee on an RV, not to mention the cost of gas saved. Some of these chains are Red Roof Inns, Motel 6, Econo Lodge, Super 8, Teavelodge, Microtel and others.

    The good news is that 10 days is more than sufficient for the drive from Los Angeles to Denver, allowing lots of time along the way to visit places like Las Vegas, as well as some great National Parks including the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Two other good pieces of news (at least for you) is that the U.S. dollar is currently at a nadir making travel here relatively cheap for foreigners at the moment, and mid-September is a perfect time to be travelling that route as most of the 'local' summer tourists will have packed up and gone home but the weather will still be very nice.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default I'd say car

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Renting a car and staying in hotels is almost always cheaper than going with an RV, and when you are talking about an RV for 7 people you would have to be looking at some of the largest RVs available. While you don't have to stay at campgrounds every night, you'll still be paying a lot for an RV.

    There are a lot of chains to choose from, with Motel 6 typically being the bare-bones cheapest. This thread breaks down some of the chains that are common on the US. Since you'll need 2 rooms, you might ask about getting connecting rooms, that you can use a door to walk between.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Agreed

    RV rental, the extra fuel costs, etc. are going to cost more than going via car/motels. However, if cost isn't your only factor, there are things that you might enjoy about the RV. With four kids, I can see where not having to pack stuff into a hotel room and back into your vehicle would be great. You wouldn't have to do this if doing an RV vacation. Also, food costs for a family of 6 will add up quickly. While you can still eat out of a cooler and save food dollars while traveling in a regular vehicle, it would definitely be easier in an RV for that size of family. This link will take you to a post with links about RV travel. Follow those links and read and you should get enough info to make an educated decision about what you prefer.

    About routes....well, there are a lot of options. Do you have some idea of the things you want to see? The quickest route is to hook up with I-15 just east of LA until it merge with I-70 in Utah, and then taking I-70 into Denver at about 1,000 miles. This will take you through Las Vegas and near three amazing national parks: Zion, Bryce and Arches. It would make a nice trip. If you want to drive a bit more aggressively, you could add a detour to the Grand Canyon in, too.

    Playing with Google maps or any of the other trip-routing options will give you many options. The problem will be narrowing them down. Here's a guide to some good, free options that you might want to check out.

  5. Default Thanks for the advice

    Many thanks for the advice - you all make some very helpful points! Naturally, I now have some other questions! In particular, if using motels in the USA (such as Motel 6, perhaps) is it possible to self-cater? Here in NZ, motels typically have some cooking facilities (stove top, microwave, fridge etc). Are US motels similar? Also, how important is it to book in advance for motels or campgrounds in mid-Sept? Thanks again!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default That's extra

    Bottom end rooms, like a typical motel 6, will have a bed, a tv, and a bathroom, and that's about it.

    Small refridgerators and/or microwaves are typically available in some rooms at chains on the lower end of the mid-level group for an extra fee.

    You'll usually have to look at upper-end suite type places, or find places labeled as "extended stay" before you'll get into more full sized cooking features.

    Mid-september is usually fairly slow, so unless you've got a specific place you really want to stay (like a room inside Grand Canyon NP) reservations shouldn't be needed.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    219

    Default

    No self catering in the majority of USA motels. It has improved last years and many hotels now have (small) fridges and sometimes microwaves. Never seen a stove in a regular hotel besides some (expensive) rooms with a full kitchen. So it's not like in NZ and Australia where many hotels/motels are self contained. For bookings, I know nothing about campgrounds but for hotels, book your rooms in the NP's as soon as possible. Also reservations in Moab are recommended because the area has lots of tourists and many festivals.
    For your route. Maybe consider to start Phoenix or Las Vegas instead LA.
    Yeehaw.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Self-Catering?

    Here in the US, we typically call them kitchenettes. When I was a kid, we often stayed in "mom and pop" establishments and they sometimes had kitchenettes in them. I don't recall how common they might have been. It might be worth it to poke around this website and see if you can come up with anything on your route with a kitchenette.

    KOA campgrounds offer Kamping Kabins that would let you cook your own meals but you would have to have a campstove and your own equipment. You could easily pick up a 2-burner campstove, fuel, and basic cooking stuff for about $100. So if you can find enough of these along your route, this might be an option. Of course, you would also need other camping gear as well (sleeping bags/pillows, or at least sheets/blankets/pillows) so, with four kids, this might not be a very handy solution.

Similar Threads

  1. June roadtrip..Denver to California Coast to Seattle
    By Lobelia in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-24-2007, 12:00 PM
  2. Planning a Baseball Roadtrip
    By Midwest Michael in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 05-06-2007, 07:38 PM
  3. Denver - LA Roadtrip late April?
    By sgtwilko in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-19-2007, 02:21 PM
  4. Honeymoon roadtrip KY to Denver
    By Nephus in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-14-2005, 06:58 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES