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  1. Default Montreal -) mexico -) BC -) Montreal Need advices Thanks!!

    Hello I'm new to this forum and would like to give a warm hello to everyone.

    Like the title says basically what I'm doing is

    Montreal - follow the east shore to Miami then south to Mexico.
    then from Mexico passing threw California and of course stopping to Las Vegas going to British-Colombia then maybe going to Alaska or Yukon on the way back to Montreal.

    This trip is going to be made with my dog and my Girlfriend we are planing about 3-4 months gone with a van with a bed in it and a little fridge.

    Now sorry for the long thread and my improper grammar I'm French.

    So basically the few questions I had was. BTW this is my first LONG! roadtrip

    1- Places along the way I must take the time to visit even if it means taking a little zig zag off course.
    2- How should I calculate gas lets say I would have a 28 MPG diesel Van
    3- Any known road trip place you can sleep for free? I've heard Walmart's accepts that.
    4- Things people forget to bring and is nice to have
    5- little titbit's of advices you could give me before leaving

    Any respond would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks a lot in advance. JeanMarc
    Ps. we were planing about 18-20 tousands for this roadtrip would that be too much or too few?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Long is an Understatement!

    Bienvenue sur les forums de RoadTrip Amérique. Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    You are looking at nearly 20,000 km (12,500 mi) to complete the journey you have described. This is going to take quite a bit more planning than we can do in a few short posts here, but let's get started. The first thing that we all would need to know is what sort of things are you looking to see and do on your trip? There is almost an unlimited number of possibilities, and I don't think that a random list of them is going to help you much. The cost of gas can be calculated using the Fuel Cost Calculator at the left side of this page. I'd estimate that diesel fuel will run $4.00 to $5.00 per gallon by the time you make your trip and taking into account that some will be bought in very remote (that is expensive) locations. - I get a little over $2,000. Yes some Walmarts and some truck stops will allow you to park in their lots overnight, but they are on a case-by-case basis and you will need to ask in each location. It is also possible to camp in most National Forests for little or no cost, but again you will need to check with each one to determine exactly what is allowed, and where, within its boundaries. There are little tidbits of advice all over these pages, start by checking the resources under the RodTrip Planning button at the top of the page. Taking a car into Mexico may prove to be more trouble than it is worth. You will have to buy separate insurance for that portion of your trip at a minimum. There are, however, several 'sister city' border towns such as El Paso/Ciudad Juarez; Nogales/Nogales; San Diego/Tijuana where you can easily walk across the border for a short visit in Mexico. $20,000 should be sufficient but not extravagant for the trip if you are careful with your purchases. Hope that helps get you started


  3. Default Thanks for reply

    Thanks a lot for taking the time to reply.

    So basically we just wanna visit key towns and there nice site. trying to stop to a lot of national parks on the way. I'm a nature freak so I love to see nature.

    for the expenses really not that much where gonna do. where making are van like a little home so no hotels.. maybe a few on the way for a good nights rest but very few. Food not that much restaurants either. trying to keep it at a minimum just in case we decide to stay a little longer at certain place give us a nice margin to play with.

    I'm so impressed at how cheap the gas price is for that kind of road trip. I calculated like 9000 miles and said I'd make it 12000 just in case of off track. with price more expensive then it is. come to like 3000$ really not bad. I really think if we keep are expensive at a real low I could pull this under 10000 $ and maybe prolong it depending on how things go or maybe do more expensive stuff along the way.

    SO like you said what I'm really looking forward in this road trip is stopping at Key Us towns or Us sites to see. National parks.

    Like rough markers I have on my map at the moment is basically like. New York, Washington, Miami, Florida, Mexico, grand canyon, las Vegas, California, British Colombia , whistler, Vancouver.

    I was just wondering where do all you guys that do road trip went somewhere and said that was nice. Because I presume the planing needs to be pretty good.

    So I've heard Mexico would be harsh. For my dog to pass and now for the car too :( I'll have to call the border and see what there is to do.
    Last edited by AZBuck; 05-23-2008 at 06:49 PM. Reason: Language

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default There is no best trip

    The best thing for you to do is determine what sights you and your girlfriend want to see and planning your route around them. One of the best ways to do this is to pour over a detailed map and mark the places that seem interesting. You should be able to get an idea of what routes you need to take by doing this.

    If budget is an issue, big cities are going to be a bit more of a challenge. For example, you're not going to be able to camp for free in New York City, or anywhere near it, probably. So I suggest you plan for brief visits into the more expensive cities if you want to prolong your trip.

    If you want to enjoy our national parks, you will want to get a pass. You will have paid for it with just a few parks.

    Please continue to ask questions and we'll do our best to help you plan a terrific trip.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Mileage Math

    I think you may have underestimated your mileage and fuel costs. If you are planning to do a big loop from Montreal down to Florida, over to CA, and up to Alaska, then back home, I don't see how you get the point to point distances under 12,000 miles. However, that doesn't include any time you spend exploring, driving in towns, etc. Since you're talking about a period of several months, I'd bet you go at least 15,000 miles total, and quite possibly up as high as 17,000.

    I'd also be planning for at least $5 diesel. Its already at $4.90 at some stations in my area, so depending upon when your trip is planned for, I'd say $5 could end up being conservative.

    But on top of that, I'm curious, do you already have this van in your possession? I'm just not aware of that many vans available in north america with diesel engines that get 25-30 mpg. If you already have the van and know from experience that it gets that kind of mileage, you're in good shape, but if its just an estimate, you might be optimistic.

  6. Default Yeah the gas, getting expensive

    Yeah so I use road trip tripkit (AAA) or something like that and it says my trip should be 9000 miles so I presume with all detours and city exploring it will add up to easily 13000-14000. No I don't have the van already just checked around and there isn't a van that has 28mpg think I had a mistaking website that gave me that information.

    SO I'd put around 4k in Gas.

    Yeah for destination I'm gonna go point by point on the map to where I wanna go. Just I really don't know that much about the us and what there is to visit so thats why I'm asking you guys around what really nice to see in the us, what national parks are really WOW just basic nice views. Friend of mine told me to try to stop to Yellowstone, mount Rushmore.

    Planing this road trip is a lot harder with a girlfriend if it where just of me I'd leave with my car and my dog and see where it brings me. But it's probably not better.

    Thanks again people for taking the time to respond really appreciate it.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default There are a lot of "wow, just wow!" places here

    So it's really hard to give you a quick list.

    I can name about 50 Wow places just in my state off the top of my head. Times that by all the Wow places elsewhere and it would take 10 years to see everything. And my Wows might not be your Wows.

    Just a short list of some of the Wows I would want to see if it were me (very roughly going east to west): coast of Maine, Adirondacks, Niagara Falls, Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Cape Cod and/or Martha's Vineyard (or similar coastal towns), Washington DC, Savannah GA, the various Civil War battle sites like Gettysburg/Vicksburg/etc., the Everglades and the Keys in Florida, Gulf Coast, New Orleans, Memphis, St. Louis Arch, Chicago, Wisconsin Dells, Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial, Badlands, Black Hills, Devil's Tower Wright's Fallingwater and Robie House, San Antonio and the Alamo, Big Bend, Carlsbad Caverns, White Sands, Rocky Mountain National Park, Pike's Peak, the Million Dollar Highway, Great Sand Dune National Park, Roswell/Albuqueruqe/Taos in New Mexico, Arches, Bryce, Zion, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Glacier, Hell's Canyon, Death Valley, Mojave Desert, Joshua Tree, Sequoia, Redwoods, Pacific Coast, Mr. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier, Olympic Rainforest, Mt. Hood, Columbia River Gorge, scablands and coulees of Eastern Washington, Yosemite, Redwoods, Hearst Castle, Crater Lake, John Day, Craters of the Moon, the funky/kitschy Route 66, the fascinating Oregon Trail, the Lewis & Clark Trail....

    OK, I'm writing these without even stopping to think about it and I could come up with easily 3-4 times this many places if I put some thought into it. I hope this gives you a rough idea of the scope of the question you're asking. It's almost impossible for us to answer for you. There are just too dang many Wow places.

    I think you need to spend some time in the Roadtrip Planning section (see green tab at top of page). Also read through the various roadtrip reports and posts in these forums. And check out our National Parks and Scenic Byways. Of course, each state has their own wonderful state parks and scenic byways as well. And some of the state ones are every bit as Wow as the national ones. It's hard to choose.

    I know I may have confused you more but, at the same time, this isn't something somebody else can answer for you. You will need to do some of your own research, too. And, actually, with the time you have, I really don't see why you shouldn't just get in the van and start meandering, asking locals and visitor centers along the road what they would suggest, and just picking up ideas as you go. With the time you have, you don't need a firm itinerary. a bit more exploring to get ideas, get your girlfriend involved in the planning so she can pick things that interest her as well, and keep coming back with more specific questions and we'll help you as best we can. Happy planning!

    I suggest you

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France

    Default Truck Stops & Border crossing

    Bonjour Jean-Marc,

    Your best bet to find places to sleep for free is to browse the truck stops. There are some major chains such as TA, Flying J, Pilot, Petro, Love's & Fifth Wheel (Canada only). You can order a directory for each of them over the internet. There are also plenty of other truck stops, small or big (ex. : Iowa 80) throughout North America. If you have internet access you can browse this site, or you can buy a truck stop directory in any good truck stop during your trip. Truck stops are great because they are conveniently located near the interstates, they provide hot and usually clean showers for a small fee, they have cheap gas, most major truck stops are open 24/7 and have a store where you can buy all sorts of supplies for your car and yourself : oil, prestone, maps, blanket, shampoo, snacks, etc. Most likely no one will bother if you sleep there, but try to stay clear of big cities truck stop, some of them are targets for bums.

    To my knowledge, the only requirement to get your pet through the US border from Canada is to get it vaccinated for rabies. Bring its vaccination booklet and make sure it has a proper ID medal. It will be even more important in Mexico with all the stray dogs running around loose.

    Getting through the border in Mexico is a piece of cake. Most of the time, they just wave you through with a green light (paseo) and you don't have to say a single word to anyone. Getting back is another story, although I cannot say I ever exepriences any serious trouble. They will ask you a couple of questions and might search the car but if you have all your ID papers in order, everything should be ok. Important : You cannot bring a firearm in Mexico, if you get caught with one, you're in big trouble. If you don't want to mess up your suspension, look for "Tope" signs (speed bumps) and slow down. Many gas stations in Mexico still offer gas with lead in it, but if you stick to PEMEX you should be ok. If your car breaks down, you can call The Green Angels. They have green trucks, you can't miss them, they're the Mexican version of AAA or CAA.

    Amuse-toi bien!

    Ps-si tu veux des infos en français, écris-moi un message privé

  9. Default Thats what I needed a few idea

    I basically just needed a few guideline places to stop because my plan was to ask around when in towns and stuff, in truck stops if i get the chance to meet people doing other road trips has well where they went and stuff.

    Just a little questions because the price of sleeping and gas is covered but how do you guys calculate the food. I really don't eat that much maybe average like any person. What is nice to bring on road trips something easy to make, considering I'll have a propane camping thing to cook stuff (can't find the word).
    I'll have a little fridge to keep stuff cold.

    I was thinking so cereals and stuff for morning some grill cheese,hot dogs, kraft diner, ya know nothing complicated. But I don't know you guys seem to know a lot what do you guys do when u wanna eat. Keep crackers, cheap restaurants, nice road trip food.

    I'm just trying to get to know the basics and then gonna plan this whole things out like a mad man. Leaving in like 8-10 months so I want to be well prepared and have the trip of my life.

    Do you guys only shower in truck stops or you go to the beach,lakes, etc?

    Sorry I have a lot of basic dumb questions. But you guys just rock got nice answers all the time.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default I camp so I shower in campgrounds

    Some national and state parks have showers that you might be able to use even if you don't stay the night there. Particularly if there are swimming areas close by. However, this is catch-as-catch-can as not all of these types of parks have such facilities.

    You might be able to find rivers or lakes to bath in but, if you do, please be sure to use a biodegradable soap made for this type of thing. Something like Camp Suds, for example. And don't bath directly in the lake or river itself but, rather, take a container of water about 200 feet from the water source and use it to rinse with. It's better to have your used soap go into the ground as it doesn't dirty the fresh water source as it degrades faster and doesn't pollute the water source.

    Here's my tips for eating out of a cooler. My food budget isn't much different than what I spend eating at home. Maybe a tad higher because it's harder to shop sales. Follow the link at the top of that post to some information that might help you with budgeting.

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