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  1. Default Newbie planning her 1st roadtrip

    Hello everyone,

    I am so excited to have found this site, all of you are a really mine of information!!!

    I am planning my 1st ever RV trip with hubby and 2 kids(6 & 4) and my parents visiting from another country. I'm from the SF Bay area and in April we intend to travel from here to Los Angeles and Vegas and Grand Canyon and head back home - all this in 2 weeks. Is this too ambitious for a 1st timer...?

    I have a few questions which I'm hoping you can help me with-

    1. Neither hubby nor me have ever driven an RV before. How hard is it..?

    2. We are looking at a C30 from Cruiseamerica. RIght now cruiseamerica has a special of rent for 2 weeks and pay only for 1 week and they are charging me about $119.00/day plus 32 centsfor each mile. Is this reasonable...? Any other suggestions or reccomendations...?

    Please help me, I'm going crazy deciding all of this but my kids really want to do an RV trip and its going to be my son's birthday gift.

    Thanks in advance!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    Have either of you driven relatively large vehicles before? Driving an RV takes a certain awareness of your surroundings and how the vehicle is going to handle in different situation. I would recommend finding campgrounds with pull-through sites if only to take some some of the stress out of your trip. I don't know that I'd want to drive around Los Angeles in that vehicle, but thousands of people that are relatively inexperienced with driving large vehicles take to the wheel of RVs every year and through perseverance and desire they manage to become experienced RV operators.

    I've not rented an RV and I cannot tell you if that is a good price or not, but whatever place you rent from, they should be able to help you feel comfortable with the vehicle before you leave for your trip.

  3. Default

    Thanks Mass Tim.
    THe only large vehicle we've driven is our SUV!!!! I guess we just have to keep our fingers crossed.

    Any other opinions...?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default SUV vs. RV

    A C-30 is not all that large a vehicle, but it is built on a truck chassis and will be considerably bigger and heavier than your SUV. It will handle more ponderously and take much longer to bring to a stop. All that said, you should be able to make the transition to driving it comfortably in a couple of days. Keep that in mind as you set up your trip and plan on taking it easy for at least the first day or two as you learn your new car/home. I am not an RVer either, but I have seen generally good reviews on CruiseAmerica in other posts on these forums. If you want to know if you're getting a good price, just do some comparison shopping and see what you could get a comparable RV for elsewhere. Just remember to compare apples and apples and pay attention to what's included in each price with respect to days, miles, insurance, breakdown policy and the like.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Not so bad.

    My family and I love to travel by R.V. and as long as you feel confident with your driving it is pretty straight forward to adapt your driving style. As Buck commented, don't try and push to far in your first day or 2 and you will soon become accustomed to all aspects of operating the home, although each day allow plenty of travel time as it will be slower going than you are used to, especially on narrow twisty roads.
    The first noticeable thing is when you get in it is the extra width at the back. When driving your mirrors are a good guide, if they go through so do you [if in a straight line] When parking at a kerbside the back wheels, the wheelbase is wider than the front. Then there is the length, be aware of the overhang from the back wheels to the rear bumper. When you are pulling away from the gas pumps or near parked cars do not turn sharp untill the back is clear or it will side swipe anything close by. [Think of it as spinning around with a plank of wood on your shoulder] Your driving style will change slightly, slower corners with gentle steering input and not building speed on downhill runs, there is a lot of weight to keep under control. Drive it as though you have a precious possession that's breakable siting loose in the back and you will be fine.
    Pull through sites are a good idea but reversing isn't so bad, take your time, have one person standing to your nearside rear [making sure they keep themselves in view of the mirror] waving you in and get someone to sit in the rear bedroom looking out the rear window.

    Cruise America has some good offers and I have booked our next trip with them using that same deal, but do check other company's before booking, deals are changing all the time. Another company that we have used and is local to you is the Graner family and was very pleased with the R.V. and their friendly, helpful service, although I am not sure that they have 30ft homes anymore, might be worth an e-mail.

    As long as you are O.K with it and relaxed you will have a wonderful time and I would definitely camp inside GCNP in the Mather campgroundas it's a great experience and an easy walk to the village and South rim. When in Vegas you can camp on the strip at Circus Circus which is more of a parking lot but we stayed at the Oasis resort which had a shuttle bus to the strip or it was less than a $20 cab fare.

    2 Weeks should be O.K but it does depend on how long you want to spend at each place. It could be extremely tight if you wanted to spend 2 or 3 day's in L/A at the theme parks for example. Personally as it's not to far from you and doable another time, I would consider whether it would be worth it with an R.V and have more quality time at other places.

    Any more questions just ask.

  6. #6

    Default Small RV not a problem

    I drove one of the Cruise America RVs that was actually built on a van or truck chassis. I think it was 28 ft long. I drove from NJ to Maryland and back. Before that I had only driven my very small SUV or once a moving van.

    Initially, I was surprised by how much the wind pushed it around. Even the wind of a semi passing seemed to make the RV sway all over the lane. Besides that it was not a problem, I even drove it on and off the ferry.

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