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  1. Default RV trip. NY - DC - Niagara Falls

    Hi all

    We are travelling over to the states this August from the UK. Me, my wife and two children, 14 and 17. We have booked a RV for 11 days which we collect from NY. We plan on heading to Washington DC first, then up to Niagara Falls (through Pennsylvania) maybe into Canada around lake Ontario before heading back down to NY.

    I estimate the distance to be around 1100 to 1500 miles. We have paid for 1500.

    I am looking for advice and tips on the best (scenic) routes, places to see or avoid etc.
    The best way around lake Ontario (Canada or USA).

    The RV company recommend travelling approximate 100 miles per day but I don't mind travelling longer on some days in order to spend a few days not having to travel so we can spend time in DC, Niagara and maybe some more interesting stops pending our time.

    I have found lots of great advice from this forum but this is my first post. Any advise would be appreciated.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default To See and Do

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Here are a couple of compilations ot things to see and do between Washington and Niagara and in New York State. The one thing I would not try to do is to take your RV into either Washington or New York. Negotiating traffic and trying to find places to park it will be either impossible or (at best) expensive. For Washington, plan on parking at one of the big commuter parking lots at the ends of the Metro (click on "Interactive Map"). For New York, consider using Liberty Park. For the miles and the time (and having to negotiate Toronto) I think I'd just cruise the southern (US) shore of Lake Ontario to Watertown, cross the Adirondacks on NY-3, and follow the Hudson River down to the New York City area.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 06-08-2010 at 10:00 PM. Reason: Fixed Links (It was a busy day!)

  3. Default

    Many thanks for the info AZBuck

    I did plan on staying just outside of DC on some park with public transport into the city. Preferably a RV park so we can hook up for a couple of nights. As for NY, we'll just be passing through once we have collected the RV. We have booked a few nights in a hotel in Manhattan for when we return the RV.

    Regarding my journey from NY to DC, after reading your previous post/link 'DC to Niagara' I'm wondering if best to head through Lancaster ( Amish County) on my way to DC then up through Gettysburg to buffalo or would you recommend the i95 through Philadelphia and Baltimore?

    Again thanks for your reply.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Good Idea

    First, you need to understand that I-95 between Baltimore and Philadelphia topped my personal list of the Scariest Roads in America, so I'm certainly not going to recommend it. I like your idea of seeing Amish Country on the way between New York and Washington, and how this would work is for you to take I-78 out of New York to Allentown and then US-222 around Reading to the Ephrata/Lancaster/Strasburg area. Once there, you'll need to leave the main roads (especially avoid US-30) to see the real Amish. Roads like PA-897, PA-741, and PA-896 would bring you down to Oxford, PA and US-1. After crossing the Susquehanna River, head west on MD-136/M-23/MD-439 to I-83 south to Baltimore and then I-695/I-95 to Washington.


  5. Default

    That certainly seems a good plan, thanks. I presume I would be fine on the smaller routes with the RV? It' will be 28 - 30 foot.
    Sorry for sounding thick but what's the MD stand for and when people say take US 30 for example, is that the same as route 30?
    Over in uk they are M for motorway like your interstates, then they go smaller by A roads then the smallest B roads..M30' A 30 etc

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by Stu_uk View Post
    Sorry for sounding thick but what's the MD stand for and when people say take US 30 for example, is that the same as route 30?
    Over in uk they are M for motorway like your interstates, then they go smaller by A roads then the smallest B roads..M30' A 30 etc
    MD stands for Maryland. US-30 stands for US Highway 30 or Route 30. In the U.S., there is not quite such a neat distinction for sizes. A US Highway can, at times, be nearly as well-developed and fast as an Interstate, with limited access and the like. However, it can also be a two-lane, undivided road that winds through town centers.

    On average, US highways tend to be a little bigger than state highways, but that is not always the case. It really depends on the particular road and section of the road (how rural/urban the section you are driving through is, etc.)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Some Free Tips for ideas around Niagara Falls & Washington DC

    Here's a short RTA Routes article with plenty of tips for viewing the attractions along the Niagara Falls area. There's a RV park in Maryland, called Cherry Hill, that I've used as a base for the Washington DC area.

    And generally I'd agree with AZ Buck's advice about not driving a RV in either Manhattan or Washington DC -- with one HUGE caveat. It really is fun to drive an over-sized vehicle in both cities. If you enjoy being a bit challenged-- that is.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Good Primer

    jcorb2nd has given you a pretty good broad brush description of the US road system. I'd also note that on maps, highway numbers appear inside shapes which indicate there designation, Interstate route numbers are in simple gibbous shields, US numbers in more complex, re-curved shields, and state highway numbers in circles or ovals. These more or less correspond to the highway signs that mark the routes. Unless explicitly prohibited, you can drive an RV on any US or state highway, subject to weight limits on certain bridges which should also not be a problem on the roads you'll be on. If you want to see true Amish country, you have to get off the big roads and onto roads of the type I listed. You want to watch for two things. First and foremost, take it easy. You will often come up behind Amish buggies that have a literally 1 horsepower 'motor' and are traveling legally at walking speeds. You will have to be very careful in passing these vehicles. You will also have to watch behind you so that you don't become an encumbrance to other drivers. If you get a few cars in train behind you, or have had even one or two cars behind you for a while, do them a courtesy and pull off the road for twenty seconds where you can and let them pass, The other thing you want to watch for are which of the farms you'll be passing by are Amish and which are not. The Amish farms are typically very meticulously maintained, and of course have no electrical or phone wires connecting them to the 'grid'. They may or may not have a car or tractor in the yard.


  9. Default Many thanks

    Apologies for the late response, been very busy at work.
    Many thanks for all your replies, much appreciated. We are all very excited about the trip :-) not long now.

    I think taking our time through Amish county would add to the whole experience of it all. I would like to fine a nice place to stay overnight around this location anyway. Obviously we would respect the surrounding areas wherever we stay.

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