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  1. Default 50 State Road Trip

    My husband, daughter and I are thinking of doing a 50 state Road Trip (with one flight to Hawaii). We are trying to determine what a reasonable time frame would be. We don't want to be rushed! Any thoughts or ideas? Our plan is to rent an RV that we can use when we are in between hotels and/or loctions where that is not an option. Any help would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default what have you got?

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    If I was just going to throw a number out there, I'd say 6 months is about the amount of time you'd need to visit all 50 states and not feel rushed. But that's a very open ended question. You could do it in as little as a month, I suppose, if all you did was worry about driving from place to place and hitting each state. The bigger question really is how much time and money do you realistically have available, and can you do the trip you want to do under those guidelines.

    I will say your RV plan doesn't sound like a very reasonable idea. First, an RV is going to increase your costs exponentially, and your logic for it really doesn't make much sense. Simply put, I really can't think of much any place in the US/Canada where motels wouldn't be an option. They might be booked up at times, but it would be quite rare for you to ever be more than about 30 miles from a motel. From a practical standpoint, it may be very difficult to find a rental RV that you could drive to Alaska (even with a regular car that could be a challenge). There certainly would be some upsides to using an RV for a major trip like this, but if you decide to go that route, then I'd recommend you make this an RV trip, and not use it as a very expensive mode of transportation between motels.

  3. Default

    We took several years to visit all 50 plus the 10 provinces, all but HI in a motorhome. (We traveled 4-8 months a year.) Our goal was not to see all 50, but to do things and see things that interested us along the way.

    To "not feel rushed" does not mean to set a time frame and then squeeze everything into that time. Instead consider what you want to see and do; then determine the time that will take. Then add 10-20% or so. For instance, we spent almost three weeks in Hawaii, two months in Alaska, etc. You don't want to take all the time and money it takes to get to a place without touring and visiting with the "locals". In Wyoming we went whitewater rafting; in Florida it was parasailing; in North Carolina we rode in a hot air baloon. What do you want to see? and do?

    A rental of a motorhome for a trip of this magnitude and also to use hotels deserves to be reconsidered. There are advantages to a motorhome that do not have a dollar and cents value. With a motorhome you do not unpack a car every night, you have a home on wheels. That enables you to carry clothing for the seasons you're out; prepare your own meals, which has an economic value; not feel you have to travel on rainy days, which I always do when in a motel; etc. (Keep in mind an extended trip is exhausting, unless you take time to relax and reflect on your adventures. This includes taking time to do laundry and other routine things.) We have stayed in National Parks where we were miles from a motel - the stars are so bright when you're out in the boonies. You don't have to look for places to have lunch or a bathroom, etc. Another important value is summarized by asking how often you meet others at a motel? while folks in motorhomes often socialize and get new ideas of places to visit -- it adds so much to a trip. BUT all this comes at a price. You might consider getting a quote for a motorhome rental for 6 months, or a year. If you were to stay in it and not use hotels you will probably find that you will pay somewhat more than just staying in motels -- as mentioned by Midwest Michel-- but you have to consider the other aspects. Only you can determine what is best for you.

    Please take time to smell the roses. You can whiz past places and tell the folks back home how many states you've visited or you can describe climbing up the ladders at Mesa Verde or the big blackberries you picked along the roadside in Oregon. Enjoy your travels, it's a great country.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    For a trip of this scope, if you are a US resident you might want to consider buying an RV.

  5. Default

    Thanks for all the info. We do not have a set amount of time, as we are just investigating. OUr hope was that we could do all the States seeing what we want, etc. in amount 9 months. Which seems to be doable. Of course, we don't necessarily need to be done in 9 months, if we extended a week or so, that would be ok.

    I do understand what everyone is saying about the RV. I guess I just didn't want to feel "trapped" in the vehicle and thought the RV might give us more flexibility, although I do agree that the gas mileage that those things get are ridiculous and I often worry about how they drive in unfavorable weather.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    I don't think an RV would be a bad idea at all. I think if I was going to be on the road for that amount of time, that's the route I would go. And I agree that purchasing one will really be your best bet for a trip of this length.

    I'm simply saying that if you do go the RV route, I'd plan on it being an RV vacation where you spend nearly all of your nights in the RV, and spend very little time in motels. For example, if you are visiting a major city, you might find a place to park the RV for a couple days and stay at a hotel in the city so you can move around a little easier - but those would be more exceptions than anything. If you start planning to park an RV in a motel parking lot every night, you'll need a budget in the high 6 figures!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    A "compact" class B cabover RV (19 foot) can sleep 3 reasonably comfortably, and they don't get that terrible gas mileage.

  8. Default

    A 19 ft motorhome can be a bit tight for a prolonged trip of 6-9 months with 3 people. People do need a bit of "private" space, even if it is a favorite chair or bed. We have rv-ed for periods of that duration in a 22 foot and 25 foot class A and the marriage has survived. We get an average of 10 mpg, including use of the generator and air conditioner in desert conditions. With 3 people on a prolonged trip you should have a full bath. We have known couples who used a class B on prolonged trips and had a wonderful time.

    If you consider the purchase of a motorhome add to the cost the insurance, taxes, maintainance, etc that will be incurred. Also, you should be able to negotiate a good price, but on the down side, if you want to sell after your trip be prepared to lose money. (Life's not simple, is it?)

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