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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Saint Albans, Vermont, United States

    Default Cross country with Kids

    We are taking our three kids (12,7,5 yo) across the country for 30 days of fun with a large RV. My plan is to leave Vermont at the end of May 2012. So far the only things we HAVE to see are:

    1. Friends in Detroit
    2. Mall of America
    3. Mt Rushmore
    4. Yellowstone
    5. Family in Salt Lake
    6. Redwood Forests
    7. San Fran
    8. San Diego Zoo
    9. The Four Corners
    10. Grand Canyon
    11. Dallas
    12. Memphis

    My questions are:

    a. reservations at campgrounds - it seems like most only allow 12 months out. What should I be looking out for?
    b. is there any good software that I can use that will factor in traveling with a 40 foot motorhome?
    c. we are letting the kids each research and select two places outside the main plan to visit. Has anyone else tried this?
    d. for those of you that have made a similar trip - what would you have done different looking back? What was your biggest mistake? Best memory that you would NOT have changed.
    e. given our rough route - what the MUST sees?

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default That's All?

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    For a round trip, continent crossing RoadTrip that's a mighty short list. I actually keep and update a list of the places to see along the way for my next trip back east. It currently stands at 32 for the route I plan/dream I'll be taking. Absolutely get your kids to pick a couple of (or more) places to visit that interest them. By the way, at their age you will want to stop at as many National Parks, Monuments, Historic Sites Battlefields, etc. as you can and do the Junior Ranger Program at each stop. The other blanket recommendation is to stop often along the way. Make sure there is an adventure or two each day. Actually, some of my favorite travel moments are serendipitous encounters that I could not have planned for or even predicted, so just do the best you can and then keep your eyes and options open. I don't think you have to over plan your camping either. May is early enough that most campgrounds will not be completely booked even on weekends. In fact, if you need to watch out for anything it's which will be open that early especially in the northern and higher elevation portions of your trip. For rustic camping, I have found National Forests to offer the best sites. For (typically) a bit better facilities but more tightly packed sites, it's hard to beat the cost of state parks. I would only use commercial parks as a last resort, for example if I really needed a dump station and couldn't find one otherwise. As for software, unless you have a personal program such as MS Streets and Trips® or something similar, you'll just have to figure out how many miles a day is reasonable and figure out your own driving schedule using the mileage estimates you get from MapQuest, Google Maps, or other on line mapping sites. If you have your own mapping software, then it's usually a relatively simple matter to adjust the speeds used for various classes of roads. It's usually under a 'Preferences' or 'Options' tab somewhere. And finally, you won't ever see us recommend "Must Sees". It is entirely up to you what is essential to you. You will find a host of possibilities on this site including here and here.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default National parks, book asap !

    As Buck said, by continuing to research you will find thousands of possible stops along the way and the forums and other pages like the Map centre above are full of ideas. Once you have listed places that appeal to you get a good paper map and sit down with the kids so you can all join in the fun, 'must See's only relate to the individuals on the trip. For instance, the National parks of Utah and Colorado would be of far more interest to me then Dallas and Memphis, but that's me. ;-)

    You should be fine in Yellowstone come June but as Spring/summer can come late to the park and will only just be getting fully open if there has been a harsh winter, you could consider reversing your trip and get there later.

    Is this RV yours or are you planning to rent ? I ask as you might be better off renting a 27/29 ft Class 'C' than a 40 ft class 'A' if you are planning on staying in campgrounds set in nature rather than resorts. Some do not cater for such big rigs and I would actually recommend you book places like Yellowstone and Grand canyon in advance and as soon as possible, even with a 30 ft RV numbers can be very limited and can book out within hours of the booking window opening. Check at and select your park.

    Once you are off Interstate your average mph drops considerably in a large vehicle and 300 miles [especially with kids] with a couple of short stops can add up to a day on the road, get in the mountains with an hour or 2 out the vehicle and half it again !

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default One more thing.

    Forgot to mention !

    8. San Diego Zoo
    9. The Four Corners
    10. Grand Canyon
    Your order of visitation seems to be in order for the rest of your trip so it would be Grand canyon to Four corners. You could take a drive through Monument valley on the way and take a jeep tour in the tribal park.

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