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  1. Default First RV roadtrip - ideas/feedback/related posts?


    Thank you in advance for your help! My husband and I are planning our first RV roadtrip for September 2011 (not sure if this still qualifies as summer...), and hope to get some ideas/feedback.

    We will be bringing our 2 cats on the trip, and want a relaxing time together enjoying scenery and checking out national parks and small towns. We are not crazy hikers, just love nature. We live in Seattle, WA and currently plan to start the trip from Seattle and returning to Seattle but we only have 2 weeks of vacation; so definitely open to suggestions on whether we should fly somewhere to rent an RV that we can drop off back in Seattle or something like that.

    Our current plan is to rent an RV from Seattle, leave from Seattle and head south on I5 through Eugene (Oregon), to Crater Lake National Park, and then heading down southwest to Redwood National Park, before heading east towards Grand Teton and Yellowstone, and looping back up west-wards through Glacier National Park, through Spokane, WA and back to Seattle.

    Was wondering if folks have done similar trips and have ideas on:

    1) should we fly somewhere to start the driving from?
    2) is the above list of destination/driving too aggressive for 2 weeks?
    3) is september too late for the roadtrip (i am afraid of the cold)?
    4) are there other destinations in the vicinity of our loop that we should go to instead, or in addition?
    5) anyone travelled with pets (especially cats) before, and have advice? (our cats ride well in cars, but we were wondering about travelling logistics if we didn't start from Seattle...hauling litter boxes

    all related posts will be super appreciated, i've been trawling the forums and reading what i can but i'm a newbie at roadtrips and RVs!

    thanks a lot again!
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    Flying to some other destination would not be necessary to start this trip. A bonus of renting an RV from a local establishment is that you would be able to drive the vehicle on familiar roads to get used to how it handles. Starting off in a strange location with a strange vehicle might put an unnecessary strain on your trip.

    This loop looks to be about 2700 miles and that is not unheard of in a two week time. In fact, most of the destinations you listed are a day's drive away from each other, with the exception of Redwoods to Yellowstone. This portion will take two days.

    It can definitely be colder in September, but on the other hand you're less likely to run into the types of crowds that are around during the summer season. In many of the places you've listed, you can run into cold weather even in the height of summer, so no matter what you'd have to make sure you bring the appropriate gear.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If you are planning on going to Glacier, the Going-To-The-Sun Road will be closing for the season sometime in mid-September. No vehicles longer than 21 feet, wider than 8 feet including mirrors, or higher than 10 feet are allowed. However, you can park the RV and take a shuttle bus. Yellowstone stays open into October but some facilities start closing after Labor Day.

  4. Default Nearby RV rental

    One way to save money, if you have the time and are flexible, is to do a one-way rental. I rented a Cruise America RV; paid $24 per day and had a wonderful time going from Phoenix to Seattle.

    Camping World also has one-way rentals, although I have no personal experience with them. They often have specials from one part of Washington to another. Currently, there is a $10 special, not a misprint, from Burlington to Tacoma. You could jump on one of these deals and get some local experience! Sure wish they offered such specials from Detroit.

    These offers come and go quickly.

    Some advice: Don't plan on going over 60mph in a class-C. They ARE trucks, after all; and ride like trucks. At lower speeds, you'll feel quite comfortable. Class-A RVs are different. They ride on air, so offer a much more comfortable ride. They are expensive to rent though.

  5. Default

    Double check before you go. I think the shuttle ends September 1 for the Going-To-The-Sun Road.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    The free shuttles run through Labor Day. After that, you have to take one of the commercial tours.

  7. #7


    Perhaps you've already seen the Oregon coast living in the area, but I would spend more time there and avoid I-5. I did this trip (Seattle south) in an RV at the exact same time in 2010 and loved it to death. Hopping to Florence from Eugene and staying a night at Umpqua Lighthouse park is one of about a billion recommendations I could give, feel free to PM me. The weather should be gorgeous, needn't worry about that!

  8. Default

    Thank you all so much, yes I know I am 3 years late...but still grateful! Life got crazy and I never made that trip out in 2011, I am trying again this year, wish me luck! Blimpy I will PM you for tips on Oregon coast, thanks!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Just a heads up, Blimpy hasn't been active on site since he made that post more than 3 years ago, so I wouldn't expect a response to that PM.

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