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  1. Default Road Trip July/August from LA...somewhere & back again.

    Hi, I'm Jeremy/29, just gotta say, cracking site! a forum dedicated to road trips, I love America already.

    One day last year after a couple of beers a mate & I decided to go to the States for 8 weeks, we bought our plane tickets in January but a week later he found out that he was going to be a Dad, his partner understandably cracked the whip & he's out of the equation.

    I'm going alone now, flying into LA on July 3rd, leaving LA 29th August & all I have in preparation so far are my plane tickets & a brand new swanky backpack. I've been surfing around the internet for ideas, there just seems to be so much to do & it all seems a bit mind boggling at the moment.

    I have in mind hiring a car or campervan & am looking for someone (or a few) to join me, I'm easy going but also indecisive on my own. America will buzz me out anyway without needing to cram as many touristy attractions in as possible but I'd like to see a few on a good ol' fashion epic road trip. I don't mind cities but love the outdoors, am keen as for new experiences, am super reliable, love a drink or 6, will always pay my own way & give a little more, but what I'm really after is someone who can help me plan this bloody thing because I'm friggin hopeless at it. I've travelled through Europe once, never been to the States but I come without prejudice to anyone, a sense of adventure & a few crappy jokes you never heard before.

    If the dates coincide & you're up for a roadie, whether a local or fellow tourist, let me know.

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

    Default a blast

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Wow - 2 months available to go whereever - that is very excellent!

    One thing I'll note is that the small campervans you are probably thinking of really aren't available to rent in the US. Nearly all of the market skews towards the larger RVs, so the few campervans that are available tend to be rather expensive.

    With the amount of time you've got available, you could easily do a loop of the entire US, which should keep your costs down a bit compared to doing a one way trip. Since you're starting in LA, I'll at least point you in the direction of some favorite ideas from California and the Southwest to at least help you get some traction in your planning.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default A blast indeed !

    As Michael mentioned, Euro type camper vans are rare in the US and as such, expensive to rent if you find one. One exception that could work if you do the trip alone would be this company based in San Fran. You can meet some great people when camping, who are willing to swap tips and share info over a beer or a coffee, so you would never be short of company. Good luck finding travel buddies though.

    With regards to planning, you will find endless info throughout the RTA pages such as the links Michael put up. Also check out the Map Centre where you can create routes and find attractions along the way. Once you have some ideas down, we will be happy to help piece it together and fill in the blanks.

  4. Default

    Thanks for the advice guys, it's gold.

    The Lost Campers wagons seem pretty well priced, far cheaper than what I paid in Europe for something similar back in '07. Not too keen on a huge RV if I'm doing it alone, they just seem too monstrous, driving on the other side of the road is weird enough without pulling 10 tonnes of house & the're surely a liability when going through the odd city here & there. With a few buddies though I guess it'd lessen the hassle.
    With the big RVs, do you need a special license? In NZ, anything over 4 tonnes requires a Heavy Transport license, is that the case in the USA?

    Another thing, as I'm probably going in the peak of the peak season, can you get by roaming around without having to book campsites in advance? I know it isn't the case for Grand Canyon & Yosemite etc. but generally, are most places like that? I'd like to cruise around & not be bound by time frames too much, if I like a place I'd like to stay a bit longer & soak it up.

    If I could fit in an entire loop of the US in 8 weeks that'd be great! It's hard to quantify the size of the country & how long something like that would take. I'll spend more time having a look at the maps etc. tonight but you've definitely got me thinking.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremyfromnz View Post
    The Lost Campers wagons seem pretty well priced.....
    You might also like to check out Adventures on Wheels.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremyfromnz View Post
    ...driving on the other side of the road is weird enough......
    Amazing how quickly one gets used to it. It is only on the loneliest of remote roads or when tired or very early or very late, that one is prone to wonder back to the right.....oooooppps!! left side of the road. Though I must admit, I have a couple of times gone the wrong way round a roundabout. lol

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremyfromnz View Post
    Another thing, as I'm probably going in the peak of the peak season, can you get by roaming around without having to book campsites in advance? I know it isn't the case for Grand Canyon & Yosemite etc. but generally, are most places like that? I'd like to cruise around & not be bound by time frames too much, if I like a place I'd like to stay a bit longer & soak it up.
    Only once in all my travels have I ever found that there was no room at a camp ground, and that was in Alaska. Other than the popular places you mention, I never book ahead. Have always found that a phone call mid afternoon, when I knew how far I would get, got me a spot in a campground in the general area where I wanted to be. Of course with a smaller vehicle, you will only require water and power.... it is the full hookup spots which usually are harder to secure.

    Lifey who never pre-books anything

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremyfromnz View Post
    With the big RVs, do you need a special license? In NZ, anything over 4 tonnes requires a Heavy Transport license, is that the case in the USA?
    I found this link which may help you out a bit. Generally, the answer is "no" as RVs are normally exempted from the special license (in the US, the CDL, or Commercial Drivers License).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default

    I am 99% sure that your NZ licence will be fine. I know my UK license is. Basically [as above] you can drive an RV on a 'standard' driving licence in the US. Basically if you can rent a car in the US, you should be able to rent an RV, it's the US law that matters on US soil, not the NZ law.

  8. Default

    hey man. I live in New York and have been looking for some people to go across country with me. I want to explore national parks, cities, random bars along the way and whatever else is out there. I see you are flying into LA so if I had to id fly out there and then we could just drive east and see everything maybe we can work something out. Let me know if your interested

    Brett

  9. Default

    Sounds good, I'll pm you about it.

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