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  1. Default Dutch visit: RV or normal car / fly or drive / NYC / multiple questions

    Hello there!

    In about a few days I'am in New York, for a visit at some Dutch friends.
    After a short stay in New York, a friend of mine and I want to expererience as much as possible of the USA. I have just a few questions which can help me to decide what to do; we do like cities, but we are not so cultural minded, we would like to see more of the countryside..

    - Should we rent a mobile home or just a normal car (what are the costs of a three week drive in a mobile home compared to a normal car, when we sleep in motels)

    - which route gives te highest 'one way-tax', east-west or the other way?

    - Is it doable to fly from NYC to Las Vegas or Phoenix and drive to New York in three weeks?
    What route should we take after NP Rocky Mountain?

    - Another idea is staying on the east coast and explore that side of the USA; what to do in three weeks?

    - where can we get the best offers for rentals: in NYC or somewhere outside the city?

    I am looking forward to hear from you!
    Gerard

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Lifestyle choice.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Generally speaking, unless there are 4 or more paying adults, travelling with an RV [Motorhome] is never the 'budget friendly' option. By the time you take the higher fuel costs, Campground fees and other costs into consideration, the car and Motel option works out cheaper. Plus if you are planning to spend a lot of time in the Cities they are not ideal. In the National parks, countryside etc and as a lifestyle choice they can be great.

    I am not sure that either direction offers a cheaper 'One way drop off fee' unless there has been a high amount travelling in one direction and there is an offer available to help get cars shifted around the country to balance things out. With any rentals, deals are constantly changing and it is a case of searching for the best one that will suit you and your needs.

    You could drive to Vegas and back to NY in 3 weeks with some time for sight seeing if you wanted to do a loop and save on costs, flying one way would be at a more relaxed pace though. An 'out an back' trip would amount to about 10 days of dedicated driving.

    You really do have thousands of options with routes and 'what to do' ideas, so I really think that is something you need to figure out with your friend by researching a little. Get a good map, look around the Forums and road trip planning pages and when you have got some of your answers sorted and have more specific questions, I am sure we can help fill in the blanks.

  3. Default

    WOW!! Have you got your work cut out for you.
    I am by NO means an expert, however I'm happy to share my thoughts as my family has travelled extensively throughout the US (my parents drove a truck cross-country most of my life).
    -mobile home vs car/hotels? Completely your preference, with the fuel prices and many motor homes only getting around 5mpg versus a car that gets 25mpg and hotels that range from $50 to $300 per night... you'll need to do a LOT of research. Personally, I'd take the car & hotel option due to the number of mechanical headaches not to mention various route/parking restrictions based on the vehicle (a car gives you more freedom and there are hotels/inns everywhere). Also, in a mobile home you still need to pay the fees at the various parks.

    -"one way-tax"?? I have no idea what that is. As far as I know, it doesn't really matter if you go east-west or west-east - just depends on where you want to go since spring hasn't yet arrived in the northern states and higher elevations.

    -I would absolutely recommend flying one way due to the amount of time you have. It takes about 3 days of non-stop driving to go from NYC to Los Angeles. Driving one-way you should plan on at least 24hrs of driving each week - which of course depends entirely on where you want to go. Each region of this country differs vastly from another.

    -Stay on the East Coast for 3 weeks? Again, up to you.... you could easily spend 3 weeks in New England and not see everything. The same is true for the South, MidWest, West Coast, Pacific Northwest.....everywhere!

    -For Rentals? Typically inside a city is more expensive than outside but that creates its own problems...Again, research, research, research.... Google is a wonderful thing!

    If I were you, I'd pick my top 3 things that I absolutely wanted to see/do than plan a trip around that. It doesn't have to be a complete road trip.... if you're top 3 are Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, and Disney then you could fly from NYC to Vegas, drive from Vegas to the Grand Canyon, spend a few days exploring the area, fly to Orlando FL for Disney.... or maybe Los Angeles, a dude ranch in Texas, and tour New Orleans; then you could fly to Los Angeles, fly from LA to whatever area in Texas you choose and drive from there to New Orleans....you get the picture.

    Just saw Southwest Dave responded while I was typing.... I think we're pretty much on the same page.... you need to develop a more detailed idea of what you want to see.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Esposito View Post
    -"one way-tax"?? I have no idea what that is.
    I assume they are talking about the drop fee. It's not a "tax" paid to the government, but you will nearly always pay more for a one way car rental, and it is usually listed as a fee on top of the rental rate.

    But I agree, there is no generic answer as to which is cheaper, but it is something you should explore. The rate and fee can change significantly depending up on the supply/demand of the rental company, and every company can be different. The more variables you can change when shopping around, the better deal you're likely to find.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    I'm not too sure about your time frame, but I get the impression this trip will be happening this month? If so, you need to know that Rocky Mountain NP and the other "mountain" parks in the West (Yellowstone, Glacier) are still in the "winter" mode. Yosemite is in the "spring" mode but the high elevation roads will not be open yet.

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

    Default No way!

    Quote Originally Posted by Esposito View Post
    It takes about 3 days of non-stop driving to go from NYC to Los Angeles.
    There is absolutely no way anyone could drive across the continent in 3 days. It is suicidal, if not homicidal. It would leave anyone totally exhausted if they managed to complete the drive alive. Professional drivers get 5 days to do it, and all they do is drive, sleep and attend to other personal necessities.

    Lifey took her time from LA to Boston

  7. Default Thanks

    I would to thank you all for your answers and advises.

    With the earlier mentioned 'one-way tax' I meant the drop fee, but didn't know how to put it..

    We made a new, a more detailed plan. We decided to do some daytrips out of New York, then catch a flight to Los Angeles or San Fransisco. There we want to rent a car and drive to Las Vegas, NP Grand Canyon, Moab to Denver / Cheyenne and back to the coast via Salt Lake City. Does this sound like a better plan?

  8. Default

    @ glc:

    you write that the Rocky Mountain MP is in 'winter mode'; this doesn't mean that we cannot visit the NP, does it? Are many roads closed during this period? Are there more restricions due to the winter mode?
    And what about the Grand Canyon NP?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    The park is open and you can certainly visit it, but Trail Ridge Road will not be plowed and open yet. You will only have vehicular access to limited areas of the park.

    Grand Canyon South Rim is always open. The North Rim won't be open yet.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default It depends.

    We made a new, a more detailed plan. We decided to do some day trips out of New York, then catch a flight to Los Angeles or San Fransisco. There we want to rent a car and drive to Las Vegas, NP Grand Canyon, Moab to Denver / Cheyenne and back to the coast via Salt Lake City. Does this sound like a better plan?
    To take some "day trips from New York" and then undertake the above road trip would be quite a big ask to do in three weeks. But the answer is in the detail, how long do you want to spend in and around New York?

    You would need a minimum of 2 weeks for the road trip and even then I feel you would have very limited time at the places you want to visit. Perhaps a loop from Vegas either towards Denver or towards San Fran would work better to shorten your miles and "see" more of less. There are NP's like Zion, Bryce and Death valley that you could visit along with the Grand canyon. Monument valley and the Hoover dam are a couple of iconic American places that are in the area. If you went to the coast there is Yosemite Valley and Sequoia NP, towards Denver, Arches, Canyonlands, Black canyon etc and so much more. It depends on what sort of experience you want, you must decide what you want from your trip, but the point I am making is that you don't always have to cover a lot of miles to "see more" and it can have the opposite effect.

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