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Thread: Planning a trip

  1. Default Planning a trip


    I am from Australia and am planning on Road tripping America at the end of 2012. I know this sounds like a long time away but for my family it is the only time we have available.

    We are a family of five, with a 17 year old, an 18 year old and a 21 year old and the parents (me).

    We will have up to 12 weeks from any time between late November through to mid February.

    Ideally we would like to see both the East and West coast, staying in Boston for Christmas.

    From your experiences and personal knowledge, do you think it would be a better idea to drive across the country? (I do understand that this is 3000 miles in a straight line, siteseeing would exponentially increase this distance). You can understand that we would not want to be spending our whole holiday driving, however.

    So perhaps it may be a better idea to have a car on the East Coast, see the places we want to see (namely NYC, 5 days in Boston, Niagara Falls, perhaps even going into Canada, as well as spending around 5 days in Maine), and then from there fly across to Los Angeles, and hire an RV and do the RV stint on the West Coast?

    On the West Coast we would like to go to LA, Disneyland (naturally), Las Vegas, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Yosemite National Park, the Grand Canyon etc.

    Any ideas on other must visit destinations would be appreciated, as well as cost estimates :)

    Thanks in advance,


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default many options

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    With basically 3 months available, your options are practically endless. Certainly, you could do two loops, you could do a one way cross country trip, or a 3rd option would be to do one big loop around the entire US.

    Doing loop trips would save you the couple hundred dollars on a one way drop fee, while doing a giant loop would save you 5 plane tickets. The big advantage of doing the two loops is that an RV probably wouldn't be well suited for a winter trip in the North/Northeast, although keep in mind, that even the mountain areas of the Western States will still be getting below freezing and adds to the challenges of any RV trip. The disadvantage of a two-loop trip is that you would miss out on everything in the middle.

    Beyond that, its just not possible to start listing off the things you could see or even give you an idea of how much it could cost. There are simply too many options to even begin narrowing things down. Once you've got more of an idea of the trip you want to do, then those things can start to come into focus.

  3. Default

    Thanks for the reply Michael!

    At this point in time I am leaning towards doing two loop trips, by car in the North East and by RV in the West. Is an RV suited around LA? or would it perhaps be a better idea to hire a car/use public transport whilst in LA and Anaheim, before hiring an RV and heading onwards to Vegas?

    I have had previous experience in driving in blizzard conditions in the North East as well as driving a Chevy Grand Tourer (or a similar name) in the West (both fantastic holidays might I add!) as well as having driven an RV through snow and ice in New Zealand.

    A few further questions in regards to the RV's themselves..
    I know the American tendency to make something great, then to make it bigger, and once its bigger, make it bigger again :P

    In regards to this.. What size RV would suit 5 adults/near adults?
    I understand you run on a Class system? What is the difference between a Class A and Class C etc?
    What is the standard of RV parks? Are they generally hygenic, friendly and safe places? And are they sparsely located or plentiful and easy to find?

    Thanks again :)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default that and more

    RVs aren't ideal for getting around LA because of their size, however, I'd much rather try to get around in an RV than try to navigate LA via public transport - especially when you've got a small group. Depending upon how long you are going to be there, it may make sense to start by renting a car and then picking up the RV later.

    As far as the details of renting an RV, RTA has an entire section of articles about RV travel. Class A RV's look like a bus/big box, while class C's have a cab that separates the driver from the living space. This article has more on the different types, this one has more details on renting, and here's yet another going through the many kinds of campsites available.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Drive!


    All my driving in the US (almost 100000 miles) has been done between late March and mid November, and I do not have any winter driving experiences. But just talking about the US, coast to coast, believe me, it is well worth driving. It is hard to go far without finding something of great interest, whether it be history, nature or touristy attractions. If you can overcome the winter driving bit - Bbbrrrrrrr it gets cold there!! - then I would highly recommend driving for the three months. In that time you can go coast to coast more than half a dozen times and still only spend a third of your time driving.

    Might get you to drop of the grandchildren's Christmas present for me, in Boston. lol

    Lifey in Melbourne

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