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  1. Default aussie family roadtrip in a motorhome 5 weeks - please critique!

    Hi, we will be flying into the usa in just 4 weeks. We are a family of 6, 2 adults and four kids aged 8, 6 and and a half year old twins.

    This will be my 2nd time in the usa and canada and my family's first time.
    Our kids are good travellers and used to travelling up to 8 hrs in a day (visiting family out of town).

    This is our plan....

    Day 1 - arrive in los angeles/anaheim 12.30pm accomodation REST
    Day 2 - disneyland if we feel up to it today, if not rest
    Day 3 - disney;and if we didnt do it yesterday, or head to the beach/shop
    Day 4 - Taxi to santa fe springs and pick up motor home at 10am, drive 2 hrs to barstow
    day 5 - Big drive to grand canyon, stay at mather
    day 6 - grand canyon
    day 7 - drive to monument valley , photography
    day 8 - drive to moab
    day 9 - moab quad bike rental
    day 10 - drive to pinedale WY
    day 11 - Pinedale mountain man museum in morning then drive to jackson/stay gros ventre
    day 12 - explore jackson, then so covered wagon cookout in evening
    day 13 - drive to cody via grand tetons/thru yellowstone (will be coming back here later)
    day 14 - cody - meet up with friends from australia,buffalo bill museum, indian pow wow
    day 15 - cody - friends - night rodeo - old trail town
    day 16 - big drive to custer SD stay at blue bell
    day 17 - custer - wind cave, wild life loop
    day 18 - custer
    day 19 - stay rapid city, mount rushmore, maybe boothill mine over at deadwood
    day 20 -drive to hettinger ND
    day 21 - hettinger - meet up with old host family from hettinger for party
    day 22 - big drive to livingston MT
    day 23 - bozeman - grizzly bear encounter in am, then drive on to yellowstone madison campground
    day 24 - yellowstone
    day 25 - yellowstone
    day 26 - yellowstone
    day 27 - yellowstone
    day 28 - head north - drive as far as we can that day toward banff canada - no bookings yet, but hoping to get near black diamond.
    day 29 - drive to banff
    day 30 - banff
    day 31 - drive to drumheller
    day 32 - drumheller dinosaur museum
    day 33 - drive to calgary
    day 34 - first day of calgary stampede
    day 35 - drive to glacier np...no bookings yet
    day 36 - drive to chilliwack - no bookings yet
    day 37 - drive to bellingham WA drop off rv motel accom booked
    day 38 - fly to la
    day 39 - universal studios if we feel up to it, or just some outlet shopping and visit lego shop
    day 40 -fly out la that night back to sydney

    most of our campgrounds abd accom is booked except for where mentioned. The last leg of the trip is crammed as i have some specific places to be on specifi dates like hettinger and calgary and cody that cant be changed.
    I would love some ideas for any small things, day trips, routes, places to avoid, things to do nearby , driving conditions, shopping,

    any help would be appreciated concerning the parts where i dont yet have accom like from yellowstone to towards banff...i wanted to get to black diamond in one big drive (is it like 10hrs) but only for the reason of not having 2 days back to back of big drives. if i can get to black diamond it will only be like a 2-3 hrs drive to banff, is that right?

    we are also going back to front and going banff, drumheller, then calgary then west, but this is because calgary doesnt start till the 8th and by doing this i could get in a few days at banff and drumheller for the museum.double tracking, but getting to see more than just doing day trips out of calgary, i dont fanct too much driving in the city , especially if we can avoid 5 days of driving in and out of calgary for day trips...have i donr the right thing here?

    next, leaving calgary on the 9th july heading west to drop off rv by the 11th....some miles here...was thinking of breaking it up like this leave calgary - stay glacier waterton np - leave and drive to chilliwack stay there - leave and drive to bellingham drop off times for rv between 8 and 11 am. Is the drive from chilliwack to bellingam going to be cutting to close to be dropping off by 11 am at the lastest- early start. any other suggestions for these few days of the trip?

    your help is most appreciated.

    There are a few days of big drives, and we are constantly moving every few days, but we like to be busy and seeing things. Is this ok for an active on the go family?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default US RV Rental and Drop-off in Canada?

    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! Some, maybe all of your driving times are way too wishful -- you need to add 25 to 30% more time to accomplish, but it's clear you've done a lot of planning! More comments later about your trip -- But how did you get clearance from a USA RV rental to drop off in Canada? I've never heard of such at thing! What rental company is this?

    Mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    How I read it they are dropping the RV in Bellingham/Seattle

    Is there a reason you are doing Cody/Yellowstone in 2 different sections. It would seem like you could get a lot more variety by heading from Moab to South Dakota via Colorado rather than doing Yellowstone and then driving back to yellowstone again a few days later.

    Or as an alternative, do all of your Yellowstone the first time, and then make your way north from South Dakota.

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sedenquist View Post
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! Some, maybe all of your driving times are way too wishful -- you need to add 25 to 30% more time to accomplish, but it's clear you've done a lot of planning! More comments later about your trip -- But how did you get clearance from a USA RV rental to drop off in Canada? I've never heard of such at thing! What rental company is this?

    Mark
    Have i not allowed enough driving time between stops? I have been using google maps and microsoft streets and trips as aguide. also, i am dropping off in bellingham / seattle in washington usa. The company i am using is el monte, so no candian drop off. looking forward to your comments.

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    How I read it they are dropping the RV in Bellingham/Seattle

    Is there a reason you are doing Cody/Yellowstone in 2 different sections. It would seem like you could get a lot more variety by heading from Moab to South Dakota via Colorado rather than doing Yellowstone and then driving back to yellowstone again a few days later.

    Or as an alternative, do all of your Yellowstone the first time, and then make your way north from South Dakota.
    i see exactly what you are saying, as i mentioned in my post i am bound by dates i have to be in specific places. I did look into going thru colorado, but would have too long a wait to get to north dakota on the 24th and 25th. in any case, what would you suggest for that route?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Nothing stands out as too much driving in one day, its just more of a standard reminder that computer programs like Google tend to underestimate overall travel times, since they really don't factor in basic slowdown, required stops for food/fuel, etc. You'll need to add that 25% to the times suggested by the computer programs to get a more realistic estimate for your total travel times.

  7. Default

    no worries, will add 25 -30%, thanks. Did you have any suggestions for going thru colorado?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default Moab ?

    Have you booked your place to stay ? The Devils Garden campground in Arches NP is in a great spot but you will have to check availability. Arches NP is a great place to explore with lots of easy walks and viewpoints and nearby is the 'Island in the sky' section of Canyonlands with great views from the end of the Mesa at Grand viewpoint. I am not sure where you can go on the quad bikes, but it could leave you short of time to explore the NP's. That leads me to my next question, how are you going to rent quads with the Kids, particularly with 6 month old twins ?

  9. Default

    Hi natasha163

    I don't know if you have driven a motorhome before or not. Driving the interstates you can usually go as fast as a car but when you get into the mountains you won't be able to go as fast and it's going to take you a lot longer to get to your destination.

    Day 10 Moab to Pinedale, WY This is 420+ miles over two slow driving mountain passes. From Moab to Vernal you have two choices. Hwy 139 in Colorado or Hwy 191. From Vernal to Rock Springs you have another two choices. Not sure which is best..but all are slow driving. Get an EARLY start! Your other choice is almost 100 miles longer going though Salt Lake City.

    Day 16 This is going to be a big travel day. You will be going over one of two mountain passes.

    Day 28 From West Yellowstone to Black Diamond is 540 miles. Keep in mind you can get stopped at the Canadian border and they can decide to check the RV from top to bottom. Been there and had that done and it takes a while!

    What route did you plan to take from Glacier/Waterton to Chilliwack? I think you would be better off going though Yoho, Glacier National Park (Canada) and Mt. Revelstoke NP.

    Utahtea

  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    Have you booked your place to stay ? The Devils Garden campground in Arches NP is in a great spot but you will have to check availability. Arches NP is a great place to explore with lots of easy walks and viewpoints and nearby is the 'Island in the sky' section of Canyonlands with great views from the end of the Mesa at Grand viewpoint. I am not sure where you can go on the quad bikes, but it could leave you short of time to explore the NP's. That leads me to my next question, how are you going to rent quads with the Kids, particularly with 6 month old twins ?
    we have booked at the canyonlands,great to know about the island in the sky being close, exactly how far do you think from moab itself.

    we r thinking about doing a 2 1/2 hr quad bike rental ...they are actually rangers or something. one can seat 4 and one can seat 3 i think. found typo in my orig post, age of my kids should read 8, 6 and also 3 and a half year old twins. all the kids have had exp on quad bikes as we live on a farm here in australia. the quad bikes for them will be a highlight, as much as i would like to do more trails in arches, i must do things that everyone can enjoy. We hope to do a half day at arches with some trails.

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