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  1. Default 4 British guys on 105day trip around the whole of the States

    Hi :D first post, but really looking to get involved on here.

    Me and 3 mates of mine are planning a trip around the US in an RV beginning March 2013 until mid June. Sort of a post-Uni gap year thing. Starting in New York and then travelling down the East Coast, through the South, up the West coast and then across the North back to NY. Visiting all the main cities on the way.
    We've never even driven an RV before, so it could be an interesting experience :P

    Any tips? Any places we just HAVE to go? And, as Brits, anything we should know about the States and how things are done that may differ from our homeland?

    Appreciate any replies :D

    Joe

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    In a country as big as the US, it simply is impossible to say what would be a must see for you, especially when we know nothing about what you are interested in.

    I will say that if your priority is to visit cities, then an RV may not be a very good choice for transportation. It will almost certainly be more expensive, it can be tough to get around a city in such a large vehicle, and finding a nearby RV park can be difficult and expensive. If your focus is national parks and nature, then it can be a great lifestyle choice, but the only thing you mentioned is seeing main cities.

  3. Default

    That's a good point, and I was a bit misleading in my opening post. We will be doing a mix of many things, we just tend to use the main cities as reference points. We will spend time in the cities, but we were not intending to drive around them. We would spend a lot of time in the rural areas driving between places, and then park up in more suburban areas and camp there.
    I tried to avoid writing too long an opening post, but that obviously proved counter-productive. We're young musicians who enjoy drinking and meeting people. We're history students, me and another friend specialising in United States history. So we're open to a lot :D
    Living in an RV will prove much cheaper for us on the whole is what I have been lead to believe.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Things you should know...

    Quote Originally Posted by joey.manic View Post
    And, as Brits, anything we should know about the States and how things are done that may differ from our homeland?
    Hi Joe,

    The first thing which jumped out at me, and which you should know before you go any further, is that the normal Visa Waiver Program allows you a stay of 90 days. Have you actually checked with the embassy in London, or your local consulate, if you can stay for 105 days? On arrival, you will need proof (your ticket) that you will be leaving the States within 90 days.

    Living in an RV will prove much cheaper for us on the whole is what I have been lead to believe.
    You may like to do further research on this. As Michael said, you need to find a place to park it everynight, and those places typically will not be in big or little cities. You can't just pull over anywhere. That then means you will need taxis to get around. Only in places like NYC, DC, Chicago and San Francisco - and maybe a couple of others - can you rely on public transport. Depending on your mix of cities and nature, you may find that what you have been led to believe is not quite accurate.

    Lifey

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifemagician View Post
    Hi Joe,

    The first thing which jumped out at me, and which you should know before you go any further, is that the normal Visa Waiver Program allows you a stay of 90 days. Have you actually checked with the embassy in London, or your local consulate, if you can stay for 105 days? On arrival, you will need proof (your ticket) that you will be leaving the States within 90 days.
    Yes,I have had lots of contact with the embassy and we will all have acquired a B2 visa for the trip.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifemagician View Post
    You may like to do further research on this. As Michael said, you need to find a place to park it everynight, and those places typically will not be in big or little cities. You can't just pull over anywhere. That then means you will need taxis to get around. Only in places like NYC, DC, Chicago and San Francisco - and maybe a couple of others - can you rely on public transport. Depending on your mix of cities and nature, you may find that what you have been led to believe is not quite accurate.

    Lifey
    I do appreciate this would be a problem, however considering transport, and our luggage etc, I worked it out that it would be cheaper and easier overall between the four of us to share the cost of an RV. As hotels would be mightily expensive if we planned on staying in the city centres, and so would transport back out towards the suburbian areas. Particularly as we wanted the freedom to go a bit off the beaten track, or to more random little towns etc.

    I could be wrong, but either way the extra freedom that an RV allows I thought would be worth it.

    Thanks for your response :D

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default A lot more freedom in a rental car!

    These days, there are more restrictions on where RVs can travel. But in terms of costs, even with the reduced costs of cooking your own meals in the RV and etc, for the most part, it will cost you 25% to 30% more over the 90 day period to use a RV (rental costs, fuel costs, camping fees can run as much as USD $50 per night at some RV parks) compared to the cost of a reasonable car rental and using motels.

    It can be worth it, you can park in the middle of nowhere and have a full lunch or even stay overnight. You always will have a clean restroom (if you keep the RV clean) and you can cook easier, but if money is your primary concern -- RV travel is a premium option.

    Check out this thread for more ideas on this.

    Mark

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
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    13,063

    Default

    As hotels would be mightily expensive if we planned on staying in the city centres, and so would transport back out towards the suburbian areas. Particularly as we wanted the freedom to go a bit off the beaten track, or to more random little towns etc.
    I really have to say that I think you are badly mistaken here.

    First cost-wise, as mark mentioned, it simply will not be cheaper. Specifically, you mentioned that it would be expensive to transit to suburbs for cheaper motels. The problem is you'll have even worse problems with an RV. If you are staying in suburban RV parks, you're going to have to find transit into the city, in many cases that's going to have to be taxis or finding parking for a large RV in a city, both options would be very expensive. If you had a rental car, you could simply drive in and out of the city. I think you may be underestimating RV park costs too, as they will often be as much as a cheap hotel, especially in suburban areas.

    The freedom aspect also strikes me as being counter-productive. You'd have a lot more freedom and flexibility in a standard rental car. An RV is going to mean some limitations on where you can go and how fast you can get there. Throw in your plans to spend significant time in cities, where driving around and parking will be much more difficult in an RV vs a car, and I just don't see the advantage from that perspective.

    There certainly are some positives with an RV, especially considering the length of time you'll be on the road, but I think you are mistaken about some of the things you think will be positives and you may want to take a look at some of the significant downsides of your plan.

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

    Default Lifestyle.

    To move along with your planning, you should get a big detailed map of the USA to select areas of interest and then use the RTA site for your research. By digging around the forums and road trip planning pages in the green tool bar above you will find no end of detailed information, including a whole section on RV'ing under the Title 'Trip Advice'. At this point there are just too many options to give you meaningful ideas as to what to do and where to go, but once you have started laying it out in more detail based around your interests, we can certainly help fill in the blanks.

    We travel to the US as 2 couples and rent an RV who would otherwise use 2 x Motel rooms. As we mainly stay in the National parks where Lodgings are generally more expensive [ $150 per night] and campgrounds are cheap [$18/20 per night] it starts to get near a break even point when compared to the cost of a car and Motels. If you are prepared to share one room and stay outside the more expensive areas and travel in, I can assure you the car option would be cheaper.

    The thing you may have not considered when costing, is the campground fees [which are generally dearer in built up areas] and fuel costs. If you trip were to be 9000 miles and gas was $4 per gallon you could expect the fuel alone to cost an extra $2500 compared to a car rental. As your plan unfolds you should get a better idea of what would suit you best, but first and for most it should be a Lifestyle choice based on the suitability for this particular trip.

    As 4 young Lads who are a bit adventurous [?] you could consider mixing it up a bit and buying some cheap camping gear in the US and using Motels and Campgrounds, perhaps the odd apartment if, for example, you were spending extra time in New York.

    Remember, most rental Co's charge young driver fees for every driver under the age of 25 and it's difficult to rent at all and even more expensive under 21 years of age.

    As new questions come up keep asking the questions and we will keep trying to pint you in the right direction, enjoy the planning !

  9. Default Brits doing round trip of States, starting in New York. Few questions :D

    Hi guys! I appreciate this is quite a vague post but I am so excited about this trip I was hoping for some input to keep me going. Me and two friends are travelling the states for just under four months in an RV, beginning and ending in New York, in March 2013. There's a picture of the map posted below. Couple of questions really:
    1) How easy is it for us, as Brits, to cross into Canada to visit some friends in Vancouver. I know it's not too far a drive, it's more border control I am worried about.
    2) Is there anywhere on our map you think we just HAVE to see/ go to. No matter how small it may be. Alternatively is there anywhere you think it could be worth us missing for time/ money reasons.

    We're 3 guys, early twenties, all interested in States history, music lovers, and appreciators of some good alcohol and a night out. So we're open to a lot really.

    Really appreciate any feedback :)



    Moderator Note: Please keep all questions about this trip in the same thread
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 10-08-2012 at 05:31 PM. Reason: Merged Threads

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Borders

    Typically, as long as you are within the length and terms of your of your Visa, re-entry into the US isn't a big deal. You do have to figure out what the rules for entry into Canada are based on your citizenship, but as someone from the UK, that shouldn't be much of a problem for you either (As I mentioned to someone else a couple days ago, you share the same queen afterall!)

    As with any question when it comes down to legalities, you should really be contacting the appropriate customs authorities to get the details on your specific situation.

    Beyond customs/immigration, you'll need to make sure your rental company allows travel into Canada, and that it says so on your rental contract/agreement.

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