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  1. Default New User planning US odyssey for his family could use some guidance

    Hello to everyone,

    I am in the relatively early stages of planning our lifelong dream to drive across the US from LA to New York, via Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, DC and New York!

    We are a family of 4, mum, dad, 12yr old boy (will be 15 during trip) and 18month boy (4.5yrs on trip) planning on renting a motorhome/RV and taking 6 weeks to drive our desired route.

    Below is our current draft...

    LA - Las Vegas - Flagstaff - Albuquerque - El Paso - Ozona - Austin - Houston - New Orleans - Jackson - Memphis - Nashville - Charleston - DC - New York City

    My question to all the travellers out there this possible?

    If anyone who has done something similar or if anybody has some advice that would be great!

    We will be travelling from Perth, Western Australia.

    Thank you,


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    Yes, with six weeks, that's definitely possible. I would get a big USA map (either from your auto club or a map store) and start plotting out what's along the way that you'd like to see. You've named a lot of cities, but there are lots of scenic places along the way that you might like. Just driving the route you plan would take about 8 days, so the rest is yours for sightseeing. Don't forget to allow a little time at the beginning and end of your trip for checking out/in the motorhome, unpacking/packing, familiarizing yourself with the RV, and jet lag.

    The only place you've mentioned that is confusing to me is "Ozona"????


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts


    I had to look up Ozona - it's a town in Texas. Is there anything in particular that interests you about this town, or is it just a guidepost for your trip?

    From your questions, I've inferred this trip will not be taking place for a couple of years. One of the things to consider would be the various interests of members of your party at that time. A 15-year-old would probably have differences in interests than a 12-year-old, so keep some of your options open for that probability.

  4. Default

    Thank you very much for your responses.

    The reason I picked Ozona was to break up the drive across Texas. This seemed to be mid way between El Paso and Austin and after I had a quick look online, I thought it would be ok to stop overnight.

    I was wondering out of Austin, San Antonio or Houston which would be the best two to visit?

    Also, are 500km driving days appropriate?



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default From One Aussie to Another.


    I agree, that your first acquisition should be a large (wall size) map of the US. It really is the only way to get an overview of the trip on a large scale. Something which is not able to be done within the confines of a computer monitor. I prefer the National Geographics map, for the detail it shows. For durability, it pays to get it laminated.

    With three years to your trip, much, if not all of it will change many times. It always does!

    What may also benefit you is to get yourself a good road atlas of the US, something like the Rand McNally. The maps in these atlases show many of the points of interest along each route. (These are available at some good map shops locally, but are much cheaper online.)

    Then, as you read through these forums and the articles on this site, you can mark those places which interest you, on the map. Sticky notes are wonderful for this. And don't overlook what you may learn from standard TV programs, documentaries and even the news. If some thing or a place, strikes you as interesting, mark it on your map, with a note. Use the map centre to zoom in for the detail.

    As for 500km... the standard advice here is 500 - 550 miles (+/- 800kms) for a full day's driving. But frankly, with a 4 year old, I would not be doing that too often.

    What time of the year are you planning on taking this trip, and what are your - and your teenager's - interests?

    Lifey in Melbourne

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Early stages.

    The reason I picked Ozona was to break up the drive across Texas. This seemed to be mid way between El Paso and Austin and after I had a quick look online, I thought it would be ok to stop overnight.
    You have a list of 'main' destinations but I think that with the time you have available you shouldn't be looking at places to 'break the journey' at this point. As has been said, a good map and some research on RTA will throw up thousands of ideas of places you could stop at in between. For example from Flagstaff to Albu there are many possible attractions and you could as easily spend 3 or 4 days between the twoo as you could a day, including the likes of the Grand canyon and Monument valley. This will be true along the entire lenght of your trip. Another example is from Albu to El Paso to Austin where you have attractions such as White sands NM, Roswell [perhaps for the Kid's for an 'out of this world experience]and Carlsbad Caverns. Now if you were interested and decided to stop at Carlsbad, it would be possible to get to Austin in a long day or stop say around Frederecksburg.

    Basically what I am saying is that it's far too early in your planning to decide exactly where and when to stop, research is key and spread your options to stay where you will find interest. Planning is part of the fun, be sure to include the Kid's in it and everyone will have a great time !

    I was wondering out of Austin, San Antonio or Houston which would be the best two to visit?
    We don't really do 'best'. Each will have certain attractions to suit certain people and once again, it's yours and your families interests that matter. You have time to do all three !

    Also, are 500km driving days appropriate?
    In an RV with Kid's this would be about what I would recommend as a maximum. It will allow you time for a some minor stops for sight seeing, but not a lot.

    If you are actually considering just using the stops you have listed to stay at for 2 to 3 days I would seriously consider if the RV is the right choice for you. Don't get me wrong, I love the RV lifestyle and being in the heart of nature camping with one and all it's amenities. Where I don't enjoy it so much is when negotiating it around a City, for what they are not designed to do.

    Another thing to consider is that RV's are not the budget friendly choice in the US as they maybe in OZ. By the time you add on the extra fees, high gas consumption and Campground fees [which are generally higher near to the City] it would be a lot more costly then getting a Hotel room and renting a car.

  7. Default


    Thanks for all the great advice! I have taken all suggestions on board and will definitely continue my research as time progresses. What a great forum for travellers and I will definitely return as my planning continues!

    Thanks again,


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