We are four families (four couples, all with kids between 5 and 14) planning to rent RVs in the West Coast and travel together for two weeks this summer. We are neighbors and very close friends --the kids go to the same school-- and two of the four families are getting transfered in the Fall, so we want to share this vacation before our employers put 1000 miles between us.
We do not want to overplan the vacation, but rather see where the wind takes us. Two weeks is long enough to take it easy. however, we at least should know some things...after all we are travelling with 9 children among us!
None of us has ever rented an RV, but at least a couple of us are pretty handy with tools and understand engines. We figure that if we rent manageable (not too large) RVs and do everything carefully, this is something we can do.
We have plenty of questions:
1. We would like mostly to stop and see National Parks and other natural wonders, but have not yet chosen which to visit. Any advice would be great.
2. Since we are passing by some really interesting cities, we might want to stop for that too (at least San Francisco and Seattle, for example). How inconvenient is to do this if one´s transportation is an RV? Is driving it into town really unmanageable? Are there RV parking places near trains or other public transport? Should we just forget about the "urban" in the trip and focus on nature?
3. Las Vegas is a good place for us to start the trip, since an air ticket from here to there is quite cheap. Any reason why we should avoid renting our RVs there? Should we be concerned about crossing the desert on them?
4. One of us insists that deviating into Montana would be great, as she has heard that it is just beautiful. Any opinions?
5. How much is too much driving per day for the kids? Any experiences? I know how long can my kids stand in a car without fighting or going (and driving us) crazy, but of course an RV is different from a car.
6. None of us has ever dealt with the water/waste disposal/charging of an RV. Can this be learnt "on the spot", or should we look for an RV owner nearby to teach us before travelling?
7. Are RV facilities (where we can park and service our vehicles, and perhaps stay overnight) usually open, or do they require reservations? Should we be concerned that there may be no room? What is a good source of information about different facilities?
Any other advise or comments would be very welcome.
tHANKS TO ALL