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  1. Default Coming back from deployment mid june, looking forward to my "first" road trip.

    I have driven from Northern California to Texas several times when I was on leave before but this time I was wanting to get an RV and take a few buddies of mine from this tour on a trip through California. *4 of us total* But with me being completely new to all this I was hoping you guys (or gals) could share some of your experience and expertise with me. I have a plan of the sites I'd like to see but where to even start as far as good places to rent an RV from, whether or not it would be better to just rent a car and stay at hotels (I'd like to rent an RV unless the cost difference is considerable), what kind of deals I can get, etc. is beyond me. Please throw some tips my way and share the gems you've uncovered on your road trips.

    Here is the planned route (feel free to critique it as well)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA, and thank you for your service to our country!

    We have a thread, started a few months back, which will debate the RV vs. car+motel bit. It can be found right here. With 4 guys, if you require 4 different motel rooms, the RV would probably pay off. If you are planning to share a motel room (much like you'd share an RV), then maybe not. Also to consider are your ages. If you are under 25, you may have a problem renting an RV, though you might not have a problem renting a car. Between age 21 and 25, though, you'd have to pay an underage fee with a car rental (I'm not sure about RV). Last thing to consider with RV is that one-way RV's are hard to come by.

    You didn't mention how much leave you have for this trip, either...which will make a difference in just how much time you can spend at various places on your way.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Time.

    The bigger RV renters and good places to get an idea of costs would be on the Cruise America, El Monte and Roadbear sites. Of course there are other choices [including brokers] but it will offer you a 'ballpark' figure. On the Cruise America site you will find a 'Hot deals' page where they list any special offers they may have, I expect the others are similar. It's important to factor in additional costs when renting like bedding and kitchen kits, [if needed] extra mileage charges, preparation fees and so on. Then you have to consider campground fees and the fact that you will only get a gas return of 9-10mpg, which is quite significant over a trip of this size and the rising cost of fuel. If you can get around all that and it's what you want to do then it can be a great way to travel ! We, as 2 couples who would want two Hotel rooms and to stay in some National parks [whee lodging is expensive and camping cheap] found that we were close to a 'break even' point on our trips.

    It's not clear whether you are all from Texas [or stationed there] or your buddies will be flying in, but as your trip is focused in California, it would be worth considering flying out to Cali or meeting up there and then rent an RV. It would save a lot of time and gas in doing so and would give you more time to explore the sites.

    If you were to drive all the way [and had the time] I would be changing the route up so that you head a different route each way. For example you could head to the Grand canyon, Bryce canyon and Zion NP's in Utah] to Yosemite and then north towards Shasta Caverns etc before heading to the Redwoods and head south seeing more of the coast, particularly between SF and LA along the spectacular coast road around Big Sur.

    Much will come down to time, you won't want to be in such a rush that you go to lots of places, but your buddies end up seeing very little. You can't actually rush in an RV and you need to allow for longer journey times. Sometimes less is more.

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