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  1. Default Complete Beginner Looking For Advice


    I am looking for advice on a route for a Summer road trip for three guys in their early twenties.
    The budget isn't going to be particularly high by we have the resources to squeeze out some money to make the trip a possibility.
    We intend to travel in a campervan (is this what it's called in the US, we are New Zealanders) for two weeks.

    We would like to visit a range of interesting places (but we want a realistic amount of time to appreciate our destinations: at least 2-3 days per place). We MUST pass through Las Vegas and finish in Los Angeles, nowhere else is fixed, including our starting point.
    We don't want to pass through areas where we may encounter prejudice on the way and would like to spend some time in a fairly wholesome American town/maybe-city to contrast with the more exciting cities.

    Any advice on what this kind of road trip would entail would be extremely helpful.

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default A SW loop trip ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Camper vans are quite a rare thing in the US although there are a few options. Generally it is the RV that the US companies rent out and they can be costly to rent and burn a lot of fuel, but come with many 'creature comforts'.

    Given that you are on a tight[ish] budget and there would be large one way drop fees on an RV [and maybe not possible with a campervan] I would suggest a loop trip, perhaps starting in LA, SF or Vegas as two of those you wish to visit anyway.

    There will be plenty of 'wholesome American towns' and more importantly wholesome people that you will stumble across anywhere in the USA. I doubt you will come across any type of predjudice, but like everywhere in the world you go, use common sense as you would at home. Every place is someones home where they go about their daily lives safely. If you sense at any time that you might be in the wrong part of town, trust your 'built in radar' and just move on, but generally speaking you won't find nicer people anywhere.

    Back to the vehicle. You might find that a car and Motel rooms may work out cheaper than an RV by the time you include all extra cost, high fuel bill, campground fees, mileage charges and bedding kits etc. There is a company in San Fran called Lost Campers which is kind of hybrid car camper, but more designed for 2 people, you could check them out though.

    You should know that in the US there is a 'Young drivers fee' added to the renta almost as standard policy, so keep an eye out for it. It is a daily charge for each individual under 25 years of age who wants to drive and can add up to a significant amount.

    As for travelling the southwest, I would take a look at some of our favourite threads here and look around the forums with a good map to hand.

    You might decide you want to do a one way trip across the country, but sitting down with your buddies and discussing what you all want to do is the best way to get started. Once you have the basics sorted we can help to fine tune your trip and make suggestions.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    First, if you are looking for a Euro-style campervan, you'll find they are quite rare in the US, especially on the rental market. There are a couple of places that offer them, but the vast majority of the market offers the larger RVs.

    Also note that an RV or campervan is almost certainly going to be more expensive than renting a car and staying in motels. Also know that since you are under 25, you could be looking at fees of more than $25 per day, per driver, on top of the normal car/rv rental fees.

    As far as where to go, that really has to be something you decide with your friends. A few options would be to go through Death Valley, Yosemite, San Francisco and the Coast. Or visit some of the National Parks in Utah, down to the Grand Canyon and back to LA. Or a loop around Arizona, including the Grand Canyon, Phoenix/Tucson, and San Diego.

    There's lots of threads about those kinds of trips on this forum, as many other resources here to take advantage of, to help you come up with a plan.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 06-15-2012 at 05:04 AM. Reason: Typo on age related fees.

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