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  1. Default First trip- Unusual requirements...

    Hi there,

    I'm planning a trip for next year in spring (May) for about a month. The idea was to start in the East, over to Oregon (Oregon trail), down to SF (Must have the ocean!) and back via Nashville, Blue Ridge. Having read some of the messages on here I think that might be pushing it time-wise. So I thought if I say what I'm after, wiser heads might be able to point me in the right direction, so to speak.

    1. We're from the UK (in our 40s). We have a month planned for this trip but I might be able to extend that
    2. I love camping, my wife doesn't. This might have something to do with me enjoying "roughing it". If it was made comfy, she might be persuadable, on occasion.
    3. We tour in the UK and Europe on a motorbike, so we'd like to get a weeks bike trip in as part of the experience
    4. We travel very well together, very similar tastes, and would really like to be off the beaten track, soak up the spirit of the places we visit. rather than motorway blasting (although not averse if we just want to get somewhere, of course)
    5. Wide open spaces, unspoilt night skies, hiking some trails in the hills, going along to a local event of some kind.
    6. I prefer not to plan far ahead. My wife is good with that as long as she knows where we're sleeping tonight
    7. "Ooo! Look, that place sounds interesting" - But see points 2 and 6

    Hopefully that gives a flavour. And hopefully someone can help :-)

    Oh, and I will need somewhere to buy a guitar to play on the trip...

    Thanks in advance


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Yeah, It Would Be

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forums!

    While it is possible to make the kind of circuit trip that you’re talking about in a month (I once did a similar trip in three weeks – when I was much younger/), it is not possible to do it, and camp, and motorcycle for a week, and take the back roads, and take leisurely hikes. Even adding a week or two would still leave you a little pressed. In order to do this in the general time frame you have, you’ll have to pretty much keep moving, averaging something like 300 miles a day. Now that leaves time for taking a hike, or seeing a sight, or doing something entertaining each day, but not time, really, for lingering in one spot for days at a time. What all that means in the end is that you will have to plan the trip out a bit more than you indicate would be your preference. Certainly not minute-by-minute details, but a general idea of where you have to be at the end of each day to maintain a sufficient pace to complete your trip on time without having to rush at the end.

    A couple of details: You can purchase a guitar for a relatively low price at any music store, but you might find better bargains at pawn shops. You won’t find Martins or Gibsons for $25, but you should be able to find something serviceable for under $100. As for adding a week-long motorcycle trip, that is going to be problematical at best. While they may exist, I’m not aware of any hire companies that will let you leave their bike somewhere other than where you rent it, so that means that your bike ride would be of the out and back, or loop, variety. At the end of the week you’d be right back where you started, and see my note above about not really having the time to stay in one place. Alternatively, if you can find a shop that will allow a one-way bike rental that would mean that you’re doing at least one one-way car rental and the one-way bike rental, both of which would entail drop-off fees of $200-300.

    Hope those thoughts help.


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

    Default Adding on

    Buck is very much right that you can certainly do a loop of the entire US in a month, however, it may be more rushed than you'd like. Keep in mind, it takes about a week of hard driving just to go from coast to coast and back.

    I'd also suggest that you don't limit yourself to the book "Roadtrip USA." I'm assuming you've used that guide because of your reference to "the Oregon trail" which really isn't used by anyone else to describe any roads. Its a perfectly good book, if you use it as tool to get ideas for places to stop, just don't think that prelisted sets of roads laid out are the only, or even best, choices for a roadtrip across america.

    If you're looking to strike a balance between "roughing it" and comfort, have you considered traveling by RV? That would seem to be a good compromise, that would let you spend your nights up close with nature, while still having a real bed and other modern comforts. Otherwise, keep in mind that you certainly don't need to camp to enjoy places like national parks and other great natural wonders.

    I believe Eagle Rider does one way motorcycle rentals (I think they are the only ones) but you would pay a premium do do a one way rental. Also keep in mind that if you dropped off your car and changed to a motorcycle, you'd be looking at one way drop fees for the car rental too. It would probably be most cost effective to keep the car, and just rent the bikes for a couple days to explore a specific area. Many Harley Dealerships offer rental bikes.

    Guitar Center is the biggest chain of music stores, but pretty much every city and town either has a music store or pawn shops where you should be able to pick up a decent used guitar for a reasonable price.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 09-12-2012 at 10:54 AM. Reason: used wrong word

  4. Default


    Thanks both for your replies. Much appreciated.

    Well I don't think an RV is for me, but you definitely hit on something. I love the idea of a... campervan! That would give us a "plan B" for overnight stops and be a little easier on the driving and parking.

    I hear what you are both saying about the distance so now it's time to negotiate with my travelling companion to find the "must do" places and then plan accordingly. I did find a place in Oregon that does a motorcycle tour for 7 days, all inclusive. Not cheap but sounds fab.

    Pawn shop for the guitar, most definitely. I like a (nice) surprise.

    No doubt I'll be on the forum again as the whole thing gets closer to reality.

    Cheers for now


  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default campervan

    Keep in mind Euro-style Campervans are quite rare in the US. There are very few places that offer them for rent, and I'm not sure if there are any on the east coast. Even if you find one, I'd be it ends up costing just as much as an RV.

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