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  1. Default Nashville>LA during the winter

    Hey everyone,

    My husband and I are planning a trip to the U.S this december (we're from Brasil). The idea is to rent a small RV and go all the way from Nashville to LA in 3 weeks.
    This is the plan for now:

    Nashville > Memphis
    Memphis > Little Rock
    Little Rock > Dallas
    Dallas > Austin
    Austin > Albuquerque
    Albuquerque > Grand Canyon
    Grand Canyon > Las Vegas
    Las Vegas > Los Angeles

    I'd like to now if you have any suggestions on the more attractive roads and if we should beware of any kind of situation that may occur during winter.
    Thanks! :-D
    Renata

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The trip you've laid out is fine, if those are all the places you want to go.

    However, I will say that I can't see why you'd want to take an RV for this trip. RV's are great for trips where you are getting out to explore nature and want to enjoy being outside. You're planning a trip where you are going almost exclusively to cities, in the winter.

    It is very much going to be winter during your trip, and it will likely be quite cold at night. It might even be so cold that you'll have to worry about things like water lines and such freezing, not to mention an RV isn't necessarily the warmest place to be if it gets seriously cold overnight. Even finding campgrounds and RV parks that are open will be more difficult at this time of year.

    But even if it was summer, nearly all of your destinations are cities, where an RV will be difficult to get around and very difficult/expensive to find parking. In many cases you'll also likely have to go quite a few miles outside of town to find a suitable place to spend the night.

    So what is your reason for picking these locations, and why do you want to travel in an RV?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default There are Always Options

    Bem-Vinda! Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    There is almost always more than one way to get from Point 'A' to Point 'B', especially when you've got three weeks to cover a route that could be done in four and a half days. So the real question is: What do you hope to get out of your trip and what are the things that you would most like to see. Just a few of the roads and sites worth looking into as you plan your trip would be the Natchez Trace Parkway, Civil War battlefields, perhaps the only place on Earth where you can dig for diamonds, the Alamo, LBJ's birthplace and ranch, Carlsbad Caverns, White Sands, ancient and modern Native American Pueblos, many natural wonders besides just the Grand Canyon, the longest remaining stretch of the old 'Mother Road' US-66, deserts and oceans. So which of those appeal to you? Which wouldn't you bother with?

    As for winter weather, it shouldn't be too much of a problem where you'll be traveling with a few exceptions. Anywhere in the continental US can see ice and snow storms although they are less likely the farther south you are. On the other hand, they become more likely as you gain elevation and much of northern Arizona is at 7,000 feet or higher. It is not unusual at all for Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon rim to see significant snows. If you should encounter adverse weather, you have more than enough time to just wait it out, let the road crews do their jobs, and resume travel when the un comes back out.

    AZBuck

  4. Default

    Hey Michael, thank you for your reply!
    My husband will be in Lynchburg for business so that's why we're meeting in Nashville and starting the trip from there. At Memphis we'll be looking for good music. At Austin we're visiting his brother. It is all unexplored territory for the both of us (except I've been to Vegas and LA once before).
    We figured the RV will be less expensive than renting a car plus hotel or motel fees plus having to eat out every day. And it's fun!
    We expect to find beatiful places and small towns along the way, so the cities I mentioned are mostly a guide for us.
    I got concerned about the weather and not being warm enough in the RV. We're sending a mail to the RV company to clarify that (hope they answer us in time). I'm alson very concerned about the snow. We're used to offroad trips, but mud and snow are very different I supose.
    I'd be glad to hear any other advices you have for us.
    Thanks again!
    Renata

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    As a general rule, an RV is not a cheaper way to travel, in fact, even factoring in meals, its usually significantly more expensive than a car/motel trip.

    The extra fuel, higher rental costs, and the cost of campsites (which can be as expensive as a cheap motel if you've got full hook-ups) are among the things that all make it more expensive to go with an RV. If you want to do it because you think it will be more fun, that's great, but I wouldn't do it for economic reasons.

  6. Default

    Hi AZBuck,
    You've mentioned many things and all of them seem appealing to me! We're a young couple, mostly looking for good music, nice people and beautiful/interesting sights. And we wouldn't mind deviating from the main roads. I'm sure my husband would love to drive along US-66 (actually, me too!). The desert is something I'd enjoy experiencing as well.
    The only "musts" on this trip are Memphis, Austin and getting to LA on time for our flight back.
    Do you know where I can find a RV Parks guide online?
    Based on these informations, do you have any other suggestions?
    Thank you very much for your help!
    Renata

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Also...

    A few more sites that you should be looking at. Between Nashville and Memphis you can start out on the Natchez Trace Parkway down to US-64 then take that over to Pittsburg Landing and Shiloh National Battlefield. Then if Elvis/Graceland is on your agenda in Memphis, take US-45 down to Tupelo MS and his birthplace before continuing on to Memphis on US-78. In Memphis, besides the musical nightspots along Beale St., take the time to visit the site of Sun Studios where a number of famous singers got their starts. As noted, there is a place in Arkansas where you can dig for diamonds, the appropriately named Crater of Diamonds State park outside Murfreesboro. Just bring plenty of water, some digging implements, chairs and a sieve.

    Austin is another place with a very vibrant music scene and I'm sure that your friends can show you around that town better than I can, but also ask them to take you out to the Salt Lick for some good old-fashioned Texas barbecue. I really did enjoy a recent visit to San Antonio and the Alamo, but even more so the Texas hill country to the west of town. In particular Lyndon Johnson's boyhood home (in Johnson City) and ranch (near Stonewall) were fascination, but perhaps you have to be an American to appreciate such sites.

    West of there things start to dry out pretty fast and the high plains can be a bit sterile for first time visitors, so think about making a detour down through Big Bend National Park and the Davis Mountains, then heading north through the Guadeloupe Mountains to Carlsbad NM. If you're into such things as alien visitations, you can visit Roswell. But a couple of more conventional space related sites would be White Sands National Monument where there's a Space Shuttle landing port, and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory outside Socorro. Then on the way to the Grand Canyon there are more than a few other interesting scenic, and archaeological sites including Petroglyph National Monument near Albuquerque, Petrified Forest National Park, Meteor Crater, Walnut Canyon National Monument, Lowell Observatory (where Pluto was discovered) and the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff, and Sunset Crater and Wupatki National Monuments. And that long stretch of old Route 66 starts in Seligman AZ, heads up through Peach Springs and returns to I-40 at Kingman.

    AZBuck

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    As someone has previously pointed out, you may have a problem with an RV. Cold and snow are hard on the water tanks and pipes within the RV, and you may have to "winterize" the vehicle periodically while you are on the road. That can be a pain anyway, but to do it more than once will take away ALL of the savings from food costs.

    Believe me, I love RV's....and they used to be a lot less expensive way to see the country than they are now. They use more fuel (more $$$), RV parks aren't all that much cheaper than a budget motel, and when you add the costs of winterizing and the rental of bedding and kitchen equipment inside it, you may as well stay in a nice warm motel. If you want to save money on food, take an electric fry pan and a cooler. You can cook a lot in an electric fry pan -- casseroles, hot dogs, hamburgers, grilled cheese sandwiches, bacon-eggs-fried toast, and more.


    Donna

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