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  1. #1

    Default Any ideas? July trip for Aussie family

    Hi There

    We are a group of 8 adults and one child coming from Australia planning a road trip in July 2013. We will most likely fly into Dallas early July and hope to spend up to 10 days on the road in camper vans. Although we need to be in New York on 20th July, we dont need to drive that distance, possibly leaving the vans and flying the rest of the way to New York.

    We plan to drive north or east, so any ideas, tips would be very helpful. We can't see and do everything! however a relaxed road trip of about 10 days taking in some of the major sites would be great.

    Love to hear any ideas, cheers patttyr

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Some Thoughts to Help Get You Started

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    With the amount of time you have and your desire to travel by RV ( or Recreational Vehicles, our term for camper vans), you can certainly have a pretty good trip. Just very generally you should be looking at spending some time in Cajun bayou country, on the Gulf coast, through the Appalachians, and maybe a bit on the Middle Atlantic coast. In those areas, you'll find scenery, nature, history, arts, amusements, etc. Your aim should be, I think, to finish the RoadTrip portion of your trip at Washington DC and drop off the RVs there. You'll need to do the drop-off in a large metropolitan area where your rental company has an outlet and Washington would make a good endpoint for a couple of reasons. The main one is that form there to New York, an RV actually becomes a liability. They're no good at getting around the big cities and parking in Washington and New York in particular can get very expensive. Also there is excellent public transportation in both of those cities (subways, busses, and cabs) and very good inter-city transport on Amtrak, our national rail service. Once you decide on a basic plan that's a bit more specific than what you have now, and can let us know what your interests are, we can start offering specific suggestions for places to visit.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default From one Melbournian to another.

    AZBuck has certainly given you some great suggestions for areas through which you could route, and find much of interest. They are by no means the only ones. As you do your research, you are bound to find more / others which interest you. I would second Buck's suggestion that you take the RVs to DC, and then the train to NYC. DC is worth a couple of your days, so much to see there.

    My suggestion would be - if you do not already have one - to you get yourself a good large map of the US, or a road atlas, such as the Rand McNally. I have seen these for sale in places like Melboure Map Centre. The 2012 edition will be fine for your trip. I have often used a two or three year old atlas.

    What you may also like to consider is to take your RACV membership with you. This will give you access to free tourist information and maps from AAA. You could pick up maps and information in Dallas before you embark on your roadtrip.

    In NYC on 20th July - Interesting! I have to be in Boston on 20th July. Might see you on the road.

    Lifey

  4. #4

    Default

    Good morning from Melbourne,
    Thanks for the great advice to get us started on our itinerary. Travelling through the bayou country and finishing in Washington would be ideal, we were going to visit Washington from New York in our original plans.

    We have a few varied interests, music, nature, history, and 2 of the guys are car enthusiasts, both classic cars and Nascar. I was going to look to see if there were any nascar tracks on the trip, or car museums to keep them happy.

    I would imagine renting the RV's from a large rental company would be the way to go, e.g. Hertz, happy for any suggestions. Good tip on the RACV membership, thanks for that.

    Might see you on the road Lifey, we might have to put an aussie flag on the RV
    Im off to the Melbourne Map Centre to get a map and start planning.

    Cheers, patty

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Flags and more

    Quote Originally Posted by patttyr View Post
    ... we might have to put an aussie flag on the RV ...
    By all means. I always have an Australian flag in the rear window. Make it clear that you are not a local.

    Years ago, I saw a car with a hand drawn Union Jack in the rear window, with 'British Driver' written under it. I thought it was a brilliant idea, and have done the same ever since. Even if it is just a 4" x 6" sticker. Often I have men, come up to me in shopping areas car parks, tell me all about the Aussies with whom they fought in Vietnam, and similar tales. I make a point of having business cards and small trinket souvenirs with me to hand out, at times like that.

    You could make a lot of friends.

    Lifey

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default A Few Things to Consider

    Allrighty, that helps quite a bit. For some of the best of bayou country, check out the Creole Nature Trail. Music and history are both strong points of New Orleans. For some of the best of NASCAR make sure that some of the garages, particularly around Charlotte NC are on your itinerary. Unfortunately, there will be no NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide or Truck Series races near your route and time, but keep an eye and ear out for local races, particularly on the weekends.

    With those 'anchor points' helping to define your trip, you can now start looking for other scenic, natural and historic routes and sites to tie them together. A few to give serious consideration to would be Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Historic Triangle of Tidewater Virginia. While in DC, check out the Smithsonian's On the Move exhibit including one-of-a-kind cars.

    A note on your RV rental. Typically, the major car rental companies do not rent RVs. While they might have some larger vans in their fleets, these are usually not equipped for camping. If you plan to make serious use of your rental vehicle for lodging, then you will have to go with a specialty company such as Cruise America, El Monte RV, Camping World, or others.

    AZBuck

  7. #7

    Default

    Hi, thanks guys for all your help and ideas.

    Ok, we have been reading maps and now starting to get an idea where we all want to go.

    Here is our first draft itinerary. Start in Dallas, then to New Orleans, Jackson, Memphis, Nashville, over to Smokey Mountains, then to Charlotte up to Washington DC. I would love to hear any ideas, suggestions if this seems ok, and how much time should be spent in various places.

    Cheers patty

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

    Default Some More Then

    With your plan now coming together, it looks like everything I recommended previously will still fit within its confines. With the addition of Memphis here are a couple of other things you should look at. To be perfectly honest, most people who make a point of going to Memphis are doing so to take in Graceland. If that's the case with you, then I would make a point of leaving Jackson MS on the Natchez Trace Parkway and follow that up to Tupelo and see Elvis' birthplace, and then take US-78 into Memphis. And while in Memphis, you might also want to visit Sun Studios where he (and Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins, and others) started his musical career. Then on your way from the Great Smokies to Charlotte, Asheville NC is worth a quick stop if only to tour the Biltmore Mansion.

    AZBuck

  9. #9

    Default

    Hi All,
    Ok, we have booked the RV to pick up in Carrollton, Dallas. So, itinerary for comment and suggestions.
    Dallas - Crockett
    Crockett - Lafayette or close by
    Lafayette - New Orleans
    New Orleans - Jackson
    Jackson - Memphis
    Memphis - Nashville
    Nashville - Charlotte
    Charlotte - Washington DC
    Now, a couple of questions.
    Overnight stay in the Lafayette area - any suggestions for nearby towns?
    Nashville to Charlotte via Smoky Mountains - possibly an overnight stop in between or should we go straight to Charlotte?
    Which would be the best route to take from Charlotte to Washington DC - in land or via the coast?
    Thanks so much for your help so far.
    Look forward to your replies.
    Patty

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    Nashville to Charlotte and Charlotte to DC are both fairly full days via the fastest Interstate routes, they are each 400+ miles. If you want to do some enjoyable sightseeing they should probably each be broken up into 2 day segments. If you are short on time, you may want to consider bypassing Charlotte.

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