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  1. #1

    Default Complete newbies need help!

    We are newly retired, British and totally in love with USA. We are looking to fulfill a dream and make a long road trip in USA next April. We've looked at RV's and also hire car with hotel stops and are fast getting totally confused. The idea is to drive from our base near Dallas, go up to Yellowstone where we plan to stay for a few days, and come back to Dallas via New Orleans and Houston. We would also like to cover as many States as we can so a round trip would be good. Can anyone advise on whether an RV or a car is best (I like the idea of an RV as we can stop anywhere we like but like the hire car and hotel idea as it appears to be the cheaper option). Ideas for places we MUST see on that route? Good places to stay? Any help gratefully received! Many thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Are 17 States Enough?

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    You could, with a minimum of a fortnight, get to 17 different states by driving 4500 miles (plus side trips) from Dallas to Yellowstone and back via New Orleans. If you can add a third week, then you can have a really relaxed exploration of the American west. You would basically head northwest out of Dallas to the Red River, follow that for a while crossing over to Oklahoma at some point, then up through the northeast corner of New Mexico, across southern Colorado to the Four Corners area and the Grand Canyon, north through Utah and Idaho to Yellowstone (taking the time to visit the Montana bit of it). Leave Yellowstone eastbound through northern Wyoming to Rapid City South Dakota and then come south on the Great Plains following the Missouri River (maybe even picking off Minnesota) through Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas to Memphis TN. Finish up by dropping down through Mississippi to New Orleans LA and back to Dallas. We can get into details later, once you have a more precise timeframe.

    As for doing all that in an RV, I'd probably suggest that you not unless you're used to them and have enjoyed past experiences. They really are more about the lifestyle than about saving money. By the time you pay the extra rental charges, add in the extra petrol you'll need to run them, include the cost of campsites and water/electric hookups, account for the slower driving pace, and realize that there are places you just can't get to n one of them, I just think you'd be far better off in a small sedan (Here a 'saloon' is a pub.) and staying in hotels, inns, and B&Bs. Even in the wide open and underpopulated west, you'll never be more than 25 miles or so from 'civilization', so you should be able to find some reasonable accommodations no matter where you want to stop for the night.


  3. #3


    AZBuck - thank you so much for your extremely helpful response. I take your point about being novice RV'ers and I agree with you. Maybe another time! 17 states sounds wonderful and there are quite a few things we can have a look at on the way. I have Himself looking at your suggested route on his A-Z US road map at the moment. We plan to stay in the States for about 5 weeks, some of it with our friends but taking about 2-3 weeks on the road trip.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Note that in April, very little of Yellowstone will be open to wheeled vehicles.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Not anywhere.

    (I like the idea of an RV as we can stop anywhere we like
    You actually can't. Most 'legal' camping is limited to designated campgrounds or you could pull up in the odd truck stop or Walmart [with permission] for a nights sleep, but would not be able to set up camp such as light the BBQ and get the chairs out. Inother words you would have to search for somewhere top saty just as if you were searching for a Hotel.

    That said RV'ing can be a great lifestyle choice and one we love to take, but as pointed out it is not the cheapest option when just the two people are travelling. They can make up ground if you are planning on visiting lots of National parks where lodging can be a lot more expensive within them and campgrounds are most reasonable. The downside is that the campgrounds have limited RV sites and they are very popular, especially in the summer, making booking essential.

    You mention starting out in April and also visiting friends during your stay. I would try and arrange things so that you arrive to Yellowstone as late as you can as Spring comes late to the park and it's not fully open untill late May.

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