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  1. #1

    Default Southern States US tour starting from Atlanta. ( Flying in from the UK )

    Hi Everybody,
    We are starting to plan our first ever RV adventure for the family next April (2014). Me, my other half along with our Daughter, her Husband and 2 Grandchildren aged 13 and 10. Found this site during my research and have been finding the RoadTrip Reports great for highlighting places to visit and though you kind folk might be able to give us some help and sound advice on our proposed route.

    Flying out from the UK 3rd April to Atlanta and returning on the 21st April. Rough plan at the moment is to head north to the Blue Ridge Mountains travelling through Cherokee to Gatlinburg then on to Nashville and down to Huntsville. From there go west to Clarksdale for the Juke Joint Festival down through the Mississippi Delta to Baton Rouge and Lafayette and then on to New Orleans and back to Atlanta for the flight home. I reckon the total mileage will be under 2000 miles which seems reasonable to me in the 17 days but in reality are we trying to get too much in in the time we have ? I realise that on some days there will be plenty of driving and some of the places we visit may will be very fleeting glimpses but obviously we would like to get in as much as we can for this once in a life time family trip and try to get a real taste of the Southern States. As you can probably guess I love my Blues and American Roots music so Mississippi and Louisiana for the Blues and Cajun music is a must along with Nashville for the Country music as a bonus.

    I've been checking out Lighnin RV Rentals in Atlanta. It would be great if anybody has any feedback on them as booking from this side of the pond is always a bit of a worry otherwise Cruise America is an obvious choice.

    Would really appreciate any tips, ideas and comments about the plan and even alternative routes if needs be. Also any help as to how we can keep the cost down if possible. Petrol (sorry Gas) prices seem great to me compared to the UK and with 6 of us travelling it makes an RV holiday a good deal as well as a great way to see the US.

    We have two drivers and have done plenty of European Driving holidays to Spain and Italy so not too worried about the actual driving apart from it being a 30 ft RV of course !!!

    Sorry for the long first post and many thanks for any help or comments,


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

    Default Rv.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums, from the UK.

    I'm afraid I can't help with the planning for your southern states trip as I am not familiar, but I am sure someone will be along later. In the meantime you will find lots of info using the forum search engine as well as scrolling down this page where you will find 'Similar threads'. [Repeat as many times as you please] You will also find lots of ideas and planning tools in the tool bars above such as the RTA Map Centre where you can build routes and find attractions. [ Ah, I see you have been 'digging' around already]

    Two thousand miles over 17 days is quite reasonable, even in an RV which is slower going, but you seem to know what to expect with mixed up days of driving and leisure. With 6 people travelling an RV does make sense as long as you are happy with the 'Lifestyle' choice that comes with it.

    We travel by RV when we visit the States and although I had previous experience with larger vehicles, you should have no difficulty in adapting your driving style to suit. I would say that it would be advisable not to plan on too many miles for your first couple of days as you get used to the vehicle and how it operates. When you are comparing costs you should make sure you go all the way through it and find the 'bottom line' figure and not use the 'headline' daily rate. Extra costs that can be added include Ins Waivers, preparation fees, bedroom and kitchen kits, generator usage and the single biggest extra cost, your daily mileage allowance and how much they charge if you go over it.

    Now you might not save as much money as you are thinking by the time you add campground fees and high fuel consumption costs to the above. You should plan on 9-10 mpg which [depending on gas prices when you travel] could add up close to $1000 in gas with small detours. Where you can, using government camp grounds like State or National Park, BLM etc can save money and where they are not available, private campgrounds. Most often chains such as KOA do not offfer such good value, even with the discount clubs they send your way.

    We have used Cuise America and were pleased with what they had to offer. El Monte and Road Bear are just another two among many you could use to price compare. Many have special offers so keep an eye out for them. CA have a 'Hot deals' link on their website which often offers free nights on longer rentals or free mileage.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Possible 'Side Trips'

    While I'm not an RVer, I did have a look around for some info on Lightnin RV Rentals in Lawrenceville, GA. They see quite a reputable outfit with generally solid reviews and I didn't see any of the usual 'red flags' that show up with scams. They have a large brick-and-mortar presence rather than just a mail box and a phone, and they've been in business for a number of years. If they are offering you a good deal and you've been in direct touch with them, then (if it were I) I'd go ahead and proceed. You just won't find as much information on them as you would if they were a company with a national presence like El Monte or Cruise America.

    Now, as to what to try to include in your tour of the South. 17 days seems like a lot, but it's not forever, so I won't suggest big additions to your proposed route. But here and there a few modest detours might help you to get even more out of your trip. In the Atlanta area, you should try to get to Stone Mountain for at least a quick visit, and then heading north through the Carolinas look at including some scenic roads such as the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway. Similarly, as you make your way across Tennessee to the Mississippi River, consider leaving Nashville on the Natchez Trace Parkway then using US-64 westbound with a stop at Shiloh. As you work your way down the Mississippi, Vicksburg and Natchez are both worthwhile stops, and for an entry into New Orleans you really cant beat the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway. One last, fairly significant, detour would be to stay on the Gulf Coast east of New Orleans until around Panama City FL, and then come north through southwestern Georgia visiting sites such as Andersonville and FDR's Little White House.


  4. #4


    Thanks Guys for the replies. Good to know the distance is do'able. Finding a good RV Rental place in Atlanta seemed quite difficult as a lot of the national Companies don't seem to operate there. I've been in touch with Lighnin and they seem very helpful and friendly and the quotes I got seemed pretty good so unless I get any bad feedback I probably stick with them.

    AZbuck, thanks for your suggestions. Already checked out the Natchez Trace Parkway, which looks good and will check out your other suggestions later and I like the idea of staying on the Gulf Coast on the way back.

    Just a general RV questions but there will be six of us all with phones, cameras, Sat Nav, and iPads etc that will need recharging. What's sort of facilities do you get in an RV for this. Are there usually a few Cigarette lighter type sockets we can make use of or are they the 2 pin type American sockets. Just thinking whether it will be worth my while to get an adapter so we can plug in multiple USB cables.

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

    Default Plug adaptor.

    If I remember correctly there is just the one 12v socket [cigarette lighter] in the cab area. All we did was buy UK to US plug adaptors for our appliances and used the RV's power supply [household type socket] to recharge/operate everything. If you have a hook up site where you have a power supply then you have nothing to worry about. If you are running a lot of power at one time without mains supply then you might have to run your generator for a while to save draining the battery, although there are silent hours in most campgrounds.

    Most [if not all] RV's have a 'house' battery and the engine battery is protected, so you will always have enough power left to turn the engine over. If you use the generator you will need to make sure you have over a qtr of a tank of fuel in the RV as it runs off the same tank, and again the generator will shut down if you go below a certain level to ensure peeps don't end up in the middle of nowhere without fuel.

  6. Default

    I've seen but not actually used adapters that "double" the single 12v or cigarette outlet. You should be able to find what you need at a general, auto or electronic discount store.

  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by CAnative View Post
    I've seen but not actually used adapters that "double" the single 12v or cigarette outlet. You should be able to find what you need at a general, auto or electronic discount store.
    I was thinking something like this assuming there will be a few Cup Holders in the cab.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 05-29-2013 at 04:05 PM. Reason: Preferred link format

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default What we use.

    You can use those adaptors ok, and I think you can get one with more ports, but personally I don't like lots of wiring and objects in the cab, particularly when driving.

    This is what I was suggesting so that you can recharge items using the 'house' power supply where there are usually plenty of power points. You will most likely need them anyway if you are taking hair dryers, shavers etc from the UK.

  9. #9


    Good point. Planning on taking my Tomtom with us with a US map so will have that in the cab and keep the recharging in the back out of harms way.

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