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  1. Default Trip from Georgia to California do we drive an RV or Car?

    My husband and I are planning a trip from Georgia to California. We plan to take our time, since we are retired, and want to see as much as possible. We are thinking of traveling Route 66 (picking it up somewhere in Oklahoma. We want to visit the Grand Canyon and move on to California. Honestly we have just begun to plan so I'm not sure where we want to go. Some ideas are Big Sur, we want to see the Great Sequoias, Death Valley, the Sierra mountain Range. We would like to travel back home through the northern states. Having said all this, we are also trying to decide weather we should drive a car (I have a 2007 Volvo and get 22-25 miles to the gallon) or buy a small motor home (our children love to camp so we could use it after our trip). We are debating the difference between taking my car and saving on gas - and having to spend money and look for a motel wherever we go. Or drive the motor home and spend a lot on gas but save on motels and food, as well as, not having to worry about where we are staying for the night. We are looking at some Class C's and Class B's. The B's might be to small but I really don't want to tow a car. So, I have all these questions and would love some input.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default It's (Not) All About the Benjamins

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    The thing about RVs, even the smaller Class 'B's and 'C's is that they are not really money savers. Even ignoring the rather substantial initial investment, they are more expensive to operate than a car, and the expected savings in nightly lodging often fail to materialize as camp site pads and hookups can run close to the cost of a cheep or even modest motel room (which nowadays often includes breakfast of some sort.) Mostly the people who travel by RV do so because they enjoy the lifestyle, meeting other people, and having the freedom to bed down almost anywhere if necessary. On the downside the vehicles really don't have much use around town at home, can be difficult to negotiate through and park in large cities, particularly the somewhat larger class 'C's. So whether or not to go the RV route is a judgement call on your part. There is no one universally 'right' answer.

    Whatever vehicle you end up making the trip in, there are a few 'major' sights to be see on a route west that basically follows I-40 from Memphis, heads north through California, and then returns basically along I-80/I-70/I-24. Highlights could include the music scene in Memphis, the Ozarks of northwestern Arkansas, the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert, the Grand Canyon, the longest remaining stretch of old Route 66 from Seligman AZ through Peach Springs to Kingman, Los Angeles and the Pacific Coast Highway including Big Sur and Monterey, Lake Tahoe, the Great Salt Lake, the old Oregon Trail in Nebraska, and Kansas City and St. Louis, as well as a host of smaller venues. Note that Las Vegas, Death Valley, and the 'big trees' aren't directly on such a route, but could be added with modest detours as could Arches and Rocky Mountain National Parks.

    You'd need a minimum of two weeks for the driving and limited sight-seeing. every bit of time you can make available in addition could be devoted almost exclusively to recreational pursuits rather than significantly more driving.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    we are also trying to decide weather we should drive a car (I have a 2007 Volvo and get 22-25 miles to the gallon) or buy a small motor home (our children love to camp so we could use it after our trip).
    As Buck mentioned, an RV is firstly about a lifestyle choice and then whether or not you can afford the lifestyle. If you had decided that you were going to invest in an RV and the lifestyle that comes with it, then it might prove a good time to purchase one, but buying one for this trip with the thought of "we could use it after our trip" is one heck of an investment if you are unsure. You could look at it another way and that is, if you are considering buying one but have no experience of what life is like, then renting one for a trip [albeit an expensive option] and seeing how much you enjoy it could be another option.

    Even in an RV you will still have to search out campgrounds or alternative legal places to sleep the same as you would a hotel, you can't just pull over anywhere. You should have no need to tow a car with a small class 'C' as you can get around most places without too many problems and City parks are often close to transport links. A class 'C' has the advantage of the double bunk above the cab which makes a huge difference when travelling with four if you plan on trips with the Kid's. The National/State Parks and open roads are where the RV is most at home and if you want to spend time in the parks, it's where the lodging is often at it's most expensive and the camping at it's cheapest. The downside to this is that when travelling in the summer season you really need to book the NP campgrounds well in advance, as they are highly popular and limited in number, which can take away some of the freedom the RV first offers.

    We love to RV when travelling in the States, but it's not for everyone and as Buck rightly said it's a judgement call only you can make after weighing up the pros and cons.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California

    Default husband and I have traveled as tent-campers, then we towed a pop-up "tent trailer", moved up to a 5th wheel trailer, and now we are "tween RV's" in the car-motel way. Here is a thread all about the pros and cons. If you are planning to share an RV later with grown children, be sure you have an agreed-upon plan, so that there will be no hard feelings. The other big issue, which isn't always thought of right away, is storage for the RV when it isn't being used. That was one of our biggest problems with the 5W. It was too long for our driveway, and we finally were able to store it in the backlot of a private membership campground -- but when we were unable to use the membership and chose not to renew it, we lost our storage place.


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