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  1. Default 30 Road Trip Across America


    I am hoping some of you can provide advice. Myself, my brother and cousin, all in our early twenties, are planning a cross country road trip for two years from now, in our RV. We live in upstate New York and have traveled extensively across the east coast but would like to see other areas of America. I have used a travel website to plan an itinerary and would like some feedback regarding the trip. Any suggestions on better routes, other things to see, length of the trip, etc., would be appreciated. We plan on traveling for no more than 30 days.
    Thank you for your time!

    Here is the itinerary:

    Day 1

    752 mi — about 11 hours, 28 mins

    Geneseo, NY
    Nashville Walmart
    Spending the night: Nashville Walmart

    Day 2

    300 mi — about 5 hours, 1 min of driving and 3 hours, 45 mins of stops

    Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
    Comedy Tour of Nashville
    Unclaimed Baggage Center
    Walmart - Tuscaloosa
    Spending the night: Walmart - Tuscaloosa

    Day 3

    304 mi — about 4 hours, 30 mins

    Tuscaloosa Amphitheater - For a potential concert
    Walmart New Orleans
    Spending the night: Walmart New Orleans

    Day 4

    512 mi — about 7 hours, 47 mins of driving and 2 hours, 30 mins of stops

    Explore French Quarter
    Explore Frenchmen Street
    Le Bon Temps Roule Bar and Restaurant - Free Clams on Fridays
    Walmart outside of Dallas
    Spending the night: Walmart outside of Dallas

    Day 5

    424 mi — about 6 hours, 29 mins

    Walmart north of Amarillo
    Spending the night: Walmart north of Amarillo

    Day 6

    378 mi — about 5 hours, 38 mins

    Walmart outside of Denver
    Spending the night: Walmart outside of Denver

    Day 7

    473 mi — about 9 hours, 36 mins

    Forney Museum of Transportation
    16th Street Outdoor Mall
    Denver Nightlife District
    Drive up Pikes Peak Mountain - Check if RV's are allowed
    Walmart between Denver and Four Corners
    Spending the night: Walmart between Denver and Four Corners

    Day 8

    270 mi — about 4 hours, 42 mins

    Four Corners Monument
    Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
    Spending the night: Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

    Day 9

    265 mi — about 4 hours, 11 mins

    Hoover Dam, Nevada
    Walmart near Hoover Dam
    Spending the night: Walmart near Hoover Dam

    Day 10

    347 mi — about 5 hours, 10 mins

    Las Vegas Strip
    Walmart San Diego - call to see if RV parking is allowed
    Spending the night: Walmart San Diego

    Day 11

    430 mi — about 8 hours, 22 mins

    View of Hollywood Sign
    Malibu to Lompoc
    Big Sur Coast Scenic Drive
    Big Sur Coast Scenic Drive
    Stop in Big Sur, CA.

    Day 12

    30 mi — about 45 mins

    Stay at Big Sur Campground - $65
    Spending the night: Stay at Big Sur Campground - $65

    Day 13

    143 mi — about 2 hours, 35 mins

    End of Big Sur Coast Scenic Drive
    Treasure Island RV Park - San Francisco - $65 a night
    Spending the night: Treasure Island RV Park - San Francisco - $65 a night

    Day 14

    215 mi — about 4 hours, 34 mins

    Cable Car Ride
    Begin Scenic Drive at Golden Gate Bridge
    Yosemite Campground
    Spending the night: Yosemite Campground

    Day 15

    185 mi — about 4 hours, 10 mins

    Lake Tahoe Campground
    Spending the night: Lake Tahoe Campground

    Day 16

    381 mi — about 8 hours

    Start on Northern Pacific Coast
    Continue on Northern Pacific Coast
    Beginning of Redwood Highway
    Stay at Benbow KOA - $65 a night
    Spending the night: Stay at Benbow KOA - $65 a night

    Day 17

    385 mi — about 6 hours, 37 mins

    Continue on Redwood Highway
    Walmart in Eugene, OR
    Spending the night: Walmart in Eugene, OR

    Day 18

    130 mi — about 2 hours, 12 mins

    Visit Megan in Portland, OR
    Walmart Portland
    Spending the night: Walmart Portland

    Day 19

    252 mi — about 4 hours, 23 mins

    Camp at Salt Creek Recreation Area - $27
    Spending the night: Camp at Salt Creek Recreation Area - $27

    Day 20

    384 mi — about 7 hours, 7 mins

    Space Needle, 400 Broad Street, Seattle, WA
    Camp at Riverside State Park - $30
    Spending the night: Camp at Riverside State Park - $30

    Day 21

    284 mi — about 4 hours, 54 mins

    Fish Creek Campground in Glacier National Park - $23
    Spending the night: Fish Creek Campground in Glacier National Park - $23

    Day 22

    434 mi — about 9 hours, 30 mins

    Glacier To Yellowstone
    Stop in Yellowstone National Park, WY.

    Day 23

    73 mi — about 1 hour, 58 mins

    Spending the night: Stay at Grant Village Campground, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming - $26

    Day 24

    460 mi — about 7 hours, 56 mins

    Camp at Beaver Lake Campground - $41
    Spending the night: Camp at Beaver Lake Campground - $41

    Day 25

    394 mi — about 5 hours, 54 mins

    Mount Rushmore
    Sioux Falls Walmart
    Spending the night: Sioux Falls Walmart

    Day 26

    490 mi — about 7 hours, 12 mins

    Visit Kaitlin Rickard
    Walmart New Berlin, WI55
    Spending the night: Walmart New Berlin, WI

    Day 27

    291 mi — about 4 hours, 46 mins

    Spending the night: Walmart - Angola, IN

    Day 28

    427 mi — about 6 hours, 49 mins

    Geneseo, NY60
    End in Geneseo, NY.

    9,404 miles — about 162 hours 2 minutes of driving — 28 day trip — about $4,480.71 of fuel.
    Last edited by rv4life; 08-04-2014 at 04:24 PM. Reason: New members may not post outside links. Please post details of your itinerary here.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Don't Believe Everything You 'Read'

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    The most striking thing about your proposed itinerary is that first day. It's simply not going to happen. You are not going to be able to drive 752 miles in a full day of driving, let alone 'about' 11 hours and 28 minutes (clearly gotten from a computer-based mapping routine). I don't care how many drivers you have. The only way that would be possible is if you drove at or above the speed limit for every one of those minutes - never slowed down for traffic, never needed to stop for food or even a bathroom break, never needed to take on fuel for your RV, saw no construction anywhere along those 750 miles, never even hit a puff of headwind or a hill that slowed you down at all. In the real world, with the barest minimum of stops for those absolutely essential functions, such a drive would take you close to 15-16 hours. You'd be physically and mentally exhausted, and a danger to everyone on the road, long before that.

    Another similar day is Day 4. 512 miles would be a full day of driving. But on top of that you plan to get into New Orleans, tour the French Quarter, have a sit-down dinner, and get out of the city. It's simply not going to happen. Nor is Day 2. Nor is Day 7. Nor is Day 11. There simply isn't enough time in a day to do everything you list. Period. So my main suggestion: Go back over this agenda and cut at least 25% of it. Miles and activities. Then build in some time so that all of you get some significant time away from each other. 30 days of constant enforced togetherness is perhaps the best way to turn friends, even family, into enemies. In short, be realistic.


  3. Default


    Thank you for your reply and advice. It will be very useful. I do have a quick question. Where did my original post go? I only see your reply now on this page. The three of us have driven straight through to Florida and South Carolina, both of which are longer distances than TN. I think we should be okay on the first day, especially since we will have the most energy of the whole trip.

    Thanks again!


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    I will also note that counting on Walmart as a reliable place to spend the night in your RV is not necessarily a wise idea. Many Walmarts do not allow RV parking overnight, and several communities have banned this form "camping." Just based on my own familiarity, I can tell you the Walmart in New Berlin, WI does not allow overnight RV parking, and I'd strongly suspect you'll have a similar issue at other stores you're looking at. There's also a matter that in several major cities, Walmarts are not necessarily located in places where parking overnight would be a good idea.

    I agree with Buck, you've got multiple days where you are trying to pack a full day on the road on top of a day to explore a city - and that doesn't even factor in the extra time needed for RV travel, especially if you are trying to explore a large city in a large vehicle.

    I also have to mention that just 1 day for Yellowstone isn't even enough to scratch the surface. Even trying to see just the major sites in 2 full days is difficult. You're also really shortchanging Glacier, since you'll be giving yourself less than half a day for that park. That could really be said about a lot of your stops, but those are a couple that really stand out.

  5. Default

    Midwest Michael,

    Thanks for the reply and information. I appreciate it. We have stayed at Walmart's for years and always call ahead to confirm whether we can stay. I wish I had an extra month for this trip.

    Thanks again!


  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Quote Originally Posted by rv4life View Post
    The three of us have driven straight through to Florida and South Carolina, both of which are longer distances than TN. I think we should be okay on the first day, especially since we will have the most energy of the whole trip.
    There are two problems with this plan. First, just because you've done something extremely dangerous in the past, does not mean you're more likely to be just as lucky the next time. Someone who drives drunk typically has done so several times before they get caught or crash. The comparison is especially valid, because the statistics for serious crashes for people who have been in a car for 13, 14, 15 hours are very similar to those who have had too many drinks.

    The other factor is that this trip is a marathon, not just a one day sprint down the east coast. You may have more energy to start this trip, but by trying to drive 15+ hours on the first day, you will burn all of that energy up and then some by your second day. Plans like these are probably the single biggest reason that roadtrips turn into disasters where even lifelong friendships can be seriously damaged (you know, the kind of friendships where you'd say it could never happen to us....) An even, sustainable pace, I'd strongly recommend no more than 500 miles per day in an RV, will result in a much more enjoyable trip.

    Everyone would like more time for a trip, and often it is not possible. That means many times to have a better trip, you're much better off scaling back and not trying to do everything. In fact, trying to do everything can often result in actually seeing almost nothing.
    I do have a quick question. Where did my original post go?
    Your edit to add the trip details after a moderator removed your original link threw up a red flag by the forum software. It had to be reviewed to make sure it wasn't full of spam before it could be seen by everyone again.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    To add to the good advice given to you already:

    Trying to travel 750 miles in one day in an RV is another issue. RV's, by nature, go slower. They take longer to fill with fuel. In some states, they are kept to a slower speed limit than a car would be allowed to go.

    On our trip this summer, we stopped at plenty of WalMarts, as they are a great place to stock up. In all but one, there were signs in the parking lots prohibiting overnight parking. I suspect that these are municipal codes, trying to get folks to stay in the local campgrounds, as well as issues regarding littering and vagrancy. It's good that you call ahead and confirm, or at least ask when you get there. A knock at the door at 2 am asking you to move on, isn't very pleasant. A colleague of mine did have to park overnight in a WalMart lot overnight where it said "no overnight parking", but they had a mechanical issue and there were no repair shops open on Sundays.

    I will also agree with them that those travel times are for the birds. You have 427 miles down in 6 hours 49 minutes. In my car, it takes us about 6 hrs 35 minutes to drive 375 miles from San Diego to Phoenix, AZ. We stop for gas, a short meal stop, and probably 2 pit stops. No way could I make another 52 miles in 14 minutes. Also in a pickup truck this past summer, we went 654 miles in 11 hours 3 minutes. Once again, you won't make 752 miles (another 100 miles) in 25 minutes. Fantasy times. All we stop for are pit stops, a short meal, and fuel. BTW, that was one LONG day, and it's not something we like to do. Ordinarily our days are limited (in a car or pickup truck) to 600 miles. When we towed a 5W trailer, we limited ourselves to 450 miles.


  8. Default

    Thanks for the advice!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Leave a bit for later.

    There is no point in repeating the above advice. Suffice to say that I concur with every word of it.

    Rather than your concentration on Walmarts, have you thought about truck stops? Many, though not all, truck stops make RVs welcome. They have all the facilities, and more. Just like at Walmart, you will not be able to use your generator, pull out the BBQ or use the slides. Truck stops which make RVs welcome are 24 hr operations, well lit and many have extra security. Others have the local law enforcement do regular rounds. To find out which truck stops these are, you would do well to invest in this publication.

    I too would highly recommend you scale this trip back to an enjoyable adventure which you will all remember for the best of reasons. Remember, not everything has to be achieved before you turn 25. There will be many more road trips over the coming decades.

    On the other hand, if this trip becomes a disaster, the possibilities of which are outlined above, it could well be the last road trip for all of you. And that, in my book, would be an even bigger disaster.


  10. Default

    Thank you!

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