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  1. Default RV trip in The winter 11/09/14(Sun)23:34:14

    Hey guys, me and my fellows are planning a RV trip in january involving these main cities as references Denver->Chicago->Detroid->Boston->New York->Philadelphia->Miami->Denver. But we never did some like that before and I would like to get some advices from you all.

    The fist question is about the snow storms, do you think it is okay to travel in the winter with an RV in these cities? I know that we will get stuck some times, but I mean, do you think it is viable in general?
    The second question is about the RV free camping and the road in the US, do you think it will be a problem in find these spots, and hard to move around inside the cities? Generally here is free RV places inside the cities?

    And any advice about it will be welcome, we dont have any experience with this kind of things.

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

    Default City and winter with RV ???

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums!

    Free camping is rare in the US and RV's are quite expensive to rent and run. Add to that the fact that in the winter it could be extremely cold and you might not be able to carry water and use all the facilities on board and that the RV is not really designed for the City, or the city for an RV, I would question if it was the way to go. [And I love RV'ing by the way] RV parks in a city are generally more expensive than those in State and National parks where an RV is more at home, by the time you add fuel costs and others it won't be cheaper than a car and Motels, unless perhaps if there are more than 4 of you travelling.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    The things you are worried about are all secondary to the bigger problems posed by your proposed journey. Let's take driving an RV in the cities first. There are RVs and then there are RVs. A smaller Class 'B' RV (commonly called a van camper) is built on a van chassis and is just as easy to drive, maneuver, and park as a full-sized automobile (generally speaking). A Class 'A' RV (also known as a motor home) is a large, unwieldy beast that has no place in cities, suburbs or on roads with grades, tight curves, or limited passing opportunities. So we can't really answer your question about suitability for urban driving without knowing what you intend to rent.

    Second, RV driving in the winter. Driving in the snow is not your principle winter worry. Keeping your water and sewage tanks from freezing is. Also keeping the occupants from freezing overnight would be high on my worry list. RVs are just not all that well insulated and if you let the water in the tanks freeze, it will burst the tanks rendering them useless and subjecting you to hefty damage fees.

    Third, saving money. Many people think that renting an RV is a good way to travel while saving on lodging. Sorry, but it just doesn't work out that way. By the time you pay the hefty rental fee on the RV, and pay for all the extra gas to move your 'home' down the highway, it typically costs more to travel by RV than to drive a midsize car and stay in warm, comfortable motels. A lot more. The few dollars you save by running the risk of trespassing when you park overnight in somebody's lot simply can't make up the difference. And, referring back to problem 2, even if you manage to find free overnight parking it will come without hookups, so no way to keep your RV warm through the night.

    In short, unless you are familiar with the RV lifestyle, are used to driving an oversized vehicle in tight spaces, really love the experience and are willing to pay for it, just get a normal car and stay in real buildings.


  4. Default

    Thank you for replying... Let me be more detailed....
    we are going to leave Denver, where we (6) live and are going to Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Boston, New York, Washington, Philadelphia and finally Miami in this order. We have made the counts and renting an RV is cheaper because we are including that we gonna cook inside and also we already have friend`s houses in each city we gonna stay. Our RV is a C-25 ( i believe its a class A) and we are planning to not park it inside the cities.
    And at least out trip gonna last 32 days, so we have plenty of time.
    So, do you have some advice to avoid the water ,the sewage and we, the occupants to freeze ??

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Your details really don't change much anything from the advice you previously received.

    You're simply not going to be able to use the water/sewage features during this trip, you will have to keep it winterized. Staying warm enough to sleep at night is going to be extremely difficult, and you'll basically have to stay at campgrounds with hookups ($$$) so you can plug in and at least have a chance of running all the RV's heat systems to stay warm.

    If you have friends houses in each city where you are going to stay, that's all the more reason NOT to use an RV for this trip. You can cook at those friends houses, and you won't save nearly enough money cooking in the RV to pay for the extra RV expenses. Similarly, if you're not sleeping in the RV, then that's one more reason that it will be much more expensive than traveling in a large car.

    RV's are not friendly for city focused trips, especially not in the very congested Northeastern US, they are not easy to use in winter, and they are absolutely not money savers. I really think you are going into this trip with some very unrealistic expectations, and I'd strongly suggest you take the advice you have previously been given and look for better ways to make this trip a reality.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    The above folks have given you good advice. When we were RV'ers, we avoided the north in the winter because you absolutely CANNOT use water or sewer. So that leaves out cooking, doing dishes, using the bathroom, taking a shower, and many of the other things that you think will help you save money.

    Think of it this way: $750-week to rent the motorhome. You can take a motel for $60-75 per night ... 10 nights instead of 7. Gasoline or diesel at 5-10 mpg, instead of a car at 25 mpg. Food -- well, see below, as I have a lot of suggestions on how to avoid 3 meals a day of restaurants and their prices. RV parks, the ones you are able to find open, at $25-45 per night, and that's in addition to the rental fee and the extra fuel you have to use.

    How to avoid restaurants and their prices: First, most motels these days have some semblance of a breakfast offering. It might be two kinds of cereal, milk, juice, coffee or sweet rolls, or it could be a lot more. For those that don't, grab something at the grocery store. For lunch, you can do sandwiches and a number of other things for a picnic-style. For dinner, many motels have microwaves. Pick up something at the grocery store and make it in the microwave. Add drinks, plastic silverware and Dixie plates, and you've got dinner -- and a lot cheaper than in a restaurant.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Campgrounds close in the north east.

    Despite the fact that you will need at least two rooms each night, an RV will still not save any.... add to that the fact that there will be very few, if any, campgrounds open in the north and north east, you could have difficulty even finding somewhere comfortable to spend the night.

    Although my trips have been mainly in summer, one year in October I found open campgrounds few and far between in that corner of the country..

    Better take the advice from those who have been there, done that, and have a great trip.


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