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  1. Default 60 Day Trip - Across the US - Any experience or resources?

    Hello - my family of 4 will venture out of Florida in mid-May for roughly 60 days. We'd like to see a good part of the country. I guess I'm looking for people that have done this sort of trip, the routes they've taken, and experiences. Any ideas are welcome. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Family research.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    I think the best bit of advice for you at present is just to do some research by searching around the forums and trip planning pages above and look at a good map to see what appeals. With 60 days you could circle the country and be within reach of thousands upon thousands of attractions, too many to start throwing out random suggestions at this stage, especially as we know nothing of your travel style, interests or what this family of 4 consists of. We will happily answer any specific questions you have and when you have some dots on the map and told us a little about yourselves, we can then make meaningful suggestions within those areas.

    Enjoy the planning, it's a fun part of the adventure !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Your choices out of millions.

    Dave's spot on. Your choices of routes and attractions would run into the millions.

    My suggestion would be to go to AAA and pick up maps of the individual States as well as the whole country. If you are a member the maps are free. If you are not a member, it may be an idea to take out a membership, for peace of mind, in case of any unforeseen issues along the way.

    The maps of the individual States (not the regions) are incredibly detailed and contain not only all the drivable roads, but all the small towns along the way, points of interest such as historical places and touristy glitz. You will also see where all the national and State parks are, and much, much more.

    Since you will need good maps when on the road, you may as well have them to make planning easier. (Another alternative is a road atlas, but maps are easier to lay out multiple ones at a time.)

    Lifey

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    I think the best bit of advice for you at present is just to do some research by searching around the forums and trip planning pages above and look at a good map to see what appeals. With 60 days you could circle the country and be within reach of thousands upon thousands of attractions, too many to start throwing out random suggestions at this stage, especially as we know nothing of your travel style, interests or what this family of 4 consists of. We will happily answer any specific questions you have and when you have some dots on the map and told us a little about yourselves, we can then make meaningful suggestions within those areas.

    Enjoy the planning, it's a fun part of the adventure !
    Hello Thank you.

    Rv'ing is new to us. So I wish I had a style I could convey :)

    My family consists of my wife (40), boys (7,10) and myself (42). We are very active.

    We certainly want to hit many of the national parks. My initial thought is that we'd spend 2 nights in each location. (?) We'll probably not venture northeast as I'm afraid if we get too far that direction it might cut short the amount of time I want to spend out west (which is my favorite part of the country). I would rather not travel too much more than 4 hours at a time.

    We'll be renting my friend's new Class A - Gas (I believe it is around 36 - 38. We'll be towing a minivan or Jeep. We plan on taking bikes (unsure how we will do so - rack on towed vehicle, rack on RV, or inside the RV while traveling.

    Do we just go without too much planning? Do we need planning to be able to reserve good RV locations?

    Venture into Canada?
    Great apps?
    Do we stay near major highways and use the car to get around from there?
    Are there items that people didn't bring on their first long excursion that they wished they did?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default

    This seems like a really good case where going out on a practice trip or two would be really important, so you get a feel for driving a massive vehicle, that will be even more massive by towing, and then how to operate the functions of the RV, as well as your own likes and dislikes.

    That is probably the best way to answer some of your questions, especially when it comes to how many places you want to visit, and how long you want to stay there, as you'll get a feel for how long it takes to setup/teardown camp and how much time and energy it takes to get the tow vehicle hooked and unhooked.

    Having said that, having such a large vehicle in many ways means you will have much less flexibility. Many campgrounds will have only limited spaces for such a large vehicle, especially the already popular campgrounds located within national parks. I'd be looking to make reservations as soon as you can, especially around the most popular National Parks.

    Going into Canada certainly could be an option, you'll just need to make sure you've got your passports (although your kids can get by with just a birth certificate) and since you won't be driving your own RV, make sure you've got the documentation that you have permission to operate the vehicle.

    Actually, speaking of ownership, since you are "renting" from a friend, I'd be very concerned about liability and insurance. First, there are the legal issues about what would happen if you are in a crash, such as whose insurance would cover the crash. Since he owns the vehicle, and he isn't a commercial company, you could really be putting your friend's assets in danger, as if there is a crash, the other person would likely go after both you and your friend. You also have to think about less-than worst case situations, like what happens if there is a mechanical breakdown while you are on the road. "Renting" from a friend can sound very appealing, but it also brings a huge amount of responsibility that may not make the cost savings worthwhile.

  6. Default

    Michael,

    Great points. I'll look into insurance and legal issues. My plan was to have the vehicle on my insurance. I may have to look into additional liability insurance as well.

    Certainly plan on doing some trail runs. I'm not crazy about towing but I do believe that it is the best way for us to get around and be flexible. And I assume that I'll be fine once I've done it a few times.

    One of the items you mentioned does scare me a little which is booking head of time. It seems that we'll lose a lot of flexibility having to be at a set destination at a set time.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default

    The National parks are a prime example of the need to book in advance. The campgrounds have a limited number of large RV sites and are in high demand, as are a lot of the private campgrounds around them. When travelling with RV we usually book up the main sites well in advance and leave time and flexibility between them to do what we want. This also has the advantage of keeping on track with time and hitting the wish list places, although we are always on more of a time crunch. Having a tow vehicle does give you more options if you don't want to book in advance as you could pick a base for a few days and do out and back trips, although I personally prefer to keep moving forward. I would look at spending time through the Four corners region before continuing to the West coast and California's Yosemite and Sequoia NPs. Heading north you have the coastal CA redwoods, Crater Lake, Columbia river gorge etc in Oregon from where you could continue into Washington or start heading towards Yellowstone etc. Yellowstone is one of those places you really need to book months in advance. The later in your trip you arrive the better the chance of avoiding snow and freezing temps. As mentioned earlier, once you start getting ideas down we will be able to offer more meaningful advice.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
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    Default Are costs an issue?

    Another thought about renting your friends RV other than that mentioned by Michael is whether or not you have done the sums ? If its purely a Lifestyle choice that's fine, but renting an RV is usually a lot more expensive than a car and Motels once you start adding up the campground costs and high fuel consumption etc, especially if you have use of your own car and would not need to rent.

  9. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    Another thought about renting your friends RV other than that mentioned by Michael is whether or not you have done the sums ? If its purely a Lifestyle choice that's fine, but renting an RV is usually a lot more expensive than a car and Motels once you start adding up the campground costs and high fuel consumption etc, especially if you have use of your own car and would not need to rent.
    Dave - Cost doesn't play too much a part. I'm sure it will be more expensive in the RV. Purely lifestyle and adventure. I wouldn't want the kids to be stuck in the hotel for 60 evenings after 60 days out. They love adventure, riding bikes and whatnot.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
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    Default Good, good.

    Sounds good to me ! We love the Lifestyle but a lot of first time folk often think of an RV as a cheaper alternative so it was worth a heads up.

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