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  1. Default Summer Questions

    We're wanting to head to the US either mid-June to early August OR mid-August to late September. Earlier would suit us better but we are concerned about the following:
    How hot does the South get? Is it so hot that you can barely think or is it manageable (little kids involved).We loved the weather in CA in May, will the South be much worse than that?
    We were thinking of starting in Washington and then heading south and then across via Texas and Colorado (4 weeks) ending up LA ultimately.
    Also I keep reading that those months are booked out in advance. Can I book 2 days in advance or even on the day or will we always end up staying in parks/sites that no one else wants? Will we even find decent camp sites that way?
    How busy do these months get? We have been to the USA in May and it was fine crowd wise, is June/July or August/September crazy in comparison?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default You read right.

    Hi and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    Booking for the National Parks, if you want to stay within the NPs is essential, up to many months ahead. This goes for both car and RV travel. Especially with young children it would be nice to 'be there' and not have to drive in and out each day. It will also allow you to experience a Sunset and/or Sunrise much easier in places like the Grand Canyon, an unforgettable experience.

    And yes, it does get hot in the south, especially in August. September sees the beginning of autumn, but I am not sure it cools down all that much or that quick.

    June July and August are school holidays for most of the country, and that is when you will see most places crowded. September, when school goes back, it starts to be like May, when school was still in.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default But No Hard Answers

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Unfortunately, all of the answers to your questions are of the 'sort of', 'usually'. 'as a rule', 'maybe' variety. None of them can simply be answered with a 'yes' or 'no. So let's just run down them and see what your probabilities are. The 'South' is a pretty big area and June-August covers quite a bit of time, so obviously any advice about the weather is going to apply at some times and in some places, but not all the time everywhere. The South does not get as terribly hot as the Southwest, but the South has the added problem of having high humidity, The two together combine to produce a summer climate that at times can be quite enervating. The kids, however, will be less affected than the adults. That said, people do live and indeed work outdoors in the South in the summertime. Still if you could visit in September or later, that would be better from a weather/climate point of view.

    The most popular national parks in the west such as Yellowstone, Yosemite, Zion, Arches, the Grand Canyon and others are completely booked for the entire summer by now. There will be the occasional opening as a few people cancel their plans, and there are a few campsites held open to be available each day on a first-come first-served basis, but you cannot count on finding anything a few days before arrival. There are usually options nearby such as national forests, state parks, BLM lands, and commercial campgrounds and motels. These are not places 'that no one else wants' but they are not as convenient as staying in the national parks themselves.

    The major national parks, especially in the west, have relatively short seasons, as many of them are quite high in elevation and see late spring and early fall snows. In addition, schools are out from roughly June through August so that will be when most travelers with children will be on the roads. I have always found the shoulder seasons, May and September especially, to be both cooler and less crowded times to enjoy these areas in relative quiet.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Is a little later an option ?

    If you have a third option available to you, September to mid October is certainly worth considering. Nights can start getting chilly to cold in the mountains, but we usually have a great time travelling during this period without the crowds.

  5. #5

    Default South: the double HHs: Heat and Humidity

    I am currently in the South.

    Just traveled through Oklahoma and Arkansas a couple of weeks ago. I am from Oregon Valley were it is temperate most of the year. I am currently in Mississippi. ALL I can say is it is hot and humid, and I am sleeping with an ice pack each night. Everyone in these 3 states just laugh that I think it is hot and humid. They keep saying "ohhh this is the nice time of year", and "it really heats up and the humid is like cutting cake in July-Sept."

    So, depending on what you body likes, you will either be comfortable or uncomfortable, hot or cold or just right.

    Take a look at the temperature graphs that show the averages. It might help you to get a feel on the "hot" of the area.

  6. Default

    WOW Thanks everyone!

    So we're thinking we might skip the south. We spent a week in Hong Kong in May/June and we didn't enjoy the heat and humidity so if it's anything like that.....maybe another time!
    We're pretty keen to see some cowboys and maybe even stay on a RV site where we can ride and experience a little of that. Is that possible and if so where? Which states are a little cooler but still awesome with kids (age 0-8). We're not fussed on Disneyland, big towns, art galleries, museums, expensive excursions etc, we're interested in hands on local history (loved Bodie or Dearborn Ford Park), awesome playgrounds and anything for the full American experience!! Would love to go to a rodeo, state fair and if we are there at the time - 4th July celebrations!

    Definitely want to go through Colorado and Montana sounds great (or is there nothing there?). The Carolinas sound great but probably too hot. Texas we thought for cowboys but again too hot? Kentucky instead? Montana? What are all those middle states like? Kansas is just long stretches of prairie right?

    We're planning on buying a travel trailer/car so would be travelling like that..once we figure out the best states to buy those from!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    If you're not a resident of the US, buying a car here is practically a non-starter. It is extremely difficult to make it work with the paperwork/taxes/insurance/etc, and for a trip that's 3 months or less (the maximum stay for most visitors) it doesn't make financial sense.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I'd advise you to forget about trying to buy a vehicle. The red tape here for non-residents is formidable and you won't have time to sort it out. Renting is much easier and probably less expensive by the time you get done.

  9. Default

    We intend to take the car/trailer back home with us, hence why it might make sense but still figuring it all out. Part of our reason in coming in the first place is to buy the above and export it so will try to use it too while there.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Not left much time.

    Quote Originally Posted by lilnomad View Post
    We're planning on buying a travel trailer/car so would be travelling like that..once we figure out the best states to buy those from!!
    Where's home?

    As already mentioned above, purchasing a vehicle in the US and driving it there is more than a hassle. It takes a lot of work, and if you are planning that holiday in a couple of months, have really left most of it far too late.

    I did purchase a vehicle, which I drive for six months most years, then put it into storage while I am home. But I have to say the steps to get it all organised took months. I did it all from home, over the internet and over the phone with the help of many of the members on this forum. It was waiting for me when I arrived in March 2012, ready to hit the road. It was successful, but it is not easy, nor is it a quick process. I also looked all over the country for a suitable vehicle and then made my way to where it was on my arrival. I did not limit myself to a particular State. Not something easily done with little children.

    I would get onto some of the exporting/importing companies who handle this type of transaction. They may be able to help with the registration and insurance for the trip till you export the vehicle. They are also likely to handle the conversion to right hand drive.


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