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  1. Default Hi there....Im new to this. Please can anyone give me advice???


    We are planning to come over from the Uk to fly to maybe L.A. and then make our way to St. Augustine to see sister, then maybe head on to Miami, seeing sights along the way. Does anyone have any advice whether this is a good idea to do this trip this way? We want to hire a mobile home (RV to you lot) :) pick it up at one point then drop off at the end off the journey. We are quite ok for length of time. could be one month, could be three.....Your ideas and general information would be gratefully appreciated.
    Janny. (Manchester.UK)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Some General Comments, Maybe

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Understanding that it's tough to answer questions based on a lot of 'ifs' and 'maybes', I can make a few general comments about the RoadTrip you're basically describing. First, it's quite manageable in the timeframe that you have. You can drive completely across the southern part of the US from one coast to the other in about five days of dedicated driving, even in a slow moving RV (caravan). With two to three weeks, you'd have plenty of time to stop and see some of the many sights along the way, make a few detours, and travel at a more casual pace. A holiday measured in months means that your activities will be limited by boredom rather than time constraints.

    Generally I don't recommend RV travel to people who haven't done it before and found it enjoyable. That's because RV travel really is about the lifestyle. It's certainly not about saving money (It's considerably more expensive than car/hotel travel) or getting to different places (RVs are unwieldy in urban settings and can even preclude certain remote destinations due to their size). Keep in mind that besides the far costlier rental rates, RVs chew up three to four times as much petrol, have to be outfitted with kitchen utensils and bedding at additional cost, still require that you pay for 'lodging' each night in the form of campground fees, and in your case will entail a rather hefty one-way drop off fee for leaving it some 2500 mile from where you got it.

    Beyond those basic generalities, we'd need to know at least a little more about your trip before we could give you any meaningful advice. Usually what helps get a good conversation going is when we know when you'll be traveling, where you'll be going, and what your interests or goals are.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Maps.

    To help you get a bit more focus on your trip, and which sites you may like to explore, which roads/routes you may like to travel, you really need some good maps which show you what attractionsa there are along the way. These maps also show roads/routes from high speed to scenic. If good maps are not readily available locally, may I suggest you purchase a Rand McNally road atlas from the RTA store, at the bottom of this page. If you were to order it now, you will have it in a couple of weeks. You will find that these maps have a wealth of information, besides just towns and roads.

    You do not say when this trip will take place, but since you are posting in the Off the Beaten Path forum, these detailed maps would be even more appropriate.


  4. Default

    Hi there and many thanks for your replies.
    Yes I did wonder regarding the RV in the US. We have here in the UK a Motorhome which we have driven around Europe and most of UK. We use it nearly every weekend and enjoy the social side to it as well. However as we know driving in America is very different than in Uk and Europe.
    You have made us wonder, as you say it could be simpler to hire a car and use Motels. I dont think America is quite "set up" for touring (in an RV) as easy as it is here.So maybe thats solved one of our questions.....
    We are planning our trip for most likely the begining of this October (hope there is still some good weather over in those parts then!) I think we should purchase the Rand Mcnally road atlas as you recommend. Are there any other good information books you can recommend as well. Thanks for the info.
    kind regards Janny.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    According to a television show I just watched yesterday, RV ownership is up 60% in the US since 1980. That's considerable growth. With many state and national forests and parks, plus commercial campgrounds, RV parks and resorts, there are many places where an RV is wonderful. I have been an RV'er since I was 6 years old and my parents bought their first travel trailer, several decades ago, and my husband and I have owned 3 trailers and did tent-camping before that. That said...

    Renting is what makes it less affordable in the US. The RV will cost you $750-1000 per week just for the rental. Then there's the linen package and the cooking package, stuff you need to make the lifestyle what it is, and those are more cost. Then add onto the deal, the "fun stuff" like an outdoor package (lawn chairs, sometimes a grill), and that costs more. And just when you think you're done, there's the mileage fees. Most of the rental places give you 100 miles or so "free miles". You're looking to take it across the country, and they may charge 15c-50c mile over the free 100. Finally, there's the one-way drop off fee, and that could be another $1000 or so. OK, that's just the rental.

    Then add on the gasoline -- the beasts here are lucky to get 5-8 mpg. Campsites will cost another $15 - 50/night (and there are a few higher than that).

    My husband and I had to give up our last RV because we weren't using it as much as we should, and the storage rates here were out of sight. We intend to buy another one after I retire, though what kind yet, I don't know. I love the RV lifestyle. I have fond memories of family life, with our RV's. Because we love RV's, we did look into taking a rental on a long trip a few years back. The cost was staggering, just to rent. We took that same trip in our pickup truck and probably saved at least $7000 by staying in motels and eating in restaurants.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default America is made for camping.

    I dont think America is quite "set up" for touring (in an RV) as easy as it is here
    Being from the UK and someone who loves camping and RV'ing I have to say that America is set up for camping in a bigger and better way than here in Europe. There is a lot more wilderness areas and open roads with less congestion than we are used to, at least away from the City. As mentioned, it is not the economical option for a couple to travel, but is enormous fun for those that like the Lifestyle. With most modern RV rentals you should see around 10mpg return and the fuel is a lot cheaper. Also, Donna mentioned "100 free miles" before being charged extra. Just to be clear, for those companies that do that, it is normally 100 free miles per day.

    Whether an RV will suit you and your trip is dependent on what you want to do and your budget. For example, if you were going to London, a camper is not ideal. If you are going to the Lake district, great ! Much the same applies everywhere, so you have to look at all the Pros and cons.

    Perhaps an option worth considering is to rent an RV in west and see a few National parks etc and return it to the same depot and then continue to your sisters and Florida by car, or even fly and drive.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Information.

    Are there any other good information books you can recommend as well.
    There is a plethora of books out there, but I find getting my information about places in other ways more rewarding.

    Many months before each trip I make notes each time I hear/see/read something bout the US which interests me, be it in a book, on the radio, in the press or on a television. Even pick up brochures wherever you see them. A story might mention a historic courthouse. I want to see that, and note where it is, (I never get to see all the items on my list.)

    Even spending a few weeks reading through these forums, especially the Road Trip Field Reports, will bring up many places of interest for most visitors. (Bonus is none of it involves extra expense.)


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