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  1. Default Solo Road Trip 2-3 months next summer

    Hello!

    6 months ago,I was posting a thread about renting an RV for a 2-months-trip with my friends in summer of 2015.
    Well,things have changed a little bit and I will probably take this trip alone.

    Because of this,I would like to ask you what is the cheapest way for a solo road trip? Is it rent a car and sleep at motels,is it still the RV choice?other choice I'm not aware of?

    As I said 6 months ago,my budget stays about 10K bucks without flight expanses,only for the trip itself. Even though I'd like to travel with a RV,I can settle for a cheaper alternative in case it'll buy me significant more travel time.(for example 3 months instead of 2)

    So,are my expectations for a 3 months trip within my budget realistic,or it's gonna be "tight"? P.S-I plan to buy food at supermarkets and stuff instead of eating at resturants,and in general,try to lower costs as much as I can without "hurting" the trip's experience.

    Thank you very much,again!
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 04-25-2014 at 03:09 PM. Reason: Added link to original thread.

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

    Default An RV is rarely the better value.

    A car and motels is certainly a lot cheaper than an RV and campgrounds for a solo traveller and I would say your budget is pretty healthy for a 90 day trip. RV's really don't begin to compare with a car and hotel until there are at least 4 or more adults sharing th cost.

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

    Default Some other options.

    If you are set on having an RV and doing your own thing, especially when it comes to the national parks, have you thought of a campervan? These are far and few between in the US. but there are a couple of sites you might like to check out.

    A very basic van is Escape Vans. These do not have plumbing, but would allow you to cook your own meals and have a cooler to keep drinks cool. Coolers are not really suitable to keep food such as meat, for more than a day.

    Adventures on Wheels have campervans. They are a little more sophistocated. There is also an outfit in Las Vegas which rents VW campervans. However, they do limit your trip to just the south western States.

    Lifey

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    A car and motels is certainly a lot cheaper than an RV and campgrounds for a solo traveller and I would say your budget is pretty healthy for a 90 day trip. RV's really don't begin to compare with a car and hotel until there are at least 4 or more adults sharing th cost.
    In your opinion,is it overall better to rent a car?or maybe buy a cheap car for the trip and sell it afterwards (prob. at half the price correct me if I'm wrong)?
    Plus,excuse me for the ignorance,but can I cook in most motels? I mean,the RV has got a built in stove for this and it's a big plus. I really do not wish to visit Mcdonald's too often.lol.

    And,is it too much to start planning it from now,app. 1 year before?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifemagician View Post
    If you are set on having an RV and doing your own thing, especially when it comes to the national parks, have you thought of a campervan? These are far and few between in the US. but there are a couple of sites you might like to check out.

    A very basic van is Escape Vans. These do not have plumbing, but would allow you to cook your own meals and have a cooler to keep drinks cool. Coolers are not really suitable to keep food such as meat, for more than a day.

    Adventures on Wheels have campervans. They are a little more sophistocated. There is also an outfit in Las Vegas which rents VW campervans. However, they do limit your trip to just the south western States.

    Lifey
    The real question is by how much time( that the RV trip will limit my trip's duration)? like 2 weeks? a whole month? I know it's hard to say,but it'll be very helpful to know like approximately. to be more precise,I'm looking at the "Escape Malibu" which is stated for being for "those on the budget"

    Thanks for both of you!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Forget about buying.

    Buying is neither economical nor feasible, especially for such a short visit. Besides, it is extremely difficult to purchase a vehicle in the US. register it and insure it, as a non resident. Believe me, been there, done that!

    What you need to remember is, you will be buying a cheap vehicle, when it breaks down, you are on your own, and could be up for hundreds of dollars, if not more. At least with a rental vehicle the rental company will look after you. As well, not every night needs to be spent in a paid campground.

    A decade ago I got a quote from AoW for 5 months. I ended up not using them, as my son loaned me a car, but it was well below what I could get elsewhere, for the same timeframe.

    Why not get a quote from the firms I linked, and see how much it comes to. Check your car insurance at home and your travel insurance as to how much insurance you already have. Their figures will quickly give you some idea. Calculate the miles planned to travel and multiply by 25, that will give you some indication as to how much fuel will cost.

    Lifey

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Plus,excuse me for the ignorance,but can I cook in most motels? I mean,the RV has got a built in stove for this and it's a big plus. I really do not wish to visit Mcdonald's too often.lol.
    Not an ignorant question at all ... it's one that many people ask. Most motels are fine with you cooking in the room, albeit with the microwave or something small, under certain circumstances. My husband and I have been bringing a small electric frying pan to cook all sorts of things, as well as a few tools, on our trips. We take care not to cook anything that will leave a lingering odor, like fish. When I do the dishes, I clean up the sink or tub afterward so that Housekeeping doesn't have more than the usual to clean up. If we use the room's microwave oven, and something spills, I try to clean it up (a roll of paper towels is a handy thing to buy at the store). If you are coming from overseas, it may or may not pay to buy a small grill or frypan when you get here, some tools, and then donate it to a thrift organization before you return home. We certainly agree with you, groceries are cheaper than eating out, and much healthier for you than a steady diet of McDonald's and Pizza Hut! You can also purchase some VERY sturdy plastic-ware that can be washed and reused several times, or just use paper plates. You could pick up a small cooler, too.

    The only drawbacks to this, other than the need to purchase a few things (appliance, tools, cooler), would be the need to stop at a grocery store for fresh things like meat and produce, and the space to store the things in the car. I personally enjoy looking at grocery stores in other places, because I see what's available in other areas (and am often more appreciative of my "home stores" later, too). That's an adventure in itself, too, because you have to learn to substitute ingredients or meals by what's in the store.


    Donna

  7. Default

    Lifey and donna, Thanks for the help,Much appreciated!
    Why not get a quote from the firms I linked, and see how much it comes to. Check your car insurance at home and your travel insurance as to how much insurance you already have. Their figures will quickly give you some idea. Calculate the miles planned to travel and multiply by 25, that will give you some indication as to how much fuel will cost. - See more at: http://www.roadtripamerica.com/forum...463#post155463
    And...are there any usual steps for start planning this project? As for approaching the firms you gave me their links, I still do not know how many miles I'll drive a day,100,200, I still need to plan this,at least in general. Do you have a recommendation for how many miles a day shoul I drive? And,if for example I do a 90-100 day trip,should I consider doing like a cycle?(NY to NY or smaller area-and by interstates or two lane like route 66). I realy don't have a clue.

    Thanks again.
    Last edited by Lihay; 04-25-2014 at 04:48 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default What I would do.

    Here's how I think I would go about getting a rough idea.

    List the places you really want to see. Let's say that is LA, SF, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon and so on. Don't worry too much about their order, as that will become obvious on a map. Get onto the Map Centre and put in all these points, you can adjust where you see you are backtracking. In the end you will get a rough idea of how many miles the trip will be. Check with your own car insurance to see if they cover you in the US, and what for. Check the travel insurance you are planning - or several companies - to see what they would cover.

    With those rough estimates, contact companies and see what the quote is. Make sure everything is included, although you may like to bring your own linen or pillow, or whatever. When you get a quote you will have a rough estimate of which vehicle will cost how much.

    Making too many detailed plans without having some idea of which way to go, which vehicle you plan to use, is IMHO counterproductive.

    Lifey

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
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    6,936

    Default Budget friendly charity stores.

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    If you are coming from overseas, it may or may not pay to buy a small grill or frypan when you get here, some tools, and then donate it to a thrift organization before you return home. We certainly agree with you, groceries are cheaper than eating out, and much healthier for you than a steady diet of McDonald's and Pizza Hut! You can also purchase some VERY sturdy plastic-ware that can be washed and reused several times, or just use paper plates. You could pick up a small cooler, too.
    I would agree with all of that, if you choose to go the car hotel way. However, I have bought all those things and more - electric sandwich maker, electric jug, plate (I don't like contributing to landfill), cup, mug and cutlery in a charity store. Then at the end of the trip, I have donated them back. Even a cooler and the bricks (you can freeze in a fridge at the hotel) I have seen for sale in charity stores. It's always a good idea to check them first. And of course, you are helping a good cause.

    Of course, in all your research, do for hotels and car, as I suggested above for campervans. Get your quotes.... even if they are only estimates. At least you will have something to work with.

    Another source you should enquire with are the European consolidators, both for car and campervan. There are several of these, carhire3000.com is one of them. You really can't collect too much information.

    Lifey

  10. Default

    For planning, nothing beats studying the map until you get a feel for where places are, where the roads run, where the mountains are, and distances. It takes time but it really is essential. Then get some detailed information about the places you want to visit, both cities and national parks etc. Then you can decide how long you want to stay in each place and start researching accommodation options. As a rule of thumb, most of the national parks deserve at least one full day to do them justice but in quite a few of them you could spend a week and still not run out of new areas to see. You don't always need to stay in a park, with most of them there are towns relatively close with motels.

    When planning, you might want to factor in the time of year so as avoid excessive cold in the north or heat in the south - and of course winter road closures.

    This article has some good advice regarding budget accommodation options.

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