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  1. Default RV Trip from Boston to Washington DC

    We have just booked our flights to the US (from Oz) and after a few days in New York, we plan to travel to Boston and pick up an RV to travel to Washington DC in a loop via Niagara Falls. It will be in early fall (middle September) and I've read on your forums that accommodation is quite difficult in New England during fall. Is September early enough to avoid the crowds and/or would we have the same issue with camping in an RV ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Leaf peeping and RV.

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    Early September is just on the start of the 'leaf peeping' season. End September and October are more busy. Besides, in September school has just gone back and there aren't a great number of tourists around. I was there in early September a couple of years ago, and whereas the commercial operators were still open, most of the State parks and natural setting campgrounds had already closed. I was told it was budget cuts.

    But I would question why you would do such a trip in an RV. RV travel is lovely, but they are more at home in the wide open spaces and National Parks of the US West. Not only that, but it is a significantly more expensive way to travel for a small party.

    How many are travelling? and how long do you have for your trip?

    If you have been reading the forums you would be aware that an RV is not a traffic/parking friendly vehicle to have in DC - or any other large city, for that matter.

    Lifey

  3. Default

    Hi Lifey,
    Thanks for the quick response - what a great forum!.
    We are a family of 4 - 2 adults and 2 kids (9 & 11). We are in the US for 5/6 weeks with about 2 weeks set aside for this bit.
    A few reasons for the RV idea 1) We love camping and have done loads of trips in Australia. 2) I find feeding kids on holidays quite stressful - being able to make them a sandwich really appeals. 3) We're not really into big cities, so was hoping to see plenty of natural spaces.
    I understand about the parking thing - therefore was going try to drop the RV off before getting to downtown DC (does that sounds ridiculous???).
    Plan B for the trip is another roadtrip from DC down to Orlando (about another 2 weeks). So would a normal car/hotels in New England and an RV down the East Coast (via Shenandoah Valley etc) make more sense ?

    Thanks,
    JAG.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Do not equate camping in eastern USA with a camping trip downunder. There is no comparison.

    We all have our own way of travel, but as I see it, an RV is not a great assett on the east coast. You don't have the big open spaces. Urban centres are close together and highways are more congested.. However DC to Orlando would probably give you a wider choice, better weather and possibly better access to campgrounds. Be aware though that in FL they tend to get booked up, especially near tourist attractions and national parks.

    [I need to say that I regularly go over for up to six months, and travel and live in my van, which is in storage when I am downunder.]

    Why do you need an RV to fix the children a sandwich? All hotels would allow you to do that. In fact I make a point of insisting that there is a fridge and a microwave in a hotel/motel room, when I stay in a hotel. I carry a box of cereeal get some milk and yoghurt for breakfast. You could also make some snacks and sandwiches for along the way. A cheap foam cooler and some ice would cater for cool drinks. It is not likely to be hot at that time of the year. All rest areas along the interstates have picnic tables etc.

    As for the RV vs Car/hotel, you might find this thread informative. There is much more to think about than rental and cooking. There is the lower mpg, the cost of campgrounds, which can be as much as a hotel room, the challenge parking in towns and cities as well as the slower progress. And of course you have the kitchen and bedding packages to pay for. Many also have limited mileage.

    Those who swear by RVs do so mainly for the lifestyle, rather than budget or convenience.

    Do you have good maps while planning this trip? Maps are invaluable while planning a trip like this. If you are not able to get maps locally (you don't say from which State you are coming), I suggest you purchase a Rand McNally road atlas from the RTA store via the link at the bottom of this page. If you order it now, you will have it in a couple of weeks. Most of the public lands campgrounds are marked on good maps, as are most attractions, be they natural, historical, touristy, etc.

    While in Boston be sure to take the children to the children's museum. If you are coming via New York, there is an excellent children's museum there as well.

    Lifey

  5. Default

    Thanks for the tips.
    Looks like we might have to rethink it a little bit - I'm glad it's still 10 months away.
    JAG.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Thing One and Thing Two (with Apologies to Dr. Seuss)

    The Thing (One) is, this trip combines a couple of my favorite drives: through New England and down either the East Coast or Appalachian Mountains. There will be plenty of opportunities for being outdoors. And if September is still a bit early for full foliage colors in New England, you can continue up into Canada with two caveats. The first is to prepare for a possible cross-border excursion when you first pick up your vehicle by informing the hire firm and making sure that you have the required paperwork (mostly just proof of insurance), and the second is to brush up on your French a bit because the area just to the north of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont is Francophone Québec.

    The Thing (Two) is, as Lifey pointed out, RVing is perhaps not the best way to see the Northeast, especially in Fall when overnight freezes are common. (That's why the leaves start to change color and drop.) That means that you would have to 'winterize' the RV by draining all the water and waste tanks which would pretty much cancel out all the advantages of having an RV. No showers, no fresh water, no toilets, etc. There is, fortunately, an alternative. New England is a fairly compact region and it would be quite possible to set yourselves down in one town and do day trips from there, returning to your home base each evening. It is also possible to rent entire homes for not much more than the price of a decent motel room (let alone the two or three you'd need). My wife and I use a number of different sites to find these including VRBO, HomeAway, and RedWeek. Those tend to rent by the week, and a good central location for exploring northern New England might be White River Junction VT, at the intersection of I-89 and I-91. For shorter stays (one or two nights) such as might work for you trip down south, try Airbnb.

    AZBuck

  7. Default

    If money is tight, then plan an east coast trip with a car but be on the lookout for a cheap RV relocation deal. From time to time, Cruise America and others offer ridiculous discounts to those willing to move their RVs between certain cities. The discounts range from 50% to 95% off the normal price. Currently, CA needs to move an RV from Boston to Kissimee at $30 per night.

    The catch is that these deals are usually announced with only a month or less notice, and sometimes are gone in a day or two. But if you're flexible and lucky, one of these deals might come up that fit into your vacation plans and you might be able to book one of these deals. I've done it several times.

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

    Default Other relocation opportunities.

    travelingman mentions something I have done a lot of, albeit, not RV, just a huge variety of vehicles. There is another company, which started in Brisbane, and now covers Downunder, North America and Europe. Worth looking into, but as mentioned above, you usually do not get much notice. Check out imoova, you can call them on a 1300 number. But you might have to call their US number - which could be free if you use Skype.

    I used to get onto the company for which I relocated, and ask if they had any vehicles going in the direction I wanted to go - even months ahead, They'd let me know if something to suit me came up. Then would pay a holding deposit. Relocated some two dozen vehicles covering almost 50000 miles over two trips. But you have to have a measure of flexibility.

    Lifey

  9. Default Eastern States RV tour

    Hi,
    We'll be in the US in 4 short months !!!!! We have 10 days to travel from Washington DC to Atlanta and would love to do some camping through the National Parks in Virginia/North Carolina so are going to hire an RV. However, I'd still like to at least drive through Richmond, VA and also possibly see Charleston/Savannah. I wouldn't dream of driving an RV through any big cities, but is it stupid to try to visit these smaller cities in an RV ? It will be the smallest size we can get to sleep a family of four.

    Thanks,
    JAG.

    Moderator note] Please keep all questions regarding this trip in one thread.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 05-13-2016 at 01:13 AM. Reason: Merged.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Oh! how time flies.

    Hey JAG, 4 short months.... how time flies. I fly out on Tuesday 17th - straight to Boston.

    But about your RV, if it is a small one, it should not be a lot of trouble in the small cities. I have often seen RVs parked in a supermarket car park for hours, during the day, and wonder if the owners are off seeing the city. In the smaller towns, you often get smaller streets and limited large vehicle parking within the city. None-the-less parking is still easier than in most of our cities, as almost all stores have parking lots.

    Enjoy your trip, and we look forward to reading all about it in our Roadtrip Field Report Forum. I would also urge you to get the children to keep a journal of their most memorable moments each day. All it takes is a small book, even a plain exercise book would do, and 15 minutes at the end of each day.

    Lifey

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