For a long while now, it has been my dream to do a cross country road trip across America. Being from Pittsburgh, I would ideally like to start my road trip here, heading west. I would like to head west hitting the northern half of the country. Once reaching California, I would like to head back east, hitting the southern half of the country. My friend and I plan to do this trip between May to July of 2017 (lasting between 1 and 2 months) and are really looking for any kind of advice that may help us in our planning. As of now, we are largely trying to decide what our best mode of transportation will be along with accommodations (basically, which will be most wallet friendly , practical, and SAFE). We have thought about looking into a van (such as a 2002 Ford Econoline) and traveling/living out of that with the addition of a tent to stay in at some locations. However, we are not sure if it would be better to go with a car that gets better mileage and use a tent as well when we can at campsites. We would like to hit plenty of National Parks and are not afraid to rough it (such as eating Ramen noodles and PB&Js for food for many meals along the way).
As mentioned above, we are really just looking for any advice that will help us in making our dream American road trip a reality.