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  1. #1

    Default Denver - Orlando - November 2016

    Good Afternoon folks!

    I'm a first time poster and came across the forums through a search.

    I'm looking for some advice on a roadtrip toward the end of the year.

    I'm looking to drive an RV from somewhere around NV, CO or NM to Orlando. The only thing I'd like to achieve is a stop in Asheville, NC if it's possible.

    I've got 20-22 days, looking for advise on things to see with a Wife and 4 year old and things I should avoid such as often snowed under roads.

    I'm from Australia but do have some experience in North american fall, driving an RV from Las Vegas to Denver last year and also roadtripping in an SUV from New York to Detroit via Canada and Vancouver - Seattle.

    Looking forwarded to your responses!

    Nate

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

    Default From one Aussie to Another...

    Hi Nate, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    Did you by any chance bring home some maps from your last trips, or perhaps a road atlas? They will be most helpful to you, with all the details good maps have including National and State Parks, National and State Forests, as well as other natural attraction, historical attractions and tourist traps. They also show all roads and grades them according to scenic, back roads, etc. You see so much more than you'll ever see/find within the confines of a little screen.

    Now if you don't have any, and can't get them locally, may I suggest that you procure 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. [Some map stores stock the Rand McNally, but you'll pay double what it costs with shipping included.] You might then hang on to it for future trips, though I get a new one each trip - it gets addictive you know.

    Once you study the maps you will probably find which State and which attractions are of most interest for your family. I should mention that at all national parks and monuments you enrol the 4 year old in the Junior Ranger program - an age appropriate program to teach about national parks, with some cool rewards when she/he has completed each one.

    Of course the weather will do what it does, no one can predict what it will be like when you are on the road. All the more reason to have good maps to be able to suss out alternatives.

    It is also worthwhile checking in which of the cities you plan to visit there is a children's museum. My grandchildren love those.

    Spend some time reading through the forums, including the Roadtrip Field Reports to see what others have found of interest.

    In which month are you planning to travel?

    Enjoy the planning. It is so much part of the trip.

    Lifey
    Last edited by Lifemagician; 01-10-2016 at 12:54 AM. Reason: correction.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,545

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    I'm looking to drive an RV from somewhere around NV, CO or NM to Orlando.
    I'm from Australia but do have some experience in North american fall
    You indicated that you are going to travel during October and November. In a number of areas of the country, campgrounds and RV parks start to close around the end of September. Until you get to the "real south", where the snowbirds like to stay, you may have trouble finding an open RV park or campground. Some may still be open but with limited facilities, such as having the water turned off.

    Another issue you may have, is the one-way drop off fee for an RV. It will probably be expensive!!!! It isn't necessarily "cheaper" to do an RV trip; often, it's a lifestyle consideration rather than a budgetary one. By the time you pay for the rental of the rig (far more expensive than a car or small SUV), the linen-cooking-outdoor life packages, and the fuel (they typically only get 5-8 mpg), and then your overnight fees on top of all that, it's a lot cheaper to rent a car and stay in motels.

    Third issue you may have, depending on your route, is that RV's are not very well insulated for colder weather. Whether it will be comfortable at night will depend on the weather. You will also have to ask the RV rental place, about "winterization". If the rig has already been winterized when you pick it up, you will be liable if something happens when you de-winterize it, and a fee for re-winterization may be included in your costs when you turn in the rig. So ask.


    Donna

  4. #4

    Default

    Thanks for the replies and welcome folks :)

    The road directory sounds like a great option Lifemagician, I do love planning online but nothing beats working with an actual paper map. The junior ranger program is something that I'm quite interested in, unfortunately she was too young last time!

    We are planning the trip for November, but intending to keep to the Southern states. The end destination will always be Orlando but the point of departure may change depending on research over the next couple of months.

    Thanks for the tip's Donna! We did run into a couple of closed or semi open campgrounds last year, particularly around Colorado. I'm definitely doing a lot more research on that front this time around. I'm trying to get word on when the various companies start winterizing their rigs in Colorado and New Mexico. Out of interest, do you know an approx cost to have an RV de-winterized or re-winterized?

    Thanks!
    Nate

  5. #5

    Default

    I only just saw the title of your post Lifemagician!

    Any particularly relevant tips you have for an Aussie family traipsing about that part of the US?

    We found the welcome last time incredible throughout most of the country, but in particular OH and UT!

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

    Default Things I like to do.

    I always have a flag in the rear window of my vehicle - about A4 size. Let them know that you are not a local, maybe they will forgive any small traffic slip ups. I have also found folk who recognised the flag, waiting at my vehicle when I came out of the supermarket. These were mostly Viet Vets who recalled fighting alongside the Aussies, and were ever so keen to tell me all about it, and what they thought of them. There is great admiration among the Viet Vets for the Aussie soldiers. Ex-pats are also likely to make themselves known, as well as folk who dream of travelling down under. Be prepared to answer all their questions. For the latter I normally carry some small book/booklet to give.

    If you are a member of RACQ be sure to take that membership with you. It will give you access to free tourism information and maps from the AAA all over the US. Many of us travel with a road atlas, AAA maps and then pick up a free State issued map in each State. It has happened more than once that I have found something on one map, which was not on the other two. Can't have too much information.

    At the end of each day I highlight, in my road atlas, each and every road on which I drove. Makes a great souvenir, and much easier when talking about where you went once you get home. (Also handy to have for planning your next trip.)

    Carry some souvenirs from home. Those tiny koalas/kangaroos you see in souvenir shops. Pins, Pens, Postcards, Keyrings, those sort of things. These are handy to give to someone who was particularly helpful, or a friend you made in the campground, etc. The little koalas and kangaroos would be good to give to any little friends your daughter might meet. I normally carry a box full of small souvenirs, and those I don't use keep for the next trip.

    As a Queenslander you will no doubt be aware to take some warm clothes with you. Even in NM it can be quite chilly late in the year.

    With two of my children and five of my grandchildren in the US, I go over quite often, every year if I can. My visa allows me to stay for six months at a time. I spend much of that time roadtripping. So far I have covered almost 200000 miles in North America, including three trips to AK and back. In all that time I have been pulled up by the police twice. At times like that it is good to have the flag in the back, at least they know who you are before they speak with you.

    Like you, I have found folk to be friendly wherever I travel, and have on some four or five occasions been made welcome in the homes of total strangers. Yeah! its a great place to roadtrip.

    Lifey

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,545

    Default

    The last I knew anything about the cost of winterizing a trailer "the official way", was about 8 years ago, and it was roughly $150 then. We didn't keep our rig in the really cold part of the country, so all we did was empty ALL of the tanks completely. But in the really cold areas, they empty all of the tanks (including the hot water tank), blow out the pipes, and then put in a chemical for the purpose of drying up any remaining water that could freeze and break your pipes.



    Donna

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