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  1. Default 2 week midwest / west roadtrip in campervan help needed!

    Hey Everyone!

    New here so I apologize if there there is a better way of getting this information. My husband and I are planning to finally take our honeymoon in June and would like to do a 2 week roadtrip through the midwest and west. We would like to fly out to a point (Kansas seemed like a good spot to start and end at looking at the map, but you might have a much better suggestion for me :) ) in this area and then rent a campervan for 2 weeks. Some places we would love to visit in these 2 weeks are:

    -The Great Plains
    -The Rockies
    -Yellowstone National Park
    -The Redwood Forest (I know this one may be a little too far to fit into the 2 week time-frame)
    -The Grand Canyon

    We are really big into the outdoors, and don't really care much for big cities unless there there is something truly fantastic to see there. We are also huge food people and I am a photographer so gorgeous landscapes are my thing and so are local foods:)

    I would love any suggestions on a route to take that might let us hit most of our points, any suggestions on must-see places (whether on or off the beaten path) while out in the mid-west and west, and if anyone knows where or how we could rent a campervan for this trip. We don't require much for the campervan, just a place to sleep and heat up food. We plan on doing diners and local food places when the location allows for this.

    In case this is important, we live in up-state NY but don't want to waste a bunch of time driving out to the midwest since we only have 2 weeks. We don't want to be driving the entire time, so building in some days with no driving would be great.

    Thank you for all your help and time in advance!

    -Jolana

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,323

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    There are not many small campervan rental companies, but Escape Campervans may be what you need.

    https://www.escapecampervans.com/

    With the places you want to visit, I think the Denver location would probably be the best. With that in mind, use a road atlas to visualize a possible route and go from there.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,118

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I agree with GLC that Denver would probably be your best place to start - with Salt Lake City possibly being another option. There are limited places to rent RVs from, especially small ones, and you probably should look at doing a loop where you start and end at the same place. Doing that will save you quite a bit of money.

    2 weeks is a nice amount of time, but it's not a ton of time either. I would certainly throw out California and the Redwoods. I could see where you did something like the Badlands/Black Hills (getting a taste of the plains along the way), Yellowstone, down through the National Parks of Utah to the Grand Canyon, and then make your way back across Colorado to finish in Denver.

    You can kind of take it from there. I'd plan at least a day for most National Parks, and at least 3 for Yellowstone/Grand Teton. Certainly less can be more, especially in the context of a honeymoon.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,794

    Default Don't try and do it all at once.

    Two weeks is a nice amount of time for a road trip but that time soon fly's by, so you really need to pick an area of interest and spend quality time enjoying it in a relaxed manner. (It is a Honeymoon after all ! ) As suggested, Denver is a good choice and would give you the options to visit the Colorado Rockies combined with Badlands, Yellowstone and some of Utah's great National Parks. A Las Vegas start would allow you to take in the Grand canyon, parts of Colorado and Southern Utah NP's. Alternatively, heading to San Francisco you could do a loop trip to the Grand canyon taking in the National parks of California (Yosemite, Sequoia and Death Valley) and Utah (Capitol Reef, Bryce and Zion) with a visit to Monument Valley and some of the highlights around Page AZ. There is so much to see and do with all options, you really don't need to spend most of your time clocking up extensive miles and only having time to look out through the windshield. There are no bad options, just those that appeal to you the most so do a little research and once you have the basics down we can help with the finer detail.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,323

    Default

    These are Escape's locations:

    Atlanta
    Denver
    Las Vegas
    Los Angeles
    Miami
    New York
    Phoenix
    San Francisco
    Seattle
    Vancouver

    Nothing in Salt Lake City.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,118

    Default

    Escape is a good option, but not the only option to consider.

    For example, Cruise America does a pickup truck camper that could work (and would be available from Salt Lake City).

  7. Default

    Thanks GLC!

    The Escape Campervans is exactly what we are looking for!

  8. Default Thank you for the replies

    Hi Everyone,

    Thank you so much for your helpful tips and insight. Originally we were looking at starting and ending in the same place to keep the price down as you all mentioned, but after shortening my list of things to see to cut down on travel time I came up with this route. What do you guys think?

    Day 1:Fly into Denver, rent Escape Campervan and start driving --7 hours
    Day 2: Driving --7 hours
    Day 3 and 4:Yellowstone
    Day 5: Driving -- 2.5 hours
    Day 6: Salt Lake area--2.5 hours
    Day 7: Driving -- 3 hours
    Day 8: Valley of Fire State Park (or another area of the desert near there) --3 hours
    Day 9: Arrive at Grand Canyon --3 hours (arriving in the morning)
    Day 10:Grand Canyon --3 hours (leaving at night)
    Day 11: Driving and Fly out of Phoenix back home -- 2 hours

    The number of hours would refer to the number of hours on the road each day. Days that just have driving we would go on small hikes and find a place in the woods to park the van for the night. I checked and I can rent the van in Denver and return it to Phoenix. We may end up only having 11 days instead of 14, so I have to keep that in mind while planning. It looks like the total trip would be 33 hours (about 3 hours a day) of driving and about 2,000 miles. My main concern is that Denver to Yellowstone is 14 hours so those first 2 days would be a bit brutal, unless we could make a few small stops along the way to take in the scenery or go on a small hike. What do you think? Still too ambitious? I appreciate all the insight :)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,963

    Default Easier said than done.

    Quote Originally Posted by Czechster View Post
    ... and find a place in the woods to park the van for the night.
    Better do a good bit of research as to where this is allowed. It is not as prolific as the discussion about it is. Places are few and far between, and often not near the route you are on.

    Lifey

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,794

    Default How about the North rim ?

    It looks like the total trip would be 33 hours (about 3 hours a day) of driving and about 2,000 miles.
    Don't be fooled by electronic mapping program time estimates. A computer doesn't have to deal with construction or congestion delays and in Yellowstone, wildlife jams. Your drives are all doable though.

    My main concern is that Denver to Yellowstone is 14 hours so those first 2 days would be a bit brutal,
    You don't say from where you are flying in from or what time you arrive but your travel time shouldn't be anywhere near 14 hours, perhaps 11 hours to the south entrance.

    We may end up only having 11 days instead of 14, so I have to keep that in mind while planning.
    Those 3 days will make a big difference with the miles you are trying to cover but it is doable.

    Day 8: Valley of Fire State Park (or another area of the desert near there) --3 hours
    Day 9: Arrive at Grand Canyon --3 hours (arriving in the morning)
    If you visit the Grand canyon North rim, I also think you would get far more from a visit to Zion NP than you will heading to the Valley of Fire, as nice as it is. I also think you could get more driving done on days 5, 6 and 7 to allow more time at Yellowstone and Grand canyon. You could drive to Jackson WY on day 5 and spend a bit of time in the Teton's on the way and then get a good day on the road, perhaps as far south as Cedar City. You could then have a good day at Zion on day 7 and on day 8 continue to Grand canyon where you could spend all of day 9 and then break the journey to Phoenix with an overnight stop, Monument Valley or Red rock country around Sedona.

    As for sleeping, try and book sites within the National parks, they are not expensive and there is nothing like camping in the middle of it all. You can't just pull up somewhere and sleep the night. It's your trip and you should do what suits you but they are some thoughts to ponder.

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