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  1. #1
    Svengali1 Guest

    Default Newbie in early planning for big RV trip

    I'm in the very early stages of planning a 3 month or so long trip in an RV next summer with three other people...and I have at least a million and a half questions, but I'll spare us all and go with two to start- Right now (again, very early in the planning) we're looking at a route something like from WI to St. Louis--Memphis-Atlanta--Birmingham AL--New Orleans---Houston--Zion or Grand Canyon NP--Vegas--(Tijuana?)--San Fran--Portland---Seattle and/or Olympic NP--Vancouver--Then through the lonesome northwest (maybe badlands, mt. rushmore, deadwood, devil's tower) and back to WI. Is this close to doable in three months if we want time to enjoy the surroundings for a couple days in most of the stops?
    Also, looking to do it in a cheap, used RV...how likely is it that we can actually find one that would hold up for that trip for $3000 or under? Any tips?
    Thanks!

  2. Default

    I think it's do-able in 3 months time. I would do both Grand Canyon and Zion and I'd also add Bryce Canyon, Yosemite and Yellowstone National Parks to your list. There are a lot of others I'd add too, but then I prefer the national parks to cities.

    As for a reliable RV for only $3,000, that depends. If you are thinking about a used travel trailer, then I'd say yes, but if you are thinking about a motorhome, then I highly doubt you could find a reliable one for that long of a trip for that cheap.

    We've been offered $5,000 for our 1985 Class A motorhome many times...people just stop at our house wanting to buy our motorhome and we don't even have a for sale sign on it. I wouldn't trust ours on a trip like that. We're sticking close to home because it's so old and has over 100,000 miles on it. One thing to keep in mind is RV's have a good resale value, so if you plan on selling it when you are done with this trip, you shouldn't lose to much value. I think we could easily get $6,000 for ours.

    Utahtea...resident RV'er

  3. #3
    Svengali1 Guest

    Default

    Thanks for the info
    I've been seeing a bunch of RVs in that $3000 range with well under 100,000 miles on them, but they all seem to be late 70s-early 80s models. Finding that right balance between affordable and reliable (we're all mid-20s limited income types who wouldn't know a spark plug if it slapped us in the face) is going to make or break this trip, so if you have any general guidlines (what shape/year/miles would you trust on a trip this long?) it would be a huge help.
    Thanks again!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default

    If you come to WA State, I hope you will see Mt. St. Helens and Olympic National Park. Those are the two biggest must-see things here, in my opinion.

    Do you have a decent tow-vehicle to drive? I would consider a small, used trailer on your budget. Many folks also have good luck traveling in a larger van that can be outfitted with camping items. This is easier on gas and easier to drive. Or a double-cab or super-cab pickup with a canopy over the bed. Both would serve you quite well for a 3 month trip. But, hey, what do I know? I'd do it in a regular car with camping gear myself. I guess what I"m saying is that any vehicle that runs well would be good for a roadtrip of that timeframe. If you can't afford a good-running motorhome, don't let that stop you. Impromise.

    Sounds like a wonderful trip!

  5. #5
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default

    For the trip back from Vancouver, I have 2 suggestions for routes. The first us WA 20, the North Cascades Highway through the North Cascades National Park Complex, following WA 20 all the way to the Idaho line. The other is taking US 2 over Stevens Pass (the Cascade Highway) through Levenworth, Cashmere, and Wenatchee. Then you can choose any of the many overland routes through Eastern Washington to Spokane, but if you stay on US 2 through Montana you can also hit Glacier NP.

  6. Default

    LOL, at least I know what a spark plug is. DH is the mechanic in our family and he's very good a finding great used vehicles. We purchased our motorhome when it was just 8 years old and had less than 30,000 miles on it.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>

    In 2002 when we had traveled from California to South Carolina we had a water pump go out on us. Now you might not think that a water pump would be expensive to replace, but the radiator had to be pulled out to reach the water pump and that took a lot of hours of labor. While the radiator was out we had it rebuilt because we knew that was something that needed to be done. The job cost a little less than $3,000! OUCH!!! Class C motorhomes are cheaper to work on because they have van or truck fronts.<o:p></o:p>

    You would probably get more advice over on the RV.NET message boards. There are a lot of RV's that frequent those boards. I've read of a couple of people who have found great motorhome deals on Ebay!<o:p></o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>

    Utahtea<o:p></o:p>

  7. #7
    Svengali1 Guest

    Default

    Thanks for all the help...rv.net looks like a great resource.

    Judy, you can rest assured that if I can pull this off, we'll be spending a lot of time in Washington. Between Olympic NP, Seattle and the twin attractions of Snoqualmie and Roslyn (which I'm sure will be the highilght of the trip...I'm already about to wet myself with excitement over getting a picture of myself in front of 'The Brick') there's a ton I want to see there.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Svengali1
    Thanks for all the help...rv.net looks like a great resource.

    Judy, you can rest assured that if I can pull this off, we'll be spending a lot of time in Washington. Between Olympic NP, Seattle and the twin attractions of Snoqualmie and Roslyn (which I'm sure will be the highilght of the trip...I'm already about to wet myself with excitement over getting a picture of myself in front of 'The Brick') there's a ton I want to see there.
    Roslyn is a fun town. I haven't been there for several years but "The Brick" was there. There were a few shops with Northern Exposure stuff. (Wasn't that a fun show?) You'll enjoy it.

    Well, just don't miss Mt. St. Helens. Really, you'll love it. And, also, you might want to try to ride a ferry in Puget Sound on part of your trip. It's a wonderful way to see some beautiful sites.

    If you make it out this way, PM me. I love to meet up with folks coming my way. If you go to Olympic National Park, it's very likely you'll be going through my town. Maybe we can arrange a meeting?

  9. #9
    flaco2 Guest

    Default Puget Ferry

    Judy, Any suggestions on what ferry to take in the sound that might dock in a camping area? Tent camping. Muchas Gracias!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default

    Any ferry landing on the west side of Puget Sound will be relatively close to camping facilities. But none of them dock right at a campground, as far as I know anyway. I think the best thing to do is to decide where you want to go on the west side of the Sound, then research campgrounds near the ferry landing in that area. Bremerton is the biggest town with a landing dock for the ferry on the west side of the Sound. If I recall correctly, the closest campground to the dock is about 5-10 miles away.

    If you give me some idea of what you want to see and do, and where you want to go after the crossing, I might be able to suggest the best ferry route to serve your needs. Then you can seek out campgrounds.

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