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  1. Default S. Florida to Sedona to Denver to Maine & Back to Florida

    Hi, I just found this forum and have already printed many tips. We're planning a pretty extensive trip this Summer. We're traveling in a 35' Class A RV needing 14' clearance overhead, towing a Jeep or Samarai (don't have tow vehicle yet). We prefer State Parks and National Forests vs RV resorts.

    We live in S.E. Florida and plan on being on the road at least 2 months, possibly 3. We want to see many places we've never seen-The first goal is Sedona, then Bryce Canyon in UT, visit friends in Denver, over to St. Louis Arch, visit friends in Allentown, PA, then up in to Maine, on to see Niagra Falls, the Statue of Liberty, visit the Smithsonian in D.C.,the Chincoteague ponies, then to Charleston and who knows what else, then back home to FL.

    I have Delorme Street Atlas w/Earthmate GPS, but it doesn't give much detail about small towns, too steep mountain roads/switchbacks etc. Rough mileage for this loop is about 8,000.

    Does anyone have any tips on /don't miss if your within 50 miles ideas along the way/avoid this area? Or bad weather patterns typical to an area during July/August?
    Thanks for any input,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    One extremely handy guide for determining which routes would be optimal for that type of vehicle is a trucker's atlas - we have a page with recommended atlases here.

    Weather conditions can vary from one year to the next, and it is not that uncommon to encounter winter-like conditions, especially in the Rocky Mountain states. However, since you will most likely be sticking to primary roads, I wouldn't worry too much about it. Just be aware that it can happen.

    Since you live in Southeastern Florida, I don't need to tell you about the humidity that comes up the East coast at that time of year.

    Is this your first trip in an RV, or are you seasoned travelers? Either way, we have a wealth of information about heading out on the road (in any type of vehicle) on our Planning Page.

    Near Allentown is a neat little town called Jim Thorpe - it would make a good stop for awhile to get out and stretch your legs. There is a good-sized parking lot near the center of town. Be aware that the area near here is rather steep, but accessible. However, you won't want to drive your rig up Packer Hill Rd.

    How were you planning on approaching Maine - through CT, MA and NH, or North into NY and then East into VT and NH?

    It also seems like there is some backtracking in respect to going to Maine, then to Niagara Falls, and back to NYC for the Statue of Liberty. You may want to reconsider that portion of the trip to cut back on some significant mileage, or to be able to explore other areas en route.

  3. Default tough route/help! Niagara-Camden/ME

    We have our entire trip planned- FL to Ann Arbor,MI across Ontario to Niagara Falls and on to as far as Utica, NY. From Utica area to Camden Maine..aggghh..I am lost!
    We plan on routng all the way down US1 from Maine back to S. FL This one leg is so difficult!

    We're traveling in a 35' Fleetwod Bounder with a Samarai dinghy and are having a terrible time finding a timely route around the Adirondacks on the way to coastal Maine.

    If anyone has any tips/roads that are good/roads to avoid info, it is hugely! appreciated!

    I have been using our Delorme Street Atlas software, Good Sam's trip routing and AAA routing ideas and still see no simple way across NY and on into Camden, Maine.

    Thanks in advance for any tips! BTW..we have a two week window to make this leg and do love odd ball it does not have to be a straight shot/fastest route..local knowledge would be great!

    The best we have come up with so far, is to hug the eastern Adirondacks, then cut across on US 4, the US 3 then US 2 to US1.

    Megan in S. FL

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Simple or Sweet, But not Both

    I used to cover the bulk of this ground when I lived in Maine and had friends in central New York. You really have two options. The simple one (notice I didn't say short) is to take I-90, the New York Thruway and Mass Pike to Worcester, then I-290 and I-495 to connect with I-95 just south of the MA/NH state line, and I-95 to Brunswick, ME and US-1 to Camden. Besides being a bit longer than the alternative, this routing does spend quite a bit of time on toll roads. On the plus side, it is all Interstate except for the last bit into Camden, and at 450 miles can be driven fairly easily in a day.

    The alternative is to take I-90 only as far as Albany, head north a bit on I-87 and then use NY-7 east into Vermont, where it becomes VT-9 across the southern part of that state and then NH-101, which will join I-95 at Hampton, NH. This route is quite scenic, and saves on tolls and miles, but VT-9 and NH-101 are two lane roads through some hilly terrain. Given that you're pulling a load, I think I'd opt for the first choice.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Central California

    Default A few thoughts

    Hi, We've traveled most of these areas in our motorhome. Do you really need 14' clearance? Better check, because you'll find some old train trestles in the east, and a few tunnels in the west that will give you between 13'4" - 14' feet, especially on the sides. The center of the road may be higher. I'm pretty sure that there are trucker's guides out there that have all that info including steep grades. Depending on the age and condition of your engine, you can make it up almost anything in the US (Canada is a different story) if you are willing to chug-chug at 35mph. Just be sure to downshift on the downgrades (you may not be going much faster downhill).

    If you are going to Bryce, I suggest you do some of these: Acoma Pueblo, Acomita, NM and the classics - Grand Canyon (north and south rims, Zion, Capitol Reef, Arches, Canyonlands, Colorado National Monument, (those should take up all your extra time and fulfill your lust for red rock) ending with a dip in the hot springs in Glenwood Springs, CO. From there you can either go on East through Vail and past Dillon Lake to Denver, or go southeast to Aspen, then on to Colorado Springs and up to Denver from the south. If you've been poking around the forums you already know much of this, but as you also know, people would kill to have up to 3 months to do this trip so make the best of it.

    Most, if not all of these parks have campgrounds (reservations suggested at a few such as the Grand Canyon, but not absolutely necessary if you arrive early). A Trailer Life or Woodalls directory will be on your lap almost every day checking length restrictions as well as availability. The campground at Capitol Reef is very nice (apple orchards all around) but it isn't huge.

    Do you have a NOAA weather radio? We avoided a horrendous hail storm last year thanks to ours. The sky ahead was looking nasty so we turned it on. Yep, we were headed right at it so we turned left for 20 miles, then turned right and went clean around it...not a drop! That kind of thing can happen anywhere from Georgia to Colorado to New York, in other words, anywhere, anytime.

    As Jack Sparrow would say "keep a weather eye."


  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Central California

    Default Tough is right

    Hi again,

    Frankly, I'd just take the wheel in my hands and wind my way across central Vermont and New Hampshire - it is such a beautiful area. We went from Pittsfield, MA, up to Rutland, VT, east toward Lebanon, NH, then north and across the Kankamagus Highway to Conway, NH and down to Portsmouth, NH in a rented 34 footer on our second RV trip. Yes, it was a bit scary once or twice, but by the time you've done the western part of the trip, this will be a piece of cake. There are lots of things to see. Besides the historic sites like Hancock Shaker Village west of Pittsfield and St. Gaudins (scuptor and artist) home/studio in New Hampshire, the Lost River Gorge and the Raptor Center near North Woodstock, NH are well worth the time. It isn't a fast way to go, but the diversity of scenery and attractions was very memorable (obviously, it has been 14 years!)

    Incidently, I just found that a great restaurant, the White Dog Tavern, just south of Danby, VT is still run by Tom Musso. He let us sleep in our motorhome in his parking lot overnight after a lovely dinner and late-night revelry, and he brought coffee to our door the next morning. I doubt that he would remember us, but we remember him (as I said, it was 14 years ago.)

    Craig Sheumaker
    Co-author of America's Living History - The Early Years
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 05-28-2007 at 03:26 AM. Reason: navigation

  7. #7
    jerseyprincess Guest

    Default Just two things I can think of...

    If you are going to stop in Portsmouth NH, eat at a place called the Friendly Toast. Crazy little place with lots to look at and really good food. (I was just on a trip there in April.)
    Also, I dont know where you have planned to stay in Niagara Falls, but NiagaraRV ( is a VERY nice place. I've stayed there about four times and it's a nice place, the owners are very friendly and just about the most helpful people I've met.
    I would also suggest while there visiting Niagara-on-the-Lake. Beautiful town, quaint shops lining the streets. I love go to there. (There is also some kind of war memorial thing nearby, but that kind of stuff doesnt interest me.) Along the route from the RV Park to NOTL (it's only about 10 miles) there are a few shops/stands selling homemade jams/jellies/fruits. This is also along a wine route, which is always fun. In the opposite direction are all the Falls attraction, which are also fun to do. If you are going to see the Falls (and havent been there before) dont forget to visit at night. They do this light show which I thought was really nice.

    Enjoy your trip!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Central California

    Default Fort Niagara

    Speaking of Niagara, north of the falls is the very well restored Old Fort Niagara that has original stone buildings and earthworks. The main building (called The French Castle - 1726) is outfitted with all the stuff that an army would have had in those days. They also have reenactments and encampments there from time to time. Great place to visit, if you have an interest, and the view of the lake from the North Redoubt - 1771 - is terrific.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Central California

    Default Mountain Driving Advice

    Hi, again,

    I've been trying to think of a book that gives road conditions and hill slopes for mountains in the west and east for a couple of days. I finally came across it.

    The only caveat is when you see a steep grade (over 9% or 10%) check the length. If it is under a mile, you shouldn't worry too much. If it is over 4 or 5 miles, you might want to see if there is a reasonable alternative (this only applies to RVers). That said, I don't shy away from hardly any hill, almost none of them are a constant grade for that long, so you have chances to use the breaks to slow down for the next steep pitch. If it is really bad I just downshift and make the folks behind me slow down. Safety is #1. Of course, if there is a reasonable pull out, I always swing out and let the traffic go by.

    Craig Sheumaker
    Co-author of America's Living History - The Early Years
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 05-28-2007 at 03:25 AM. Reason: Preferred URL format

  10. Default

    That Rate 1 from Maine to Florida sounds good, but it's not. It can be nerve- wrackingly congested and slow for long segments. Better to pick segments of the coast along route 1 you'd like to see, and then swing back to a less congested road.

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