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  1. Default 12 day Great American Road trip!

    Hey everybody!

    my family is planning a 12 day road trip, we live in North Arkansas and want to go to New York and Washington DC for sure. What I was thinking is that we would go from Arkansas to Chicago then go up to Canada towards Toranto, go see Niagra falls, then New York, then washington DC then heads back toward Home, stopping in neat places all along the way.

    Do you think we could do this in 12 days? and how much do you think it would cost? would $5,000 cover it?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Sounds Fine to Me

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    It appears that you have the resources, both time and money, to make this a very enjoyable trip, depending on who all is included in 'family'. You can make a very nice loop drive up to Chicago, over to Toronto, and back down through New York and Washington while driving a grand total of around 3000 miles. If you do 500 miles a day on your driving days, that still leaves you 6 days, or half your available time, to stop in the various cities you want to visit. $5,000 is about $200/day, so again depending on how many mouths you'll have to feed and rooms you you'll need each night, that's a reasonable figure.

    So let's start with just a few general pointers to some of the roads and attractions you might want to consider for this trip. On the way up to Chicago, look at various parts of the Great River Road. Some of your options to the east and south from there are touched on in this post. Finally on the way back to Arkansas, your best option is to just follow the Appalachians, on either or both the Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway with a final(?) stop in the Great Smokies.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 08-30-2007 at 09:27 AM. Reason: Typos

  3. Default

    Thanks for your help!

    This Forum is Awesome!

    There are 5 of us in the Family im the youngest and im 16. do you think it would be cheaper to rent an RV then to stay in cheap hotels across america? If we did rent an RV what would you do to get around NYC and Washington DC? does this road trip sound like fun to you? if you dont think so pelase tell me.

    And do you think it wuold be more fun to take a RV? I found one we could take for l a little under $2,000. weve never had an RV, how often do you have to change the Septic? if we tried not to use the bathroom as much as possible.
    Last edited by RickyC; 08-30-2007 at 12:05 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default No question -- motels and cars!

    Quote Originally Posted by RickyC View Post
    do you think it would be cheaper to rent an RV then to stay in cheap hotels
    Even adjusting for eating better and staying for free on the side of the road (boondocking) it is far easier to stay on a low budget using a car and inexpensive motels than in a RV.
    If we did rent an RV what would you do to get around NYC and Washington DC?
    Park it or drive it. A RV will go anyplace that a city bus will go.


  5. Default

    Thank you!

  6. Default

    Would we need Passports to get into canada? or can you drive straight through?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France

    Default Passport

    From January 1st 2008, passports will be mandatory to cross the border. Even before this date, there is no such thing as "straight through". You need to show proof of your citizenship and photo I.D. (ex. : birth certificate and driver's licence). The only place I've been where they don't bother much with paperwork is Mexico (when you get in).


  8. Default

    Thank you!
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 08-31-2007 at 05:00 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Central California

    Default RV stuff


    If you decide to do the RV there are a few things to keep in mind.

    Dumping the tanks would need to be done every two or three days (with 5 people using the facilities). One reason for using the RV is to reduce the cost of eating out so a fair amount of water would be used in food prep and clean up. You can use campground showers and toilets, but you can't avoid the inevitable, if you use the on-board water. Frankly, it isn't much of a chore once you do it a couple of times.

    Getting around NYC is a bit more of a chore because of parking. There is a campground in Jersey City that is close to the ferry to NY and the bus lines (it even has a view of the Statue of Liberty, sort of). We've used it several times and the system works well. It is rather expensive, though I don't know the current rates, and reservations are manditory because of its unique location.

    We see lots of families, especially from Europe, traveling in RVs and loving it. They seem to have lots of comaraderie when they are all involved in the process (don't make mom and dad do all the dirty work).

    All that said, I agree with Mark that a rental car is probably better because of its flexibility and convenience. If you aren't experienced driving an 8-foot-wide vehicle in cities and traffic, it can be a bit nerve-wracking which isn't what you want on a vacation. If you were just doing national and state parks I'd recommend the RV.

    Have a wonderful time. NYC and Washington have so many wonderful things to see and do, and you'll stumble on all sorts of fun places along the way too. I hope you have a big enough car/van to spread out a little. Five people with the youngest being 16 can get pretty close after 6 or 7 hours.

    Craig Sheumaker
    co-author of the travel guide: America's Living History-The Early Years

  10. #10
    motp Guest


    i had an awesome roadtrip with my family when we were in aussie and we did the same thing when we went to california. my dad and i took turns driving from LA to oregon and we stoped at national and state parks. there are many RV campgrounds - you can use google maps and locate the campgrounds.

    Last edited by PNW Judy; 08-01-2008 at 03:48 AM. Reason: Advertising personal sites not allowed at this level of membership

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