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Thread: RV or Van

  1. Default RV or Van

    We are a group of 5 (three adults and two teenagers) from New Zealand starting out in Los Angeles (disneyland etc), San Diego (seaworld etc) before settling down to a more serious roadtrip through Ca and Az national parks. Will be travelling in Apr 08. Our big issue is whether to use a RV or Van. If we use a Van staying at motels it seems that in most cases we will need to book two rooms making us think a RV is the way to go.

    How hard is it find places to stay where the 5 of us will be able to stay in one room?

    Cheers Glenn

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default even with 2 rooms...

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I don't think you should have too many problems with 5 in a room, as long as 2 members of your group are teens. You'll probably end up with someone sleeping on the floor, though.

    For comfort sake, you might want to get 2 rooms at least some of the time.

    Renting an RV could be fun and a great experience for your group, however if you're looking at is as a cost saving move, I don't think it will be the right fit. The cost of renting an RV will likely cost more than renting a van and getting 2 motel rooms each night.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Or rent a cot

    Most hotels seem to charge about $10 for a roll-away cot to be brought into the room. Although some rooms are so small, this can be an obstacle. Good thing they fold up!

    I agree that you might actually spend less renting a van and staying in moderately-priced motels, even if you have to get 2 rooms sometimes. But you might also want to consider what type of experience you want. I find campgrounds far more pleasant to stay in than hotels....but that's just me. You might feel differently. If so, the RV might be the right choice for you. Are you experienced with an RV? You might check out How to Rent an RV and this page is full of articles and tips about traveling with an RV.

    I always like to throw out the tent-camping option to people. If your van is big enough to store the night and sleeping bags, you can purchase these items at fairly low cost at most any big box store and leave them behind when you're done. Maybe donate them to a Goodwill or Salvation Army. What you'll save on lodging will more than pay for the items if you shop carefully.

  4. #4

    Default Other pluses of an RV

    There are other benefits of using an RV beyond the hotel cost. Some of the things that we enjoy most about RVing are:

    * not having to pack/unpack into a motel room each night
    * having snacks, breakfast food, lunch stuff and cold water handy at all times - saves on your food costs being able to do as many of your meals as you desire right "on board" - very handy - no looking for a place to eat!
    * Since you are visiting some of our national parks, you'll find that the availability and convenience of nearby campgrounds may be easier to access than motels.
    * Having a bathroom on board when you are traveling along makes fewer stops necessary as you head for your destination!
    * Campground showers are very nice - and easier to navigate than most RV rental showers - and you can all go shower at once rather than one by one in a motel room - getting you on your way more quickly in the mornings.
    * Ability to watch DVDs, play cards or games, etc. as you move along can be a real plus for the kids.

    You might also want to get the fr*ee CD from the "GoRVing" folks - - it has lots of information on renting RVs, campgrounds, the various types of RVs, etc.

    Good luck and have a great time!

    Carol White
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 10-09-2007 at 11:32 AM. Reason: Contact the Editor!

  5. Default

    I would definitely go for vans, they are very practical and I am a family guy, I like to travel in large groups...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Central California

    Default RVing is fun.


    In our travels (mostly by RV) we've seen many people in your situation. A decent sized rig (RV) will have two full or queen sized beds - one in the back and one over the cab - and the couch and dinette each make into a bed, though the dinette is usually quite short. If you can get four of the five in the beds, then you'll have no trouble with the fifth on the couch.

    As Carol says, the time spent packing and unpacking, finding places to eat, etc. can really take a lot of time out of your day. And virtually all of the western national parks have campgrounds while motels can be quite a distance away.

    The only negative is that you'll be driving a bigger vehicle than a van so parking is sometimes an issue, but not often. Just don't get a huge rig if you can squeeze comfortably into one that is no longer than 24'.

    Have a great time.

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


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