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  1. Default 1st time post and 1st question

    Hi all

    first off, we want to say thank you for the website and all the valuable information we have found to has been hugely useful. But we have reached a point where we need to ask a specific question about our hoped for trip.

    As part of our round the world trip, we are looking to road trip from Seattle, to Yellowstone, down to Arches NP, Monument Valley, Grand Canyon, Zion NP, Las Vegas, up Death Vallye to Yosemite, across to San Francisco, and then up the coast beack to Seattle.

    We have alocated a month in either June 2009 or July 2009 for this.

    Here comes the crunch: we are split between either doing the trip in an RV (new expereince for us UK sorts) or rent a car and do the normal motel and car thing.

    But the one thing we are unsure about an RV is the size. We have done Yosemite briefly before and remember the roads being very twisty and narrow - fine in a car, but in a RV......

    So opinions and advice if you can...would an RV limit our driving in the places we are hoping to visit? Will it be a terrifying drive in parts?? Will we be better off with a car in the parks to get around?? Can we park easily with an RV??

    I know, lots of questions and I hope you can help.

    Thanks very much for any info you can give us.

    Rachel & Michael

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default It depends on your goals

    Quote Originally Posted by pumaknight View Post
    As part of our round the world trip,
    Wow, this is the 4th "around the world" trip that is currently being planned on this forum right now. Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! Traveling in a RV is a just a different approach to road tripping -- On the plus side, the cost of renting a RV, fueling it and maintaining it over the cost of a month is much closer to a break even over the cost of a rental car and motel -- than it would be for a two week trip -- but with the scale and scope of this trip -- I would say that it is likely that total expenses will be 40% higher with the RV option than with the car/motel option.

    There are huge benefits of traveling in a RV -- clean restrooms, stopping for lunch is easier, better menus, "camping" and there are very few places where the difference between driving a RV and a sedan makes much more of a difference. UK roadtripper, Gommy, certainly drove as much as you are considering and he did it in a 30-foot RV. Here is his excellent trip report -- gorgeous photos!.
    we are looking to road trip from Seattle, to Yellowstone, down to Arches NP, Monument Valley, Grand Canyon, Zion NP, Las Vegas, up Death Vallye to Yosemite, across to San Francisco, and then up the coast beack to Seattle.
    I am not really sure you can drive this far in a month -- it can be done, but it is going to start feeling "like a job" -- you will need to be no the road for at least 22 days of the month and traveling for at least 8-10 hours per day.

    Unlike motels, you can boondock in a RV -- and that is pretty swell.

    If you have the $$ -- and you don't mind the chores of driving a RV that far, it will be a unforgettable holiday. But, if it were me, I would do car camping and motels -- more flexibility -- less chance of mechanical problems.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    hello there.
    it is i that mark mentioned earlier :-)

    it is a difficult question to answer as it's really a "lifestyle choice" and as mark said not that beneficial financially speaking,especially if it's just the 2 of you,with 4 people like ourselves the costs even out much better,but my wife and i are considering/planning another trip and it will definately be an r.v.

    i see you are keen to visit quite a few national parks and i think this is where the fuel and rental costs of an r.v are pulled back in,as in the parks accomodations at the time of year you are visiting are pretty expensive and the r.v. pitches are around 18 to $20 a night. you also have the free shuttle bus services that run frequently so once you are parked up there is no need to move each day. each pitch has a fire ring,table and bench set and bbq grill and just sitting out at night around the fire and under the stars beats any hotel for me,but it's not for everyone.

    now the r.v's ,a 'c' class being the most popular choice for us u.k'ers can be rented in various lenghts, for 2 of you a 22ft or 24ft should be fine so not to bad but they seem to carry the same width as the longer ones,and thats where it's felt on the narrower mountain roads,and although it was'nt that busy when we visited, the drivers over there seem to have a lot more patience and are more relaxed than over here if they get caught up behind you. there are lots of turnouts where it's customary to pull in to allow traffic to pass that you're holding up. if you are experienced drivers it should'nt take much to become accustomed to the handling characteristics but don't try and put in too many miles in the first couple of days as you will need to adapt to it.

    don't forget thousands of these r.v.'s drive through the parks all the time without drama,there are parking bays especially for r.v's in certain parking areas but when there busy or full it's not so easy to find a "quiet corner" as it is in a car. we did'nt have any problems in towns either,the parking is'nt like the u.k.,there are lots of parking areas and even in the superstores there is always plenty of room in a quiet corner away from the main area.

    also,we never had a situation where we could'nt go somewhere we wanted to because of the r.v.,and boy did we choose some places, but thats not to say it would'nt happen.

    a couple of last things,firstly, if you decide on an r.v. make sure you get a full quote before booking as some cheaper looking deals soon get expensive when you add on extra mileage costs,insurance waivers,bedding kits and kitchen kits it starts to add up. secondly,which ever way you decide to travel you will need to book up in the parks as early as possible as thet can get booked out very quickly.
    any other questions don't hesitate to ask!!
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 06-01-2008 at 09:01 AM. Reason: added some white space

  4. Default

    Thank you to both you!! Excellent info and really getting us thinking.

    Today we spent the day mapping out our route, given Mark's comment on distances and driving. As luck would have it, our route does have some major driving days but we are both very used to driving long distances for work, so can share driving - 200 miles a day each doesn't sound as bad. the intinerary has changed a bit from our initial wish list to ensure we have a good few rest days in between the long drives. Thank you Mark for your advice on that.

    We hadn't considered camping as an option and it does seem to work out quite well. The gear isn't too expensive and there seems to be plenty of options for camping in the NPs. I haven't camped since I was a lad and swore I would never do it again (rain, dodgy food cooked by my dad and hard floors is all I remember from those days in the Snowdonian mountains). But, these days, we have airbeds, water proof tents and of course the wonders of me and my wife cooking the baked beans and eggs :-)

    Thanks for the reassurance on the RVs. It has ceratinly put our minds at rest over the driving. You posts and trip reports were facsinating and a great read.

    Budget is not a killer for us (we are going round the world so expect it to cost a fair bit !!) but at the same time, we don't want to waste money on the wrong choices.

    Looks like it is time to think about what you guys have said and see which gives us the wonderous mix of "worth it financially and spiritually", and "experience like no other".

    Thanks agian for posts.

    Rachel & Michael

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default no problem

    it sounds like your off on a fantastic adventure and wish you well in your journeys. if you need any more help fine tuning your plans in the u.s.a then give us a shout when your ready :-)

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