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  1. Default Road Trip - Insanity or Awesomeness? (Toronto-Tucson-Edmonton)

    Hey everyone,

    After an incredibly successful two part trip last summer (part one: Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, part two: Seattle - San Diego), I'm currently planning a circle road trip.

    I'd like to leave Edmonton, Alberta on July 1 or 2, drive to Toronto for July 6 or 7, then take a few days to visit with friends and family until July 11. Then I'd like to leave, drive to Chicago, down to St. Louis, on to Tulsa, south to Austin, and then across either to Roswell somewhere on the Texas/Mexico border before ending in Tucson, AZ on July 24 or 25. There, I'll be spending a week chasing the summer monsoon storms, and then heading onto my second part of the trip on August 4. I'd like to travel from Tucson, possibly up through New Mexico, Utah, Montana, etc until I get to Edmonton again on or about August 18.

    A few questions:

    1. Anyone who has done any part of this trip - what are the campgrounds like? Will they be booked way in advance or do I have a hope of getting a small spot to park my car in and sleep in the back? Otherwise, what is the selection of motels like? Can I plan on $50/night or do I need to plan on $100/night at many of these spots?

    2. I know in the south it's going to be very hot in July/August. Are there any special things I should know about driving during the day in many of these areas? I have a 2007 Toyota RAV4 that I'll be driving, so it's fairly new. I don't know if that's good or not.

    3. Is $250/day a do-able budget, taking into consideration gas, lodging, food, and attractions, considering I'd like to stay at campgrounds and sleep in my SUV's trunk for the most part?

    4. What is access to internet like? Are there enough major centres with Wifi at coffee shops, etc, to plan on having internet access every two days at the least? Should I look at subscribing to a data plan for Sprint/Alltel access with a data card, instead? Does anyone have any leads on such a thing?

    5. Has anyone done a trip as long as this one (about 7000km all in) and do you have any suggestions for me as I work on planning it? :D


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


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Campgrounds shouldn't be too hard to find, except in some places, especially on weekends. Of course, if you are just planning to sleep in the back of your car, then I guess you wouldn't be out too much if you can't find a real campsite and end up sleeping at a truck stop or other safe and legal place to park for the night.

    Motels, I'd figure $50 would be ok for an average. However, there will be times where $70-80 might be the cheapest you'll find.

    If your car is in good shape mechanically, then it shouldn't really have any problems dealing with the heat.

    Internet access shouldn't be too hard to find. With starbucks all over the place, other fast food offering wi-fi, and of course places like libararies that offer free access, you shouldn't have a problem finding a connection.

  3. Default

    Hi Michael,

    Thank you for the tips. :) A quick question about truck stops for you (or anyone else who wants to take this :P) -

    I've been raised by a paranoid mother and overly protective father and it's kind of been beaten into me that truck stops are nowhere a 26 year old female should be stopping unless I am absolutely in a huge emergency. Is this no longer the case? Are they actually decently safe places to sleep?

    And are truck stops different than those road-side stops on the highway where there's a bathroom and picnic areas?

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

    Default Truck Stops are Mainstream

    Quote Originally Posted by adolwyn View Post
    Are they actually decently safe places to sleep?
    Yes, here is some more information about trucks stops and travel plazas.
    And are truck stops different than those road-side stops on the highway where there's a bathroom and picnic areas?
    Road-side rest areas are run by the local governments and truck plazas/truck stops are run by private companies. Security is usually excellent in the truck stops and limited or non-existent at the rest stops.


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