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  1. Default Australian Group - RV Trip to USA - Advise needed!!

    Hi everyone,

    There is a group of 16 of us from Australia who are wanting to do an RV road trip somewhere in America.

    A few of us have been to the States before, but we have never done a road trip, so any help and suggestions would be fantastic!

    The dates are: 26/Dec/09 until the 11/Jan10.

    We have 2 different options, that we are considering, they are:

    Option 1

    12/26 -depart New York for Washington DC -2 nights in DC
    12/28 -depart for Chicago (with a stop somewhere on the way there, perhaps Cleveland) -3 nights in Chicago
    1/1 – depart for Nashville (with a stop somewhere on the way there, perhaps Indianapolis) - 2 nights in Nashville
    1/ 4 - depart for Memphis – 1 night
    1/5 – depart for New Orleans – 3 nights
    1/8 – depart for Dallas with a stop somewhere, not sure where though – than 2 nights in Dallas

    We have concerns that it’s going to be freezing in Chicago, so we have the option to go down to Raleigh, Savannah, across to Atlanta than Nashville. Do you think that’s a better option, rather than Chicago>

    Option 2:

    12/26 – 2 nights in San Diego
    12/28 – depart for Arizona – 2 nights in Scottsdale
    12/30 – depart for the Grand Canyon – 1 night
    12/31 – depart for Las Vegas – 3 nights
    1/3 – depart for Mammoth Lakes – 1 night
    1/4 – depart for Yosemite – 1 night
    1/5 – depart for San Francisco – 3 nights
    1/8 – 1/11 – we 3 nights to get to LA – we were thinking Monterey and Santa Barbara. Any other suggestions?

    These are just in the first stages of planning, so if you think they are bad or pointless, please let me know and give me some advise on what would be better.



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

    Default challenges

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The first thing I see with your trip is that you are considering 2 very different options. The first one is very much city oriented while the second one focuses much more on nature. Both are perfectly good options, depending upon what you are interested in doing. I think you need to figure out what the focus of this trip is, no easy task with 16 people, before you do much else.

    I will also note that the weather does need to be considered for this trip. Chicago will likely be cold, as will New York City, and really almost any of the location you've listed for option one can see winter weather. Meanwhile, you would have to make some changes to option two because of the weather. For example, most of the passes over the Sierra are snowbound in December, thus Mammoth Lakes to Yosemite requires hundreds of miles of driving to get across the mountains.

    The other thing to think about is the shear size of your group. With 16 people you'll need at least 2, if not 3 RVs to fit everyone. That number of people also makes for lots of different opinions about what kind of trip they want to do and how to go about doing it. Making sure everyone is on the same page will be one of the biggest challenges you'll face.

  3. Default

    Hi Micheal,

    Thanks for the advise.

    Yeah, the group is pretty big :) We are planning on getting 3 RV's. We all travelled together to South Africa last year and a couple of trips in OZ, so we have the same taste in what we want to do and see. Plus, everyone can break off and do what they want in each place we visit.

    I think the main aim of the trip is to have fun and see something different, we would like to mix in nature and cities.

    What would we need to change with option 2? (Sorry for all the questions, i just want to make sure we get this trip right)

    Personally, which trip would you suggest we do?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default For My Money

    I'd go with a slightly modified version of Option 2. While the east coast and Great Lakes are nice and certainly can be the setting for a great vacation, there is something about the American Southwest that is unique. The combination of geology, blend of cultures, and wide open spaces can't be found anywhere else. The modifications I would make would be to accommodate the fact that you can't cross the Sierra Nevadas in the Winter, as Michael pointed out. So I'd drop Mammoth Lakes and instead see Death Valley and then skirt the mountains to the south and enter Yosemite from the west. And I'd make sure to use the Pacific Coast Highway between San Francisco and Los Angeles while also spending a day in the Monterey/Carmel area. Just know that even two weeks will let you just get a sampling of all that this area has to offer.


  5. Default

    Forgot to mention the group is made up of 3 families making a total of 16

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Balance.

    I am not biased at all [see user name ;-) ] but I agree with Buck and the unique landscapes of the Southwest. However to get the best of the natural wonders you really haven't given them enough time to enjoy if you want to mix nature and the city's.
    You have 10 nights stopping in city's and only one night at each of two natural wonders of the world, Yosemite and G/C. That's fine if that suits your needs best but I would question using R.V's in such a case and maybe you would be better off with Mini vans and Motels.
    Camping in the National parks is a wonderful experience, driving an R.V around the city is another. As mentioned you will not be able to cross Tioga pass but that is not a major problem, just a bit of re-routing.
    If you have a little time this R.V trip of ours will give you an insight to what the Southwest has to offer.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Yeah, do The Southwest

    The sights are amazing and worth doing before you see the rest of our country on future trips.

    I want to emphasize how much I agree with Dave's advice about reconsidering an RV for this trip. If you are going to focus on national parks and other natural wonders, an RV can be a great way to travel. However, driving in the cities with an RV can be pretty miserable, in my opinion. RV travel, especially when you factor in the rental fee, is usually more expensive than rental car/motel travel. Just something worth consideration.

  8. Default Road Trip Yosemite -Grand Canyon - Scottsdale


    We are planning on driving an RV from Yosemite National Park to the Grand Canyon and than onto Scottsdale, Arizona. We have about 5 days to get to Arizona.

    Which would be the best and quickest route to take and what are some must see stops along the way.

    Where would you stop for a night between Yosemite and Grand Canyon (not Vegas, we will already be going there) and than the Grand Canyon to Scottsdale?

    Thanks heaps guys - any advise is fantastic!

    The Henneman Family
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 01-23-2009 at 08:13 AM. Reason: Merged - Please do not create multiple threads about the same trip

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Tioga pass ?

    Hello and welcome to R.T.A.

    Depending on your time of travel you have one or two main options for Yosemite to Grand canyon. The popular choice is to cross the Sierra's from Yosemite via the Tioga pass [HWY 120] and head down the 395 and through Death valley which normally incorporates Vegas but from Death valley junction you can head to Baker and then onto G/C. Furnace creek is a popular overnight choice, right in the middle of this fascinating landscape. Now the problem here is the Tioga pass, it can be closed from mid Oct through to June due to ice and snow so if you are going in the fall you have a chance and if it is open I would recommend it, it is a wonderful drive with scenery to die for !
    Option 2 is to head down the 41 to Fresno and 99 to Bakersfield then 58 Barstow to I-40
    You would have the option to drive on the Generals highway [ 180 Fresno/ 198 Visalia] through Sequoia N.P and see the General Sherman tree, the largest living thing on earth.
    This is slow going in the R.V with tight twisty turns and a 24ft max length recommendation [although we have done it in a 30ft R.V.]
    If you drove through Lake Isabella would be a short detour and possible overnight spot to stop.
    Mather campground is a great place to stop inside GCNP at the South rim. If you have the time you could drive through Red Rock country near Sedona en route to Scottsdale.

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