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  1. #1

    Default LA to Baltimore 3 weeks, best route, ideas?

    We are planning an RV trip coming from UK. Last year hired RV and took 3 weeks to see San Francisco, Monterey, Big Sur, Yosemite, Sonora, Half Moon we'd like to visit again but start in Southern California and see what is there then go to Grand Canyon, Zion National Park back to LAetc. Or not a loop but go from LA via Grand Canyon to Baltimore ( I have family to visit there). Is this a long trip to take with young children (4 and 7). Seems to be so much of interest along the way but not sure if 3 weeks too short. We don't want to be driving long distances every day. Or drive some of the way drop RV then fly to rest of way to Baltimore?Ideas appreciated, we are not going until April 2011!! but like to get rough idea of route now!

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

    Default no bests, just options

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    You've got a few good options here. With 3 weeks, its certainly possible to do this as a one way trip across country. It takes about a week just to make the drive, so 3 gives you a nice amount of time to explore. However, if last time you spent 3 weeks just around the SF area, you might find that too rushed of a pace.

    The other option, of just exploring the southwest, certainly could work too. Doing a loop is usually less expensive and avoids the one way drop off fee, so your budget could be a big factor here too. If a one way trip works into your budget, you could certainly look at dropping off the RV in a city like Denver, Salt Lake City, or Phoenix.

    The other thing really is that you just need to figure out what it is you want to see. There are several great national parks in Northern Arizona/Utah/Colorado where you could easily spend 3 weeks. You might also look at heading into New Mexico and Southern Arizona. There are lots of good choices, you just have to figure out what will work best for you.

  3. #3


    Hi, I've narrowed it down slightly now!
    After much reading I've gathered a rough idea for a 4 week road trip. I'm a bit stuck on realistic distances, where to stop, what to see that my boys will enjoy too (they'll be 5 + 7 (they like open spaces, swimming, climbing etc). We've already visited SF and central Cal, Yosemite so don't need to go there. Enjoyed it all, like variety of small (RV friendly) towns, beach, trees, interesting people, wildlife and food. Ideally no drives longer than 5 hours and can spend few nights 1 place if worthwhile.

    Any interesting festivals/events during April/early May 2011?

    All that's 100% is:

    -fly UK to Baltimore April 2011 - hotel 4 nights - visit family there and explore local area.

    -Day 5 - Drive hire car to Charlotte, NC to collect RV (looking at Moturis rather than Cruise America/El Monte. seem to have better models etc).

    Q. where to stop (motel/area) for night or two on way? child friendly sights??Best route?

    -Day 7 - Day 23

    -Charlotte to..........Where to stop/see on way to Route 66. through Oklahoma. Q. What to see along way? Route to take to get to Oklahoma?

    -Route 66...

    -Oklahoma........what to see on way to the SouthWest?

    SouthWest, how to narrow down? Good route to take sites in? New Mexico up to Bryce Canyon/Zion/Grand Canyon???Should we drive 'through' areas or select a few and spend few nights exploring each??

    -Is it worth visiting Death Valley or Joshua Tree or Palm Springs on way to Anaheim? Las Vegas with kids, should we skip it?

    -Day 23 - Disney Land (1 or 2 days?) in RV campsite.

    -Day 25-28 - Santa Monica area or nearer RV drop off (can sort that out later)

    -Day 28 fly home from LA :((

    Hope that makes sense! Is this too much driving???


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Have you checked on how much the one-way dropoff charge is for turning in a Baltimore rental car in Charlotte? You may want to look at renting the RV in Baltimore.

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    Have you checked on how much the one-way dropoff charge is for turning in a Baltimore rental car in Charlotte? You may want to look at renting the RV in Baltimore.
    Thanks, yes I have checked it out and it's fine. I could rent RV from Washington DC but only with companies that provide older RV's that do not have the layout we enjoyed with the RV we rented last year. It seems the nearest place for that is Charlotte, and I figured it's kind of in the direction we would be heading anyway! Plus Moturis RV one way fees seem to be less than the ones from Washington so it should balance out! I'm just trying to figure out a rough plan of where we'd spend time along the way....

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

    Default Route 66.

    Hi Jukes,

    I am not familiar with any parts of your journey to the East but one thing I would like to point out is that Route 66 was decommissioned years ago and only small parts of it still exist having been replaced by Interstate. That said I am sure there are still things along the I 40 corridor of interest but if Route 66 is your main reason for keeping South you might want to take a closer look.

    From I40 you could do a nice loop North from Santa Fe and include places like Taos Pueblo, Great sand dunes NP, Pagosa hot springs, Mesa Verde NP, the "Million dollar highway" from Durango up 550 to Grand junction and the Colorado NM, Arches, Capitol Reef, Bryce canyon and Zion NP before heading back South to the Grand canyon and onwards to LA.

    Another option would be to head further North through St Louis and it's famous arch and onwards through Kansas to Denver on I 70 and Rocky mountain NP and many of the Four corner attractions as mentioned above.

    Keep searching the RTA pages and studying the map and as your route starts to take shape keep popping back with questions and we can help you build your trip.

  7. #7


    Just wondered on your thoughts about my plan B! Rather than drive across from Baltimore to LA, it would be to drive down from Baltimore to Florida (in RV). Florida as a theme park only holiday has never appealed, however other parts of Florida in addition to Disney, plus sights along the way seem like they would appeal to our children aged 5 and 7 too? Does this seem like a better idea than driving across to LA (so much to see, too little time?) It would be less driving, and perhaps more time to spend in nice areas? Again it would be April so would weather be ok?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Back to the drawing board.

    Hi jukes,

    This is the type of question that only you can truly answer, as Michael said in post 2 "no bests, only options". I am a sucker for anything South and West of Denver but I think you need to go back to the drawing board, do a little research to help come up with your answer. Use the search button and you will find pages and pages of info throughout the RTA pages that will help you along the way.

    Once you have that solved I am sure members will be able to help you fine tune the trip of your choice.

    Good luck !

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Florida much more than Disney

    Your Florida suggestion may be a great one. Not so far to travel, and there is so much for children to do. The Everglades are marvellous. Each time I have been there I have seen many alligators and other wildlife. There is a cruise from Flamingo into the glades. The boardwalks also take one close to and through alligator territory. The junior ranger program and ranger guided tours add special interest.

    And then there is alligator alley with its viewing areas and platform.

    The keys and abundant birdlife should fascinate your children. Nature reserves and beaches are wonderful down there. Of course you cannot miss the Kennedy Space Centre. Check to see if there are any launches around about that time. An experience worth having. From memory the space centre tickets are two day tickets, which give some indication of just how much there is to do, tours to take, and films to see.

    And Florida in April would be much more enjoyable than the August I was there.

    Between Baltimore and Florida are the outer banks with the history of flight musem - Wright Bros. Then there is the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel, and the fisherman's pier at the southern end of the tunnel. If your children are anything like mine were, they will love these.

    Even though it is not the spectacular south west of the States, I am sure with a little more research you would find lots more of interest and things to do for you and the children along this eastern corridor. You may even like to spend a day or two (or three or four) in DC to visit the Smithsonian Institute museums and zoo..... all for free!


  10. #10


    Yep, I think it's going to be Baltimore to Florida! As Lifey says there is a lot more to Florida than what most package deals from here would indicate. We'll say hi to Mickey Mouse then head off to see the more natural sites. Nearer the time I will return to this site to fine tune our journey down.
    Thanks to all.

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