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  1. Default Road Trip Around America in 50 days.

    Hi, My family which includes Husband and four adult children travelling in a 6-7 birth Motorhome around America in 50 days. We would be landing in Los Angeles, off to Las Vegas, Grand Canyon,Memphis,Washington,New York, Niagara Falls,Winnipeg,Calgary, Baniff , Lake Louise,San Francisco and then back to LA to spend time at Universal Studios, Disneyland etc and then back home. What we would like to know is it feasible to travel and see things in a 50 day time period. How would you suggest we do it. The most places we would like to spend time in is New York, LA,San Francisco ,lesser time in these places.( Las Vegas, Grand Canyon and Memphis) Petrol Costs? also any views on Camping Grounds - what ones we should avoid , if any. We will be travelling December January. Any tips on roads, whether conditions we should be aware of. How cold it is likely to get and what to bring , as we will have to travel lightly with there being 6 of us in a Motorhome. Any tips would be very helpful. We did New Zealand in a MOtorhome with 5 of us, but this trip is a little bit bigger.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Chilly to Say the Least (and Other Problems)

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    The timing and scope of your proposed trip raises a few red flags. Just for instance: Average HIGH temperatures in Banff do not get above freezing in December and January. Yellowstone and The north rim of the Grand Canyon are closed for the winter due to snow, and even though the road along the south rim of the Canyon is kept plowed, it is at 7,000' and is subject to snow and bitter cold. The east coast corridor, Washington, Philadelphia, New York does get occasional snow, but they have trouble keeping the roads clear if they get anything more than a couple of inches. Trying to travel there over the Christmas and New Years holidays can be a real 'adventure'. Camping will be problematical over much of the country you plan to cover. Many state and commercial parks will be closed, limiting your options - and did I mention that it will be cold? You will need to look very carefully at the rental agreement on the RV. You will be putting a ton of miles on it (I guess around 8,000) and any mileage charges will add up quickly. You'll also need to make sure that you'll be allowed to take it into Canada. Then you'll need to at least carry a set of chains for the drive wheels if you'll be in the Rockies - did I mention you can expect significant snow and the occasional closed mountain pass? One bright spot will be the cost of petrol (or gas as we call it). Right now it's going for around $3/gal which works out to about 80¢/liter. Oh, and there won't be much traffic on the roads out west.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default brrrrrr!

    The weather issue is not one to take lightly. I actually tend to think that traveling in Winter can be great fun and people too often dismiss the idea of traveling during a snowy seaon, but I see lots of problems with your plan.

    Simply put, I don't see anyway that you could be comfortable traveling in an RV in the Canadian Plains and the Canadian Rockies in the heart of Winter. RVs generally don't include a whole lot of insulation, and as such, even running the heater at full blast likely won't be enough to keep the RV at a comfortable temperature. There is also the winterization issues, where you essentially won't be able to use any of the water/waste tanks - and you'll have to make sure all of the tanks are completely drained - so you don't end up busting the water system with frozen lines.

    And then there just is the logistical element that a huge RV isn't going to be easy to drive in Snow and Ice, and that's before you start dealing with mountainous terrain.

    Just so you have an idea of how cold these places can be, the Average high temperature in Winnipeg in January is -13 degree C (8 F), and the average overnight low is -23C (-9F). That's just the average air temperature, not including the wind chill, which will make it usually feel even colder. In fact, the winter weather conditions in the Northern Plains (North Dakota, Manitoba, Saskatchewan) can most easily be compared to parts of Siberia.

    If you really want to do this trip in an RV, I would really recommend you wait until warmer months or you only focus your trip on the southern tier of the US. If you still want to do the trip as you've laid out, then I would recommend just getting a car and spending your nights in motels.

  4. Default Winter Holiday!

    Ok ,really good advice thank you. If we decide not to do Canada. Could we land In San Francisco , head to LA over to Las Vegas , Grand Canyon,Memphis, Washington ,New York, Niagara Falls , over to Minneapolis and we would be open to suggestions of how to then get back to San Francisco from there. Is this more feasible in Winter, as we have to travel December/January.

    Is it possible to say travel from Minnesota across to Great Lakes and then head north into Canada, as we would like to see Calgary, Baniff and Lake Louise only if you think that is possible.

  5. Default

    Also we needed to know if the 50 days would be enough time. Is there a RV Camping book we can get to tell us which parks are open in Winter.? If we dont do Canada how many days can we do the trip comfortably.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default not to be taken lightly

    I still think you're planning to be far too far north for an RV to be comfortable. New York, Niagara Falls, and Minneapolis are all areas where you'll almost certainly be seeing temperatures below freezing, even during the day. Camping will be very difficult, as nearly all campsites will be closed for the season, and you'll still have all the issues with it being very uncomfortable from an inability to produce enough heat to stay warm and you'll still have to drain all of the water lines, or risk causing major water damage to the RV.

    50 days is enough time for this trip - but unless you scrap the RV idea, I really think you need to take a very different look at where you'll be traveling.

  7. Default

    Thank you for that , will talk to hubby and maybe re plan our trip. Will suggest another and see what you think soon. Actually if we stay on the West coast and only venture out as far as Las Vegas and Grand Caynon will that be a better idea and have you any suggestions for places to visit

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Much of the west coast will be fine, although you'll have to be mindful of mountain areas. Even the Grand Canyon which is up at about 7,000 feet of elevation can and does see winter weather conditions. You could certainly go east as well, but I would focus on the Southern Half of the US. Every state can see snow from time to time, but that's going to give you the best odds of seeing weather that will still be comfortable for camping.

    Again, that is if you are sticking to the RV. If you decided to go with a car/motel route, you wouldn't have nearly the limitations.

  9. Default Doing the East Coast in December/January

    Change of Plan for our trip to America. You guys have advised against us crossing over to New York from Los Angeles in a Motorhome in winter so we have reconsidered our trip.

    What if..... we land in San Francisco pick up Motorhome the day later as you cant drive the day of landing. Stay in San Franciso a couple of days. There will be five of us in the Motorhome. Head off down to LA stay in LA around 5 days ( seeing Universal Studios, Disneyland, Shopping etc) then head off to The Grand Canyon , then to Los Vegas for a 1 day or 2. We will then put our son on a plane in Los Vegas to San Francisco to Australia. Then the four of us will either stay a little longer in Vegas and then have another two weeks or more if you think we need it to travel back over the east coast (somewhere) before we return to San Francisco for our flight home. Any suggestions would be great. Places to see and go , remembering its Winter. So sad :( we dont get to go to New York or Baniff)
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 05-25-2010 at 07:41 PM. Reason: Merged - Please do not create multiple threads about the same trip

  10. Default

    Just wondering did you go there in Winter time. I suppose if we find it to Cold in places with the RV , maybe we can go into a motel.???? just for that nite.

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