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  1. Default NE PA to Grand Canyon family road trip

    Looking to plan 10 day round trip from NE Pa to Grand Canyon next summer. We will be pulling a 30ft travel trailer. Any insights and/or tips would be greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    First things first: you need more time. Driving from NE Pa to GCNP is around 2400 miles, depending on where exactly you are starting from. (I used Scranton as a guideline.) With a 30 ft trailer in tow, this will be AT LEAST 4.5 days to drive one way, about the same to drive back, which gives you a whole day to see Grand Canyon. Here at RTA, we use the reasonable 500-550 miles per day to drive, and if you're towing, you'll want to stick to 500 mile days. My hubby and I used to tow a 27-ft, and we felt 450-475 miles was plenty for one day, because it took us longer to get up to speed, situate ourselves in a rest area parking spot, and in many places, you have a speed limit that is slightly lower than those in a regular car.

    If you can get about 4 more days, it would probably be more worthwhile. If not, I'd either find something closer to home to enjoy, or accumulate more vacation time so that you can enjoy the Grand Canyon at a later time.


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

    Default More time or less miles needed.

    I have to agree with Donna, it would be a much nicer trip with a couple of weeks to spare otherwise it's going to feel like a long drive for a days break. Most of us here love the driving part of a road trip but this to much like work to be fun. Those extra few days would give you time to enjoy the canyon and have some to stop at some small attractions along the way to break the journey up. If this is possible I would look at taking a different route in each direction, I-40 one way and then perhaps depart through Monument valley and up to 1-70 via Moab. If finding extra time is not possible then you should be looking for somewhere a bit closer to home, Rocky mountain NP perhaps.

  4. #4


    Totally agree about more time. We just returned from a 3 week whirlwind trip that included a cannonball style return trip from Yosemite NP to Jville, NC. We stayed right at the speed limit on the I-80 (70-80mph) and didn't stop for anything but fuel and slept in truck stop dirt lots or rest areas for sleep. From our stop just west of Salt Lake City (which is about 300ish miles less in distance than the Grand Canyon) it still took us about 3.5 days to get home. We travel in a 2002 Excursion with a roof top tent and assorted gear that is all contained in and on the truck so I would guess that the trailer will slow you down even more.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Thank You

    Hi GenX Jarheads, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    So good to see you jump in with some recent experience, to help this member understand the reality of their proposed trip. It adds so much value to the advice already given. Anytime you would like to add your experiences for the benefit of members, feel free to jump in.

    One thing though, we do not recommend sleeping at rest areas, unless there is night time security provided. Rest areas can be amongst the most dangerous places to sleep. There are records of people losing their lives. In FL years ago a whole family was murdered. Truck stops are by far the safer option.


  6. #6


    Thanks for the welcome Lifey. Yep, joined a while ago when we started doing our trips using tools and advice from the forums and articles here. Thought it was time to start giving back.

    I do agree with you that rest stops can be dangerous. However, in our case we feel pretty comfortable with how we approach them. Both the wife and I were in the Marine Corps (lot's of self defense and weapons/tactics training), we always have a weapon within reach (pistol/knife/hiking stick, etc. and know how to use them) and we are PARANOID...but in a good way. We check out the whole area to include the bathrooms and other hidey holes for possible bad guy hiding spots before we even think about bedding down for the night. Additionally, we trust NO ONE! Probably a lot more than other's would do, but it works for us and our style of travel. We like to be in a different place every day or so and dropping $$$ on a KOA, motel, etc. for a few ZZZ's just kills the budget. Spending 20-30 minutes walking around looking at the area and giving ourselves a tactical advantage works for us. Rest stops are really a last resort (because of the aforementioned paranoia that I mentioned and the cases you mentioned), but if you are prepared, they are a cheap (FREE) option.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    They are not always a legal option though. That's why we recommend truck stops with permission.

  8. #8


    You are totally correct GLC. Thanks for the mention of that. IF IT IS AGAINST THE RULES, DON'T DO IT! I assumed that everyone would read and heed the rules for each place they stop instead of just taking my advice and bedding down wherever they want and possibly taking a risk. Signs are posted for a reason.

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