RV Hire - visiting from UK

Discussion in 'Beginning RVing' started by paulb, Jul 13, 2007.

  1. paulb

    paulb New Member


    My wife and I are planning a trip to tour the USA next year (prob around June) for 3 weeks or 1 month.

    This is the trip we are planning:


    [1] Do you think this is acheiveable in a month? We want to stop off at many of the National Parks for a few days each and a few days in Vegas and some of the other bigger cities. Any suggested routes?

    [2] Also is it easy for driving an RV into the cities such as Chicago, New York, LA etc or would you recommend leaving it on the outskirts (somewhere safe!) and using public transport into the cities?

    [3] How easy is it to find somewhere to stop overnight? i.e. are there lots of RV sites which allow us to stay overnight without advanced reservations?

    [4] Can you reccomend an RV rental company that will allow pick up and drop off at opposite ends of the county? (Possibly canada because we can get very cheap flights if we arrive and depart from Canada).

    We are totally new to this type of travel (always opted for hotels) and have never even driven an RV before but want to be able to explore more this time without restirctions of rushing back to a hotel heach night!

    I look forward to hearing back from you soon.

    Thank you


  2. trishy

    trishy New Member

    Re: RV Hire - visiting from UK

    In D.C., I highly recommend NOT driving the RV into the city. Best bet - many of the campgrounds near D.C. offer shuttles into the city. Next best, drive to the nearest metro station and park there and take the metro in to the Mall area. Everything is in decent walking distance that way.

  3. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Re: RV Hire - visiting from UK

    1) you are probably looking at close to 15 days driving if you drove a days worth each day, so that leaves not much more than 15 days for stopping at National Parks and big cities. Plus, many of your stops do not appear to be congruent with a day's drive. If you want to stop at each yellow box, that would be perhaps 18 to 20 days of driving and only 10 days of stopping. 1 day per stop at 1/2 your stops... That's cutting it pretty fine. Plus, never having used a RV before, it might be wise to spend a day or two getting used to it before heading off.

    2) staying on the freeways it might not be too bad. Or in those particular cities it might be stop and go which is a chore in a RV. But then, I wouldn't drive anything in those specific cities :)

    Also, beware of the North East. New England has laws - no street can be straight, no turn can be right angle, 2 possible turns are better than one, and you may not post street signs. I got my 40' RV around Salem, MA, just barely, and never was able to get to the campground for the week I was there without mistakes, even with a GPS navigation system...

    Also, I found the highways in New England to be pretty rough, particularly at the junction of each bridge. Usually the toll roads were better.

    3) There are lots of RV sites 'out in the boonies'. Many (out west) are close to the highway, there are fewer in the Northeast, and they tend to be further from the highway. Many big cities have them too, but they tend to be out on the edges. Most will allow you to stay if you don't have a reservation IF they have a space available. Some won't take reservations (I ran into this in Burnett TX, and they were full when I got there, but fortunately there was another park a few blocks away). So it is wise to make reservations when you can, since you never know when an area will be 'sold out' for some event or holiday (had to delay my trip a week because I couldn't find an open site near Lewisville TX over the Memorial Day weekend).

    Might want to check into Passport America, 50% off at participating campgrounds. More of these out west than in the North East.

    You can try to go until some time or distance goal is reached, then start looking for a campground. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn't (either there aren't any in the area, or they are full). Often the ones which are found this way are not listed in any guide and are 'sub-standard'. Of course, if all you want to do is spend the night, that may not be a concern.

    4) Sorry, I have no idea.
  4. paulb

    paulb New Member

    Re: RV Hire - visiting from UK

    Thank you for you excellent replies.

    The route on the map above is only a guide at the moment... where we will be stopping will be worked out soon.
    We are quite flexible on the route so will amend it if we decide to stop over longer somewhere or skip somewhere else.

    We are planning to visit the US for a month (June 2008) and acording to Microsoft Trip planner is about 6500 miles and 15 days of driving. So we have 15 days to stopping over.

    The RV we are going to hire is a 26' one. There are only two of us so I think this would be ok.

    Do you know how many miles per the gallon I can get from a RV of this size?

    Thanks again,


  5. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Re: RV Hire - visiting from UK

    Don't forget that the trip will be 15 days of driving if and only if the places you will be stopping are 1 days drive apart. For instance, if you go from one stop to the next and they are only 1/2 day apart, then you will be doing 16 days of driving (although 2 of them will be short days, of course) and so on. I would suggest starting with a list of all the places you might want to see. Rate each one as to its ranking (most desired, 2nd most desired, 3rd most, etc) and sort by ranking, with #1 at the top. Then put the number of days you want to spend at each. Then go down through the list, adding up the number of 'stopping' days until you reach 10 to 12 (about 1/3 of trip). Then plot them and see how much driving will be involved.

    Now you have a staring trip which should be about 2/3 of your month. You can add in other stops based on their rating or 'requiring only a minor deviation', and adjust the stop lengths until you have a viable month trip.

    When planning your driving days, remember that there is a finite amount of setting up to be done after you reach your destination, and a finite amount of tearing down that must be done before you can drive off. Many parks are open until 9 at night or later, or have an after hours checkin. But some close at 5 and mean it... Nowadays, we try to drive about 6 hours per day, which means that we have enough light and energy at the end of the day that setting up is not a chore. But then we don't get very far each day either :) Also, don't forget that you can't drive for 6 or 8 or 10 hours straight. You'll need to stop for fuel, food, stretching, and quite possibly, shopping.

    Microsoft planner allows you to specify your desired drive start time and stop time, the amount of variation in these times, specify delay and duration of rest stops, and speed, and then provides a fairly accurate estimate of where you should stop for the night (if not congruent with a planned stop).

    26' long for the 2 of you should be adequate. 2 of us and seven cats did fine in a 25' trailer for 6 weeks. And we are not small.

    Mileage will depend on 1) gas or diesel, 2) weight, 3) driving style, 4) hills and headwinds, 5) speed and 6) inherant efficiancy of the RV. So no, I don't know what the gas mileage will be, but most likely in the 5 to 12 MPG range, and possibly in the 7 to 10 MPG range. The place you are renting from may be able to give you an idea.

    Check out the Good Sam Club website. They have a routing service which can display significant hills, gas prices along the route and other useful information.
  6. paulb

    paulb New Member

    Re: RV Hire - visiting from UK

    Thank you.. that is very good advice.

    I have been having this discussion with a friend of mine from work and he thinks we are being a bit ambitious with our route planning... he owns his own motorhome in the UK and says that if we want to enjoy the trip then best to stop for a few days rather than up and go each day!

    I am probably thinking about doing either coast to coast now and leaving out the route down the coast of california or vancouver to vancounver and only going down the coast of california and back up via Salt lake City...

    What do you think personally is the best route?

    vancouver -> montana -> South dakota ->toronto direction or
    Vancouver ->Washington -> Oregon ->California ->Navada -> Idaho and back Vancouver again?

    I am looking for the most scenic route with plenty to do and see and the opportunity to stop at a RV park almost last minute or within a few hours drive etc...

    Thank again for everyones excellent advice and help...



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