New RVers, looking for wisdom

Hello RVers,
My wife and I are considering jumping into the RV lifestyle along with our 3 kids, age 5-9. We are planning the big cross country trek this summer, leaving our beloved upstate NY to explore the wset and northwest. Our goal is to bee-line it to the Dakotas, then on to Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Seattle, Olympic and then head down the coast to central CA (make my Pebble Beach pilgrimmage) , over to Yosemite after getting our fill of the coast, Vegas, UTah, Denver and back home.

The question is: Will we be able to do this trip, and enjoy all we want to see, in 5 weeks? We don't want to have to race through every National Park just to say we saw them, but we don't want to miss anything either. Probably a typical query for a first-timer, I imagine.

Other question has to do with the RV we are considering, Winnebago Minnie 31. Any comments on this model? Would we be well-advised to tow a small car behind this for the trip? How well do you think it would do towing a Toyota Matrix the whole way?

Thank you for sharing your experiences and wisdom. :cool:

C Nash

Senior Member
New RVers, looking for wisdom

Seems to me that 5 weeks would really be pushing it for this trip. it could be done but, you will miss a lot of the sights. I personally like to have my toad with me all the time. No experience with the Minnie
New RVers, looking for wisdom

Don't jump......ease into the RV.

Expect problems first time out. Start in the drive way, then overnight close to home. As you remove the kinks from the RV and get orgainized extend your trips.

Don't jump in to the treip of a life time and find the first night out the thing leaks. Repairs for a leaky slide for instance could take weeks at the dealer. You know... wait your turn... order parts... come back ... order more parts.

We have a class A up the park from us who is here to get repairs done. He's been here 3 weeks... just got finished last week and they tipped a rack into the side of it... he's going in for a new paint job on one side next week.

I'm not trying to dump on the dream... but eaze in...then go for it.
New RVers, looking for wisdom

I have to agree with the guys. Did some rough routing using Rand Mc and averaging 350 miles a day would put you LOCKED in for 20 days riding at least 140 to 150 hours (a lot of behind time :blackeye: . (7000 miles)

This would give you about 15 days for sightseeing :laugh: and hopefully not breakdowns :8ball: .

From experience :( I have 2 little ones and keeping them occupied for this kid of trip is something else.

If you try it buy a DVD player the they can use while on the road, video games work well too. They tend to get bored and wild, called cabin fever. It would do good to plan on stopping at least every 2 or 3 hours and let them run around a road side parks. Get wife to plan roadside lunches :laugh: etc.

Wish you the best.
New RVers, looking for wisdom

We were in Yellowstone in September and the road coming into the park from the east was under construction -- a real mess. With snow falling while we were there, it's questionable how much they could have accomplished since then. You might want to check it out.
New RVers, looking for wisdom

Gruffy and Poppa are both right. You need to ease into the RV life and you are pushing too hard which will take all the fun out of the trip. Scale back and enjoy. I have no experience with the Winnie Class C but they build a great Class A. Make sure your toad meets the allowable tow limit. :laugh:


New Member
New RVers, looking for wisdom

Hi Jim,
I saw your post, and had to join this group to reply. Go For It!!
We have done a cross-country trip with our two boys, (now aged 13 and 15), for each of the past 6 years.
We've visited most of the National Parks, 48 states, and have done probably most of the roads you'll travel as we reside in Northern NJ.
However, as a first trip, I think that you might want to scale it back a bit. (Or maybe more than a bit) - You need to get confident with your rig, and the mode of life. (especially with kids)
My wife is documenting our travels with the kids and we have about 200+ pages at the website shown in the signature below. (if it's not there it is )
It has itineraries of each of the trips we did, (usually in 3.5 weeks or less)- as well as tips for Traveling with Kids. The "best trips" were the ones where we got a chance to slow down and "sniff the roses", not cover the most miles.
FWIW, we never used a Toad, but we travel with a 26.5' Lazy Daze and mountain bikes. (The kids will need to burn off some energy)- It's also easier driving without worrying about towing a car, IMHO.
Good Luck,
New RVers, looking for wisdom

I am slightly scared now. :) We bought a Class "C" a few weeks ago. We loaded it up and took an over night trip to Payson, AZ (2.5 hour drive). Thought of stuff we forgot while going up there and bought them at Walmart. Stayed the night and bought more stuff at Walmart the next morning. We made a list of other things we were missing (and there was quite a bit). So we have gone through process of getting everythign on that list and this weekend are doing a two day trip. 3 hours to Tombstone, Arizona then on to Roper Lake (Safford, AZ) then back home. We hope to get more driving experience and hookup experience during this second trip as well as fill out the items that are needed for travel.

Point being we want to do a 15 day long haul at the end of July. Tell me if this is too agressive..

Day 1: Gilbert, AZ to Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon to Page, AZ (Lake Powell)

Day 2: Page, AZ to Zion National Park, UT

Day 3: Zion National Park, UT to Ogden, UT

Day 4: Ogden, UT to Idaho Falls, ID

Day 5: Idaho Falls, ID to West Yellowstone, MT

Day 6: West Yellowstone, MT to the lake at Yellowstone, WY

Day 7: lake at Yellowstone, WY

Day 8: lake at Yellowstone, WY to Moran, WY (Tetons)

Day 9: Moran, WY (Tetons)

Day 10: Moran, WY (Tetons)

Day 11: Moran, WY to Craig, CO (long drive)

Day 12: Craig, CO to Durango, CO

Day 13: Durango, CO

Day 14: Durango, CO to Show Low, AZ

Day 15: Show Low, AZ to Gilbert, AZ

C Nash

Senior Member
New RVers, looking for wisdom

dneighbo, Congradulation on the new rv. Be careful on the loading as it is pretty easy to overload. Might be a good idea to find a weight station and weigh the rig. Number one reason for breakdowns on roads (IMO).
New RVers, looking for wisdom

The only really good things to see in Seattle are the Space Needle and The Experience Music Project(which I think is quite ugly). Some of the other places to see in the area though are Deception Pass (Hwy 20 south of Anacortes, Fort Casey on Whidbey Is. also south of Anacortes where Hwy 20 ferry to Port Angeles is., the Hoh River Rain Forest on the olympic penninsula, Grand Coulee Dam in eastern Washington, There is also a nice little first come first serve state park at Bridgeport Wa. next to Chief Joseph Dam. And if you have time, some of the best beaches in the northwest are in the northern half of Oregon.