Long term advice for 2 month road trip from the UK

Discussion in 'General Camping Discussion Forum' started by JASR, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. JASR

    JASR New Member

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    Jul 8, 2018
    UK
    hi,

    Hopefully this the place to post this type of thread (please move if not). And also the type of forum for it!

    I’m interested in gathering information for a 2 month road trip in summer 2020.
    It will be me+wife and at some point ( 2-3 weeks or so) our 4 teenagers.

    So originally I started with the idea of a 6 berth RV, but dear god, they are rather large compared to my little Renault Clio, or even my wife's Grand Espace! And I think i remember reading that large RV's could be limited in where they go, and on what overnight sites they can stay at. Plus it would seem a little large just for the 2 of us, and wanting to go for short journey's (shopping etc).

    We have been camping a lot, and my wife is an incredible cook, (roast dinner over a firepit anyone?), so we are
    used to the basics, and infact prefer the basics (no need for TV's, though a decent shower is useful every so often...)
    The Espace and a roofrack is usually required to have all our stuff when all 6 of us go away - we don't go light, but that's mainly a few bedding/chair creature comfort stuff and decent food preperation kit, and then it's just the size of us and the kids! - 6ft 3"+ for a couple of us.

    So, I then started looking at smaller RV's which I think I could handle (driving and manourvering), and when we expand the group to 6, hiring some camping equipment for them. But, again, I read about seating/seatbelts and the need for everyone to have them... which started limiting my options of RV's which popped up on various hiring sites.

    So, my current thinking/hope is to hire a small RV that can seat 6, sleep at least 2, and have the ability to tow a trailer (containing 4 x kids stuff and camping)

    If anyone, with a wide knowledge of the range of smaller RV's could point me to a brand/type of RV, that can seat 6, and have space (or a mini trailer) for camping equipment, i'd be grateful.
    And any suggestions on which companies to hire from, or AirBnB type RV websites?
    Clearly they'll be an issue, in that the RV will end up on a different coast to the one it started on!

    Or if anyone has any idea's on other options? I was looking at hiring just a cheap large (for the UK) SUV type vehicle and then going via AirBnB (or when only 2 of us camping).

    The idea is to arrive somewhere on the North East coast, and plot a route across to the West (most of that coast probably), visiting various people we know scattered around the US, as well as some sights (generally more off the tourist track than many people, though Niagara, Vegas, Rockies, Grand canyon, and the flat middle America are in there), and then... hopefully having arrived on the West Coast, either having a final wallet bursting week in Hawaii, or even down to Chile... So we aren't going for cheap, but day-2-day cheaper living is the ideal.

    Thanks for reading, and apologies if entirely the wrong site for this type of question.
     
    jnc likes this.
  2. eoleson1

    eoleson1 Well-Known Member

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    Macomb County Michigan
    You can pick up tents and air mattresses for almost nothing in the US. If it were me, I'd get a small-ish RV and buy a couple of tents for the kids. You can donate the tents, etc., to a charity organization after the trip.

    There are a couple of websites you could check out:
    Cruise America has a lot of lots around the country and they have a nice selection of motor homes: https://www.cruiseamerica.com/
    There is also a sharing site that one of my kids has used before: https://rvshare.com/

    The motor homes that Cruise America rents will all pull trailers, but I don't know what their policy is.

    Good luck!
     
    Toedtoes likes this.
  3. JASR

    JASR New Member

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    Jul 8, 2018
    UK
    Hi @eoleson1 , thanks for replying.

    I'd come across both those websites before, and it was at that point that I realized because I know nothing about Makes/Models of RV, that I needed to start asking for help, to see if there was any online resource with the ability to filter RV's by number of seats/seatbelts.

    Thanks for the info on tent prices and donation.

    Has anyone got any advice on makes/models of RV with 6+ seats/seatbelts ?

    Thanks
     
  4. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

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    I would look for a sprinter van type camper and buy some big tents and some camp cots.
     
  5. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

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    Sep 11, 2008
    Morris County, NJ
    You can also look at www.84rv.com

    They operate in northern NJ and about a 1.5 hour drive from Newark Airport. You can give them a call and speak with them about what you are looking for. They have Jayco and Forest River RV's both are good manufacturers.
     
  6. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    May 28, 2018
    California
    Take a look at some of the places you want to stay at. Many private parks (aka RV Parks) won't allow tents. If you stay at state or federal campgrounds, you should be OK with the tents.

    I would look at motorhomes in the 26ft range or less. Most will have seat belts for the dinette seats and sofa -when you see one you like, email the rental agency to verify locations of seat belts.

    As mentioned above, you can buy inexpensive tent(s) and sleeping bags in the US, then donate them at the end of your stay.

    For motorhome length, if you have specific stayrequirements, like "We want to stay at X campground in Yellowstone", then the larger you go, the less likely you will find an available campsite. If you are less particular about where you stay (more like "we want to stay within 20 miles of the park"), then a larger motorhome shouldn't be a big problem. If you want to stay at RV Parks, then a large motorhome will be fine. If you want to stay at county, state and federal campgrounds, then a 26ft or less motorhome will fit in many more campsites then something over 30ft.

    The other thing to consider is how you'll visit places while on the road. The bigger the motorhome, the harder it is to find places to park in small tourist towns and large cities. For small tourist towns, you may have to park on the outskirts and walk into the tourist section. For big cities, you will do best parking the motorhome outside the city and using public transport, taxis, or uber to get around.

    You can also rent a car for areas you will be doing a lot of local sightseeing outside of the public transportation grid.
     
  7. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

    On the size of the MH the restrictions are usually for those that are 20' & longer. Seeing how you are renting you could get a class A for when you have the whole group and swap it out for a class C or even a class B.
     
  8. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

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    Morris County, NJ
    I know in Blackwoods campground within Acadia National Park the max length is 35 feet.
     
  9. McFlyfi

    McFlyfi Active Member

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    Thousand Oaks CA
    I think this is going to be your biggest issue. Certainly, no private party in Maine is going to rent you their RV to have it end up in California.
    I think your only option for a 1 way rental would be a big, nationwide chain- Cruise America comes to mind. A quick check of their website indicates that they do have one way rentals- there is a phone number to call on the home page for that. Jucy rents small conversion vans, but again, a one way rental might be problematic.

    Good luck!
     
  10. Arlyn Aronson

    Arlyn Aronson Active Member

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    Houghton MI
    I'm not sure I can add anything "smart" to your inquiries.. Please note the large distances between many points on the map. At least in the midwest or west. I can tell you a funny story about that, concerning Brits who traveled here. If you venture below the BIG lake in the middle called Superior, feel free to stop by and stay with us. My name sake has his name itched in a stone on your island, since he never returned from a mission on over Poland. Good luck!
     
  11. JASR

    JASR New Member

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    Jul 8, 2018
    UK
    Thanks, I think I'm heading in that direction of thinking.

    Given the US is a big place, there's a wide variation of climate zones. I don't think we intend to visit Florida/Lousiana/Texas area's (oppressive summer heat and distance from predicted travel route), but as we'd probably be partly camping, would the camping equipment need to have mozzy nets, eg Going to Scotland in July/Aug you'd be midged to death.
     
  12. JASR

    JASR New Member

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    Jul 8, 2018
    UK
    Thanks for info. I'll add to my list of websites!
     
  13. JASR

    JASR New Member

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    Jul 8, 2018
    UK
    Thanks for detailed reply.

    I don't think we're quite at the stage of picking campsites yet. Next year maybe!
    Though I do remember reading there's less choice on the East coast, as less federal land? Is it (generally) a gradual increase going East to West?

    Thanks for the info about length, I think we'd probably go for 26ft...as the longest vehicle I've driven before is 16ft.
     
  14. JASR

    JASR New Member

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    Jul 8, 2018
    UK
    Thanks for info. I'd come across cruise america before.

    Didn't know Jucy was in the US, we had a Jucy green/purple van in NZ for 7 people+baggage, whilst staying in solid accomodation. Very nice place NZ btw.
     
  15. JASR

    JASR New Member

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    Jul 8, 2018
    UK
    Yeah, US is big, and clearly I'm going to have some issues adjusting my brain to the miniscule speed limits, and the the effect that has on travel time over distance.
    One of the things we'd like, is literally just to pull into a small 1 road middle of nowhere town and pop into a diner.... silly maybe, but it's Americana to us.

    Having driven the length of NZ's North island twice in 10 days, it's not too bad, as it'll be a slower pace than that. Also driven in Aus a bit.
     
  16. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

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    Walmart has 10 person tents for $160.00. Where are you going to start this trip. I would start in Boston, you can camp in Salem MA at an old coastguard base.
     
  17. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

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    Morris County, NJ
    In my opinion stay away from those chain restaurants while traveling. Enjoy the local places! That's what we do when we traveling. As for Diners, just don't pop into a diner and expect it to be good. Talk to folks on your travels and just ask for a good local place to eat. Sometimes someone will give you a place that doesn't look that good, but the food is fantastic!!!
     
  18. Dan from Troup

    Dan from Troup Well-Known Member

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    Troup, Texas
    We've always used the parking lot scan on restaurants. Ones with the most vehicles is probably the local favorite unless it's a one horse town.
     
    silvermickey2002 likes this.
  19. Dan from Troup

    Dan from Troup Well-Known Member

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    Apr 25, 2018
    Troup, Texas
    Mozzy nets as in mosquito netting? All tents have it now except for a few specialty tents. Standard equipment now.
     
  20. You have an amazing trip planned!

    Just a couple thoughts....

    If you have access to US TV, there is a show by a man named Guy Fieri who has a show "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" on the Food Network channel. He travels all over the US trying out local favorites. Some of the places he has visited are very popular in our area.

    I live in the Midwest in Wisconsin along the river bordering Minnesota. There is a local show called "On The Road With Jason Davis" on the KSTP channel. He travels all over between the Midwest states and highlights some of the local shops, restaurants, diners, activities, and local favorites of small towns. The show ended in 2014, but still would be worth it if you have the time to research.

    In our area there are two state parks along the St. Croix River Valley. One on each side of the river. Not sure what the Minnesota side campground is like , but the Wisconsin side has a nice campground that can handle a larger RV. Just up the hill from the Minnesota side of the park is a private campground that can handle larger units. These are located within 45 minutes to an hour NE of the St. Paul / Minneapolis metro.

    Have a good time planning!
     

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