RV trip crossing America in the summer, anyone interested or have any advice?

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    Mar 23, 2014 5:56 PM GMT
    I am thinking about doing a RV trip crossing America this summer ( roughly July 1 to Aug. 1 or Aug. 10).

    Plan is to get a class B RV and start from San Francisco and back to San Francisco where I live.

    I have not decided on which cities I want to stop by and what route I will take. I have never driven an RV before but B class looks like a Van so I think it shouldn't be hard.

    I am looking for another one or two person to do the trip together to share cost and experience. Ideally it would be someone also from San Francisco Bay Area but I am happy to pick you up along the way if you are close by.

    Also welcome advice and recommendation from anyone. I am starting to do research on things such as where to refill the water.

    Thank you in advance!!

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    Mar 23, 2014 7:19 PM GMT
    Yeah, don't do it alone. Time of year is critical. I'd suggest maybe in the spring. The weather isn't too crazy. Buy a GPS. Or a paper map. Because you're not going to have cell service in a lot of areas.
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    Mar 23, 2014 7:26 PM GMT
    xrichx saidYeah, don't do it alone.

    Why not? I've done several by myself.
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    Mar 23, 2014 7:35 PM GMT
    You could go out via the southern states and come back via the northern states. On one trip in June there was still snow on the ground in Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, and Glacier/Waterton.

    If you go to the Grand Canyon, go to the north rim if at all possible. It's much more out of the way than the south rim (adds in a good day or two extra driving) but much nicer and you avoid the teeming crowds.
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    Mar 23, 2014 8:49 PM GMT
    eddiesf said
    IPlan is to get a class B RV and start from San Francisco and back to San Francisco where I live.

    Just saw this, but heading out for dinner, back in a few hours. I have lots of experience in RVs, including Class B. Rather than focus entirely on routes & destinations, which lots of guys here can also do, I can specialize on the RV experience itself, how to prepare for it, make it comfortable.

    When I return tonight, can you tell me if you have a certain brand & model already in mind? Is it rental or purchase, new or used, already equipped inside or not? Do you have any camping gear of any kind, and have you done any kind of camping before?
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    Mar 24, 2014 12:59 AM GMT
    ART_DECO said
    eddiesf said
    IPlan is to get a class B RV and start from San Francisco and back to San Francisco where I live.

    Just saw this, but heading out for dinner, back in a few hours. I have lots of experience in RVs, including Class B. Rather than focus entirely on routes & destinations, which lots of guys here can also do, I can specialize on the RV experience itself, how to prepare for it, make it comfortable.

    When I return tonight, can you tell me if you have a certain brand & model already in mind? Is it rental or purchase, new or used, already equipped inside or not? Do you have any camping gear of any kind, and have you done any kind of camping before?


    Hi Art, you sound like a pro! To be honest, I have 0 experience in camping or RV so your experience would be extremely helpful! Can't wait to hear from you!

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    Mar 24, 2014 1:00 AM GMT
    And thanks everyone else for the great info! Please keep it coming!

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    Mar 24, 2014 1:05 AM GMT
    Lumpyoatmeal saidYou could go out via the southern states and come back via the northern states. On one trip in June there was still snow on the ground in Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, and Glacier/Waterton.

    If you go to the Grand Canyon, go to the north rim if at all possible. It's much more out of the way than the south rim (adds in a good day or two extra driving) but much nicer and you avoid the teeming crowds.


    Thanks Lumpyoatmeal for the tips! I definitely want to go to Grand Canyon and probably get off the RV do a day or two hike in the Canyon.

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    Mar 24, 2014 1:43 AM GMT
    Lumpyoatmeal said
    xrichx saidYeah, don't do it alone.

    Why not? I've done several by myself.


    Depends who you do it with. Sometimes by yourself can be a much better idea. I've done 45 - 50 cross country road trips so I speak with some experience.
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    Mar 24, 2014 1:48 AM GMT
    eddiesf said
    Lumpyoatmeal saidYou could go out via the southern states and come back via the northern states. On one trip in June there was still snow on the ground in Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, and Glacier/Waterton.

    If you go to the Grand Canyon, go to the north rim if at all possible. It's much more out of the way than the south rim (adds in a good day or two extra driving) but much nicer and you avoid the teeming crowds.


    Thanks Lumpyoatmeal for the tips! I definitely want to go to Grand Canyon and probably get off the RV do a day or two hike in the Canyon.



    Then you don't want to do it at that time of the year. Can be 120+ degrees down in the canyon.

    Best time to go if you can is the week AFTER Labor day when the rug rats are back in school and the tourists are back in Europe. The weather is still good and leaves are starting to turn, especially at higher altitudes.

    If you're going to rent an RV, try cruiseamerica.com and if you pick up the RV during the week before Labor Day, might as well start your road trip with Burning Man
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    Mar 24, 2014 1:53 AM GMT
    This one was the week after Labor Day and four or five days early to see the color I wanted to see



    and this one in early February



    mid summer when we did a Vision Quest in Telluride

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    Mar 24, 2014 2:20 AM GMT
    eddiesf said
    Hi Art, you sound like a pro! To be honest, I have 0 experience in camping or RV so your experience would be extremely helpful! Can't wait to hear from you!

    If you are totally inexperienced then a compact Class B is a good choice. Based on a full-size van chassis, they come in many lengths & widths, from a standard factory van with nothing more than a raised roof added to it with minor interior mods, to wide-bodies that are custom-built from the front doors back.

    Something closer to the size of a true van will be easier to drive, and to bring into gas stations, rest stops, and motels when you choose to take a break from living on the road. It's a good starter size, that you can later swap for larger, although some people settle on this class permanently for its many practical advantages and lower costs. If there are only 2 of you, and you're not living it in most of the year ("full timers"), it can be ideal for the occasional vacationer.

    A lot of this I'll email you privately. You didn't mention whether you're considering buying or renting.

    Ford van in Class B conversion, about as big as you likely want to go right now. This one has an attached side awning (retracted here), which is a great way to increase your campground living space, especially if it includes an optional screen room.

    pleasureway+excel-ts.jpg
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    Mar 24, 2014 2:23 AM GMT
    I drove cross-country many years ago in January. Even though my friend and I took the southern route, we still got trapped in a blizzard in New Mexico and had to hole up for the night in a convenience store/gas station that stayed open for the dozen or so travelers who got stuck.
    Totally worth it. What a great trip.
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    Mar 24, 2014 2:24 AM GMT
    If you're going to rent, this is probably the best choice

    https://www.cruiseamerica.com/


    These are E250 up to E450 based
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    Mar 24, 2014 2:28 AM GMT
    Sharkadelic saidI drove cross-country many years ago in January. Even though my friend and I took the southern route, we still got trapped in a blizzard in New Mexico and had to hole up for the night in a convenience store/gas station that stayed open for the dozen or so travelers who got stuck.
    Totally worth it. What a great trip.


    I was the only tire tracks in the snow for a good part of Bryce, and Zion actually was close after I got in there. What a thrill and what wonderful photography.

    My worst winter weather trips were going the southern route on I-40 and I-44 coming home for Christmas.

    I've done I-10 east west up to I-94 plus the Trans Canadian highway. Best though to stay off of the interstates as much as possible.
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    Mar 24, 2014 2:59 AM GMT
    xrichx saidYeah, don't do it alone. Time of year is critical. I'd suggest maybe in the spring. The weather isn't too crazy. Buy a GPS. Or a paper map. Because you're not going to have cell service in a lot of areas.


    Which is true btw, when you get off of the interstates.
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    Mar 24, 2014 3:01 AM GMT
    And if you're even thinking of leaving SF around the time before Burning Man make certain that you get your RV reservation in very quickly.
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    Mar 24, 2014 3:08 AM GMT
    I presume you know about Burning Man?


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    Mar 24, 2014 5:51 AM GMT
    southbeach1500 saidSounds like a fun plan. All Americans should - at some point in their life - travel coast-to-coast via ground transportation (auto / RV / train / bus). It gives you an appreciation and understanding of this country that you can't get from watching TV, reading books or flying.


    I agree. Flying to me seems too surreal. Going from 1 climate/cultural extreme in 3-4 hours, you kind of miss everything in between. The mountains, the weather, the gradual change. There are people who fly around the country/world for work all the time...but in reality, they haven't really been anywhere because they fly everywhere and go from the airport to the hotel to the convention center and back.

    The only drawbacks to it, are the dangers. 18 wheelers, road debris, bad drivers, sleepy drivers, animals jumping out at night (was driving thru rockies last weekend and seen a poor bunny run out into the middle of the highway and into the wheel of an SUV and it ricocheted like a ping-pong ball. I felt so bad for it.

    Sharkadelic saidI drove cross-country many years ago in January. Even though my friend and I took the southern route, we still got trapped in a blizzard in New Mexico and had to hole up for the night in a convenience store/gas station that stayed open for the dozen or so travelers who got stuck.
    Totally worth it. What a great trip.


    That sounds bad...but honestly, that kind of stuff is easy to avoid. Most blizzards and winter storms are never a surprise. Find out if a cold front is coming, and travel behind it, or wait for it to pass. Unless there's a low pressure system just stuck over the area, you can avoid it. I check weather.com several times a week before I travel, and the day of.
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    Mar 24, 2014 6:22 AM GMT
    FuzzyPecs25 said
    southbeach1500 saidSounds like a fun plan. All Americans should - at some point in their life - travel coast-to-coast via ground transportation (auto / RV / train / bus). It gives you an appreciation and understanding of this country that you can't get from watching TV, reading books or flying.


    I agree. Flying to me seems too surreal. Going from 1 climate/cultural extreme in 3-4 hours, you kind of miss everything in between. The mountains, the weather, the gradual change. There are people who fly around the country/world for work all the time...but in reality, they haven't really been anywhere because they fly everywhere and go from the airport to the hotel to the convention center and back.

    The only drawbacks to it, are the dangers. 18 wheelers, road debris, bad drivers, sleepy drivers, animals jumping out at night (was driving thru rockies last weekend and seen a poor bunny run out into the middle of the highway and into the wheel of an SUV and it ricocheted like a ping-pong ball. I felt so bad for it.

    Sharkadelic saidI drove cross-country many years ago in January. Even though my friend and I took the southern route, we still got trapped in a blizzard in New Mexico and had to hole up for the night in a convenience store/gas station that stayed open for the dozen or so travelers who got stuck.
    Totally worth it. What a great trip.


    That sounds bad...but honestly, that kind of stuff is easy to avoid. Most blizzards and winter storms are never a surprise. Find out if a cold front is coming, and travel behind it, or wait for it to pass. Unless there's a low pressure system just stuck over the area, you can avoid it. I check weather.com several times a week before I travel, and the day of.


    And that's the best time of all. Be careful and don't get yourself killed but get out and enjoy it

    photo a1a92329-3f39-48fe-9131-0eeddd2875f7.jpg

    because the reward is this

    photo b1a04baf-1e10-4a04-b35f-89f5fce138a8.jpg
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    Mar 24, 2014 10:53 PM GMT
    freedomisntfree said
    eddiesf said
    Lumpyoatmeal saidYou could go out via the southern states and come back via the northern states. On one trip in June there was still snow on the ground in Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, and Glacier/Waterton.

    If you go to the Grand Canyon, go to the north rim if at all possible. It's much more out of the way than the south rim (adds in a good day or two extra driving) but much nicer and you avoid the teeming crowds.


    Thanks Lumpyoatmeal for the tips! I definitely want to go to Grand Canyon and probably get off the RV do a day or two hike in the Canyon.



    Then you don't want to do it at that time of the year. Can be 120+ degrees down in the canyon.

    Best time to go if you can is the week AFTER Labor day when the rug rats are back in school and the tourists are back in Europe. The weather is still good and leaves are starting to turn, especially at higher altitudes.

    If you're going to rent an RV, try cruiseamerica.com and if you pick up the RV during the week before Labor Day, might as well start your road trip with Burning Man


    Thanks for the info. Unfortunately I am not flexible for the time. Around beginning of July to beginning of August is the only time I have available. So I guess I will do the Grand Canyon hike next time! Good thing is I will be done with my trip before burning man so probably won't be too hard to rent a RV.
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    Mar 24, 2014 10:58 PM GMT
    ART_DECO said
    eddiesf said
    Hi Art, you sound like a pro! To be honest, I have 0 experience in camping or RV so your experience would be extremely helpful! Can't wait to hear from you!

    If you are totally inexperienced then a compact Class B is a good choice. Based on a full-size van chassis, they come in many lengths & widths, from a standard factory van with nothing more than a raised roof added to it with minor interior mods, to wide-bodies that are custom-built from the front doors back.

    Something closer to the size of a true van will be easier to drive, and to bring into gas stations, rest stops, and motels when you choose to take a break from living on the road. It's a good starter size, that you can later swap for larger, although some people settle on this class permanently for its many practical advantages and lower costs. If there are only 2 of you, and you're not living it in most of the year ("full timers"), it can be ideal for the occasional vacationer.

    A lot of this I'll email you privately. You didn't mention whether you're considering buying or renting.

    Ford van in Class B conversion, about as big as you likely want to go right now. This one has an attached side awning (retracted here), which is a great way to increase your campground living space, especially if it includes an optional screen room.

    pleasureway+excel-ts.jpg


    Hey, thank you for the great info. I will be renting the RV. I plan to find another person to share the cost so a small vehicle like class B is good. Please message me with more info. Appreciated!
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    Mar 24, 2014 10:59 PM GMT
    freedomisntfree said
    FuzzyPecs25 said
    southbeach1500 saidSounds like a fun plan. All Americans should - at some point in their life - travel coast-to-coast via ground transportation (auto / RV / train / bus). It gives you an appreciation and understanding of this country that you can't get from watching TV, reading books or flying.


    I agree. Flying to me seems too surreal. Going from 1 climate/cultural extreme in 3-4 hours, you kind of miss everything in between. The mountains, the weather, the gradual change. There are people who fly around the country/world for work all the time...but in reality, they haven't really been anywhere because they fly everywhere and go from the airport to the hotel to the convention center and back.

    The only drawbacks to it, are the dangers. 18 wheelers, road debris, bad drivers, sleepy drivers, animals jumping out at night (was driving thru rockies last weekend and seen a poor bunny run out into the middle of the highway and into the wheel of an SUV and it ricocheted like a ping-pong ball. I felt so bad for it.

    Sharkadelic saidI drove cross-country many years ago in January. Even though my friend and I took the southern route, we still got trapped in a blizzard in New Mexico and had to hole up for the night in a convenience store/gas station that stayed open for the dozen or so travelers who got stuck.
    Totally worth it. What a great trip.


    That sounds bad...but honestly, that kind of stuff is easy to avoid. Most blizzards and winter storms are never a surprise. Find out if a cold front is coming, and travel behind it, or wait for it to pass. Unless there's a low pressure system just stuck over the area, you can avoid it. I check weather.com several times a week before I travel, and the day of.


    And that's the best time of all. Be careful and don't get yourself killed but get out and enjoy it

    photo a1a92329-3f39-48fe-9131-0eeddd2875f7.jpg

    because the reward is this

    photo b1a04baf-1e10-4a04-b35f-89f5fce138a8.jpg


    Beautiful!
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    Mar 24, 2014 11:07 PM GMT
    eddiesf said
    freedomisntfree said
    eddiesf said
    Lumpyoatmeal saidYou could go out via the southern states and come back via the northern states. On one trip in June there was still snow on the ground in Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, and Glacier/Waterton.

    If you go to the Grand Canyon, go to the north rim if at all possible. It's much more out of the way than the south rim (adds in a good day or two extra driving) but much nicer and you avoid the teeming crowds.


    Thanks Lumpyoatmeal for the tips! I definitely want to go to Grand Canyon and probably get off the RV do a day or two hike in the Canyon.



    Then you don't want to do it at that time of the year. Can be 120+ degrees down in the canyon.

    Best time to go if you can is the week AFTER Labor day when the rug rats are back in school and the tourists are back in Europe. The weather is still good and leaves are starting to turn, especially at higher altitudes.

    If you're going to rent an RV, try cruiseamerica.com and if you pick up the RV during the week before Labor Day, might as well start your road trip with Burning Man


    Thanks for the info. Unfortunately I am not flexible for the time. Around beginning of July to beginning of August is the only time I have available. So I guess I will do the Grand Canyon hike next time! Good thing is I will be done with my trip before burning man so probably won't be too hard to rent a RV.


    Not so bad though as in the month of August it seems like about half of Europe is here.

    In regards to the rental, I see Cruise America rental RVs all over the place so they can't be too bad. And when I finally get around to doing Burning Man, this is how I will do it.

    When you get down to the time of actual route planning, I would be happy to help you do it. One thing, I assume you have a passport? If you get as far north as Glacier, then I highly recommend Banff and Canadian Rockies.

    That first vid that I posted is entirely from north of the border. All the pics in those three vids are mine so I know where all those places are.
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    Mar 24, 2014 11:15 PM GMT
    freedomisntfree said
    eddiesf said
    freedomisntfree said
    eddiesf said
    Lumpyoatmeal saidYou could go out via the southern states and come back via the northern states. On one trip in June there was still snow on the ground in Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, and Glacier/Waterton.

    If you go to the Grand Canyon, go to the north rim if at all possible. It's much more out of the way than the south rim (adds in a good day or two extra driving) but much nicer and you avoid the teeming crowds.


    Thanks Lumpyoatmeal for the tips! I definitely want to go to Grand Canyon and probably get off the RV do a day or two hike in the Canyon.



    Then you don't want to do it at that time of the year. Can be 120+ degrees down in the canyon.

    Best time to go if you can is the week AFTER Labor day when the rug rats are back in school and the tourists are back in Europe. The weather is still good and leaves are starting to turn, especially at higher altitudes.

    If you're going to rent an RV, try cruiseamerica.com and if you pick up the RV during the week before Labor Day, might as well start your road trip with Burning Man


    Thanks for the info. Unfortunately I am not flexible for the time. Around beginning of July to beginning of August is the only time I have available. So I guess I will do the Grand Canyon hike next time! Good thing is I will be done with my trip before burning man so probably won't be too hard to rent a RV.


    Not so bad though as in the month of August it seems like about half of Europe is here.

    In regards to the rental, I see Cruise America rental RVs all over the place so they can't be too bad. And when I finally get around to doing Burning Man this is how I will do it.

    When you get down to the time of actual route planning, I would be happy to help you do it. One thing, I assume you have a passport? If you get as far north as Glacier, then I highly recommend Banff and Canadian Rockies.

    That first vid that I posted is entirely from north of the border


    Thanks! I have been to Banff and Canadian Rockies. I took a tour train from Vancouver through the Rockies to Banff, it was gorgeous. Plus, I am not exactly sure how far I will be able to go and how many places I can go in a month. I assume not very far...