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Old 08-09-2009, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Seattle
1,743 posts, read 3,198,644 times
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Originally Posted by Sunnydee View Post
If you decide to make it a "Visit as many of the National Parks as Possible" trip buy a National Parks Pass that will give you admittance to every national park in the country. It's good for one year and a lot less expensive than paying for admittance at each park. We took this trip three years ago, in July, and it was an incredible 21 days we'll never forget. If you want to camp inside a park make your reservations early. Best wishes.
We purchased a National Parks Pass and it was an incredible savings.

We drove from Phoenix up to Denver and then up the California/Oregon coasts up to Seattle and then east on I90 in the spring and summer to avoid the heat of the southern states. We then drove down from New York to Florida and then west again in the fall. Very pleasant. Being from Alaska I couldn't imagine being in the south during the summer. Just too hot.
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Old 08-09-2009, 03:04 PM
 
Location: In the sticks, SC
1,642 posts, read 4,521,805 times
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I was lurking in the pop up trailer thread and saw a neat little pop up that fits on the roof of your vehicle. I am going to look seriously into that!

I'm liking those regular pop up's as well but I don't know if I would want to tow one cross coutry.
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Old 08-09-2009, 08:29 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
9,416 posts, read 17,385,532 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mongoslade223 View Post
I was lurking in the pop up trailer thread and saw a neat little pop up that fits on the roof of your vehicle. I am going to look seriously into that!

I'm liking those regular pop up's as well but I don't know if I would want to tow one cross coutry.
My wife and I were looking at the website for those a couple weeks ago, and then last week while we were camped at a small FS campground in the Bighorn Mountains we saw one. The owners liked it because it was so simple to set up. They seem awfully expensive to me for what they are.

I like the idea of a conversion van. One advantage to them is that you can often find nice, low mileage units a decade or two old that don't cost a fortune, and no matter where you end up driving for the night, you'll have your sleeping quarters right there waiting for you.
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Old 08-10-2009, 01:59 AM
 
Location: Way on the outskirts of LA LA land.
3,040 posts, read 10,445,409 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by observer View Post
RVER, Just do it seems like a good advice if one can afford it.
I myself will like to do something like that but it seems that for whatever reason I don't. Yes, I have traveled a week or 2 at a time, but not a long road trip.

This is what I would like to do next summer or the summer of 2011. If I convince myself to "JUST DO IT", I will probably do it next summer.

I would like to take 4-6 weeks and hit the road. Particularly the Pacific Northwest (WA) and the neighboring states like Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and possibly Wyoming. If time permits go even further. Since I live in Miami I would fly out west and then drive.

Talking with a friend of mine and estimating cost of a trip such as that by myself not including airfare and it could be done under $5,000. We came up with that number by estimating a little high on expenses such as gas, hotel, etc. I think I can definitely do 4 weeks for considerably less than 5K.
If it's any help, I just spent almost two weeks on the road with my two teenagers in the west (CA, NV, UT, CO, WY, MT, & ID), and traveled about 4000 miles. I stayed in a combination of campgrounds (6 or 7 nights) and hotels (5 nights). The cost of the campgrounds ranged from free to $22 per night, with the most expensive ones offering amenities such as hot showers and flush toilets, and in one case, even wifi. I used a tent with air mattresses and sleeping bags for each of us. The hotels and motels we stayed in averaged about $100 per night. The total cost for the campgrounds was probably less than $100, and for the hotels & motels was about $500. Total lodging expenses was about $600.

For food, we sometimes ate food that I brought along, and sometimes we ate out. Eating out is obviously more expensive, but also allowed us to travel more easily, since we didn't have to stop and prepare everything along the way. Most of the hotels we stayed in offered a free breakfast, so that took care of one meal on some of the days. Overall, we ate for about $15-$20 per person, per day (or less), but it really depends on what you eat, and where you eat. Total food expense was probably about $600 for all three of us for the duration.

The last major expense we had was fuel. Typically, I spend somewhere around $120 per thousand miles, so our total fuel cost would be about $500. We typically drove about 300 miles each day, though some days it was less, and other days a bit more.

I figure the expenses for the three of us for these two weeks was about $1700 for those items mentioned above. I figure we probably spend about another $300 on miscellaneous expenses, so our total expenses were about $2000, or about $1000 per week for our time on the road. The easiest way to save money over what we did would be to prepare all your own meals instead of eating out. Next would be staying in campgrounds every night, rather than staying in hotels or motels occasionally. If we had done this for the entire trip, we could probably have saved 30-40% of what we spent.

You could easily spend more than we did, but you could also get by with spending quite a bit less. What it costs you will depend on what you drive, where you eat, and what amenities you desire. If you plan well, and stay within your budget, you can take a road trip fairly inexpensively. I would recommend this for almost everyone, since there is so much to see in this wonderful country we live in. I've been taking long road trips every summer for quite a few years, and haven't gotten any further east than about the middle of Kansas. To think about it, I've only seen a fraction of those states I have been in, so I still have a lot more to see.

To sum it up: If you are physically and financially able to do so, I recommend taking a road trip to see part of our country. If you're like me, you'll probably find plenty to see and do. The advise given earlier to "Just Do It" is, in my opinion, great advice.

Edit: I just read the posts about the pop up trailer and car-top unit. In my opinion, these are great, if you have need of them and can afford them. The car-top unit is just a tent on the roof of the vehicle. It's very expensive for what it is, especially considering you can get an inexpensive dome tent at Walmart for about $35 that only takes about five extra minutes to set up. The pop-up (tent) trailer, on the other hand, usually offers more in the way of amenities, such as a stove and refrigerator/ice box, two beds, and a dinette. Some even offer bathrooms. They do get pricey, though, and end up costing as much as a standard "pull-behind" travel trailer.

Last edited by jdavid93225; 08-10-2009 at 02:15 AM..
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:10 AM
 
Location: Wyoming
9,416 posts, read 17,385,532 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WyoNewk View Post
I like the idea of a conversion van. One advantage to them is that you can often find nice, low mileage units a decade or two old that don't cost a fortune, and no matter where you end up driving for the night, you'll have your sleeping quarters right there waiting for you.

I just noticed that I stated "conversion van" when what I meant was "class B motorhome" -- a fully self-contained motorhome built on a van chassis. I guess technically these are conversion vans, but most conversion vans are NOT motorhomes.

Random Example
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:57 PM
 
Location: In the sticks, SC
1,642 posts, read 4,521,805 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WyoNewk View Post

I just noticed that I stated "conversion van" when what I meant was "class B motorhome" -- a fully self-contained motorhome built on a van chassis. I guess technically these are conversion vans, but most conversion vans are NOT motorhomes.



Random Example
That is a nice rig and that's as big as I would go. I think I would look for a later model chassis though.
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:13 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
9,416 posts, read 17,385,532 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mongoslade223 View Post
That is a nice rig and that's as big as I would go. I think I would look for a later model chassis though.

That '88 model just happened to be the first older one that popped up on a Google search. I don't think it showed the mileage, which might have been high, but often you can find older motorhomes like that with only 20,000 miles on them, especially smaller Class C motorhomes. They're too big to use for daily driving but too small for full-timer use. They get used for a few camping trips in the summer months and sit in a garage most of their lives. And you can find them really cheap.

The problem with the Class C jobs is that many have wooden frames, start leaking and end up with hidden rot. They have the strength of a cardboard box zooming down the highway at 75 mph. I wouldn't want to be a wreck with one of those!

New motorhomes of all sizes can get really fancy, but they're also expensive. The good thing, if you're looking for bargains, is that they depreciate rapidly. Check out Craigslist and you'll see what I mean. But caution: If you buy, I'd have a good camper tech inspect it as well as a good auto/truck mechanic.
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Old 08-30-2012, 11:06 AM
 
1 posts, read 1,142 times
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I plan on driving from Oregon to North Carolina next year. Any opinion on the best time of year? I'm thinking May or October. I want to avoid summer crowds. Am concerned about rain in May (mix of camping and motels) and since I'm from the West, wild fires in October. I will be traveling solo with my dog in a Subaru Forester (plenty of room to sleep in if needed). I would like to hit some National Parks/Wilderness areas and do some hiking. But my ultimate goal is Asheville, North Carolina. Any suggestions welcome. Thanks.
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Old 08-30-2012, 06:06 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,545 posts, read 39,924,861 times
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I would do May THRU October (great time to arrive in Asheville, LONG summer days to enjoy the mid continent and a GREAT time of the yr to pick up jobs on Farms.).

Free Campgrounds for RVs ( FREE CAMPING Most city parks in WY and other rural states + fairgrounds and I often stay in Hospital Parking lots.

America's Byways®: National Scenic Byways Online

May is the Prettiest time if you are doing a SHORT trip. (new colts / calves frolicing in green meadows filled with wildflowers).

I have been staying in private 'Guest homes' for the last 25+ yrs ($10- $20 / night almost anywhere in the world, very safe, very fun, very educational). Couch surfing for adults, and WELL before couchsurfing dot com.

A good place to stay in Black Hills is the Main Street Manor Hostel in Lead, SD. (county swim center 3 blocks away) NICE bike trail ~ 20+ miles long.

I really like stopping and working on Harvest for a few weeks in a remote farm town.
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Old 09-03-2012, 08:10 PM
 
5,798 posts, read 9,297,822 times
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Make sure your dog is welcome on a leash in the parks you're planning to visit. Also, I'd pick a cooler time of year (May rather than October) because you'll have to leave your dog in the car for pit stops, and on hot days even a brief stop can be downright dangerous. So you don't want to take chances with your dog, and you also don't want wellmeaning strangers to break into your car to liberate him...

The days are also longer in May than in October.
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