RV Holidays in the USA

Discussion in 'Travel' started by DieHard, Mar 13, 2013.

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  1. Have any Arrse members hired an RV in The states? And if so was it worth it?
    My Mrs has expressed a wish to rent one and drive across The USA popping by and visiting my relatives and visiting my city of birth Fort Smith.
    I was kinda hoping on a nice holiday in Hawai but she says that renting one is a lot cheaper. The idea of going across country and seeing things of the beaten tourist track does appeal to me though, but I do have some misgivings, I will be doing some research but was wondering if the rental companies give you a mini training course on the road with the RV?
    I don't need to visit my relatives, my wife used this to sell it to me, so if anyone has used any routes that they can recommend looking at, it would be helpful. The trip is being planned for next year for her 50th and I will also be bringing my 16 year old twin boys, so keeping them entertained has to fit in with it too. Also the room you get on the average RV.
    So if anyone has experience of driving holidays in the USA could they share the good bits but most importantly the pitfalls.
  2. Not the States but Canada, very worthwhile, not expensive, we booked through Trailfinders. Lovely big motorhomes, whopping great big V engines, automatics, loads of power.
  3. Be careful if you take any wrong turns into wooded areas.

    If this happens just tie one of the twins to a tree as a sacrifice. Keep the other one just in case.

    Sent by carrier pigeon using Speckled Jim
  4. I've looked into this. I'd be interested to know about security/availability of places to sleep safely at night! I think the idea is pretty damned good if you can get along well with your travel companion and as you say you'd get to see loads of interesting things and not waste a lot of time getting to/from your hotel etc.
  5. FT Smith AR is worth a look for the old gallows alone. (Ah those were the days) :mrgreen: ;-)

    Tulsa 2010_1_FT Smith-7.jpg Tulsa 2010_1_FT Smith-8.jpg
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  6. There are a couple of big RV places around when I get chance I will try and find the details for you.

    If you do it do not plan on the big interstates as routes for enjoyment. I have done the I95 from Florida to Philadelphia and back a couple of times, dire, boring, cops called Bubba setting up radar speed traps - honest. I've also done Vegas to the Grand Canyon and San Diego towards Phoenix and a diversion to Palm Springs and then L.A..........the desert is not very comforting at 130 degrees when you are running on fumes and desperatel hoping that the next place named on the map actually has people and maybe a petrol station.

    But, life would be boring if you did'nt try things or go places.
  7. I was raised there and in Honolulu , but not been back for a very long time, I still have relatives there though and have always liked Fort Smith
  8. Did one last year - it was ******* awesome. Me, Mrs Bubbles and 2 xBubbleteenies (18 & 16) did DC, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Philadelphia in a 35' El Monte RV. Arrived in DC, went to a hotel (you won't be allowed to drive straight off from a long haul flight - didn't matter, KISS were staying there to cement the holidays' credentials with the kids). Taxi to RV place, quick brief and first parade followed by driving across DC in the rush hour to the first KOA (Kampgrounds of America) campsite. Then did a big circular tour via Richmond, Gettysburg, Blue Ridge Mountains etc until we arrived back at DC, handed in the RV and flew home.

    Some points:

    - sort the documentation out beforehand, all the licencing, insurance and entry stuff - it's complicated.
    - ask for the stuff you'll need in the RV, bedding, cooking kit etc. It won't be high quality but you can't do without it.
    - listen to the brief, ask questions, get demos - we went through the whole holiday without an oven because we didn't check it first.
    - try to at least book your first night stop well in advance, then you have less to worry about. You can book KOA sites online and while they are a bit odd, they are quintessential America - run by octogenarian Americans for whom service really comes first and they have everything you need - including bus trips into DC (or wherever) for sightseeing.
    - Better sites though are those in National Parks. They are often very basic (very) but there's nothing like BBQing fish you've just caught from the Chesapeake next to your RV as the racoons line up for their share.
    - Rates are sometimes lower if you stay longer, beware weekends and public holidays - you will see many professional American RV'rs. They will be driving a 40' truck towing a 40' RV trailer (having sold their house to search for the American Dream) and at weekends they will be in like Flynn.
    - In a site always try and get a drive through (just like you would do in a wet beech wood in Germany) and try and get one with WiFi - it'll allow you to get online and plan ahead. I always tried to be at least 2 days ahead in planning terms.
    - the food is shit, but you will have to stock up in malls various. I used to do breakfast in the 'fire-ring' next to the RV in the morning, lunch would be an 'American experience' and dinner would be cooked in the RV with whatever we had bought. Don't worry about parking - America (as I presume you know) is designed for not just the car but also the mahoosive RV that you will simply drive in and take up two or three spots with - no problem. Don't try and park in towns - always go for a Mall car park.
    - They drink fuel, good job they have big tanks and fuel is 25% cheaper than here - it balances out in terms of mileage, there are plenty of fuel stations but you need to understand the extra load that running the lights, AC, fridge freezer puts on your fuel (and LPG) when you are driving. Back to an earlier point - listen to the brief! And, if you go with El Monte, you can download all this stuff and read it before you go.
    - Don't drive too far every day, plan it beforehand. Otherwise you will spend all day driving, your family will implode and all you will see of the US is the Interstate. I drove about 125 miles a day (you will pay more if you drive a long, long way). Drive in the morning, set up in the site, have lunch, go and do something and then have dinner and plan the next day. Do some research to find interesting things to see.
    - If you go through DC be prepared to hand your RV in early, followed by a looooong wait for a flight. We solved this by availing ourselves of the USO, who ran an airport lounge, fed us, and got us to the Smithsonian and back - all free of charge as we are 'Partners in the War on Terror'.

    God Bless America.
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  9. Guns

    Guns LE Moderator Book Reviewer
    1. The Royal Navy

    One thing to bear in mind is if you have an RV not a fifth wheel type every time you want to drive somewhere you have to pack up. In these case try seeing if you can hire bikes to get around locally.