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Old 04-10-2016, 12:57 PM   #1
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Seattle to New England, Washington DC, Florida, San diego, CA,Seattle Circle trip

We have been considering a trip around the country for some time now. Even though we have considered scenic locations we have a concern with seasonal weather conditions, mountain passes, toll roads and excessive traffic as well as RV Parks and State Parks on the route.

What really bothers me is some of the extreme weather conditionsin the mid-west, east coast and southern states the last couple of years. I would try to avoid driving the MH in snow if at all possible. I have never tried driving it in snow and I don't really want to start! I used to ski a lot many years ago and I never let a little (or a lot) of snow hinder me but with a 40' MH and a toad it does not strike me as something I would want to do.

My wife wants to see Branson and Nashville and it looks like that would require some doubling back on our route either on the way going to the east coast or coming home from Florida to San Diego. I really want to see Wash DC again at a time when I don't have to rush thru like I have on several business trips to DC where I was lucky to have a half day at best. My wife also wants to go to New York but I am not certain that it is the best area to go to in an RV and be able to get a base camp close enough to make day trips.



Boston would be nice but here again our timing may make it difficult as I have heard that SP and RV parks close in mid October. Besides my experience driving in the Boston area has been really bad. They drive like they are crazy and won't let anyone merge - I even saw a woman who wouldn't let me merge almost run into the barricades by the tunnel under the river to Logan airport!

Perhaps we should just make it a triangle trip for the first time, avoiding New England and Florida such as going to Wash DC, getting Branson and Nashville on the way East or West and then heading to New Orleans and to San Diego via I-10.


I realize that this is a rather sketchy layout of our route but we need to start somewhere.

We would allow several months to do this trip, leaving the Seattle WA area in early/mid fall and then who knows what our schedule would be - it would probably depend on weather and local attractions that would cause us to re-route our plans. We don't generally like getting reservations as we like being like the willow the wisp but having a 40' motorhome we are having to change that attitude at times.

Any comments on route, itinerary, attractions, possible weather conditions to consider will be appreciated.

Lee
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Old 04-10-2016, 04:19 PM   #2
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I did the same circumference (starting in Ohio) on a motorcycle in July and August of 2015. It took 29 days and my biggest regret is that I felt rushed. Your timeline sounds much better.

Before leaving the weather was a huge concern. But with a smart phone and a few good weather apps (mainly The Weather Channel and MyRadar) I was able to follow or lead the major storm fronts.

I hate making reservations also, but soon realized that traveling the coast, in peak season, made it a necessity. Again the smart phone and a few good apps made it easier. We would pause about mid-afternoon each day and decide where to call for reservations. That worked really well for hotels, I assume it would for RV parks as well, plus boondocking would add to your options.

New England was great. NY, NJ and LA were by far the biggest headaches for traffic and tolls and that was on a bike!

In a motor home I'd avoid them entirely. We avoided Philadelphia and DC by taking the Del-Mar-Va peninsula and the tunnel/bridge across the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.

If you want to see the cities I'd camp well outside and use your toad or public transport to explore.

You will never regret this trip. Do it! We just bought our first motor home and I can't wait to do a rerun!

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Old 04-10-2016, 04:34 PM   #3
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We have done a couple of loops around the US, leaving right after Labor Day and getting back by the end of October to miss the weather.

One was 10,000 miles in eight weeks. On that one, we took a diagonal route through Yellowstone, down to part of the Natchez Trace, Nashville, Smokey Mountains, Raleigh, DC and A Gettysburg, up through tge Eastern states that we had not previously visited, and finally back home followin g the norther routev (I 94 and 90).

We did not do the SW or Florida because we had seen those areas on previous trips. Some areas we barely touched so we have an excuse to go back.

Our approach is to have a general plan then fill in the gaps along the way. Staying flexible opens up numerous opportunities.
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Old 04-10-2016, 06:24 PM   #4
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Ballard770: Any chance of taking off for a year to do your trip? Then you could easily do it all (but still rushed) and you could work with the weather better.

You seem to want to do the big cities rather than seeing the countryside. Even though we don't do reservations as a rule, for the big cities I think you're going to have to do that. You could also stay outside the cities and drive in for a day which I would think would be very tiring.

There's a RV park - very basic parking lot - in Jersey City at the water which allows you to take the ferry into New York City.

http://www.libertyharborrv.com/

There's also a park near Washington D.C. in College Park, Maryland that folks use which offers a shuttle or bus from the park.

https://www.cherryhillpark.com/

Your plans are very ambitious for only two months. Good luck!
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Old 04-10-2016, 06:51 PM   #5
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Ballard770: Any chance of taking off for a year to do your trip? Then you could easily do it all (but still rushed) and you could work with the weather better.

You seem to want to do the big cities rather than seeing the countryside. Even though we don't do reservations as a rule, for the big cities I think you're going to have to do that. You could also stay outside the cities and drive in for a day which I would think would be very tiring.

There's a RV park - very basic parking lot - in Jersey City at the water which allows you to take the ferry into New York City.

Liberty Harbor RV Park

There's also a park near Washington D.C. in College Park, Maryland that folks use which offers a shuttle or bus from the park.

https://www.cherryhillpark.com/

Your plans are very ambitious for only two months. Good luck!
We are planning on several months not two months. Leave in Sept and back home the following late winter/early spring.

I mentioned the big cities as way points but we do want to see the countryside - yellowstone, the badlands, mt rushmore, etc, etc.- as we go on our journey.

We might time it to be in the Tucson area in February for the Rock and Gem show and then Palm Springs and San Diego and point in between.

I've also heard of an RV park in Virginia with a good connection to Metro to get into DC. One concern with taking publice transportaion (or the toad) for the day is leaving Buster the 14# attack Pomeranian alone in the RV all day but we have done that before and only have had a few comments about his watchdog traits of barking at noises in the RV park.
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Old 04-10-2016, 09:33 PM   #6
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Great trip! The DW and I made the trip from Seattle in the opposite direction in our 35' Cruisemaster during the summer of 2006. We made never made a reservations and had no problems finding adequate facilities to accommodate us. The total trip was around 11,000 miles and we had plenty time to visit with family and friends, as well as sightseeing. I might add that we had already seen a lot of the US via motorcycle. I had been cross-country 18 times and the DW had been across 5 times on her mcycle. Weather was not a factor during the summer, other than heat and a couple of thunderstorms here and there.
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Old 04-11-2016, 07:28 AM   #7
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Leave WA. in September? You could run into a problem of closed parks in N.E. by the time you got there. Minuteman Campground outside Boston I believe is open all year. But not that many will be open further north when you get into October. Cherry Hill outside D.C. will be open and you won't have any problem going south from there. Lots of history south of D.C., like Williamsburg, VA., or Yorktown. The further south you go I'd be watching the weather because it'll be hurricane season, although it's been pretty mild the last couple years.
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Old 04-13-2016, 02:45 PM   #8
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One concern with taking publice transportaion (or the toad) for the day is leaving Buster the 14# attack Pomeranian alone in the RV all day but we have done that before and only have had a few comments about his watchdog traits of barking at noises in the RV park.
The fact that you've had any comments at all about his barking tells me he does it a lot because I'm sure the vast majority of people who hear it never tell the owners and just hope they're leaving soon.

New England in a 40-foot coach is difficult enough as it is, and RV parks up there start shutting down after Labor Day, and almost all of them are closed by mid-October.
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Old 04-13-2016, 09:56 PM   #9
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We are planning on several months not two months. Leave in Sept and back home the following late winter/early spring.



I've also heard of an RV park in Virginia with a good connection to Metro to get into DC. One concern with taking publice transportaion (or the toad) for the day is leaving Buster the 14# attack Pomeranian alone in the RV all day but we have done that before and only have had a few comments about his watchdog traits of barking at noises in the RV park.
At Cherry Hill near DC, where you can take the Metro to DC (the only way to go in my opinion) they have a couple of folks that will walk and feed your dog. You meet them before you need them and set up a time. You leave cash for them on your counter. It was a great service for us and when we spent a long day in the city, she came over two times to walk our dog.

We did a similar trip to yours twice. Once across the mid part of the US then NE then back through Canada. The next time we started from our Palm Springs location and went to the Indy 500 and eventually met friends in DC and went North, to Maine and them back south to DC again for another week and all the way down 95 (stopping a lot of historic places in Virginia etc, and in Charlotte for NASCAR) then down to St. Augustine and across 10 back to Palm Springs area. New Orleans, Houston, San Antonio, Nashville and Branson were definite must stops and Arkansas has some great things to see. Also we stopped at as many Presidential Libraries, Ranches, Homes etc. as we could, which we found interesting. Way to many places to name, but Gettysburg was a great stop. We were on the road for four+ months. It is the best way to see our country.

Planning is half the fun.

If you are not aware of rvparkreviews.com, it is a great resource for places to stay.
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Old 04-14-2016, 09:27 AM   #10
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A couple of comments from an RV'er living on Cape Cod with a 40' class A.

1) Almost all CG's in NE close by the second week in October, after the leafer peepers go home and before the snow flies. There are few exceptions. However late September early October are great times to explore NE, the weather is cool, most of the time, and the kids are in school so the CG's are less crowded. Maine is really nice at this time, the lobsters are GREAT!!!

2) I saw a comment above about hurricane season, it starts in June and ends in October, there have been a few outside of this, but not many. My concern is more the severe weather in the spring, you get plenty of warning before a hurricane, not so much for a tornado or hail. Stay away from the Florida panhandle in the winter and spring, it seems like every severe storm comes through there.

3 I avoid the NYC area as much as possible, the roads are horrible, they charge TOLLS and the traffic is CRAZY even if you are not driving a 40' MH with a toad. Try I-81/I-84, much nicer, only real issue is deer in the early AM. Miles are greater, but with less traffic, the time is less, only tolls are at the bridge across the Hudson and the Massachusetts Turnpike if you go that way.

4) I agree Cherry Hill in the Washington DC area is great, use the shuttle to the Metro, DO NOT take your toad.

5) I turn on the heat or AC, depending upon the time of year and put the fan on continuous. With the blinds pulled down our dog does not hear any CG noises, so no barking. I always ask our neighbors and have never had a complaint, maybe I should get a quieter heating/cooling system?

6) We have made multiple trips from coast to coast, if you want suggestions go to www.capecodtoalaska2014.com. In the summer of 2014 we took a 13,000 mile trip from Cape Cod to Alaska. The website shows the route we used, the CG's we stayed at and how many miles each day, the west and east routes might be of interest to you, although is was not exactly the same time of year you are planning.

7) Watch holiday weekends, CG's get booked fast.

Other questions PM me.
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Old 04-14-2016, 12:57 PM   #11
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Ballard....... re camping around Boston. Born and raised there, lived most of my life there. Wouldn't hesitate a minute to drive my DS through the city, but I can understand your concern.

There's only one CG I know of close in to Boston, and that's pretty much set up for summer weekenders. Along and close to the I-495 loop (about 35 miles from Boston) you have the Boston/Cape Cod KOA in Middleboro, closes about Nov 15; Normandy Farms in Foxboro, closes Nov 30 (or may now stay open year round- unsure); Circle CG Farm Campground, in Bellingham, open year round; and Boston/Minuteman Campground in Littleton, closes about Oct 15. Best bet from any of these is to drive your toad to a nearby commuter rail station. The train will take about an hour into Boston. The first three I've listed will take you to South Station. The train from Littleton will take you to North Station. Either will be fine for visiting activities, South Station perhaps marginally more convenient.

Enjoy!


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Old 04-14-2016, 01:15 PM   #12
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Here is a CG in MA tat is open all year, 3 miles from the T. The key to driving in Boston is don't look at the car next to you. Use peripheral vision, but if you look directly at them, they know you see them and will cut you off. Just doesn't work with taxis.

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Old 04-14-2016, 02:04 PM   #13
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Here is a CG in MA tat is open all year, 3 miles from the T. The key to driving in Boston is don't look at the car next to you. Use peripheral vision, but if you look directly at them, they know you see them and will cut you off. Just doesn't work with taxis.

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You make eye contact, you loose. Told to me by a long - haul trucker about Boston traffic.
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