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Old 12-12-2010, 08:25 PM   #1
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cross country trip need advice

I'm planing to do a cross country trip this spring, I live in New Jersey and I would like to go all the way to California but in the way I want to visit all the interesting points that I could, I'm pretty new to the RVing world and I would love for some advice from the veterans out there that have done this trip or any other cross country tip, advice is always welcome, should I tow, how long do you guys think I need for this trip because the wife needs to book off work (I would like to get it done in three weeks but if needed four weeks) what would be the places to stop on this trip, just put in your two cents because I can use the advice, thanks in advance for taking the time to read the thread. Joe
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Old 12-12-2010, 08:47 PM   #2
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I'm planing to do a cross country trip this spring, I live in New Jersey and I would like to go all the way to California but in the way I want to visit all the interesting points that I could, I'm pretty new to the RVing world and I would love for some advice from the veterans out there that have done this trip or any other cross country tip, advice is always welcome, should I tow, how long do you guys think I need for this trip because the wife needs to book off work (I would like to get it done in three weeks but if needed four weeks) what would be the places to stop on this trip, just put in your two cents because I can use the advice, thanks in advance for taking the time to read the thread. Joe
Hi Joe...

I'm afraid my two cents say that if you want to go from NJ to California and back in three weeks you'll barely have time to stop for fuel. At a minimum, that trip is going to be close to 6000 miles. Covering 6000 miles in 21 days would cause you to drive nearly 300 miles each and every day. We'll drive that far on some days and even a bit farther on occasion but doing it 21 days in a row would be out of the question for us. Plus this would leave no time to see the sights.

We have made two loops of the country and covered 34,000 miles in the past 3 years and we feel like we've just scratched the surface. I guess if your time is limited to a month I would limit the scope of the trip so you'll have time to see things and smell the roses along the way.

Just my $.02.

Rick
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Old 12-12-2010, 08:55 PM   #3
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Well you have Shenandoah NP. in Northern VA., Mammoth Caves in southern KY., If you'll going across I-70 in southern Ohio you have Hocking Hills State Park. Hocking Hills pix's
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:03 PM   #4
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I would have to agree with Rick, that is a lot of miles for 3 weeks and trying to see as many sites as you can. I like to pick one or two places for a 2 week trip and spend 4-7 nights at each.
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:08 PM   #5
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I'd suggest only going half way across the country in three to four weeks. Say out to the Mississippi. Otherwise you will be driving too much and not really seeing things that take a day or two to explore.
While we were working we explored the western states on two to three week vacations. Now that we are retired we have covered the whole country a couple times taking several months for those trips.
One of our goals was to see all the Presidential Museums. We have now seen every one and while going to them we saw all the rest of the lower 48 states.
I know people who have been to a major league baseball game in every stadium in the country.
So set a goal of things you'd like to see over the next several years and take the time to enjoy them.
I recommend towing a toad. It doesn't have to be fancy.
We have averaged our costs for trips and it comes down to about $100 a day. That includes everything. Food,gas, RV parks, etc We take a lot of tours and eat out about half the time. I get about 7 mpg on my 8.1 gas engine.
Don't worry about forgetting something. There are 50,000 Walmarts where you can buy whatever you forget.
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:17 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ninos View Post
I'm planing to do a cross country trip this spring, I live in New Jersey and I would like to go all the way to California but in the way I want to visit all the interesting points that I could, I'm pretty new to the RVing world and I would love for some advice from the veterans out there that have done this trip or any other cross country tip, advice is always welcome, should I tow, how long do you guys think I need for this trip because the wife needs to book off work (I would like to get it done in three weeks but if needed four weeks) what would be the places to stop on this trip, just put in your two cents because I can use the advice, thanks in advance for taking the time to read the thread. Joe
No possible way you can get this done in 3 weeks unless you want to race to the west coast and back with no time to see anything in between, in which case, why bother. This is at least a 1 to 2 month trip.

Slow down to RV time. If you don't plan on RV time, RV time will plan you.

Good luck,

Don
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:20 PM   #7
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By the way, you should definitely plan on towing a vehicle. There are lots of challenges on the road with an RV. You never know when you need a toad for rescue or for convenience. Convenience crops up more often than necessity so get a tow plan and hit the road.

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Old 12-12-2010, 09:47 PM   #8
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I have done east to west twice on I 70. The highlight of the trip is IMHO in Colorado and west. I would poke around in some of the old mining towns in Colorado. Stop at Moad UT and go through Arches, Bryce, Grand Canyon (north rim), Zion. Las Vegas. On to CA. I have gone west to east several times on 10. I would go 40 west east instead. That way you are on Rt 66 in AZ & NM. You can see the south rim of the Grand Canyon, some indian ruins in that area, Meteor Crater, Painted Desert & Petrified forest, Mounument Valley, Santa Fe, White Sands.

You have limited time and will need to stay on the Interstates. The trip you contemplate could easily take six months, or more.
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:55 PM   #9
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Thank you all for the great advice, and keep them on coming. Joe
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Old 12-12-2010, 10:06 PM   #10
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I would also suggest that the trip be cut in half. We did 7,000 miles (Michigan - Vancouver, BC - Calif, and back) this year in 8 weeks. Could have even spent more time in places out west. To really enjoy all the west has to offer you will need more time. We could have spent 2 more weeks just in Utah. Enjoy
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Old 12-13-2010, 07:20 AM   #11
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Joe,

I agree with the others, it is not enough time and you will be wasting your time and money trying to get to CA. There are lots of other options. If your talking spring you might want to drop down the east coast, then head west. The Gulf Coast has lots to see and do, Pensacola, Biloxi, New Orleans, etc. Maybe a trip up the Natchez Trace to Nashville if you have never been there. Or you could go up along the MS River. Heading back east Gettysburg is a great stop and as mentioned Shenandoah NP is also a great option.

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Old 12-13-2010, 07:57 AM   #12
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We are full-timers and our first coast to coast round trip took us a year to accomplish. We did not see it all either! A 3 to 4 week RV trip should be limited to a radius of 1,000 miles. Spend your time thoroughly touring the areas within 1,000 miles or so of New Jersey and plan on visiting the rest of the US when you have more time. Remember your trip is the journey not the destination.. It is not worth it to race across the country to have a week at the destination.
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Old 12-13-2010, 08:04 AM   #13
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Another option if you want to see California and the West is to fly to the west coast and rent either an RV or a car and tour around for your three weeks. It may not cost all that much more than the fuel cost of driving cross country and back.
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Old 12-13-2010, 09:48 AM   #14
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Totally agree w/ the others. I'd cut the trip down to a smaller area so you have more time to enjoy and less driving. A trip down the coast could also be nice....lots to see from NJ to FL. Some of the coastal campgrounds in GA & SC are lovely.
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