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Old 05-19-2015, 08:46 PM   #1
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Goin cross country!!!

Well we just upgraded to a nicer motorhome and are taking her for our first local weekend to kinda check things out. Also we are trying to plan our first cross country trip for this summer and fall. We will be visiting family in the Midwest, East and Southeast. Louisiana, Florida, West Virginia, South Carolina, Pensilvania, then coming back to visit in Ohio, Missouri and maybe Wyoming. Maybe a side trip or two as I'd love to head north a bit from PA and check out that part of the country as well as the Capitol area. I'd prefer to go southern and back semi northern but I'm not at all sure that might be the best. We don't want to be in a hurry but want to be home before any snow fly's. I'd love to hear your suggestion and also any hints you may have for planning such a trip. I have not driven cross country since I was about 10 years old with my parents. We are curtainly looking forward to it though. Any good travel guides you may know about.
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Old 05-19-2015, 08:52 PM   #2
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Timing is everything to avoid , snow in the northern plains, if you are in WY in early Oct then anything can happen , recent posts ( last week ) about members being stopped in 12>22 inches.
Cross the north part of the route you plan as early as possible and return across the south.
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Old 05-19-2015, 08:54 PM   #3
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My only input on your quest for a good travel guide would be to purchase a good RV GPS with a large screen, also a smaller one for the co-pilot. Sanford
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Old 05-19-2015, 09:21 PM   #4
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Assume you have a towed. You will need it in the NE and around DC. If you hit Wyoming on the way out you can come back the southern route later in the year. It will get snow before the NE or PA. If you do not want to do it on the way out my advice would be to put it off for a year.

Assume on a long trip like that you will not be covering distance as a priority. It gets old fast. If you put in some miles then stop for a while as you get farther from home you will have time to see things.

I'd generally head into the midwest, Ohio, PA, as far as you like into New England then drift south. You want to be heading south by the end of September. Depending on where you are going in Ohio West Virginia can be done in early or late. Ditto Pennsylvania depending on where you are going. Fall weather moves south in September in the NE to November in VA and the Carolinas. You probably can come back across Florida and Louisiana in December most of the time. I'd keep an eys on the 30 day weather forecast for trends in areas you are in and heading toward.

As you get toward an area you might want to post here along the lines of "heading into X what is a good place to stop or want to see Y where are good places to stay." You will probably get a lot of hits. Otherwise take your time and enjoy the sights.
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Old 05-19-2015, 09:24 PM   #5
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I highly recommend rvparkreviews.com to find suitable RV parks. The state parks in Florida are very nice and reasonably priced, and in interesting areas. For the DC are I recommend Cherry Hill Park in College Park, MD. Its pricey but they all are in the area. But Cherry Hill Park has a Metro bus that comes in every few minute to take you to a Metro Train so you don't have to get out in the DC traffic.
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Old 05-19-2015, 09:48 PM   #6
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It appears you will be starting in California. If you're planning the trip for this summer/fall, I would begin with the northern route and return via the southern route. Those southern states will be hot and humid in summer.

To begin, go to WalMart and pick up a road atlas. Then highlight every stop that you need to make since you're doing a lot of visiting. Then pick roads to take you to those stops. Then mark some attractions along the way that you'd want to include. You can then transfer this route into a computer mapping program or GPS.

We always avoid interstates if we can. Since it seems you have unlimited time, secondary roads for you would be ideal and you'll see more of the country.

Purchase the Mountain Directory for Truckers & RVers. It comes in both West and East editions and in paperback or ebook.

Mountain Driving Guide for Truckers, RV and Motorhome Drivers

For your summer stops and since you need to be at particular places, it would be advisable to make reservations but perhaps not too far out for each one in case you get delayed or want to stay longer at a particular spot. Once Labor Day is over there's no need for reservations. Take your time and don't rush a trip like this. It will be a long one!
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Old 05-19-2015, 11:23 PM   #7
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Yes I think starting this times of year calls for the northern part first. We still have a few things to take care of such as getting the (our old Honda CRV won't pass the smog test so can't be licensed) new toad rigged. We're setting up my wife's Honda Civic. I did the CRV myself but I'm thinking I'm gonna have someone else do the Civic. Anyway that'll hopefully happen real quick and we're thinking middle to late June, we're outa here. Probably straight up to Oregon to visit more family then east from there. I'll go get a road guide, we don't want to miss anything so I expect it to be a somewhat crooked trip!
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Old 05-20-2015, 01:10 AM   #8
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When you said you haven't driven across country since you were ten, it reminded me of our first trip "round" the country. Started in Wa state. down the coast then cut across to Ariz. Winter. Start for the the Gulf in Spring. Follow the Gulf to west coast of Fl. Then down. Cut across at Orlando. Up the Atlantic coast to Maine. Follow the border back across to Wa. Have done similar variations twice since. Shortest was 8 months. Longest 18 months. Each was a blast. Looking to do it again but the weather is not cooperating.
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Old 05-20-2015, 07:13 AM   #9
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Oh definately north first, then come back on the southerly leg. You'll be able to beat the brutal heat & humidity. Being from CA. originally, I can remember my first encounter with humidity in Missouri, I'd never felt heat & humidity like that. And it's only worse the further south you go in summer. That's why we go to Maine in summer, Florida for the winter.
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Old 05-20-2015, 10:35 AM   #10
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John, sounds like a great trip!! I'm guessing you'll clock well north of 8000 miles before you're done. On a trip like that your initial planning will be only in the most general sense. When we're in travel mode, for planning purposes we think in terms of covering 100 miles per day on average. When we actually do move, we usually go 200-250 miles, then stay a while. If you make a trip like this into a sprint race, all you'll see is 8000 miles of pavement, and all you'll remember is the exhaustion.

We have crossed the country along the I-90 corridor in Oct-Nov and had no difficulty. We've also crossed the country along the southern states in Jan-Feb, and it was probably a nicer trip-- although the Grand Canyon gets pretty chilly!

One suggestion I would make is to note the places where you can access factory service for both the chassis and the coach body. With the time and miles you'll be logging service time may come, or things may break. Taking a day or two to have things checked over as a preventive step could save you three weeks stuck somewhere waiting for some dealer shop to get around to it.

All in all, sounds great! Good Luck!


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Old 05-20-2015, 10:55 AM   #11
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Thanks a bunch for all the great insights, we are not going to be in too big a hurry though we do have a date by which we'll need to be home. Our daughter will be getting married in November this year. 200-300 miles seems like a good day's drive and rest when we are somewhere that we'd like to stay. We'll service before we leave and most likely on the trip as well. I'm reading over the thread "top-10-items-you-should-carry-in-a-new-rv", which in most posts is much more extensive than 10, getting some good ideas about what and how to pack. We've used our motorhome mostly local in California and the Oregon area so this is our first long trip, of course this is why we bought it so here we go.
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Old 05-20-2015, 06:05 PM   #12
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Start a blog and take lots of pictures and keep us all informed. Sanford
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Old 05-20-2015, 06:27 PM   #13
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When planning a trip, we like to do it by the 2-2-2 method.

Drive about 200 miles a day
Stop before 2 pm
Stay 2 days

Sometimes we won't particularly want to stay in one spot for more than a single night, or we may love it and spend longer, but its a nice rule of thumb. Sometimes I like to get underway at dawn and have the option of stopping more often before pulling into our campground, but unless we've had trouble on the road, I don't drive past early afternoon.
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Old 05-20-2015, 06:55 PM   #14
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2-2-2. I like it.
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