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Old 04-03-2016, 11:27 AM   #1
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Smile Month Long Trip+ Planned and New to RVs

I'm taking an RV trip with my small 6 month old puppy and my mother in her 70s. This is something I really want to do for my mom since it is only now that she is actually "retired". Before now she taught school for many years, owned an antique store, was the primary caregiver for my aging grandmother, and fought off stage 4 cancer of an aggressive lymphoma. She survived the cancer but her health took a big hit and she is dealing with a multitude of small to moderate problems. Now that she has the time to visit her kids scattered across the country she doesn't have as much health. She doesn't fly so that was out of the question.

Personally I started with my own health condition that started up last August which has left me with chronic pain and nausea of various degrees and less energy. With the type of job I had it left me unable to work. All signs point to Fibromyalgia. I've got better some through procedures, medication, and lifestyle changes. I can't though return to the same job I had and I'm going to have to find a much more flexible (Probably part-time) job at some point. But for now I want to help my mom actually do something fun in her retirement.

It may seem a bit crazy for some for two women with health issues taking a trek across the country, but we are determined, strong women and will keep plans flexible enough to take care of ourselves along the way. I'll be danged if after everything my mom can't take the trip she really wants to take.

After seeing how expensive RV rental was going to be for an extended period of time (especially with mileage charges), we looked into buying an RV. My mom didn't feel comfortable with that and I lucked out with finding a deal with Cruise America that allows rental of new RVs and a much discounted rate and 200 miles per night of rental for transporting an RV from Chicago to locations around the country. Since she lives in Illinois that is perfect!

We are picking up the RV near the beginning of May and have to deliver it at the end of May. The plan is to go from Illinois to Colorado to Arizona up through California to Portland, Oregon over to Wyoming (Maybe to Yellowstone if we have time) and back down to Colorado where we need to drop off the RV. Then we are packing our stuff into a rented small SUV and finishing up the trip.

We are going to be driving a 25 foot RV.

Unlike some people who will make mistakes as they go out on shorter test trips, we've got a big trip ahead of us. Without a ton of research and preparation, I fear we will hit a lot of road bumps along the way and only start to feel comfortable about the time we need to return the RV.

We already have other challenges to deal with so it is important that I arm myself with knowledge that will save us headaches or major delays on the road. I've been already doing a lot of research, but I have a lot of questions too and would love any advice people have for us. I want this experience to be a trip of a lifetime for us and not turn into National Lampoon's RV Vacation.
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Old 04-03-2016, 12:05 PM   #2
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Hi Ren,

Welcome to the forum and what a great thing you are doing with your Mom. I hope you have a wonderful trip.

Maybe someday you will buy your own rig and join us out on the road.
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Old 04-03-2016, 12:18 PM   #3
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Just make sure they show you how to operate everything and take notes in case you forget. They probably have instruction manuals in them also. If you are in a CG and have something that you need help with don't be afraid to ask a nearby camper. RV'rs are very friendly for the most part and love to help people. Plan for each leg you drive to take longer in a MH than it would in a car. A month is probably long enough but if you can get it for a few more weeks that would make a trip of that distance a little better. It looks like you will be driving about 6000 miles round trip, so plan accordingly for gas expenses. I would plan on at least $2000 for gas. Campgrounds will vary from about $20 to $80 a night depending on where you stay, hook ups/no hook ups ect. If you can park at a family members house, you will save a little and can always plug into their electric and water.

Most of all take your time, enjoy the journey, and have a great safe trip.
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Old 04-03-2016, 12:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beamisl View Post
Hi Ren,

Welcome to the forum and what a great thing you are doing with your Mom. I hope you have a wonderful trip.

Maybe someday you will buy your own rig and join us out on the road.
Thank you so much! I'd love to get an RV someday. My husband has other feelings about it. He is a big, tall guy that hates smaller spaces. The funny thing is that he all but became an Eagle scout when he was younger, but that just fueled his hate for all things camping. I've been working on him though.

Heck, a while back when we were in an area that we knew we weren't going to stay long term I brought up living full time in an RV vs. renting. I wanted our payments to go into something that builds equity!

We live in Arizona now which I've heard is a great RV area. When we retire my hope was that we would spend the beautiful winters here and do a reverse snowbird situation and take an RV to much cooler areas for the summer. I'm not too hopeful I'm going to get him on board, but I've got some years yet to try.

I joke that I'm a gypsy at heart that married the world's largest hobbit! I love adventure and traveling and he loves routine and comfort.

I might just have to settle for staying in cabins in beautiful natural areas. Marriage takes compromise and I want us both to be happy.
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Old 04-03-2016, 12:55 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Mike and Cha View Post
Just make sure they show you how to operate everything and take notes in case you forget. They probably have instruction manuals in them also. If you are in a CG and have something that you need help with don't be afraid to ask a nearby camper. RV'rs are very friendly for the most part and love to help people. Plan for each leg you drive to take longer in a MH than it would in a car. A month is probably long enough but if you can get it for a few more weeks that would make a trip of that distance a little better. It looks like you will be driving about 6000 miles round trip, so plan accordingly for gas expenses. I would plan on at least $2000 for gas. Campgrounds will vary from about $20 to $80 a night depending on where you stay, hook ups/no hook ups ect. If you can park at a family members house, you will save a little and can always plug into their electric and water.

Most of all take your time, enjoy the journey, and have a great safe trip.
Thanks! I'm already watching the orientation videos and reading the manuals. I definitely want to get all the systems down. We are going to be a lot of driving, setting up, and tearing down camp.

I was worried about the time period as well, but we can't get that particular RV for longer since we are delivering it to a location for its first proper rental. We may have some wiggle room of a day or two but that is it. We've already decided that if we have to to skip Yellowstone we will and we can take the rental SUV back into Wyoming to see some of the family spots she wanted to see as well. But this all is definitely a reason to try to keep delays to a minimum.

I fear I'm going to have to rely on the kindness of friendly strangers more than I would like. Heck, that might end up being some of you on the road!
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Old 04-03-2016, 01:00 PM   #6
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Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

Congrats on the new rig! Keep her between the ditches!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 04-03-2016, 01:12 PM   #7
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Thanks!
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Old 04-03-2016, 01:38 PM   #8
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Glad you joined us.

It seems like you have a great trip ahead of you. Ask questions, it's the best way to know what to do. I wish you the best of luck on your trip.

Happy Trails!!!
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Old 04-03-2016, 06:48 PM   #9
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Hello, welcome to IRV2. Enjoy the trip with your Mom. I'm sure she will enjoy every minute of it.
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Old 04-04-2016, 03:01 AM   #10
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Enjoy your travels.
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Old 04-04-2016, 10:12 AM   #11
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Thanks for the welcome, everyone!
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Old 04-07-2016, 03:43 PM   #12
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Old 04-07-2016, 03:58 PM   #13
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That's a lot of travel in one month. You should plan each day and try to break up the long driving days with some no-driving days. Try to give yourself a rest at strategic points along the way so you do not get over tired or stressed. Best of luck and enjoy the trip.
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Old 04-07-2016, 04:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RenW View Post
Thank you so much! I'd love to get an RV someday. My husband has other feelings about it. He is a big, tall guy that hates smaller spaces. The funny thing is that he all but became an Eagle scout when he was younger, but that just fueled his hate for all things camping. I've been working on him though.

Heck, a while back when we were in an area that we knew we weren't going to stay long term I brought up living full time in an RV vs. renting. I wanted our payments to go into something that builds equity!

We live in Arizona now which I've heard is a great RV area. When we retire my hope was that we would spend the beautiful winters here and do a reverse snowbird situation and take an RV to much cooler areas for the summer. I'm not too hopeful I'm going to get him on board, but I've got some years yet to try.

I joke that I'm a gypsy at heart that married the world's largest hobbit! I love adventure and traveling and he loves routine and comfort.

I might just have to settle for staying in cabins in beautiful natural areas. Marriage takes compromise and I want us both to be happy.
One does not buy an RV to build equity in.
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