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Old 11-12-2015, 10:26 AM   #1
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Tips on West Coast to East Coast trip

Next year we want to make a trip from the West Coast to the East Coast. We have been all over the West, Pacific NW, Vancouver Canada, ID, SD, WY, NM, CO and so forth. Want to mix it up. We can take a Northeast path, Southeast path or head right down the middle of the good ol' USA.

We could take a couple months or so to do the trip. We have a Class A aabout 35' long and will have either a tow vehicle or a trailer. We hit as many NP as we can and like being off the beaten path for the most part. Dont like big cities unless for a side trip in whatever vehicle we have besides the RV. Might be a Harley or a jeep. Not sure right now. We like to stay at FHU locations but can boondock for a couple of days as needed.

When would be a good time to leave on the trip? Early or late spring? Early summer? Fall...etc? Any suggested paths to take or places that are must see?

Just getting started on this and wanted to get some ideas before ai plan this all out. I respect the info that gets passed along in here. Thank you in advance for any and all suggestions.

We can leave from S CA or Northern AZ.
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Old 11-12-2015, 10:33 AM   #2
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I should have put this in some other area within the forums. If a moderator or someone that has the capabilities to move this to a more appropriate area I would not mind at all. Thanks
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Old 11-12-2015, 10:34 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Excursion 33 View Post
I should have put this in some other area within the forums. If a moderator or someone that has the capabilities to move this to a more appropriate area I would not mind at all. Thanks

Already done

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Old 11-12-2015, 10:53 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Excursion 33 View Post
I should have put this in some other area within the forums. If a moderator or someone that has the capabilities to move this to a more appropriate area I would not mind at all. Thanks

Be aware, Once you get back in the Northeast most RV Parks close in early October !
NOTE; I am not responsible for typos, poor grammer or misspelled word !
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Old 11-12-2015, 10:59 AM   #5
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We have done a couple of trips east doing large loops. One was 8 weeks. The one last year was only 4 weeks. I think either spring or fall work to avoid the summer crowds. Both of ours were September/October trips. On the 8 week trip, we headed south first then came back a northerly route. Last fall, we followed US 2 east then dropped down to I90 to come home.

On both trips we experienced great fall colors along the way. We seldom had reservations and had no problem finding campgrounds. We did find a lot of early closures in the northeast, especially Connecticut and Vermont, which limited our choices.
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Old 11-12-2015, 11:04 AM   #6
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Wow, that's a wide-open agenda and sounds like a great trip. We're your polar opposites... been all over the east and can't wait to head west with the rig. Since you're well travelled in the west I suppose you want to focus on sight-seeing east of the Mississippi... there is so much. Mammoth Cave is a great NP, the Great Smokey Mountains is tremendous (you'll need camping reservations there,) Asheville, NC is a great destination on the edge of the Smokies. The St. Louis Arch if you're into the man-made attractions. The Indian Burial Mounds in Iowa is a beautiful National Park site as well. Hannibal MO if you are interested in Mark Twain. You can follow the Lincoln trail and see a lot in Illinois and Kentucky. The Air Force Museum in Dayton is wonderful... and the Wright Brothers National Historic Site is worth seeing as well. If you bounce up to Detroit - the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield village can easily take 2-3 days to see everything. Northern Indiana has the RV Museum in Elkhart and further to the east in a very peaceful setting is the Mid-west Windmill Museum (Farm windmills.) The Kitchen Aide mixer factory gives a great tour in Ohio. Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and all of Skyline Drive is worth seeing anytime of the year. The Outer Banks of North Carolina... down to Cape Hatteras. There is just so much to do the hard part will be deciding what to miss! When we took our first big trip a couple years ago we listed all the places we thought we wanted to go as destinations - NPs, etc... then did a timeline to account for how long in each location and then looked for off-the-wall places to see in between the destinations. Can't wait to make another one. Where ever you decide to go you'll have a great time.
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Old 11-13-2015, 05:31 AM   #7
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When you say east coast...that encompasses a large area. Fall in New England can be spectacular. From quaint little fishing villages along the coast, where you can pick up lobsters cheap right from the boats, to the beautiful fall colors. A trip back in history around Boston, but just about everywhere you go you'll come across an historical marker of some kind. Coming south from Maine maybe a stop in our nations capitol to see the sights, further south along the coast you have Hatteras, Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Savannah....there's just so much to see and experience. On the way back west a stop in New Orleans would be a must for us, the Alamo in San Antonio. You see what I mean. Hard to do in a limited time frame.
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Old 11-13-2015, 11:09 AM   #8
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IMHO, all the above is true, but if it were me I would give some thought to where my interests lie, get some books or use another media source to learn where places that relate to these interests are, then plan the trip with as few zig-zags as possible.

We moved from WV to OR in the early-mid 70s and have made somewhere between 20 and 30 trips back and forth using various routes between I-8 and Hwy. 2. I have always considered our situation both a curse and a blessing. A curse because in order to visit family we had to travel all the way across the country, but a blessing because in doing so we could pick a route that allowed us to see whatever we wanted to. We almost always travelled in an RV which allowed us to stay wherever we chose for as long as we wanted to. Most of our trips were planned using the many travel books I've purchased over the years, or from a TV program about some place that seemed interesting. Whatever you do I think you will love it. We live in a truly beautiful country.

When planning your trip keep in mind that North is generally cooler and South is generally warmer, as I'm sure you already know. We made a couple of unplanned, but necessary trips during Winter. One on I-80 where we had to use 4WD to get up hills at 40 mph through about 100 miles of WY. Another was going West on I-40 where we thought we would be far enough South to avoid bad weather and hit a blizzard in NM. Conversely, one Summer we decided to visit Southern TX stopping at Big Bend campground at about 10:00 PM. The next morning I looked around and wondered why the place was almost deserted. At about 10:00 AM it began to dawn on me and we left soon after. It was HOT!

Best of luck on your trip.

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Old 11-17-2015, 11:21 AM   #9
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We have planned our "major" east coast trip from Oregon to SC up through VA, PA, New England, Montreal, and return thru MI, IL, IA. We have itinerary and many reservations made in the some of the popular areas. We plan to leave mid May and return home mid September.

We have a Monaco Safari Trek and we are 29 feet which let's us get into state parks, national parks, etc. Happy to share itineraries of we can connect.
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Old 11-17-2015, 12:59 PM   #10
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My home is in Oregon but have kids in Maine and Florida so about every other year we do a trip around the USA. For getting an idea of what roads or places we would like to stop we break out a large Rand McNally map (it's about 30X40 inches but doesn't show all the highways and roads). Then we take a waterless marker and circle places we haven't seen or would like to see again. From there we kind of lay out a route round trip and may add dates of where we want to be at a specific time so the kids will know when we plan to arrive. We use the mileage chart and usually put an X at about 300 mile intervals. The route we plan is not necessarily a firm route and often changes as we go along. For actual travel we use a GPS.

We most often head out in April hoping to miss some of the hot late summer weather.
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Old 11-17-2015, 03:14 PM   #11
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CGs in the North East close after Columbus Day. Columbus day weekend is the last hurrah for the Northeastern folks. All CGs are packed. Consider doing the Northeast first and then meander down south hitting all the Revolutionary War and Civil War stops along the way. Gettysburg, PA for the Civil War might be a must see. To do it correctly, 4 full days would not be too much. Lancaster, PA is a large Amish community. If you have never been to an Amish community, this would be something to consider. If you go, for me, it is a pound a day weight gain. Amish ladies really know how to cook. If you want to see the leaves change, the last part of October in the Smoky Mountains is very nice.

This might be something to think about. Go to the northern most point of US Route 1 in Maine. Get your picture taken by the sign. Do all your east coast touring, winding up in Key West, Florida. Get your picture taken by the sign for the most southern point of US Route 1.
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Old 11-28-2015, 01:32 PM   #12
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We completed a 99 day trip from CA to New England via the mid section of the country. We found the EZPASS to be very convenient for using the toll roads, bridges, etc. You can buy it on line, do s search for EZPASS, it covers about 16 states. It only costs $10 for the transponder and you load it with an amount from your credit card. It saved a lot of time and hassle going thru the many confusing toll booths. Since we don't have EZPASS on the west coast, when we returned home, I mailed the transponder back to them and they credited my card with any amount left. I also could transfer it from the rv to the tow car when we were running around sightseeing. The only road I would NOT take again is the I80/I90 toll road thru northern Indiana. It was the roughest road we have ever been on(and I thought CA had them all beat for crappy roads). I would next time, go south of it and go east. The other states were fine.

We stayed a quite a few State Parks, i.e, PA, NY, MA and although they may advertise water and electric, we found several parks were only 20A for electric but they don't necessarily tell you that on the websites.

Sounds like a great trip, hope you enjoy it.
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Old 12-03-2015, 01:13 PM   #13
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We've just completed about a 60 day trip around the eastern part of the US. A few random observations.

- As noted earlier, the parks in New England tend to close mid-October.
- Traffic was much heavier all over the east than I had expected. This year, we've traveled all over...from Texas to Alaska, back to the deep south, up to VT, NH, and ME, down through VA, NC, NC, and GA. We are right now in the FL Keys. The truck traffic has been significantly worse than what we've experienced out west (though we've not traveled in CA, OR, or WA).
- Fall in New England was quite nice. We stayed at Maplewoods Campground in Johnson, VT, which is a nice RV park and is close to a lot of things to do. Perhaps our favorite New England spot was Moorings Oceanfront RV Resort in Belfast, ME (nice, but absolutely not a "resort"). Lobsters galore nearby for good prices. Acadia National Park was pretty but very, very crowded in October. After traveling the mountain states, BC, Alberta, and AK earlier in the year, we found the east to be too crowded for our taste. Mostly lovely, but too crowded.
- One beautiful, out-of-the-way spot is Table Rock Lake in MO and AR. There's a very, very nice RV resort there called Ozarks RV Resort. It's close to Branson, and you can have a pull-in site on a bluff overlooking the lake. It was a lovely surprise and is one of the nicest places we've stayed.
- Hilton Head Island, SC is really fantastic if you like golf, dining, and shopping. And the Hilton Head Motorcoach Resort is exceptionally nice - probably the best we've ever been to.

Those are just a few random thoughts about this part of the country.

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