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Driving cross country-ideas West to East from those who did it?

Driving cross country-ideas West to East from those who did it?

Old Jun 24, 20, 9:30 pm
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Driving cross country-ideas West to East from those who did it?

First, let me say I debated if this belonged here vs the destination forum but I rolled the dice....we have no destination.

We have 2 weeks to travel (since our trip to Israel is off now) in August. Family of 4 with tweens in tow. Flying to LAX, then have 2 weeks to get back to NY. We are city slickers that never camped and yet the kids want to rent an RV. So Im looking into maybe rent a car and head south to see a friend in Temecula for 2 days, then head west. Starting to peruse the roadtripsusa.com site for routes.

Maybe start in a car or RV part way, if we can find a one-way RV rental/relocation (anyone tried these? Another friend *just* did this with cruiseAmerica and said she would not recommend them. ) Then depending on where we stop, rent a car the rest of the way to NY. I know there is a lot to see and cities right now are not really the place to be going. Any pros/cons/ suggestions please?

The thing that concerns me about the RV is planning where to stay campsite wise.... I understand places can book ahead of time....is this truly a thing? Lots of reproach to start. Thanks for the forum of advice.
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Old Jun 25, 20, 12:05 am
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Why not rent a car? It could be expensive. Hertz charges $1900 for 2 weeks one way.

How about renting a car in New York for 2 weeks? Or use your own car, if you have one.

Day 1: Cooperstown, NY, Baseball Hall of Fame. Maybe closed? The town is nice, though.
Day 2: Niagara Falls, NY
Day 3: Cleveland or maybe the USAF Museum in Dayton (closed???? open????)
Day 4: St. Louis. See the Gateway to the West monument. St. Louis is where Lewis and Clark started. Follow their path through Montana. See the Pillars of Rome in Oregon then Astoria, where Lewis and Clark ended their journey, follow Highway 101 to Los Angeles then the Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon to Mesa Verde or Santa Fe?

There must be plenty to see from Santa Fe to New York.
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Old Jun 25, 20, 7:03 am
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Okay, I'm a bit confused. You mention flying to LAX, heading to Temecula, then heading west. I'll assume that you meant east since there isn't much more west to go. I've done the cross country drive twice (Seattle to Baltimore and Atlanta to Ontario). Just plain old driving would be about 5 days with 8 hours of driving a day. I don't know if the RVs have their speed governed like a moving truck does but I could not do more than 65 mph in the moving truck. Renting an SUV and staying overnight in hotels might be a better option.

Of course, what to see depends on the route you want to take. There's a myriad of ways that you can travel depending on whether you want to go north through NV/UT (I-15), northeastish into AZ (I-15/I-40), or straight east using I-10. You can hit up a number of National Parks on the way but I expect that their capacity is going to be limited at this time. I would also expect that a number of tourist attractions that require admission would likely still be closed or have reduced capacity. If I were driving at this time, I'd try to keep to natural attractions rather than things like amusement parks, and other tourist spots.
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Old Jun 25, 20, 8:04 am
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Sounds like quite the trip. You don't mention whether your teens are outdoorsy or in any way what they like. A long period in a car or even RV would be best spent with people with good attitudes, so hopefully they are up for a road trip with occasional limits on internet access and that might need some inquisitive minds.

If I were to pick a route from southern California back to NY, I might wind my way past:
  • Kings Canyon/Sequoyah
  • Grand Canyon
  • Mesa Verde
  • Rocky Mountain NP
  • Badlands/Mt. Rushmore
  • Chicago
  • Either upstate NY via Pittsburgh or southeast through WVA and VA then up through DC
The key will be how much you want to drive each day. The goal should be to be stopped as much as possible somewhere interesting. Map it out so that you don't get stressed out having to make it somewhere that night. With several stops, you are probably looking at a minimum of 60-75 hours of driving over 12ish days, so consider that.
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Last edited by xooz; Jun 25, 20 at 1:44 pm
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Old Jun 25, 20, 2:07 pm
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As this appears to be a query about traveling across the United States, let's move this to the USA forum for further discussion. Thanks. /JY1024, TravelBuzz moderator
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Old Jun 25, 20, 3:40 pm
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If your focus is nature and national parks there is little need for RV east of the rockies - i would look into DEN-SEA or backward and the central/eastern part either by car of flying. With only two weeks i'd fly - it's barely enough to RV around major western parks. Any RV trip absolutely must include Utah (route 12, moab with at least 2-3 parks there) - preferably high elevation ones to manage the heat. Often noted Mt Rushmore is huge detour and mostly waste of time. Deep southwest (AZ, NM) will be miserably hot.

Maybe piece together smth along the lines of california (Yos, seq, tahoe), oregon, washington (rainier, olympic), montana (glacier, yellowstone), utah (bryce, capitol reef, arches) colorado (RM) picking SOME of those... california ones may be hard with RV given winding roads.. realistically utah and colorado (or utah and montana/wyoming) should give you more than enough to explore for 2 week i'd just focus on those - these are vast spaces

we did a couple weeklong RV relos this year and loved it - don't try to cover too much ground would be one of my main suggestions...
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Old Jun 25, 20, 3:46 pm
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Uh, Chicago? You could spend a week there!

Or even if a day or 2, then north to Lake Geneva Wisc, Door County Wisc?

Before Chicago, Indiana Dunes Natl Park? SW Mich Harbor Country?

Just some mid country ideas!

Originally Posted by Toshbaf View Post
Why not rent a car? It could be expensive. Hertz charges $1900 for 2 weeks one way.

How about renting a car in New York for 2 weeks? Or use your own car, if you have one.

Day 1: Cooperstown, NY, Baseball Hall of Fame. Maybe closed? The town is nice, though.
Day 2: Niagara Falls, NY
Day 3: Cleveland or maybe the USAF Museum in Dayton (closed???? open????)
Day 4: St. Louis. See the Gateway to the West monument. St. Louis is where Lewis and Clark started. Follow their path through Montana. See the Pillars of Rome in Oregon then Astoria, where Lewis and Clark ended their journey, follow Highway 101 to Los Angeles then the Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon to Mesa Verde or Santa Fe?

There must be plenty to see from Santa Fe to New York.
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Old Jun 25, 20, 6:58 pm
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Did that last August. Five weeks, Sacramento to Cape Cod and back. Having been most places before, we designed a route using scenic highways and byways in each state where we wanted to spend some time on this trip. DO NOT spend the entire trip on interstates. This maximizes the local scenery and lets you see the actual states. We knocked off our last 5 states on this trip.

Highlights for us included: Seeing Kansas farming towns and Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve; thunderstorms everywhere; car ferry across the Mississippi river at Cassville WI; Field of Dreams in Iowa; Tail of the Dragon curvy road segment in the Tennessee mountains and Fontana Dam; coal country scenic routes in West Virginia; Colonial Williamsburg and Outer banks in VA/NC; Amish country in PA; Niagara Falls; Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile State Historic Site in Cooperstown ND; Red Lodge MT to Yellowstone on 212; Black Rock Desert NV; Sawtooth Mountains ID; and occasional relatives.

Utah is packed with outdoor destinations as is Colorado. The key its to know when to stop, and know when to drive, as you could spend all year on that route. Good luck! Oh, and we drove and used hotels.
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Old Jun 26, 20, 9:15 am
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Yes, I meant that we fly to LAX then driving to see a friend in Temecula for 2 days then heading back EAST. LOL. Any more west and we're swimming to Hawaii.

Have the wife and kids pursuing road trips usa. com for ideas now. I def agree that I want to spend more time outdoors and taking in spots like Grand Canyon, MOAB, etc. Essentially focus on points WEST of Colorado, then drive through midwest back home. Maybe the RV for the first week or even a few days. I want to stay in hotels but trying to convince wife they'll be as clean as an RV is a task. We've written off big cities as they will be limited. yes, I am dying to do a week of eating in Chicago and Texas but now's not the right time IMHO..

So focusing on the great outdoors. Thanks for the many ideas. We have ta large dry erase map and are starting to plot out thoughts. Will probably throw together some ideas and
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Old Jun 30, 20, 8:49 am
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Temecula has some wineries, but not much else, IMO. Well, perhaps Hot Air Balloon rides or horseback rides. Traffic, even now. I'm not sure what's open. Then you have a fairly long drive to anything really interesting.

On I-10, "The River" might be your next stop and the kids can rent jet skis or go tube rafting. We'd usually go to Parker AZ or Lake Havasu from Southern California. Then to the Grand Canyon. Or take the I-15 north through Las Vegas and into Utah and its gorgeous national parks like Bryce.
Two weeks is not long with any activity stops, so I'd suggest choosing the route and activities carefully so the kids aren't too grumpy. Otherwise it might just feel like endless driving (through a desert oven), without much else. With lunch, get out of the car breaks and bathroom stops x 4, just driving to the next state over from California takes most of the day. Don't underestimate how incredibly huge the west is by highway.

Have fun!
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Old Jul 7, 20, 8:46 am
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In August I would encourage a northern route. Grand Canyon and Arches (plus most other Utah parks) will be blisteringly hot. Instead from LA head up I-15 through Utah - perhaps drop through Zion - but then head up towards Tetons, Yellowstone and so forth - Maybe even Glacier NP. Also, if you're driving, consider the smaller parks that you may not get to for a full trip in the future - for example, Badlands. Mt. Rushmore/Black Hills in SD or Theodore Roosevelt in ND.

Agree with others that while there are things you can see once you get further east, it's less interesting.
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Old Jul 7, 20, 9:40 am
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Originally Posted by drewguy View Post
In August I would encourage a northern route. Grand Canyon and Arches (plus most other Utah parks) will be blisteringly hot. Instead from LA head up I-15 through Utah - perhaps drop through Zion - but then head up towards Tetons, Yellowstone and so forth - Maybe even Glacier NP. Also, if you're driving, consider the smaller parks that you may not get to for a full trip in the future - for example, Badlands. Mt. Rushmore/Black Hills in SD or Theodore Roosevelt in ND.

Agree with others that while there are things you can see once you get further east, it's less interesting.
Zion will be hot as well at that time of year.

David
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Old Jul 7, 20, 9:53 am
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Actually just booked lodges at Grand Canyon, but based on what you're saying, now renegging and will look at Tetons/Yellowstone.

We are having a tough time figuring out, if we rent a OW camper, from Temecula and drop at Tetons/Yellowstone, where to stay (open to lodging or the RV). Are they good resources for camp areas where we could park along the way?
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Old Jul 7, 20, 1:53 pm
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Originally Posted by the phoenix View Post
Actually just booked lodges at Grand Canyon, but based on what you're saying, now renegging and will look at Tetons/Yellowstone.

We are having a tough time figuring out, if we rent a OW camper, from Temecula and drop at Tetons/Yellowstone, where to stay (open to lodging or the RV). Are they good resources for camp areas where we could park along the way?
https://www.nps.gov/subjects/camping/campground.htm

https://www.blm.gov/programs/recreation/camping

https://www.fs.usda.gov/visit/know-b...you-go/camping

https://www.forestcamping.com/

David
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Old Jul 7, 20, 2:00 pm
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In the old days, KOA was the big player in RV camping locations. Still have a fair number of sites.
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