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Five Kiwis from NY to LA

New Zealand
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Five Kiwis from NY to LA

Hi!

Myself and 4 friends (all in our late 20's from NewZealand) want to take a roadtrip from NY to LA over 4 - 5 weeks in October in an RV.

Can you guys advise;

what a good RV rental company would be? (we are pretty set on renting an RV and not flying or hiring a car etc)

what are some must see towns cities on the way?

what are some must do activities or attractions on the way?

We dont have a route planned at the moment - so far we know we def want to stop in Washington, Atlanta, New Orleans, Memphis and Las Vegas... so suggestions on what to do and where to stop are more than welcome!

We want to do an 'off the beaten track' kind of trip - not just be the typical tourists.

Thanks!!

West Grey, Ontario
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1. Re: Five Kiwis from NY to LA

Hi truekiwi;

The first thing you will need to do is find a rental company that will allow you to pick-up an RV on the east coast and drop it on the west coast. This may be next to impossible to do, or extremely cost prohibitive !

Best Regards

Perth, Australia
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2. Re: Five Kiwis from NY to LA

I was thinking the same thing... maybe cheaper and easier to hire a car. Although we were charged $300 for a drop off between Boston and Nashville... but between 4 its worth it.

Why not hire a Ford Forrester -- gives you plenty of room at the back to stand up the cases -- and a few smaller bags -- and its very roomy. We had one last year for 4 of us and it was great. We even got Satellite Radio (Sirrus??) and that was fabulous. When you cross into a new state, there is usually a travel center where you can get free maps, information and coupons for hotels.

Motels are very cheap across the US .... Motel 6 is one (check their website and type in any date for a sample price). They're been doing some renovations and they're value for money ... hot showers, comfy beds and close to the Interstate Exits, with good restaurants nearby. Besides Motel 6, there are so many motels everywhere, you never need to book in advance.

In Washington DC, most sites are free, so do a hop on hop off tour -- and include a visit to the top of the Washington Monument -- the view is fantastic.

From Washington DC, you could head out to Wiliiamsburg (an historic town), and Norfolk to do a tour of the Atlantic Fleet Base (its huge) .. then down the coast before heading inland through Augusta (the Masters Golf is there) then to Atlanta ... (CNN, Coca Cola Headquarters); down to New Orleans .. then follow the Natchez Parkway up to Tupelo (Elvis Birthplace is worth the stop) .. then to Memphis (Graceland, Beale Street - must do a Friday night on Beale, its party time ... as well as Mud Island, Peabody Ducks, Civil Rights Museum and much more)

From here follow I-40 to Little Rock (Clinton Library), detour just south a bit to Hot Springs -- fabulous town.

Then continue along I-40 to St Louis (definiitely go up the Gateway Arch) -- then through Oklahoma to Clinton and visit the Route 66 museum.

Staying on I-40, continue through Amarillo, then at Flagstaff head south to Sedona for a few days .. then back up to the Grand Canyon.

Come back to I-40 and head to Kingman .. another Route 66 Museum .. and then follow Route 66 from Kingman through to Oatman and back to the border of Arizona and California ... cross over the Colorado River into California for just a little while, and go north to Laughlin. You can stop here for a couple of days (Golden Nugget Hotel cost us $24 a night for the room) ... and has some great water acitivities on the river.

Then head north to Vegas, via Hoover Dam.

Besides Google Maps to get some ideas on where you can go, and distances, here is some websites for you to look at.

www.interstate-guide.com

www.thenextexit.com

www.roadsideamerica.com

www.byways.org

www.scenicdrivesusa.com

www.roadtripusa.com

www.historic66.com

www.visitsedona.com

Plus Google the following .....

Gateway Arch St Louis

Elvis Birthplace Tupelo

Historic Williamsburg

Laughlin, Nevada

And I haven't even mentioned north of the Grand Canyon, up through Monument Valley, Page, Utah area ... so much to do, so little time.

Enjoy the planning ... its all part of the fun.

Fairfield...
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3. Re: Five Kiwis from NY to LA

HI Truekiwi,

One thing that hasn't been covered yet is how much time you're giving yourselves for this trip. 4-5 weeks means you will rarely do more than sit behind the wheel driving. I imagine you wanted to have fun and sightsee too?

Is it possible for you to tack on a couple extra weeks? With 6 or more weeks, you'd truly have a road trip that involved some time exploring and sightseeing. I bow to others recommendations regarding an RV rental company, but it could be a great way to travel assuming you book your space ahead or learn how to "dry camp". Here's an article about RVs you might find helpful with tips on selecting an RV to rent, RV driving tips, and how to select camping areas/dry camping:

planning-fun-road-trips.com/road-trip-planni…

Eaglemaniac had some great suggestions about places to see - hope you can add a few weeks to your trip so you can see all the great sights along your route!

Hope this helps-

Tara

Washington State
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4. Re: Five Kiwis from NY to LA

I'm not sure what kind of car Eaglemaniac had last year. A Forester is a Subaru and not roomy for 5 adults. Perhaps a Ford Explorer?

I think the most popular RV company is CruiseAmerica.

Specific suggestions about what to do in each destination are best on the destination forum. This forum can help you set your itinerary.

This could be a great trip. Have fun planning!

Uden, The...
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5. Re: Five Kiwis from NY to LA

Are you sure you want to go with 5 grown ups in an RV for 4-5 weeks? How good is your friendship? lol I also don't know about a Ford Forrester but I can assure you that the cars we had on our trip were big enough for 5 people plus luggage resp. a GMC Acadia and a Chevrolet Traverse. Probably also would be a lot cheaper than renting an RV.

Tet

Ohio
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6. Re: Five Kiwis from NY to LA

I would come across I 40 from Memphis to Vegas. You will be coming right thru Albuquerque, NM and only and hour south of Santa Fe, NM. Both great places to visit. So far on your list, you have only major cities. Is that your focus? My idea of a road trip is seeing the countryside and national parks. What is it that you are interested in? Might be able to help more if we had a better idea of what kinds of things you are interested in seeing?

Perth, Australia
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7. Re: Five Kiwis from NY to LA

Oops -- you're right -- it was a Ford Explorer ... and it was fantastic.

I was typing so fast, I never thought -- just the old age creeping in.

Uden, The...
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8. Re: Five Kiwis from NY to LA

A Ford Explorer is big enough as well ;)

New Zealand
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9. Re: Five Kiwis from NY to LA

Wow thanks guys!! Your advice so far has been great!

Would you be able to let me know what you think of this driving plan

NY - Philiadelphia - Washington - Charlestown / Savannah - Atlanta - Memphis - Little Rock and Hot Springs - Jackson - Baton Rouge - New Orleans - Houston - Austin - Dallas - Roswell - Santa Fe - Grand Canyon - Las Vegas - Death Valley - Los Angeles

If you could advise what places you think we should maybe miss out or add to the above that would be great!

Also what are some crazy / different things to do along the way like ghost towns or cowboy camps etc.

Thanks!

Perth, Australia
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10. Re: Five Kiwis from NY to LA

Sounds fantastic ... but don't pick the car up until Washington DC.

You don't need a car in New York -- get Amtrak to Philadelphia - you don't need one there either, get Amtrak to Washington DC -- and you don't one one in Washington either.

So you can save money by picking it up on your last day in DC.... organise to drop off at LAX .. so you can get around LA easier. There will be a drop off fee -- and will be added to your credit card at the end of the trip .. you can't pre-pay that.