First timer!

Discussion in 'American RV's' started by cookie_boy2000, Jun 20, 2010.

  1. cookie_boy2000

    cookie_boy2000 Read Only Funster

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    Hello everyone. Firstly let me bore you with the reason for my question being asked..............my wife & I have decided to get one hell of a loan and take my 2 sons, their wives and our 5 year old grandaughter for the trip of a lifetime to the USA. The first leg of the trip will be 10 days from San Francisco onto Los Angeles then to Las Vegas. For this leg of the trip (we're then flying from LV to FLorida then onto NY for 11 days), I want to hire a 7 person RV so we can cruise the west coast and not worry about having to book hotels etc etc. A few people have tried to turn me off the idea as apparently even though the 32" RVs say they sleep 7 it will be very cramped. I reckon we can overcome this but the main point of my post is this (and thanks for reading this far!): The biggest thing I have ever driven is a transit van! I am looking at taking a couple of lessons here in the UK to see if I want to drive an RV in the US or go with the 12 seater and hotel option (i'd rather not do that last one).

    Can anyone give me any tips or suggestions that will help me overcome my reservations about driving an RV? The most driving on the "other side of the road" is a shopping trip to Belguim in my car!

    Any info would be greatly appreciated.

    thanks
     
  2. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Sounds like a recipe for disaster to a blunt northerner. Family Christmases can be hell on earth and that's with room for people to hide away and lasts only a day or two.

    This just reminds me of when my daughter's father in law did this as a fly drive to a villa, they still cringe at the bickering.

    RV - you can only stop where you can park one, so when you say NY just how close do you expect to go. Whenever you want to see "something" you'll need to hire a vehicle or taxis, unless it's a big expensive attraction like Disney with RV parking. There's no privacy with that many in an RV.

    Just my two penneth, ignore me and I'll go away.
     
  3. dylan

    dylan Read Only Funster

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    Welcome to the FUN site and it sounds like you are going to have some serious fun :thumb:
    I'm am sure someone will be along soon with some good advice for you.
     
  4. cookie_boy2000

    cookie_boy2000 Read Only Funster

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    Hilldweller, The RV part of the holiday is only on the west coast. We're leaving it at LV then flying to Florida then onto NYC.

    Re: bickering - yeah that will no doubt happen - my 2 sons have already got bets on who will be involved and what over!
     
  5. movan

    movan Funster Life Member

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    Cookie, There is a lady called Chatter who will probably be able to give you some positive advice on what you ask. She has been away at Prestwold so I doubt will be on the forum till tomorrow but I will phone her and ask her to look at your post... I am sure you will be able to get some reallly useful information from her. She is lovely and really good at explainging things.:thumb:
     
  6. oakeyfamily

    oakeyfamily Read Only Funster

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    Hi there,

    I have just had a little chat about your posting with my husband, sat here in the sun in Wyoming on our lap tops. We have only been RVing for a month. We bought it in Houston and plan to stay 6 months. So far we LOVE it. But I dont drive it - YET.

    I asked him what he would advise. He said he thought your best option would be to go down the 12 seater/hotel accom route mainly because of money really. He has found it quite easy to park, drive and manouvre a 35' RV but was a fire engine driver before retiring in April. The cost to hire an RV is around 1000/week, plus fuel, plus camp sites which are between 30 and 50 dollars a night but we have heard are much more on the West coast (where you are going).

    However, RVing is fun. You get to meet lots of people, stay in varied sites and the views from the high up camper/windows are magnificent. We have never had a problem getting a site for our size vehicle - but of course havent gone to the West coast yet but met others who have and urged us to do it and they dont appear to have had a problem. Many many americans spend their holidays like this and so the whole country appears to be set up for RVs. James says to perhaps have some lessons in a local farmer's cattle truck for manouvering, parking and judging distance etc.

    Good luck with the decision making and dont be put off by family arguments. That's all part of life. Just watch the film "RV" right to the end and you will see that they loved it! Arguments and all.

    James and Stella
     
  7. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Have you noticed this thread:
    http://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/continental-touring/24870-funster-broken-down-usa.html

    Get chatting to him, he knows the USA well.
     
  8. madbluemad

    madbluemad

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    I had no problem at all in driving a 28 Foot rv in the states and I wouldnt have any problem in driving a larger one.

    We did a similar route too yours. Picked up the rv in LA, stayed in LA for a while doing Disney and the Beaches etc, did my shouder in showing off on Muscle Beach. :Blush:

    Then across the desert, Palm Springs, Hoover Dam,LV. Then too SF, had a ball there.

    Then down the coast road back to LA. The coast road is beautifull by the way.

    Best of Luck whatever you decide to do.

    Jim
    :Smile:
     
  9. lebesset

    lebesset Read Only Funster

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    let me be quite clear ; I love the motorhome life and it is my preferred method of travel ...I take it when you say RV I presume you actually are talking about a motorhome , don't forget that a recreational vehicle can be a caravan , a toyhauler , a 5th wheel etc

    I have owned a motorhome in the USA and travelled long term and widely ...but for what you are suggesting I wouldn't even consider it ! just too much hastle finding stopping places and then transport to whatever you want to see would ruin it for me

    the USA is the land of the motel [ yes , I've done that as well with a rental ]; reservation ? never made one any more than an american would

    the only thing I would do is reserve a minibus and arrange to drop it off in LV
    SF is nice enough , half a day should do it unless you are going to alcatraz , LA is hell on earth , would never go there again even if you paid me , LV a couple of days [ and nights] should do it , do the hoover dam visit
    best bit of your trip for me would be route 1 from SF to LA , big sur /monterray , the spanish mission towns
     
  10. madbluemad

    madbluemad

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    I comment in peace.
    How on earth you can do SF in one half day is beyond me.

    Jim
    :Smile:
     
  11. Ails40

    Ails40 Read Only Funster

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    Hi, we hired a RV from San Diego and drove up the coastal route 1 to San Fransisco about 6 years ago. I was a 34 year old woman!! :Eeek: driving a 30 foot RV - hadn't had any experience whatsoever of driving this sort of vehicle and after a 2 hour handover, we were away. I loved driving it, the roads were good and it was easy to handle. We found plenty of places to stay and had a fantastic time. Highly recommend it.

    Have a great time, whatever decision you make.

    Aileen
     
  12. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Rather depends what you are after.

    Art, the same European art you can get here.

    Culture, what culture ?

    A quick walk by Fisherman's Wharf got the feel of the place pretty quickly. A bit cute and European looking.

    That's been my impression of the USA which has always been on business with a few days off. The lasting impression is one of Third World. Big cities are the same all over the world but get out of them in the USA and tatty is what sticks in my mind, I've seen places that look like run down cow sheds with people living in them. Vehicles you could not bribe a bent MOT tester to pass. Quite an eye opener.
     
  13. cookie_boy2000

    cookie_boy2000 Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for the feedback/suggestions and comments, it's really appreciated.

    Regarding the 2 hour handover, is that showing you around the rv etc or going out in it with the hire person?

    I was thinking of seeing if I could take a couple of lessons driving a coach - not too sure if that's possible though!

    Please do keep the suggestions etc coming!
     
  14. iluvmyrv

    iluvmyrv Read Only Funster

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    Great country for touring in an RV - the roads are made for it and the campsites are great.Driving down the West Coast is a fantastic trip - we started in Portland,Oregon - loved it! Also,went over the border into Canada and drove through the Rockies and down too Niagara Falls. If you want too avoid touristy areas try Montana/Dakota areas - stunning scenery! It is expensive too hire an RV, but if there are other family members split the cost like we did.Good luck with your plans and enjoy whatever you decide!!:thumb:
     
  15. e20rod

    e20rod Read Only Funster

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    We hired an RV for 10 days in October last year, picked up in New York, dropped off in Chicago. We had 5 nights in an apartment in New York first. Driving was no problem, the roads are huge, car parks are huge, everything's huge. Most places have specific motorhome parking, we never found parking or access an issue. We mostly used Kamp Grounds of Americas (google KOA) sites. They're a bit cheesy, but good facilities.

    The one we hired was 33ft 7 berth overcab one. We were 2 adults and 2 teenagers. It was comfortable for our party, but 7 would be quite cramped, although do-able as long as you all get along well!

    Cheers,

    Rod.
     
  16. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Agreed Jim, we only scratched the surface in 9 days. so much to see and do you would need a month.
    we must have done a hundred miles on the cable cars and trolley buses visiting different places every time.
    you can spend a whole day exploring sausalitto's art galleries alone.
    another day for alcatraz, though we didnt do that one.
    another two days for chinatown.
     
  17. motor roamin

    motor roamin Funster

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    Hi sounds like this is a little dunting, I may be able to offer some assistance that may help you make your mind up as to which way you want to go.

    I own a Driver Training School and my motorhome (35' A class deisel pusher) is insured as a training vehicle, whilst you wouldn't be able to drive it on the road without a provisional HGV licence, I do have a mile long airfield which is four lanes wide and can be used as a road which can be driven on the left or the right, this won't require a provisional licence.

    Just a thought if any help let me know.

    Good luck with the venture Rick.


     
  18. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    Two hours?

    Boy two hours? Camping world took 20 minutes and that was it, you were on your own. But to be honest other than knowing how to work the cooker, and other domestic items and how the black and grey tanks worked it was a very fast hand over. Mind you the fact we had an A class in the UK in those days (now have a Winnebago B class) I suspect the hand over person got the idea we knew what was what.

    The roads are built for an RV, excepting New York City and I suspect a lot of other major towns. But you can get around San Dieago OK in one. LA? not a lot of fun. But the camp sites are good, but expensive and you do have to remember if you want to get off the site it is by taxi or walk. We did hire a car while we stayed on a Disney camp site one year in Florida and that helped. But if you are on the move it can cause an issue if you want to get in to the tourist places.

    We found we could park (including over night) in Wal Mart and K Mart car parks if you parked at the back of the lot and of course we did our shopping in these stores. But lots and lots of camp sites.. put us to shame over here. Nearly every pitch has a tv hookup (cable) your own grey/black dump and water connected to the RV. Plus often it is drive in and rive out pitch with lots and lots of room.

    Go for it... driving an RV in the USA or here in the UK for that matter is not hard.

    Bob
     
  19. Ralph-n-Bev

    Ralph-n-Bev Funster

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  20. WinnietheBrave

    WinnietheBrave Read Only Funster

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    I did a west coast tour a few years ago in a 34ft A class, driving was easy as the roads are big, we had a 6 birth but we were 4 adults, luxury yes, but 7 would be torture in such a small space.
     

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