Motorhome holiday in USA

Discussion in 'American RV's' started by Edenside, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. Edenside

    Edenside Funster

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    Have put this in the RV section as perhaps someone love for RV is after holidaying in the USA. We are contemplating doing Route 66 in a hire motorhome. Has anyone done it. Tips of who to book through, which way Chicago to LA or the other way round. What to see & what's not worth the trouble. Current campsite, meals & fuel costs, any advise would be appreciated.
     
  2. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    We have hired RVs three times now , the last one in 2012 we did a Cruise America one way location trip with a new 30ft from Chicago to Las Vegas taking in much of Route 66 and via Memphis for Graceland. We took a month and 3k miles , an incredible holiday.
    Every early spring Cruise America have many new RVs to replace old ones to deliver from Chicago and Toronto which are produced by Thor in Elkhart Indiana. They do a special one way rate which normally includes some extras including insurance .
    The contact point in UK is www.cruiseamerica.co.uk , also called the Motorhome Experts.
    I have received emails from them for early deliveries but not in the last couple of weeks.
    Our 2012 trip including flights hotels sites etc cost us approx £3.5 k for a month total.
    If I can find last e mail will post it on here.
     
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  3. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    The last one I received at end of November, could be more to follow.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    I have received a later one but have deleted but at least the above gives you a clue.
     
  5. Edenside

    Edenside Funster

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    Thank you @Larrynwin i will look into it tomorrow when I have better internet.
     
  6. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    The last email I received was just before Christmas and from memory was for relocations in April and May.
    Be worth telephoning as the relocations are not available via the website.
     
  7. peterc10

    peterc10 Funster

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    @Larrynwin Are those rates per day or week or for the whole hire?
     
  8. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    They are rates per week .
     
  9. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    @Edenside I have just received new e mail which looks to be the residue of those offered before Christmas.
    There could well be another batch to come as some are later , our trip was May /June.
    Will post if I get more.

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Edenside

    Edenside Funster

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    Did you book direct with motorhomexpert or cruise America. Did you book the motorhome then look for flights just a bit unsure if we should book everything through one agent or flights & motorhome separately. Did everything go smoothly, pick up, drop off etc. They are so much cheaper than travel agents just wondered if everything went ok with you. Sorry for so many questions.
     
  11. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    First of all I booked RV by telephone with Motorhome Experts , once confirmed next was flights which was with Virgin Atlantic return Chicago with a Las Vegas to Chicago flight at the end for the return, it worked out cheaper that way.
    It is a requirement that you do not pick up the RV on the day you arrive so we had three nights in the Marriott in Michigan Avenue, fabulous city.
    I also booked a one night hotel stay before each return flight to avoid mishaps.
    The hotels and flights I booked online , forget how but safest through an ATOL agent.
    When you pick up the RV they give a thorough introduction including a KOA (Campsites of America ) site book and discount card.
    Be wary of the width of mirrors on the c class RV until you get used to it.
    I always use a navigator with updated USA maps, does make it easier and plan route and stops so not too much time wasted on planning over there and you can often get the RV close to city centres and attractions , they are well geared up for them.
    We never had a hitch in all three trips, got lucky I guess.
    If it goes well it would be a holiday you will never forget, we always warm to the memories.
    I have a memory blog of our last trip , if of interest I will post it.
    Good luck and don't hesitate to contact or question.
     
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  12. Edenside

    Edenside Funster

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    Yes would be very interested in your memory blog. Daughter, son in law & 2 boys 7 & 5 are coming with us but going to book 2 RV's as think we all need our own space at times. Thinking of 17 days RV hire, just looked at latest email and end of March into April looks good as takes Easter holidays in so school should be ok with that.
     
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  13. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    Not a full blown blog, just a summary of an incredible trip, hope it helps (y)

    Cruise America Journey

    Larry and Win Hindle


    Returning from a few weeks in Spain in our RV in February I 2012 opened the April issue of ARV magazine to an article about Cruise America buying many new RVs for hire that needed re siting ready for hire and special rates were on offer .These were attractive enough to tempt us into our third RV holiday in the USA.

    We opted for pickup in Chicago and drop off in Las Vegas 3000 miles and some four weeks later. The mileage package covered that and meant that we were able to plan an indirect route through ten states.

    We flew Virgin Atlantic to Chicago and stayed three nights in the Chicago Marriott in Michigan Avenue, a shoppers paradise if you are loaded. Our room on the 32nd floor overlooked a cityscape and also Lake Michigan , quite a sight with sunrise every morning. We were there at the same time as the NATO leaders with Obama etc so saw lots of motorcades, demonstrators and police . Chicago is well worth a visit with a nice waterfront to the lake, the Navy Pier with loads of entertainment and of course the Skydeck, formerly Sears Tower and the highest US building at some 1350ft.

    Following an enjoyable few days we picked up our 30ft C class RV with just 174 miles on the clock, in typical Cruise America livery and typical build quality for a hire unit although on the Ford E450 Triton was almost like home for me. After signing my life away and checking the RV was all OK with the help of my trusty Garmin Nuvi 2475 we headed for the nearest filling station and then Walmart for provisions.

    On the road south towards Memphis we stay on KOA campsites at Kankakee and Granite City. We drive through the centre of St Louis but missing the turn to RV parking near the waterfront decided to carry on. Along I55 we leave Missouri and drive through the lowlands of Arkansas with land resembling paddy fields where in fact rice was being grown.

    After a five hour drive we cross a bridge over the Mississippi to enter Memphis and arrive mid afternoon at the Graceland RV park just behind the Heartbreak Hotel to a typical friendly American greeting . We are allocated a fully serviced pitch in Blue Suede Lane and immediately switch on the aircon as it is again around 35degs. On recommendation from the office we book a table at Marlowes Restaurant and at 6.30 the free transport , a pink Cadillac picks us up . Food was perhaps typical with much on the menu smoke and barbeque flavoured but washed down fine with a cold beer or three.

    The next day we take a trip, again in free transport to the Sun recording studio where Elvis, Willie Nelson and other stars recorded their early hits, the studio remains virtually unchanged to how it was in those days and a very enthusiastic young lady carried out the informative tour duties. We are then taken to colourful Beale Street in Memphis which is “the street” to visit with cafes, shops and live blues on offer. We then walk to the waterfront of the great Mississippi river and take a trip on a Riverboat , very enjoyable with views of various bridges , the almost unused pyramid and the city . A busy day so back to the RV and a cold beer.

    Our last day in Memphis and off to Graceland. The entrance from the RV park and car park is into the booking office and general souvenir area. With tickets in hand we wait a few minutes for one of many 20 seater air conditioned buses to take us across the road to the house and what we found to be a moving experience. This is where Elvis lived back in the seventies and the décor reflects the era and the money available . Not huge but homely , lots of personal bits and pieces and as you walk through to different rooms there are many many displays of gold and silver discs, posters from films, clothing and other memorabilia. Outside leads to extensive grounds, a swimming pool and the Meditation Garden where Elvis and many of his family are buried beneath large inscribed gravestones. We are transported back across the road to view the car museum and the two aircraft, one large four engine jet, the Lisa Marie and another smaller executive type jet. Then a trinket or two to take home.

    From Memphis we head west on I40 to Little Rock and overnighting at Hot Springs and then Eufaula Lake, an interesting place with a lake full of brown water. When the wind is blowing the movement disturbs the red coloured soil at the bottom of the shallow lake. We are just 24 hours from the next city.

    In the morning its north through Tulsa and west, travelling on parts of old Route 66 towards Oklahoma City where we visit the very modern cowboy and Indian museum . Well worth a visit with endless displays of genuine articles from saddles to bows and arrows , guns , clothes and a complete walk through small town from the era.

    We travel around 25 miles further west for an overnight stay at the KOA site at Geary. We are pitched next to a lake and a fair number of trees , a pleasant site. We barbeque the steaks and settle for the evening, or so we thought. For once the sky was becoming cloudy, in fact angry to the degree that the locals were pointing and discussing. In no time a violent storm started and when we saw some locals gathering at the storm shelter we thought time to follow. By this time there were hailstones larger than golf balls and we put pans on our heads to run to the shelter, what a clatter and they hurt like hell when they hit you. The locals were expecting a tornado but thankfully it didn’t happen. In the morning the ground was carpeted with leaves stripped from the trees and there were dents in the bonnet (hood) of the RV and Oklahoma City had no power .

    We continue west on I40 and Route 66 to stay at Amarillo and visiting almost uninhabited derelict communities on old Route 66 at Vega and Adrian which is the mid point of Route 66 , 1139 miles to Chicago or Los Angeles and into New Mexico and a stay at Albuquerque. Swimming pools on most campsites help refresh and relax after a few hours driving with outside temperatures around 35 degs.

    Our next stop is Holbrook after more miles along I40 , a cooling dip before cooking the steaks on the bbq and enjoy sitting out in the hot evening air. Half a mile away the trucks travel in both directions relentlessly all night. In the morning we take a trip to the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert. This National Park covers an area that 230 million years ago was a forest, the trees in which were swallowed up by a sea of mud and volcanic ash, they absorbed the minerals and silicate replaced the wood and turned it to beautiful coloured stone some of which is cut with diamond cutters and used for tabletops, ornaments etc. No longer a forest but a coloured desert.

    The next day we leave I40 and Route 66 and head north along H77 and H191 through barren desert and Navajo Indian reservation areas to Monument Valley stopping at various points for photo’s, awesome scenery, vast areas where roads go on endlessly and the rock formations are beautiful.

    We arrive at the town of Page at the edge of Glen Canyon and Lake Powell which was formed by a dam across the Colorado River upstream of the Grand Canyon. A beautiful leisure area with RV parks and marinas along the lake side and a back drop of the canyon walls along the far shore. The site again had a pool and hot tub, very welcome as temperature was 38 degs and not much cooler at night.

    We head for North Rim , Grand Canyon . The route was again awesome , through mountains and canyons, crossing the Colorado River on the Navajo bridge where we bought a dream catcher from a Navajo Indian lady, or should I say Squaw and on through Marble Canyon , beautiful . As we take H64 towards the canyon we leave the barren landscape and at times being 8500 ft above sea level we pass through forests and green plains. We should have pre booked on the National Park RV site, but as usual a very warm reception and “we can fit you in” was the attitude. The site is in a forested area with each pitch surrounded by tall pines , with a log ring and BBQ. In the afternoon we take a long walk around one of the shorter trails at the edge of the canyon , wow. That evening we had a log fire and BBQ and were invited by a family from Phoenix on a neighbouring pitch to join them for toasted marshmallows , a new experience and most enjoyable company.

    We now head north on H89 to a site just north of Glendale before heading through Zion National Park enroute to Las Vegas. The road through Zion took us through an incredible sequence of canyons , two tunnels and rocks rising hundreds of feet on either side.

    I15 to Las Vegas takes us through another mix of barren desert and canyons. As we move closer to our final destination the traffic is much heavier and Las Vegas appears at first looking quite small in the middle of a desert and nearer the Stratosphere and other familiar buildings come into view. A right exit at 41 and we are soon on Circus Circus RV park. Mid afternoon and its scorching hot as usual, time for cold beer and a dip in the pool.

    We have covered 2,918 miles in the RV and now have 5 days before handing it over . We visit various casinos , the odd dollar or two in the hungry machines and then collect our tickets from Caesars Palace for the Celine Dion show that night. We were only a few rows from the front and thoroughly enjoyed a brilliant performance.

    After taking the RV back to Cruise America in Las Vegas we spend one last night in a small hotel , taking time to wander through the Paris casino and watch more of the Bellagio fountain displays, always impressive.

    A flight from Las Vegas to Chicago and then home to Heathrow and torrential rain, the English summer which we had thankfully escaped for a month.

    We have driven through ten States, hot weather all the way, covered almost 3,000 miles, quite a bit on Route 66, met lots of people with a warm welcome everywhere without exception .

    A fabulous trip and one we would heartily recommend .
     
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  14. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    North rim Grand Canyon evening meal

    IMG_5676.JPG
     
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  15. Edenside

    Edenside Funster

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    Great blog thank you for posting that. What time of year was it, we are thinking of April and not sure what temperature to expect. X
     
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  16. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    We flew out 18th May and returned 15th June. Hot most of time and only the one unsettled night near Oklahoma.
    I think weather over there like anywhere is unpredictable , the main gamble of many holidays.
    Worth looking up weather trends and decide from that where may be the safest bet.
     
  17. ceejayt

    ceejayt Funster Life Member

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    We spent 6 months in US and Canada in 2017 with our UK motorhome and did Route 66 as part of the trip. Kept a detailed blog here. If you are going for any length of time then you should consider shipping your own vehicle - works out cheaper in the long run if you are going for more than 4 months.
     
  18. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    Really enjoyed following your blog, we love it over there and still considering another trip.
     
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