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> Roadtrip Chicago To San Fransisco.
Jerry S.
post Nov 27 2011, 01:00 PM
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In regard to your question about the "driving culture": In general, American drivers tend to speed. However, the higher the speed limit, the fewer the speeders. For example, if the limit is 55mph, just about everybody does at least 60mph with many doing 70+. If the limit is 70mph or higher, few people speed. I think this is more a function of greater gas usage at higher speed than obeying the law. In your RV, I would avoid the higher speeds (65mph+) because of fuel usage. An extra gallon of gas every 100 miles may not sound like much, but over a 3,000 mile trip it could translate into an extra $100+ in gas costs.
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Texasrvers
post Nov 27 2011, 03:10 PM
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Jerry is right that Americans do tend to speed, but I would caution you not to do it for several reasons. First, we have these people in every state known as Highway Patrol or State Troopers (police) that frequently set up radar traps to catch speeders, and the fines are not cheap. Also it is true that you will get better gas mileage at lower speeds. But the most important reason not to speed is that you will be driving a much larger vehicle that does not maneuver as quickly or as easily as a car, and it needs a lot more distance to stop. I don't know if you are familiar with driving an RV, but assuming you are not, it is better to take it a bit easy and be cautious. People in cars will also pull out in front of you because they do not want to be stuck behind you. They do not realize that you cannot stop your RV like a car, and if you are speeding it makes it even harder to stop in time. I'm not trying to scare you. We have driven RV's for 11 years and have not ever hit another moving vehicle. But we do have to be very careful and pay attention to what we're doing. You cannot zip around in a 25' RV like you can in a sports car.

I don't see where anyone ever answered your question about the difference between a Class A, B, or C? Class A's are the large bus shaped RV's usually called motorhomes. Class B's are vans with RV features (f.eks stoves and sinks), and Class C's are the type that have a cab over the cockpit (driver's area). Usually this is a sleeping area.

It is good to ask questions and be prepared. April will be here before you know it.
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B. Kidd
post Nov 27 2011, 04:23 PM
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The worse drivers are in Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, and anywhere in California.
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FromDk
post Nov 28 2011, 06:14 PM
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Thank you so much everyone who had answered in this topic.

I will have the Cops in my mind if i tend to speed smile.gif But about the Gas usage i think that is i small thing on the budget.
If we calculate the price ind Denmark we pay around 9,08 Dollars for every Gallon we use. That means you only pay 1/3 of what we use to spend. A second great "Feature" we have is Tax on cars. The tax on cars is 180 %. That means if i buy a car to 50.000 Dollars i actually have to pay the government 90.000 dollars in tax.

But i realise the Motorhome is not that economic like the car i use to drive. I think my car drives 45-50 mile / gallon Diesel.


Another great thing might be the Cruise Controle and Automatic transmission. That is not Standard here, so i think it would be easy to cruise.
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FosterImposters
post Nov 29 2011, 01:02 AM
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QUOTE(B. Kidd @ Nov 27 2011, 02:23 PM) *

The worse drivers... and anywhere in California.


Ouch.
We also seem to be the most distracted (cell phone facination). wink.gif

Hope you get a chance to visit Iowa and Minnesota: more authentic Danish foods, drink, history, etc., than you will ever find at Solvang, California. cool.gif

Skol!
3rd generation Dane, currently soaking up the sunshine in Southern California.
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Fitzjohnfan
post Nov 29 2011, 01:15 AM
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I read through the posts on this thread and looks like most of your questions have been answered. You mentioned that after driving for a long time you my stop at Walmart to rest. Seems like a good plan since they are easy to pull into late at night. Just look for other rv's and park in the same area. If you don't see any other rv's, there may be a rule (store or city regulated) against parking overnight and you will have to find someplace else.
You can also stay overnight in most rest areas, but you may have to park next to a semi+truck idling his diesel engine. You can also stay at flying-j truck stops, but park where other rv's are, not where the trucks are.

Check the previous post for links to other free places to stay.



--------------------
Chris G.
Westminster, CO
FMCA: F3508-S
1989 32' Southwind MH
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Texasrvers
post Nov 29 2011, 11:24 AM
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I agree with everything fitzjohnfan said except for possibly staying in highway rest areas. As he said, some you can stay in, others you cannot, but I would not stay there because of the safety factor. Most would be safe, (especially if there are lots of other RV's or trucks around like at the large state rest areas), but I would not recommend staying at small roadside picnic or parking areas where there is no one else around. In my opinion, that would be unsafe.

Also if you are going to stay at a Walmart, it is polite to go in the store and ask if it is OK to park there. It is also nice if you buy something while you're there. Not required--just good manners.
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FromDk
post Nov 29 2011, 05:05 PM
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QUOTE(Texasrvers @ Nov 29 2011, 11:24 AM) *

I agree with everything fitzjohnfan said except for possibly staying in highway rest areas. As he said, some you can stay in, others you cannot, but I would not stay there because of the safety factor. Most would be safe, (especially if there are lots of other RV's or trucks around like at the large state rest areas), but I would not recommend staying at small roadside picnic or parking areas where there is no one else around. In my opinion, that would be unsafe.

Also if you are going to stay at a Walmart, it is polite to go in the store and ask if it is OK to park there. It is also nice if you buy something while you're there. Not required--just good manners.


Thanks for the advice.

I understand the safety factor. Therefore i think staying at Wall-marts is the best. I guess they have some security people and video cam.

But the main thing is to visit the campgrounds and RV parks. I are a bit nerveus about the Snakes? I understand you have a lot of different snake some of them are poison? And what other animals should we be aware of?

Have any of you seen a snake near or in the RV? I am nerveus of its possible for the snake to sneak in an take a place. And when we sleeping HAPS! we get bite.
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Texasrvers
post Nov 29 2011, 06:22 PM
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QUOTE(FromDk @ Nov 29 2011, 05:05 PM) *

I are a bit nerveus about the Snakes? I understand you have a lot of different snake some of them are poison? And what other animals should we be aware of?

Have any of you seen a snake near or in the RV? I am nerveus of its possible for the snake to sneak in an take a place. And when we sleeping HAPS! we get bite.



Oh my goodness! Where are you getting your stories from?? The only snakes you would probably see would be in a zoo. Yes, if you are camping way out in the wilderness, you might see one, but in 11 years of RVing we have never seen one in a campground. It is possible, but not likely. It is also the same with other animals. There are places where deer and small animals (racoons, possums) might wander into the campground (probably at night). If you are in a forest it will be a bit more likely that larger animals might be around. Some places might possibly have bears in the area, but I don't think your route will take you through any areas where that will be a big problem. If it is a problem the campground will warn you about it. Mainly they will tell you not to leave food outside because that will attract bears, even if it is in a cooler. We just finished a 6 week trip through Glacier and Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons National Parks. The only animals we saw were buffalo and a few elk. No bears, no moose, no wolves; we were actually disappointed. We were hoping to see something. The time of year will make some difference as to how active animals are, but usually animals and snakes try to stay away from people. Just don't try to approach them; keep your distance, and you should be just fine.
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Jensb
post Nov 30 2011, 05:35 PM
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Seems like most of your questions have been answered, but since I'm also from Denmark, and have been on several road trips in USA with Cruise America motorhomes, I thought I would join the thread.

My last trip this summer in 2011, was from Chicago to the West coast and back again. We had the RV for 7 weeks, and took a northern route through Badlands, Yellowstone, Glacier etc. to California. Then Yosemite, Utah, Colorado, St. Louis, Niagara Falls and back to Chicago.

I've been satisfied with Cruise America. And since you are getting a brand new motorhome, you should be just fine.

Cruise America don't rent GPS's. The signs are usually good in America, so it's not a problem finding your way with a Rand McNally map. I've done it on many roatrips with a normal car, staying at motels. But when travelling with a motorhome, I do like to have a GPS. It's great when you need to find a supermarket, that you can just ask the GPS to find one. Also you can't always just make a u-turn with a motorhome, so sometimes it just makes things easier with a GPS. If you have a GPS in Denmark you could consider buying a US map for it, otherwise you could buy a cheap GPS at Walmart.

When you book campgrounds what you have to know is: It's a 25 feet class C motorhome with no slides, and you are not towing (many Americans tow a smaller vehicle behind the motorhome). Full hookup means water/electric/sewer (Cruise America don't have TV's, so don't worry about cable TV). You don't need to empty the tanks every day, so you don't need to pay the extra bucks for full hookup, for the trip you are doing. And when you need to empty the tanks, there's usually a dumpstation. Full hookup is nice if you stay at the same campground for a long time. But not really necesary for your trip.

Since you are travelling in april/may the northern route through Yellowstone is not a good plan. So the southern route through Albuquerque is probably the best idea.

The danish phones, even when they are quadband is, as good as useless on a roadtrip. They work in the big cities, but as soon as you get away from the cities, there are no signal. On my last trip I went to a Verizon store and bought a phone including some talk time. They set it all up, so I was good to go when I left the shop. I think it was around 75$ including the phone. The difference is that this is a CDMA phone instead of GSM. I had network on this Verizon phone almost everywhere on the trip, even in most of the national parks. I asked around before my trip, and most people recommended Verizon, for network coverage in the countryside.

Verizon also sells prepaid USB wireless internet. I think it's around 100$. I haven't tried it, because most campgrounds offers free WiFi, so that's what I have been using.

As for gas, it is a lot cheaper in US, but a C25 only does around 3,5 km/l. You have to calculate around 1,50 DKK/KM in your budget. Someone else mentioned the problem about having to enter a Zip code, sometimes when buying gas. Sometimes it works if you enter a zero before you danish zip code. I'm from 2300 so I just enter 02300. For me it works maybe 2 out of 3 times. If it dosn't then you have to go inside and pay.

I don't think you'll have any problem meeting american people. I'm 33, so also younger than most people we meet at the campgrounds, and I'm not a person who easily gets into a conversation with people. Here in Denmark I've been staying in the same apartmen for 15 years, and I seriously don't know any of the other people living in the building. But I have around 30 different business cards from americans that I've talked to on my road trips. So I'd say that americans are usually very easy to get in contact with.

I have spent a lot of time in areas where snakes are living, and I've seen many signs about snakes. But I have never seen a snake yet.

In St Louis the Casino Queen has a RV campground. This is a very central location, just one stop with the Metra train, and then you are at the Gateway Arch. In regard to your other question, then I've always felt completely safe on all my trips, and never had any problems. But St. Louis is a big city, and some areas are less nice than others. So this is a place I would personally prefere to stay at a campground, for the safety. And Casino Queen is a good location.

After St. Louis you could take a couple of days where you 'do some miles'. In my opinion this is not the most interesting landscapes in America. So I would rather have a couple of driving days, and then have more time out west.

When you get to Grand Canyon, I think south rim would be the best, this time of year. I believe it's usually a bit warmer than north rim. After that I would go through Utah. You could take a tour in Antelope Canyon from Page, and also walk the trail out to Horse Shoe Bend just south of Page. Then drive to Bryce Canyon, and after that go to Zion and then Las Vegas.

When you are planning the trip, keep in mind that you usually drive a bit slower in a motorhome. Even though the speed limit is the same for cars and motorhomes, it just takes a little more time. You are going through some mountain areas, and you can't always reach the speed limit up hill, you go a little slower in the turns, you accelerate slower, it takes longer to fill those 55 gallon tanks etc. It just is a bit slower than a car...but hey, it's vacation, not getaway! But it is a good thing to keep in mind. I had a few very long days on my first motorhome trip, because I was used to driving a normal car on my earlier trips.
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Texasrvers
post Nov 30 2011, 08:03 PM
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Jensb,

Your firsthand experience provided some valuable information for foreign travelers; explaining things we Americans do not think about. Thank you for joining in.
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Jerry S.
post Dec 1 2011, 09:05 PM
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Jensb has given FromDK some good advice for traveling in the USA in a CruiseAmerica RV. Never having rented an RV from CruiseAmerica (or anbody else), I did not know that their rental RVs did not have GPS or TVs. I would like to expand a bit on some of Jensb's comments.

How often you need to dump your tanks depends on your water usage. This is especially important if you spend a night or two without bath facilities (at Walmart, for example). Unless you both take a pass on a daily shower, you will be lucky to have a 30-40 gallons grey (sink and shower) waste tank last 2 nights. On the other hand, when you are staying at RV parks, I agree that it is not always necessary to get a sewer hookup but, in many parks, it does not cost extra so why not get one if you can for no additional cost.

If you had a few more days, I would have agreed with the post Grand Canyon side trip to the great parks (Bryce and Zion) of southern Utah. One day for Page, one for Bryce, and one for Zion squeezes 3 days into your already tight schedule. From the start of this discussion, I have been going under the assumption that you plan on spending multiple days at the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Franciso. If you so not plan on spending more than one full day at a couple of these destinations, you may be able to add the Utah side trip. If you do plan at least 2 full days at each of these (GC, LV, LA, SF) destinations, the Utah trip is not realistic.

Unlike the others, I have actually come across snakes (some poisonous) in my travels and even in RV parks. Then again, I agree that this potential problem is not anything to be overly concerned about. Your chances of having a poisonous snake crawl into the RV and/or bite you during your trip are only slightly less than being "probed by an alien" as you cross some of the desolate areas you will be crossing. That is another good reason not to drive after dark.
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Texasrvers
post Dec 2 2011, 12:48 AM
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QUOTE(Jerry S. @ Dec 1 2011, 09:05 PM) *

Your chances of having a poisonous snake crawl into the RV and/or bite you during your trip are only slightly less than being "probed by an alien" as you cross some of the desolate areas you will be crossing. That is another good reason not to drive after dark.


Course their route will take them right by Meteor Crater, the location of the spaceship landing in the old movie "Starman," and let's not forget Area 51 near Las Vegas. Sorry, as usual you have given good, practical advice, and I'm just being silly.
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Jerry S.
post Dec 2 2011, 09:40 PM
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TX,

I wouldn't have made the "probed" comment if I didn't want anybody to think it to be a bit goofy. You may have been "silly" but do you qualify for a "goose" along with the "silly"? For anyone reading this who might be a "South Park" aficionado, I am not refering to the South Park translation of "silly goose" per Stan's father.

Actually, I was just at the Meteor Crater RV Park 5 weeks ago. We did the crater decades ago (even before our RV days - likely pre-1990) so we did not do it again this time. The "Starman" movie probably had not been made yet so there would have been no reference to it when we visited.

You can tell FromDK exactly where to find Area 51 - I've never been able to find it. The directions Scully and Mulder gave me were confusing, almost alien to me. I wonder how many people have tried to ask their GPS for directions to Area 51?
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Texasrvers
post Dec 2 2011, 10:43 PM
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Mulder? Scully? Starman? Area 51? Well, by now I'm sure FromDK has no idea what we are talking about.

Sorry FromDK. We were both being silly geese. Or would that be silly gooses?
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