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FromDk
Hi all.
I have read through the forum, and think you have a nice forum.
Me and one of my friends have planned a trip to the U.S. in April-May 2012th Therefore, I would hear what tips and tricks you have because we have never been to America before.

We must start in the city of Chicago and end in San Francisco. We have 19 days to ride in.
We are from Europe (Denmark), so it's exciting to travel to the U.S..

I have following questions which I hope some will answer:

Which route should we take? We would like to visit St. Louis, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Los Angeles, also running with Highway 1 to San Francisco.
Is there anything you should be aware of when you book places for your RV?
We have rented through Cruise America, it is a good company?
Can you sleep for free at Wall-Mart parking lots?

I very much hope that some will take the time to answer the above.
Jerry S
Hi FromDK,

Concering what routes to take:

For starters, you should take Interstate Highway 55 from Chicago to St. Louis. Interstate Highways in the U.S. are limited access, high speed roads normally indicated as I-55, for example. Chicago to St. Louis is about 300 miles and using I-55, you can make the trip about 5 hours going 60mph with no stops. With stops (gas, bathroom, lunch, etc.), you should be able to make the trip in 6-7 hours.

From St. Louis, you have your choice of I-70 west toward Denver, Colorado, or I-44 southwest toward Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. I would go I-44. I would not go all the way to Oklahoma City in one day from St. Louis - it is over 500 miles. From Oklahoma City you take I-40 west. This takes you through Amarillo, Texas and on to Albuquerque, New Mexico. This leg of the trip (Oklahoma City to Albuquerque) is almost 600 miles. Again, I would not try to do this in one day. Actually, I would allow 4 travel days getting from Chicago to Albuquerque.

From Albuquerque, it is about 325 miles to Flagsaff, Arizona. You are still on I-40. It is about 2-3 hours from Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon on one of several different routes to get there. After the Grand Canyon, you come back down south to I-40 and head west an hour or two to U.S. Highway 93 at Kingman, Arizona. Head north on U.S. 93 two hours or so to Las Vegas.

From Las Vegas, it is a relatively easy 4-5 hour drive south on I-15 to Los Angeles. If you plan on taking Highway 1 from Los Angeles to San Francisco, allow at least 2 days for this 400 mile trip.

By my way of thinking, you will have about 10 days of fairly heavy driving ( 5/6 days from Chicago to the Grand Canyon, 2 days from there to Los Angeles, and 2 days from LA to SF). That leaves you 9 days relax and/or sightsee along the way (Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco).

As for your other questions:

While you should not have problems getting reservations in April/May en route, that may or may not be true at some of your destinations (Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, etc.). In booking a site, the main thing to remember is to ask for the facilities you want/need. This includes the type of utilities (electric, water, sewer) and extras (WIFI, cable). There are dozens of other things you can ask about (site size, trees, concrete sites/patios, and on and on and on) but aren't really necessary. The reviews on this site ofen cover much of this information.

Cruise America is one of the bigger rental firms and seems to have a good reputation. Then again, stuff happens. What kind of RV are you renting?

Walmarts vary as to allowing RV to park overnight. It is best that you call ahead to check and then let them know when your arrive that you are spending the night. Just remember that you will have NO utilities (electric, water, sewer), so you need to be prepared to ration electricity and water (both usage and disposal). The size of you rental RV's water (supply and waste)tanks will determine how carefull you will need to be. Electricity will not be as much of a probelm if you have a generator in the RV. If there are more than 2 of you on this trip, a night without utilities is not really a good idea - too much water usage. Two people can get by with minimilistic showers and the previously mentioned carefull use of water.
pianotuna
Hi,

To hit all those places is a minimum of 4423 kilometers. Speed limits are often about 110 kph, but it still is a long distance for 19 days. I imagine you may loose a day when arriving and the same at the other end. That means an average of 261 kilometers per day. After Denver there may well be snow in the mountains.

Here are some urls to help you find good economical places to stay:


http://freecampsites.net

http://www.bandofboondockers.com

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&....052246&z=6

http://hasbeenthere.com/2010/12/05/boondoc...aces-park-night
Fitzjohnfan
Some great info from the above posts. The only thing I would add is, if your time permits, I would recommend going through Denver and continuing through the mountains on I-70. You will see some amazing country along the way. You will also have some passes to traverse, but as long as you down shift and use your engine and transmission to slow you down, not so much your brakes, you will do fine.
FromDk
Hello EveryBody.

Thank you so much for the great Answers.

Jerry:
We are renting the C-25 standard RV from Cruise America. We get it quite cheap because my mate is working for at travel agency. They get theese good offer because CA build the new RV in chicago and have them to be transported to SF. So we do not pay any rent, only insurance, fly ticket, hotels an so.

Piantuna:

Yeaa it sounds like a bit of a trip. US is big but i dont think that is possible to imagine for a guy from Denmark. I think Denmarks is 3-400 KM from the on side to another.

I dont think 261Km/day sounds scarry. But we planned to drive maybe double or twice a day and then have some day off. After St.louise we planned to heading west and have som "Drive only" days.

Fitzjohnfan:

Thanks for the great tip!
Maybe it's a good idea going thrue Denver. We have planned to go the south way (oklahoma City, Albuqurque (How do you guys even prounonce that?). But maybe it's a greater idea to take it Norh and go thru Denver. I would love to see mountain. Mostly because my own country is flat as a pan cake.

I just have a few other questions about the Technologi in Amerika. We are 2 young guys 25 years old, so we used to stay "Connected" everywhare.

Is there some way that is possible in US? I think some prepaid mobile broadband or somethingl. In Denmark we have som options to get that for a limited time as 30 days.

How do we call home to Denmark? Can we use a kind of a mobile phone? I Think using our own iPhones with Danish Carrier is to expensive. (Receive call from Denmark: 1Dollar/min, make call to Denmark 2 Dollar/min and send text about 0,75) I have heart of something called "Tracfone" is that a good solution?

What about the Gas, how much do we need for driving this trip? I know the Gas is verry cheap in US but i also know your vehicle dont go so long on a Gallon/liter. Are there something we should be aware of.

Is it a good idea to take one of the club card? I have heart of Sam, P.A and we all ready have 10% discount card to KOA. (But i think this sites is verry expensive.)

How can we come closets to the american citizen. F.eks go and visit and american family and eks. go eat with them. We don't know anybody in the US but think it could be verry exciting to meat the real american.


Thank you again for your great answers. If you have som question about EU just let me know smile.gif

And i have another Question.

What ablut our own security? I know many people get shot and rubbed in the States. How do we protect ourselves? Do we have to buy a gun or something like that? (pepperspray, Stungun or a gun with plastic amo).

I think that is my biggest concern? How do you guys protect your self?

wpr
FromDk,

I'm from Canada but have been camping a lot in the USA. I don't think you would need any weapons, I've never carried anything, not even pepper spray, and have never ever felt threatened. I've also travelled a lot in Europe, from Turkey to Scotland and many places in between, (not Denmark though) and the personal safety situation is basically the same. Just keep out of trouble areas and you'll be fine.
Texasrvers
QUOTE(FromDk @ Nov 25 2011, 03:38 AM) *

Albuqurque (How do you guys even prounonce that?).



Actually it is spelled Albuquerque (the 'e' after the 'qu' will make it easier to pronounce.) To pronounce it, say: alba kur key. The kur key rhymes with turkey. Does that help?

You do very well with English, but there was one part of your last message that I could not understand. What is 'f.eks' and 'eks'?
FromDk
QUOTE(Texasrvers @ Nov 25 2011, 12:21 PM) *

Actually it is spelled Albuquerque (the 'e' after the 'qu' will make it easier to pronounce.) To pronounce it, say: alba kur key. The accent is on the kur. The kur key rhymes with turkey. Does that help?

You do very well with English, but there was one part of your last message that I could not understand. What is 'f.eks' and 'eks'?


Thank you so much. Im trying to do my best.

"F.eks and Eks" means "For Example" And "Example" i think that might be a Danish thing smile.gif

Its because we spell it "For eksempel" and "Eksempel" in Danish
Jerry S
Hi again,

From the term "C-25", I am guessing that you will be driving a 25 foot Class C motorhome.

The reason I opted for the southern route was:

1. In late April you can still have snow along I-70 through Colorado.

2. This route will take you back north after being as far south as St.Louis. This will add miles to your trip.

3. Once you get through Colorado into Utah, there is no convenient, simple way to get to the Grand Canyon (South Rim). Again, time and mileage.

4. You will still get to see parts of the Rocky Mountains on the southern route. There are some peaks over 12,000 feet near Albuqueque (thanks for the pronunciation lesson, TX) and Flagstaff.

Now that I know you are 2 young guys, I am not as concerned with the stress of long driving days. I still wouldn't do 500 miles in a day since , at that time of year the days (light) are still only 13 hours or so, and you lose an hour twice (Central time to Mountain time to Pacific time) westbound.

I'll let more tech savy people answer the technolgy question.

Gas:

If I am right about the kind of RV you will be driving, you will have a 55 gallon gas tank and should get no more than 10 miles per gallon. I have a 32 foot Class C and get almost 10mpg driving very conservatively. If you cruise along at 70 mph, you will pay for it at the pump. With your RV, at current prices (about $3.30/gallon), I would budget at least $1,000 for gas. This will likely be higher next April/May since gas prices tend to rise in the spring here in the U.S. If you use a credit card for gas purchases, some limit the dollrs purchase total - I have seen $75 and $100 limits. I have heard that some cards require a U.S. ZIP code to be entered for authorization. Finally, due to local gas taxes, gas prices vary from state to state and even within states. Check Gasbuddy.com for these differences. For your trip, Illinois and California are the higher cost states. I would not fill up the tank in Chicago and only put enough in further south in Illinois to get to the cheaper gas in Misssouri.

I do not see Sam's or P.A. cards being worth it on a trip this short.

I am sorry, but your question about meeting real Americans makes me think of Sasha Barron Cohen's "Borat" movie of more than a few years ago. My best advice is to be friendly and outgoing. Some will respond in kind, others will not. If you talk to 10 different Americans, you will get 10 different views of what a "real" American is. Your biggest problem will be that most of the fellow travelers you will meet who are Americans will be white, economically above average, older, and christian. That also describes most of the people on this site. That leaves out a majority of Americans (for example, one half of Americans have to be (by definifion) less than average economically.

I agree with Wprigge on the safety issue. My view is that concern like this are overblown by many. Even if there are thugs out there targetting RVers and tourists, old farts like me are more likely victims than a couple of young guys.
















T You
FromDk
QUOTE(Jerry S. @ Nov 25 2011, 01:54 PM) *

Hi again,

From the term "C-25", I am guessing that you will be driving a 25 foot Class C motorhome.

The reason I opted for the southern route was:

1. In late April you can still have snow along I-70 through Colorado.

2. This route will take you back north after being as far south as St.Louis. This will add miles to your trip.

3. Once you get through Colorado into Utah, there is no convenient, simple way to get to the Grand Canyon (South Rim). Again, time and mileage.

4. You will still get to see parts of the Rocky Mountains on the southern route. There are some peaks over 12,000 feet near Albuqueque (thanks for the pronunciation lesson, TX) and Flagstaff.


With that in mind i think we take the south route. I don't hope we see sno and icy weather. I think that will give us trouble deicyng the RV. It's correct is one of the 25 ft. long RV. I Dont know if it a A, B or C what is the differense?



QUOTE(Jerry S. @ Nov 25 2011, 01:54 PM) *

Now that I know you are 2 young guys, I am not as concerned with the stress of long driving days. I still wouldn't do 500 miles in a day since , at that time of year the days (light) are still only 13 hours or so, and you lose an hour twice (Central time to Mountain time to Pacific time) westbound.


I think that will be great. We have made a few roadtrip in EU and have sometimes drived 1500 Km (930Miles) in one day, if we have to come from A to B. You mentioned the days are only about 13 hours. Is it legal to drive in the evening and night in U.S? And what about if the Co driver get's tired and want a nap in the bed when the other drives. Is that legal in U.S?

That is not our primary plan. But we can get caught in the traffic for hours and get behind our time schedule.



QUOTE(Jerry S. @ Nov 25 2011, 01:54 PM) *


Gas:

If I am right about the kind of RV you will be driving, you will have a 55 gallon gas tank and should get no more than 10 miles per gallon. I have a 32 foot Class C and get almost 10mpg driving very conservatively. If you cruise along at 70 mph, you will pay for it at the pump. With your RV, at current prices (about $3.30/gallon), I would budget at least $1,000 for gas. This will likely be higher next April/May since gas prices tend to rise in the spring here in the U.S. If you use a credit card for gas purchases, some limit the dollrs purchase total - I have seen $75 and $100 limits. I have heard that some cards require a U.S. ZIP code to be entered for authorization. Finally, due to local gas taxes, gas prices vary from state to state and even within states. Check Gasbuddy.com for these differences. For your trip, Illinois and California are the higher cost states. I would not fill up the tank in Chicago and only put enough in further south in Illinois to get to the cheaper gas in Misssouri.


Nice tip, we will definalty use the Gasbuddy.com and not fill up in IL and Ca. I have a Visa and Master Card but i am a little concern of how many stores accept international credit cards? I will bring some Dollar's from home so i am covered up smile.gif


QUOTE(Jerry S. @ Nov 25 2011, 01:54 PM) *


I am sorry, but your question about meeting real Americans makes me think of Sasha Barron Cohen's "Borat" movie of more than a few years ago. My best advice is to be friendly and outgoing. Some will respond in kind, others will not. If you talk to 10 different Americans, you will get 10 different views of what a "real" American is. Your biggest problem will be that most of the fellow travelers you will meet who are Americans will be white, economically above average, older, and christian. That also describes most of the people on this site. That leaves out a majority of Americans (for example, one half of Americans have to be (by definifion) less than average economically.


Haha, i know the movie. But i think the number to "Brunö" was a lot more fun. In Denmark the people who staying in campgrounds are often older people. But the main part of the citizen is not very christian. Do you think that will give some problems 2 Male travel together? When you bring up the "Christian" thing that bring up a new concern. I know some american are not so opend minded to gay people. Me and my friend is not gay people, but we dont want to be misunderstood will that give problems do you think?
I don't know it was over 150 Billion people in U.S was poor. I think that might have a dark back side?



QUOTE(Jerry S. @ Nov 25 2011, 01:54 PM) *

I agree with Wprigge on the safety issue. My view is that concern like this are overblown by many. Even if there are thugs out there targetting RVers and tourists, old farts like me are more likely victims than a couple of young guys.
T You


Now i all ready feel safer. I left the pepperspray behind and enjoy a safe trip.

RLM
May I suggest that you write or go online to the Departments of Tourism for each state that you plan on visiting and request that they send you some tourist books with maps. Those will be free to you. You can then look thru those publications and pick and choose places where you would like to stop and visit.

I would also suggest that there are several US National Parks in Utah that are worth a visit. You will not have enough time to visit all of them. But you can get suggestions on the best ones to visit from others on this website.

With respect to your wanting to stay connected, I would suggest that you stay at campgrounds that have a Wi-Fi connection. You can pre-plan those by using this website. You will be able to connect to the internet for email and browsing at no costs.

In America, there are many wi-fi hotspots that are also free. Almost every McDonald's restaurant in this country has a free wi-fi hotspot.

Phone calls would probably be cheaper if you purchased an international calling card and use a pay phone or campground phone. But you might want to check out VOIP as a method of internet calling. Again, once you are connected to the internet via wi-fi, the VOIP call is relatively cheap.

Your "plan" is not unlike any one of we Americans if we were to visit your country. So much to see and so little time to do so.

Held og lykke.



Fitzjohnfan
You asked about staying connected and Tracphone, so I'll comment on that. My wife uses Tracphone, and she likes it a lot. She gets good coverage, even in places Verizon service doesn't work. You go to a convience store or grocery store and pay $10 or $20 for the phone, then you by cards for $10-$60 for the minutes. you get 200 minutes for $40. The phone is very basic, but you can get text and data. I don't know if you can call international.

You may want to rent a laptop to access the web and email easier.

As far as meeting "real" Americans, here's an unusual suggestion. The motorhome club FMCA, has a selection of their members who designate themselves as "stop over spots". These people throughout the country who welcome other motorhome owners to stop and visit for the night. You would need to join the club for $40.00 and you will get a nice magazine for the year as well.
Jerry S
And again,

There is no problem legally or otherwise with driving in the evening or at night. The main "problem" is getting to an RV park (assuming you can find it in the dark) after the office is closed and you can not find your way in a dark park. Arriving after dark will not always be a problem but it can be. If you plan on staying at a Walmart after a long day's drive, this would not be as much of a problem. Planning on getting someplace a few hours before sundown gives you a built in "cushion" that allows for any problems that cause you to be an hour or two behind schedule. For example, just last month as we headed west on I40 toward the Grand Canyon, we ran into an big, fiery accident west of Albuquerque that caused a traffic backup that cost us an hour of drive time. Because our plan for the day was only a 200 mile drive we still got to our stop (Gallup, New Mexico) for the night with hours of daylight to spare.

On the other hand, I do believe having someone sleeping in a bed in an RV (and thus not secured by a seat belt) is illegal in most states. I am sure people do it, but I do not think it is legal anywhere.

I do not have first hand knowledge of the acceptance of international credit cards. Maybe someone else can comment on this issue. I do doubt that this is a problem.

As far as the "real" Americans topic is concerned, the categories (race, age, religion, and economic status) are major demographic deliniations in this country. You took my comment about someone being "less than average economically" to mean they are poor. I guess I should have use the term "median" income. Either way, being less than average or the median doesn't mean poor. For example, if the average or median American household income is $45,000 a year and your income is $40,000 a year you are less than average or the mediam but probably not poor. If you are trying to support a family of 10 on $40,000 you might be poor. I think the current statistical income number is somewhere around $23,000 a year for a family of 4. If you wait a few years, maybe we will have 150 million poor people.

While you are correct concerning anti-gay sentiment being prevalent among some Americans, I certainly can not give you any 100% guarantees on the gay question. I do, however, doubt that many prople will assume you are gay. The reason I doubt this is your youth and the fact that you are foreign. Now if you were both 45 and French, it would be a different story -- Just kidding, I hope. Actually, I think the age difference will be your biggest obstacle in relating to they people you meet. How well do you relate to the older generation?



FromDk
QUOTE(Jerry S. @ Nov 26 2011, 12:02 AM) *

And again,

There is no problem legally or otherwise with driving in the evening or at night. The main "problem" is getting to an RV park (assuming you can find it in the dark) after the office is closed and you can not find your way in a dark park. Arriving after dark will not always be a problem but it can be. If you plan on staying at a Walmart after a long day's drive, this would not be as much of a problem. Planning on getting someplace a few hours before sundown gives you a built in "cushion" that allows for any problems that cause you to be an hour or two behind schedule. For example, just last month as we headed west on I40 toward the Grand Canyon, we ran into an big, fiery accident west of Albuquerque that caused a traffic backup that cost us an hour of drive time. Because our plan for the day was only a 200 mile drive we still got to our stop (Gallup, New Mexico) for the night with hours of daylight to spare.

On the other hand, I do believe having someone sleeping in a bed in an RV (and thus not secured by a seat belt) is illegal in most states. I am sure people do it, but I do not think it is legal anywhere.


Okay, that sounds pretty much like in europe. I think the day we will travel many miles is the days we are sleeping at wall-marts parking lot. I think the security on these spots are better than a random place beside of the road.

We do not hope to get caught in the traffic, but as you mention things happend.



QUOTE(Jerry S. @ Nov 26 2011, 12:02 AM) *

While you are correct concerning anti-gay sentiment being prevalent among some Americans, I certainly can not give you any 100% guarantees on the gay question. I do, however, doubt that many prople will assume you are gay. The reason I doubt this is your youth and the fact that you are foreign. Now if you were both 45 and French, it would be a different story -- Just kidding, I hope. Actually, I think the age difference will be your biggest obstacle in relating to they people you meet. How well do you relate to the older generation?


Okay that sounds great. I think it's funny. In Denmark it's pretty much the older generation to who used the campgrounds. I think that must be a general thing. Me and my friend will never go to camping in denmark just because of the camping thing. But we have realisede it is the most easy way to discover the U.S. Most of all because we dont have to check-in/check-out on 20 different hotel/motel at the trip. We have all our clothes in the RV and can pretty much wake up and start driving. We like the older generation good enough to live beside them in a camping spot. But whatever, we have 3 nights in San Francisco at a Hotel in the end of the trip. I think we could discover the night life in theese days. We have not planned to use our trip to get drunk every night. If that was the plan we have chosen a near destination as Bulgaria and something like that smile.gif

Maybe we overnigth in a Hotel in Las Vegas too. We have looked to the camping spot and are not impressed by the prices. The price if we want a ground beside the strip is about 60-90 dollars. That is too much for a night, when we could check in to a okay hotels for 30-40 dollars.

Have any of your guys visited Solvang, CA? It is located close to Highway one and we planned to visit the small town. It's a Danish town in the U.S where it's possible to eat at a danish restaurant and buy bread from a danish baker. I think that is pretty funny, so many miles from home and then go eat our favorite dish from home smile.gif

Another question coming up is how is the traffic culture in the States? Do people break the speed limit or is the laid back style more used?


I don't hope that is too many question. I think it's very nice of you to answer it. Now we have finaly decided to take the south way. I don't even care about christmas anymore. Let it be april can't wait to see your country smile.gif



QUOTE(Jerry S. @ Nov 26 2011, 12:02 AM) *

And again,

There is no problem legally or otherwise with driving in the evening or at night. The main "problem" is getting to an RV park (assuming you can find it in the dark) after the office is closed and you can not find your way in a dark park. Arriving after dark will not always be a problem but it can be. If you plan on staying at a Walmart after a long day's drive, this would not be as much of a problem. Planning on getting someplace a few hours before sundown gives you a built in "cushion" that allows for any problems that cause you to be an hour or two behind schedule. For example, just last month as we headed west on I40 toward the Grand Canyon, we ran into an big, fiery accident west of Albuquerque that caused a traffic backup that cost us an hour of drive time. Because our plan for the day was only a 200 mile drive we still got to our stop (Gallup, New Mexico) for the night with hours of daylight to spare.

On the other hand, I do believe having someone sleeping in a bed in an RV (and thus not secured by a seat belt) is illegal in most states. I am sure people do it, but I do not think it is legal anywhere.


Okay, that sounds pretty much like in europe. I think the day we will travel many miles is the days we are sleeping at wall-marts parking lot. I think the security on these spots are better than a random place beside of the road.

We do not hope to get caught in the traffic, but as you mention things happend.



QUOTE(Jerry S. @ Nov 26 2011, 12:02 AM) *

While you are correct concerning anti-gay sentiment being prevalent among some Americans, I certainly can not give you any 100% guarantees on the gay question. I do, however, doubt that many prople will assume you are gay. The reason I doubt this is your youth and the fact that you are foreign. Now if you were both 45 and French, it would be a different story -- Just kidding, I hope. Actually, I think the age difference will be your biggest obstacle in relating to they people you meet. How well do you relate to the older generation?


Okay that sounds great. I think it's funny. In Denmark it's pretty much the older generation to who used the campgrounds. I think that must be a general thing. Me and my friend will never go to camping in denmark just because of the camping thing. But we have realisede it is the most easy way to discover the U.S. Most of all because we dont have to check-in/check-out on 20 different hotel/motel at the trip. We have all our clothes in the RV and can pretty much wake up and start driving. We like the older generation good enough to live beside them in a camping spot. But whatever, we have 3 nights in San Francisco at a Hotel in the end of the trip. I think we could discover the night life in theese days. We have not planned to use our trip to get drunk every night. If that was the plan we have chosen a near destination as Bulgaria and something like that smile.gif

Maybe we overnigth in a Hotel in Las Vegas too. We have looked to the camping spot and are not impressed by the prices. The price if we want a ground beside the strip is about 60-90 dollars. That is too much for a night, when we could check in to a okay hotels for 30-40 dollars.

Have any of your guys visited Solvang, CA? It is located close to Highway one and we planned to visit the small town. It's a Danish town in the U.S where it's possible to eat at a danish restaurant and buy bread from a danish baker. I think that is pretty funny, so many miles from home and then go eat our favorite dish from home smile.gif

Another question coming up is how is the traffic culture in the States? Do people break the speed limit or is the laid back style more used?


I don't hope that is too many question. I think it's very nice of you to answer it. Now we have finaly decided to take the south way. I don't even care about christmas anymore. Let it be april can't wait to see your country smile.gif

FromDk
QUOTE(RLM @ Nov 25 2011, 07:54 PM) *

May I suggest that you write or go online to the Departments of Tourism for each state that you plan on visiting and request that they send you some tourist books with maps. Those will be free to you. You can then look thru those publications and pick and choose places where you would like to stop and visit.

I would also suggest that there are several US National Parks in Utah that are worth a visit. You will not have enough time to visit all of them. But you can get suggestions on the best ones to visit from others on this website.

With respect to your wanting to stay connected, I would suggest that you stay at campgrounds that have a Wi-Fi connection. You can pre-plan those by using this website. You will be able to connect to the internet for email and browsing at no costs.

In America, there are many wi-fi hotspots that are also free. Almost every McDonald's restaurant in this country has a free wi-fi hotspot.

Phone calls would probably be cheaper if you purchased an international calling card and use a pay phone or campground phone. But you might want to check out VOIP as a method of internet calling. Again, once you are connected to the internet via wi-fi, the VOIP call is relatively cheap.

Your "plan" is not unlike any one of we Americans if we were to visit your country. So much to see and so little time to do so.

Held og lykke.



Thank you so much for your answer. I will stick to the CG with Wifi.
Jerry S
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.
Texasrvers
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.
B. Kidd
The worse drivers are in Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, and anywhere in California.
FromDk
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.
FosterImposters
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.
Fitzjohnfan
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.

Texasrvers
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.
FromDk
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.
Texasrvers
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.
Jensb
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.
Texasrvers
Jensb,

Your firsthand experience provided some valuable information for foreign travelers; explaining things we Americans do not think about. Thank you for joining in.
Jerry S
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.
Texasrvers
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.
Jerry S
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?
Texasrvers
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?
Jerry S
TX,

Actually, I would not be surprised if FromDK did understand the "X-Files" (Scully and Mulder) and other "aliens from outer space" references. Those kinds of things seem to cross oceans and international boundries surprisingly well. At 25, he might even be one of the few people on this forum to watch "South Park". I often "shock" teens and twentysomethings with my knowledge of most of that show's episodes, social and cultural themes, and characters.
Traveling Happy
All the advice sounds good. So now it’s time to take the important stuff and see what you’re most interested in. 1st fuel, gasbuddy.com is the best for finding the best price and what’s closest to you. 2nd what do you really what to see? The Grand Canyon should be a must. The north rim of the Grand Canyon doesn’t open till May 15 or later. Check out these places for a trp. Use the web to see what all these have to offer. This is a good trip for seeing the WEST.
1 day - Chicago, IL to St Louis, MO. 300 miles 5 hours
2 day - St Louis, MO to Kansas City, MO. 250 miles 4 hours
3 day - Kansas City, MO to Denver, CO. 600miles 8 ½ hours ( plus sight seeing )
4 day - Denver, CO to Moab UT, Arches National Park. 350 miles 5 ½ hours
5 day - Moab UT , Arches National Park to Mesa Verde National Park. 150 miles 2 ½ hours
6 day - Mesa Verde National Park to Four Corners ( 4 states meet so you can have your arms & legs in 4 different states at one time) 60 miles 1 hour & then take off from Four Corners to Grand Canyon National Park 300 miles 5 hours
7 day - Grand Canyon National Park to Monument Valley Ut. Then to Zion National Park.400 miles 6 ½ hours
8 day - Zion National Park to Las Vegas 150 miles 2 ½ hours
9 day - Las Vegas to Los Angeles CA 275 miles 4 hours ( plus sight seeing )
10 day - Los Angeles CA to San Francisco, CA 450 miles 7 ½ hours ( plus sight seeing )
All in all about 3150 miles & 47 hours of driving. The trip covers some of the best the WEST has to offer. Use the web to check out the places I listed & see if this is the stuff you would like to see.
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