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Author Topic: USA Family Trip 2014  (Read 3739 times)

royroy150780

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USA Family Trip 2014
« on: February 10, 2013, 10:06:41 PM »
Hi All,

Just after any advice from the many seasoned travellers on here. I am planning on taking my wife and our 2 children on a 3 month trip to USA beginning in August 2014. We both agreed that we want to do it the RV way as it opens up so many travelling opportunities. Our initial plan is to fly to NYC, spend some time there but obviously dont want to be driving an RV around such a big city. Thinking of making our way down to Philly or even Virginia before trying to find an RV. I am planning on buying an RV but I have looked over other posts and am struggling to find any dealers on the east coast that may be able to help me?? We then plan on travelling south down to Miami and across the southern border thru texas and new mexico and across to LA and finally LV.

After any suggestions or help regarding my planned trip and more importantly where i may be able to purchase a RV on the east coast thru a dealer that works with international travellers given the red tape that is required when buying a vehicle in the US.

Very much appreciate anyones thoughts.

royroy150780

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Re: USA Family Trip 2014
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2013, 10:20:29 PM »
Just one further thing that i forgot to mention is being that all members here have links to RV. Are there any private rental options where as someone that someone knows wont be using their RV for the period that we are going to be in the USA and we can work out a fair and reasonable price for the use of the RV. Not sure if thats viable but just throwing it out there.

Thanks again.

donn

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Re: USA Family Trip 2014
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2013, 10:26:06 PM »
Met a couple last summer from Germany.  They had made arrangements and purchased their RV in South Dakota.  Purchase prices will be about equal anywhere, but sales taxes and license fees vary widely.  Places like S.D.,Texas, or Florida tend to be some of the most reasonable priced areas.  Also in the same camp ground met another couple from New Zealand who had bought their very small old motor home through their son who lived in Vancouver Canada.  Their trip was only going to be around three weeks, with plans to return it to Vancouver for their son to resell when done.  The German couple bought and paid for their truck and trailer prior to landing in the US,  So they were able to obtain a 1 year visa  When they were finished they were going to let the dealer sell it for them.  In August the southern portion of the US will still be very hot and humid .  From August thru October the northern tier will be the best region to visit as far as weather is concerned.  But maybe you like hot humid climates?  Unless you have something specific to visit, I think you would find the far west much more interesting.  Places like Mt Rushmore, Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park are all in the far west, specifically the rocky mountain region.  I guess you need to decide on climate, and what you want to see first.  Then come back and post some more information for better suggestions about places to purchase and or what to see and do.

Tom

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Re: USA Family Trip 2014
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2013, 10:27:42 PM »
Roy, one of the issues with "private rental" is insurance.  If, for example, I rented my RV to you, it would be considered a "commercial" transaction, and I'd need to buy commercial/rental insurance, which would cost you more $$.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

SeilerBird

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Re: USA Family Trip 2014
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2013, 10:28:21 PM »
You have a fantastic trip planned. You don't need to wait till Virginia or Philly to buy the RV, you could get one in New Jersey and rent a car to take into the city. Or if you can stay at Liberty Harbor RV Park and take the ferry into NYC every day and ride public transportation around town. You are absolutely correct, you do not want to try and drive an RV in NYC.

http://www.libertyharborrv.com/

You might want to drive from LV to Houston Texas at the end of your trip. There is a company there called PPL that sells consigned RVs and they have a very good reputation.

http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/

Considering the distance you will be travelling is about 5000 miles you should have plenty of time to make the trip. If you can squeeze in an extra month it would be even better. This is a huge country and there is an awesome amount of things to see and do here.

Right now I am at Disney World in Orlando Florida and I highly recommend at least a week here. There is a campground on site that is the best campground I have ever been in.

It would be extremely difficult to find a private party that will rent out an RV for a weekend, much less a 4 month trip. And renting one from an RV rental place would be prohibitive in cost. It is cheaper to buy one and sell it at the end of the trip.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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royroy150780

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Re: USA Family Trip 2014
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2013, 03:23:41 PM »
Thanks Donn for the tips. We dont mind the heat, in fact my wife loves the heat and we would rather the warmer climate. We havent really decided on timeframes in certain places but certainly appreciate your thought.

Tom thanks for clarifying the " private rental" option and i figured there must be a reason that this isnt done more often and what you pointed out is obviously why.

Seilerbird thanks heaps for your reply. That sounds like a good plan regarding trying to purchase an RV in Jersey and commuting into NYC. THanks too for the tip about selling the RV in Houston. Obviously we want be looking to make any money from the sale of the RV but just looking to get rid of it before we fly out.

With regard to purchasing an RV is it best to risk getting the sale finalized before i arrive thus minimising the "waiting around" upon arrival. Obviously i would only give a deposit and this is why i would prefer to go thru a dealer who i assume would be able to help me out with the insurances etc. Little bit hesitant to buy privately due to the risk factor.

Thanks again for any further help.

SeilerBird

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Re: USA Family Trip 2014
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2013, 03:53:43 PM »
There is no way you should put one cent down before you drive the RV and have it inspected. RV salemen would lie to their mother to sell an RV. They will say anything to make a sale. I have responded to ads that say "everything works" and found that nothing worked. Everything works is the biggest lie in the RV business. You should do a lot of shopping online before you arrive and have at least a half a dozen RVs on your hot list. Then plan on at least a week, maybe two to find the RV of your choice, get it inspected, finalize the sale and fix the things that need to be fixed before hitting the road.

On the last RV I purchased that was a few months experience so you will need to have your homework done before the plane touches down. You are going to need an address once you get here so you will have to find an RV friendly mail box service that can forward mail to you on the road. Here is an example of one:

http://www.pmipmi.com/

I know nothing about them and they are not the only ones in NJ so shop around.

Do not hesitate to ask any and all questions here on the forum. We are happy to help and in your case you are going to need some help. But don't worry, when you finally get the RV and hit the road it will all be worthwhile. We have a big beautiful country here and you should have a blast exploring it.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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royroy150780

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Re: USA Family Trip 2014
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2013, 04:04:01 PM »
Hi seilerbird
Thanks again for the tip. So you dont think its too risky to get over to the US and then finalize a purchase of an RV? Obviously i dont want to eat into the holiday to much but given that we are planning on staying 3 months then i dont think it should be too much of an issue.  Will probably rent a car from NYC and this will allow us to go and check out some RV's etc and get the purchase finalized. Also my worry is getting the insurances etc organized in the quickest possible timeframe?

Are there mechanics that charge a fee and will check out the RV for me ( mechanically) or a similar service that can give the vehicle a once over ensuring that it is right to go?

Looking forward to your response.

SeilerBird

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Re: USA Family Trip 2014
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2013, 05:11:27 PM »
So you dont think its too risky to get over to the US and then finalize a purchase of an RV?
Any time you purchase an RV there is risk involved. I personally feel there is a lot less risk involved in buying an RV after you have inspected it and driven it in comparison to buying one sight unseen.
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Also my worry is getting the insurances etc organized in the quickest possible time frame?
I don't see why it should be such a hassle to get insurance. Before you buy the RV you call a few insurance agents and tell them your situation. They are in business to sell policies so they should be able to sell you a policy that takes effect as soon as you give them the VIN number. They might want to look at it after you have bought it so you would call them and give them the info they need. Then drive over and have them check it out and then you should be done. There are insurance companies that specialize in insuring foreigners visiting the US. Google and read about them, then contact them for further questions.

You will need to rent a mail box so you have an address and then you can register it and insure it.
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Are there mechanics that charge a fee and will check out the RV for me ( mechanically) or a similar service that can give the vehicle a once over ensuring that it is right to go?
There are several ways to find a decent mechanic to check out the RV before you buy it. You can look on Craigslist for a local mobile mechanic. Or you can visit an RV repair shop and ask about a mechanic who moonlights. Or take it to an RV repair shop and tell them you want it inspected. Or you can Google the Internet for RV inspection services in your area. Typically it will cost you between $100 and $400 depending on how thoroughly you want to have it inspected.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Life list of birds:
https://goo.gl/photos/xuP9zPD2KP2swN1g8
2016 photos:
https://goo.gl/photos/aXQPbnVpgzNvs4Jq8
My portfolio:
https://goo.gl/photos/Cx4SaYhGfYFShSty7

royroy150780

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Re: USA Family Trip 2014
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2013, 09:23:54 PM »
Just wondering from experience how long should i dedicate looking for and buying an RV when i arrive into NYC? obviously 3 months sounds like a long time but I have no doubt it will go pretty quickly. At the end of the day so long as my RV lasts 3 months and 1 day then i am not too fussed. Obviously i want to avoid as much downtime as possible thus allowing as to see as much as we would like to see.

Thanks in advance for any feedback from experienced travellers.

SeilerBird

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Re: USA Family Trip 2014
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2013, 10:27:40 PM »
Just wondering from experience how long should i dedicate looking for and buying an RV when i arrive into NYC? obviously 3 months sounds like a long time but I have no doubt it will go pretty quickly. At the end of the day so long as my RV lasts 3 months and 1 day then i am not too fussed. Obviously i want to avoid as much downtime as possible thus allowing as to see as much as we would like to see.

Thanks in advance for any feedback from experienced travellers.
You should be able to get it bought in a few days if you do your homework before you arrive. Starting a month or two before arriving you should start reading the NYC area Craigslist RV ads. Set up filters for your price and bookmark the page. Every RV you see that is a potential candidate you should email the seller and ask questions and for more photos. Any one who does not answer your email should be scratched off the list immediately. By the time you land in NYC you should have several dozen RVs on your hot list. Start with the most promising one and go drive it and check it out. If it seems satisfactory get it professionally inspected. If it passes then buy it. If it is not satisfactory go to the next one on your list.

Make sure everyone you email understands your situation. Make sure that the top four will be available to view on the first day you are looking.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Life list of birds:
https://goo.gl/photos/xuP9zPD2KP2swN1g8
2016 photos:
https://goo.gl/photos/aXQPbnVpgzNvs4Jq8
My portfolio:
https://goo.gl/photos/Cx4SaYhGfYFShSty7

royroy150780

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Re: USA Family Trip 2014
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2013, 05:17:38 PM »
Thanks for that Seilerbird, your right that in so long as I am organized before my arrival then i shouldnt be wasting too much time upon arrival.

Another question i have for any families that may have done a 3 month or similar trip is what sort of budget did they work within? Obviously fuel and food will be the biggest expenses but just after feedback from people who may have done a similar trip and would be in a position to advise on what would be a reasonable amount to budget on.

Cheers guys.

SeilerBird

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Re: USA Family Trip 2014
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2013, 06:15:50 PM »
The cost will be as cheap or as expensive as you wish to make it. You could go sit in one spot and boondock the entire time and eat beans. That would be dirt cheap. You could drive thousands of miles each month, stay in the most expensive parks and eat like kings and spend a fortune.

RV parks cost between $10 and $50 per night. If you stay a week at a time then the cost goes down and if you stay a month at a time the cost gets real cheap. Gas costs $3.50 or so a gallon. You will be in control of how many miles you drive per month. Food is cheaper if you cook it yourself.

In general figure $1200 a month. That give you $400 per month for rent, $400 a month for gas and $400 a month for food. You can adjust that figure up or down depending on how much luxury you wish.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Life list of birds:
https://goo.gl/photos/xuP9zPD2KP2swN1g8
2016 photos:
https://goo.gl/photos/aXQPbnVpgzNvs4Jq8
My portfolio:
https://goo.gl/photos/Cx4SaYhGfYFShSty7

Dalat

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Re: USA Family Trip 2014
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2013, 01:34:55 AM »
One of the best options for you is to rent a class C motorhome, because it is very expensive to rent a class A motorhome, and it is also very difficult to find a commercial dealer that would rent a class A motorhome.  For renting class C motorhome, the best choice is probably www.CruiseAmerica.com.

The advantages of renting a class C motorhome at CruiseAmerica.com are:

  • The rent price is reasonable and very compatible to all commercial leasers
  • Insurance is included in the rent
  • Foreigner driver license is okay (many other commercial leasers do not rent to foreigner.  For those that may, they will charge you additional for insurance.  For example, Camping World charges $25 per day
  • Free repair service is available with 800 number to call
  • Renting is easy. You just go to its website and book the RV.  Standard size is strongly recommend for a family of 4.

August is the most expensive month to rent RV.  If you can go in late September, it is a lot cheaper.  Also, it is beautiful in autumn.

Mik68

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Re: USA Family Trip 2014
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2013, 09:04:19 AM »
Thanks for that Seilerbird, your right that in so long as I am organized before my arrival then i shouldnt be wasting too much time upon arrival.

Another question i have for any families that may have done a 3 month or similar trip is what sort of budget did they work within? Obviously fuel and food will be the biggest expenses but just after feedback from people who may have done a similar trip and would be in a position to advise on what would be a reasonable amount to budget on.

Cheers guys.

I didn't pick up on which country u are coming from but we have been researching a similar trip but for 7 months. I purchased a book called 'Rv vacations for Dummies' & it estimated a budget of $1,200US a week for a family.
Aussie family soon to be hitting your highways

Jeff

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Re: USA Family Trip 2014
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2013, 09:10:03 AM »
I didn't pick up on which country u are coming from but we have been researching a similar trip but for 7 months. I purchased a book called 'Rv vacations for Dummies' & it estimated a budget of $1,200US a week for a family.


If you plan to do much in the way of sightseeing and activities 1200.00 a week sounds rather low.

Mik68

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Re: USA Family Trip 2014
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2013, 04:42:49 AM »

If you plan to do much in the way of sightseeing and activities 1200.00 a week sounds rather low.

I thought it more accurate than Seilerbirds estimated $1200 a month. You are correct though Jeff, I believe it was just for the necessities such as Gas, Food & RV accommodation. Activities & sightseeing would be extra depending on how much you do & to the likes of each individual or family, in my case. So this figure is almost impossible to predict. Disney World alone is going to cost us close to $1500 just for a 3 day family pass. So add that to your weekly budget & bingo.
Aussie family soon to be hitting your highways

 

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