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Author Topic: another Aussie family on a 7 month road trip  (Read 4797 times)

Mik68

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another Aussie family on a 7 month road trip
« on: September 19, 2013, 06:30:59 AM »
G'day & apologies if this sounds familiar. We are a family of 5, 3 girls aged 5, 8 & 10 and at this point, which may change, will more than likely be flying directly into Dallas, purchasing a fifth wheeler and truck, at the moment we fancy the Rockwood signature 8286ws & Dodge Ram Megacab, probably 3500 Cummins Deisel.
Our plan is to travel in a anti clockwise direction over a 7 month period to the almost furtherest points Being Miami, Florida up to Maine, across to Vancouver then down to San Diego. with a loop through to Las vegas, Bryce, Zion, Colorado, Mesa verdi & Grand Canyon & everything in-between. We will be shipping this rig set up back to Aus & yes I have looked into all the necessary conversions etc. How am I going so far? Is there something I perhaps haven't thought of?
Our other option was to fly in to LA & start from there but Texas seem to tick a lot more boxes as far as purchasing & using the likes of Escapees. Kids of course would rather start in La (Disneyland) but I figured Disney world wouldn't take too long to reach. It seems to work from either starting point regarding weather but not sure about your School Summer holidays? & whether it will be more of a problem getting into campgrounds in certain places on our route. We like the idea of camping mainly in natural settings with the native animals such as national & State parks & like.
Cheers Mik & Pen.
Aussie family soon to be hitting your highways

Great Horned Owl

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Re: another Aussie family on a 7 month road trip
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2013, 07:17:01 AM »
Welcome.

Most of the plan sounds pretty good. However, you might reconsider the start. There is not a whole to to see between Texas and Florida. Also, The biggest selection of RVs will be found in the Tampa area. If I were doing it, I would start there.

Are you planning on buying new or used?

Joel
Edit: Removed excessive white space.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2013, 07:32:36 AM by Tom »
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Mik68

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Re: another Aussie family on a 7 month road trip
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2013, 08:16:56 AM »
Hi Joel, Theres a few reasons we are looking to fly into Texas. Cheaper flights as there are direct flights from Aus to Dallas, Also my wifes cousin lives in Houston, visit him & this would be our street address for registration of truck & RV. Getting familiar with driving rig & on right side of road a little less congested i am guessing? Besides we wanted to fully circumnavigate most of the US & the Gulf of Mexico inc. New Orleans doesn't look so bad.  :D
Aussie family soon to be hitting your highways

Alfa38User

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Re: another Aussie family on a 7 month road trip
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2013, 09:14:55 AM »
Quote
Our plan is to travel in a anti clockwise direction over a 7 month period

Hi and Welcome to the gang. You do realize your maximum length of stay in the USA is limited to 6 months, I hope. Your actual length of stay permitted will be determined by the Immigration (Border Services) Officer you meet on entering the first time so "be nice"!!! There are legal ways to extend the visit allowed  but....   A lot of valuable reading is available under Visitors to the USA discussion.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2013, 10:47:18 AM by Alfa38User »
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Lou Schneider

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Re: another Aussie family on a 7 month road trip
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2013, 04:43:08 PM »
When are you starting your trip?  7 months is enough to go through summer and into fall and winter, or vice-versa.   Temperatures in the areas you want to visit will be the primary limiting factor on whether you are in the north or south at any particular time.

Tom

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Re: another Aussie family on a 7 month road trip
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2013, 09:34:26 PM »
Since you mentioned Vancouver, I assumed that meant you'd be leaving the USA for a short while, and re-entering. That re-starts the clock on the 6 months (maximum) stay. Here's some relevant reading -  know before you go.
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Jim Dick

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Re: another Aussie family on a 7 month road trip
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2013, 10:32:19 PM »
Hi Mik,

Please let your daughters know that Disney World is WAY better than Disney Land! We live about 40 miles from Disney World and I have been to both. There is too much to see at Disney World!!  ;D

If you find yourself near Titusville, FL, be sure to let us know. That is where we live during the winter. Orlando and Disney World is not that far away.
Jim

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Mik68

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Re: another Aussie family on a 7 month road trip
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2013, 04:18:27 AM »
Yes I have had a look at 'visitors to the USA discussion' and noticed the 6 month visa being mentioned quite a bit. We have had friends do a similar thing & on there 1st entry got lucky with a 12 month entry visa, 2nd time they weren't so lucky & only got 6 months, so we will ask for 8 months, but in the event we only get 6 or less, yes we are entering Canada on the East & West coast. Is it true you need to be out of the US for at least 30 days? If so we will come close to this through the Rockies to Vancouver.
Thanks for your concern & advise.
Aussie family soon to be hitting your highways

Mik68

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Re: another Aussie family on a 7 month road trip
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2013, 04:23:49 AM »
When are you starting your trip?  7 months is enough to go through summer and into fall and winter, or vice-versa.   Temperatures in the areas you want to visit will be the primary limiting factor on whether you are in the north or south at any particular time.
Hi Lou, We are starting in late March from more than likely Texas & heading East to Florida for all of April then North to N.Y. city through May, so June, July & August across the top & then down the West coast August/Sept. with a side trip to Grand Canyon etc. in September then back to California by October. Sound all right?
Aussie family soon to be hitting your highways

Mik68

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Re: another Aussie family on a 7 month road trip
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2013, 04:28:05 AM »
Hi Mik,

Please let your daughters know that Disney World is WAY better than Disney Land! We live about 40 miles from Disney World and I have been to both. There is too much to see at Disney World!!  ;D

If you find yourself near Titusville, FL, be sure to let us know. That is where we live during the winter. Orlando and Disney World is not that far away.
G'day Jim, I have heard DW is better than DL, I have only been to DL so am looking forward to it as well. We have mapped out a fairly detailed route while trying to leave it flexible, we mainly did it to see how long we would need. I recall Titusville as a place we would be passing through. How's the weather there in April?
Aussie family soon to be hitting your highways

SeilerBird

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Re: another Aussie family on a 7 month road trip
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2013, 06:08:35 AM »
G'day Jim, I have heard DW is better than DL...
There is one problem with this generality. Time. If you  only have a few days then it really doesn't matter. However if you really want to appreciate the difference between the two then you will need at least a week to see DW properly.
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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Tom

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Re: another Aussie family on a 7 month road trip
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2013, 07:18:51 AM »
Quote
We have had friends do a similar thing & on there 1st entry got lucky with a 12 month entry visa ...

That's the second time we've heard anectdotally of someone being given more than 6 months. Border Patrol agents don't have authority to give more than 6 months, but the last person said they asked to talk to a supervisor and were given 8 months. Please let us know what happens in your case.

Quote
Is it true you need to be out of the US for at least 30 days?

I'm not aware of any minimum time to be out of the US but if, for example, you left for just a day or two, that might raise an eyebrow &/or might be treated as if you didn't leave. We have heard, again anectdotally, of one couple who was refused re-entry after going to Canada, but in their case they tried to extend their trip with two back-to-back 6-month stays (18 months total) with short visits to Canada in between. The Border Patrol agent considered that they were merely trying to get around the 6 months rule.

One caveat, mentioned in my referenced message(s), you each need a B1 or B2 visa stamped in your passports before you leave home. B1/B2 visas are good for 10 years, and allow multiple entries into the US. Some countries are on the "visa waiver" list, meaning their citizens can apply electronically via the ESTA program to visit the US without a visa. I don't recall if Australia is listed, but Be advised that ESTA visits are limited to 90 days, and are valid for only one entry with no possibility of extending the stay.

Edit: Australia is on the Visa Waiver list - see here, but remember the 90 days limit, single entry, no extension.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2013, 10:22:34 AM by Tom »
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Ernie n Tara

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Re: another Aussie family on a 7 month road trip
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2013, 09:03:22 AM »
Hi, and welcome a little early. We know a couple that did as you plan (there is a fairly long thread here of their visit) including taking the fiver back to AU. As I recall, there is a width limit of eight feet that was quite limiting for them. They eventually bought both the fiver and the truck in Houston.

Ernie
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Jim Dick

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Re: another Aussie family on a 7 month road trip
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2013, 03:02:29 PM »
Mik,

The weather should be nice and warm. Unfortunately, it sometimes fools you. ;)
Jim

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Mik68

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Re: another Aussie family on a 7 month road trip
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2013, 08:29:49 PM »
There is one problem with this generality. Time. If you  only have a few days then it really doesn't matter. However if you really want to appreciate the difference between the two then you will need at least a week to see DW properly.

Wow! I didn't realise it was that big, so theres twice the amount to do or see at DW? We have allowed quite a bit of time in our itinerary in Florida & have saved quite a bit of time now starting from Texas instead of LA. so if it takes a week, so be it, but i will be exhausted i would imagine & I do Ironman triathlon so am reasonably fit but 1 week at DW should be testing.
Aussie family soon to be hitting your highways

Mik68

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Re: another Aussie family on a 7 month road trip
« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2013, 08:33:48 PM »
Hi, and welcome a little early. We know a couple that did as you plan (there is a fairly long thread here of their visit) including taking the fiver back to AU. As I recall, there is a width limit of eight feet that was quite limiting for them. They eventually bought both the fiver and the truck in Houston.

Ernie
How would one go about finding this thread?
Aussie family soon to be hitting your highways

Mik68

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Re: another Aussie family on a 7 month road trip
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2013, 08:48:47 PM »
That's the second time we've heard anectdotally of someone being given more than 6 months. Border Patrol agents don't have authority to give more than 6 months, but the last person said they asked to talk to a supervisor and were given 8 months. Please let us know what happens in your case.

I'm not aware of any minimum time to be out of the US but if, for example, you left for just a day or two, that might raise an eyebrow &/or might be treated as if you didn't leave. We have heard, again anectdotally, of one couple who was refused re-entry after going to Canada, but in their case they tried to extend their trip with two back-to-back 6-month stays (18 months total) with short visits to Canada in between. The Border Patrol agent considered that they were merely trying to get around the 6 months rule.

One caveat, mentioned in my referenced message(s), you each need a B1 or B2 visa stamped in your passports before you leave home. B1/B2 visas are good for 10 years, and allow multiple entries into the US. Some countries are on the "visa waiver" list, meaning their citizens can apply electronically via the ESTA program to visit the US without a visa. I don't recall if Australia is listed, but Be advised that ESTA visits are limited to 90 days, and are valid for only one entry with no possibility of extending the stay.

Edit: Australia is on the Visa Waiver list - see here, but remember the 90 days limit, single entry, no extension.
Thanks Tom, We will be acquiring the B1/B2 visa you mention and then its all up to the border control officer in the end, at airport & again when we re-enter US from Canada.
Back in 99 my wife & I landed in Vancouver & set out cycle touring down the West coast, we were given 6 months apon entry. So we could say that we cycled from Canada to Mexico we mistakenly crossed the border into Mexico & didn't realise they ripped out our US visa, so when we returned from a little sightseeing in Tijuana to cross back into US, all in the same day, it got a little scary. "Where is your visa" they asked. So we got separated & interviewed (interrogated). Had to pay from memory $50 each for another 6 month entry & we were happy to pay & get outta there! It all worked out in the end I guess but not without some angst.
Aussie family soon to be hitting your highways

Tom

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Re: another Aussie family on a 7 month road trip
« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2013, 11:36:10 PM »
Quote
How would one go about finding this thread?

A Search might find it, or browse this Visitors to the USA board.

Meanwhile, we have an article in our forum library on importing an RV into Australia.
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Mik68

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Re: another Aussie family on a 7 month road trip
« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2013, 11:59:54 PM »
A Search might find it, or browse this Visitors to the USA board.

Meanwhile, we have an article in our forum library on importing an RV into Australia.

Thanks Tom, you must be a very busy man, attending to everyones means. Great forum BTW.
Aussie family soon to be hitting your highways

Tom

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Re: another Aussie family on a 7 month road trip
« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2013, 05:59:00 AM »
You're welcome Mike. I get a lot of help from forum staff.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

SeilerBird

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Re: another Aussie family on a 7 month road trip
« Reply #20 on: September 21, 2013, 06:02:00 AM »
Wow! I didn't realise it was that big, so theres twice the amount to do or see at DW? We have allowed quite a bit of time in our itinerary in Florida & have saved quite a bit of time now starting from Texas instead of LA. so if it takes a week, so be it, but i will be exhausted i would imagine & I do Ironman triathlon so am reasonably fit but 1 week at DW should be testing.
There is a lot more than twice the amount. DW is 47 square miles and DL is one square mile. I spent two weeks at DW in February and that was not enough.
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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Ernie n Tara

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Re: another Aussie family on a 7 month road trip
« Reply #21 on: September 21, 2013, 08:27:13 AM »
Mispoke - that thread was on the Escapees bulletin board. I think you have to join, but I'll check and post the link if its still accessible.

Ernie
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Mik68

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Re: another Aussie family on a 7 month road trip
« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2013, 12:19:49 PM »
Mispoke - that thread was on the Escapees bulletin board. I think you have to join, but I'll check and post the link if its still accessible.

Ernie

I have joined Escapees forum, don't know if this is same as bulletin board, but if you do find that thread, i would appreciate it. Cheers Mik
Aussie family soon to be hitting your highways

The Escape Goat

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Re: another Aussie family on a 7 month road trip
« Reply #23 on: October 24, 2013, 11:07:15 AM »
Mik, hey mate just saw your post. Yes it does sound familiar! We have RV'd around most of the US (with our daughter), can't help you with the visa/RV import or purchase stuff but can give you an Aussie perspective of just about anywhere you care to name. If you want it!

When are you going? Might see you along the way.
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inscop

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Re: another Aussie family on a 7 month road trip
« Reply #24 on: November 06, 2013, 12:10:59 PM »
Hi Mik,

I just stumbled across this USA map for Aussies and thought you might enjoy it: http://imgur.com/kQhqEcx?tags.

If you drop by San Diego, CA we live just outside the city right off of I-8.  We can offer a spot that includes 30A electricity and water.  We abide by the fish & visitor rule (they both tend to go bad after about the third day.).

Ray
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Furry non-verbal son:  Coqui, the Wonder Dog
Alpine, CA

Ernie n Tara

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Re: another Aussie family on a 7 month road trip
« Reply #25 on: November 07, 2013, 09:19:46 AM »
Mik68,

I believe if you go to the thread on "the class of 010" on the Escapees sitevyou'll find the Aussies in the US.,
SorryvI was so slow in getting back - I still haven't found the actual thread, but it's rferencedcthere.

Ernie
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Mik68

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Re: another Aussie family on a 7 month road trip
« Reply #26 on: November 21, 2013, 07:11:55 AM »
Hi Mik,

I just stumbled across this USA map for Aussies and thought you might enjoy it: http://imgur.com/kQhqEcx?tags.

If you drop by San Diego, CA we live just outside the city right off of I-8.  We can offer a spot that includes 30A electricity and water.  We abide by the fish & visitor rule (they both tend to go bad after about the third day.).

Ray
That map of US is funny Ray thanks! I will print & bring with us. Not sure that we are gonna get down to San Diego this time, but thanks for the offer. It all depends on how much time we have left. L.A. is our last stop.
Aussie family soon to be hitting your highways

Flyboy

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Re: another Aussie family on a 7 month road trip
« Reply #27 on: November 30, 2013, 08:17:23 AM »
Assuming that you arrive via Dallas, permit me to get you started off with a couple ideas.  There is a lot to see and do in my state, but I would a least suggest a couple days stop in San Antonio.  The kiddos would love Sea World and the adults would enjoy the Riverwalk in the downtown area.  Out of there you can jump on I-10 to Houston.  If you do that, then I would suggest that you take Highway 281 south out of the Dallas/Ft Worth area.  Many RVers use that going north and south.  It's a nice road to learn the skills of driving the rig and keeps you off I-35 which is typically a not so pleasant driving experience.

Each state has a Tourist Guide similar to this one for Texas:  http://www.traveltex.com/travel-guide/?gclid=CNHZ0unVjLsCFe3m7AodLkMADw   You could have them sent to your cousin for pick up and use for your trip planning. 

Don't forget the BBQ! You can start off with a full stomach of the best in the US.  Yeah, I know I'm going to get some differing opinions from the Kansas and Tenn folks.   :D

 

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