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Author Topic: First Family RV Trip, VA and NC, where to rent and where to stay?  (Read 5047 times)

love4god

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Hi everyone.  My wife and I have had a strong desire for years to start RV'ing. Now that the boys (3 1/2 and 5 1/2) are a little older now we feel likes it's time to dip our toes in the water.  I don't want to rush out and do anything rash so we've decided to rent an RV for a week to get started.   I just got an unexpected week off from my programming job, the last week in April, and we've decided this is the time.

So our plan is to drive down to visit one of our relatives in VA (we're from NJ) and then rent an RV somewhere in VA.   Drive/Camp for a week and return to the same place where we'll then drive back home in our car.  Hopefully this will conserve some RV mileage.  We would like to see VA and NC.  We haven't decided whether we want to stick to the coasts (VA Beach and Cap Hatt) or the moutains on the Western side of the state.  Since it's only late April we're leaning towards the mountains. It could be a bit chilly but the beaches will most likely be too cold for swimming.  We're crossing our fingers for good weather, iffy this time of year.

Anway, my first question is about rentals.  I looked at Cruise America and it's about $775 for a week rental, mileage, gas, and fees for a 25'.  A 30' is about $900.  I'm not too worried about the driving, I've driven large vans/trucks before.  I'm just not sure what we need.  I also think I'm going to look around, Cruise America seems very expensive and I have a feeling they may be more than most others.  Any pointers in the right direction would be great.

Secondly, I was wondering if anyone has any good suggestions on where we should stay in those areas.  Something fun for the family, not too remote since we're just starting out and we'll probably forget something and have to out to some store at some point.  The boys love the outdoors.  Hiking, fishing, camping, bug hunting, etc..  Someplace with family events or stories around the fire or ice cream social type things would probably be great.  I know it may be a little early in the season for some of that stuff though.  Someplace where we'll have a lot of fun and a couple of active, fun loving kids wont be ruining the solitude and desire for peace and quiet from fellow campers.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

And the boys thank you too!   :)
« Last Edit: April 17, 2006, 05:42:23 PM by Tom »

DougJ

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Re: First Family RV Trip, VA and NC, where to rent and where to stay?
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2005, 02:00:09 PM »
Hi,

What lovely young men! 

Anyway, welcome to the forum.  As a relative newbie, a few comments until the pros arrive.

Several of the forumites are familiar with the east coast; I'm not.

I think a Class B, which is what I suspect you're looking at with Cruise America, will work nicely.  If the weather is nice so that time can be spent outside of the RV, 25ft will be no problem; but if you've got spend gobs of stationary time (due to weather or whatever) in the unit, the extra five feet will be a God send.  As for costs, I can't comment because we never rented before buying an old Class A.

With the boys liking to hunt for bugs, you may want to check out the State Parks.  If it's too early for bugs :), it's surely not too early for a camp fire in an approved spot--they'll love the (burned ???) hot dogs for dinner.

Hope you have a wonderful trip with your boys--they may always remember their first trip (our boys, baby at 40) still talk of the camping trips we did out of our Cessna 172.

Ciao,

Doug

Tom

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Re: First Family RV Trip, VA and NC, where to rent and where to stay?
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2005, 02:02:40 PM »
Welcome to our friendly forum, and glad you asked those questions. Good photo of the boys.

Renting for a week is a great way to go, and a great way to see if you'll like the RV lifestyle before committing big $$ to purchasing an RV. . In addition to Cruise America you could try El Monte RV. I've not used any of the rental companies myself, so I can't offer a comparison.

As for size, given that you have no problem driving, I suspect you might be more comforable in a 30 foot than a 25 foot, although there's a significant difference in the rental price you've seen between the two.

Hopefully, others will jump in with suggestions for where to camp.

Here's wishing you a successful first trip, and please come back and tell us about your experience.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

NC DaveD

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Re: First Family RV Trip, VA and NC, where to rent and where to stay?
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2005, 08:01:11 AM »
North Carolina has a lot to offer, be it the mountains, piedmont, or coastal plane. For our state parks, try this link: http://ils.unc.edu/parkproject/ncparks.html. There are also some municipal parks in various locations, and of course, full service campgrounds that at times have preplanned activities. I use Woodalls http://www.woodalls.com/ to find campgrounds near the areas we want to visit.

Lets see, last week in April in NC....Mountains may still see a frost (not too likely, but still possible), but fresh crisp mountain air helps those campfires feel REALLY good and those burnt hot dogs taste even better. Daily temps in the 60's.

Beaches....temps should be in the low 70's, but the water temp will be frigid. Not too many folks at the beach so not as crowded as May. Lots to see from a historical standpoint, but maybe not quite as much fun for the kids.

Piedmont.... right in between the Mountains and Beaches with temps in the high 60's, possible low 70's

The yellow haze of pollen is finally subsiding, and the bugs haven't started to come out in full force yet, so you should have a good time no matter where you camp.

I would recommend not trying to see too much stuff on your first trip out. The kids may enjoy camping a bit more than hours and hours in the camper on the road. :)

Is there something in particular you might like to see or someplace you would like to visit in NC?

David Derway
David D
1996 Monaco Windsor 250HP towing 2000 Honda Accord

DonJordan

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Re: First Family RV Trip, VA and NC, where to rent and where to stay?
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2005, 11:45:22 PM »
Hi and welcome to the RV Forum.  We're glad to see you here.  You have come to the right place to ask your questions and I see that you already have several responses.  Both Cruise America and ElMonte RV are reputable rental agents.  AFAIK they are the two largest and with the most locations.  RV renting is definitely the way to go if you have  no previous experience with the RV life style.  We rented a class C motor home, a class A motor home, and a small travel trailer before deciding that the class A motor home was the way for us to go.

I have very little experience camping in the areas in which you are interested so I can't help out there but as others have said try to minimize travel and maximize the camping experience for the boys.  Incidently they are two vety handsome young men!

If you have other questions, feel free to ask and please come back and let us all know how your first RV Camping trip went.  :)
Don Jordan.

Jim Dick

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Re: First Family RV Trip, VA and NC, where to rent and where to stay?
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2005, 12:33:12 AM »
Dave,

>>Lets see, last week in April in NC....Mountains may still see a frost (not too likely, but still possible), but fresh crisp mountain air helps those campfires feel REALLY good and those burnt hot dogs taste even better. Daily temps in the 60's.<<

Spoken like the true fire chief that you are! ;D ;D

Good info and I'll be sure to contact you whenever we get a chance to visit the great state in which you live.

Jim

Titusville, Florida
U.S. Navy Veteran
2000 American Dream 40' DP
2012 GMC Terrain
2006 Suzuki Boulevard C50T Motorcycle
http://photo.net/photos/jimdick

NC DaveD

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Re: First Family RV Trip, VA and NC, where to rent and where to stay?
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2005, 07:31:05 AM »
Dick,

>>Spoken like the true fire chief that you are! ;D ;D<<

Thanks! Hope I'm not getting rusty though, been awhile since I've stoked a good campfire. Sounds like I missed a good opportunity at the spring SE rally currently going on. Maybe this fall will see some cooler temps for the Fall SE Rally.

>>Good info and I'll be sure to contact you whenever we get a chance to visit the great state in which you live.<<

You and Pat are always welcome if you make it to our neck of the woods. We've got a gravel pad and 30 amp available (and a GREAT steakhouse in Southern Pines). Just let us know before hand as I don't think the computer road atlases have our address right.

David D.

David D
1996 Monaco Windsor 250HP towing 2000 Honda Accord

Jim Dick

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Re: First Family RV Trip, VA and NC, where to rent and where to stay?
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2005, 10:52:42 AM »
Dick,

>>Spoken like the true fire chief that you are! ;D ;D<<

Thanks! Hope I'm not getting rusty though, been awhile since I've stoked a good campfire. Sounds like I missed a good opportunity at the spring SE rally currently going on. Maybe this fall will see some cooler temps for the Fall SE Rally.

>>Good info and I'll be sure to contact you whenever we get a chance to visit the great state in which you live.<<

You and Pat are always welcome if you make it to our neck of the woods. We've got a gravel pad and 30 amp available (and a GREAT steakhouse in Southern Pines). Just let us know before hand as I don't think the computer road atlases have our address right.

David D.

Hi Dave,

Thanks for the invite. Hope to take you up on it someday.(G) Maybe we can do something this fall when we head south. Perhaps a caravan to the SE rally??? We have to wait and see when our son is finally issued his orders to take command of the destroyer. That should be sometime in October.

If you ever get to CT we have a yard with 30 amp available.


Jim

Titusville, Florida
U.S. Navy Veteran
2000 American Dream 40' DP
2012 GMC Terrain
2006 Suzuki Boulevard C50T Motorcycle
http://photo.net/photos/jimdick

 

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