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Author Topic: UK Couple -Plan RV Travel in North America  (Read 5910 times)

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UK Couple -Plan RV Travel in North America
« on: April 25, 2005, 10:35:52 AM »
Hello All,

We (Paul 38, Ann-Marie 33) are planning a 6 month tour of the US.

The plan is to buy (ideally) a Diesel Pusher RV for around $80k cash, ideally with 2 slides and no older than 2003.

Q1. Do you think our budget/expectations are realistic ? If not, why not ?

We are planning to rent our 2 properties in the UK to fund the day-to-day costs of our "adventure".

Q2. How much do Full-Timers spend (roughly) per week on the vehicle, fuel, food, eating out 2 nights, misc items ? (I know its only a very rough guide but we are wondering if we would get by on $500 per week, considering we would want to access various attractions, parks etc).

Q3. Which States are the cheapest for buying/registering the RV - even better if you know how it affects things with us being non-residents in the US.

Q4. We want to do a full tour of the US (and maybe Canada). We won't be starting until September - just how bad is the weather over there during the winter.

Wow - I think I had better leave it at that for now.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Regards

Paul and Ann-Marie
« Last Edit: April 25, 2005, 03:40:13 PM by Steve, CDN »

Steve, CDN

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Re: UK Couple -Plan RV Travel in North America
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2005, 04:22:38 PM »
Paul and Ann-Marie,

You may have to revise your purchase price upward for the type of coach you are looking for.  Prices of a used pusher with two slides would be more than the figure you quoted.

Check out prices of used coaches at  NADA GUIDES

Another good source of locating a good used coach is from Harlan Ward who has a good reputation and has been used by severalRV Forum members:

Harlan Ward recently renamed his Company, because of some online search engine conflicts.  He has been in business for twenty years helping RVers get good deals on motorhomes.
 
Contact The Motorhome Brokers which is  Harlan's website.  There you will find info on his services as well as his Contact Information

As for weather after September in North America requires some careful planning.  Consider California, the South West or Florida.  In the East You could travel from Washinton D.C. through the Carolina's in September and October safely but as November approaches, you would want to be in Florida.

Others who have more experience with the West Coast might offer suggestions, because there are places where the elevation must be considered for weather hazards.

Travel in Canada should be restricted to late April to late September.

When you are ready to plan a trip to Eastern Canada, drop me a note on the Forum.

Check out the travel videos of Bob and Judy Howen who, with his wife produce RV ravel videos for various parts of North America.  They are ideal to help plan your itinerary as well as provide insights into the regions on which they describe.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2005, 07:03:50 PM by Steve, CDN »
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Tom

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Re: UK Couple -Plan RV Travel in North America
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2005, 06:40:04 PM »
Good comments Steve. One word of advice re the viedos - North American videos won't work on the UK PAL TV system.
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Steve, CDN

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Re: UK Couple -Plan RV Travel in North America
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2005, 09:46:46 PM »
Quote
North American videos won't work on the UK PAL TV system

Thank you for reminding me, Tom!   Though if Paul and Ann-Marie buy their coach in North America as planned, and decide to get the videos they could watch them in the coach.

Bob Howen's videos are now available on DVD...would they work on a European system?
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Re: UK Couple -Plan RV Travel in North America
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2005, 10:03:08 PM »
Paul and Ann-Marie

Click here for the story of one British couple who did what you plan to do. Ian Hancock used some of this information, although he reported that some things have changed since the time this was written. But it might give you a starting point. (Ian promised to send me some updates/corrections when time permits).
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Re: UK Couple -Plan RV Travel in North America
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2005, 10:07:08 PM »
Steve, I assumed your suggestion was to obtain the videos ahead of time while they were still in the UK. I also suspect there's an issue with DVDs since IIRC, when I've first started up a DVD player, it's asked me which region of the world I'm in.
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Carl L

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Re: UK Couple -Plan RV Travel in North America
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2005, 12:52:02 AM »
Q4. We want to do a full tour of the US (and maybe Canada). We won't be starting until September - just how bad is the weather over there during the winter.

Whoa!  That is a big question, you have specified most of North America, a place with the most violent climate and widest climate range in the world.   You have also specified Sept thru March.    A lot will depend on where you start the tour.   If you start on the east coast, I would recommend starting in New England for the autumn color and heading down the coast to the southeast.  From there head west following I-10 to the Southwest then to California for some mooching around there.   If you start on the West Coast, you are actually starting in the hottest month of the year.   Maybe Seattle to Oregon to San Francisco, to Yosemite or Sequoia (October is fine there), then LA, Vegas, Grand Canyon and to the I-10 axis.   The great national parks are really at their best in September - October, the summer rush is over and their are vacancies to be had in places like Yosemite and the Canyon.

Canada except in September-October is not recommended, winter comes quickly and hard.   Any place north of, say North Carolina in the east in November is really cold and wet.  On the West Coast, November is the start of the season for the low desert areas of Death Valley, Anza-Borrego, Tucson, Tombstone, Bisbee, etc..   The high desert of Taos, Flagstaff, Grand Canyon, most of Utah and all of Colorado is getting really cold.    The Gulf of Mexico coast should be just fine after October -- no more hurricanes.

Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

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UK-RV

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Re: UK Couple -Plan RV Travel in North America
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2005, 01:15:29 AM »

Thanks Guys

You've very quickly shown that we will be better to put off our adventure until next March time.

Our problem is that we are just too keen to get over there.

In reality, we have so much going on that it would make sense to hold back our tour.

One Question (it may get moved elsewhere)..........

We are in Canada/Alaska (cruise and rocky mountaineer) in July and will be staying a couple of nights in Vancouver.

Are there many RV Dealers in Vancouver ?

Thanks

Paul and Ann-Marie

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Re: UK Couple -Plan RV Travel in North America
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2005, 07:37:44 AM »
Tom,

What you experienced is 'region locking'. To prevent DVD swapping around the world, many manufacturers built in a firmware 'feature ??? ??? ???' that asks for your region 'x' number of times, during which you can play dvd's from almost anywhere. After a certain number of plays, it 'locks' your player to a specific region and won't allow you to play dvd's from another region. Another one of those anti-piracy schemes.
Karl (Cheesehead) Kolbus   Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "...holy cow ...what a ride!"

Tom

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Re: UK Couple -Plan RV Travel in North America
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2005, 07:46:22 AM »
Thanks for clarification Karl. FWIW last night I popped a home-made DVD from the UK into my new laptop and it wouldn't recognize it. No regional warning. Somewhere around here I have a dual-standard DVD player (NTSC/PAL), and I'll have to try it on that machine.
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Carl L

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Re: UK Couple -Plan RV Travel in North America
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2005, 01:11:38 PM »

Thanks Guys

You've very quickly shown that we will be better to put off our adventure until next March time.

Our problem is that we are just too keen to get over there.

In reality, we have so much going on that it would make sense to hold back our tour.


Better starting time.   Now you can run from the south to the north and back again.   Start in the desert Southwest or Florida and the Southeast and loop up to the north to explore the US north and Canada.   However, are you sure that you want to buy in Vancouver in July?   March in the US Northwest and BC is a bit wet, cold and miserable with reasonable chances that the passes, like Syskiou,  out will be snowed in.   And you will get hit for storage.
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

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UK-RV

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Re: UK Couple -Plan RV Travel in North America
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2005, 01:12:40 AM »


Hi Carl,

Sorry - I wasnt too clear.

I was thinking of using the couple of days in Vancouver purely for fact-finding.

View RV layouts, get a feel for prices and maybe a test drive or two.

Try to narrow our choices down a bit as at the moment we want "a 34-38' Diesel".

It would be good to whittle things down to a couple of makes, never mind models.

Certainly have no intentions to buy then.

Regards

Paul

Ron

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Re: UK Couple -Plan RV Travel in North America
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2005, 09:21:02 AM »
I think you would have a wider election to choose from and better weather to shop in if you planned on starting out in one of the southern states such as Lazy Days in Florida.  Lazy Days for example carry many different brands and have a huge stock of Motorhomes.
I guess shopping in the Northwest is ok if you like drizzle and rain. ;D
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Carl L

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Re: UK Couple -Plan RV Travel in North America
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2005, 12:05:01 PM »


Hi Carl,

Sorry - I wasnt too clear.

I was thinking of using the couple of days in Vancouver purely for fact-finding.

View RV layouts, get a feel for prices and maybe a test drive or two.

Try to narrow our choices down a bit as at the moment we want "a 34-38' Diesel".

It would be good to whittle things down to a couple of makes, never mind models.

Certainly have no intentions to buy then.

Regards

Paul


No problemos.   You know tho, I do not know how much cross border marketing there is of motorhomes.  There may be some issues of brand as opposed to floor plans.   Possibly Steve could feed you in on this.

In any case, Canadian brands would have features in common with US and you should be able to get a good feel for what you will encounter on an actual buying trip. 

One facet to consider since you are going to buy a good sized motor home is a toad.   A toad is a passenger vehicle, a car or SUV towed behind a motor home like the dingy on a yacht.    Motorhomes are hard to manuever and park in a city, even a US city, and there are mountain and backwoods roads that either impossible or nerve-wracking in such beast.   Besides breaking camp to buy groceries or see the geysers is pain in the fundament.   There are several options:
     1. Buy a toad.  A used vehicle here is a real consideration, since it is secondary transportation.

     2.  Rent cars at your destinations.  The US has a wide spread market in car rentals, even in fairly small towns.  Franchises like Enterprise are everywhere.

     3.  Use commercial tour services out of the RV park.   Very doable at tourist attractions, but maybe not so available at that quaint little north woods park that you stumble on.   And what do you do for a grocery run?   American cities and towns are a bit spread out for walking.

Us trailer haulers use our tow vehicles for these purposes.  Motorhomes have to come up with other ideas.  :)     
 
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

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Tom

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Re: UK Couple -Plan RV Travel in North America
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2005, 01:32:24 PM »
Carl

Quote
like the dingy on a yacht.

I'd have thought all that time spent online with Brits would have left some of the vernacular with you  :) It's a "tender".

Would you know if there are limitations on, for example, renting a car/SUV and using those U-Haul tow bar setups to tow behind the coach? I'm thinking of the cars I see being towed behind 1-way U-Haul truck rentals when someone decides to move across country themselves. Obviously, it would have to be something that could be towed all 4 down, unless they went with a trailer. Of course, unless the rental agreement said unlimited mileage, a long trip could be expensive.
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Re: UK Couple -Plan RV Travel in North America
« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2005, 11:04:31 PM »
Quote
I'd have thought all that time spent online with Brits would have left some of the vernacular with you   It's a "tender".

A tender on the monster tubs that you folks seem to favor.  Folks in my class call them dingies or even dinks.
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

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Re: UK Couple -Plan RV Travel in North America
« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2005, 06:23:06 AM »
Welcome back Carl  :)
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Carl L

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Re: UK Couple -Plan RV Travel in North America
« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2005, 08:23:57 PM »
Quote
Welcome back Carl 


Found a place, Cabo San Lucus, where the average boat would use your thing for a tender.  ;D    Some of those sport fishers are big enough to qualify for Janes Warships of the World.    And they are from everywhere on the west coast.  Even saw a 35-40 foot sloop flying a German ensign from Hamburg.   It was about the smallest thing there.
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

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Re: UK Couple -Plan RV Travel in North America
« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2005, 11:06:28 PM »
LOL Carl. If you'd gone around to La Paz you'd had seen some even bigger boats.
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