We are late 40's and currently in the process of buying an RV in Florida. Then embarking (Apr 2020) on a slow and steady road-trip trough North America. Any hints 'n tips and suggestions are all welcome. Nice to met you all.
My best advice is to stay out of the south and the southwest in the summer, Florida will still be pleasant in April, but by mid May it will start heating up, and by mid June it will likely be an oven, which will continue until October, with August being the hottest month. August is best spent in the western mountain states, in particular the higher elevation parts of Colorado, Wyoming, as well as much of Montana, Idaho, and parts of Washington state.
Welcome! Have you had experience with RV?s? Do you have type in mind? How long are you planning your journey? Isaac-1 is right about summers anywhere in the south. The high elevations in states he mentions are a good way to beat the August heat. So is Maine and the Upper Peninsula (the UP) of Michigan.
We're into our 4th year of a ?slow and steady road trip?; moving every two to four weeks, explore the area evenings and weekends, move and do it again. Migrating north and south with the seasons makes the coach work less to keep us warm and cool.
Slow & steady are the key words. The USA is huge and there is lots to see, so I hope you are planning on years rather than weeks.
The advice on seasonal climate is right on target. Florida is our home but we escape to the mountains from mid-May thru Mid-October every year. Used to go to the Maine cast or the Pacific Northwest instead. And it's not just Florida - the entire lower half of the USA is either hot & dry and hot & humid for 5-6 months of the year. Mountain regions, though, will remain pleasant. Even 2000 ft of altitude brings cooler and drier weather.
We lived in Cambridge for 5 years and traveled around the UK by car. It is much different driving in the US than driving in the UK. We actually have rest stops here where you can go to the toilet, get a snack or have a picnic. Most rest stops have information about the local area. Each State has a welcome center on the Interstates as you cross state lines. I have found the folks that man these welcome centers to be very helpful. As you travel on our Interstate system you will find that virtually all exits will have just about everything you need; petrol, restaurants, most any form of shopping, medical assistance. Traveling in the East is quite different than traveling in the West. The East is congested with urban sprawl and you will have to pay many tolls. The West is quite expansive and if You see a sign that says ?Next Gas Is XXX Miles? you need to believe it. When possible travel the back roads. You will see much more of the country than when traveling the Interstates. Have fun! The US is a big country. Most of us are very friendly and more than willing to help.
I would start with mentioning that in April and May the central US will have very unpredictable weather, so stick to the Eastern Regions at first.
The Southeastern US has some wonderful places to begin with.
Then, as summer settles in the weather settles down, and you can wander to your hearts' content.
One more point to make, the US is BIG, to put this in perspective for you, according to google maps the driving distance from Miami, Florida to Seattle, Washington (3,300 miles) is almost identical to the driving distance between London and Bagdhad, Iraq (3248 miles). Also when driving an RV you will not average anywhere near as fast of speed as you will in a car, most of us average around 50 mph throughout the course of a driving day, where we might average 65-70 in a car in the western states where the speed limit is 75-85 mph. Everything seems to take longer in an RV, time spent getting in and out of gas stations, time fueling, need to pull off and take rest breaks, time it takes to make and break camp, etc. Also most of us on here try to limit our daily travel distance to around 300-350 miles max, personally I have done up to 500 in my current class A motorhome, though I did not like doing it, and always look back on days of over 400 miles wishing I had broken them up into 2 shorter days.
Family and friends in the UK are mind boggled at some of the distances we talk about, and that they experience when they visit. One long-time London friend says "if we tried to drive that distance in the UK, we'd fall off the end long before we got there"
Welcome to the USA and the RV Forum! The four corners of our country are as different as day from night so you'll be feasting your eyes and brain the entire trip. As you're driving along our highways you might see brown signs. These will alert you to places you might want to visit, such as the Grand Canyon, Goblin State Park (Utah), Redwoods National Park (California) or national historic sites. Every now and then one that is more obscure turns out to be a hidden gem.
As you venture west, you'll encounter more desert-like environments. Coming from a more humid rainy area you might be surprised to encounter relative humidity in these areas of only 5-10 percent. Be prepared to wear a sun hat, use sun block with UVA and UVB protection, and always carry water. If you enjoy hiking, we have some great hiking trails in the southwest. We love hiking in Arches National Park and Zion National Park. I recommend getting some hiking boots or sturdy shoes, both for rugged terrain and to avoid stepping on cactus needles or bothersome insects.
I'm excited for you and hope you make many wonderful memories here.
My advice is this: don't underestimate the power of your accent.
My husband is a Brit (US citizen now) and his accent goes a long way toward meeting people, and even getting the occasional discount on things. We once got a stonking discount on a hotel room because the girl at reception liked his accent. This is especially true in the Southern states (Georgia, I'm looking at you...). If you hear it once you'll hear it a thousand times: "I just luuuuuuuuuuv yer accent!"
Enjoy our beautiful country, and don't be shy. Your accent will get you in the door quickly.
Google will find definitions, but my favo(u)rite is ?an all-purpose intensifying adjective?. That best describes my recollection and personal use from my 32 years living in the UK, and an additional 40 years talking with friends and family online and on the phone.
Googled husband (the G-rated version, of course; it's only 6:22pm) and he said stonking is similar to "jolly good", but not "jolly good" as in agreement, "jolly good" as in "really good". It can also mean "beat the (tar/heck/[email protected]) out of someone, as in, "I gave that pillock a right good stonking."
Don't confuse "right good stonking" with "right good tonking." They're similar, but different.
Hi Quantum and welcome to the forum. You've just made your first great decision by joining in here. We started actually touring the USA in May having done a lot of research through this forum and its brilliant members. We are also UK residents so know exactly what you need to do. At some time, Jackiemac will pick up this thread. They have been absolutely amazing with all their help, having started a few years ago. If you need any advice, drop us a pm. We will be only too willing to pass on what we have learnt, both good and bad.
Tony & Anne.
Love the UK and spent 6 weeks there in April-June 2018 by myself. Wish I could afford to go back soon.
My big piece is advice is to adopt the U.S. attitude about taking it easy and introducing yourselves to people in campgrounds and national parks. If you run into trouble with something, you will be amazed at how many people will be happy to help. (And this from a person who wanted to visit a tiny country church in Yorkshire where some of my ancestors were married and was offered the key if I stopped by the "reader's" home! And who made myself at home when I arrived at a completely empty B&B in Islay because the lady owner was not home and had left me a note. They not only "leave the lights on" over there, but leave the doors unlocked and the key in your room door!)
I've been full-timing for over 7 years, and I cannot tell you how many times people have offered help when I was sick or had a mechanical problem or couldn't lift something in a campground. (I am an older woman who travels alone.) You meet the nicest people in campgrounds, as well as around the world!