Houston to Oregon

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tenco

New member
Joined
Feb 2, 2007
Posts
3
Hello!
I am new to this forum and have a question and looking for advice.

My wife has an opportunity to work in Oregon for 4 weeks this summer (July-Aug). I am a school teacher and will be off during this time. We decided to make a family vacation of this opportunity. We have made trips pulling a cousin's RV but think this might be a great time to purchase our own and make the trip up in a RV. We have always wanted an RV but have put it off but the time seems right. (I do not have a lot of RV driving exp but I drove a school bus for 17 years as part of my coaching duties.)

My family info:
My TV will be a 2005 Chevy 3500 12 passenger van.
I will need bunk house design (I have 5 kids:2,6,8,10 & 12.)

I have a couple of questions that maybe someone here can help.

1) Any general recommendations for a trailer? We are going to the Houston RV show next week (2/11) and want to narrow down my choices. I pulled 32? trailer locally but it is flat here. I am thinking one a bit smaller and light.
2) Has anyone ever lived in a trailer with a large family for 5-6 weeks? If so would you do it again? One major issue I see is Washer/Dryer.
3) Do I travel through TX, NM, AZ, NV, CA then OR? My other route takes me over the Rockies: Denver, Boise etc. Two concerns here; desert travel in summer or mountains/incline/decent in the Rockies. Mileage wise they seem pretty close.
4) In Oregon we have two areas of possible assignment, Coos Bay or Bend. Any recommendations of RV, federal or state parks near the areas I listed? Either area more kid friendly?
5) Transmission cooler?
6) How many other major issues I missed?
7) Am I crazy to do this?

Lots of questions here and maybe should be in a different board but I thought I would start here.

Thanks in adavnce!
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
Five kids?!  Oh jeez, you all are not traveling, you are migrating. ;D    Let's take it point by point.

My TV will be a 2005 Chevy 3500 12 passenger van.

Heading out west, you will want to limit your trailer to 8000 lbs Gross Vehicle Weight Rating -- that is 80% of the nominal tow rating of 10,000 lbs -- to allow for the grades and altitudes you will hit.

2) Has anyone ever lived in a trailer with a large family for 5-6 weeks? If so would you do it again? One major issue I see is Washer/Dryer.

Washer driers are not an issue at all.   You are not going to find them in an 8000 lb. trailer.   However, most any private campground will have a coin laundry available.  Just take a lot of quarters -- 2-3 rolls maybe.

3) Do I travel through TX, NM, AZ, NV, CA then OR? My other route takes me over the Rockies: Denver, Boise etc. Two concerns here; desert travel in summer or mountains/incline/decent in the Rockies. Mileage wise they seem pretty close.

Go north.  If you keep that trailer to the recommended 8000 lb GVWR, you should be ok on Interstate grades.   The I-10 run would be a bit of an ordeal.  I am an old UTEP alumnus.   I do not recommend El Paso in the summer.

4) In Oregon we have two areas of possible assignment, Coos Bay or Bend. Any recommendations of RV, federal or state parks near the areas I listed? Either area more kid friendly?

Coos Bay.  Bend is nice enough but it is semi-arid and hot in the summer.   Coos Bay is on the coast and wiill be cool.   On the other hand, yawl from Houston, so just ignore what I said.  My wife is Houstonian.  She has no nostolgia for Houston weather.   ;D   Bend highs in the summer average 81; Coos Bay, 68.    Bend will be dry, Coos Bay, damp.   Bend is in wheat farming and Cascadian forests.   Coos Bay is on the spectacular Oregon coast

7) Am I crazy to do this?

Absolutely.  Like the old proverb goes -- insanity is hereditary, you get it from your children. 

Some survival hints.

1.  Sleeping bags for the kids.
2.   Bring a small tent.   Some campground allow them on a site and it allows getting the kids out of the trailer for a bit.  However, a lot of CGs do prohibit them so be prepared to put the whole herd in the trailer.
3.   Get a trailer that permits closing off the master bedroom with a door or a sliding screen.
4.   Have a power hitch jack for the trailer, making hitching and unhitching a lot faster.
5.    Read our library on the subject of what you need for a trailer.



 

Wendy

Site Team
Joined
May 14, 2005
Posts
12,560
Location
Colorado
Just double checking - is it Bend or North Bend? Because North Bend is nowhere near Bend.

Traveling to Bend, I'd go through New Mexico, cutting up at Albuquerque to the Four Corners area then through Utah, Idaho, and into Oregon. There's lots to do around Bend....awesome vistas of the Cascades, hiking, biking, fishing, river running, the High Desert Museum, and Crater Lake to the south. Tumalo State Park is 5 miles to the west of Bend, La Pine State Park is 30 miles south. There are also private parks in Bend (Crown Villa is very nice but very pricey). The surrounding forests have campgrounds but probably aren't terribly close.

As Carl said, Coos Bay is coastal, cool and damp, Bend is high desert, warm and dry. I've been in Bend during the summer and, while it was warm, it wasn't intolerable. And, hey, you're from Houston....Bend would be a nice, enjoyable dry heat.

Join Passport America....you'll save a bunch with their half-off camping.

As for traveling with 5 kids, yes, you are certifiable. But what an experience for those youngsters.

Enjoy
Wendy
 

thebrits

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 4, 2005
Posts
159
If you go to Coos Bay there's a nice state park nearby, Sunset Bay - about 10 miles out of town.  There's also a county park on the way, near Charleston.  They'll only let you stay for 14 days.  Several private parks in the same area for longer term stays.  We volunteer at Sunset Bay, it's a lovely place.

Another plus, no bugs on the coast (well maybe the odd noseeum).  We lived in Louisiana for many years, and don't miss those at all.
 

Cabbie

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 24, 2006
Posts
45
Location
Portland OR
Tenco

Here's the website to our State Parks; check it out. I suggest you reserve as early as you can, both La Pine and Tumalo take reservations.

http://egov.oregon.gov/OPRD/index.shtml
 

tenco

New member
Joined
Feb 2, 2007
Posts
3
Thanks for the info! I will check out the leads and start with the reservations.

FYI
Bend is now out, so we are looking at Coos Bay area.

Thanks again!

Tenco
 

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