Never driven an RV before and planning a trip across the US

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ziplock

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I'd google: "things to do near MT Rushmore", and see if anything appeals to you.
 

JudyJB

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I have been to all of the places you have listed multiple times in my nine years of traveling. My suggestion is that to go ONLY to Arizona. And even just Grand Canyon is a 2,000 miles drive, which even driving long days of 300 miles per day would be a killer 7-day drive almost entirely on freeways. That gives you 2 days at Grand Canyon before you had to head back. Frankly, that is a waste of time and money to go to just one place and drive at 65 MPH past everything else on the way. Is there any way you could add at least a week to this trip?? Maybe two??

OR, how about flying to Las Vegas, Phoenix, or Albuquerque and renting an RV there??? That is more expensive, but the problem with your plans and route is that you are skipping 80% of the interesting stuff along the way. Grand Canyon is nice, but there is a ton of fascinating stuff in Arizona you could be seeing. You could turn this into a real vacation instead of a race to a single national park. You will also spend an incredible amount of money on gas driving an RV from Florida. I just calculated 5,000 miles divided by 9 MPG = 555 gallons times $3.25 per gallon = $1,805!!!! That would easily pay for a few airline tickets to LV!!!!

Las Vegas is a fairly cheap place to fly to, and there are lots of places to rent RVs there. In LV, you can stop by Hoover Dam and one of my most favorite state parks, Valley of Fire, about 60 miles northeast of the city. (You can see hundreds of petroglyphs, some gorgeous scenery, and even bighorn sheep there.) And Grand Canyon is only a long one-day drive from Las Vegas!!

Could also spend a few days at Lake Powell, and east of Phoenix is Meteor Crater and another of my favorite state parks, Homolovi. Near Flagstaff are some interesting volcanos at Sunset Craters, and also Lowell Observatory.

See what I mean about making this a real vacation instead of a race?? If you tell me if you have kids, I can suggest some other places they would enjoy. And you would even have time to stop by some local town and county museums, which are always interesting!!!
 

steveblonde

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Wont happen sorry way too far. im leaving in 2weeks for a 5000 mile trip 2500 each way. This trip ive done 4 times along this route and havent seen 1/4 of the stuff to see. It will take me 5 days to get there and the first day is 745miles and 12hours (we will leave about 4 am to avoid traffic as much as possible ) which doesnt include stops for fuel pee breaks etc
You really need to scale back - good luck
 
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SeilerBird

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I know this is a preference question, but out of all the places I have marked... Which would you suggest as the best? My kids are in the preteen/teen age group, so they are able to hike a good bit (if that makes a difference in your suggestions). My son really wants to see Mt. Rushmore, but other than that, is there much to do there?
The Grand Canyon is one of the seven wonders of the world. it is tough to top that and they have some of the best hiking trails in the park service.
 

steveblonde

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The Grand Canyon is one of the seven wonders of the world. it is tough to top that and they have some of the best hiking trails in the park service.
Grand Canyon is cool cause its so big. BUT Bryce Canyon is way prettier and much more accessible and the sunrises and sunsets are amazing
 

Larry N.

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Grand Canyon is cool cause its so big. BUT Bryce Canyon is way prettier and much more accessible and the sunrises and sunsets are amazing
I guess that's a matter of opinion, and I prefer the Grand Canyon for its beauty, wonder and grandeur, especially for repeat viewing. Of course I see beauty in the deserts of New Mexico and Arizona, especially NM, where all too many people see desolation or just something to pass by. I also see a lot of beauty in the rolling hills/plains of Kansas/Nebraska where, again, so many people see something to be endured while they go elsewhere.

So this seems to indicate that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" is a true statement (of course there are many other proofs of that, too).
 

Kirk

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My kids are in the preteen/teen age group, so they are able to hike a good bit (if that makes a difference in your suggestions).
The first thing you need to realize is that you will probably only average about 50 - 60 mph during your travel time so you could be looking at some very long days for two children who are less than 13 years of age. Traveling to the Grand Canyon from your home will require 2,138 miles each way, if you take the most direct route. To Yellowstone and back is 2.332 miles and to Mt. Rushmore is 1,861 miles. Consider how long your children are happy when riding in a car and adjust your daily travel distances accordingly. Travel by RV is somewhat better for them as they will be able to sit at a table and do things but to be safe they still need to be seat belted in and remain seated while traveling. A visit to Mt. Rushmore may well be feasible, with some stops along the way to see other attractions. You could make modifications to the route so that you go and return by somewhat different routes and see different things. I would limit travel to no more than 6 hours of actual driving time and I would travel no more than 2 consecutive days with at least 1 day in between to do something fun. Keep in mind that you will need to hook up the utilities each arrival and disconnect them to go anywhere or to travel again and those things take time.

Think of the kids having fun first, and seeing things and learning second. Mt. Rushmore can be seen in just a couple of hours to a half day but there are enough things to do and see in that area to keep most people busy for a week or two.
 

steveblonde

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Done both twice i prefer Bryce , and i have done heli tour fron vegas and the jet boat done the snake and the quads, only thing not done is the donkeys lol even done it with 2 seperate wives first time was 1976 with my folks then 2005 the day after the fires closed the road in to grand canyon then 2019
 

Rob&Deryl

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I love Custer State Park. I have toured it 5 times (on motorcycle). I like that there are so many bison wandering around. Sometimes you just have to wait out a Buffalo jam while 50 or so cross the road right in front of you. Awesome.
 

SeilerBird

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I agree. Check out Zion and Bryce if you can. The horse ride through Bryce is quite an experience. Zion is incredible to see.
The Grand Canyon is one of the deepest canyons at 1.8 billion years old. The top layer is 250 million years old, in other words no dinosaur fossils are possible there. The bottom layer of Zion is the same as the top layer of the Grand Canyon. And the bottom layer of Bryce Canyon is the top layer at Zion. All three are part of the Grand Staircase. All three are stunning and gorgeous and all are completely different. All three offer sensational hiking.

You want to see the most awesome hike possible check out Angel's Landing. The last half mile is spent going hand ovef hand along giant chains with the bottom over 1000 feet below you and the bottom is where you are going if you fall. The best part starts around 1:45. This is The Saddle where the trail is less than two feet wide and on one side there is a 1200 foot drop and on the other side of the trail it is a 1400 foot drop.
 
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Lou Schneider

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You want to see the most awesome hike possible check out Angel's Landing. The last half mile is spent going hand ovef hand along giant chains with the bottom over 1000 feet below you and the bottom is where you are going if you fall. The best part starts around 1:45. This is The Saddle where the trail is less than two feet wide and on one side there is a 1200 foot drop and on the other side of the trail it is a 1400 foot drop.
You're recommending this to a family with pre-teen kids? Seriously???
 

SCWinnie02

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Myrtle Beach, SC
Hey everyone! My husband and I are going to rent an RV from Cruise America (25ft), and we plan to do a 2 week trip from the east coast to the west coast-ish with our kiddos. I have spent HOURS online, reading up on everything I can possibly think of. I believe I have found a safe way to travel to all of the places, without getting stuck on any non-friendly RV roads. However, I would greatly appreciate anyone taking a peek at the roads and giving any advice. Two weeks is not nearly enough time to do these places justice, but the point of this is to mainly check out each area and then decide on coming back at a later date. We will spend a day or 2 in each place, so any advice about each area would be very helpful as well. I'm going to attach a maps link and hope it works. Thanks!!

Orange Park to Orange Park
Road conditions will vary as this is typed - go for it, make it as best you can, don't sweat over the petty stuff, make your own memories, adapt as needed - the beauty of RV'ing - live your adventures instead of reading about other's adventures - man I am jealous have a great trip!!!
 

SeilerBird

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You're recommending this to a family with pre-teen kids? Seriously???
Absolutely. I have seen many pre-teens taking the hike. One time I was passed up by a flock of teenage girls who were having the time of their lives. i stopped one and asked her who the group was. She told me that they were a group of girls who worked locally and they did the hike every Friday since that was their day off. Also a lot of the hikers don't go all the way to the chains. They stop at Scout's Landing where the chains begin.

Question for Google:
Can kids do the Angels Landing hike?

Angels Landing is one of the most awe-inspiring spots in Zion National Park. The hike to this famous viewpoint is stunning, but strenuous indeed, leaving families with kids to question it's worth and safety. Our family recently completed the hike to Angels Landing with five children, including a baby.Feb 1, 2020


 
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Tom55555

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The Grand Canyon is one of the deepest canyons at 1.8 billion years old. The top layer is 250 million years old, in other words no dinosaur fossils are possible there. The bottom layer of Zion is the same as the top layer of the Grand Canyon. And the bottom layer of Bryce Canyon is the top layer at Zion. All three are part of the Grand Staircase. All three are stunning and gorgeous and all are completely different. All three offer sensational hiking.

You want to see the most awesome hike possible check out Angel's Landing. The last half mile is spent going hand ovef hand along giant chains with the bottom over 1000 feet below you and the bottom is where you are going if you fall. The best part starts around 1:45. This is The Saddle where the trail is less than two feet wide and on one side there is a 1200 foot drop and on the other side of the trail it is a 1400 foot drop.


The Grand Canyon is one of the deepest canyons at 1.8 billion years old. The top layer is 250 million years old, in other words no dinosaur fossils are possible there. The bottom layer of Zion is the same as the top layer of the Grand Canyon. And the bottom layer of Bryce Canyon is the top layer at Zion. All three are part of the Grand Staircase. All three are stunning and gorgeous and all are completely different. All three offer sensational hiking.

You want to see the most awesome hike possible check out Angel's Landing. The last half mile is spent going hand ovef hand along giant chains with the bottom over 1000 feet below you and the bottom is where you are going if you fall. The best part starts around 1:45. This is The Saddle where the trail is less than two feet wide and on one side there is a 1200 foot drop and on the other side of the trail it is a 1400 foot drop.

I forgot to mention the raft trip through the Grand Canyon is really cool and safe for the kids.
 

SeilerBird

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I forgot to mention the raft trip through the Grand Canyon is really cool and safe for the kids.
I did a one day raft trip from Page Utah. Totally mind blowing.
 

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Tom55555

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I did a one day raft trip from Page Utah. Totally mind blowing.
Great pictures. I was amazed the temperature increased at least 10 degrees on the water. Even the north and south rim varies; but they are a 1000 foot difference in elevation. Fun stuff.
 

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