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

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

SeilerBird

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Posts
16,040
Location
St Cloud Florida USA
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.
Fact: for every 1000 feet you descend into the canyon the temperature increases by 3 degrees. If it is 80 on the rim it is 95 at bottom of the canyon.
 

UTTransplant

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 20, 2014
Posts
2,759
Location
Cedar Falls, IA
We did an overnight canoe camping trip from just downriver of the Glen Canyon dam to Lee’s Ferry. After the tourists have gone, the jet boat takes canoeists and kayakers upriver and drops you off. It has to be set up in advance obviously, but the price for the upriver shuttle really wasn’t too bad. There are some established camp areas, or you can just stay anywhere your tent can go. It is interesting pulling into Lee’s Ferry with canoes while the white water groups prep their monster rafts for the trip downriver from there.
 

SeilerBird

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Posts
16,040
Location
St Cloud Florida USA
I cannot thank everyone enough for all of the advice. Of course I know nothing about this life style and we were worried it was too much. Wishful thinking I guess? It sounds like our best bet is to cut the trip in half like many of you have suggested.
We get Europeans here that have never been to the US and they plot out some trips around the country that would take six months at least and they want to do it in a month. We have to explain that the US is a country unlike anything they have seen in Europe. Until you get out and do some traveling you never realize just how big this country is. It takes 3 days just to drive across Texas without any site seeing, just driving. And the sights are boring most of the way. Very flat with not much of interest to children riding along.
 

Isaac-1

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2016
Posts
4,865
Location
SW Louisiana
We did the same Glen Canyon float trip a couple of years ago, it was a great experience.
As to driving across Texas, I drove almost all the way across it plus 60 miles into Louisiana in one day once upon a time when I was younger. The starting point was Fort Davis, TX about 150 miles from El Paso, of course that was not in an RV, and involved departing at sunrise and driving until 10 pm only stopping for fuel and eating in the car on the road. So about 100 short of the distance of crossing Texas on I-10
 

John From Detroit

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
25,092
Location
Davison Michigan
Oh, when I visited the Grand Canyon I was technically broke down (My Towed car was in shop) So I stayed in Page AZ at , as I recall, a KOA.... Not a bad RV park and on the bus line so I was able to hope a bus to the car rental at the airport.

Also took a trip into the Antelope Slot Canyon... it's on Navajo land so you must have a guide to take you.
But it was a very nice hike. They have two tours they do the other one you climb a ladder.
Interesting town.. Dinner at the Dam Site Inn was good.
 

JudyJB

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 6, 2010
Posts
1,741
This is getting way off track. Most of us agree that the person asking the question is trying to do way too much in one two-week trip. I think all of us agree that there are some wonderful places in this country to see, but that travelers should break such long trips up into two or more trips. Grand Canyon and the area around it are gorgeous, but Rushmore and the Black Hills are also very nice places--just take two or three trips to see them all.
 

Skookum

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 19, 2018
Posts
251
A couple of things that haven't been mentioned (I don't think - I read most replies until people started getting rummy).

Factor in a little slush time for road construction. The midwest states can really slow you down if there is major construction, they work all summer long. And then there's Western state road construction, which, half jokingly, looks like 40 mile sections of reduced speed limits (45 in a 70), single lanes, and ten billion cones, with not a worker in sight. I kid, until you cross 2 or 3 of them, you're going to remember this post.

Second thing is...and others will probably pipe up....Cruise America RV's are like prison-grade comfortable, decontented, and the company charges for everything, including dishes and use of the generator. You will likely need the generator running going down the road, if you have people riding in the back of the RV, to run the rear AC. Realize nobody wants to sit at a tiny dinette for 10 hours straight, not even your kids, so you will need to plan LOTS of breaks.

A 25' RV will drive like a large passenger van, no worries. Just know the height, it's always good to know and put a sticky note on the dash or something. Look UP. Gas station overhangs, signs, branches, low pedestrian bridges, etc. You probably won't have any trouble, it's just a good thing to be able to reference quickly.

One last one...it sounds like you're planning to shorten your trip already. Make sure you get to park somewhere for 2-3 days to really enjoy a place and take the chance to do nothing for a while. That said, Arizona couldn't be any more uncomfortable in the dead of summer, and the Midwest (Dakotas/ Mt. Rushmore) isn't exactly cool either, but it's better than. Make sure to plan accordingly and find places with hookups so you can run the AC off shore power.
 

Utclmjmpr

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 14, 2009
Posts
5,256
Location
Cedar City, UT
The OP should also keep his stops in mind,, keep your laptop handy and use RVParky and Campground Reviews as "go to" places when needing a stop..>>>Dan
 

decaturbob

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 31, 2015
Posts
494
Location
central Illinois
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

- gas stops are critical and I usually plan my travels around gas stops. Low mpg equates to 3 to 4 gas stops a travel day
- it is really difficult to drive 12 hrs in a day and trying to do 500 miles is a real push to do.
- RV campsites can be problematic to find, especially in June-September
 

Old_Crow

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 20, 2016
Posts
2,514
Location
Mammoth Lakes, California
No, the farthest I have descended into the canyon is three miles (out of about ten to the bottom).
It's been over 50 years since I took the Kaibab trail from the north rim to Roaring Springs, a distance of almost 5 miles. To this day, I wish we had turned around at the Supai tunnel, which is somewhat less than 2 miles from the rim. Would have made the rest of the weekend a lot better.
 

SeilerBird

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Posts
16,040
Location
St Cloud Florida USA
It's been over 50 years since I took the Kaibab trail from the north rim to Roaring Springs, a distance of almost 5 miles. To this day, I wish we had turned around at the Supai tunnel, which is somewhat less than 2 miles from the rim. Would have made the rest of the weekend a lot better.
There are two main trails from the rim to the bottom. Bright Angel Trail, which is the one made famous by the mules and the South Kaibab Trail, also used by the mules. BAT is longer and not as steep as the SKT. I made 3 miles on the BAT and one and a half on the SKT.
 

Old_Crow

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 20, 2016
Posts
2,514
Location
Mammoth Lakes, California
There are two main trails from the rim to the bottom. Bright Angel Trail, which is the one made famous by the mules and the South Kaibab Trail, also used by the mules. BAT is longer and not as steep as the SKT. I made 3 miles on the BAT and one and a half on the SKT.
In '74 a friend and I hiked about a mile down the BAT from the South Rim. It was in the early spring and we reached a point where snow and ice completely covered the trail and decided to turn around.

The next year, a girlfriend and I went camping to the North Rim, and started a "day hike" down the North Kaibab Trail that was supposed to go as far as Supai tunnel(2 miles one way). That didn't take very long, so we decided to continue on to the Redwall Bridge(another mile one way). Got to the bridge and decided it was only 2 more miles to Roaring Springs and we could swim there. 2 1/2 hours down, almost 7 back up.

While hosting at Demotte Campground near the north rim in '17 I met a man from Switzerland who hiked from the North Rim to the River and back up in one day(I think he left the campground to drive to the trailhead at about 4am). There are big signs telling you not to attempt that, but he did it anyway.
 

SeilerBird

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Posts
16,040
Location
St Cloud Florida USA
There was a guy who did 80 something rim to rims and he was 80 years old. I had to talk a few foolish tourists not to try a rim to rim with no experience. The altitude is a killer and going down is so easy. You can run down the trail to the river without too much effort since it is all down hill. Going back up is a killer. The heat, the dry air, the altitude and the steepness of the trail are difficult to navigate. That is why I always recommended that 1 and a half miles down is a far as a beginner should do. And start down by 7 am and be heading back up before 10 am.
 

Old_Crow

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 20, 2016
Posts
2,514
Location
Mammoth Lakes, California
There was a guy who did 80 something rim to rims and he was 80 years old. I had to talk a few foolish tourists not to try a rim to rim with no experience. The altitude is a killer and going down is so easy. You can run down the trail to the river without too much effort since it is all down hill. Going back up is a killer. The heat, the dry air, the altitude and the steepness of the trail are difficult to navigate. That is why I always recommended that 1 and a half miles down is a far as a beginner should do. And start down by 7 am and be heading back up before 10 am.
I'd do a rim to rim today, but I'd be on a mule, not walking, that's for darned sure.
I found a neat series of web articles about the history of the trails in the canyon. Starts here:

 
Top Bottom