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

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LarsMac

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 15, 2015
Posts
1,637
Location
Colorado Plains
OR, drive west for one week, get to where you get, see what you get to see, turn back home, on different easterly route, for the second week. Enjoy the tour.
Excellent suggestion. Just go, and have fun the first week, when you have 7 days out, turn around and enjoy the trip home.
 

jymbee

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 20, 2018
Posts
1,307
Location
Upstate NY
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.
Years ago I travelled from Alaska to NY with a couple I met who wanted someone to share expenses with. They were from Belgium & The Netherlands and had been travelling for months around the country. I remember asking them what was their most lasting impression: "Just how BIG the country is!" was their quick reply. They mentioned how much in awe they were when traveling through TX.
txsize.jpg
 

SeilerBird

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Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Posts
16,167
Location
St Cloud Florida USA
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:

Thanks for the link Wally. I am reading the entire story and I have found a lot of info that I never knew before.
Two visitors took two low-geared motor scooters down Bright Angel Trail and spooked a mule train. They were fined $50.
This really blows my mind. I cannot imagine taking a motor scooter down BAT.
They failed to mention the air strip located at Plateau Point. Built by the Kolb brothers to fly photos up to the rim so they could be developed, printed and sold to the hikers by the time they got back out of the canyon. It only did so a few times before abandoning the idea. You can still see the runway about 100 yards from the end of the trail.Plateau Point.jpg
 

jackiemac

Site Team
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Posts
6,350
Location
Scotland
If you really want to do Arizona and that area then you might be best to fly somewhere closer and do a tour from there. Las Vegas might be a good location or Salt Lake City. I think that you could see a lot from man of the Western cities and you would not have to spend so much time driving there. As someone else mentioned, the saving on gas would probably pay for flights.

If adverse to flying then you could consider driving your own car a bit closer. For example, you could maybe drive to St Louis and rent an RV there. That way you could cover more ground faster (particularly if you and your other half shared the driving, even overnight) and that would give you more time for the rest of your trip.

I can say that there is plenty to see and do in South Dakota as mentioned above if Mt Rushmore was to be your number one destination after the Grand Canyon.

Be aware of the Sturgis Rally as the prices shoot up and it is very very busy. The RV Park we stated at was quadrupling their nightly rate.


As well as Mt Rushmore I believe the Borglum Story in Keystone is worth a visit. It shows as temporarily closed - maybe because of Covid. Please don't be offended - we were rather underwhelmed by Mt Rushmore and much preferred the Crazyhorse Monument, although we didn't get there until dark and missed the museum.

Here are some of my recommendations for that area:

Devil's Tower - hike around the base (around an hour's drive from Spearfish)

Crazyhorse National Monument - really great museum and interesting story of the monument. I was really glad we went. We spent several hours there.

Deadwood - gunfights in the street, Trial of Jack McCall, old cemetery, couple of old bars (Buffalo Bill original bar is downstairs)

Lead - Sanford Homestake Gold Mining Museum is interesting

Spearfish Canyon - check if suitable for RV, couple of nice hikes

Custer State Park - beautiful place and worth a few days at least, believe there are lots of bison there.
Note that the Eye of the Needle Highway is not suitable for an RV.
Sylvan Lake is really lovely.
Black Hills Burger & Bun was a great burger joint in Custer

Wall Drug - a huge shop that seems popular. Watch for the adverts on the highway as you approach, some were very amusing.

Badlands - really lovely with lots of hikes. Cedar Pass Campground looked really nice but I believe there is lots of boondocking around. Watch out for prairie dogs at Prairie Town, and if you watch closely you might be lucky enough to see Burrowing Owls nesting there too.

Other places around the area that we have not been to but heard of:

Wind Cave
Minuteman Missile Museum
Tatanka - our campground neighbours liked it - story of the bison
 
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