has anyone done a road trip in a camper van? i am absolutley dying to do this? i want to spend 3 months travelling around the states in a van and im getting so excited thinking about it.
please please let me know if you have done this or are planning to?
any american got some advice on must sees...? nice camp sites etc?
hi, i'm rene from texas, i've driven all over the states, where r u from? i'm completely familiar with getting around the whole U.S. with a map. their is a lot of rest stops that you can just park at for sleep as well as several camping ground areas, that shouldn't be a problem, you can see a lot in three months it's fun
thanks for your message, you just got me even more excited!! im actually from kenya. ive been to the a few places in the states before and i just love it. wow i cant believe you've actually been all around ...im so jelous!!! must have been amazing!!
did you rent the van or is it yours?
im so excited to do this and see the beautiful parks and country sides, ive got SUCH itchy feet!!!
whats the best route?
I have been from Las Vegas to the East coast 6 times in a van and find it the best way to see the US.
I assume you will buy a van once here. Try to find something that gets decent gas mileage or you will burn through a major part of your budget on gas. A used VW camper van has decent comfort and reasonable mileage, not much power, but OK. Another choice is an older Toyota with a camper on it. Not much speed, but OK mileage & fair comfort.
Several tips. Buy the year pass for the National Parks, $50. It will pay for itself if you hit more than 3 parks and you should visit at least a dozen of them. Yellowstone, Yosemite, Sequioa, Glacier, Mount Rushmore are musts and you really should hit as many as possible. Camping fees in the parks has gotten fairly pricey, $20/nite in some parks. One thing I did was to visit the park, enjoy the evening program and then park at the main lodge parking lot, crawl in the back and go to sleep. Another option in some parks is to drive just outside the park and camp in the Nationl Forest. Most don't charge to camp or charge less than the park.
Nationl Forests, Monuments, State Parks and State Forests are usually free or much less than the Nat'l Parks.
My final tip is to sleep in hospital parking lots when driving between cities. They are used to people coming and going at all hours, have a lobby with bathroom and TV. I would pull into the hospital, use the bathroom, read or watch TV until I was sleepy, crawl into my van and go to sleep. Up with the sun and on the road. Dress appropriately, act like you belong and I was never questioned. I slept in at least 20 hospital parking lots and it worked everytime. My cover story was that I was feeling ill while driving and was going to go to the emergency room if I did not feel better in the morning. Never had to use it. Just stay low profile and you have a safe, quiet place to sleep that night.
PM me if you have additional questions.
wow! thank you so much for all those tips.what great advice. i almost envy you with everything that you have done. i cant thank you enough for replying to my msg, i cant wait to see all those places and thank u thank u for all the names of the parks etc...im quite clueless at the mo.what kind of route is the best?? i have 3 months and i also wanna try get to canada.where do you reckon i should start. east or west?
where are you from? ahhhhhhhh i wish i could go NOW!!!
I just wanted to add that a cheap way of sleep while Rv-ing is to just stop in any Wal-Mart parking lot, they're usually in decent areas and never mind if you stay there. Obviously, picking a 24 hour one is your safest bet.
I would not recommend stopping to sleep at rest stops. There you will find some of the creepiest people in the whole of the United States of America.
This will be one of the best experiences of your life---trust me!
I am guessing that you are landing on the East coast. You are going to have difficulty renting a car at your age. Most don't rent to under 25, but a few do. Do some research on the computer and see what 3 months rental will cost you.
If you are buying a camper van, I would get out of NYC or New Jersey via bus, say to Syracuse or Albany, upstate NY. Buy your camper van there. Let the auto dealer know your plans and see if you can return it in 3 months and resell it back to them. You should be able to find something in the $3K range and maybe lose $500 when reselling it.
If you are on the East coast, do Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Niagara Falls, then head South if you want to visit Elvis's hometown of Graceland, Memphis Tenn. On down to Florida if you want the Disneyland type parks or beach time. If not, head West. Most of the big Nat'l Parks are out West. PM me if you have questions on renting/buying your camper van. Good Luck, Mike