Hiring RV in USA / Canada

Discussion in 'OT (OFF Topic) Forums' started by 124fan, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. 124fan

    124fan Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Hi everyone,

    Well, with all this wet weather we're planning a special trip next year, 25 years married to boot. We're thinking about hiring a RV for 3 -4 weeks but don't really know where to start? My wife has never been to the USA / Canada before so I was thinking perhaps the New England tour, but I'd love to hear from anyone who has done a similar trip, and is a car maybe just as good?

    Thanks in advance

    Cheers

    :)
     
  2. imadoofus

    imadoofus Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    This and that.
    We were going to do this in Canada a few years back. In the end, we toured New England by car, and stayed in hotels. Met some great people and stayed in some nice places (and one absolute HOLE!).

    Started in Boston for a few days, then drove up through Mass., New Hampshire and Vermont, then to upstate NY (lake Burlington). Drove down to NJ, and got a 'plane up to Niagara for a couple of days, then flew back to NYC and spent three or four days there, in the dark, like a mole, before flying home.

    One downside with the RV is that if you're on an RV park somewhere, you can't go very far without packing everything away.

    PJ
     
  3. dougal74

    dougal74 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Hotels are so cheap and plentiful I would avoid the "pleasures" of an RV!

    When the Amercians do the RV thing, they tend to tow their car along so they can get out and about...

    A car also means you can cover more miles and go to more off the beaten track spots.
     
  4. Seamster15

    Seamster15 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Hmm... RV'ing....

    We just came back from California and 10 days in one....
    The RV's have a very quick turn around, you dropp it off and it goes back out with a new customer in a matter of hours, and if any of ours are to go by, there not cleaned... (We have 5 RV's ini total between our friends)

    So after waiting the best part of a day picking the thing up from some dodgy compund area in Oakland, we sopend the rest of the day cleaning it and trying to get to the first camp site.

    There seems tro be little or no suspension in an RV - every bump its felt, there is of course no handling so every mountain road is very interesting..... (I hit a crash barrier on the PCH)

    Adding fuel is fun... try driving into or out of most peterol stations in a fixed chassis 30 foot shed..... my friend took off the rear of his RV trying....

    Once at the campsite you will need to connect the services, and belive me after a hard days driving connecting the poopy tube is the last thing you want to be doing. The campsites are also generally miles from any town...... and you can't park these things even if you do driver there.

    Now I am sure that someone will come along with some positive thoughts!

    Simon.

    P.S We did the same journey in a Convertable car two years ago and it was far better fun, cleaner, safer and cheaper.

    Inexpensive hotels work out cheaper even when adding the cost of a hire car..

    Cheers.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2008
  5. OP
    OP
    124fan

    124fan Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    There's a pattern emerging :) I was kinda thinking that it might not be the best plan, but wanted to hear opinions. Keep them coming, please.

    Then as to a route I was going to start gathering tour brochures to see where they go and how long it takes, but knowing nothing about the USA there's gonna be a big learning curve! Does anyone fly in to and out of different airports? is there any benfit in doing this?

    Cheers

    :)
     
  6. Seamster15

    Seamster15 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Only that it normally costs more....
     
  7. crockers

    crockers MB Club Veteran

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    When are you planning to go next year .. lived south of Boston for a few years - autumn (fall) is lovely.... summer can get rather humid.. If you like swimming forget the sea -- Lab current will freeze your bits off - stick to the inland "ponds" (really lakes)..


    Just the two of you or are you taking lots of kids etc?? If just the two of you - car + hotels makes sense.

    If you can get up to Quebec city .....old town. If you are I'll look out the name of a great boutique hotel with parking (rare in QC) right in the old city..


    Have fun.. :rock:
     
  8. OP
    OP
    124fan

    124fan Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Thinking about going in Sept, though some would say thats too early for the autumn colours?

    It'll be just the two of us, been checking out hotel chains like Best Western?

    Sorta lost as regards where to go at the moment, though it will all be new so it'll hardly matter. I see a book called something like the great amercian road trip gets good reviews and is full of sites to go see.

    Cheers

    :)
     
  9. Seamster15

    Seamster15 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Have fun...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    :D :D :D
     
  10. Mark300SL

    Mark300SL 1962-2010. Gone, but not forgotten.

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    I did the West coast tour last year as a 20th year celebration for Allison and myself - If you want scenery then the US SW is in my mind the place to go.

    Ally likes a gamble so we started in Vegas - but I wanted to drive the PCH, see the sights and take pictures - so we decided to combine it all into a 3 week road trip :D
    After talking to a load of Yanks, and Yank photographers in particular about what to see - we made a plan.

    We stayed at the Wynn in Vegas as it was the best place to be and Allison had really good contacts to get great rates ;) The rest of the time we stayed at Best Westerns except for Santa Barbara where we stayed at my favourite hotel in the world :)

    Vegas & Grand Canyon
    Death Valley
    Lone Pine
    Mono Lake
    Yosemite
    San Francisco
    Montery
    Morro Bay
    Santa Barbara
    LA - (hated it)
    fly back to Vegas for last night
    Home


    An RV just wont get to a lot of the places we visited, and although I always dreamed of driving the PCH in a ragtop - the Minivan we actually used was a LOT more sensible, loads of hidden storage, plenty of room behind the front seats for a cool box filled with 48 bottles of iced water - particularly useful in DV and Yosemite.
    Every supermarket sells Ice and water so mixed with a $17 large cool box we had cool drinks for 3 weeks.

    A warning on heat -we were foolish enough to go in Mid August - early September and Vegas was 108 degrees, Death Valley was 120 degrees, Yosemite was about mid 90's and the Californian coast was a much cooler high 80's -low 90's. Depending on your tolerance for heat October may be a much better bet and you might have lots of water in the waterfalls in Yosemite - we didnt :D

    A few of the pics I took are in the Snaps thread if you are interested

    http://www.mbclub.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=37020&page=30

    http://www.mbclub.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=37020&page=32

    http://www.mbclub.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=37020&page=38


    If you have any questions on our trip please ask


    As an afterthought - If you want rugged mountain type scenery then maybe take a look at the Pacific NW and particularly Olympic NP for stunning scenery

    Mark
     
  11. coupe deville

    coupe deville Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    we did california by car -it was brill flew to san francisco -stayed 2 nights then 2 nights in what they call the high desert -drove thru death valley to las vegas and finished up flying back from los angeles 12 days i could have stayed a month we got a free car upgrade in frisco cos they'ed run out of compacts--- i popped the hood of the lincoln to take some photos of the engine and everybody who passed stopped and asked if we were ok and did we need a ride when i explained what i was doing they looked at me as if i was crazy the distances in usa are enormous and i found getting to places took twice as long as planned need to watch speed limits the cops are very strict and open roads are patrolled by light aircraft and helicopters people are great no litter no hassle go and enjoy
     
  12. jonm

    jonm Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Did 2 months travelling canada and another 2 in the US about 10yrs back. Considered an RV but having spoken to others ended up buying a car in Canada and renting in the US. BAsically an RV is great in the outdoors but if you g oanywhere near a city/ town a pain in the a***, i remember seeing signs in some places (parking, towns saying 'no RV's' ).

    Did west of canada drove from Banff to Vancouver then a couple of weeks hitchhinking on Vancouver Island. loved the place.

    Then fled to San Francisco and drove down through Tahoe, Yosemite, death valley then inland to Vegas, Grandcanyon, into UTAH, Bryce/Zion canyon's then down to colorado, new Mexico. Overall, fantastic, in truth lots and lots of driving, wouldn't have wanted an RV just a big car with a big lazy engine and cruuuuuise..... Motels are cheap and plentiful (some good, some not so some weird , but definately easy.

    Jon
     
  13. OP
    OP
    124fan

    124fan Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Seamster15 that looks a right old mess, is it a long story? I'd hate to be going back with the RV in that shape. I've drove a 18' Merc van as my everyday vehicle for the last 11 years and no mishaps, so I'm quite used to a larger vehicle.

    But going by the posts on here, I'm being swayed to just hiring a large car.

    Mark300SL that sounds like a great road trip, I do have so many questions at this point its hard to know where to start, gathering all these tips is a great help, thanks. I might drop you a PM later when I get my head round it some.

    banditdave the distances was a concern of mine, thats why I'd like to hear where/what others have done and in what time scale, makes for a clearer pic in my mind at this point, thanks.

    jonm that sounds like a real road trip! I'm taking my wife on this trip to let her get a feel for the USA, my plan is then to go back in 2010 and spend a few months touring, really need to find our wee place in the world.

    thanks everyone, this is helping me get a better idea on things, keep it running.

    Cheers

    :)
     
  14. crockers

    crockers MB Club Veteran

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    Late September in Maine (great for Lobster) - should get the colours....

    I love American Breakfasts in old diners in little towns up there --- like old movies.. :D

    If you do go up to Quebec -- brush up on your French --- a lot of them don't or wont speak English...
     
  15. neilrr

    neilrr MB Club Veteran

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    If you do decide to rent an RV (& I'd agree with others suggesting hotels / motels instead) make sure you take EVERY SINGLE KIND of insurance they offer.

    I was amazed how regularly visitors from the UK to the US had accidents in normal American cars, let alone a whale of a thing the size of an RV.
     
  16. lil.smartie

    lil.smartie Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Get annual trip insurance from the UK, car rental insurance is about £100 whereas out here they charge $25 per day for the same kind of coverage. If you hire in some states then a 2nd driver is free (legal requirement for them not to charge) others allow your spouse for free regardless of where you rent from so also worth checking out!

    Vegas right now is at 100 F + and hotter than we have been here in before (it was 120 the other day!) but October time it's really nice, still hot as it is the desert but more bearable!

    I did a 3 week trip in a minivan (large people carrier) a few years ago around Calif, Vegas & the Grand Canyon lots of miles, nothing booked apart from 1st & last nights in LA (where we flew into & out of) just stopped where we got to each day, had a rough plan where we were going!

    Check out open jaw flights if poss as internal ones aren't cheap, for flying out here try Delta, Continental etc, there is a new (from April IIRC) open skies agreement where more airlines can now fly trans-Atlantic and they are doing good deals to get new customers to fly with them, we paid about £450 each cattle class london-vegas return.

    Hope some of that helps!

    Kate
     
  17. gaz_l

    gaz_l Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    We've done 2 road trips in the USA in the last two years, both by car. I'd think twice about the RV, as they are seriously big - many years ago I used to drive an HGV for a living so I'm used to trucks, and some of those RV's look bigger than a 7.5 tonner. Not so convenient for popping down to the shops.

    Car rental is cheap in the US anyway or so I've found - last year we did a trip from Seattle to Vegas, cost just over £600 for two weeks hire of a convertible Mustang, £300 of which was the one-way drop charge - fair enough really, as I did leave the car 1800 miles from where I rented it! Motels were clean and cheap, we mostly stuck to the big brands and they do the job.

    This year we did the East coast, Washington - Baltimore - Philadelphia - Boston - New York. Completely different holiday, still managed to put 1200 miles on the car though. Drop off fee was much more reasonable ($100) so the rental for two weeks was more like £400 this time. Another Mustang, btw, but tin top this time. Found the cost of accommodation was a fair bit higher than on the West coast, though.

    Bought a book before the first trip called "Road trip USA" by Jamie Jensen, which came in very useful on the PCH. Lots of info about things to see along the way.

    Try and work out a rough itinerary before you go, not that it's necessary to stick to it rigidly but it's good to pace yourself and it is possible you'll end up covering some big distances. I was really surprised this year that we managed to cover 1200 miles, considering that at no point were we more than a day's drive to our exit point (New York).

    We'll probably give it a miss for a couple years now, but we'll definitely go back and do that type of holiday again. Time to start saving, think it'll have to be coast to coast next time!

    Cheers,

    Gaz
     
  18. GordonTarling

    GordonTarling Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I'm going to New England in October with Mrs. T - do your research on the interweb before you go. If you want to see Fall colours, they are said to peak around the 1st/2nd week in October - if they're not to your liking where you are, you just drive North or South a bit until they are! Will be able to give you more details when I return if you like - just PM me. Personally, I wouldn't want to do the RV thing in that area - traffic jams are said to be a nightmare at times and hotels are cheap enough. If you get an RV that's not to your standard, you're more or less stuck with it for the duration. OTOH, if you land a hotel you don't care for, you just walk out and down the road to another!
     
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