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Old April 8th, 2012, 11:58 PM   #7921
geogregor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack_Frost View Post
well if we run out of time, we'll cut the Miami "detour" and go straight from New Orleans to Washington D.C. to catch the plane back to Europe.

but it should be possible to do that trip in 3 weeks, apart from the mentioned national parks I am also having Mount Rushmore in mind to visit, which is not exactly on our route. And we gonna take a closer look on "only" 7 cities: New York, San Francisco, L.A. Las Vegas, New Orleans, Miami and Wahington D.C.

like I said my only concern is where to stop with the RV over night.
I have to say it is quote ambitious if not impossible.
We once did Orlando - New Orlean - El Paso - Grand Canyon - Las Vegas - Death Valley - San Francisco and back straight to Orlando in two weeks. And we didn't have much time to spare. We only stopped for few hours in places like New Orleans, or Las Vegas and for most of the day in Grand Canyon and San Francisco.
I honestly can't see how you can do your route in 3 weeks. You can't drive trailer as fast as normal car, especially in the urban environment, also don't underestimate all the small stops you will make on your route, getting gas, eating, shopping, peeing etc. It will add up.
How many of you will drive? We had two drivers driving most of the days.
Also, do you want to see anything during your journey? If yes you should cut it in half.
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Old April 9th, 2012, 12:37 AM   #7922
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then you say you made it from the Atlantic to the Pacific and back in 2 weeks. thats basically the same I want to do, except that I dont take the same route back I came on. And of course I have to go all the way up from Miami back to New York/JFK. But I have 3 weeks for that, you had only 2.

We are 3 to drive, and my girlfriend will cook in the RVs kitchen while I (or one of my friends) drive. :-)

I am curios if it works or not. Like I said, if we run out of time we'll leave out Florida. I'll save at least 2 days with that "sacrifice".

@desertpunk: thank you.
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Old April 9th, 2012, 12:41 AM   #7923
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Many people underestimate the size of Florida. Especially if coming from the Northeast, the distance from Washington to the Florida border is nearly similar as driving further all the way to Key West, which is a 9 hour drive easily. If you drive from New Orleans to Washington, cutting Tampa and Florida saves you at least a thousand miles worth of driving and congestion (South Florida's pretty bad).
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Old April 9th, 2012, 01:01 AM   #7924
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An awesome drive would be the combination of Natchez Trace Parkway and Blue Ridge Parkway between Jackson, MS and Washington, DC.
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Old April 9th, 2012, 05:57 AM   #7925
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geogregor View Post
I have to say it is quote ambitious if not impossible.
We once did Orlando - New Orlean - El Paso - Grand Canyon - Las Vegas - Death Valley - San Francisco and back straight to Orlando in two weeks. And we didn't have much time to spare. We only stopped for few hours in places like New Orleans, or Las Vegas and for most of the day in Grand Canyon and San Francisco.
I honestly can't see how you can do your route in 3 weeks. You can't drive trailer as fast as normal car, especially in the urban environment, also don't underestimate all the small stops you will make on your route, getting gas, eating, shopping, peeing etc. It will add up.
How many of you will drive? We had two drivers driving most of the days.
Also, do you want to see anything during your journey? If yes you should cut it in half.
I agree. As I have said many times, many Europeans have absolutely no idea of how truly *VAST* the USA is. Just driving from NYC to Chicago in relaxed comfort is something that I'd budget two days for - one way.

I would stay east of the Mississippi River for those three weeks - there is plenty to see in the eastern USA and that time will fly by.

Spend a few says exploring the Appalachians (an end-to-end drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive between Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks is a MUST DO and requires three days to do in comfort), then a few days poking around Chicago and the Great Lakes, then spend a few days in the Gulf Coast region (including end-to-end on the Natchez Trace Parkway to get there) and your time will be used up.

Save the western USA for a future holiday.

Mike
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Old April 9th, 2012, 09:56 AM   #7926
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I cant go to America without visiting the Great Salt Lake Desert

Its a very big country indeed. If the route doesnt work I can still change my mind whenever I want and make a U-turn.
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Old April 9th, 2012, 04:08 PM   #7927
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack_Frost View Post
then you say you made it from the Atlantic to the Pacific and back in 2 weeks. thats basically the same I want to do, except that I dont take the same route back I came on. And of course I have to go all the way up from Miami back to New York/JFK. But I have 3 weeks for that, you had only 2.

We are 3 to drive, and my girlfriend will cook in the RVs kitchen while I (or one of my friends) drive. :-)

I am curios if it works or not. Like I said, if we run out of time we'll leave out Florida. I'll save at least 2 days with that "sacrifice".

@desertpunk: thank you.
You have great plan for your trip. I've seen most of the places you want to visit and they are all worth a visit. Fortunately I did it during few visits, not one crazy three-week madness
There is so much you will have to skip on your journey and so many places you would like to stay longer.
Do you plan to sleep in the RV while someone is driving? That way you can actually make it
Still, good luck and let us know how did it go once you come back.
When are you going?
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Old April 9th, 2012, 09:35 PM   #7928
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Sure Ill do.
Ill leave on aug 11, coming back on sep 1.
So in case I dont write anything here after sep 1, it means I didnt make it and I was left for dishwashing somewhere in Florida because I have spent all my money on gas :-)))
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Old April 10th, 2012, 11:19 AM   #7929
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Jack, I'm not sure you realize how big this country is... you'll need about twice the amount of time you have set aside to really enjoy the trip.

For example, the closest really big metropolitan area to me is Atlanta, which is 3 hours away. The next closest is Chicago, which is 8 hours away, and this is exceeding the speed limit on I-65. The two big Texas metros (Dallas and Houston) as well as central and south Florida (the parts of Florida worth seeing) are all a good 11 hours away, even though I live in a state that borders Florida.
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Old April 10th, 2012, 03:36 PM   #7930
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I-85 Charlotte

Interstate 85 widening northeast of Charlotte.

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I-85 Widening 1203210378 by NCDOTcommunications, on Flickr

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I-85 Widening 1203210368 by NCDOTcommunications, on Flickr

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I-85 Widening 1203210376 by NCDOTcommunications, on Flickr

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I-85 Widening 1203210367 by NCDOTcommunications, on Flickr

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I-85 Widening 1203210369 by NCDOTcommunications, on Flickr

You can see Charlotte, similar to Atlanta, is much more sprawled than other large cities in the south and west. Much more forests and spread out developments.
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Old April 10th, 2012, 07:29 PM   #7931
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rail Claimore View Post
Jack, I'm not sure you realize how big this country is... you'll need about twice the amount of time you have set aside to really enjoy the trip.

For example, the closest really big metropolitan area to me is Atlanta, which is 3 hours away. The next closest is Chicago, which is 8 hours away, and this is exceeding the speed limit on I-65. The two big Texas metros (Dallas and Houston) as well as central and south Florida (the parts of Florida worth seeing) are all a good 11 hours away, even though I live in a state that borders Florida.
I believe you. Thats why I asked in the first place, to get the opinions of you locals. Anyway, Ill try it, and lets see how far I get. The worst that can happen is that I am forced to turn back.
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Old April 10th, 2012, 07:33 PM   #7932
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Old April 10th, 2012, 07:37 PM   #7933
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thx
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Old April 10th, 2012, 07:48 PM   #7934
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack_Frost View Post
I believe you. Thats why I asked in the first place, to get the opinions of you locals. Anyway, Ill try it, and lets see how far I get. The worst that can happen is that I am forced to turn back.
I'd also give yourself an extra day just in case of anything happening. I've done long roads trips quite a few times things do happen or something slows you down.
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Old April 10th, 2012, 07:55 PM   #7935
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Interstate 85 widening northeast of Charlotte.

You can see Charlotte, similar to Atlanta, is much more sprawled than other large cities in the south and west. Much more forests and spread out developments.
Well to be fair thats outer Charlotte but yes its very sprawled.
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Old April 10th, 2012, 09:08 PM   #7936
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack_Frost View Post
Hello guys,

I am gonna make a 3 week roundtrip through the US in August this year. We are planning to rent a trailer, so we dont have to look for a hotel or a motel all the time.

Our route will be as follows: New York City - Niagara Falls - Cleveland - Detroit - Chicago - Omaha - Denver - Salt Lake City - San Francisco - Los Angeles - Las Vegas - Alboquerque - Dallas - New Orleans - Tampa - Miami - Savannah - Washington D.C - Philadelphia - New York City

What do you think, is it possible to make that trip in 3 weeks, with stops also in national parks like the Niagara Falls or the Great Salt Desert, Grand Canyon etc?

Is it allowed to stop everywhere I want with my trailer over night to sleep? I dont mean next to the road of course, but if I find some parking lot then its OK to stop and sleep there, right?

Thanks for any help.
Like others have said, that is quite an ambitious schedule. I mapped your route on Google Maps (keeping you on the freeway) and it says you will cover 8,191 miles! Divide that by 21 days and you will need to average 390 miles per day and that assumes you are not spending more than one day at any particular location (i.e. Las Vegas, San Francisco, etc). The most I have driven in one day is almost 700 miles from San Jose, CA to Portland, OR and that was an all-day drive (over 11 hours behind the wheel).

If you do go through with it, enjoy the scenery. It will be one hell of a drive!
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Old April 11th, 2012, 12:19 AM   #7937
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I spent four weeks only in the South West, drove about 4000 miles, and that was quite acceptable.
To give you an idea (sorry, in Dutch): https://docs.google.com/View?docid=drzgvw8_6fwp7sxdb

Last edited by SkyView; April 11th, 2012 at 09:37 PM.
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Old April 11th, 2012, 08:18 AM   #7938
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myosh_tino View Post
Like others have said, that is quite an ambitious schedule. I mapped your route on Google Maps (keeping you on the freeway) and it says you will cover 8,191 miles! Divide that by 21 days and you will need to average 390 miles per day and that assumes you are not spending more than one day at any particular location (i.e. Las Vegas, San Francisco, etc). The most I have driven in one day is almost 700 miles from San Jose, CA to Portland, OR and that was an all-day drive (over 11 hours behind the wheel).

If you do go through with it, enjoy the scenery. It will be one hell of a drive!
Note - that's 13182 km. 390 mi is 628 km.

Quote:
New York City - Niagara Falls - Cleveland - Detroit - Chicago - Omaha - Denver - Salt Lake City - San Francisco - Los Angeles - Las Vegas - Alboquerque - Dallas - New Orleans - Tampa - Miami - Savannah - Washington D.C - Philadelphia - New York City
That's very ambitious.

NYC to Niagara Falls is about an 8 hour drive factoring in traffic. The Cleveland, Detroit and Chicago legs are much more reasonable, 3-5 hours each.

Chicago to Omaha is a brutal 8 hour drive of absolutely nothing but plains and cornfields. Omaha to Denver is an even worse 8 hour drive that manages to have less along the way. I'm not sure you can understand how incredibly boring drives across the Great Plains are unless you've done a few. You'll be exhausted from these trips.

There is no good way to get from Denver to Salt Lake City. That may seem a little outlandish to you, but it is true. As a result, you get a crushing 9 hour drive, but with a few hills along the way to break up the scenery.

Salt Lake City to San Francisco is an oppressive 12 hour drive. For the first 2/3 of it, you get to drive across Nevada, which also consists of absolutely nothing. Then you get to Reno, and while you're drained from the long drive you've already put in, then you get to take the twisty I-80 through the Sierra Nevada. Then, when you get to the Bay Area, you might find that you're stuck in traffic for two hours waiting to get across the Bay Bridge into San Francisco. Even in August, that's all your daylight right there.

San Francisco to Los Angeles is another 7 hours, allowing for traffic. Driving through the lush Central Valley, you get to see... a whole lot of nothing but crops. Thing about driving in the United States is that in the West, there is a whole lot of empty space, or agricultural fields. That's what makes driving across it such a chore.

LA to Las Vegas is much more reasonable; a breezy 4-5 hours depending on traffic. Of course, at this point, with that much traveling, I'm not sure you'd even want to be up for gambling or drinking, especially considering the driving you have ahead of you.

Las Vegas to Albuquerque is 9 hours. It's also much more scenic than many of the routes you took before. On the same note, let's think about gasoline expenses here. If you're going 8,200 mi, and getting about 10 mpg in the RV, that means you're going to be buying about 820 gallons of fuel. At the current average price of $3.80/gal of gasoline, you're talking about spending $3,116 on gas alone. At current exchange rates, that's 2380, or 1,963. That's a lot of money, needless to say.

Albuquerque to Dallas is a long, long 11 hour drive. Once again, there is practically nothing along this route. I have personally driven the Amarillo-Fort Worth section several times, and I can tell you - you'll wonder how a place so desolate and boring could exist in a state as populous as Texas. At least stop in Amarillo for the 72 oz (2.04 kg) steak.

Dallas to New Orleans is a 9 hour drive factoring in traffic. It's much more interesting given that trees start to enter the picture again, and population densities begin to rise back to more familiar levels.

New Orleans to Tampa is where the size of the United States begins to play tricks on you. It is a legitimate 11 hour drive. The Florida Peninsula is much bigger than it may seem on the map. Also, remember the time of year you're going to be driving - late August is prime hurricane season on the Gulf Coast and in Florida. It would be really unfortunate if you got caught in an evacuation or had your progress impeded because of a hurricane that wreaked havoc across your route.

On a side note, I'd also like to point out what the non-catastrophic weather situation will be at this time of year in much of the country. From Los Angeles to Las Vegas, the high temperature will likely be 105F, or 40C. In Las Vegas, the temperature can very easily get to 115F, or 46C. From that point onward, all throughout the Southwest and the South, until you get out of South Carolina, you can expect the high temperature to be greater than 95F, or 35C. In the Southwest, it will simply be incredibly hot. In the Southeast, it will be hot and oppressively humid. Not only will this make being outside for any appreciable length of time uncomfortable, but it will put an enormous amount of stress and wear on your RV's motor. It doesn't take much for those things to overheat, and that would place a damper on your trip real quickly.

Tampa to Miami is more reasonable; 5 hours with traffic. But Florida's going to get tricky again...

Miami to Savannah is an 8 hour drive. Yes, this is entirely ridiculous. No, you will not want to do this drive at this point in the trip. And yes, you also risk getting hit by a hurricane or a tropical storm here.

Savannah to Washington, DC is supposedly a 10 hour drive. However, you'll be taking the illustrious Interstate 95 the entire way. The thing about I-95 is that it gets clogged with traffic in the middle of nowhere for no reason whatsoever, simply because everyone on the East Coast has to get to that highway for indecipherable purposes. It will likely take you 12 hours to make this leg of the journey.

At this point, you will have spent 135 hours in the RV. That's five full 24-hour days and fifteen hours. That's if you're lucky and don't run into any weather or mechanical problems.

DC to Philly is 3 hours, and Philly to NYC is 2 hours.

Summary: this trip is doable in three weeks, but it will require so much driving, be so expensive, and be subject to so many variables (like if you get caught speeding, and some highway patrolman thinks that you look suspicious, so he decides to detain you for a few hours while they get all your paperwork in order), that it really stretches the bounds of feasibility.

As mentioned above, you could do most of the country east of the Mississippi River in the same amount of time, and have a lot more time to go to different places, or enjoy the places that you are at. You could even go to Canada if that's an option. The US has a lot to offer, so perhaps think about scaling down the scope of the trip, while increasing the density.
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Old April 11th, 2012, 10:00 PM   #7939
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I-95/I-495 Capital Beltway

Some nice aerials of the last leg of the I-95 project south of Washington D.C.

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Untitled by VaDOT, on Flickr

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Untitled by VaDOT, on Flickr

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Untitled by VaDOT, on Flickr

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Untitled by VaDOT, on Flickr
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Old April 12th, 2012, 12:11 AM   #7940
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Very nice sceneray and pictures. MORE PLEASE

I like to see new highway constructions because americans are very good road builders. I know I am from silly sweden.

Just LOVE LOVE LOVE BIG AMRICAN HIGHWAYS
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