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Road trip: Do it or forget it?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by trifectarich, Jan 30, 2016.

  1. trifectarich

    trifectarich Well-Known Member

    A few years ago, I was driving down the street with my wife. We were stopped at a light, and to our right was an RV sales and rental lot. She’s looking out the window and she says, “Do you know what we should do?”

    Before I could answer, or before she could continue, I looked up and said a quick prayer: Dear Lord, right now, in the next second and a half, please send a meteor crashing into that empty lot across the street. I need some kind of distraction because I don't know where this conversation is going.

    Alas, she continued. “We should rent an RV and drive across the country. Don’t you think that would be fun?”

    I must have made some innocent comment — “Maybe . . . An interesting idea.” — but the subject never came up again — until the other day.

    I’d love to knock off the last four states I haven’t visited — Maine, Vermont, Montana, North Dakota — and this could be a way to do it, but all can think about is Clark Griswold, drawers flying open and dishes crashing to the floor at every turn, watching the vehicle roll away because I didn’t set some kind of emergency brake, being stranded in the middle of some godforsaken dump because of a broken Johnson Rod, yada, yada . . . There are two things I have to have in my day-to-day existence, a clean kitchen and a clean bathroom, and the thought of trying to cook with a sink the size of a measuring cup, or hooking up to portable water and toilet facilities, I’m not sure I can think of anything less appealing. I’ll go through 500 pairs of rubber gloves.

    I don’t know if it’s my wife who’s gone crazy or I’ve lost my sense of adventure. I can certainly picture the route I’d like to take — start in Maine, find our way up to Ontario, head west and go through the Dakotas and Montana, go back to Canada and maybe head over to Vancouver, then down the coast and through Arizona and New Mexico.

    Who’s done this kind of thing? What kind of cost am I looking at? Should I look into it or do everything in my power to stop this idea now, tomorrow and forever? I told my wife when we met: My idea of camping is the front desk at the Marriott not upgrading me to the Concierge Level.

    All advice is welcome.
  2. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    Come to Vermont. You'll love it.
  3. lcjjdnh

    lcjjdnh Well-Known Member

    Just don't stop in Vegas on the way...

    doctorquant likes this.
  4. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    A co-worker did this last year. She did the Rockies and the mid-west but flew out to Boulder or Denver or something and rented it from there, drove a few thousand miles, returned it and flew home.

    It's not uncommon to do this. I think the number she used was $5K. Her trip took a few weeks.

    I don't know if I would just do an SUV rental and hit hotels. I would also much rather drive an RV out west than on I-95. I would do an SUV on 95.
  5. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    The trip you have outlined is a ton of miles and time to drive. I would cut in in half and look at that.
    Neutral Corner likes this.
  6. Iron_chet

    Iron_chet Well-Known Member

    Don't know about knocking off all 4 of those states in one visit but here is a suggestion to tick Montana off the list.

    Fly into Calgary and rent the RV and go from there. Amazing mountain scenery if you head West and rolling badlands if you head south towards Montana and Glacier National Park.

    The RV websites have suggested itineraries.

    The Canadian dollar right now is at about 70 cents US so you get a good value as well.
    I Should Coco likes this.
  7. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    I had friends in Vt back in the mid-90s. Loved hanging around Burlington.

    Driving an RV from Maine to Montana, though, sounds absolutely awful.
    Just not my thing,
  8. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    Tri, I've looked at driving U.S. 2 across the country so many times, I could almost recite the possible overnight stops by memory.

    Then I think about the cost of renting an RV to do that ... the fuel costs ... and the thought of hauling that thing across eastern Montana and North Dakota, and I come back to reality.

    For me (I live in North Idaho), it would be much easier to fly to Boston some day, rent a car and hit all the New England states. It's on my bucket list, actually.

    Iron Chet's plan sounds feasible for you, though.
  9. KJIM

    KJIM Well-Known Member

    Honestly, I'd run far and run fast. I lived in an RV *in* North Dakota for a year. It's close quarters. I didn't drive mine, but it can't be easy, and they're quite the gas guzzlers. I'd just fly out, like 93Devil suggested, and rent a car one way. A road trip doesn't have to mean an RV.

    You don't mention your wife's ideas, but to meet your goals of knocking off the two states, I'd suggest two road trips, one with Maine/Vermont and one for Montana and ND. And for the latter, I'd suggest doing day tips by motorcycle. Did a lot of side trips in ND like that. It was nice to dart off into the tiny (as opposed to just little) towns and randomly stop to see field after field of sunflowers. You really just can't pull an RV over on the side of the road or even maneuver little side streets that easy. How else can you meander over to Ruby, the geographical center of North America?

    Camping itself isn't bad, though. I am NOT a camper but did a trip recently and by the end of the 7-day trip I had grown to love it. I had even anticipated upgrading to cabins when possible and I decided against it. It was find of fun. The first night, in a wind/rain storm, reminded me of the ND RV.
  10. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    I've always thought John Steinbeck said it best in Travels with Charley that after three days on the road you stop noticing things and you're just trying to get somewhere. My best road trips were typically wrapped around some other event (sometimes both sides), fly in, drive around a few states in a rental, fly out.
  11. Riptide

    Riptide Well-Known Member

    Get out there now while you can still get photos of those Clearview signs.
  12. novelist_wannabe

    novelist_wannabe Well-Known Member

    I'll not dive into examining your logistics, but will say this: I've long been a believer in the idea that you'll regret the things you didn't do more than you'll regret the things you did. So do it.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2016
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