Me and my boyfriend are planning our honeymoon this coming September-October to the American Southwest. We live in Tel Aviv and RVing does not exist here so we have basically zero experience with this type of travelling. This will also be the first time for both of us in this region.
I have read everything I could find about RVing for newbies but I still have many issues I am uncertain about. These vary in topic, I hope I am posting this in the appropriate location.
Currently, we have a compact (19') RV booked from cruise america for 10 days, leaving and returning to Las Vegas. I am finding very little feedback online about this specific model or about similar, very small C class RVs. Any kind of experience you have with this model will be most welcome.
- Is 19' too small for a couple in your opinion? we are in our late 20's, with no physical issues and with pretty extensive tent camping and hiking experience in other regions of the world (i.e, we don't require anything elaborate). My concerns are mostly with the size of the shower (is it reasonably usable? Will it be feasible to shower when not connected to water on the kind of tank capacity such a small RV will provide?) and the possible claustrophobic feeling in the overcab bed.
- In your experience, how much more gas will a 25' eat up in comparison to the 19'? How much more difficult is it to maneuver? (we have no experience at all in driving anything bigger than a sedan). Will a 19' provide easier access to certain roads and locations over a 25'? We will not have a secondary car and we are wondering whether a 25' might be a hassle to move each day from campsite to where we want to begin hiking?
- Can anyone comment about renting "kits" from the rental company? They want 100$ for the kitchen kit and another 100$ for the personal (bedding and such) kit. This sounds really high to me but I am not familiar with the prices of these products in America. Are we likely to find the necessary equipment for sale at the same price or cheaper? Renters, do you normally buy your own or rent?
- Reservations - will I need them? I have read that it is necessary to reserve in certain crowded national parks during high season but will we need reservations in early October? Is it typically easy to find availability in alternative campgrounds around national parks during this time?
- We would probably prefer to sleep inside national parks for convenience and price but these rarely have any hookups. Would you recommend sleeping in campgrounds with hook-ups at least some of the nights or will we be able to dump/re-fill easily in other locations along the way?
- In 10 days, which of the Grand Circle's national parks should we aim to see? Is it wise to try and reach Arches or will this be too cramped for time? An addition of 2-3 days can be an option as well.
Thanks for reading, this turned out longer than expected... Any feedback is greatly appreciated!
From Las Vegas to the Arches, on to Grand Junction, Colorado, down to Albuqurque, and back to Las Vegas is 1500 miles. For us that is about 3 days of driving assuming a 500 mile day which is long but reasonable. Inside that loop are many sites and some really good hiking. You could see dessert, red rock formations, mountains, and even take in the Grand Canyon. Quite a trip and very doable IMHO. This would include Flagstaff, Arizona and you would be certainly close enough to take a side trip to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, which is the Colorado version of Arizona's Grand Canyon. Personally, I would go for the 25' if it can be done reasonably. The driving difference will be negligible and the extra room is significant. Mileage will not vary that much between the two rigs and gasoline is not going to be your major expense anyway. To my way of thinking if you can add the extra 2/3 days, I would, after all, when will you get to do this again? The overhead bunk would be a problem for me, but you can always make out the dinette bed and use the overhead for storage..which is what most people do I think unless they have kids to put up there. As for the kits ... it is always nice to be able to arrive and leave with only a duffel bag, and have everything else waiting for you but depending on your needs, a Walmart can supply inexpensive sheets, towels, pillows, and a light blanket for less than $100 and you can pick up a pot or two and a skillet with a pack of good quality paper plates and you are good to go with room to spare on that $200 you would spend on the kits. I don't think you will need reservations at that time of the year and you might be aware that you could even run into some cold weather or snow, especially in the mountain areas. I have spent quite a lot of time in that area so if you have more questions don't hesitate to ask. This is a great trip you have planned and I'm sure you will love every minute.
Both retired. Travel with Nicky the Schnoodle. Son graduated and is teaching high school math. We still love our 2006 34' Allegro Bay XB and have 50,000+ miles on her.
We are too from Israel,and have been traveling with our 5W 30' trailer for the last 10 years in the summers each trip for 4-5 months.
Take a look at our website http://danyshula.blogspot.com/
I cannot help you with the issues regarding your RV as we have no experience with it.
Las Vegas is a good place to start and if you have never been there I suggest you camp in Circus Circus (they have electrical hookups) and explore this incredible town for 1-2 days and go to one show.
Then take a ride to Hoover Dam,Grand Canyon (I spent there a week) for 2 days,Bryce Canyon S.P is a MUST and not too far 2 days and the rest in Zion N.P both have fantastic hikes and close by C.G.
Do not drive far as you only have 10 days and it will be wasted by been on the road.
We are now in Tennessee but if you need more help send me an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
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RVing 4-5 months every summer since 2002.
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Wal-Mart and dollar stores (Dollar General, Family Dollar, etc.) will have inexpensive items, I list the average prices of the cheapest prices that I have seen (the Dollar Stores are the less expensive prices and WM the more expensive). I would go for the dollar stores first - they have many of the things you need and the prices are much cheaper than at WM.
You will need a set of sheets and pillow cases($20 - $30), 2 pillows ($5-$10 ea.), a light blanket ($5- $20), bath towels ($5 - $8 ea.), washcloths (in packs cheap ones ($4) and maybe dishcloths (can use washlcoths from pack - at the minimum. So, you are looking at saving perhaps $15 by buying rather than renting.
You will need at the minimum a skillet and 2 pots, ($15-25), eating utensils - plastic - $6, metal can be $1 per set at DG/FD, serving utensils, $1 - $5 ea.), drinking classes - plastic - pack of many - $5, glass $1 ea. at DG, coffee cups - plastic pack of many - $5, ceramic - $1 - $2 ea. at DG/FD, $3 - $6 at WM), coffee maker - ($15 - $25), can opener ($2-$5), plates and bowls - paper/plastic one time use - 10 days worth - $10-15, plastic reusable from DG, $1 ea piece.
2) The RV - 19 foot. I have never seen a 19' Class C MH. Perhaps you are looking at Class B RV's? I think you will enjoy the 25' unit more, but that is your call based upon your budget, where you will want to park the unit and how much time you will be spending inside when you are not sleeping. You may want some folding chairs for outdoors ($10-20 ea.) although MOST sites have a picnic table with benches attached. The difference in gasoline use between a 19' and 25' will be negligible and the 25' unit will not be difficult to maneuver - most places you will go to hike, visit, etc. will have spaces large enough for RVs. If you are concerned at all - stay with the 19'.
3) Reservations - I have never traveled to your destination - however - I have never made a reservation anywhere. There is a large paper back guide to campgrounds - Woodall's - it lists every campground everywhere in the US (or so it seems). You can also go to rvparkreviews.com and check for private parks near your destination. In October schools are back in session and there may not be as many folks in CGs during the week.
4) Hook-ups. Even if you park in a place without hook-ups, MOST private CGs allow you to dump the waste tanks at their facility for a nominal fee($10) as do fuel stations such as most Flying J truck centers. Many rest areas off of the Interstate Hwys have dump stations too (but not POTABLE water). When looking for a dump stations, look for the blue/white signs along the roadway that depict the outline of a travel trailer with an arrow pointed down. Potable water - use the CG bath houses and toilets whenever possible. You can also haul water from them for dishwashing and if you buy bottled water for drinking and cooking, you will not need to refill the fresh water tank so often.
I have found a few fuel stations with potable water available, but only because I asked. They gave me the water for free. Of course, you can always ask at the desk of a CG when you go to dump the black and grey tanks if they have fresh water too.
5) Go for the addtional 2-3 days. You have a lot of driving time in your plans and I think you will miss some things if you stay on a 10 day schedule. A 500 mile day is exhausting, the speed limits are 55- 65mph which means 8-10 hrs of driving without hitting any traffic issues near/in cities/towns along the way or stopping to take breaks to rest, sightsee, eat lunch and to use a bathroom.
Check-in time at CGs is roughly around 3pm (although you can check in later of course)and check-out is around 10-11am.
Many of us use a GPS to get from point A to point B. However, I still use a Rand McNally US Atlas and have never gotten lost - I recommend it over purchasing an expensive GPS for this trip.
Hints: I would not purchase meat at WM - they tend to use additives. Find a grocery store for meat.
I would purchase staples (paper towels, napkins, S&P, TP, Ketchup, Mayo, mustard, sugar, cleaning supplies and some packaged/canned food stuff at a DG/FG. Prices are cheapest anywhere, but selection is limted.
TP is TP. Use plenty of water in the toilet (save the dishwashing water when running low on fresh water)and do not dump the black tank until it is nearly full.
You may need a whisk broom to sweep up the dirt that gets tracked into the RV.
And there is no need to over stock at the beginning of the trip, there are grocery stores and WMs everywhere.
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding, have a wonderful honeymoon and may you be blessed with a long, happy life together.
* This post was
edited 06/17/12 09:50am by StanleyandIris *
As an added note to the information that StanleyandIris gave you, although the prices of the kitchen and bedding rental sounds high, you will not have to spend the extra time shopping for it. That's really the good part of the kits. You could spend 30 minutes in walmart and pick up everything you need and probably for a little less. The good thing is the linens are yours and no one else ever slept in them.. Plus no one ever cooked in your kitchen kit stuff. 25' would be more comfortable but newlyweds should be ok with 19'. I wouldnt use the over cab bed, if it doesn't have a regular bed, use the dinette.
First of all: What you want to do is so cool!!
What a way to start a life together. Gratulations on your wedding and the way to go on a honeymoon.
I am from Europe as well and all the camping I ever did as a youngster was in a tent. My new bride Kathy used to camp a lot in a popup in her former life. We stumbled across a "New to us" 1999 Georgetown 27" class A with virtually no miles on it and bought it. We have only been out a few times and still have plenty to learn.
I am not about to give you advise, much more seasoned campers than me surely will give you plenty of good advise. I will say though that our 27" is great for 2 people. I would not go for 19" if your budget can swing the 25".
And 19 or 25, them things are SCARY the first time you drive them down the road!!! Ask me how I know!
Anyway, have a fantastic trip and use the wisdom from these forums. On our second trip I had a problem with the hot water, I jumped on this forum and within one hour I had advise from these wonderful people.
Have a great time and do rely on the seasoned RV people here for guidence
If it were me...I would not rent the "kits". I would want to buy my own sheets. Find the nearest Wal-Mart in Las Vegas, they are everywhere.
You will get the best price on sheets, blankets and pillows, towels and kitchen stuff, soap and shampoo and toilet paper, paper towels. They have everything. There is only two of you, you will not need that much kitchen equipment. They have food too, so everything you need is at one store.
Not sure your schedule or if you are camping in Vegas the 1st day, check out Oasis RV Park. It has a pool, jacuzzi, laundry, bathrooms, and full hook-ups. Would give you a chance to check out all the RV systems and make sure everything works before you head out.
Try not to cover too much ground and drive too much so you can enjoy the area you are visiting and not be on the road so much. Zion, Bryce area has a lot to see and you can spend a lot of time there. Grand Canyon is far, I personally think Zion & Bryce area is much better than Grand Canyon.
There is camping at Lake Mead near Hoover Dam in Vegas.
Also, if you find a full hook-up campground most of them have laundry facilities. Save up your quarters on the road and get a little bit of laundry soap at Wal-Mart.
If you have any problems on the road...get on the forum and someone here can probably help you
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You will not find much information about the 19' used by Cruise America because that model is made only for Cruise America. It should be fine for a couple experienced with tent camping. The Cruise America 25' C has a slightly larger bathroom and adds a second double bed, so as to accomodate two couples and a child, or a family of five. The two sizes have similar wastewater tank capacities, the 25' carries twice as much fresh water.
I usually carry 20 gallons of fresh water, which was enough for two people two days and nights. In areas where park campgrounds do not have water and sewage hookups, I would alternate between those campgrounds and full facility RV parks, but you can dump your waste tanks and re-fill your fresh water at most the public park campgrounds, even if no connections at the sites. The exception will sometimes be campgrounds at the top of a canyon where there is no water supply at all, except for what is trucked in for the visitor center.
Whether you will find the size of the shower usable, depends on how big you are. I don't think there is much difference in the size of the shower stall for the two different rentals you are considering. RV showers do not get as roomy as public showers or showers at home until the RVs get very large.
In the Grand Circle area you will not need reservations generally, but if there are specific campgrounds you want to use, particularly if it is the only RV campground inside a National Park, and it takes reservations, you need reservations. That area is very busy with RV campers and bus tours in September and October, visitors from Europe and East Asia taking advantage of the slack period between the end of school vacation in the U.S. and the onset of winter weather. It is a very good time to visit the Southwest, this is well known, so it is busy.
I think I didn't fully explain a few things about the 19' RV:
- The 25' is actually cheaper than the 19' so deciding to go with the 19' is not for financial reasons.
- There is no dinette bed (at least not one that can fit adults) in this model so if we go for the 19', the overcab is our only option.
Based on your feedback, I think we will definitely not do the kits (StanleyandIris, that was very helpful and detailed, I appreciate the effort.). Even if I can't carry all this equipment back home, I can maybe donate it or hand it over to the next RV renter. We will also not make reservations for most locations. I think it will allow us to see if we feel like going all the way to Arches/Grand canyon or sticking to closer locations.
I am still apprehensive about the size of the RV as I see most people here recommend the 25' instead. We will be calling them tomorrow to check for availability on this model. Those of you who would not recommend the over-cab bed, what would be the reason? Is the mattress normally uncomfortable? Is it the getting in and out? Or are there other considerations that I am not thinking of?