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Open Roads Forum  >  Beginning RVing

 > Is 2 weeks enough time?

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Gale Hawkins

Murray, KY

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Posted: 01/24/13 06:56pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wintersun wrote:

When trying to decide how far we can go I use Google Maps and determine the distance and travel time between point A and B and C and D, etc. and I try to keep any day's drive time to 5 hours or less. That works out to an average of more like 3 hours per day of a trip and 150 miles per day. To go 1500 miles distance from the house or 3000 miles round trip I would want at a bare minimum 20 days.

Some days there could be no driving and other days 6 hours and again this is the outside limit. It does provide for traveling segments where there is little to see and not much in the way of reason to stop except for food and rest breaks.

For 14 days of travel and spending time at locations along the route I would plan a trip that had a total distance of 2300 miles or less round trip. If going up to Canada or to the east coast I would fly to a central starting point, like Calgary for western Canada or Phoenix or Denver or Salt Lake for the western USA and rent an RV for the trip and then fly home. Total cost will be nearly the same and a lot more time will be spent where you want to be instead of on interstate highways in traffic.


How many days of vacation do you get a year?

Most of us with teenage kids know we are running out of time to do road trips with them. I did not mind driving 8000 miles in 31 days.

Since the OP kids are only 8 and 10 they have more time than ours but still they grow up fast. Our kids were 9 when we got the MH and were planning to go to Grand Canyon the next year.

Due to family health/death issues our cross country was delayed by 3-4 years so sometimes we just have to for go for the brass ring while you can. When they are sleeping they liked me to keep driving because they are moving to the next fun filled stop.

Your great point to fly into a central point most likely would be what we do next time we go out west since traveling by RV is sounding less smart for us each year.

tsjoshua

Chesapeake, VA

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Posted: 01/24/13 07:02pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator



We did a whirlwind tour (4 weeks) out west and hit all the big ticket items. There is so much to see and do, and that trip created ideas to go back out and concentrate on specific areas. But it was a great opportunity and I was able to take my family along with my parents. It was a trip of a lifetime for everyone. Created many great memories. I'd say make a plan that is good with your family but ensure you leave some extra time to allow for enjoying the sights. AND ENJOY the time together!!


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stetwood

Wisconsin

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Posted: 01/24/13 09:26pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It took us 3 weeks to do the Yellowstone,Tetons and Rushmore, with plenty of stops in between, few less miles a day more sightseeing. Lots to see in those states between Tenn & Wymoning, Mt & SD. And we live 600 miles closer too.

Gale Hawkins

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Posted: 01/24/13 10:50pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

stetwood I do not understand your post.

The objective of the OP was to see Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon in 14 days which is very doable and has been done by many others for many years.

The OP objective is NOT to see the stuff between TN and WY. We did that route in Sept 2011 and you could close your eyes going down the interstate and open them 4 hours later and the crops looked about the same tooling down the interstate. I did take the route past the Gateway Arch since we got there just before dark on the afternoon we left home.

Just like most people do not date every single person they see when looking for a spouse. In fact most of us passed on some hot dates because we had specific objectives when shopping for a mate.

Most families have schedules and time lines that are real. To check out a lot in MO, KS and NE (route we took due to I-29 being washed out) would be counter productive to their main objective. People should RV they way they want to RV.

Our kids turned 14 on the trip. We got into Yellowstone in the afternoon in time to buy bus tours for South and North loop that were a day each. At the end of the second day tour we had covered both loops and the daughter said she was ready to get on so we drove out south on 89 to view the Grand Tetons as sun was going down. 24 hours later we were swimming in the Great Salt Lake and stayed int the Antelope Park that evening.

Yes we passed things and we made unplanned stops like horse back riding just south of Bear Lake rest stop we we had got some sleep after coming out of Yellowstone. By doing the two YS tours we got 1000x more details if we had been doing the same route on our own. The drivers worked their tails off and would cater to the kids questions. One was a retired Biology teacher and went into detail about the life in the park down to life in the hot springs. The same thing happened on the ride to and from the GC on the train from Williams AZ.

Some in life paint with narrow strokes and some with broad strokes. Few kids between the ages of 6 and 16 paint with narrow brushes and most parents know that fact.

Since our trip was a school field trip we had specific objectives but I let the kids fill in the gaps. They came up with the horse riding side stop in UT and by surfing the net going from point A to point B they came up with interesting stops to add. There was no plans to go surfing but the son on line found a surf shop in Carlsbad CA that rented wet suits, boards and gave lessons. It was their birthday and they asked for surfing lessons they did good but really got beat up in the surf so I decided we would extend by a day so they could get another lesson the next day. I was glad because they both got up and surfed to the beach . The next day we did Lego Land again and saw the Vegas strip lights at 11 PM that night.

All crazy with only YS and GC planned before we left KY.

My left brain told the kids before we left that we would try to make YS and GC but should something happen back home or the MH start failing we were going to point it towards KY if it could move and the trip would be over. All stayed well back home and the old MH never had a problem going up or down any of the hills out west and we only made contact with one rock wall in one NP but thankfully it was only with the awning roll. Since the five years we had owned the MH we had never opened the awning we just removed it when we got home. The seller had opened it and I saw it had tears with duct tape one the rips so it was not big lost.

OK I know the OP asked for input and your input was well meaning. We punt in life without micro planning I guess since we had no reservations and no time line where to be. The kids on day 31 said they wanted to see mom and 12 hours later we pulled in the drive at 7 am.

Had we NOT took off without plans I am not sure we would have ever got in our MH trip of a life time. That is why I say to the OP, Go For It.

Gale Hawkins

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Posted: 01/24/13 07:36pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

tsjoshua wrote:



We did a whirlwind tour (4 weeks) out west and hit all the big ticket items. There is so much to see and do, and that trip created ideas to go back out and concentrate on specific areas. But it was a great opportunity and I was able to take my family along with my parents. It was a trip of a lifetime for everyone. Created many great memories. I'd say make a plan that is good with your family but ensure you leave some extra time to allow for enjoying the sights. AND ENJOY the time together!!


Thanks for sharing your experience and that map. Some just do not grasp how much can be done if the willingness is in the heart. I have to say the four days spent with cousins in Elko NV was the highlight of our trip. The kids did not know they even existed and had a blast. Yellowstone, the Pacific Ocean and the Grand Canyon were grand but now they know they have family out west. It had been 30+ years since I saw my cousins. Running wide open for a month can be so relaxing. I left with physical problems that when away during that month of driving 8000 miles and still have not returned.

snowdance

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Posted: 01/25/13 05:06am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I really think the best way to do a trip like this is light out going whitch ever way you want, and take your time to enjoy the things that intrest you. When it gets to the point you have time to get home head back. Save the rest of the trip for another time. You have no idea how many places we have headed for and taken several years to get to.. Kind of like sticking a book mark in a good book.


Snowdance

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Gale Hawkins

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Posted: 01/25/13 08:06am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Snowdance summed it up in few words very well.

tmertz

Kansas City

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Posted: 01/26/13 09:35pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have done the Yellowstone trip four times with kids, kids and grand kids, and just wife. In general as others have stated I would suggest a minimum two nights whenever you stop. We do travel days, arrive late afternoon, get settled in, then spend the next day checking out the area. Second night when we retire it is with the mindset that we are breaking camp early the next morning. Impacts what everyone does when getting ready for bed.

Make sure in Yellowstone you take time to visit Hayden Valley on north east exit.

One thing I have not seen mentioned is to enjoy Colorado and Rocky Mountain National Park. On a trip to Yellowstone this fall we ended up spending less time in Yellowstone that planned and more time in Colorado because of smoke. We usually head north out of Kansas City and enjoy Nebraska and South Dakota on way out, return on I 70.

In regard to the Grand Canyon trip I would focus on Colorado Springs, Durango, Four Corners, and Grand Canyon. Sante Fe is good for a day or two on the return trip. If you have the ability a day trek into the Canyon is one of the most impressive things I have ever experienced.

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