A perhaps crazy idea for "the trip of our life" - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-28-2006, 07:43 AM   #15
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- do you think it is worth working out the idea?

Absolutely! If you pass it up now, you'll regret it all your life. In the 1980s, while in our 40s, my wife and I sold our house in the US and moved to the Scottish Highlands for 3 years. The adventure consumed all of our savings, but we have enjoyed the memories for 25 years and have never had a moment's regret.

- can you see major problems? - is there a cheaper way to cross North America for lets say 4 months?


I think it would be much easier and less expensive to buy a used tug and trailer when you land on the east coast, and sell it on the west coast when you're done. Otherwise, no problems once you get used to American-scale distances.

- do you think it is possible to sell the trailer in the US?

Yes, but title registration might be a bit of a hassle.

- what would be the best period of the year?

I'd suggest starting the journey in the northeast in late August, and working southward and westward through the autumn, reaching sunny southern California or Mexico before winter sets in to the north.

Best advice: just do it. Problems will resolve themselves as you go.
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Old 08-28-2006, 07:52 AM   #16
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You might try the folks at El Monte RV rentals. Seems that they offer lots of one-way rentals from airport to airport. Have met several Europeans that flew into Denver, camped through the American southwest, and were leaving from Los Angeles. Looks like their rates run about $40/day. Tom Trostel

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Old 08-28-2006, 06:06 PM   #17
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Do you know the costs of hiring a decent motorhome? [b]Or a (tow)car?
I don't think "hiring" a tow car/truck is a viable option.
My first car / trailer combination was a 1991 Toyota Camry V6LE Wagon / 1971 Compact Junior. The crankshaft bearing seized up on the car during a time when my finances were very tight. I was advised to buy a small commuter car and rent a tow vehicle for vacations. When I researched doing that, I was informed that towing a privately owned trailer with a rental truck was NOT ALLOWED by the rental companies.

In 1995 I inquired about renting a RoadTrek 190 in San Diego. It was $150 per day then.
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Old 08-28-2006, 06:53 PM   #18
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There certainly have been many Europeans who have brought their vehicles over to tour. I would be less concerned about the tow vehicle's suitability than some of the other opinions here, if it is driven as it would be in Europe. That presumably means the 1100 km one-day drive I did with my Boler/Sienna would be out, but on such a long journey I don't see a need for that kind of drive anyway. I would check diesel fuel compatibility, since low-sulphur diesel is just arriving here, so the current fuel may not be suitable for the Renault.

I would not consider selling the European car here (Canada or the U.S.), but then I don't like dealing with massive government bureacracy. While some people would look forward to the opportunity to buy the trailer, they might be discouraged by the conversion issues when it's time to close the deal. How much time on this trip do you want to spend buying and selling vehicles?

The compatibility issues for RV equipment would concern me, both for temporary operation and for resale. As Mike T said, the answer must be out there somewhere. I saw a Pinzgauer with a camper on an RV dealer's lot (in storage) recently; the owners had toured for some time here, apparently successfully, but I don't know what they had to in order to make it work.

I found the same problem with the idea of towing my trailer with a rental as Frederick. Even towing with a borrowed or purchased (to be later re-sold) vehicle would mean some conversion work, since the ball/coupler match won't be quite right (2" versus 50mm) and tow wiring would need a converter. If a suitable vehicle really can be borrowed here, perhaps the owner can handle this setup ahead of time?

I suspect that renting a motorhome would be prohibitively expensive for that period, although there might be good long-term deals from someone such as the guys linked by Tom. I met a Dutch couple in Jasper National Park who were touring with a rental (and headed to the Yukon), but not for 6 months; they were happy to have something which was well-suited to local conditions. Motorhome rentals normally include substantial "mileage" charges, in addition to that hefty daily rate, and it looks like El Monte RV has lots of "extras" even on their one-way specials. Regular rental rates could make the overseas shipping look cheap.

1 liter / 13 km is 7.6 L/100km (the standard way of representing fuel consumption in Canada), which is decent for a compact car without a trailer. Must be nice...

I didn't notice any route recommendations which included any of Canada - I think it would be a shame to spend half a year in North America and see only one country. On the other hand, people are fundamentally the same everywhere, natural geography ignores political borders, and any route should be a great trip.

In the end, I see five options which I would consider:
  • ship over and back, only if I could find proven answers to compatibility questions
  • buy or borrow a tow vehicle and ship the trailer over and back, only if someone will obtain and prep the tow vehicle first
  • buy or borrow a tow vehicle and and rent the trailer, only if someone will obtain and prep the tow vehicle first, and a suitable rental is available
  • trade, as Loren and Tom suggested, if someone you trust can check out the deal
  • rent a motorhome, only if a good deal including all costs can be found
Maybe it's apparent from my list that I'm not a big fan of uncertainty, but maybe that's just part of the adventure for others.

Lex, I hope this works out, and that you enjoy your visit.
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Old 08-28-2006, 08:43 PM   #19
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Quote:
I was advised to buy a small commuter car and rent a tow vehicle for vacations. When I researched doing that, I was informed that towing a privately owned trailer with a rental truck was NOT ALLOWED by the rental companies.
In the last year U-haul has been renting F-150s for towing. The going rate is either $35 or $50 a day depending on outlet and 35 cents per mile for local towing only. All ot the other rental places that allow towing charge a minimum of $100 per day plus gas. Most other rental places do not allow towing and will not honor liability insurance if you break their rules and tow.
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Old 08-28-2006, 09:37 PM   #20
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Lex, nice to see your post here, it's been awhile!

How about a swap? I'll let you use my Lovebug and when I'm over there, as we talked before, I'll use yours?

I may even find a vehicle for you to use, if you like.

You would be very welcome to stay with us, too. There's many Dutch people in the area and lots of celebrations. You would be a celebrity!

Well, I have to go, it's been a long day of packing. We sold my design studio last week and are closing this week!

Take care, email me if you want to chat!

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Old 08-28-2006, 09:44 PM   #21
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Lex, I just reread your post and noticed that you have a fear of flying. Many people do.
What most people don't know, is that one can travel via freight ship very inexpensively. This may be your best shot at bringing yourself and your car/camper!

Gigi
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Old 08-29-2006, 09:47 AM   #22
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Hi Lex,

I hope you do make the trip. It sounds fantastic. Personally, if I were doing something this big and had the time, I would want to stay about 8 months. Here's what I would do:

October: North East - for fall foliage moving south into the Appalachian mountains
November - February: Traveling West along the southern route. Maybe dipping down into Mexico.
March - May: Northwest and then heading west via Northern route (You may have to dodge raindrops in the NW in the spring but our spring starts early and it's really beautiful here.)

Let us all know if/when you come to the USA. I bet you wouldn't have to pay for a campsite very often.

Nancy
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Old 08-31-2006, 12:14 AM   #23
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Jack, Tom, Frederick, Brian, Benita, Gigi, Nancy: thanks
Second half of the year looks to be the best.
But if starting in the north east in sep/oct for fall, isn't that to late fore the rest of the 6 months (for the time being I stick to a period of 6 months)?
The vessel sails to Baltimore and Jacksonville twice a month.
I don't want to sell the car of course Maybe the trailer.
I thought of another possibility: offering the use of the trailer to other Europeans.
A small business for one of you?
About the 110V. Isn't it sufficient to buy a 110 to 230 convertor of sufficient capacity?
Or is this to simple?
I read information of a Dutch couple who did it in 1997. They even made an Alaska round. I try to get in contact.
My car does its work flawlessly till now with one service a year. We can take a 'emergency set of parts' with it.
We'll go on planning
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Old 08-31-2006, 07:41 AM   #24
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Try to arrive in late August. Early September in Nova Scotia/New Brunswick, wander down through New England to DC and Virginia by late October, across Dixie in November and the Gulf Coast in December, the Southwest, Mexico and the West Coast in January/February. Sell your rig in California and fly home in time for the tulips.
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Old 08-31-2006, 09:09 AM   #25
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I was brought up in New England and as I remember it (and at my age I don't know why you should trust that, I don't ) I believe the height of the foliage is usually the 1st two weeks of October with the color following south through Pa, the Shenandoah Valley in Va in the next couple of weeks (I lived in SW Va for 25 Yrs) That time of year the Blue Ridge Pkwy is gorgeous
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Old 09-04-2006, 03:10 AM   #26
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Tomorrow we'll be on the road again.
First to the BIOD gathering. And then we'll cross The Channel to England. Till mid october.
See you.
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Old 12-31-2007, 09:49 PM   #27
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May I ask what came of your plan?
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Old 01-01-2008, 01:55 AM   #28
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Quote:
May I ask what came of your plan?
Sure
We paid a visit to the Dutch couple that already did it.
That made us even more enthusiastic.
They started in march in Jacksonville. And so that became our plan for 2008.
But in august 2007 we got a very premature grandson. He survived, but he is still in hospital.
That 's why we cancelled the plan for this march.
Still we hope to realize it, maybe march 2009.
Or is there a better period?



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