Trip across country

Trip across country

by Don (Stanwood, WA)

Question: My wife and I plus 3 small dogs are planning on a trip from Washington state to NJ and then down the east coast to Alabama. From there to the Grand Canyon, on to San Diego, then up to WA.
This is a one time trip to visit family on the east coast & see some of the country. I’m not sure if renting a 25/26 class “C” RV or buying a older used class “C”, with the capability to tow a small SUV, is the right way to go. This will be our first time in a RV. We plan to take four/five weeks for the full trip.

Answer: We invite other opinions on this question. Here are a few comments of our own.

  • You will have to weigh the alternatives of renting versus buying (financial and otherwise), but if you have never been RVing, it might be best to rent and have a safety net with the rental company if something should malfunction.
  • If you do buy a used RV with an intent to tow, you will have to set things up to tow the SUV (base plates, tow bar, cables, etc.)
  • At the end of the trip you will have an RV on your hands to try to sell, store, etc. This might be a good thing if you plan to use it again, but not so good if this is truly a one-time trip.
  • Be sure you have realistic expectations on how much time it will take you to drive, visit, sightsee. Figure in some leeway to handle delays and avoid going at too hectic a pace.
  • If you have never traveled in an RV, do some reading and/or get a good walkthrough so you know how to operate the different components. Also know how you will get help if something breaks or you need roadside assistance.

We are sure other opinions, suggestions, comments would be appreciated by Don and his wife. So please chime in.

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