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bruce t

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  1. If you want to camp in public parks during the summer months I would suggest getting online and prebooking. Sites book out very quickly in most National Parks. Look at state parks, corp of engineer and blm sites. With your van you can bounce between camping and hotel. IMHO this is an ideal way to spent your time. For camping gear simply go to any Walmart. They have a good basic choice. Otherwise google Bass pro and find one of their HUGE stores. Have fun.
  2. For hiring an RV look at the hot tourist locations such as Las Vegas and Florida. I don't know who your Australian phone company is. But if it is Telstra make sure your phone is turned on for international roaming. Telstra has an agreement with AT&T, Once in the USA your Telstra phone will join the AT&T network. (It will take about up to 20 minutes for your phone to join the AT&T network once in the USA). If you have one take your tablet with you. Many many places in the USA have free WiFi. All the hotels have free WiFi. We found that buying a $25 phone and a cheap deal from AT&T the best option for looking up goodies on the net. While your Telstra phone will work fine it may scare you with the costs. Have a look at Telstra's International Day Pass deals. If you're not with Telstra simply find an AT&T store and buy a cheap phone. Caution - don't buy a USA phone and deal with any ol company. Because you will be all over the country you need a phone deal with a company that will work all over the USA. Once you have your phone / tablet set up you can simply look up hotels. I suggest https://www.choicehotels.com/ . Keep in mind that you need to book the day before to get the best deals. We always booked the next day/night just before we went to bed. It allowed us to wander all day with the knowledge we had a bed booked for that night. Note - The Choice group is in Australia. So points can be used back in Australia as well. bruce
  3. Everyone has their own ideas of what will suit their needs and wants. Only you can make those choices. Here's a few more comments that may help! Buying an RV for 'just' 5 months will be a real pain. And expensive. Renting is a great choice but it also gets expensive. Keeping in mind that the USA is light years ahead of Australia with their RV parks. But even with thousands of RV parks there will still be places you can't go to or see in an RV. (Try parking your RV in Washington DC or driving around some of the national parks). Buying anything will require an address in the USA. Then there is the registration and insurance. Insurance costs will be a real shock to the average Australian. Be warned. As silly as it may seem my brain tells me that renting is still the easiest. Remember it's a holiday and not a challenge to see how fast you can grow gray hairs. May I suggest? Rent a car for 5 months. We regularly rent a car for $50.00 a day when we first get to the USA. (Renting at airports is more expensive). A long term rental may be cheaper. That's $7500.00 for 5 months. Then join the Choice Hotel Group. Easy just go online and start a free account. Almost every town has a Choice hotel. (We always used their middle of the line hotels such as Comfort Inn or Comfort Inn Suites). US hotels are way way way better than 90% of Australian hotels. By using your Choice membership you will get points. That will give you a free night approximately every 6-7 days. In 6 years of of using their hotels we averaged $100.00 a night. So you now have approximately $22500.00 in car and hotel costs. $150.00 a day. Not bad for a once in a lifetime experience. Remember that with a car you can poke into every corner of the USA. Downtown areas and national parks. But as I said. Only you know what sort of an adventure you want. Do you want to fight with a used RV? Worry about campgrounds? Get the smelling salts out when you get your insurance quote? Or do you want to get up in the morning and walk out the door and not look back at the unmade bed or the bathroom? Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. bruce Yes I know this is an RV forum. But even though we loved RVing it isn't the best solution for everyone and every circumstance.
  4. Keeping in mind that there is no 'right' or 'wrong' way of seeing America. Just 'different' ways. Back in 1996 we went to the USA and purchased our first RV. A 35ft gas A Class. Then a car to tow behind it. We sold those 6 years later. Then we returned in 2007 and purchased a 40ft DP. Plus a car to tow. In 2013 we sold the DP and car and purchased a pickup and traveled up until a few months ago using hotels. In the motorhomes we traveled from Mexico to Alaska and from east coast to west coast. Stayed in rest areas, truck stops, private rv parks and rv resorts. In the pickup we stayed in hotels. There are plus and minus to each mode of travel. I wont go into the for and against each way of travel here. But let me make one thing very clear. I'm a numbers nut case. I live by spread sheets. From the very first day in 1996 until we sold our pickup this year I kept all the figures on costs. Purchase price. Registrations. Insurance. Fuel. Food. Repairs. And accommodation. Plus other figures. After a total of 8+ years of being on the road in the USA in the past 22 years I can tell you there is very very little difference in costs. The difference becomes a choice between life style and seeing 'stuff'. If you want to relax and move slowly go for an RV. If you want to jam in as much as possible. Go for a car. Then you have to figure out between buying and renting. Bargains can be had. but remember the old saying, "you get what you pay for". Renting can be worry free. Buying can have its own issues. 5 months may seem a long time. Buying, registering and insuring can be a right PITA. bruce
  5. Hi Jan and Al. Welcome to the SKP forum. It's a while since I've been on this site but I'm still happy to help if I can. Kirk W pointed me to your post. We are Australians who have bought and sold 2 A Class motorhomes in the USA. Spent about 8 years in total touring the USA in the past 20+ years. Keeping in mind that there is no 'right' or 'wrong' way of doing what you are planning. However a couple of comments if I may. 5 months may seem a 'long' time to spend in the USA but I can assure you that it will soon fly by. Buying, and selling, an RV will consume more of that time than it may be worth. Along with the issues of finding insurance and registration. I would strongly suggest you look at renting an RV for that amount of time. On the surface renting may seem expensive but what price is a month of your five months worrying about buying and selling? Also be aware that California comes with some issues. If you still want to proceed with buying an RV I would strongly suggest flying in and out of Dallas and using the SKP facilities to help with your purchase. Look at the PPL site as well as Motorhomes of Texas south of Fort Worth. These folks deal with overseas folks all the time and can help with selling your RV. Yell if you need more help or advise. Bruce
  6. Oh dear. Sorry Linda Sand. I guess this forum is way too serious for me. In this current world humor is in sort supply. Seems it's getting shorter. This will be my last post on the SKPs forum. Seems folks are way to sensitive for me. Regards
  7. You guys obviously don't travel with a wife!!!!! The amount of clothes carried is always proportional to the amount of storage space.
  8. In 2016 we drove from Redding on hwy 44. No issues with the road. It's an interesting NP. Some sections of road are steep and windy but nothing that really rings any alarm bells. Can't help with campgrounds. regards
  9. bruce t

    Denver Co.

    We have stayed at Cherry Creek a few times. Just be aware that on two occasions we experienced pretty aggressive enforcement of their 2 vehicle policy. Motorhome and toad was 2 vehicles and the toad had to pay day fees. Where as tow vehicle and tt/5th wheel were one vehicle and the tow vehicle could come and go. We debated the situation with rangers. And lost! BTW the volunteers were great. They sided with us but to no avail. It may have changed but!!! Just be aware. regards
  10. Go with your heart. Ask yourself which is more important. Money in the bank or that warm fuzzy feeling you get in a nice RV. Sure money is important but!!!!!!! regards
  11. Keep in mind that leveling a 40 ft motorhome is way different to a 40 ft 5th wheel or 40ft tt. 5th wheels and tt's have their wheels in the center but a motorhome has a longer wheel base. Different pivot points. So it's harder to level a motorhome on the same site. regards
  12. Length is a bit meaningless. Do they mean length of rig or length of site? We found that a 40ft didn't mean you could put a 40ft motorhome on it. Was it wide enough to also hold our toad? (Tow vehicle if you are towing). Was it a 40ft site suitable for a mountain goat because of excessive slope? Was it wide enough for slides? Were the trees trimmed so you could back into that 60ft long site. Hang on. Back in? Er some folks can't back up. My point being is that use given lengths as a 'general guide' only. Better still go and have a look at the site before committing to it. We loved public parks but most were built before the big rigs were popular. regards
  13. The Mercedes is built basically as a highway/delivery vehicle. Most Americans think of diesels as heavy duty tow vehicles. Not so with these European based diesels. The issue with carrying capacity is not a motor/chassis problem. Rather a problem created by body builders over building. Same happens with all motorhomes regardless of if it's a A,B or C class. I would be more than happy with a Sprinter 'provided' that the coach work/body wasn't over built. They are all over the world doing great work. They simply aren't a 'typical' American heavy iron motor. regards
  14. We had a similar problem. I turned the water off. Emptied it. Then I sprayed a healthy does of silicon spray in to the bowl and let is sit. Worked fine. No more leaks. However the electric mech eventually failed. (Ever tried to open and close one on those things by hand?) So out with the old and in with a simple foot pedal job. Never another issue. regards
  15. We've done similar a couple of times. Roads are generally good. But we have always found Duluth a real challenge. Last time there was plenty of road works. It's an old area so roads aren't that great. Road out to Marquette is fine. Pretty country. Although we almost hit a bear crossing the road!
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