RV Help --> Eventual cross country trip

Hey everyone - hope all is well. Me and my family (wife, almost 3yr old son, and 16mo old daughter) are starting to figure out if a trip to visit family in Boulder, Colorado from Ridgewood, NJ is possible. Right now we’re airing on the side of driving vs. flying; stay a couple months, and then fly home – pending things continue to get better.

As I’ve not done any RV trips before, I was hoping someone in the refuge may have some insight or recommendations about RV rental companies, what to look or lookout for, and anything else to be aware of when sourcing an RV. I’ve done some initial searching online, but obviously Google returns biased results and I would appreciate any help you can offer.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions. Eventually this could turn into a chance to meet some of you along the way for a round or two.

Thanks!
Andrew

I am looking into buying a pop up camper and driving around the country as well. I would to get some insight from people who have spent weeks on the road!

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I’ve done multiple trips like this, first as a passenger when my parents decided to spend the majority of one summer on the road, then drove myself cross country for work after college (in a car, do not recommend) and then spent 3 months tooling around the US in an RV during my late 20s in the midst of a career change. The main thing I would recommend is don’t over-estimate your driving abilities and get something bigger than you would comfortable handle. I would assume your every day vehicle is a something normal and getting something which is only 4-6 feet longer sounds like it would be a small change but it is not. Sure, it is nice to have the big, baller class A camper that expands and has multiple TVs, but driving something that big is a pain. Since you have small kids I would recommend something where the bed is always set up and at the ready in case they get tired or want to lie down. Maybe not a class C, which has the bed above the driver in case your little ones like to roll around while they sleep but a smaller class A camper would have a bed in the back which you could get to at any time. Also, I had a firm “no crapping in the camper” policy but you probably can’t do that with little ones so get something where emptying the septic isn’t a 47 step process.

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The biggest thing to take toll of when renting an RV is to know what the mileage situation looks like

Like when you see those 800-RV4-RENT on the road, those people are likely getting FLEECED on mileage charges…like it is stupid cheap to rent, but I want to say they charge like $.35-.40 PER MILE

If you’re going NJ-CO-NJ…that is going to add up

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I assume you’ll be dropping off the rental RV when you get out here as I can’t think of any neighborhood in the People’s Republic that would be ok with an RV parked overnight. When I moved out here, I had a long Ryder truck and towed my car on a trailer behind it from Ohio. Generally not that bad although Kansas sucked as it was 10 hours of having to hold the wheel sideways to stay on the road against the wind. Swing out wide for turns etc… If you get a bigger RV, the biggest thing is plan on where you are going to drive before you get there. Use the mapping sites to see streetside views. Don’t randomly drive through a town or you’re likely to get yourself stuck somewhere.

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A few other tidbits from some time on the road growing up

  • Walmarts are very RV / trucker friendly…if you ever need somewhere to stop to rest or need to make a grocery run…WM usually have tons of space to maneuver
  • Remember you’re driving a bigger vehicle, this works in a lot of different ways (both good and bad)…swing it wide on turns, vast majority of four wheelers (cars) do not give a rats ass about you nor are they paying enough attention…check your mirrors, and check them again
  • You really shouldn’t have to worry about this…but don’t blindly rely on Google Maps for directions…Google Maps assumes you’re in a car…may take you places you might not feel comfortable in a 26’ vehicle (and more unlikely low bridges / passes)
  • Not sure if these rental RVs are diesel or not, but diesel pumps flow very quickly
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If you’re renting, shop around and ask for specials. Sometimes there are one-way specials when the company needs to reposition; less busy times they’ll also do things like throw in a certain amount of free miles, or amenities like kitchenware, outdoor tables, etc.

I have used this company: http://www.roadbearrv.com/en

They were good, no hidden or post-rental added charges, the RV was nice, new, and fully decked out, and importantly to me, didn’t have the company name plastered all over it.

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Correct @Dancin . We plan to drop off once we get to Denver/Boulder.

Thanks @desertduffer! Very helpful and appreciate that you’ve used them before. Sending them a note later today.

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