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wurzel
5th October 2010, 20:42
Thinking about taking a few weeks off after Christmas & doing a bit of travelling around the States. Ideally I'd like to be abe to hire a camper van & maybe go coast to coast or do a tour of the southern states. I've looked into this online & what's on offer seems very restrictive in that most of them offer a fixed itinerary & I want to be free to go where I want.
Maybe it's better to sort out the van hire on arrival though I'd rather have things sorted from this end. Anyone ever done anything like this before? Any advice would be most welcome.

TimberWolf
5th October 2010, 21:14
EO is the expert, but I wonder whether buying a banger would work out cheaper? Or a banger van in this instance.

Troll
5th October 2010, 21:18
Real men don't need a camper vans - they hitch hike and camp out under the stars (bridges if wet)

True story

TimberWolf
5th October 2010, 21:19
Real men don't need a camper vans - they hitch hike and camp out under the stars (bridges if wet)

True story

A bed of pine needles and a ceiling of stars.

EternalOptimist
5th October 2010, 21:20
EO is the expert, but I wonder whether buying a banger would work out cheaper? Or a banger van in this instance.

aye. the vehicle is cost number 2.
cost number 1 is accommodation.

It would seem on the surface that a camper van hits both buttons. But we costed it and I was not persuaded.

Hiring gives you better insurance and other support options.

To be perfectly honest, my missus enjoys all this palaver than she does the actual holiday. she enjoys the planning so much that she is feaking out about what we will do in 2020 in morrocco.





:rolleyes:

wurzel
5th October 2010, 21:22
Real men don't need a camper vans

I'm taking the missus

cailin maith
5th October 2010, 21:23
EO is the expert, but I wonder whether buying a banger would work out cheaper? Or a banger van in this instance.

He's right - EO has done a few of these trips and has loads of hints and tips.

Also have a look on Trip Advisor, some good info on there. We got a book about it as we're planning it next year too - this one... USA on the Road Insight Guide - Insight Guides (Book) by Insight Guides (2010): Waterstones.com (http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/products/insight+guides/usa+on+the+road+insight+guide/6906737/) Actually cheaper on Amazon.

Troll
5th October 2010, 21:25
A bed of pine needles and a ceiling of stars.It's the pesky mosquitoes that will do for you

Troll
5th October 2010, 21:26
I'm taking the missusaka baggage ??

TimberWolf
5th October 2010, 21:31
It's the pesky mosquitoes that will do for you

Sleeping bag with a mosquito net in the hood. Or a tent. Not been to mossy country myself though, or at least not when camping.

EternalOptimist
5th October 2010, 21:34
Real men don't need a camper vans - they hitch hike and camp out under the stars (bridges if wet)

True story

the problem is this. in order to cover vast distances, many times , you need a kit and a modus operandi.

this reduces the amount you have to think. you need a doctrine. If you plan on doing a thousand miles a day for a few days, you dont want to have to think as well.


you cant sleep under a bridge in australia, unless you want to be a crocodile turd
you cant sleep outdoors oop north unless you want to become a bear turd.
Sleep outdoors in the city and you will get arrested or robbed
the only safe way to sleep outdoors in the wild is under your vehicle, then you cant see the stars anyway.






:rolleyes:

EternalOptimist
6th October 2010, 05:43
This is my all season all-terrain kit

it weighs about 18 lbs. easy for plane travel, easy for living out of when on the road.


http://i1091.photobucket.com/albums/i383/CUKEternalOptimist/DSCN1198.jpg


1 Holdall
5 pairs underrods
5 pairs socks
2 pairs kecks
5 light tops
1 watch uk time
2 pairs lassies
1 corkscrew
1 compass
1 belt
1 alarm clock
1 battery charger with 4 batts
1 pair short bladed scissors
1 spoon
some emergency loose change
1 swiss knife
1 torch
bumroll (toiletries that can be wrapped up like a sausage roll)

Ignis Fatuus
6th October 2010, 06:29
you cant sleep under a bridge in australia, unless you want to be a crocodile turd
you cant sleep outdoors oop north unless you want to become a bear turd.
Sleep outdoors in the city and you will get arrested or robbed
the only safe way to sleep outdoors in the wild is under your vehicle, then you cant see the stars anyway.
:rolleyes:Against all expectations, tropical Africa is the safest place to sleep outdoors.

OwlHoot
6th October 2010, 06:33
This is my all season all-terrain kit

it weighs about 18 lbs. easy for plane travel, easy for living out of when on the road.

http://i1091.photobucket.com/albums/i383/CUKEternalOptimist/DSCN1198.jpg

Looks fairly practical, although that mattress must be a sod to cart around. :rolleyes:

Lockhouse
6th October 2010, 06:50
I'm doing the same next May. Three weeks doing Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans, Savannah, Charlotte & the Gulf Coast - We're staying in hotels (for free - it's all about contacts!) but are hiring a small RV for convenience. We have friends in Nashville who are arranging the whole thing for us (and joining us). I costed it out with us just as a couple and the RV and I couldn't make the numbers work. The RV really does eat the gasoline making long distances expensive.

EternalOptimist
6th October 2010, 07:00
I'm doing the same next May. Three weeks doing Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans, Savannah, Charlotte & the Gulf Coast - We're staying in hotels (for free - it's all about contacts!) but are hiring a small RV for convenience. We have friends in Nashville who are arranging the whole thing for us (and joining us). I costed it out with us just as a couple and the RV and I couldn't make the numbers work. The RV really does eat the gasoline making long distances expensive.

absolutely. add in the fact that you need to find a hook up, slow speed and difficulty parking sometimes. we decided against it, despite the obvious attractions


:rolleyes:

EternalOptimist
6th October 2010, 07:28
it seems we have quite a community of roadsters here :)

EO's take on the roles and responsibilities.

1. The Driver.
Most important job is to keep you all alive. bear in mind you may be driving on the other side of the road, unfamiliar vehicle, unfamiliar weather conditions, unfamiliar road traffic rules. You may be jet lagged, hung over, tired, stressed, have the galloping wild-sh1tes. Your job is stay focussed for anything up to 16 hours. You may cross time zones and move from km to mph without warning.

2. The navigator.
The navigators job starts before you even pick up the vehicle. You have to leave the car-hire and hit the route first time. You have to know the road traffic rules as well as the driver and find a way of communicating problems quickly without causing any aggro. You are a navigator not a back seat driver.
e.g. speed limit 50mph. drifting to the right. stop sign ahead. breakfast place 100m ahead on the right. pull in 50m ahead for a photo.
(Not - omg we are going to die. didnt you see that stop sign you idiot. You knew i was hungry why didnt you stop. oh we just missed a brilliant photo op)

You have to know exactly where you are, and you must be able to communicate it accurately. The driver might be asking for a reason , e.g. red warning lights on the dash, low fuel etc
a good answer - 15 miles east of auburn on the I5 heading east
a bad answer - we're near that place, you know, the one we nearly went to, with the wall mart. over by whatisface. oh i dont know, wheres me map.

The navigator has to handle the in car refreshments, the in car entertainment, and work out how all the gizmos operate.

The navigator is not a passenger.

:rolleyes:

TimberWolf
6th October 2010, 08:44
This is my all season all-terrain kit

it weighs about 18 lbs. easy for plane travel, easy for living out of when on the road.


http://i1091.photobucket.com/albums/i383/CUKEternalOptimist/DSCN1198.jpg


1 Holdall
5 pairs underrods
5 pairs socks
2 pairs kecks
5 light tops
1 watch uk time
2 pairs lassies
1 corkscrew
1 compass
1 belt
1 alarm clock
1 battery charger with 4 batts
1 pair short bladed scissors
1 spoon
some emergency loose change
1 swiss knife
1 torch
bumroll (toiletries that can be wrapped up like a sausage roll)

I'd add the following as they weigh so little: needle + strong thread, paper clip (a handy bit of metal), gaffa/duct tape (wrapped around e.g an old credit card), safety pin.

DimPrawn
6th October 2010, 08:49
omg we are going to die. didnt you see that stop sign you idiot. You knew i was hungry why didnt you stop. oh we just missed a brilliant photo op

You been on a trip to Tesco's with my missus then?

Troll
6th October 2010, 08:54
the problem is this. in order to cover vast distances, many times , you need a kit and a modus operandi.

this reduces the amount you have to think. you need a doctrine. If you plan on doing a thousand miles a day for a few days, you dont want to have to think as well.


you cant sleep under a bridge in australia, unless you want to be a crocodile turd
you cant sleep outdoors oop north unless you want to become a bear turd.
Sleep outdoors in the city and you will get arrested or robbed
the only safe way to sleep outdoors in the wild is under your vehicle, then you cant see the stars anyway.






:rolleyes:

Ohh good post... never been to OZ but I guess you have to take into account the local pedator proximity before pitching up

I've slept out in some parks in the US but crawled back into the car due to worries about bears.... prob more me being a chicken rather than any immediate threat - the family who were giving me a lift were in a tent ... not sure they were that safe either

I've been stranded in Seattle late on a Saturday night and kipped down in an alley and survived... I've also kipped out on the streets of Glasgow on a Friday evening having missed the last bus south..was with a girl and local police patrol saw us and advised us to be carefull but didn't arrest us ..keep your wits about you & you'll survive - not sure I'd do the same in LA though

TimberWolf
6th October 2010, 08:59
Heh, you've got a bag with pockets either end, as I do on my sports bag, and I'm everlasting searching each pocket in turn for stuff because I never got around to differentiating one pocket from the other. They are quite voluminous pockets too, so searching can go like this: Search a pocket (picking one at random), fail to find item, so search next pocket. Also fail to find item, so go back to other pocket, but do a deeper search. Fail to find item, do deep search on other pocket. Call pocket search function passing deeper search parameter. Exit when bored, item found or stack overflow.

I keep meaning to mark one of the pockets.

EternalOptimist
6th October 2010, 09:22
Heh, you've got a bag with pockets either end, as I do on my sports bag, and I'm everlasting searching each pocket in turn for stuff because I never got around to differentiating one pocket from the other. They are quite voluminous pockets too, so searching can go like this: Search a pocket (picking one at random), fail to find item, so search next pocket. Also fail to find item, so go back to other pocket, but do a deeper search. Fail to find item, do deep search on other pocket. Call pocket search function passing deeper search parameter. Exit when bored, item found or stack overflow.

I keep meaning to mark one of the pockets.

top tip. put the sharps in one pocket. you will learn to get it right first time.

top tip. Dont put anything in your bag that you cant afford to lose.
cameras, meds, money, driving licence all go in your coat, or carry on

top tip. Mark your bag in some way, to ease carousel retreival. A label with a photo of a family pet is an ace one.

top tip. Buy a new pair of trainers specifically for the journey. If your feet smell, your partner might be too gracious to mention it. Try to tailor your boots for the job, desert, walking, scree, plus driving etc. the lassies in my kit are for bunching your trouser bottoms around your boots, to keep out stones and wrigglers.

top tip. Forget about eating well. its almost impossible. different cultures use different levels of fats, sugar and salt. You will almost certainly be sh1tting for Britain, get used to it.

top tip. Always check for bog roll before sitting down. Some of the most expensive poo's I have ever had have been because I never checked. Five dollar bills might be very absorbant, but when you have an @rse like mine, a runny sh1te can be VERY expensive.

top tip. You are going to get lost. It's inevitable. So dont waste your energy thinking about how to avoid getting lost, work out a strategy for dealing with it. EO's method 'ooh its great around here I'm glad we came this way, we dont get off the main drag often enough. Ive been thinking about buying you a waffle maker by the way and a sewing machine for Christmas. Now where the heck are we'. theres no need to make the navigator feel bad.

top tip. keep a diary.

top tip. take as many pics as you can. take spare sd cards.

top tip. lay you gear out as soon as you land for the night. if you use the EO kit above, you can be in the room and unpacked in 90 seconds, ready to go exploring for a bar. Its all about time.


there's more....lots more


:rolleyes:

TimberWolf
6th October 2010, 09:42
there's more....lots more:rolleyes:

Keep 'em coming.

I've got a few too:


Sun tan lotion works fine as shaving cream
Microfibre towels are light and take up little space
Always take a needle, as it is handy for so many things (e.g. bursting blisters) and takes up next to no room. Ditto for thread.
Don't walk long distances in hot weather in tight shoes, otherwise see above
A mac in a sac (or a cheaper lighter equivalent) keeps out wind and rain and is only the size of a small fist when scrunched up.
Gaffa tape has hundreds of uses and packs small wrapped around e.g. an old credit card.

Pondlife
6th October 2010, 09:50
I would also add to the list;

a pen (not pencil as it's no good for official forms)

swiss army knife - I know Swiss knife was mentioned by EO but he also included a corkscrew and scissors which should be covered by this. :tongue Oh, and don't forget to take it out of your handluggage.

I also now secure my baggage with those little cable tie thingies. Having had a number of "your baggage has been checked by homeland security" cards placed in my supposedly securely padlocked luggage (and 4 years doing airport security whilst at Uni) I have no faith that they provide any security whatsoever - It's more important for me to know whether someones been in there especially during that walk through customs.

EternalOptimist
6th October 2010, 10:02
Keep 'em coming.

I've got a few too:


Sun tan lotion works fine as shaving cream
Microfibre towels are light and take up little space
Always take a needle, as it is handy for so many things (e.g. bursting blisters) and takes up next to no room. Ditto for thread.
Don't walk long distances in hot weather in tight shoes, otherwise see above
A mac in a sac (or a cheaper lighter equivalent) keeps out wind and rain and is only the size of a small fist when scrunched up.
Gaffa tape has hundreds of uses and packs small wrapped around e.g. an old credit card.



top tip. Small bladed scissors can open a tin of food, open packaging, do nails, kill things.

top tip. buy a coffee maker. cheap and it may be your one luxury.

top tip. Have two bars of soap on the go. when you unpack (90 seconds) unroll the bumroll in the bathroom, one bar in the shower, one by the sink. Saves faffing about in the morning.

top tip. Female goes in the shower first, guy puts the coffee on. female dries her hair while the guy is in the shower. Aim to be up and out in 45 minutes. 10 years ago, we could do it in 30.

top tip. Live out of your holdall, use it as your cupboard. Removes the neccessity for checking the room for stuff when you leave.

top tip. Be prepared to leave stuff behind in order to make room for pressies. dress cheap.

top tip. Pick up some salt and pepper sachets, be prepared to steal gobbling rods.

top tip. make some laminated cards, on one side 'where can i get petrol' on the other, the same in mandarin or whatever. your gcse in French will not be enough. hotel, food, water

top tip. pay cash. set up a visa card, put your travel money on it. use your main card only as a last resort. many atm will not cough up. if you are going into the wilds, take cash.

top tip. That indiginous fellow by the side of the road looks so dignified and noble. standing proud in his bare feet by the dusty road. The wisdom of the ancestors hangs heavy on his brow. How nice to stop and chat and hear the ancient tribal stories.
He is thinking 'tourist tw@t, I want to kick his fckng head in and sh@g his wife'. (I'll tell you the story one day)


there's more, much more...



:rolleyes:

SupremeSpod
6th October 2010, 10:11
This is my all season all-terrain kit

it weighs about 18 lbs. easy for plane travel, easy for living out of when on the road.


http://i1091.photobucket.com/albums/i383/CUKEternalOptimist/DSCN1198.jpg


1 Holdall
5 pairs underrods
5 pairs socks
2 pairs kecks
5 light tops
1 watch uk time
2 pairs lassies
1 corkscrew
1 compass
1 belt
1 alarm clock
1 battery charger with 4 batts
1 pair short bladed scissors
1 spoon
some emergency loose change
1 swiss knife
1 torch
bumroll (toiletries that can be wrapped up like a sausage roll)

Here's mine...

2010 Winnebago View motor home, a new kind of motor home. (http://www.winnebagoview.com/)

SupremeSpod
6th October 2010, 10:13
top tip. Small bladed scissors can open a tin of food, open packaging, do nails, kill things.

top tip. buy a coffee maker. cheap and it may be your one luxury.

top tip. Have two bars of soap on the go. when you unpack (90 seconds) unroll the bumroll in the bathroom, one bar in the shower, one by the sink. Saves faffing about in the morning.

top tip. Female goes in the shower first, guy puts the coffee on. female dries her hair while the guy is in the shower. Aim to be up and out in 45 minutes. 10 years ago, we could do it in 30.

top tip. Live out of your holdall, use it as your cupboard. Removes the neccessity for checking the room for stuff when you leave.

top tip. Be prepared to leave stuff behind in order to make room for pressies. dress cheap.

top tip. Pick up some salt and pepper sachets, be prepared to steal gobbling rods.

top tip. make some laminated cards, on one side 'where can i get petrol' on the other, the same in mandarin or whatever. your gcse in French will not be enough. hotel, food, water

top tip. pay cash. set up a visa card, put your travel money on it. use your main card only as a last resort. many atm will not cough up. if you are going into the wilds, take cash.

top tip. That indiginous fellow by the side of the road looks so dignified and noble. standing proud in his bare feet by the dusty road. The wisdom of the ancestors hangs heavy on his brow. How nice to stop and chat and hear the ancient tribal stories.
He is thinking 'tourist tw@t, I want to kick his fckng head in and sh@g his wife'. (I'll tell you the story one day)


there's more, much more...



:rolleyes:

Where's yer racing spoon?

TimberWolf
6th October 2010, 10:13
top tip. Small bladed scissors can open a tin of food, open packaging, do nails, kill things.



Which is why airport security took mine off me. A handy pair of scissors on a keyring they were too. I had had them years and they were taken without so much as a word of explanation or apology. I must buy another. But this time either don't take it abroad with me (fat use that will be) unless I am paying for aircraft hold luggage to stow it in. Mind you that goes for most of the items on your list, they won't make it as cabin luggage.

Next time I intend to pack some high energy food, assuming I do use hold luggage, e.g chocolate bars, and some sandwiches for the plane, and water. Water can be expensive near the airport, and in hot weather you get through quite a bit of it before you find the cheap 5 litre supermarket bottles. Just ignore any doubts that airport baggage handlers have peed into the bottle or added chemicals to test it for something.

EternalOptimist
6th October 2010, 10:14
Where's yer racing spoon?

heh heh. Its a good point actually
I reckon ex squaddies have a head start with all this stuff




:rolleyes:

CheeseSlice
6th October 2010, 10:29
Thinking about taking a few weeks off after Christmas & doing a bit of travelling around the States. Ideally I'd like to be abe to hire a camper van & maybe go coast to coast or do a tour of the southern states. I've looked into this online & what's on offer seems very restrictive in that most of them offer a fixed itinerary & I want to be free to go where I want.
Maybe it's better to sort out the van hire on arrival though I'd rather have things sorted from this end. Anyone ever done anything like this before? Any advice would be most welcome.

Check out the forums on RoadTripAmerica (http://www.roadtripamerica.com/), and if you have any speicific ideas of what you want to do, I'm sure somebody has done it before who can advise how much time to allow, and where to get the RV hire, etc.

A few weeks may not be enough time to do coast to coast properly. We did a trip this year which started on the east coast and ended on the west, but when we looked at our 'must see' items, and the possible routes, a lot of time would have been wasted on the road driving through a lot of flat farm land. Instead we decided to jump on a domestic plane from DC to Las Vegas which took 4.5 hours (the US is big!), but allowed to us to focus on driving around national parks, cities, and very interesting terrain, all at a more relaxed pace. We took in NYC, WashDC, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Bryce Canyon, Zyon, Yosemite, San Francisco, Big Sur, Los Angeles.

shaunbhoy
6th October 2010, 10:50
It's the pesky mosquitoes that will do for you

Or the Bears................if you smell like a proper wurzel. They have a real penchant for cider, and the stench of rotting straw sends them insane with lust. Be warned!

HTH

EternalOptimist
6th October 2010, 10:57
Or the Bears................if you smell like a proper wurzel. They have a real penchant for cider, and the stench of rotting straw sends them insane with lust. Be warned!

HTH

The real danger comes in the rutting season. One night I was slipping Mrs eo one, and a big grizzler came around and interrupted me.
Does anyone want to buy a bearsking rug ? slightly tattered



:rolleyes: