RV Road Trip With Children
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Jan 28, 2013 7:09 AM Last Post By: LongIslandBob
Jan 27, 2013 1:50 PM
RV Road Trip With ChildrenHi, I'd really appreciate any help people can offer me for the following holiday.
In late July my wife and I and our two girls (aged 7 and 3) are looking to spend a month in the US. We'll be staying around a week in Rochester NY where my relatives live, and we'd like to go to Orlando for 3-4 days so the girls can go to Disneyland, but other than that we have not firm plans other than we'd like to drive down from Rochester to Florida in a rental RV.
I have lots of questions, but here are a few:
1. What's the best airline in terms of comfort and price? I don't mind upgrading to Premium Economy, and my first thoughts are we want to fly London to Boston, NY or possibly Florida (and do Disney first).
2. Can anyone recommend a good RV rental firm? There seem to be lots and lots!
3. Is there a great website for looking at sites we could park overnight with the RV?
4. For those who've done this before, what's the best way to handle getting into a big city when on an RV holiday? I've heard public transport is patchy, and RVs aren't really city friendly.
5. Places we'd like to see are Boston, Washington DC, Charleston, Savannah and possibly Philly. In addition to this though, we'd like to see 'small town America' if possibly. My first thought on routes is Boston - Rochester - Washington - then down the coast to Florida. Any other suggestions, bearing in mind the age of our girls?
As you can see, much is undecided but a good tip or two from someone who's maybe done this kind of thing would be really, really helpful.
Jan 27, 2013 2:27 PM
1Several years ago I did an across country RV trip with three young kids. It lasted eight weeks, so I have a pretty good idea of what works. The airlines in the United States are all pretty similar, so I can't help you there, but with the RV companies, I would stick with the larger ones, as they have a better support network in the event you run into trouble. I used a class "C" CruiseAmerica RV, and had a great time. The class C RVs have a large bed above the driving area and have a lot of flexibilty. They typically also have a couch that turns into a bed, as well as a dinette that also becomes a bed. I drove mine through New York City, as well as Washington DC, where we spent a few days visiting the sites.
Your biggest problem with the cities is parking. I used a 21 foot RV, and was able to back into parking spaces, with the back of the RV hanging over a grass area. Larger RVs simply cannot be parked easily. In washington DC, your best bet is to camp at Cherry Hill RV park. Nice pool and kid play area, and the closest to DC.
Stay away from the KOA, or other private camp sites. They are fine if you just want to sleep, but are noisier, smaller, and not as clean as the state or national campgrounds. They are also more expensive. Use Good Sam as an online guide for RV sites, but try to stay in national parks or state campgrounds that are convenient.
Be prepared for high heat and humidity along the east coast during august. Also, if you are going to Orlando, you should take a drive all the way to Key West. This is a must-do. New Orleans is also a nice stop, if you want the best food in the world.
Jan 27, 2013 2:37 PM
2I haven't done a RV'ing as an adult and I choose my airline based on the three that are available at my tiny local airport so so I'm incapable of answering several of your questions.
RV'ing seems to me like a good way to get to Orlando but it wouldn't be my first choice for staying in/near Orlando. Still, I guess if I rolled into Orlando in an RV that's where. Boston is a great site for history as are several of the side trips (like Plymouth)
Outside of Philadelphia is an amusment park called Sesame Place. It's pretty big, but it is most easily described as a small disneyworld made for your 3 year-old. (Disney itself is designed for older kids)
oops phone call, more later
Jan 27, 2013 3:10 PM
3I meant to type
*Still, I guess if I rolled into Orlando in an RV that's where I'd stay. (sorry phone was ringing).
Jan 27, 2013 3:21 PM
4As a RV owner who sucessfully & unhappily,drove through Boston & NYC on our Coast to coast trip this fall...I will suggest renting a RV(if you must) for the Florida portion ONLY. Visiting the (hot) Florida attractions,you will need to stay in the numerous RV parks where there is electric service sufficient to power the coach air conditioning... Then flying to Washington DC, work your way up to Rochester, using bus,train & "suite"hotels... enjoy carracar
Jan 27, 2013 3:50 PM
5Okay what else?
I think Philly is a great town, but much of its appeal is based on things like cheesesteak sandwiches, scrapple, and its raucous sports atmosphere. I think it’s worth an overnight, but if you are bringing young kids, you might be able to see it as a pass through location, stopping only to see the major sites.
Very close to Washington DC is a town called Baltimore. Its “Inner Harbor” is a great, though slightly pricey, family location (weather allowing). The aquarium is top notch. I took my son there when he could barely walk and he enjoyed it thoroughly. I haven’t been to the science museum. Taking the “water taxi” to Fort McHenry is a lot of fun if you are in to history. It has a few nice places to shop. It’s known for its seafood, and very very nearby the harbor is “Little Italy” where you can get some great Italian food at less than the tourist-held-hostage prices that are typical in travel.
Virginia (immediately south of Wash DC) has so many history locations and nice-but-not-stunning nature locations you could spend a couple weeks there. I am personally fond of Monticello and Jamestown, but the choices there are so numerous, it’s really a matter of personal preference, others are in to battlefields and Historic Williamsburg.
You didn’t say what time of year you’re coming. South of Cape Hatteras, the weather and the ocean water get a lot warmer. North of Cape Hatteras swimming at the beach exists only during a 3-or-4-month summer window.
When in Orlando about the most you can do is
- 2 days of amusement parks
- 1 day of water park
- 1 day of swimming with the dolphins (about $250 per person). I thought swimming with the dolphins was the ultimate. I feel there is nothing better I could have done for my son. It was the absolute highlight of his young life. He simply loved it. Some people feel that the swim-with-the-dolphin parks are somehow immoral. I do not concur, but their opinions are worth mentioning.
- 1 day of Sea World.
Enjoy your journey.
Jan 28, 2013 5:17 AM
6I think an RV trip from Rochester to Orlando is not the optimal strategy.
Firstly - it's expensive indeed.
Secondly, your kids are too young to really enjoy Disney World in Orlando.
If you must have this holiday to to Rochester at this time - and that's fine - I suggest you stay in that area and have a really good holiday in up-state New York and adjacent areas. Your kids should not determine this holiday at their age - they're far too young to do so. And there are some great places to visit near you anyway.
Jan 28, 2013 5:31 AM
7I recommend the newly-merged Good Sam Club/Woodall's RV Campground Directory. It is about 1,000 pages, including high quality, inspected RV Campgrounds throughout the USA, Canada, and Mexico. Your RV rental agency will probably have them or tell you of a nearby store where you may purchase your copy. The RV Campgrounds usually include a swimming pool, laundromat, hot showers, cable TV, and Wi-Fi. Many are near easy transportation to downtown restaurants, entertainment venues, museums, boutiques, and art galleries, so you do not need to worry about finding an expensive parking space downtown.
Jan 28, 2013 7:09 AM
8It's true that driving an RV around downtown Boston is not the optimal way to see Boston. But then again when i took my family there by car I simply parked the car and traveled the city by public transport. Can it be THAT much harder to park an RV and travel the city by public transport?
Same deal with NYC, Philly, Baltimore, Washington DC etc..
In more southern destinations I have never noticed that it would be more difficult to park an RV in the Monticello parking lot than to park a minivan there.
Perhaps the fact that I have never RV'd as an adult causes some fact to elude me, but from what I can see if a person does not get any ore "tied" to his RV than I am "tied" to my car RV'ing the northeast would be only a little more difficult than traveling it by car and RV'ing the southeast might be a good way to do it.
I dunno. I'm speculating.
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