Monday, January 23, 2012

3 Month USA Road Trip / RV, Rent vs Buy ?

Good Afternoon,

I was wondering whether you could advise me on the following? Myself and my partner intend to travel to the USA next year and spend 3-4 months seeing as much of the best bits of the country as possible starting on the east coast.

Could you recommend any routes to take starting from the east going west?

Also, we want to drive by Motorhome/RV, would you recommend renting or buying a vehicle? How easy would it be to purchase a vehicle in the US?

Apologies for all the questions but I would appreciate all the advice you could give.

Kind Regards,



Hi Sally --

Thanks for writing in to Road Trip USA.

3 or 4 months is a nice lot of time to see the USA -- east coast, west coast, and points in between. Getting around is the big issue -- renting an RV for that long will get expensive, but buying your own vehicle is complicated (and expensive...) The legal issues (of insurance, emissions tests, etc) usually make renting the better option, but for such a long trip as you are proposing, it may be worth the hassles of buying and running your own vehicle.

But if you haven't been to the USA before, and if you don't have any "local" relations to use for legal US addresses, it could be nearly impossible to run your own RV legally -- of course, you could find ways around laws, but I don't really advise it.

What I do suggest is that you look into a mix of transport options -- traveling by train, staying in cities that don't demand private cars -- and save the "road trip" portions for places you really want to explore by car. Like the Wild West, or the California coast. It's easy to rent cars, so you could be much more flexible if you rent a car for a couple of weeks, take a train or a plane somewhere else, get to know that city, then rent another car for another trip. And so on.

You definitely don't need a car to see a lot of the US -- like New York City, or San Francisco, or Chicago, or New Orleans, or Seattle. But each of these cities makes a great base for a road trip -- or five road trips.

I'm not sure this is what you wanted to hear, but I hope this advice helps you figure out a plan for your great adventure.

With best wishes,

Jamie Jensen
Road Trip USA


Post a Comment

<< Home