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Sep 15th, 2010, 08:35 PM
  #1
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RV Rental

Hi,

We are two young Australian's traveling to the US for our first trip in July 2011. We have a big trip planned for a month over the east coast of the USA but wanted to try something a little different and get out of the main cities for a bit..

We are planning to hire a standard RV for 10D and do a road trip from Nashville down to Miami. We would appreciate any times on where to park the RV for the night, where to stop for food, what to see along the way and anything else you think may be helpful to us!

Day 1 - Fly from NJ to Nashville

Day 2 - Drive from Nashville to Memphis

Day 3 - Drive from Memphis to New Orleans or Mobile

Day 4 - Drive from New Orleans/Mobile to Orlando

Day 5 - Orlando

Day 6 - Orlando

Day 7 - Orlando

Day 8 - Drive from Orlando to Miami

Day 9 - Miami

Day 10 - Leave Miami and fly back to NYC


This is our first time driving in the USA - on the other side of the road. Scary! We are sure we will be fine though! We know that some of the days may be big days of driving or that we may need to adjust the itinerary if there is lots to see. We just are unsure whats to see in the smaller towns along the way!

Would really appreciate your advice and tips on this trip!

Angie & Lee
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Sep 15th, 2010, 10:53 PM
  #2
 
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Have you reserved your RV yet? If not Google, "Cruise America RV" or "El Monte RV"... Sometimes they offer repositioning one way rentals at bargain prices. Years ago I took a "Cruise America RV" from MCO to PHX for $24 a day with 2500 free miles and 9 days to complete the trip. Additional days can be purchased. This particular unit was going back to PHX to be refurbished. It was not in bad shape and turned out to be a great deal. Similiar offers are made up and down the East Coast especially to and from NYC and MCO.

Just got back from Nashville and have traveled around the US. You may find some helpful tips at:

http://dmbtravelerusa.blogspot.com/2...e-in-hole.html

I drove in Australia and New Zealand last year upside down and survived. You will be fine on the other side of the road. For the most part the US has great roads and good driving conditions.
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Sep 16th, 2010, 03:21 AM
  #3
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Thankyou for your response!

We have contacted Cruise America and they have given us a price of $129 per day .32 per mile for a Standard 25" RV. Does this sound reasonal at all to you?

Do you think that just one night is enough in Nashville or should we plan to stay longer?

Cheers.
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Sep 16th, 2010, 05:01 AM
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You may want to ask some questions on this forum(http://www.rv.net/forum/).

You have set yourself up for some long drives, especially in an RV. In many cities parking will be at a premium or even non existent for an RV. For the amount Cruise America is charging you may want to consider renting a car and staying in motels/hotels.
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Sep 16th, 2010, 07:41 AM
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Angie & Lee,

I like "RedRock" suggestion better. Your trip is about 1600 miles and I think will be very expensive in an RV at those prices. I figure about $2600 including fuel and overnight parking in a RV versus $1600 in a car.

Going by RV can be fun but expensive. Check out KOA Campgrounds for overnight parking. Sign up for a yearly membership and you can save a few bucks.

I also recommend an annual National Parks Pass $80 if you will be visiting some of our National Parks like Mammoth Caves or Great Smoky Mountain.

Either way I think you will have fun on a road trip here.
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Sep 16th, 2010, 06:19 PM
  #6
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Thankyou all for your suggestions.

We understand the costs of hiring the RV plus the petrol and everything else involved. Its something that we just have to do as they say. We understand we have alot of driving but thats all part of the fun of it. The rest of our trip is planned to a tee but we want some freedom and are happy to just jump in the RV and go. Enjoy what happens along the way!

As for parking, I looked into a few camping grounds that have free RV parking and also at the term 'boondocking' which could come in quite useful. If all less fails then we will pull onto the side of the road or a truck stop and make sure we have a baseball bat on hand!
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Sep 19th, 2010, 07:13 PM
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Sounds like an exciting trip! I have relatives in Australia and I live in Mississippi. They think Mississippi is exotic and I would love to visit Oz. So sorry you only have a week...

I don't know much about RVs but I do know that some of the rest areas along the Interstates have dump stations for waste. Try this site for more information: http://www.rvdumps.com/dumpstations/

If I was going from Nashville to New Orleans, I would skip Memphis and take the Natchez Trace from Nashville to Jackson, MS then would pick up Interstate 55 and continue to New Orleans. The travel is slower - 40 mph around the start of the Trace for the first bit then up to 50 mph - but this would give you a chance to get use to the driving. There are historical sites to visit along the way and most parking is easy in-out. The Trace warns you if you should not enter with an RV. Check it out here - http://www.nps.gov/natr/ If you could throw a couple of bicycles or mopeds in your RV you could have even more fun.

In Nashville, too many things to do. Just check out the tour sites - here is one: http://www.blueshoenashville.com/topthingstodo.html I would think at least the Country Music Hall of Fame, The Parthenon and Loveless Cafe http://www.lovelesscafe.com/

Loveless is on Highway 100 and is located just a few feet from the start of the Natchez Trace. Once on the Trace, just enjoy. Trace travel should be in the daytime. At night, be careful of deer. Stop at whatever interests you.

Pull over to walk on the Double Arch Bridge. Have camera!

Jackson Falls is a nice pleasing walk.
The Indian Mounds are worth stopping for. (Bring Frisbee.)
Walk along the Sunken Trace.
I always drive through Meriwether Lewis- of the Lewis and Clark fame (explored the Louisiana Purchase and is buried here).
Stop in Tupelo http://www.tupelo.net/ - They have a Buffalo Park http://www.tupelo.net/things-to-do/tupelo.asp?id=10 and the birthplace of Elvis Presley http://www.tupelo.net/things-to-do/tupelo.asp?id=15

French Camp (mile marker 180) – just stop on the Trace at the parking in front of the old house. Worth walking around and checking out the site - self-touring. You can walk the boardwalk up to the Museum Cafe for a meal - open around 10:30 AM - 7 PM, M-Sat. http://www.frenchcamp.org/NatchezTrace_site/cafe.html The BLT - bacon/lettuce/tomato (named The Willie after the man who started the cafe), broccoli salad, bean soup, and the Mississippi Mud Cake. Order 1 of each and you'll have plenty of food for 2.

The Rainwater Observatory and Planetarium is at French Camp - just up the road. http://www.rainwaterobservatory.org/ They have a campground and you should be able to park there. Last time I was there, we camped out of our minivan. They have bathrooms and such. They just ask for a donation. Check out the calendar of events and maybe you will be there during one of their sky programs. Very informal.

Stay with the Trace until you get to the Reservoir - beautiful. Starts around mile marker 120. Walk the Cypress Swamp.

Across from the Mississippi Crafts Center http://www.mscrafts.org/ (worth seeing if you have time) is the road to Cock of the Walk. http://www.cockofthewalkrestaurant.com/reservoir/ All my Aussie relatives have loved eating here. Plus, there is a big parking lot closer to the marina - just go past the Cock of the Walk and the parking lot is to the left. Park here - and if you have bikes you can now have a treat biking the trails. If you decide to do this, say so and I will give you more information on the bike paths.

Pick up I-55 and head south to New Orleans.

If you still prefer to go to Memphis ... the drive is long between Nashville and Memphis and will give you a chance to get use to driving.
Memphis is tricky to drive. Lots or roads with short exits/entrances. Take your time and if you miss your exit, no big deal. You can always go down the road and take an exit and turn around. http://www.cityofmemphis.org/framework.aspx?page=555
Memphis has Elvis Presley's birthplace. Worth seeing just to see.
Go Downtown.
The Peabody Hotel has the ducks - people line up to watch them march in the lobby. http://www.peabodymemphis.com/peabody_ducks/
Memphis is known for its barbecue - so you will want to try some. Go downtown to the Rendezvous http://www.hogsfly.com/VisitUs.php then explore Beale Street. http://www.bealestreet.com/wordpress/

Heading out of Memphis, do you like Casinos? Mississippi has a collection in Tunica. http://memphis.about.com/od/casinosa.../p/casinos.htm
We went to Gold Strike - you register with them then can "pop" balloons to win playing money. My husband won $10 and I won $20. Always better to play with someone else's money. Not sure if any other casinos give incentive money but you could check with them first - "I'm just here for the day. What benefit would I get from becoming a member?"

If you want to go to the casinos, leave Memphis on Highway 61 to Tunica. Or, you could just travel Highway 61 all the way to Vicksburg then on to New Orleans... This road is the Blues Highway and also known as the Great River Road. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Route_61

In Mississippi, you won't see much of the Mississippi River from this road - too far from it and a levee in the way. This is the Mississippi Delta - a mixture or plantations (rice, corn, cotton, soybeans), and small towns. Mix of rich and poor.

Clarksdale has the Delta Blues Museum. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delta_Blues_Museum

Indianola (off 61 at Highway 82) has the B B King Museum http://www.bbkingmuseum.org/ plus the Crown Restaurant http://www.thecrownrestaurant.com/ We go out of our way to eat lunch at the Crown. Excellent desserts and they sell mixes so can pick up food gifts.

Turnaround at Indianola and head back to 61. May wan to cross the river bridge at Greenville. The new bridge just opened and it is a beauty.http://www.greenvillebridge.com/

(If you cross the bridge, could continue down Arkansas to Louisiana and back to Vicksburg, or just turn around and cross back.)

Vicksburg is worth seeing. Has a National Park - Vicksburg Military Park http://www.nps.gov/vick/. We bicycle in the park about once a week. It is hilly but lovely. Around 11-15 miles depending. Or, you could do the driving tour in about 2 hours. Stop at the Cairo Museum. Walk the cemetery across from the Cairo. There is a small tower that will let you overlook the Yazoo River. There is a three mile loop across the road from the main visiting center - Garrett’s. There are life size statues of Abraham Lincoln and Jeff Davis at the Kentucky Monument. You have to walk to it - can't see from vehicle. The parking space for this is small but not many people go to it. Well worth the short walk. http://www.nps.gov/pwr/customcf/apps...ilitary%20Park

Go downtown and travel Washington Street (which is Highway 61). The casinos are the best places to watch The Mississippi River and see the tugboats. I suggest the parking garage at Ameristar's casino - you will see the Yazoo River come into the Mississippi at this place. Go down Washington Street to Riverwalk Casino. This is the best parking lot to watch the sun set on the Mississippi. Washington Street downtown might look a little narrow for an RV but they can get a float down it during Mardi Gras so you should be able to get down it too.

The best food in town is at The Tamale Place. http://jackson.metromix.com/restaura...653569/content Pick up a dozen - wrapped in newspaper - along with 2 orange sodas and then drive to the park overlooking the river.

After Vicksburg, continue down Highway 61 to Port Gibson. Port Gibson was "too pretty to burn" during the Civil War (1860's).http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_Gibson,_Mississippi Drive straight through the town and you will see the church with the gold finger pointing to heaven.

You might want to go to Lorman to the Windsor Ruins - especially if you are into photography/architecture/romantic settings. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windsor_Ruins (It is back on country roads.) The old stairs from Windsor are at Alcorn State University. http://www.alcorn.edu/

Go to Natchez. At minimum, go to Longwood http://www.natchezpilgrimage.com/dailytour.htm and stop for lunch at Mammy's Cupboard. http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/787

Natchez - you will need to wind through a bit of the old city. Have you read any of Greg Iles's books? http://www.gregiles.com/ It would be work reading a few prior to visiting. (Blood Memory before you go to New Orleans? And Turning Angel before Natchez?)

Continue on down 61 to Interstate 10 to New Orleans. Too many wonderful places to list. I have the urge to travel myself now.
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Sep 21st, 2010, 08:05 AM
  #8
 
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Hi Angie
Food for thought and in no way do I mean to rain on your parade.
I've been seeing a few of these Cruise America RV's recently. And they are over the top advertisement. Good marketing strategy for the company, though.
My initial reaction was - great concept for those who would like to do/try a road trip who have no desire to own an RV. However, since the advertisement is so extreme, to me it screams 'novice RV tourist target.' I don't consider myself a paranoid traveler but I think the more you blend in somewhere, the less risk there is no matter how safe it is.
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Sep 21st, 2010, 10:26 AM
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SOCAL - I think the same thing when I see those Cruise America RVs on the road or in campgrounds.
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Oct 7th, 2010, 03:17 PM
  #10
 
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I see SOCALOC's point, but it's hard to find a one-way company for an RV rental, isn't it?

Yancey, your advice sounds great. I'll be taking a similar route this spring with a travel trailer, so I'll have to look more closely at your advice.

Angie, sounds like a fun trip! Have a blast.
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Sep 28th, 2012, 06:16 AM
  #11
cd
 
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Since this is your first post and it's to only tell of a perticular rental, I'm thinking it's advertising which is not permitted.
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Sep 28th, 2012, 06:27 AM
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Angie,

When in Orlando try to get a campsite in Disney's Fort Wilderness campground. This is the Ritz Carlton of campgrounds with very nice sites and lots of amenities and activities, you will love it.
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Sep 28th, 2012, 07:08 AM
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cd
 
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gmoney, this post is 2yrs old.
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Sep 28th, 2012, 10:33 AM
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oops! didn't notice. thanks cd.
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Sep 28th, 2012, 12:29 PM
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