Ask Lonely Planet: Happy campers on Main Street

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Take an RV trip to the Grand Canyon in May to October, to avoid peak season and high prices. Photo / Getty Images
Take an RV trip to the Grand Canyon in May to October, to avoid peak season and high prices. Photo / Getty Images

Our family of five (children aged 13, 12 and 10) is planning a five-week United States road trip. We plan to start with three days in New York before heading down to Washington DC, across to the Grand Canyon and on to Chicago for a three-week journey on Route 66. We like the idea of a campervan as our budget is limited. Where can we learn more about RV travel in the US?
- Lesley Reeve

Lonely Planet's Sarah Bennett and Lee Slater write:

This sounds like a wonderful family adventure, and totally achievable in your allotted time.

An RV is an obvious option for you, especially if you avoid peak season and its high prices. We recommend you travel in May and October, but even then a five-week rental will be about US$5000 ($6500), plus up to US$1000 extra for a one-way hire.

Camping facilities in the US are similar to those in New Zealand. National and state parks offer basic communal shelters, fire grates, water supply and so on, although many also have hot showers. There is also a network of commercial campgrounds.

We recommend you buy a Rand McNally road atlas. They are well worth the effort of ordering.

Good online sources about RV rental are,, and

Written for road-trippers, Lonely Planet's USA's Best Trips details 99 rewarding driving routes, including Route 66. Our general US guidebook will also give you a huge amount of practical information.

- NZ Herald


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