Cross Country 45 day RV Road Trip! Dropping off the kids at College
Lisa: Hi welcome to our RView podcast I’m Lisa Richart Hernandez
George: And I’m George Hernandez
Lisa: And we are super excited to tell you today about what we’ve got going on coming up here as you know last time we had just gotten back from our trip to key west and we had a great time there it was so good to get out after being quarantined for so long with Covid and we George and I started talking we’ve always wanted to do a cross-country trip in our RV I think that’s a lot of people’s dream in general and it was just finding the right time to do it was going to be so difficult well we started talking about all the closures and normally in the fall we’re doing our tailgating for college football and we just said you know what I don’t have 100% confidence that we’re even going to have to tailgate this year let’s just go ahead and plan our cross-country trip and so that’s what we decided to do so we’re super excited we drop we just dropped off two kids at college this week.
George: well we will be dropping one-off this weekend and as soon as we drop them off with the money we’re out of here
Lisa: yeah so Monday we moved to Lauren my oldest daughter it’s her second year at the university of south Carolina we moved her into her first apartment which she’s really excited about with four other girls as roommates so that should be an interesting year although she’s doing school mostly online um at least that she’ll still get some of that campus experience and then we’ve got Ryan our oldest son moving into the dorms on Sunday at three o’clock and we’ll be meeting his roommate so we’re excited about that and
George: I think he thinks he’s trying to be a tough guy and he’s really excited which is great to see but he’s trying to be like a tough guy but I know inside he is so nervous it’s popped out a couple of times.
Lisa: Yeah and you know he’s coming into my office the other day and he was like you know like I’m super excited to move but I just realized that like I’m not gonna be living here anymore he packed all his things and took everything out of his drawers and has everything in his boxes and I think he’s going to be a little bit more emotional about it than he plays up to me
George: oh I think so too
Lisa: oh but I think you’re going to cry like a baby too
George: oh I know I am
Lisa: yeah right Ryan’s always been George’s right-hand man oldest son and always there to help him out through everything so
George: he’s been, my go-to man!
Lisa: that’s right but Tyler’s stepping up yeah yeah so it’ll be good so since school got postponed it was supposed to start on August 18th and George and I were gonna leave all um it would have only been Tyler left at home no we didn’t just leave him out with a bowl of water and of some food we actually have some adults staying here for six weeks at the house which worked out great so that was peace of mind for me knowing that Tyler won’t be alone and that we’ve got people that are looking out for the house and looking out for Tyler while we’re gone so but then they postponed school until September 8th and we had already planned on leaving on August 16th. So we’re going to take Tyler our 16-year-old and his girlfriend who’s been dating for I don’t know
George: 10 months? I think it’s more than that I think it’s close to a year.
Lisa: well anyways she’s a very sweet girl and we’re super excited so I think they’re gonna have a great time so we’re taking them for the first two weeks with us and we’re driving over to Washington state we’re gonna drop them off at the airport in Seattle and they’re gonna fly home from there let’s talk about our trip I’m sure everyone’s excited so everywhere we go on our trip we’re gonna tell you guys about what we did and how we got there and as many tips and tricks as we can and
George: we’re going to try to crank out the podcasts during this trip so we’re going to put out as many as we can during the trip we’re going to give you a list of everywhere that we’re going so if any listeners are out there just drop us a line we’d love to talk to you and get you on the show.
Lisa: yeah or any tips or tr um things while we travel so this is kind of our thought like let’s do a podcast about where we’re gonna be going so that we can hopefully maybe get some tips from other listeners who have already gone to those places so like the first place on our trip is Mount Rushmore.
So we’re leaving let me just tell you planning this trip let’s start from the beginning has been that’s like a full-time job we plan on being around the road for about 45 days and we didn’t want to have too tight of a schedule so that we were had to be one place to the next we kind of wanted to leave it a little bit loose and then I kind of feel like maybe I learned the hard way that that isn’t always the best bet if you want to see specific places like Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone.
George: we’re also going during summertime which is the busiest time kids are out of school nobody’s traveling out of the country so there’s a lot of people hitting the road in the united states and I think that’s what we’ve found is we plotted out the mat of the route on rvtripwizard.com which is a fantastic app
Lisa: yeah RV trip wizard has been a huge help I don’t know how we would have done it honestly without every trick wizard. How much was that a year?
George: I don’t remember it’s like 15. it’s already paid for itself
Lisa: it’s like $59 or something
George: I don’t even think it’s that much but it’s worth it give it a shot I think they have a free trial.
Lisa: I’ll put it in the show notes
George: yep you can do a little practice route and it’s awesome because it gives you everything and you put in your details about your RV and it basically you know avoids bridges that are too low it just routes you the way you need to go.
Lisa: yeah and aside from that so basically you put kind of in where you want to head to and then it shows all of the parks all of the RV resorts all the campgrounds and then it will have the website the reviews you can put in there how much it is per night it tracks your gas mileage so you can really budget out your trip if that’s something that’s important to you um so I’ve since I when I started booking them I’ve put in the actual numbers for each place so that we’re at the end of the trip we can tell you this is how much it cost us to do this trip this is how much it was for fuel this is how much it was for camping and I think that’ll be really good information for our listeners that are interested in doing a trip like this.
George: yeah plus I’m gonna run a log of everything also yeah yeah cause I’m really curious to see what the app comes up with and what we actually end up with.
Lisa: yeah so we plotted out our trip on RV trip wizard and then I went about actually going to the campgrounds to start scheduling um reservations because we decided once we have the kids, uh oh we better get like this trip planned for these first two weeks with the kids so we know where we’re gonna be and we have a game plan so generally speaking we would not drive two ten-hour days in a row and then a seven-hour day that’s just way too much driving in a row but since we only had two weeks we really just wanted to get over to Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. So we were leaving Columbia South Carolina after we drop off Ryan we’re going to drive about an hour and a half stay at night and a pull through and then work the road early and then hit the road early drive 10 hours we’re gonna stop in Crawfordsville Indiana um and I got us all pull-through full hookup sites so that way we can just after 10 hours of driving now I have to unhook the tow the jeep and just pull in plug in the electric in the sewer and relax a little bit go to bed and then wake up in the morning unhook and hit the road without having to unhitch the jeep and hitch it back up each time.
George: yeah that’s a big advantage um not having to unhook that even though it’s not that bad but if you don’t have to do it that’s even better.
Lisa: yeah so I was gonna go from Columbia to Shortsville in Indiana and then we check out Accordsville and we go to Sioux city north koa in um south Dakota that’s another pull-through site that’s nine-hour and 43-minute drive which is long and then we check in to Custer state park the next day that’s Wednesday super excited to go to Custer state park we’ve looked at all the videos and we’ve stocked it online.
George: Yeah we’ve definitely done our homework as far as what there is to do and see because we don’t want to get there and kind of try to wing it we want to be prepared especially since we have the kids with us and we want to make it a good time for them and let them have fun.
Lisa: Yeah and I’m almost tempted I think we might go to mount Rushmore that night because I really want to see the lighting ceremony which I’ve heard was really kind of a cool thing and then I guess it will just depend on what time we get there but we also want to go to crazy horse and then we want to definitely take the jeep over to badlands but just even driving through Custer state park I’m really excited to see all the bison and all that kind of thing so I don’t want to give any of it away too early on but if you have tips or advice for what to do around mount Rushmore we’ve only got three days. Which is you could spend a lot more time there and even, unfortunately, I couldn’t get three days at any park in a row so we’re staying at costa Rica state park for two days and then we’re checking out and we’re going to um the koa at palmer gulch for the last day there which is only 30 minutes away but it just kind of stinks to have to unhook go reset
George: That’s all right we’ll get through it but let me ask you a quick question since you did the last part of the research is it hard to get in there because it’s so crowded now or is it because part of it is Covid and they’re limiting the number of people going in.
Lisa: no the campgrounds that I found had nothing to do with Covid it had to do with them being at full capacity and the size of our rig so because we’re 40 feet there’s only limited spaces if you’re in a c-class or just 10 camping or anything smaller it’ll be a lot easier for you to maneuver around and to get in and out of a lot of these campgrounds and even for boondocking but for us, because we were 40 feet there weren’t that many places that take a rig our size and a tow vehicle so all of that had to be kept into account so I highly recommend especially the bigger the rig you are the farther out in advance you book at least if nothing less the places that are the main tourist places like the redwoods in California where I was really nervous when I started that because that’s a really important thing I wanted I want I really wanted to see the redwoods and the first like four places I checked out was like zero sites available and I tried all the different dates and
George: it’s such a hard thing because you don’t want to book too far in advance because god forbid anything happens then you got to go and cancel all those reservations you made but if you don’t cancel ahead of time you may not get a spot.
Lisa: right exactly so to put it in perspective I spent I would say about seven hours the other day I mean my whole day and I had my two laptops and three screens up and I was checking out the reviews. I’m in a group called where do you stay campgrounds I think is the name of it on Facebook. I’ll also put a link to that you have to like request to be in the group and you have to abide by their rules but you basically the rules are that you post the name of the campground and the location um where you stayed and reviews and that was great because it was like very recent reviews from a lot of other big rigs and different like you could ask anybody I think they’ve got 25 000 people on there.
I mean it’s really cool so you just search the group on Facebook and then RV resort RV um trip wizard also has reviewed so you know you kind of sort of reading the reviews for both of them and figure out okay is this going to work out for me is this what I want so it was really really cool that there was like reviews everywhere and so I took into account those things what was busy what wasn’t booked and then some of the campgrounds don’t have online booking which is also kind of a pain because then you got to call them up I mean it’s nice to talk to a person but then you’re like oh ait I better call and check on this one and make sure they confirm before I book the next place in case I can’t go there or whatever
Lisa: so it was a very time-consuming task
George: this whole planning this trip has been very time consuming we’ve been if you really think about it we’ve been planning this trip for a month weeks a month now
Lisa: six weeks
George: Yeah and it’s just it’s taken way longer than I thought but you got to do it right to enjoy it.
Lisa: and so okay this is a perfect example like this is our first trip and so we just started researching these places if we were doing it a second time around we would have the lay of the land a lot better we would know much better so we’ve been doing a lot of research about all the places we’re going and making sure that we hit all the highlights I think that’s part of what was so time-consuming in addition
George: well not to mention we never used any of these apps. So we had to learn how to use them how to prepare properly so it’s been a learning curve I think definitely our next trip will go way smoother and way faster as far as the planning
Lisa: yeah this app was pretty really easy to learn though I mean I got it down no problem
George: so was a trip wizard but it’s just there are so many awesome tools to use in there that it just took a little bit to master it but once you did we the first route I planned took forever to plan and then when Lisa and I started okay let’s get serious and let’s really plan a route that one didn’t take that long
Lisa: no yeah
George: it was just a matter of finding the easiest way is put in where you’re starting where you’re ending and then when the route is in there then you look at the route and right pick out places to stay.
Lisa: so my biggest thing was uh what took so much time like it was like six hours just to plan 14 days you know of the trip and so that was basically because I couldn’t just go we had chosen some places and I went online to book them and then they were booked and I was like oh crap now I’ve got to go research this area and figure out where e can stay and
Lisa: some of them I had to say okay can we stay two days can we stay you know I wanted to stay four days and then it was like down to two days but there’s only two days here and only one day here and how far are these places apart and
George: flexibility, flexibility, and flexibility
Lisa: yeah so after we drop off the kids we’ve got way more flexibility and what I actually did I’m super excited about this is we signed up for harvest host and that is um if you don’t know what it is it’s about well I paid $99 for the year and that included the upgraded golf membership and so you can basically stay at like over 850 different wineries, farms um
George: golf courses
Lisa: and golf courses across the country and you literally just go onto the app and you kind of call ahead or make a reservation and you say hey I’m coming me you know can we stay overnight and you park in their parking lot basically you’re boondocking there are no hookups 90 of the time um and all they ask there are no fees it’s free to stay overnight they just want you to buy something from their winery and I’ve watched tons of reviews about this on our youtube and great reviews I’m super excited to meet different wine, vineyard owners and farmers and just really really cool unique places to stay so after we drop the kids off at the airport in Seattle we’ve got about five days that are kind of like loosely there’s really no sort of specific plan right now and then I did book us for four nights at the redwoods in California.
George: excited about that I can’t wait I’ve always wanted to go to the redwoods never made it.
Lisa: yeah so that we’re actually going to be there for labor day weekend for four days which I believe I got that spot and it has great reviews we’re right in the midst of all these gigantic trees that said it was okay for big rigs so it should be really fun and we that’s where we’re staying.
George: we’ll let you know
Lisa: Yeah. but we’re also in the middle of that going to um so we’re going from after we go to Custer state park and uh do mount Rushmore then we have another like full day of driving again and we’ll we’re going to Yellowstone and we’re staying at it’s in West Yellowstone.
George: hold on say that again we’re going from South Dakota to Seattle to redwood and then back to Yellowstone?
Lisa: no no no we’re going from Mount Rushmore to Yellowstone then we’re stopping in a hot spring resort halfway between Yellowstone and outside of Seattle and then we’re staying outside of Seattle for three nights.
Lisa: and then we have five days off and we’re gonna go to California to the redwoods so those five days I hope we’ll be spending um time at vineyards in Oregon and seeing the Oregon coast
George: yes beautiful super excited
Lisa: yes very excited about that and uh crystal lake I’m pretty sure is on our itinerary staying at Yellowstone I think we have three nights there also um at Yellowstone grizzly.
George: so is that just a name or is it in Yellowstone?
Lisa: it’s we check-in at Yellowstone Grizzly RV park um in west Yellowstone and it’s a pulsate pull-through site with full hookups so we really don’t have very much time in all at Yellowstone just kind of disappointing I could not get longer periods of time at Yellowstone
Lisa: And we have to get the kids back to the airport in a certain amount of time to get them back to school so we were a little rushed through Yellowstone which kind of bums me out a little bit everyone says that you could spend at least a week at Yellowstone
George: oh I’m sure you can, I’m sure you can
Lisa: so we’ll get to see old faithful
George: I’m sure you could spend the week at all these places that we’re going to. But then our trip would turn into a one-year round-the-clock.
Lisa: I think it would be very easy to do that I’m so envious of the people that are like full-timers and get to go just
George: yeah and they’re like I’m just going to spend the month here in Florida and then a month in Montana and a month here someday
Lisa: someday we’ll do that but at least we’re getting the lay of the land and the kids will get to kind of see it we’ll get to see old faithful and some geysers and things like that at Yellowstone and we’ll have the jeep so that’ll be really fun.
George: yeah I’m just excited I’ve wanted to do this trip since we got our first RV I’ve been pushing Lisa’s buttons to come on let’s go do a cross-country trip and the timing was never right but now it is and I’m so excited to get out on the road and just experience and see they’re so I’m saying it again there are so many places that I haven’t seen at least
Lisa: in the united states
George: right and we’re gonna hit a lot of them and it’s just I think it’s just gonna open our eyes to oh my god there’s just so much stuff to see and do.
Lisa: we’ll definitely post pictures on our Instagram and we’re gonna do our best to do some youtube videos so that we can uh I think the video you get a better feel for a lot of places but we’ll do our best to blog and blog and put all the info down and I think probably the most valuable thing that I definitely will post at the end is our itinerary where we stayed and with the route, we took on the RV trip wizard because if I would have had somebody else’s route to just follow and plug it in I would have been super happy
George: yeah and we got a lot of we’ve we got a lot of people who kind of sent us routes and they said oh you should go this way don’t go that way because of the hills then you know and they tried to help us but
Lisa: yeah there’s so much against
George: right there’s so many different routes and so many different things to see and it’s just it’s you just can’t do it all in one trip.
Lisa: I know so we’re ending in Seattle which I really don’t like because of all the stuff that’s going on in the world and all the riots and all that kind of crap I’m not super excited to go to the city but we’re staying outside the city about 30-45 minutes and the first thing we’re gonna do is a whale-watching a thing on Puget sound which I’m excited to take the kids on that and I’ve always wanted to see the whales like real whales I know that seems like so touristy but I’m so excited to do that so I feel like I need to book those tickets pretty soon too because I did read about that that the boats are only at 50 capacity because of covid and all
George: right so we need to book that then that’s definitely on the top of the list
Lisa: yeah yep and then
George: where do we go from there?
Lisa: um well I’ve had some advice to just like visit Tacoma which is also near um the Seattle area and then hopefully we’ll go to like after we drop the kids off there’s this place called um Olympic mount Olympic national park it’s um also kind of near Seattle not too far and there’s some harvest house there that we’ll have to see if we can either get a reservation or pop in there for a night but I think that’ll be a beautiful area to explore also before we kind of head down the Oregon coast and start going to some of the wineries and see you know beautiful beaches and everything there’s just so much I know there’s so much to see but
George: where are we going after Seattle?
Lisa: that’s what I just said Oregon coast and the Olympic national park
George: right now where we’re going next?
Lisa: then the redwoods
George: okay keep going
Lisa: and after the redwoods?
Lisa: I have no idea
George: well we were we got an idea we’re headed down to vegas we’re headed down to Arizona.
Lisa: right yes flagstaff Arizona we’re going to Moab we’re going to um Denver colorado area I want to see my cousins when we go out there and then
George: so a lot of that part is I guess what lead Lisa is alluding to is that that part is not yet planned we have the route
Lisa: yes loosely scheduled it’s not
George: subject to change
Lisa: that’s another thing I was thinking is like okay I think we probably need to book Moab because that’s going to be another tourist place and if we don’t then we’re not going to be able to spend the time that we want to spend there right also because I know you want to destroy the jeep.
George: I’m not going to destroy the jeep
Lisa: I’ve seen those hills and it scares the crap out of me
George: the jeep for its intended purpose
Lisa: no that is not to like ride over gigantic rocks
George: whatever yeah
Lisa: those pictures are going to be exciting yeah so I am actually a little bit excited to do the Moab part so we probably should get that on the books too um and las vegas we only reason we really want to go to vegas well we’ve been hemming and hawing about going to vegas because of the covid and all the closures and so we’ve kind of been playing it by ear just because in this world we’re living in right now you have to be flexible because God knows if they’re gonna close something down this week or if it’s gonna be open or what the rules are gonna be so that’s been a huge challenge for a super planner like myself um to be able to just be super flexible and be like okay i guess we’re not doing that today that’s closed reroute let’s pre-plan.
George: yeah that’s exciting and a little scary at the same time to not have a set location you know what i mean but that that’s part of the trip
Lisa: yeah once the kids are gone i’m really not too worried about that part i mean we’re self-contained units so worst case scenario we sleep in a walmart parking lot i guess you know we’re not gonna have not have a roof over our heads.
George: yeah there’s too many resorts to not find the spot.
Lisa: sleep in our car or anything like that we’re gonna be good to go so well that’s about it i think we’ve just kind of given you like a little insight and a little highlight and uh hey this is what we’re gonna be doing keep an eye on us please share our podcast with your friends and family and other RVers we’re getting ready to put our lettering today George’s putting RViewpodcast.com which is where you can find more information about our trip and also our Instagram is at RViewpodcast and we’ll post photos and you’ll be able to listen to us on anywhere you listen to to your podcast so you can find all the links at RViewpodcast.com
George: and again if any of our listeners are in those areas or have any comments feedback instructions anything we are we just want to hear from everybody and hear your stories of what we should avoid or what we should do.
Lisa: yeah definitely would love tips and if you want to leave us a tip one of the easiest ways to do it is to go to rviewpodcast.com and at the bottom, you can um just send an email reach out to us and there’s a little place there and i get so excited when people reach out to us because i know that we’ve had listeners on our podcast and that makes me really excited too.
So drop us a line uh either wish us well or tell us uh any tips you might have on any of the places that we’re going on our first three weeks and as we progressed on our trip we’ll keep adding to the end of it and our goal is to be home in 45 days hopefully we don’t never come back we do have to still take care of our oldest son Tyler i think our friends will be tired of taking care of them by then maybe I’m not sure or maybe they’ll just
George: no he’s a good kid but we do have to get back at some point
Lisa: yes uh I’ll be working from the road the whole time so fortunately uh Lydia my uh administrative assistant is back in full swing and she’s uh hopefully people getting uh finishing p getting her real estate license i got a little bit delayed so she’ll be able to do everything that i can do besides uh physically be there while we’re on our trip which is awesome and then I’ve got Keely um my fabulous buyer’s agent and uh she can handle listing appointments and stuff from me while we’re gone so we’re still working still trying to fund this trip but uh so don’t stop sending me your real estate referrals i i i can still work from the road and lots of days traveling I’ll be working on my marketing systems and things like that.
George: send all the referrals she’ll have plenty of time on those 10-hour rives oh yeah list your house sell your house whatever you need
Lisa: that’s what i do i work on money time yes i come up with great things and i’m writing a book so i’m working on that so
George: the woman never stops all right we look forward to hearing from you and uh posting all our exciting adventures from this trip
Lisa: yep have a good one we’ll talk to you soon!
George: bye bye!