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2 Aussies, 2 bikes and a 3 month lap of USA!

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Terry & Janelle, Feb 4, 2017.

  1. RG1984

    RG1984 Been here awhile

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    I'm biased by living in the area, and while I'm sure there will be no shortage of scenery throughout your trip- but look into and think about adding a couple of days to tour through New England.
    Burlington VT and Portland ME are two of my favorite small cities.
    And if you're going to come all the way over to NYC- New England is all the states to the east of New York. You're right there.
    #61
  2. Terry & Janelle

    Terry & Janelle Two Aussie riders planning a 3 month tour of USA

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    Trying to decide whether to bring our camping gear over or buy it there. I suspect buying it there is winning.
    So Im assuming there's someone in/near LA that carries a range of quality gear? Can anyone recommend a website? We've had a look at a place called REI but there must be more?
    Alternately is there a second hand market worth looking at?
    Cheers
    #62
  3. Terry & Janelle

    Terry & Janelle Two Aussie riders planning a 3 month tour of USA

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    Oh yeah. We are there! Already been highly recommnded and it's on the route!
    We'd love to get your thoughts in more detail if you want to PM us directly?
    #63
  4. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    Re : camping gear, it's availability.
    I have reservations whenever I read proposals to buy " quality " gear .

    If you are only going to be in North America for three months , flying in , it will certainly make sense to buy the stuff you need here . You will be saving yourself the bother and big expense of paying excess luggage fees.
    Are you planning to buy stuff you can't get at home here AND taking it back with you ?
    In those three months how many times do you envision actually using the stuff ?
    If it was my money , I would buy the basic economy brands of camping stuff from the big department stores or from discount outlets or " surplus stores" , use them and sell or donate or dump them at end of stay.
    Realistically speaking , all the less expensive gear is made in China , but much of the high - end stuff sold at specialty stores appears also to be made in China , contracted to famous (?) names who then bump up the price just because of that name.
    Artisan tent makers in America will need to ask high prices .
    The Used Market is of questionable worth, you won't know if the stuff is already half worn out or smelly and dirty . Not quite the same as used bikes.
    I'm not knocking any of the " finer names" but realistically how much wear will you cause in three months?
    Once on a whim I bought a $30 tent from Sears ...and used it for 15 years until the zipper gave up .
    #64
  5. Terry & Janelle

    Terry & Janelle Two Aussie riders planning a 3 month tour of USA

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    You make some very good points. Ones that we have considered ourselves many times because, yes, most of our stuff is made in China too.
    There is however one simple factor that means this option needs to be considered.

    The prices of equilivent gear in USA is heaps cheaper than here. If we buy there it wont be just for 3 months, it'll be to bring home again and use for years. For example, we have 2 tents now. Both are quite worn and will need replacing before too long. It makes financial sense to buy quality, especially if we can get it at a similar price to buying crap here.

    The question would then become one of the excess baggage cost. But that is a fixed amount that we can budget for.
    #65
  6. 4PawsHacienda

    4PawsHacienda Long timer

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    In the Blue Ridge Parway region some rides to consider:
    The Crooked Road Music Trail, Floyd VA on a Friday night for live music in the streets, NC Barbeque Trail, Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Visitvirginiamountains.com
    #66
  7. Terry & Janelle

    Terry & Janelle Two Aussie riders planning a 3 month tour of USA

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    Awesome. Thanks
    Added to the list. Especially the live music.
    What would a roaming aussie finger picking guitarist need to do to get a gig there do you think?
    #67
  8. fozrunner

    fozrunner Been here awhile

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    REI is probably one of the better choices (and MEC- Mountain Equip Coop up here in Canada). Sure the stuff is made in China but to their specifications and quality control. Look for products with good reviews. On all my Aussie trips we were allowed two large bags each, 50 lbs max. There is no way you're carrying that amount of gear on two bikes, so you can always buy a cheap bag and ship the gear home. The other option is to look for end of season specials at Kathmandu, but you'd probably want a warmer sleeping bag for some parts of your trip.
    #68
  9. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra Supporter

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    REI carries good stuff but unless you hit a sale, it's relatively expen$ive. If you're going to be in/near LA, I have a suggestion for both moto stuff and then camping stuff. Head east to Chaparral for the moto stuff - huge selection and I never pass up an opportunity to drool over stuff there. Then not far away, there is a Bass Pro Shop https://www.google.com/maps/place/B...12fc2ca27c64a!8m2!3d34.1128128!4d-117.5270042

    They have a very good cafe for lunch and a good selection of camping gear and clothing. Some great aquariums too. For an Aussie, I imagine the large gun portion would be interesting.

    Between those 2 stores, you could kill most of the day.

    If you're comfortable doing online ordering or you're headed north, Sierra Trading Post has some good deals on camping stuff. They have a store in Reno if you're riding north on Hwy 395 or you could buy some stuff and have it shipped to an inmate.
    #69
  10. Terry & Janelle

    Terry & Janelle Two Aussie riders planning a 3 month tour of USA

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    We have good sleeping bags and helinox chairs (one) so will be bringing them. It's more the tent and general gear we'd be after. We're not expecting a lot of nights on the road (cause the people on this site are amazing and we have offers to stay from all over the place). But they'll be enough rough nights to need decent stuff.
    #70
  11. Terry & Janelle

    Terry & Janelle Two Aussie riders planning a 3 month tour of USA

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    Damn fine idea too. Thanks for all that. Ive copied those names to our guide book.
    #71
  12. boatpuller

    boatpuller Long timer

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    REI is very good, but not a discount store in any way. Actually, I don't find Bass Pro Shop to be any less expensive on the same gear as REI, but they often carry less expensive brands and their own store brand too. Both are worth a look. So is this mail order store: https://www.campmor.com/ It's been years since I bought camping equipment, but back then they were worth checking out. You could have the items shipped to an inmate or a hotel in advance of your getting to that location.

    Other stores like Bass Pro Shop are Cabbala's, and Gander Mountain, but I think BPS is buying one of them.
    #72
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  13. 4PawsHacienda

    4PawsHacienda Long timer

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    Show up on Friday night and play in some of the street jams, the Crooked Road lists venues for free open Friday and Saturday jam sessions and many involve food. Lots in definitely rural areas so camping is simple.
    #73
  14. Terry & Janelle

    Terry & Janelle Two Aussie riders planning a 3 month tour of USA

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    Looking for advice on Australian device chargers working in USA?

    For eg: If we adapt to the right plug shape, how then does the Aussie 240 volt stuff work with the 110 volt US supply?
    Specifically we're talking 3.5 amp multi USB charger for phones and Sena 20s, and the Nikon DSLR battery charger.

    I've told everything from no problem just plug the aussie gear in and it works, to we have to buy new everything.

    Has anyone got any real world experiance?

    Cheers
    #74
  15. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra Supporter

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    Look at your charging cords. Most spec 100-240V input so your Aussie cords will work fine in those cases with the right adapter. I used my USA chargers (Kindle, camera, cell phone, laptop) in 240V countries with nary a problem.
    #75
  16. Terry & Janelle

    Terry & Janelle Two Aussie riders planning a 3 month tour of USA

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    Thanks mate.

    That's not an option. The cords are all standard USB > micro USB. One end is the charger, ( https://www.jaycar.com.au/4-way-usb-mains-power-adaptor/p/MP3454 ) the other is the device. Except for the Nikon which plugs straight into the wall socket.
    #76
  17. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra Supporter

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    If you look at the specifications, that 4 way charger ( I clicked on the link and copied) specifies 100-240V input

    Specification

    * Input voltage : 100 - 240VAC
    * Output: 5VDC, Group A: 2.4A or 2x1.2A, Group B: 2.1A or 2x1.0A
    * 85 x 55 x 44 (HxWxD)
    #77
  18. Terry & Janelle

    Terry & Janelle Two Aussie riders planning a 3 month tour of USA

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    Yeah. And they told me the same. Just be nice to hear from someone who had actually done something similar.
    I'm sure it will work. But how well.

    Sent from my awesome S7
    #78
  19. Nashcat

    Nashcat Waitin' on the Boatman

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    If you come to Nashville (Music City as we call it) give me a shout. I live 30 minutes south of there and can put you up for a couple of days. I'm also about 20 minutes from the Natchez Trace, which runs from Nashville to Natchez MS. I have a garage with lift table, if you need an oil change along the way.

    My sister moved to Faulconbridge, NSW, about 45 years ago. She went for a visit and decided to stay!

    Ride Safe
    John
    #79
  20. Terry & Janelle

    Terry & Janelle Two Aussie riders planning a 3 month tour of USA

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    Thanks John. Yes Nashville is on our route. That's awesome of you. I reckon we just might take you up on that!

    I can understand your sister staying. That's a lovely part of the world. Why not come for a visit yourself?
    #80