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USA Trip Planning Questions - (optimal road trip across the U.S)

Discussion in 'Americas' started by kiran, Jan 11, 2016.

  1. DaMonk45

    DaMonk45 I B Da Monk

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    Yes it is, they are one of the top 3.
    #81
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  2. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    Verizon owns the most towers, other outfits piggyback off Verizon towers.
    I would get the SIM in your Country or at the airport.
    #82
  3. strsout

    strsout Banned Camp

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    Verizon don't work with SIM phones. If you already have on GSM phone try t-mobile. Not good as att but for $30/m you get unlimited voice, text and 3GB. More than you will need.

    StrssOut
    #83
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  4. kiran

    kiran CommuTourer

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    general questions related to night halts....

    What if i wander off planned halt or slow down during day and not able to reach destination (campsite or hotel which i have reserved)...what are the options to consider for night stop?

    Is it a closer motel/hotel/campsite that i need to lookup from gps and make up to it?

    Shall i reserve campsite slots in advance all the way if those are not free (or motels)?

    What if its evening and reach a campsite thats free but full (will that happen considering its august sept)?

    What to do if any campsite or motel is not available near? (I understand i cant camp by the highway or on marked properties)
    We sometimes sleep or take nap in bus shelters or sit to nap in a corner of gas station (because attendents are around and they act as watching eyes....)

    Will the credit cards work "everywhere" (i will carry loose change for coin or bill operated machines)

    Can i use campsite showers even i am not staying?

    What if you are too tired to put up a camp?

    I am planning such that i ride about 5 to 8 hours a day on average depending on how i feel that particular day. If halt planning is crucial then i will have to do that or stick to a loose route.

    I am not keen for night rides though i have done and enjoyed those. Definitely not when i see potential fatigue situation coming up (even during day)
    Where can i take a nap for an hour or two in such cases?
    #84
  5. DaMonk45

    DaMonk45 I B Da Monk

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    My rule of thum when traeling is I seldom make reservations.
    I start early and most days I am on the road at 7 the lastest 8.
    About 3 in the afternoon I kick google awake or something like it and look up campgrounds.
    Make a few calls....find one...and by 4 I am setting up camp.
    by 5 I have everything set up and in the showers
    6 I am having an adult beverage and getting somthing to eat.

    Dont make it any harder than it has to be.
    #85
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  6. Rippin209

    Rippin209 Long timer

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    I like this plan the most, start off camping 1/2 or a 1/4 of the time when it gets cold start staying in motels more or all the time. The closer you get to larger city's the more motels and hotels will cost. As for a motorcycle a would recommend a Honda NC700X (because I own one) I bought my NC700X used for $4000 with 5000 miles on the odometer and I've got almost 40k miles on it now and I've only changed maintenance parts (tires, brake, pads) or fluids. There are plenty of people that tour the country on NC700X, other then that I would look at a vstrom
    #86
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  7. kiran

    kiran CommuTourer

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    I am early riser too and like to get up, eat and move before commuters make roads busier here.
    Sunrises on the move also make a good background for pictures :) I prefer sunsets in my pictures when I am rooted for the day :)

    Yes, this is not a ride to test physical endurance by doing long spells day after day...its just a mental endurance test. There would be lots of new things to be read/seen/processed and managed every day :)
    #87
  8. kiran

    kiran CommuTourer

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    A middleweight bike would surely be easy for this ride. I have been doing trips on 650R for few years hence "upgrading" to the GS. Also cause I cant ever own a GS in India (costs USD52,000) :baldy
    #88
  9. Rippin209

    Rippin209 Long timer

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    The GS has nice features but unless you have plenty of money (as in if you have to ask how much you shouldn't but one) the high base price and cost of repairs I think your better off with a Honda Yamaha or Kawasaki (preferably Honda) because of base price and reliability use the extra money on upgrades and accessories
    #89
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  10. Rippin209

    Rippin209 Long timer

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    And if you don't know how I would recommend learning how to do some basic maintenance such as PROPERLY adjusting your chain, changing your oil, changing your brake pads, that kind of stuff, it would only take a dozen tools or so weighing 5 or 6 lbs to be prepared minor problems. It will save you a lot of time and money
    #90
  11. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    Never ever try to make " reservations " for an entire trip , you can not keep to any after the first one and you would become a slave to the schedule.Think of the money wasted if your deposit is not totally refundable.
    Lately I have begun using the iPhone and free wifi ( should have mentioned earlier McDonalds is a prime location for free Wifi, go have a cola and do research )occasionally to look up a hotel or campground in the afternoon for the coming night but then just going there after finding out they have space , I would not call it a " reservation" just a reassurance .
    The usefulness of reservations is vastly over rated, but they will restrict your freedom .They can be useful if you insist on going to some destination notorious for attracting masses of tourists to a special event which jacks prices up.
    Pick up the discount coupon booklets for motels or google them
    and print off coupons that interest you
    . These booklets available at highway-side restaurants and service stations ,at tourist info booths , welcome centers and , some rest areas contain coupons which can save you considerable money at the motels. They also serve to direct you to the location of hotels of the area which are not listed and can often be just as economical, it is all about competition .


    Showers:
    Most campgrounds will allow you to use only the shower for a fee of a few dollars.
    The large truck stops will have many showers , you go in pay the cashier and they will direct you , not cheap though.
    Some smaller towns will have municipal sports parks with washrooms and showers that cost nothing or only a token fee. Some have free tent campsites.
    #91
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  12. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    Kiran bought a BMW R1200GS. No maintenance needed for 10,000 miles. Then oil change/brake check/valve check/adjustment. All tools will be on the bike. No drive chain. OR go to a mechanic/dealer...$300 or so. 3 cents a mile.
    #92
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  13. kiran

    kiran CommuTourer

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    :clap
    #93
  14. Rippin209

    Rippin209 Long timer

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    Tuckers where are you located? I've got to remember you when I go looking for my next MC lol. Great prices on popular bikes. Not a GS fan but getting one used that has gotten looked at by someone who knows what they are doing, that would be perfect for you
    #94
  15. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    Claremont Ca 91711.
    I specialize in one owner low mileage. I don't buy and sell for profit. I buy for you with your money.
    By estimation I have bought approx. 50,000 vehicles in my lifetime...so far!
    #95
  16. kiran

    kiran CommuTourer

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    50,001 :D
    #96
  17. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    Credit cards will work in many shops and restaurants and gasoline stations ,but consider the added hassel and hidden cost , especially for you who comes from the other side of the planet.Most of your purchases will be a few dollars at a time and doing the credit card routine just adds to the time wasted in line, if not for you then for me standing and waiting for your card to get analyzed and accepted, then there is the paperwork and signing and receipt slips which you must file and save to cross check all your purchases at the end of the voyage to make sure you have not been ripped off or card skimmed or whatever. Buying an ice cream with a CC is just silly .
    Also consider the added cost of using the credit card , nothing is really free. Your bank or CC company may stick you with charges for "excess foreign use ".
    CASH, is always simpler and faster in my experience, if I use a BANK CARD to withdraw CASH from a bank machine at intervals. I get a true feel for what I am spending and have far fewer receipt slips to store and reference with my bank statement.
    See about getting a DEBIT card from your bank which is functional around the world and use it instead of the CC. Leave the CC for really necessary large purchases , or in cases where the debit card will just not work.
    You should have a debit card , at some of the smaller town gasoline stations they shut the doors at an early hour or on the weekend and the only way to get fuel is to slide a debit card or CC through their self-serve pumps. It works great.

    Camping :
    You cannot camp on the right of way of highways , true , but there are still plenty of places one can " stealth camp" in the less thickly populated rural areas, Sadly the continent's population is still breeding like mad and shipping in neww recruits .It is a heck of a lot more built up than even 40 years ago although compared to India you probably think it is all wide open spaces (you do have some of those in India too, national parks )
    In the small towns look for or ask outright if they have a fairground or sports field area where camping may be permitted.Ask the local police and they will ften gladly give you directions.
    In the rural ranching and desert areas of the west you should still be able to find some unoccupied spots where you could pitch a tent overnight.Look for national forest areas and sort of abandoned looking farm land driveways. Those FARMLANDS are all private land but if you leave early and make no mess and don't intrude into people's living space and remain inconspicuous nobody is likely to give you a hard time.
    Example , after passing thru Sturgess at their gathering season I rode east along state highways and camped in a farmfield driveway steps off a sideroad in plain view. During the night a trooper drove along, stopped and put the spotlight on the tent and bike which had the licence plate in plain view. He said nothing and went away allowing me to snooze further. You would not get this courtesy near a big city . Thankyou Mr State Trooper.
    #97
  18. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    I stopped counting in 2004!
    #98
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  19. pnoman

    pnoman Just Average

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    Sounds like a nice trip you have planned. For some ideas when you are in West Virginia, try my website (especially the "Destinations" page): www.RidingWV.com

    It's just something I work on in my spare time, so there are some empty pages that are gradually getting information.

    Be safe.

    .
    #99
  20. kiran

    kiran CommuTourer

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    Thanks...looks like some efforts there...I liked this and will try to shout out if I am around