Hello fellow analog photographers,
I'm planning a road trip across the United States in September and October 2007.
I'm a belgian student (26) in photography and I would like to cover some aspects of the US-life on Black and white film. An RV is, in my opinion, the best way to travel across the states. This gives me the opportunity to always be close to the American residents (in stead of living on a campingground from 20h to 7h every night).
I'm looking for someone who can rent me a private RV for a period of two months (starting mid September to mid November). Can anyone help me to find such a vehicle? (No luxery required!)
If you want to take a look at my portfolio, please visit my website: http://student.kuleuven.be/~s0172463...ortfolio2.html
If you have any usefull information, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kind regards and many thanks,
Have you looked at these folks?
I am looking for a cheaper way to travel around the country. The cheapest model of cruise America will cost me more then 4000 dollars for two months.
I've seen ads posted on craigslist.org from folks offering their rv for rent in the past. You could pick a city and post an ad under RV's.
Last year we RVed in England and Germany for 2 months. We bought a small camper and sold it when we were done. It was elderly and cost less than it would have been to rent one for 2 months. We got 50% of what we paid for it in the end, but it was still WAY less than renting. We were cosy and happy in it, and spent less on our 2 month trip than we'd budgeted for. Sly
Thanks for the reaction, sly.
I've thought about the option of buying one. But I've heard it's not really easy to buy one in the US if you're a foreign visitor for two months. Especially the insurance is a problem (you need to give an adress). Can anyone back this story?
I don't really have the money to buy one (even a crappy one) either. I think I can spent maximum 2500 - 3000 dollar.
I think an RV would be too expensive for you. I doubt a private owner would want to rent to a 26 year old male (the highest risk for problems) from out of country who might put alot of miles on the vehicle. Nothing personal, just actuarial. Also, fuel could eat up half of your budget.
I think your best bet would be to rent a van (I have not researched this). Perhaps find an Ace rent-a-car and rent a van for 2 months. You could sleep in the back and have plenty of room for photo gear.
You might want to fly into Florida because rentals tend to be cheaper there. I did a quick search for a full size passenger van (ask for the extra seats to be removed) for 61 days this Oct-Nov and the price was about $3300. Use a Mastercard/Visa Gold card or American Express card which will cover the insurance. But be careful of time limits on the insurance because the credit card companies sometimes have 30-60 day time limits for rental insurance.
If you are more adventurous (you are a 26 year old photography student, right?) then buy a cheap car on Ebay and then sell it/scrap it/donate it when you go home.
If your total budget is only around $3000 US, my suggestion would be to forget it. If your departure point to go back home is the same as your arrival point and you really are planning to drive say, from Florida to California to Washington state and back to Florida, your gasoline costs alone will be around $1700. That's not leaving much for paying for the vehicle itself, let alone food and normal travel expenses.
I just finished a trip from New York to Sacramento; roughly 2700 miles one way and gas was around $600. Granted, I'm driving a pickup that's getting around 19 mpg on the highway, but still...an RV would get half that in gas mileage.
Work out a budget for a per day cost of around $30/day for food, tolls and the small stuff, and a 2 month trip with just that is $1800.
It's a REALLY big country. Your best bet may be to select two or three states to visit and rent a van, as has been said. Keep in mind that most rental car companies that rent vans will charge mileage as well, sometimes as much as $.40 a mile. The advantage to renting a car would be unlimited miles for the duration, and you should be able to get monthly rental rates around $600/month for a midsized car. A minivan may be a good option, but the cost would probably go up to around $800/month.
Keep in mind that the least expensive areas to live in and visit in the US are down south (mostly) and the midwest. The Pacific Northwest could be very good, too.
If your flight is not set, and you have a very open itinerary, the least expensive airports I've ever rented a car in (and yes, it was for two months) was Columbus, Ohio and New Orleans, LA. Flying into either of those cities and staying within 700 miles of them would give you a really nice slice of Americana, with the history of the Mississippi river all along the way.
I hope this helps, if you make it out to California (Sacramento) and need a place to crash and rest up for a day or two, let me know. If I'm home, you're more than welcome.
whoops, sorry, I just saw that you're flying into Miami. Just a suggestion, a sometimes great way to see the country (and I can sense everyone else out there grimmacing :-) would be by bus and train. You'd have to plan out your routes well, but if you did it right, you could get an overnight bus somewhere every other night or so, and you could sleep on the bus. No gas costs, but you lose the ability to stop along the roadside and you run the risk of spending 10 hours next to Marilyn Manson wannabe's.
There's ways to do it if you really wanna do a loop of the whole country, but compromises will have to be made.
Check out the Greyhound Ameripass