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  1. #11
    copake_ham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jos View Post
    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.

    greetings,
    Jelle
    I don't know if you can arrange this with RVs.

    I have a colleague from our Munich HQ who, together with his Dad, was able to purchase two motorcycles in LA a couple of years ago. They drove them throughout the Western US and Canada for a couple of months and then re-sold them under a pre-arrangement back to the Dealer. The Dealer handled all of the licensing and insurance matters. They just had to show up with their driver's licenses and sign the papers.

  2. #12
    jos
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    Thanks for your advice guys,

    I know my budget is limited and that it is not really easy to find me someone who will give his mobilhome with me. That is why I posted my request on this forum, hoping that I find a photographer (with a vehicle he hardly uses in automn) who sympathises my project. I can give some money in exchange for using a R.V. (or van), but it won't be as much as commercial carcomponies ask. I don't seek luxury, but I seak a vehicle that is able to drive me across the country.

    If I don't find a R.V. (or van), I'll have to look for another way to travel around the country. It's not for the luxury I want a R.V, I think it's the best way to make a photo reportage. I want to see a large part of america, because I want to get to know the country, so I don't want to limit myself to three states (wich would be much easer). The thing is: with a bus or a train, you only get to see cities, and I'm mostly interested in the village life and the America wich you don't see in the movies or on the television.

    I want to make a reportage of people who work two shifts a day and of people with two swimming pools. Of a teenage boy whose mind is on baseball the whole day long and of a elderly guy whose mind is on alcohol the whole day (and night) long. And I prefer to go on photographing this guy untill he goes home at 1AM without thinking about a place to sleep that night. Do you get what I mean?

  3. #13
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    Jos, I understand your wants, and I sympathize with them. But I think you're mistaken by thinking that buses only run between big cities. Obviously they do that as well, but if you want to see "Real" middle America, there's no better way to do it(imo) than on a 35 year old Trailways or Greyhound bus pulling into Apple Pie, Oklahoma and leaving for Mom's Kitchen, South Dakota. The people riding those buses between small towns are the locals whom you profess to wanting to talk to.

    But I do understand your desire to do this as self sufficiently as possible. It's unfortunate I don't have anything to offer you by way of assistance other than a sofa to crash on if you make it to Sacramento. Best of luck to you. I hope you have a great trip.

  4. #14
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    You might consider a car rental that can tow a small camper like an A-liner:
    http://showroom.aliner.com/ . You could likely rent the camper way cheaper than the RV and the tow vehicle can still be fairly modest in size and horsepower. Plus you have the advantage of being able to park the camper and go roving the area in the car for images, food, etc.
    Gary Beasley

  5. #15
    copake_ham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jos View Post
    ....

    If I don't find a R.V. (or van), I'll have to look for another way to travel around the country. It's not for the luxury I want a R.V, I think it's the best way to make a photo reportage. I want to see a large part of america, because I want to get to know the country, so I don't want to limit myself to three states (wich would be much easer). The thing is: with a bus or a train, you only get to see cities, and I'm mostly interested in the village life and the America wich you don't see in the movies or on the television.

    I want to make a reportage of people who work two shifts a day and of people with two swimming pools. Of a teenage boy whose mind is on baseball the whole day long and of a elderly guy whose mind is on alcohol the whole day (and night) long. And I prefer to go on photographing this guy untill he goes home at 1AM without thinking about a place to sleep that night. Do you get what I mean?
    In all frankness, it's sounds as if you have already formed the image of what you want to find - rather than making your journey one of discovery. Are you seeking to learn what is - or confirm what you expect it to be?

    Fewer and fewer Americans live in "villages". Most live in cities and their surrounding suburbs. In fact, you'll probably find more unrealistic, idealized images of American villages on TV and movies than in real life.

    Anyway, why an RV? Just rent a cheap car, buy a cheap tent and sleeping bag, air mattress, an ice cooler and small portable gas grill. There are campgrounds all over the place - and in Sept./Oct. they are uncrowded.

    If you do this, treat yourself to a budget motel every third or fourth day for a soft bed and a private bathroom (and to do your laundry!).

    And come with an open mind - not pre-conceived expectations!

  6. #16
    jos
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    Hello George,

    I think you misinterpreted my kind of photography. I regard myself as openminded. I want to keep my eyes opened all the time, and photograph little stories in the USA. It is not my goal to capture "the usa". I prefer to work in contradictions, in series, but I don't claim that my pictures are the truth. The examples I gave where meant to explane the situations where it would be bothering to think about a sleepingplace while I would busy photographing the situations I described above.

    Yes, a tent is the cheapest way of travelling. (I've spent one of the two last months in a tent in France, so I know how it's like to travel with a tent.) The thing is: in my opinion, a photographer has to be on the spot when he wants to make a reportage. I want to give myself the opportunity to bump into little stories on my way. I prefer a RV (or van or aliner) because that brings me the close to the action. I'm not going to meet a lot of people when I'm on a campinggroud unfolding my tent everynight.

    I have traveled both ways: with a tent and with a van (even when I was a child, I've seen the former czechoslovakia with a van), and my experience is: you get to meet the most interesting people when you're sitting by the road with a van. It's not in the bars or the shops where I meet the people I like to photograph, it's in the streets.

  7. #17
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    I think the greyhound bus idea is the best as Dave points out.

  8. #18
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    Sorry I forgot to mention, I travelled from Toronto to Pasadena and back 10,000 Km in the spring, I got a quote for a RV . Without gas , food, I was being quoted $6-$8k. We just drove in a small car and stayed in hotels for half that price and I can assure you we saw a slice of the American Pie doing it that way.
    We are going to buy a RV next year, but they are really expensive. But I think for our photography needs , just the ticket.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jos View Post
    Hello George,

    I prefer a RV (or van or aliner) because that brings me the close to the action. I'm not going to meet a lot of people when I'm on a campinggroud unfolding my tent everynight.
    I think you are due a reality check with your plans. Ignoring the costs completely, travelling in a RV or pulling a camper is not going to get you closer to the real USA. If anything you will probably get a distorted view of people in the US or for that matter Canada.

    US culture is much different than most of Europe. Most Americans are not readily open to meeting strangers and sharing their daily life, even less so with people with accents. To do this kind of project you need to pick an area and stay there for an extended period of time and get to know and understand a community. Just breezing through on an RV won't garner much deep interaction with most folks.

    My 2 cents,
    Don Bryant

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jos View Post
    Hello George,

    I think you misinterpreted my kind of photography. I regard myself as openminded. I want to keep my eyes opened all the time, and photograph little stories in the USA. It is not my goal to capture "the usa". I prefer to work in contradictions, in series, but I don't claim that my pictures are the truth. The examples I gave where meant to explane the situations where it would be bothering to think about a sleepingplace while I would busy photographing the situations I described above.

    Yes, a tent is the cheapest way of travelling. (I've spent one of the two last months in a tent in France, so I know how it's like to travel with a tent.) The thing is: in my opinion, a photographer has to be on the spot when he wants to make a reportage. I want to give myself the opportunity to bump into little stories on my way. I prefer a RV (or van or aliner) because that brings me the close to the action. I'm not going to meet a lot of people when I'm on a campinggroud unfolding my tent everynight.

    I have traveled both ways: with a tent and with a van (even when I was a child, I've seen the former czechoslovakia with a van), and my experience is: you get to meet the most interesting people when you're sitting by the road with a van. It's not in the bars or the shops where I meet the people I like to photograph, it's in the streets.
    Jos,

    I'm still trying to understand how an RV would be different than traveling with a tent in terms of how you would meet people? (I will grant that an RV would be more comfortable).

    Why not just a car and budget motels? There are several chains throughout the US where you can get a clean, if spartan, room for $15 to $25 a night. I know that's how a friend and I did the US West Coast thirty years ago when I was your age. (Oh gosh, how I hate writing that! ).

    Also, be aware that many communities do not permit overnight street parking (particularly of RVs) so you might find yourself spending many a overnight in the parking lot of the local Wal Mart (which do encourage RV overnighters) meeting the same kind of people night after night after night....

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