Accueil USA

Travel impressions

Choice of vehicle

After hesitating for some time, we chose to rent an RV. The main reason was that the RV would allow us to sleep in National Parks Campgrounds. By this way, we were close to the hiking starting points.

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What about motorhome experience

Obviously, the experience was devastating, because of the fire at the motorhome. Nevertheless, ignoring this "incident", we found positive and negative points

Positive points :
1. National Park Campgrounds

Whether at Mesa Verde, Arches or the Needles, we had beautiful places in nature. Each site has a table and benches, a fireplace and / or a barbecue. Obviously, these campsites do not offer any service connection: no water, no electricity, no sewage drain. This did not bother us.

2. Bikes
It is a rather expensive option that we appreciated: once the RV parked at the location, the bikes were handy, whether to visit a part of national parks or attend to different tasks: in Mesa Verde, for example, the campsite was a mile from the campground reception. We used our bikes to go shopping at the supermarket, do our laundry...

Negative points
1. RV Parks

We have not really liked the RV Parks where we stopped. RV's are lined up with little space allocated to each location. What's more, they were expensive: a night in a luxury RV Park costs almost the price of a night in motel. By cons, they have full hook-up.

2. Driving
The motorhome is not fun to drive: big catch in the wind, reduced visibility, lymphatic petrol engine, poor comfort and spartan equipment in the cockpit (the exterior mirrors were not electric, for example, and yet they are far from the window!). The size of the RV becomes an issue only once in the city because the roads are generally very large and sufficient clearance for normal maneuvers (U-turns, etc.).. We brought a small GPS Tomtom de France (he died in the fire of course) with a United States map installed. It has proven convenient.

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The visited places

Our trip was exclusively dedicated to natural sites, especially national parks. Finally, we have given up only Island in the Skies (Canyonlands NP) because of the fire. No place disappointed us.

Great Sand Dunes NP
A good half-day only to discover the beauty and originality. A photographic paradise, especially at the beginning or end of the day!

Mesa Verde NP
The park is especially interesting for the visit of the cave habitat. The landscapes are not exceptional. A full day.

The Needles, Canyonlands NP
A magical place for lovers of wild nature. Landscapes of breathtaking, well-marked hiking and ... hardly anyone! Two days at least!

Arches NP
Arches National Park offers beautiful scenery. The hike in Devil's Garden, by itself, justify a visit. If we add all the walks and other excursions possible, two days is a minimum to spend ...

Yellowstone NP
The Yellowstone Park worth the trip alone. Spend four days is well, but for those who love nature and hiking, they can stay one week, two weeks, or more.

Grand Teton NP
Grand Teton offers beautiful scenery and many hiking trails. Spend a day walking is a minimum.

Colorado National Monument
This is a nice stage that deserves a visit. The hike in Monument Canyon is beautiful and takes a good half day. The campsite, which dominates the Colorado valley, is very nice.

Rocky Mountains NP
We haven't really had time to enjoy it but the Rocky Mountains NP has probably the most similar landscapes to what we know in the Alps or the Pyrenees. It is a temple for hiking.

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The end of the story

Back in France, we did not know more about the causes of the fire.
We understood that we had nothing to expect from Camping World International.
He continued to systematically respond to us that the investigation was ongoing. There were 3 investigators for 3 insurance companies : one for the rental company, one for the manufacturer and one for the equipment provider.
At the very beginning of 2011, we received an email from Camping World International. They were unable to determine the cause of the fire and offer a flat compensation of $ 5,000. This amount covered the costs we had to continue our journey but not the value of what we lost in the fire. Before agreeing, we asked to Camping World International, to see the investigation reports of the insurers but our emails went unanswered and, tired of war, we have come to accept the compensation and, of course, to sign a document pledging to renounce any claim against Camping World International and Four Winds...

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