Our New British Friends Gary and Glenda Jenkins
Summary of their road trip to the USA
USA 6 months road trip finished.
This is the last post for our trip in the Hymer and is copied from my last diary entry.
IT IS LONG , SORRY ! IT WAS A LONG TRIP. 171 days in America from 25 July, 2018 to 12 January, 2019
Fuel approx 3.30 Dollars per US gallon which is approx £2.52 US gallon ( 66 pence litre) We have paid as high 3.60 and lowest 2.49.
LPG approx the same as deisel but you can not fill yourself at a gas (petrol) station except in one or two states. Plenty of companies to fill you up including the many U haul depots.A adapter required for the American large thread screw on filler.Purchased ours from Gaslow. Covered just over 17,500 miles in 36 States. Fuel. $ 3297 = £2564 =15 pence mile.
Campsites. £905 for 42 nights (£22.00 per night) We used mainly State Park campsites, no frills, no electricity. 129 days free camping .
Purchase at the start of a yearly pass at 80 Dollars for National Parks have saved us lots. It covers vehicle and occupants, average entrance is 20/30 Unfortunately the government shutdown has prevented it's use at many sights at the end of our trip.
Joined Good Sam at first opportunity in one of their many affiliated Camping World Supercentre stores. This cost 27 dollars which gets you discounts on affiliated campsites and a massive book at 8 dollars for all USA campsites. BUT our reason was it then allowed us to join their countrywide breakdown service for any size vehicle at 80 Dollars.ou can also boondock (wild camp) on their carparks and use their dump stations. Not all though so check first.
We avoid campsites, too expensive. Very easy to boondock (wild camp). Average cost about 40 dollars but often a lot more. State and National parks are better at about 20 dollars but no electricity or frills and many of them States have different rules concerning wild camping but the more western have best opportunities . Sometimes it just makes sense to use a site. We have paid 8.00 up to 107.00 per night. That was a NP site and New Orleans city centre site.
Launderettes are common and cheap . Approx 2 dollars (£1.60 ) per washing machine and same for tumble lasting 45 minutes.
We dispose of grey and black often in the disposal points at state parks, gas stations,rest area's and Camping World. These allow for black, otherwise many free standing plastic cubicles to dispose black as European vans have simple cassette storage but American have some type of pump out system. Water often uploaded from gas stations when filling diesel.
Free camping in towns/cities Casino's, Walmart or Sam's Club, Cracker Barrel, Golden Corral, Home Depot, etc. Never been refused when we seek permission. Very convenient for sights and eating out.
Supermarkets are more expensive compared to UK. Walmart cheapest. Example - loaf of bread 2.50/3.50 dollars. Our favourite foodstuffs often only in independent supermarkets at a cost.
We have bad roads in UK & Europe but in many locations here they take it to a new level. The van had certainly taken a bashing. You guess how much fuel is required and pay first with a over estimated value. The actual amount used is what comes off your cc statement. We have to use a 10 litre add blue every 1500 miles which is a extra expense at 15 dollars for this Mercedes 3 litre engine. Americans very friendly and polite. Drivers pretty good and obey speed limits except in cities you get a few idiots. Not keen on overtaking on any lane. Accident waiting to happen. We have seen many. Traffic lights take far too long to change.\
The condition of some vehicles are so bad I assume they don't have yearly checks for road worthiness. What we used to call Remould Tyres are used on trucks, explains why the highway is strewn with shredded tyres everywhere. I like the ability to turn right (equivalent of turn left in UK) on a red light if no oncoming traffic. You sometimes exit motorways from the fast lane and have to join at the same junction as those who are exiting. Pick up trucks are ubiquitous and the cars no longer have what I call an American identity to their styling. They all look European, no doubt to make sales worldwide. Just love their old style fifties cars. Harley Davidson is king. They do like their Harley's and three wheeler's are also common. Rv's of all sizes have air conditioning which, I am told, you can't live without when the heat arrives. This does of course require campsite electric or generator power.
Plenty of housing appear to be in the form of what we call static caravans as used on holiday parks. Unfortunately many are in poor condition and for some reason often are cluttered around with old cars and junk. Not many with gardens. Fed up with the amount of injury lawyers billboards. Seems a specialist lawyer available for any conceivable claim.
Like home, many towns are losing their high street identity to out of town shopping area's some looking like ghost towns. The restaurants are mostly chains and often burgers. Never seen so many boat showrooms with extensive selection. A huge industry here for their many recreational area's and coastline and not forgetting the millions of fishermen.
DID WE ENJOY THE TRIP
Great sights and cities we have always heard about now visited. Too much driving but I was mentally prepared for that. But the thing that made it such a great trip was the people we met. I can not speak highly enough of how kind, helpfull with good manners the American people have been. We will miss being called Sir and Ma'am everywhere.