Author Topic: Traveling the Transam Supported by RV  (Read 955 times)

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Offline Roger

Traveling the Transam Supported by RV
« on: January 30, 2015, 08:57:01 pm »
I plan to ride the transam route this summer going west to east. My wife will provide my support by driving our small RV.  Have any of you tried this or know someone who has? I'm curious if anyone knows of helpful hints for our planning. There are obvious benefits (e.g. lighter load), but I know there will be challenges as I will have to make it to the next base camp. Are there going to be long sections of the transam where RV parks simply don't exist for several hundred miles? Any helpful hints are appreciated. 

Offline John Nelson

Re: Traveling the Transam Supported by RV
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2015, 09:46:14 pm »
Where you stop cycling for the day and where you and your wife settle into the RV for the night do not have to be the same place. Also, I assume you don't need an RV park every night. If you're sleeping in your RV, you can probably find a parking lot somewhere to park for the night.

I'd recommend that your wife research the route and find places to see on her own while you are out cycling. Driving ahead ten miles at a time is going to get really old. She can also travel ahead and find a place to spend the night. If that's too short or far for you, she can pick you up wherever you quit for the day and drop you off in that same spot the next morning. If you want to take side trips during the day together, or have lunch together, you can prearrange that and she can meet you or pick you up.

Be aware that you won't have cell coverage everywhere, so always have a default plan of where and when to meet. And be sure you carry or have access to enough food and water to get there, and carry rain gear if there's any chance of rain.

Your biggest challenge will probably be if you want to camp in Yellowstone or Grand Teton. Plan well enough so that you can reserve a camping spot ahead of time. Or just plan to spend the night outside those parks. You'll probably end up spending a night in Jeffrey City, Wyoming (or maybe Sweetwater Junction). That will likely be your most remote location. You can probably park the RV just about anywhere in Jeffrey City.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Traveling the Transam Supported by RV
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2015, 12:55:17 pm »
Having met a few folks doing that I will comment on a couple things.

First expect to stop lots of places with no RV park.  I think you will find there will very often be no official RV sites.  In most small rural towns just parking it somewhere will work fine.  A couple that befriended us on the TA did that a lot.

Second, be aware of the disadvantages which can be significant.  You may be less welcome to stop in a lot of places hiker biker sites will be off limits.  You will meet fewer cyclists.  As soon as a motor vehicle is involved the trip changes pretty significantly.  The wives driving support that I have met were often pretty miserable and wound up harboring a fair amount of resentment.  She needs to expect a lot more boredom that you might normally think.  There will be a lot of days spent in the middle of nowhere in tiny towns where she will likely be all day with not much human contact and way too much time on her hands.

My observations of folks with a wife driving support made me WAY less likely to ever consider it myself for a long tour.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Traveling the Transam Supported by RV
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2015, 03:07:58 pm »
Don and Suzanne Stack ended up doing about half their trip with her cycling and him driving the RV after he had an unfortunate accident.  They (mostly Suzanne) blogged it at https://bicyclelife.topicwise.com/doc/?o=Sh&doc_id=9261&v=3QI.
It may have helped that Don had experienced the western half of the trip on a bike before his accident.  Also note that they left the TransAm shortly after that, and cut south.  Nevertheless, theirs is one of the better journals I've read.

Offline Roger

Re: Traveling the Transam Supported by RV
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2015, 10:03:31 am »
Thanks to everyone who responded. I appreciate your thoughts and suggestions!

Offline staehpj1

Re: Traveling the Transam Supported by RV
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2015, 10:20:32 am »
It may have helped that Don had experienced the western half of the trip on a bike before his accident.

I'd think that it is likely to be a pretty different thing for a cyclist on the disabled list driving or for a non cyclist being recruited to drive.  It seems like it would be just way less likely to stress the relationship and the driver way less likely to wind up unhappy and or bored and maybe even resentful or bitter.

Offline Roger

Re: Traveling the Transam Supported by RV
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2015, 12:58:56 pm »
While I agree the driver of the RV might get bored, I'm in a somewhat different situation.  My wife and I are originally from back east. We have lived on the west coast for the last few years.  I'm retiring and we both thought it would be fun to go back east by driving our RV across the country with my biking.  She's very supportive of it.  So while everyone's thoughts on the social aspects are appreciated and on target, in our case they are much less impactful.  My purpose in asking was more around the logistical issues wihhc several of you responded to. . I deeply appreciate everyone's comments.

Offline indyfabz

Re: Traveling the Transam Supported by RV
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2015, 09:23:09 am »
In case no one has mentioned this, many Walmarts allow RV camping in their parking lots. Obviously not ideal, but if you are in a bind it might be useful information.

Offline SlowAndSlower

Re: Traveling the Transam Supported by RV
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2015, 11:11:46 am »
ACA runs a van supported TransAm tour and that is mainly tenting. In my experience it is easier to find RV spaces than tents sites in the East.

Offline moeschlabach

Re: Traveling the Transam Supported by RV
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2015, 08:42:42 am »
I rode the Western Express and TA last summer with my wife driving an RV. My experience was very good, I can't imagine myself doing it any other way. Your wife will NOT be bored. Our typical days were like this; I'd get up at 5 or so and make my breakfast and head out the door at 6 or so. My wife and son would usually be up around 7:30 and by the time they'd be up and on the road, I'd be 40 miles down the road and they'd meet me on the road whenever they got to me. Usually between 65-80 miles. I'd take a break in the RV and we'd discuss our end point for the day (basically confirming what we'd discussed the previous night) If no changes in the plan were needed she'd drive on to the parking spot/campground/Walmart/Church parking lot that we had discussed. I averaged 105 miles per day. Most days I was done by 2:00. Between laundry, food prep and driving or route planning her days went by very quickly. She had her bike along and occasionaly would go for short rides after I was done for the day. She is a server by nature, if you're not blessed that way your experience may be different. Check out my experience at www.facebook.com/moesride

Offline Longtrailahead

Re: Traveling the Transam Supported by RV
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2015, 01:11:33 pm »
Interesting & great topic to stumble upon.

Myself, my wife and family pet are getting ready to embark on such an adventure/undertaking ourselves. At the end of April, we are leaving Yorktown on the TA, and heading westward eventually hooking up with the "western express." I will be cycling and the wife and man's best friend, will drive along in a family vehicle. Obviously our plan is to camp out as much as we can along the way, with motel stays thrown in here & there.

As a successful finisher of the "Tour Divide," simply plopping down just about anywhere for the night leaves me thinking that doing the same on our upcoming travels, won't be any different.  I have seen my fair share of other long distance cyclists taking up a resting spots as well as many of you possibly have too in the past, in various locations all along cycling routes. There are lot's of places to hold up without drawing any sorts of interest all across this land of ours - using past experience and common sense no less.

The boredom issue for my wife, is a situation of which I don't see happening in our case. She is wide open to this endeavor and is looking forward to seeing and discovering many things along the way herself. Living in the constant grind of the moving world, it doesn't take long I have found to warm-up quite nicely to those sleepy little towns, or endlessly long roads complimented with picturesque views. This is the only way that she can get out and see/do such a thing, since cycling it is totally out of the question. All and all as I have said to her numerous times, when all is said and done, this experience/trip will end up being one of the greatest things we ever did together. The experience is what you make of it!
« Last Edit: March 17, 2015, 09:15:35 am by Longtrailahead »