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CAMPER GUIDE: USA

With its endless expanses and lonely highways, the United States is the camper country par excellence. Adventurers from all over the world, but also many locals, set out every year by motorhome to discover the land of opportunity on their own. Here you will find the most important information and tips for your motorhome trip through the USA: from booking tips to traffic rules and sights to the special features of renting your USA camper.

Country Info

Capital

Washington DC

Time zones

6 time zones with daylight saving time
  • Eastern Standard Time Zone, (EST): UTC -5h / CET -6
  • Central Standard Time Zone (CST): UTC -6h / CET -7
  • Mountain Standard Time Zone (MST): UTC -7h / CET -8
  • Pacific Standard Time Zone (PST): UTC -8h / CET -9
  • Alaska Standard Time Zone (AKST): UTC -9h / CET -10
  • Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time Zone (HAST): UTC -10h / CET -11

Currency

US Dollar (USD), 1 Euro ≈ 1.09 USD

Country code

+1 (001)

Official language

English (public language, there is no official language)

 

Motorhome Rental

When to book?

  • Early booking discounts for the coming year usually available from April onwards
  • Recommendation: at least 4 - 6 months before the start of your trip - this way you ensure that a motorhome is still available and as cheap as possible
  • For one-way rentals, book 6 - 8 months before the start of your trip

Popular motorhome types

  • Large alcoves
  • Luxury motorhomes

Insurance

  • Basic insurance with deductible and exclusions is included in the offer
  • Liability coverage of min. 2 Mio. USD included at CamperDays
  • Our recommendation: book reimbursement of deductible/exclusion of deductible as an additional insurance policy

 

Special features

  • Some rental companies explicitly exclude certain routes, e.g. Death Valley or Manhattan. Be sure to check the rental conditions!
  • Border crossings: to Canada usually allowed without surcharge, to Mexico usually prohibited

Age limit

  • Minimum age: 21 years
  • Maximum age: usually no upper limit

Driver's license

  • International driving license recommended
  • Class B sufficient for all motorhomes (also over 3.5 t)

Motorhome pick-up

  • Special feature: The motorhome may not be taken over on the day of arrival itself, but only after an overnight stay in the hotel, in order to ensure the fitness to drive. The stamp in the passport is valid.
  • Have documents ready: Passport, motorhome voucher, national (and if necessary international) driver's license as well as internationally recognized credit card for the deposit.
  • Ensure a sufficiently high credit card limit for the deposit

Motorhome return

  • There are fixed return times, which you should observe exactly. Otherwise, you may be charged extra for each hour you are late.
  • Waste water tanks must be empty and the motorhome must be swept clean, propane gas and fuel must be refilled (depending on fuel regulations). 

Travel Info

⚠️ You can find information about current safety instructions and entry regulations on the website of the German Foreign Office.

Entry documents for EU citizens

  • Passport
  • Return ticket
  • Electronic entry permit: You can obtain this permit by registering in the ESTA system up to 72 hours before departure. Once registered, the application is valid for two years.

Best time to travel

  • Florida: October to April
  • California/Hawaii: all year round
  • North/East Coast: May to October
  • Midwest: April/May, September to November
  • Winter sports: December to April at high altitudes

Important phone numbers

  • Emergency/Police/Fire: 911

Tourist information

DiscoverAmerica
LLC. 1100 New York Avenue, NW, Suite 450
Washington, DC 20005
visittheusa.com

Campgrounds

  • There are many and large campgrounds in the USA. The biggest provider is KOA (Kampgrounds of America) with more than 500 sites.
  • Pitch with basic supply approx. 25 - 30 USD/night
  • Campground with showers, stores, electricity etc. approx. 40 - 50 USD/night
  • Camping in national parks and on state-serviced sites is inexpensive at 10 - 20 USD. Partly a previous registration on www.recreation.gov is necessary. In addition, there are campsites that you cannot reserve in advance (first come, first serve).
  • Wild camping: not allowed

Traffic rules

  • Maximum speed in built-up areas: 25 - 30 mph (40 - 48 km/h), depending on the state.
  • Maximum speed outside built-up areas: 55 - 65 mph (88 - 104 km/h) depending on state
  • Highway speed limit: depending on state, 70 - 75 mph (112 - 120 km/h)
  • Maximum speed in front of schools: 15 mph (24 km/h)
  • Alcohol consumption: max. 0.8 per mille; 0.1 - 0.4 per mille for novice drivers depending on state
  • Tolls: some tunnels, bridges, highways (e.g. Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Harbour Tunnel in Boston)
  • Daytime running lights mandatory in most states
  • Telephone use: only with hands-free equipment (in some states further restrictions)
  • Traffic rules vary greatly between states

Top Sights

Cities:

  • New York
  • Chicago
  • San Francisco
  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • Washington DC
  • San Diego
  • Seattle
  • Orlando
  • Key West
  • Honolulu
  • New Orleans
  • Austin

Nature:

  • Antelope Canyons
  • Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park
  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Grand Canyon
  • Niagara Falls
  • Everglades
  • Yosemite National Park
  • Mount McKinley
  • Death Valley
  • Monument Valley
  • Redwoods
  • Mammoth Cave
  • Mt. Desert Island
  • Crater Lake
  • Arches
  • Mississippi

Route suggestions

  • Motorhome round trip through California, Utah, Arizona and Nevada (3 weeks)
  • Discover the east coast of the USA with a motorhome
  • Motorhome round trip to the highlights of the west coast (3 weeks)

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