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Driving in the Big Apple (NYC, Manhattan)

View USA East Coast on divatmotoros's travel map.

When our rerouting to Delaware became apparent we hesitated for some time to stop in New York City or not. It is a great city to visit but we have small kids and a dog so it is not so easy to get around attractions with them. So I looked for options and I found some state parks close to Manhattan with camping/RV facilities! Unfortunately they are not open for the 2022 season. Another option was in New Jersey, just across Manhattan in a marina. We felt it is a must to stop by if we are there, so we decided to book two nights there and spend one afternoon and the next full day in NYC!

The next step was to decide on the way to the campsite. We spent the last three days on farms and private properties in Maine, Massachusets and Connecticut getting quite close to NY. So the 100 miles for the arrival day seemed like a piece of cake, even in heavy city traffic at the end. However I have some experience with low bridges, a lesson learnt the hard way. So I started to check the route for possible obstacles. I was very happy to find out that the Holland Tunnel is a higher than our rig so my plan was to follow I-95 as a safe bet, then circle around Manhattan on the Eastern side and finally cross the Holland Tunnel to New Jersey. Enroute to NYC we needed a quick stop so I pulled out of the Interstate at Rye and by a nice coincidence we stopped in front of a Montessori school with a nice playground next to it.


Sometimes plans need to be revisited so as we approached New York the first surprise came: a large sign saying "No trucks/RVs on Parkways". Oooops, our plan to circle around Manhattan involves a parkway, which is a no-no with trailers/RVs. Thinking about my past memories many years ago I came up with an idea: I remember seeing delivery trucks and buses on the Avenues, so 2nd Avenue should be no problem for us! Sounds good until Holland Tunnel and at least we see more of Manhattan! With a bit of circling around a block we got into 2nd Avenue. The traffic was not too bad on a Saturday morning so we were progressing well. A lot of lane closures and constructions going on and changing lanes with the loooooong trailer was sometimes a challenge but we managed with a relatively small number of others honking on us.

When we got really close to Holland Tunnel a second surprise came. Although we would fit in height-wise, trailers are not allowed according to a sign! So we stopped at the end of Canal Street after leaving the ramp for the tunnel and restarted our planning again. I checked the map and the next possible option to New Jersey was the Washington Bridge, which is almost exactly as high North updown where we started our Manhattan tour! Shit, this will take another hour or so and it was already lunchtime, all kids and ourselves getting grumpy due to the long drive and the hunger! Anyway, no other way so press on!

We drove up North on the Amsterdam Avenue which was closed around the Central Park so we changed to the Broadway and almost completed our 25 miles / 3,5 hours Manhattan City Tour with a 32 feet / 10m trailer. Everyone was very hungry so we looked for a parking spot on the side of the road which we finally found just before entering the Washington Bridge. When I stopped the car the rain started and in a minute it was a heavy storm, raining like cats and dogs again!

I could not even leave the car and my phone got a warning message of quick floods across New Jersey, exactly the area we planned to drive through. We waited less and less patiently and after fifteen minutes I jumped out of the car, run to the trailer door to open it and had a nice shower on the way. It was warm summer rain so not a big problem. The kids enjoyed their run as well and at 15:30 we had our lunch in the trailed, on a small bridge overlooking the Washington Bridge in a storm.


Afterwards the grumpiness was gone, the kids were smiling again and I was also refreshed and relieved after completing my real life practical tow exam across Manhattan. The Washington Bridge was amazingly huge, a two storey steel structure first opened to traffic in 1931. It is worth reading how it was built on this link.

We still had some narrower streets across Jersey City and finally arrived to our city campsite just across Manhattan. Most parts of the Manhattan drive was recorded and you can watch it here:

After all we spent one and a half days in the City and it was worth it for sure!

Posted by divatmotoros 14:14 Archived in USA

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