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getting from RV drop-off in Manassas to Washington DC

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Bristol, England
posts: 496
reviews: 183
getting from RV drop-off in Manassas to Washington DC

Hi everyone - we would be grateful for some advice, please. Apologies if this is a bit complicated.

We're just planning details for a "trip of a lifetime" holiday and I'm stuck on this next step:

We will be dropping off a rental RV at the Cruise America depot in Manassas on a Monday in mid November. We will have quite a lot of luggage, because we will have arrived in the USA 2 weeks earlier off a cruise ship. 3 suitcases and our carry-on bags.

We need to get to Washington, DC where we have rented an apartment for a few days before we fly back home to England.

I'm trying to find the most convenient / economical way to get from the CA depot to our apartment (which is near Union Metro Station). We won't be in a rush because we have to drop off the RV early in the morning and we can't get into our apartment until 3pm.

Cruise America don't offer a transfer (I'm told) so I'm wondering whether it would be practical to get a cab to Dulles airport and then use the Metro from there. I've never been to Washington, so am not familiar with the Metro system. Would it be a direct journey to Capitol station? I imagine that it wouldn't be practical to use public transport (if any exists) to get to the airport..

I had thought that as we have spare time, we could have lunch at the airport before travelling into town.

Or are there any better options?

Thank you for any advice.

12 replies to this topic
Arlington, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Arlington
posts: 2,508
reviews: 31
1. Re: getting from RV drop-off in Manassas to Washington DC

As this is a Monday and you arrive early in the morning, you may be in luck: there is a commuter train that runs from Manassas to Union Station, taking workers into the city. Details here: http://www.vre.org/service/stations/MSS.htm and here: http://www.vre.org/service/schedule.htm.

BUT: the last AM train leaves at 7:56. If you miss that, you must wait for an Amtrak train at 10:19 which has a more expensive fare.

I assume there ae cabs that can be arranged to get you to the station, but I'd ask in advance with the RV company.

If the trains don't work, yes you could take a cab to Dulles. But I would expect it to be expensive. The public transit into the city from Dulles is then not great. There is no rail option (won't be done until 2018), so you need to take a bus or van or second cab. You can find those details in the DC forum.

Not aware of any other choices. Manassas is unfortunately far from DC.

Manassas, VA
Destination Expert
for Manassas
posts: 542
reviews: 197
2. Re: getting from RV drop-off in Manassas to Washington DC

I agree that your best bet is going to be taking a taxi (around $20) to the VRE train station and then taking the train into DC. This will be the cheapest option for you with the most direct route into DC (and the VRE is a very pleasant ride). As stated above, the travel times are limited.

Just make sure the Monday in mid-November you are referring to is not Monday November 11, as this is a US holiday and the VRE doesn't run on holidays.

A Taxi from Cruise America to Dulles Airport will be about $52. I ran fare estimates for you on the Red Top Cab and Manassas Cab sites.

Cruise America

8000 Wellingford Drive, Manassas, VA 20109

Dulles International Airport (IAD)

http://www.redtopcab.com/estimate.aspx

The rate will be about the same for Manassas Cab:

$2.00 per mile @ 21 miles to Dulles Airport +$3 meter fee

http://www.manassascab.com/

But then you have to get from Dulles to DC either by bus or taxi.

We do have a commuter bus that can pick you up near Cruise America (you will still need a cab to get you there since you will have a lot of luggage and it's a hefty walk).

The last bus leaves at 7:30 am and you would need to take a cab to the bus stop (about 6 miles or $12).

The commuter bus to DC will be $7.70 per person for a cash fare.

You would pick up the commuter bus here: Williamson Blvd & Stonehouse Dr, Manassas, VA 20109

prtctransit.org/commuter-bus/…manassas-am.php

The Washington Flyer options do not look cheaper or more convenient.

http://www.washfly.com/Taxi.html

Edited: 8:35 am, August 22, 2013
Manassas, VA
Destination Expert
for Manassas
posts: 542
reviews: 197
3. Re: getting from RV drop-off in Manassas to Washington DC

If you were to take a taxi from Cruise America to the West Falls Church Metro Station (23 miles) the cost would be about $55 and then you would take the Metro into DC (about another $5 each for both of you).

Bristol, England
posts: 496
reviews: 183
4. Re: getting from RV drop-off in Manassas to Washington DC

Thank you both for these thoughts and for all the useful research you have done for us.

Just our luck - the Monday we return the RV is November 11th. I had no idea when we booked the RV 6 months ago.

We have to retun the RV around 9am and by the time we've done paperwork (we don't need to hurry) it could easily be 10am before we are ready to leave the depot.

On balance, as it's a national holiday, it sounds as if your last idea VaBelle is the best - taxi to West Falls Church Metro station then metro into the city. Expensive taxi, but what the hell - we're on holiday...... My wife won't be too keen to walk long distances with the luggage. Will taxi rates be the same on a holiday? I looked on both website but they don't mention holiday rates.

I had assumed that Dulles international airport has easy, direct links to the city it serves. But we have a similar situation with one of the London, England airports - Stanstead is very difficult to reach by public transport.

I was also a bit surprised to discover that Cruise America offer an RV drop off in "Washington DC" but it's actually a long way out of the city..... I will double-check with CA that they can't offer any transfer service.

That's life - but all help from you guys has been gratefully received.

Manassas, VA
Destination Expert
for Manassas
posts: 542
reviews: 197
5. Re: getting from RV drop-off in Manassas to Washington DC

The taxi rates out in the suburbs would not charge an extra fee for holiday rates. However, the subway will be a little slower as it will run a holiday schedule. Fewer trains and longer waits between trains.

The bright side is, light traffic to get around the city in.

Is it possible to drop your luggage off at the apartment in the city before returning the RV? I'm not sure what direction you are coming in from. While you would make quite an entrance into DC with an RV, I think you might be able to stop in front of the building and throw your luggage inside without getting a parking ticket. This way you aren't schlepping tons of luggage around with you.

Bristol, England
posts: 496
reviews: 183
6. Re: getting from RV drop-off in Manassas to Washington DC

That's a good idea VaBelle, but I've already asked and the owners / rental agency said no - they have to get previous renters out and have the placed cleaned and serviced before we move in at 3pm. That's why we'll be in no hurry to get into town - although I have found a coffee house (on Google Earth) not too far from the apartment, so we can hang out there until 3pm.

We'll be coming from the south up the I 95 and plan to find a campground not too far away for the final night - probably around Dunfries or Stafford. Haven't researched that bit yet. But we'll need one with a dump station because I have to empy tanks and fill fresh water before we return the RV.

Arlington, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Arlington
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7. Re: getting from RV drop-off in Manassas to Washington DC

If you are taking the taxi in to the Metro, then I'd suggest taking it to the Vienna / Fairfax stop, which is the westernmost stop on the Orange line. You will drive straight past it (and another station, Dunn Loring) en route to West Falls Church. I believe the Metro miles will be cheaper for you than the taxi miles.

Alternatively, the 10:19 Amtrak train might still be an option for you, as I believe that runs on holidays. But you'd need to finish up quickly at the RV center to get there in time. I'd suggest checking the Amtrak schedule directly for your date of travel if you want to consider that. You can put in your stations and dates at www.amtrak.com.

Manassas, VA
Destination Expert
for Manassas
posts: 542
reviews: 197
8. Re: getting from RV drop-off in Manassas to Washington DC

Depending upon where you are in the city, the coffee shop may be closed. Many areas of the city are considered "business districts" and so retail and food establishments are not open on weekends or holidays when their core customer (the government employee) is not at work.

Manassas, VA
Destination Expert
for Manassas
posts: 542
reviews: 197
9. Re: getting from RV drop-off in Manassas to Washington DC

Correct, Vienna/Fairfax Metro is about 2 miles closer and will shave a few dollars off your cab fare to around $50.

Washington DC...
posts: 2,586
reviews: 51
10. Re: getting from RV drop-off in Manassas to Washington DC

The 10:16 Amtrak from Manassas to D.C. is $24 for both of you. That is the online ticket price as of this post. Prices do go up as you get closer to the travel date.

You could drop one of you off at the train station with luggage, then the other go and drop off the RV, being there right at 9:00 A.M. I am sure the paperwork and then a cab back to the train station would take you less than an hour. Having one of you there ahead of time to stay with the luggage would avoid having to wrangle the luggage from the RV to the cab to the train station.

Just an idea...

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