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  1. Default Sleeping In Car??

    Hey guys
    Me and my buddy (we are from Turkey) are doing final preparation for our 13 day road trip which is in 4 days.

    Your web site is a great help, all the information we had so far is from your website and the forum. Thanks a lot for that.

    But we have few questions that we couldn't find answers to them in the forums so if you help us with these, it would be great.

    Here we go,

    We will start from SF and go to Yosemite NP, Death Valley NP and Grand Canyon. We have limited budget so we want to sleep in car at NP. (We rent a Ford Explorer). Is it possible? Or what happen if we pay for camping ground but sleep in car?

    We have never camped before so what we should take with us for this road trip. What are the must buys?

    How much money we need to spend to really experience national parks? How much we need to pay to attend activities?

    And what are the other suggestion for these 2 non american first time road travelers? It doesn't sound right but pls help :)

    Once again forgive my naive approach

    and thanks a lot

    -k-

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default Basics

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    We have limited budget so we want to sleep in car at NP. (We rent a Ford Explorer). Is it possible? Or what happen if we pay for camping ground but sleep in car?
    There's nothing wrong with sleeping in your car at a campground, so you'll be fine. You might be uncomfortable, but that's about it.

    We have never camped before so what we should take with us for this road trip. What are the must buys?
    Well, I'm not a big fan of sleeping in the car, so I'd buy a cheap tent and a couple of sleeping bags. If you are planning on cooking food at your campsite, you'll want a cooler and maybe a small propane grill or stove.

    How much money we need to spend to really experience national parks? How much we need to pay to attend activities?
    A National Parks Pass will get you into all of the parks for $80 total. Camp site fees will be extra, but that's all the money you'd really need.

    And what are the other suggestion for these 2 non american first time road travelers? It doesn't sound right but pls help :)
    The International Visitors area of the Roadtrip Planning section is made just for you!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,359

    Default It is Very Late, but Still Doable

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Unfortunately, you cannot just sleep in your car at random locations in National Parks. You will need to stay in a designated campground. You could sleep in your car at a campsite, but if you don't already have a reservation it is probably too late to get one. At this late date, you should be trying very seriously to get something pinned down, either in a state park or at a commercial campground such as KOA. One final possibility may be in one of the nearby national forests. Be aware that you are going to arrive in the US on our busiest travel/camping week of the year, and you have left it to way too lake to start worrying about where you will stay.

    The minimum equipment you will need to camp is probably just a tent and a sleeping bag, and a small propane stove and some cooking and eating equipment. If you stop at a Walmart or similar store, they can outfit you relatively cheaply. The equipment won't be of the highest quality but it should be serviceable for a couple of weeks in the summer.

    You can buy a National Parks Pass at the first park you come to. This will cost $80 and cover all admissions for both you and your friend to all National Parks during your visit. It does not, whenever, cover additional costs such as camping. But perhaps the best 'activities' at our national parks, the ranger talks, are usually free.

    The other best piece of advice I can offer you is to "inquire locally". Talk to people, stop at visitor's centers and ask what they would recommend. Locals know their neighborhood a lot better than I do and are more often than not proud to tell you its best sights.

    AZBuck

  4. Default Thanks a lot

    Thanks a lot for your answers guys.

    We don't have any reservations. However, we did searh the camping website and found couple open spaces. So do you think, we should reserve a space right now, or we should just walk in? Actually we don't want to make any reservations to maximize the adventure? What do yout think? Do you think it is too naive?

    And one more question, what should we do first when we arrive the national park? Should we go and look for a camping site first or experience the park first then find a camping place?

    What should we do first when we arrive to parks? We plan to go to visitor center first, to have all the necessary info we need like camping places and attractions. Do you think that is enough for finding camping places?

    Once again forgive our dumb questions.

    And thanks a lot for your great responses

    -k-

  5. #5

    Default

    I read someone else's advice on another thread a couple of minutes ago which sums it up nicely. It said basically: If you want peace of mind, make them. If you want freedom, don't. Very simplistic, but pretty fair, I'd say.

    What you do when you arrive will vary depending on a number of things such as what time you enter the park, where you enter the park, how busy the park is, etc. If it were me, and I didn't have a reservation, I would head first for the visitor center, find out about the park and what activities and camping is available, then decide where I want to camp based on what activities I want to undertake. Often the visitor center will be able to confirm the reservation for you right there and then but, if they are not able to, I'd head right to the campground and get myself set up.

  6. Default Alright

    Got it.

    Any tips for road selection would be great. We are starting from SF and going to Yosemite, then Death Valley and then Grand Canyon.

    Thanks a lot.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default Best of

    We've already got a couple hundred threads about those places on the forum.

    Check out this thread for the links to some of our favorites on the topic.

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