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  1. Default Best RV route from Yosemite to Vegas. First family RV trip

    We've hired a 25' RV for 3 weeks in August, starting from San Francisco and finishing in LA. We plan to go to Yosemite, Las Vegas, Zion, Bryce, Moab, Monument Valley, Grand Canyon and then onto San Diego and lastly LA. With a family of 5 ( children age 8,10,12)

    Any advise on travelling from Yosemite to Vegas? Is an RV easy to manouever over the Tioga Pass or would you go to Vegas via Freshno and Bakersfield? We can not drive through Death Valley with our Hired RV but would you advise Lake Mono and then route 95 onto Vegas, or going via Bishop and Ridgecrest. Suggestions welcome please.

    Also I am confused about different types of hook-ups and amps available. Any ideas what we need? Is the generator easy to use? If we stay in Yosemite NP there are no hook ups but it would save travelling in and out of the park each day, assuming the generator will provide sufficient energy.

    Any suggestions along this route for a family - especially child friendly activities like rafting, pony trekking, walks, cycling.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
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    Las Vegas, Nevada
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    Default Incorrect information about Death Valley -- No Worries!

    Quote Originally Posted by JANE J BROWN View Post
    We can not drive through Death Valley with our Hired RV
    Every year, we get one or two of these comments, but there is no basis in fact. No RV rental firm has any such conditions for Death Valley and, in fact, you can find scores of rental RVs in Death Valley on any given day each year. Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum!
    Quote Originally Posted by JANE J BROWN View Post
    We've hired a 25' RV for 3 weeks in August, starting from San Francisco and finishing in LA. We plan to go to Yosemite, Las Vegas, Zion, Bryce, Moab, Monument Valley, Grand Canyon and then onto San Diego and lastly LA. With a family of 5 ( children age 8,10,12)
    Family road trips are fantastic! Here are some tips about planning them.
    Any advise on travelling from Yosemite to Vegas? Is an RV easy to manouever over the Tioga Pass or would you go to Vegas via Freshno and Bakersfield
    Driving over Tioga Pass in the summer time is not that tough -- the road is in excellent shape -- there are some other cross Sierra passes that would be far more challenging. Here is a field report that covers much of the route you are considering.
    Also I am confused about different types of hook-ups and amps available. Any ideas what we need? Is the generator easy to use?
    Is your RV a class C or a Class B? Here is an article that describes the various types -- and once we know what kind of RV it is, we can offer some tips about the hook-ups.

    Here is an overview about renting RVs that you ought to read and here is a checklist that you ought to print out and take with you when pick up your rental.

    Here is an overview about boondocking.
    If we stay in Yosemite NP there are no hook ups but it would save travelling in and out of the park each day, assuming the generator will provide sufficient energy.
    Yes, you should not want to drive out of the park every day -- enjoy your time in the valley! Here are some tips about RV campsites.

    And here is one about visiting large cities in a RV.
    And here is an excellent post about how to visit LA.
    Here is a list of some of our favorite routes along your intended path
    Here are some ideas about visiting San Diego


    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 01-22-2008 at 11:52 AM. Reason: Finished the post I had started

  3. Default

    Thanks for the feedback and helpful reviews and information - very useful.
    We have rented with El Monte who have confirmed that we can not drive through Death Valley in July and August. I have been told other rentals do the same for the hot summer months.
    I think we have decided to either go from Yosemite to Sequoia NP and stay overnight then do a long haul around via Bakersfield to Las Vegas. However, if the scenery and RV driving conditions are favourable we would do Tioga Pass, Bishop and south onto the main freeway again.
    What is the likely travelling of these 2 roots? I am conscious with children we don't want to spend too much time in the car/RV. We (adults) may enjoy the scenery more but I don't want to bore the kids too much!

    We have a 25' class C RV
    Any more feedback on hookups etc?

    Thanks
    Jane
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 01-24-2008 at 03:06 PM. Reason: continuation of previous post

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
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    Las Vegas, Nevada
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    Default I would love to see that in writing!

    Quote Originally Posted by JANE J BROWN View Post
    We have rented with El Monte who have confirmed that we can not drive through Death Valley in July and August
    I am sorry, but someone is not being straight with you. You will see dozens, if not more, of El Monte RV rentals in Death Valley nearly every day in July and August in Death Valley NP. Do you have this condition in writing? If so, I would love to see it! (Cruise America does put this in writing -- see this post)
    I think we have decided to either go from Yosemite to Sequoia NP and stay overnight then do a long haul around via Bakersfield to Las Vegas.
    It is possible to do what you have suggested in a RV -- if you are a skilled RV driver... Those are some serious mountain roads -- It takes 2.5 days in a sports car to drive from Yosemite thru Sequoia and over the Sherman Pass to reach Las Vegas. Three days minimum in a RV. The "long haul" only takes one long day or a reasonable two days in a RV.
    However, if the scenery and RV driving conditions are favourable we would do Tioga Pass, Bishop and south onto the main freeway again.
    What is the "main freeway" you are referring to here?
    We have a 25' class C RV Any more feedback on hookups etc?
    You will have fresh water, gray & black tanks and probably a 30-amp service. Any commercial RV park will accomodate you -- and some of the federal sites have those hook-ups as well.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 05-25-2008 at 11:20 AM. Reason: added link

  5. Default

    believe it or not under our El Monte contract there is a section on Travel Restrictions which states "Death Valley:- Travelling in or traversing Death Valley is not permitted in July and August. In May, June and September travel is permitted, however customer is fully responsible for all mechanical problems....."
    We would have loved to have driven through but it doesn't seem worth it if our insurance etc would not be valid.

    When I mentioned Sequoia I did not mean the Sherman Pass which sounds too challenging - especially as us Brits aren't used to big RVs! I meant we would travel down from Yosemite and visit Sequoia and then stay overnight say at the Visalia KOA. The following day we would then have a long drive on Route 99 to Bakersfield, then route 58 followed by the main route 15 into Vegas. Otherwise we would go over the Tioga Pass and then south on route 395 to Four Corners and then join 58 and 15 with a stop midway. This is further but I suspect is more scenic.

    Thanks

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
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    Default

    hi jane,
    were from the u.k and have not long done our first r.v trip from san fran and visited a number of places you are going to. iv'e started a report here
    we rented a 30ft r.v and once you are actually shown how everything works[as opposed to reading about it]it's very straight forward,and if you are reasonably experienced drivers you should get the feel of it quiet quickly,but give yourself plenty of travel time in the first couple of days so your not under any pressure.the generator will probably be a push button start from inside the home and will power everything up automatically.most parks have a dump station for emptying your waste and topping up with fresh water so you should have no problems and it's generally very clean and effortless,but remember to book your sights as early as possible as they get full in the national parks.if you have any other queries don't hesitate to ask.
    i hope you have a great trip!
    another option would be as you leave yosemite via tioga pass head for tonopah and then south for vegas on the 95.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 01-30-2008 at 10:34 AM. Reason: link format

  7. Default RV Rental

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sedenquist View Post
    Every year, we get one or two of these comments, but there is no basis in fact. No RV rental firm has any such conditions for Death Valley and, in fact, you can find scores of rental RVs in Death Valley on any given day each year.
    Mark

    Just out of interest we have looked into RV rental recently and Moturis,Cruise America and Monte RV all state that there is no insurance cover for the vehicle in Death Valley and it is prohibited to take their RVs into the valley.

    So it seems that this is very much at the owners risk and could be costly.

    Great site - Thanks

    Best regards
    Nick
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 05-25-2008 at 10:56 AM. Reason: fixed the quote

  8. #8
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    Jan 1998
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    Las Vegas, Nevada
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    Default Interesting, but not 100%

    Quote Originally Posted by NickKing View Post
    and it is prohibited to take their RVs into the valley.
    Thanks for the citation -- what I find interesting about this restriction is that is on the UK-version of the Cruise America site, the USA-version is similar, read it here. And, again this prohibition is just on the part of the company -- there is no such restriction in Federal or state law in the states. There are some restrictions for tunnels and heights -- but most of the rest of the list on the page should be taken with a grain of salt -- they were written as a way of reducing wear and tear on the rental vehicles, but they don't carry the weight of actual law.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 05-25-2008 at 11:19 AM. Reason: added USA links

  9. Default RV Trip in August

    Jane,

    I have a small RV rental company and the reason we do not allow our RV's to go to Death Valley in July and August is because the heat is damaging to the RV and the people traveling in it. The coach airconditioning only works when the generator is running and the generator has a safety mechanism that shuts it off when it gets too hot. When the generator shuts off, so does your airconditioning. In otherwords, when you need the airconditioning the most, it doesn't work. When it gets to 120F (50C) or more inside an RV, all kinds of things can melt, come unglued, or simply stop working. We cannot take that kind of risk either for our RV's or for our renters. Having said that, Continental Europeans in particular have a habit of ignoring rules when they don't see the value of them. That is probably why you see a lot of rental units in Death Valley anyway. Those renters that go there anyway are not insured and would be in for a nasty surprise should anything happen.

    I highly recommend going over Tioga pass and down the 395 to the 58 at Kramer Junction and then to the 15 at Barstow. The 15 will take you to Vegas and then on towards Zion. The 395 is absolutey beautiful.

    A recommended route would be Zion, Bryce, Escalante (route 12 to the 24 to the 50), around to Arches and Moab, down to Bridges and Monument Valley, then to the Grand Canyon.

    Your entire trip sounds like a 4 week itinerary. You might be able to hurry through it in 3 weeks but if you only have two weeks, you are going to have to rethink what you want to see. Covering 300 miles in one day in a RV is a long and tiring day.

    Don't worry about Amps. If the campground has electrical hookups, you will be fine. The generator will also be powerful enough as long as it doesn't overheat. If you are running the airconditioning on the generator, you probably will not be able to run the coffee maker, toaster, microwave, and TV at the same time. What are the chances of you wanting to do that anyway? :-)

    Here are some definitions:
    Full hookups = Water, Electricity, Sewage, may also include cable TV.
    Partial hookups = Electricity only, Water only, or both water and electricity but not sewage.
    No hookups = no hookups (also called dry camping)

    Almost every campground in Utah has a dump station. The general rule of thumb is that if a dump station is available, use it. Dump stations in California are much more rare; especially in LA. If you can pay the rental company to dump for you at the end of the rental, I would take that option if I were you.

    You only get about 3-4 showers out of a tank of water so plan your showers when you have hookups or are near a dump station.

    Your vacation sounds wonderful. Have a great time!
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 07-06-2009 at 03:37 PM. Reason: New members cannot post outside links.

  10. #10
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    Default Thanks.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Thankyou for sharing the information with us. This particular trip was completed last August but I am sure it will be helpful to other members.

    Regards Dave.

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