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  1. Default What do i cut out??

    Gday all. My wife and I will be in SW USA in May 09 and i wanted to bounce a few road trip idea off you. Basic limitations - arrive LAX late on May 11, leave late on May 29. In between, I'm totally flex. Here's what i have so far.....

    3 full Days i La, 1 full day San Diego, Drive to Vegas for 2 days. From here, i basically have 10 days to spend. I was hoping to hire an RV in Vegas and do Zion, Bryce, North Rim, Moab and Monument valley in 5 days, back to Vegas then Yosemite, San Fran and coastal drive back to LA in the next 5.

    We're used to driving long distances over sparse country (lots of that in Australia), but i get the feeling we're trying to squeeze too much in. I was either going to cut out
    - Moab (is arches and canyonland the same sort of "stuff" as Southern Utah?)
    - Yosemite (just due to the time it takes to get from LAS to Yosemite) or,
    - The Californian coastal drive.

    All kind of vague, i know, but with so much to do and so little time, i'm trying to work out which itinerary would give the most value vs time.

    Any comments, suggestions, BS flags etc. etc. would be appreciated.

    Thanks in Advance
    Tik & Nat

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default based only on the distance

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Well, all of the places you are talking about are amazing places, but Moab sticks out as the "one of these things is not like the other" when compared to Yosemite or the Coast.

    Moab is certainly not like the other parts of Utah you are talking about, but it is quite a bit out of the way from the other places you are talking about. You'd be adding a decent amount of miles to get there.

    Yosemite and the Coast are "right on the way" so to speak. While certainly both will take some extra time to stop and see, you have to head that general direction anyway to get from Vegas to SF to LA.

  3. Default

    Hi Michael. Thanks for the info - i've done a bit more digging around and came up with a few different alternatives. Options i have are

    1. See Moab, Monument, South then North Rim (ie miss Zion and Bryce)
    2. See Zion, North Rim, Monument Valley and Moab (miss Bryce and South Rim)
    3. See South Rim, Monument, North Rim, Zion and Bryce (miss Moab).

    Any personal opinions / thoughts on the above?

    Cheers
    Tik

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Five + Five

    If I faced your choice, I'd do just what you were originally contemplating and do two five day trips out of Las Vegas. The first would be the loop you're currently working on, and I'd go first to the Grand Canyon (South Rim), then Monument Valley, Moab/Arches, and finally back to Las Vegas via I-70/I-15 with stops at Bryce and Zion. The North Rim might be open by the time of your trip, but it's really out of your way and even at best services would be limited.

    The other trip out of Las Vegas would be your return to Los Angeles via Yosemite, Monterey, and Big Sur. I think, though, that I'd be tempted to skip San Francisco. There 's just too much else to do on this trip to spend another day or two in another large city, as fascinating as San Francisco might be. You will have to take the long way around to Yosemite through Barstow and Bakersfield as the Tioga Pass (CA-120) will still be snow bound, so a day to get to Yosemite and a day spent there leaves you just enough time to see Monterey, Carmel, and the Big Sur coast at a leisurely pace.

    AZBuck

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default A great problem to have.

    G'day Tik and Nat, they are all amazing places to visit, welcome to R.T.A.

    First of all I am wondering if you have looked into rental costs for an R.V.
    It's a great way to travel [my favorite] but it is costly, especially for 2 people, More so than a car and motels.
    Personally once I left either L/A or S/D I would pick one mode of transport and stick to it or else you will have 3 rentals all with extra one way drop off charges, plus not having to get to the rental company's address, doing paper work and swapping luggage about and also not having to return to Vegas will free up a lot of time, just a thought.
    If you were to do this you could go from Vegas to Zion and Bryce canyon and then continue on scenic 12 to Torrey, the 24 through Hanksville
    to I-70 and south on 191 to Moab and Arches N.P. Then continue south to the 160 through Monument valley and onto Grand canyon South rim.
    That should be a comfortable 5 days with time to enjoy the sights. From the south rim you could get on I-40 to Barstow and 58 to Bakersfield and head North on the 99/41 to the south entrance of Yosemite, maybe stopping somewhere on the way when you have had enough driving. [Estimated 12 hour journey in total].
    As Buck suggested, skipping San Fran at this point and heading for Monterey and a trip down the coast to L/A would probably be your best option for a more relaxed finish to your trip.

  6. Default

    When you say Moab, do you mean Arches Nat'l Park?

    Definitely beautiful, but would be the furthest away from where you're coming from. Bryce, Zion, etc would be more ideal.

    If you're up for long driving, it's doable. But I think you should have your iterniary setup with some places you can scratch off if you take too much time.

    Sykotyk

  7. Default

    Thanks for all the replys - it's certainly a tough choice!!!!!!

    Dave, I've basically changed to plans as you've suggested in terms of sticking with the same vehicle throughout. I'm interested in the cost comparison between car and RV. So far, it seems that the RV will cost about $200USD extra for the whole trip (comparing cheapest with cheapest). I figured you've save that amount easily by not having to eat out and figuring that a night in an RV park is cheaper than a motel.........we compared cheapa campa RV's with Fox Car rentals.

    One problem though - The RV company says that travel to Death Valley and "other desert areas" is not permitted May to September. What counts as other desert areas? I've tried to email them, but the link doesn't work!!!

    As a side note, i was going to the North Rim mainly because of less crowds - planning on "sightseeing" the south rim and "doing" the north rim (hikes, mule/horse trips etc.) Is this a valid assumption?

    Again, thanks a heap for the info.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default Extra charges.

    Hi there,

    Dave, I've basically changed to plans as you've suggested in terms of sticking with the same vehicle throughout.
    I think that's your best option.

    I'm interested in the cost comparison between car and RV. So far, it seems that the RV will cost about $200USD extra for the whole trip (comparing cheapest with cheapest
    That surprises me ! Be careful when comparing, with the R.V. there are usually extras such as; bedding and kitchen kits, prep fees, extra mileage charges from the company. On top of that you have the campsite fees and a return of only 10 m.p.g.
    It's an amazing way to travel I.M.O. and I have recently booked another R.V. for our next trip but it's just a "heads up" warning.

    One problem though - The RV company says that travel to Death Valley and "other desert areas" is not permitted May to September. What counts as other desert areas
    This seems to be standard [for overseas visitors anyway] but you should contact the company as you have tried to do to define it. There are a lot of desert landscapes in the Southwest but along with D/V I guess the Mojave desert.
    Plenty of R.V.'S cross with no problems but if you were to have an accident, a breakdown or even a blow out you could face a hefty bill

    As a side note, i was going to the North Rim mainly because of less crowds - planning on "sightseeing" the south rim and "doing" the north rim (hikes, mule/horse trips etc.) Is this a valid assumption?
    Sounds right to me.

  9. Default

    Thanks Dave - I dug a little deeper about the RV thing and you're right - it is quite a bit more expensive. For 18 days hire (LA to LA);
    CAR - $573
    RV - $1029.

    Although the RV would be great, i don't think we'll save $450 odd over 18 days in food and accommodation (plus the extra cost of the fuel). However, RV parks look like $40ish a night, with a motels between $60 and $100 a night. Over 18 nights, that adds up to quite a saving in accommodation.

    Again, just bouncing my "web surfing" info against you guys in the know. Do the above numbers sound about right?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default Base price ?

    Thanks Dave - I dug a little deeper about the RV thing and you're right - it is quite a bit more expensive. For 18 days hire (LA to LA);
    CAR - $573
    RV - $1029.
    No problem. Although I would love to know what motor and where you can get an R.V from for less than $60 a day !!

    I just ran your dates through one of the big dealers with kitchen and bedding kits and mileage included and I came back with this;

    Estimate
    (All Prices USD $)
    18 Nights $1206.00
    1800 Estimated miles $576.00
    Supplemental Liability Insurance No Charge
    Vehicle Prep Fee No Charge
    Kitchen Kit $100.00
    Personal Kits $100.00
    State Tax (8.25%) $163.52
    Total charge $2145.52
    Damage Deposit $500.00
    Due on Pickup $2645.52
    That includes 1800 miles which anything under or over that is refunded or charged at 32 cents per mile. As I said before the extras do add up and there are deals about but I would almost certainly say that the total charge will be nearer $2000 than $1000.
    When there are four people sharing the cost rather than having 2 hotel rooms a night is when the costs become closer.

    Campsites you can get from between $18 and $45 a night whereas I would allow $70 a night for a reasonable hotel.

    I am guessing the R.V. could well be a no,no this time around but if you were to hire one I wouldn't have one for your time in L/A, I would stay in Motels and pick up your rental when leaving [i.e. 14/15 day rental].

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