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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    6

    Default An Australian planning a California RV Road Trip

    Hi. I live in Perth Western Australia. My wife and I and 2 of our children are planning a road trip around California in April. After spending a week in LA/Anaheim doing the park thing etc, we are renting a RV and plan to see a diverse range of what California has to offer.

    I would be very grateful for any views on the following itinerary that I am thinking about, particularly with regard to whether the distances I am looking at covering are unrealistic bearing in mind road conditions, and whether the places I am looking at stopping at would be worthwhile or whether I should change intended stops and what I should definitely stop/look at upon the way.

    Day 1 - LA to San Diego
    Day 2 - San Diego
    Day 3 - San Diego to Palm Springs
    Day 4 - Palm Springs to Grand Canyon via Williams
    Day 5 - Grand Canyon to Las Vegas
    Day 6 - Las Vegas
    Day 7 - Las Vegas to Mammoth Lakes
    Day 8 - Mammoth Lakes to Yosemite NP
    Day 9 - Yosemite NP to San Francisco
    Day 10 - San Francisco
    Day 11 - San Francisco to Monteroy
    Day 12 - Monteroy to Luis (via Big Sur)
    Day 13 - Luis to LA

    Any thoughts on good RV parks along the route would also be appreciated and do you think I would need to book into the parks or just turn up.

    Many thanks.

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

    Default Roadblock

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    You've got one major problem with your plan. In April, Tioga Pass will still be closed for winter, thus you will not be able to get from Mammoth to Yosemite. Instead, you'll have to go around the Sierras, crossing around Bakersfield, and approach Yosemite from the west side of the Mountains.

    Otherwise, your basic outline looks fine.

  3. #3

    Default

    I know it's a matter of taste, but the itinerary looks a little frantic to me. I spent Two Whole Days at Death Valley recently and it didn't seem like too many -- and I *don't like* deserts. To me it looks like you might be leaving some great places before having had enough time to realize you're there in the first place. Unless you're big into golf or just really like old people (or outlet malls), I think you might be able to omit Palm Springs without much pain. Might also be worth thinking about "keeping it California" and omitting the Grand Canyon and Vega$.

    Another thought, and I'm saying this as someone who lives 20 minutes from Disneyland so maybe I'm just jaded, but I'm not really sure you need a full week dedicated to LA and the LA/OC theme parks. If you could peel off a few days from that first week and spend more time in SF, Monterey, and/or Yosemite as a result, I think -- well, it might just be worth considering is all. Heck, if you wanted to take a few days off of LA, but keep the road trip fast-and-hard, maybe you could add Lake Tahoe to the list (although I'm not sure what it'd be like there in April -- could still be ski season).

    Anyway -- thanks in advance for spending money in my state. Our tax base could use the injection!

    bkd

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    In April, Tioga Pass will still be closed for winter, thus you will not be able to get from Mammoth to Yosemite. Instead, you'll have to go around the Sierras, crossing around Bakersfield, and approach Yosemite from the west side of the Mountains..
    Midwest Michael - Thankyou very much for the helpful information. I didn't think about possible road closures (hard to think of winter when Perth today is above 100 degrees F. I will re-route.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 01-24-2009 at 01:13 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Thanks bk949. I will take your advice re Palm Springs. I am in two minds re Grand Canyon - yes it is out of the way, but then again, so close to see what many say is one of the true wonders of the world. I will have to think about it a bit more. It looks like I will be spending more than I first thought. Aussie $ against American is about 0.67 at the moment. It got close to parity when my older son was living in Illinois for a year in 2007. Many thanks for your advice.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 01-24-2009 at 01:13 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Can't help but agree, why not stick to California. How old are the children? You are doing a lot of travelling in a few days, and will be in the car (RV) most of the time.

    But if you really set on the Grand Canyon - a place everyone should see, at least once - why not San Diego to Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Bryce and Zion and back to LV, and if you have extra time, go to Death Valley before heading back to LA.

    And leave SF and Yosemite for another time - because there will be another time! That area is like a magnet.

    Last time I was in Yosemite (2007), highway 120 was blocked with a rockfall, and had been for well over 12 months. It was apparently the second rockfall in that spot, within a short space of time. From speaking with the locals, there seemed to be an opinion that it may be left, and the small detour onto the old railway track may stay in place.

    That detour had a strict limitation on the length of vehicle, I think it was 28'. So it may be worth checking out what the length of your vehicle will be, and if the road has been cleared or not.

    Lifey in Melbourne

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default A sampling

    You need to keep in mind your own travel style and preferences. If you like to really take things slow and explore areas in-depth, then you are moving at too rushed of a pace. However, if you like to visit a place, take in the major highlights, and then move on, the pace you've listed should be fine. Personally, I tend to keep moving on my trips, and a schedule like you've planned is right along the lines of something I could see myself doing.

    Having said that, I personally wouldn't spend quite as much time in LA either. I'd probably spend a week total in LA and San Diego, and then give myself a little more time at the other places you've listed.

    Given the choice between doing an all California trip, or spending some less time in LA to visit the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas, I would chose the Canyon and Vegas every time. There's no right or wrong answer, but I just don't think I'd want to travel halfway around the world, and then stop just a couple hundred miles short of those two amazing destinations.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifemagician View Post
    Can't help but agree, why not stick to California. How old are the children? You are doing a lot of travelling in a few days, and will be in the car (RV) most of the time.
    Hi Lifemagician. Thanks for your thoughts. The kids are 11 and 9. I will give some more thought to the idea of Yosemite and have a look at picking up a day at the LA end and also trying to squeeze San Diego into that first week to give us some more time at the beginning of the road trip.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 01-24-2009 at 05:45 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Hi Midwest Michael. Your advice is appreciated. I will look at "speeding" up the LA start of the holiday to give us some extra time.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 01-24-2009 at 05:44 PM. Reason: Removed quote of entire previous post

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Not to be missed.

    MidwestMichaelGiven the choice between doing an all California trip, or spending some less time in LA to visit the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas, I would chose the Canyon and Vegas every time. There's no right or wrong answer, but I just don't think I'd want to travel halfway around the world, and then stop just a couple hundred miles short of those two amazing destinations.
    Fully agree with Michael on this one, you won't regret it. If you could use your first week to include San Diego and getting to Palm Springs you would be in good shape.

    Any thoughts on good RV parks along the route would also be appreciated
    For Grand canyon and Yosemite I would definitely stay in the N.P's campsites. Mather campground G/C and one of the 3 "Pines" sites in Yosemite. They don't have hook ups but do have shower blocks and your R.V will more than likely be equipped with a generator for power. They are in lovely wooded surroundings with fire pits and you can use the free shuttle bus to get around. You can get the info by navigating around the website.
    We also enjoyed the Oasis resort for our stay in Vegas. It's less than a $20 cab fare from the Strip or you can use a shuttle bus service but it does do quite a few pick ups on the way.
    Although we didn't stop there [it didn't fit with our plans] I loved the look of this place for Big Sur.

    As you can't go over the Tioga pass if you are to head through Death valley and explore a little [recommended] from Vegas there are campgrounds in the Lake Isabella area which would make a good stopover point before heading to Yosemite.

    do you think I would need to book into the parks or just turn up.
    If you are following a schedule I would book up the NP sites at least.

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