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  1. Default Grand Canyon-Yosemite

    Hello, I'm planning our road trip (RV) with my kids in early April. My husband wants to see Grand Canyon & Yosemite but not sure how far both are. We are flying from NY to ? and then getting the RV to drive around the area. How many days will be perfect to do this with no rush? We have 3 kids 10, 6 and a 18 months old baby. We are used to road trips from NY to Miami and back so I think the kids will enjoy the RV experience while also discovering new settings. Please any advice on routes, time table from one place to the other and also where is the best place to beging. Is a campground a good idea? I rather have an RV just for the day and go to sleep in a hotel room, I'm not a fan of camping out but hubby and kids are looking forward to that. Is early April a good month to do this? Sorry for so many questions but no idea how to plan this vacation. Thank you.

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

    Default is money an object

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Honestly, if you aren't planning to spend the nights in your RV, then I really don't see why you would rent one. It is going to be quite a bit more expensive to rent one compared to a car (even adding in motel costs, car trips are usually cheaper), you're going to use more fuel, driving one is going be be a bit more challenging, and being a passenger in one while you are driving down the road really won't be any different than being in a car. Basically, I don't understand what "experience" you think your family will have using an RV, if you aren't going to use it for camping.

    I'd imagine that Las Vegas would be the most central airport for you to fly into. You'd be looking at about a 5 hour trip from there to the Grand Canyon. You could also fly into LAX, which is about 5 hours from Yosemite, but 8-10 hours from the Grand Canyon.

    Grand Canyon to Yosemite is about a 700 mile trip via Bakersfield. That's probably a longer trip that you want to take in one day, but you could spend the day on the road, and finish up around Fresno (about a 10-11 hour drive) and be in good position to drive into Yosemite the next day.

    Unfortantly, in April, Tioga Pass will be closed, so heading back to Vegas would require backtracking the way you came. That's about a 500 miles/8-10 hour trip. You could also look at flying back from San Francisco, which would be a shorter drive, but you'd have additional fees for both your vehicle rental and airfare.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,937

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    ......... You could also look at flying back from San Francisco, which would be a shorter drive, but you'd have additional fees for both your vehicle rental and airfare.
    On the several ocassion on which I have rented in SF and dropped off in LA or vice versa, I have never been charged a one-way fee.

    You do however need to check if the company allows you to take the vehicle out of California. I have heard some horrific tales where cars have been tracked by GPS. and slapped with a penalty of over a thousand dollars for crossing the border.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default "Camping"

    If the R.V lifestyle doesn't appeal to you then I would forget renting one as previously said by Michael. The whole point of spending lots of money on renting one and driving around in a large, slow gas guzzling vehicle is to enjoy those nights parked up around the campfire in a wonderful setting and enjoy home cooked food while gazing up at the stars and having some real quality family time. The camp grounds in Yosemite and Grand canyon are right in the heart of the parks in lovely settings and once you are set down you have easy access to the free shuttle bus system, so no need to drive a lot of the time.

    In April the high ground of Yosemite will still be closed but the waterfalls will be flowing and will be less crowded, but how you do this trip really is dependant on the time you have. For a one way rental I would use Phoenix and San Francisco as start and finish points and a week as a minimum, but if you have 2 or 3 weeks to spare there are so many things to see and do in the SouthWest you would still only scratch the surface

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifemagician View Post
    On the several ocassion on which I have rented in SF and dropped off in LA or vice versa, I have never been charged a one-way fee.
    It is true that because of the high demand of cars between LA and San Francisco, and often Vegas that you won't always pay for a one way drop off fee in these case. I'm not sure if you'd have that same luck if you rent an RV, though.

    Even if you do get around the drop off fee for the car rental, its usually more expensive to fly out of different airports though.

  6. Default

    Thank you all for the feedback. I'm the one not looking forward to the camping out experience (I did that a lot in South America when I was a teen but time had changed) Now I know I can park the RV ina a campground and go around in a shuttle service, wich is great, I didn't know that. I will keep you posted and thanks again.

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