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  1. #1

    Default San Fran To Vegas Via Yosemite Aug 09 - Help Please

    My wife and our 2 friends and there 7 year old daughter are travelling to San Francisco from England August 19th 2009 for a 12 day holiday. The plan is to have 6 days in an RV then switching to a hire car at Vegas and then travelling in LA.

    The bit I need assistance and ideas for are the first 6 days, we were planning an overnight in SFC and then we would like to travel into Yosemite. Then we had planned to go into death valley but have no been told that we are not able to go there in Aug so need an alternative, so any ideas would be much appreciated.

    We would like to see some sites on the way to Vegas, we are all brand new to the world of RV and are all new to the area, and from Vegas onwards we are fine.

    The RV we have booked is FS31 Class C Motorhome Slide-out and it was ordered from (El Monte RV)

    Thanks JonnyB

  2. #2


    Welcome to the site! How come you can't go to DV?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Not a Legal Restriction

    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyb View Post
    My wife and our 2 friends and there 7 year old daughter are travelling to San Francisco from England August 19th 2009 for a 12 day holiday.
    Death Valley in August is a very popular time of year -- although it is a tad warmish. Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! The first thing to remember, is that there is NO LEGAL RESTRICTION ON RV'S IN AUGUST IN DEATH VALLEY! You will see scores of RVs in August in Death Valley (and several of them will have been rented from El Monte RV!). The company would prefer that you not take their equipment into the park in August and put strong words prohibiting entry into the park --but they have no legal standing to do that!

    Here is a check-list you ought to read and print out and take with you when you pick up your RV.

    Other places to see could include the wine country in Napa/Sonoma valley, Gold Country on the western slope, Yosemite Valley, June Lakes Loop, Mammoth Lakes, Bishop. etc.


  4. #4

    Default San Fran To Vegas Via Yosemite Aug 09 - Help Please

    Thanks for your ideas so far, can you tell me if there is anything worth visiting on route 95 as I was thinking about cutting across and coming into LV from the North? I could come in from the South it just looks further, maybe I have it wrong.

    Again please bare with me I am new here and am trying to find my way around but many thanks for everything so far.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Lida's Junction

    If you don't do Death Valley... which would be a shame - there are lots of options. One of my favorite routes is NV-266 and you could swing the the Bristlecone Forest -- here is a field report about that trip. The road is a bit twisty and narrow in a few places -- you can certainly drive it in your RV - but you need to take it slow.

    Another option is to take US-6 from Bishop and go to Tonapah -- Tonapah has one of the best mining museums in the USA. I would also stop in Goldfield on the way south -- Virgil and Wyatt Earp lived in Goldfield for a while. US95 is a very nice drive.


  6. #6

    Default San Fran To Vegas Via Yosemite Aug 09 - Help Please

    Hi Mark

    Are there many routes in to Yosemite, amd from there what would suggest is the best route for getting to the US95 bearing in mind that it is our first time in an RV.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default One choice.

    To the 95 without a large detour!

    Hi Jonny,

    From SF you can enter Yosemite on the 120 from Manteca that has a very scenic but twisty section at the Priests grade [Ok for the RV] or at Manteca head Southeast on 99 and Northeast on 140 through Mariposa at Merced.

    To get to the 95 you will continue on the 120 [Tioga pass] over the Sierra's. Allow lots of time as it is very scenic and slow going. Stop at the side of Tenaya lake for lunch, wonderful. When you get out of the park you will see great views of Mono lake and on the junction with 395 is a gas station which you might want to top up at. The road by the station goes up the hill [2 mins] for more nice views of the lake.
    Head South on the 395 and then East on the 120 again to Benton and then 6 to Tonopah.

    If you are stopping the night around here by any chance then you could consider a free night at Millers rest area a great little spot on the edge of the desert. Be careful crossing the lawn in the morning those sprinklers can give you an early morning shower without warning !

    We took this route in an RV but went onto Warm springs and down the E.T highway.

    It doesn't take long to settle into the RV but allow extra time for your journey's, especially your first one as you get accustomed to the extra size and handling of it.

  8. #8

    Default One choice.

    Hi Southwest Dave, A big thanks for the infomation I just wonder if I may ask you a coupld of other things?

    Will it be safe for us to drive over Tioga pass as relative RV beginners, how long approx would it take to go over the pass and finally is the road large enough for a 35" foot RV or will it be a nail biter?

    Thanks again


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Matter of opinion [and experience].

    Hey Jonny,

    On the same stretch of road you can get some people describing it as terrifying and others as wonderful, so this no one answer.

    Many, many RV's make the trip over Tioga pass safely so there is no need to worry on that matter, but as for nail biting moments I guess we are all different. There are some narrow sections where you will "feel" the extra width of the RV and it will be busy in August but if you take your time and are a confident driver you shouldn't have any problems. There are no parts where you can just "drop of a cliff" [not easily anyway, Lol! ]
    There are quite a few pull outs and if/when you notice a tail back of cars behind you it is customary to pull in when safe to do so and let them past.

    I was an RV "newbie" on that trip and to be honest I didn't find it too challenging, but I have driven many tens of thousands of miles in trucks here in the UK [not for a few years though].

    Many people worry about the roads but it's quite often the simple things that catch you out so here's a couple of tips,

    Width, The extra width is something to watch, in a straight line if your mirrors go through the back will, but when turning make sure you allow extra space as the back turns in. When you park, the twin axle at the back has a wider wheelbase than the front so use your mirror and don't go tight with the front wheel to the kerb.

    Length; There is a lot of overhang past the back wheels on a 30 ft + RV so you have to be cautious when pulling away from petrol pumps, walls or vehicles parked alongside. If you turn away sharply the back end can side swipe them [think of spinning around with a plank of wood on your shoulder] and when you are leaving a garage or parking lot that has a big dip between the kerb and the road you need to leave at an angle to stop the back end grounding out.

    They are obviously a lot heavier than a car so use gentle steering and braking inputs so that you don't unsettle it. Drive it as though you have a hot cup of coffee balanced on your lap! Any long or steep down hills select a lower gear through the auto box so not to burn the brakes out.

    I am sure you will be fine and when you arrive at your campground, light the camp fire and open a bottle [or two] you will love it.

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