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  1. #1

    Default Will this RV trip work?

    I want to take a total of 12 people on an RV trip of several western Natl Parks. I have between 7-10 days to work with and our starting point is Miami Florida. Here's what I got in mind. Keep in mind that this is a rough/first draft and I am hoping that suggestions/input from forum members will help me tweak it.

    - Fly Miami to Denver and pick 2 RVs
    - Head west visiting the following parks
    - Arches
    - Bryce
    - Zion
    - Grand Canyon
    - Yosemite
    - Take red-eye home from San Fran

    Is this feasible? All comments and suggestions will be greatly appreciated.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default busy but yes

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Well, yes, this is a trip that you could do pretty easily, although I think you'll want to try to keep it closer to 10 days than 7. You've got 6 parks you've want to visit, plus about 3-4 full days of driving to fit in, so you'll be busy.

    I would also recommend making reservations early, so that you get get campsites that are either double sites, or sites that are next to each other. Remember, that the size of the group, plus having two RVs means your travel will be a bit slower than it would be if you were one family in one car.

  3. #3

    Default what about a driving schedule?

    Thanks for the reply. I am glad you think this could be done "pretty easily" given the size of the group and the fact that I forgot to mention we are rookies that have never run an RV before. I have tons of questions but I think maybe the most important is a way of creating a driving schedule.

    Can you suggest a good trip planner or other way (free or paid) that would generate this type of thing? It seems that most of the planners I looked at either didn't work or they seem more geared to finding lodging and activities.

    I figure we have the RV for lodging and the activities are the parks themselves so that is not so important to me. Maybe what I need doesn't exist and I should just use a bunch of individual Mapquest driving routes/directions?

    What do you think?


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default unclear

    I'm not really sure what you're looking for in terms of a "trip planner"

    If you are looking for something that will plot all of your stops and schedule for you, I don't know of anything like that that exisits (at least not effectively), and really that's the sort of thing you need to go to a travel agent who does that sort of thing for their career. Really, even there, you have someone who is going to be guessing to a degree your interests and driving abilities, but that's certainly your best bet.

    Certainly, mapquest or any of the other online mapping programs - or even a good paper atlas - can help you figure out what to do in terms of routing and that sort of thing.

    I would say that I would not just assume that you are set for lodging because you have an RV. You're still going to need to find campsites, and those can fill up quickly at these popular destinations, during the peak travel season.

  5. #5

    Default Trip Planning Software......

    I use a product from Rand McNally called TripMaker. I have been using it for almost 9 years and have found it to be pretty accurate as to travel times and routes from point to point. I don't think the product is offered through Rand McNally any longer but I did a 'Google' search (Trip Maker Software) and found the following:

    There are many options in the software to control how fast you want to drive, what time you wish to leave and stop each day and how long you wish to stay at each destination. Once TripMaker calculates the route, if you want to go a different route, just add another destination to make the software route you where you want to go.
    I did a quick itinerary for your planned trip from Denver to SF and, yes, the trip is quite doable. You might want to consider visiting the North Rim of the Grand Canyon (due to it's close proximity to Zion NP) and also include a stopover at Death Valley on the way to Yosemite. I hope this helps.

  6. #6

    Default Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel

    One other thing to consider when traveling by RV from Bryce NP to Zion NP is the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel on UT Hwy 9.
    The escort service necessary for RV's may delay the travel time between the two parks. Fortunately, they are close together and typically only a 2-3 hour drive.

  7. #7

    Default very encouraging!! Last question...

    Great to hear from MM and jayree that my trip is doable. However, I think I might cut off the Cali/Yosemite leg and stop and LV/Grand Canyon. Figure maybe its best to go easy on our first trip. Maybe in a couple of years we can go back and do Yosemite/Yellowstone or something like that.

    Jayree that software package looks great and the price is right!! Thank you very much. Thanks for the tip on the tunnel. I saw something like that on the park sites but didn't pay too much attention to it.

    Lastly I would like to ask one more question. I was thinking of traveling from park to park in the evening/night. This means that I would probably arrive at the next days park after closing so I couldn't get into the RV campground.

    Would it be better to reserve at a non-public campground just outside the park that hopefully would be open late at night, 10-11PM?


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I would not travel at night - you will be missing a lot of sights! There is also the issue of safety - when you are on 2 lane roads in that part of the country, it's quite often "open range" with livestock roaming, black cows are difficult to see at night. I'd cut back on just how far you plan on driving or try to add more days to avoid driving after dark.

  9. #9

    Default Sample Itinerary......

    Here is a sample itinerary for a Denver to Las Vegas trip that includes the five NPs in Utah, both the N and S rims of the Grand Canyon and a drive by Hoover dam on the way to LV.

    Drive from Denver to Canyonlands NP (6 hrs). Spend 2 hrs there. Then drive to Arches NP (Moab) for the night. Spend the next day at Arches and stay the 2nd night.

    Next day: Drive to Capitol Reef NP (4 hrs) via Hanksville, UT. Spend about 2 hrs there then drive on to Bryce Canyon NP (4 hrs) and spend the night. Spend the next day at Bryce and stay the 2nd night.

    Next day: Drive to Zion NP through Mt Carmel Tunnel (3 hrs) and spend the rest of the day at Zion and stay only one night.

    Next day: Drive to the North Rim of Grand Canyon (4 hrs) and spend the night. Spend the next day at North Rim and stay the 2nd night.

    Next day: Drive to the South Rim of Grand Canyon (7 hrs) and spend the night there. Spend the next day at South Rim and stay the 2nd night.

    Next day: Drive to Las Vegas via Hoover dam (7 hrs).

    This would be 9 nights and 10 days of travel. It could be shortened by leaving out the South Rim and going directly to LV from the North Rim. All the driving times listed are estimates but should be adequate for RV travel.

    You would probably need to make campground reservations for all the nights to ensure you would have a campsite. Just an idea but I hope this helps.


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