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  1. Default Planning West-Coast 11 day RV-trip (Vegas-Yosemite-SF-Coastline-LA)

    Hi,

    Been following this forum alot lately, read and learned alot.
    I'm from Belgium and am planning a trip with my brother-in-law.
    Limited to 11 full days in the US, mid june 2010 (Wifes :||)

    I'm attaching my temp calendar to this post, which should give you a good idea of what kind of planning we have now. (The days traveling down the coast from SF to LA should give us some leniency to move some things if necessary)

    Calendar: Calendar-USA-June-2010.doc

    Obvious questions are:
    - possible? Have we, underestimated the driving time?
    - Where should we trim/expand our time? (My brother-in-law is a truckdriver, so he's able and used to drive)
    - Is Sequoia NP beter than Yosemite? Should we stop at both?
    - Should we do Universal Studio's? Worth the day?
    - Which other things along the coast (SF to LA) shouldn't we miss?
    - Is Downtown L.A. worth a full day? It's just another city no?

    We are especially looking for those special places that are worth a stop (or small detour)? Things known only to locals. (Our last trip to New York wouldn't have been the same without the icecream-parlour at the end of the brooklyn bridge)

    Also looking for any laws on RV-camping in California... What may we do, what not? Can we stop anywhere and sleep? Or only on special RV-stops?

    Any idea's and remarks are more than welcome !

    Thanks in advance !

    Triion
    Attached Images Attached Images

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

    Default tweeks

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Your basic plan is pretty good, but a few things I might consider changing.

    How are you planning to visit the Grand Canyon? It really is too far to do as a one day trip from Vegas, unless you are doing a flight/helicopter tour. If you do that, you should know also that most of those flights take you to the "west rim" on indian tribal lands, not the Grand Canyon National Park.

    In mid june there is a chance that Tioga Pass will be closed, and if that is the case, you will have to make some changes here going around the mountains to the south via the Bakersfield area. The pass typically opens in may or june, but so the odds are pretty good that it will be open by late june, but its not a sure thing.

    I wouldn't dedicate a full day to LAs downtown. LA is a city built on sprawl, not a concentrated downtown area, so there's not a lot that going to be very touristy and its probably not worth your time. If anything, that would be a day to continue explore the other areas you haven't seen yet (as all of the "outer areas" you listed will probably be too much for one day) or just have a nice relaxing day on the beach.

    No, you can't just camp "anywhere." Generally, you're going to want a RV campground so you can take advantage of all of the RVs equptment and facilities. That's also going to give you an area to get out and walk around or sit outside and enjoy yourself. You could also stop whereever you can legally park overnight (like a Truck Stop) however, you won't have any power or water, and you won't be able to use any slide-outs or do other things to make it obvious that you are camping.

  3. Default

    Thanks for your reply Michael !
    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    How are you planning to visit the Grand Canyon? It really is too far to do as a one day trip from Vegas, unless you are doing a flight/helicopter tour. If you do that, you should know also that most of those flights take you to the "west rim" on indian tribal lands, not the Grand Canyon National Park.
    For our grand canyon visit, we came across a tour that picks you up at a las vegas hotel, transports you via hoover dam to the grand canyon, fly over the GC with a helicopter and than sail over the colorado for a bit, ending in a flight back to the rim. something like http://www.grandcanyon.com/GrandCanyonVoyagerTours.html
    If anyone has any experience with this kind of tour, please let me know! There are also different companies with the same kind of tour, if you have an idea which is better... would be very helpfull !
    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    In mid june there is a chance that Tioga Pass will be closed, and if that is the case, you will have to make some changes here going around the mountains to the south via the Bakersfield area. The pass typically opens in may or june, but so the odds are pretty good that it will be open by late june, but its not a sure thing.
    Will make a note about the tioga pass... Is this the best route for us from Vegas to Yosemite? Any important stops we could make between these two? What's are the best routes if we want to experience Death valley? Or is this a very bad idea in June with a rented RV?
    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    I wouldn't dedicate a full day to LAs downtown. LA is a city built on sprawl, not a concentrated downtown area, so there's not a lot that going to be very touristy and its probably not worth your time. If anything, that would be a day to continue explore the other areas you haven't seen yet (as all of the "outer areas" you listed will probably be too much for one day) or just have a nice relaxing day on the beach.
    We both thought that full day LA would be a bit much, but as you say, we can fill it with "outer" LA area's. Any special places that we mustn't miss around L.A. A specific address with a special view on the Hollywood sign or something like that?
    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    No, you can't just camp "anywhere." Generally, you're going to want a RV campground so you can take advantage of all of the RVs equptment and facilities. That's also going to give you an area to get out and walk around or sit outside and enjoy yourself. You could also stop whereever you can legally park overnight (like a Truck Stop) however, you won't have any power or water, and you won't be able to use any slide-outs or do other things to make it obvious that you are camping.
    We'll have a standard RV, not too big. No slide-outs and such. RV does have a generator, not sure how much you can rely on the generator and the amounts of water in the RV. Can you spend 3 days without refilling and recharging the RV? (based on normal consumption)

    Anyway, thank for the advice ! Anything else would ofcourse be appreciated !

    triion

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Check with the RV rental company - most will not allow their RV's in Death Valley during the hottest months. Give them the exact date and see what they say.

    Note that rental RV's usually charge you by the hour for use of the generator - generally, the most economical way to do this is use campgrounds with hookups.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Triion View Post
    A specific address with a special view on the Hollywood sign or something like that?

    triion
    Almost anywhere in West Hollywood or surrounds, you will be within a stone's throw of the Hollywood sign. My favourite place to stay is between Sunset and Hollywood Blvds and La Brae Ave and Vine St, 'right below the sign'. This is also the area where the stars are on the footpath, and you can walk for miles and miles just reading the names on the stars. The names are an interesting mixture of personalities from days gone by and contemporary stars. An area of which I am very fond.

    As Michael said, there really is no downtown in LA.

    Lifey

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Some thoughts.

    We'll have a standard RV, not too big. No slide-outs and such. RV does have a generator, not sure how much you can rely on the generator and the amounts of water in the RV. Can you spend 3 days without refilling and recharging the RV? (based on normal consumption)
    As long as you have plenty of fuel in the RV's tank the generator will keep everything going and charged, it cuts out when you are down to a QTR of a tank just to make sure you don't get stranded with an empty gas tank. We only run the generator to top up the auxiliary battery and when cooking [an hour or so a night if not hooked up]. The heating and water runs from the propane gas but you would have to be "mean" with the water to last 3 days with 4 of you on board, however when camping in the National park campgrounds without hook ups there are usually shower blocks and dump stations to hand.

    I can't read your attachment properly as it's a little small and my computer won't read the file link without a download but generally speaking 11 days for the trip you have outlined is doable.

    Only you can decide what is "best" and whether certain things are worth a visit or not but one thing I would say is that the National parks are great places to stay with an RV and some of my best memories come from camping at the Grand canyon and Yosemite. You would need to book any NP campground well in advance to secure a spot and should be done at the earliest permitted time.

  7. Default One of my favorites

    Yosemite is amazing. You MUST go. Sequoia is facinating too. I'd suggest doing both. Sequoia is one of those places that humbles - you are standing amongst giant trees that have been there since almost forever. The feeling you can't put into words. If you do Sequoia, you may as well do Kings Canyon. This one was a little bit of surprise to me, and worth a drive through too.

    I'm a fan of Universal. Brings out the big kid in you!!! Just be prepared to spend money, eat fried food and go mad on all the rides!

    Pacific Coast Highway is spectacular. Julia Pfieffer State Park is beautiful. Give Pebble beach a miss - all hype, unless you are a golfer.

    My friend just wrote an article "Top tips to rent an RV in the US". I can't remember which website it is posted on, but I'm sure if you google you'll find it.

    Also, if you are planning to visit lots of National Parks, you may as well get the national parks pass. It will save you money by giving free entry to parks, and the money also helps the national parks system preserve and maintain these beautiful places.

    Have a great time!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default RV info.

    My friend just wrote an article "Top tips to rent an RV in the US". I can't remember which website it is posted on, but I'm sure if you google you'll find it.
    You will also find a whole section with RV info here at RTA and much more using the tool bars at the top of the page.

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