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  1. Default RV Roadtrip through California

    Hi there,
    My husband and I are really excited to be heading on our first roadtrip in the States, across and through California, for a month from September 12th. We have hired a class C RV, and are flying into LAX and flying home from there too. We were planning to travel from LA, to Vegas, to Death Valley, to Sequioa, to Yosemite - then up to Tahoe, across to Napa and then finally SF. Last leg is the drive south to San Diego and then back up to LA to fly home.
    BUT, we have just been advised by our RV hire company that we are not allowed to travel to Death Valley at that time of year, which kind of throws our plans right out of whack......
    Having got my brain in a right old tizzy, I stumbled upon this site and it would appear to be the right place to ask some good, sensible advice about all this road trip stuff!
    So really what I'm asking is - does anyone have some good advice about how we might make the above work without delaying our route too much?
    The only situation we have envisaged is flying up to Vegas, hiring a car from there to take a day trip to Death Valley, so we don't miss it - and then back to LA to pick up the RV and take the route up to Sequoia direct out of LA and continue the above itinerary from there
    But would we be missing out not travelling up on the 395?
    I know there are loads of forum threads on this trip, a popular one! But any further advice from those in the know would be really gratefully received.
    Thanks so much

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Simple enough.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    With a month at your disposal you have plenty of time to make your trip work in various ways. I would have thought that if Death valley is a must [and is highly recommended] then your best bet would be to drive to Vegas in your RV and then hire the car for a day trip into the valley. I would have also thought you would be better off to drive to San Diego and then towards Vegas and not have to drive through the urban sprawl of LA more than you have to.

    A lot will depend on how you wish to spend your time and at what pace, but there are many other options open to you, such as the Grand canyon, Monument valley and a couple of Utah's finest parks, Zion and Bryce.

  3. Default

    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for the welcome - and the advice!

    Iy is funny, but a month sounds like an age until you start breaking it down into chunks of time in each destination! But we are lucky to have a number of options at our disposal with such a long time to travel.

    I have thought about the possibility of travelling from LA to Palm Springs, then up into Joshua Tree National Park, up into Mojave and then up into Vegas as the possible route up to Vegas in the RV - and then your advice for a day hire of a car for DV sounds like the ticket indeed. And then from Vegas we will need to take I-15 all the way back down through Barstow, then up to Bakersfield to get into Sequioa/Kings Canyon (seeing any sights on the way).

    However, I wonder if you can give me an idea of how long we should feasibly allow for the journey from LA to Palm Springs then onto the two NP areas before Vegas, and then the route up to Seqouia from Vegas. My first feeling id that we would need to break both journeys with an overnight stay en route?

    The rest of the itinerary almost does write itself - and we are currently allowing 6 nights for the journey down the PCH from SF to SD, with at least one night of that in SD itself? Would you say this is long enough?

    And in Yosemite, we have planned two nights - is this enough too?

    We aren't in a hurry but we decided that going on up to Utah or Yellowstone would just be too far to get all our relaxation time in in SF and Napa too.

    Any help on the above ideas would be really gratefully received...I am off back to read more of my guidebooks!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    If you visited Joshua tree and stayed overnight there or around Twentynine palms [sorry no recommendations] it would be a comfortable day across the Mojave into Vegas, however I have to mention the Grand canyon again at this point, if you haven't been I would recommend a couple of nights and a full day at the South rim in the Mather campground, unforgettable !

    From Vegas you could play it a number of ways, the direct option would be to head for Three rivers at the beginning of the "Generals highway" [198] into Sequoia NP which would be a full drive but comfortable enough or stop sooner, or you could head towards Lake Isabella and through the Sequoia NM, and take a little extra time. The one thing you need to consider is that both of these are slow going mountain areas especially in an RV and the Generals highway into Sequoia has a recommended max lenght for a vehicle of 22 ft [or 24 ?] but the legal requirement is under 40 ft. We travelled it in a 30ft RV but many prefer [advise] to head to Squaw valley and enter the park on the 180 to 198.

    Yosemite. Two nights is the minimum I would recommend and that's if you don't arrive late for night 1 and leave early after night 2, in other words a full day is just not enough. You could spend a full day on the valley floor and half a day up at Glacier point [don't miss ! !] and if you had a little more time you could head up Tioga pass to the Meadows and to Mariposa grove near the South entrance. The "Pines" campgrounds in the valley are in a great location but will need booking.

    If you want to look at our RV trip tat covers some of the area you are travelling take a look here

  5. Default

    Thank you for your great suggestions Dave, all really useful stuff to throw into the mix.

    Re the Grand Canyon, we do indeed have plans to visit the Canyon on a day trip from Las Vegas so we won't be missing out although of course we will then visit only the North Rim and not the South.

    I think we may go for three nights in Yosemite, and today the next batch of accommodation was released and the website is already showing that most places are full for that we will be quick off the mark with booking next month!

    Cheers once again

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    We actually strongly advise against trying to do a daytrip to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas. You're really looking at a 5 hour drive each way, which leaves almost no time at all to actually see the Canyon.

    Dave suggested the South Rim because it would more easily fit in with a plan to continue to Joshua Tree, but either side you choose, you really should try to spend at least one night nearby.

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