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  1. Default Las Vegas to San Francisco

    Hi from the UK

    My husband and I are planning a trip to America in April next year. As part of our holiday we would like to do a road trip from Las Vegas to San Francisco. We were thinking of doing it over 5-7 days and are considering which places to visit on route. Possible places so far include Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Sequoia & Kings Canyon national parks and Yosemite.
    Can anyone suggest a realistic itinerary/route or do you know of any companies that we can book the trip through?
    Also, is it a good idea to go for the RV/campsite option or to hire a car and stay in lodges etc? Could the weather at that time of year make driving an RV difficult (neither of us have been in one before).

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

    Default Popular choice.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    There shouldn't be anywhere on your route that a car could go that an RV couldn't. Is an RV a good idea ? If it's what appeals to you and is what you want to do then Yes, it is, as a lifestyle choice that is. However with just the 2 of you on the trip it will work out costlier than a car and Motels, it will be slower to get around in and bulkier to drive. Lifestyle choice, great ! Budget choice, not so great, well a no,no really !

    Although using a company to book everything, [including your itinerary] works for a lot of people, this site is more about exploring the freedom the road trip offers you as an individual, to go places you want to go, at the pace you want to travel, and not follow someone elses idea of the "perfect roadtrip". There is no "one trip suits all" package, so if you want to discover that bit of freedom you will need to do a bit of your own research with the aid of a good map.

    You say "as part of our holiday", does your road trip start in Vegas and end in San Fran or are there other parts to your trip?

    The places you mention are very popular spots and you will find much info by searching the RTA pages. From Vegas to Death valley to Sequoia to Yosemite to San Fran is a 'natural' path to follow, especially as the "other" option to cross Tioga pass into Yosemite is a no go, it will still be closed when you travel due to winter snow accumulation.
    Over the course of 5 day's this part is a doable trip with time to explore a little, the Grand canyon being in the opposite direction would really need the full 7 day's to do at a relaxed pace.

  3. Default

    Thanks for replying.
    We're actually planning on spending the whole of April in the US. The first half will be spent on the east visiting NY, Boston and Washington. We're then going to fly to LAS Vegas and spend a couple of days there before starting the road trip part.

    I'm quite keen on the RV idea but think my husband is less so, so if car plus motels is cheaper that might be the way we go. There is a chance we'll be joined by two others for this part of our trip which might then mean RV is cheaper??

    We definitely want to see the Grand Canyon so would either go for a 7 day road trip visiting there first if that is doable or visit the canyon using a company to go on a 1 or 2 day tour and then go back to Las vegas to start the 5 day road trip.

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

    Default It can be great !

    With 4 adults sharing the cost of an RV, it can help the budget significantly, especially if you would be using 2 Hotel rooms. It also makes a difference if you are planning on lodging inside the National parks, where Motels are expensive and campgrounds are relatively cheap. I love the whole RV 'thing' and it is the only way we truly like to travel in the US, but it is not for everyone. With a group of 4 you could be looking at "breaking even" compared with costs of car and Motels, depending on various factors as mentioned.

    I would definitely make your own way to the South rim of the Grand canyon and get around at your own pace. A lot of tours from Vegas go to the West rim, which is not part of the National park service.

  5. #5


    Hi Bezza,
    Hubby & I did SF to Vegas, Grand Canyon. We hired a Ford Ranger (a small "pick-up" that were pretty cheap to hire at the time and had a securable tray lid) and it was AMAZING. We only planned accomodation in Vegas and didn't have any significant problems, just kept an open mind and followed our instincts. We loved every minute. Once we started driving we found it hard to stop so it took only 2 days (including hikes in Death Valley and stopping for photos and a chat everywhere). I haven't RV'd but we had a wonderful time meeting locals in hotels/diners/cafes etc who were curious why someone would travel all the way from Australia to drive around their town. What put me off the idea of RV'ing is taking your "base" with you everywhere, such as parking in town or going out for dinner.
    A real stand out for us was driving through the citrus orchards around Lake Isabella before Death Valley, it was never mentioned in any of our guides but was just incredible. Weather will be fantastic everywhere but across Yosemite as highlighted by SouthWest Dave above (we left SF with that particular crossing in mind and found out after stopping for some fruit that it was closed). A 20min conversation later and we had a new, improved route and a terrific experience all round.

    Have a wonderful time!

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