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  1. Default San Francisco to Seattle - first time RV user. Advice please?

    Hi guys,

    First of all a big thank you to all those who have posted to threads on trips between San Francisco and Seattle before. You have given us some great ideas.

    We have booked a 25ft RV (smallest one available for a one way trip) between San Francisco and Seattle starting on the 31st May for 10 days. We will have spent 5 days in SF before departure and have allowed a couple of days in Seattle after we drop off the RV (and we have done Seattle before) so the whole 11 days with the RV can be spent in the journey between the two cities. We are "outdoors" people who want to hike, take photographs, see beautiful scenery and keep away from cities. From what we read, good weather in the first two weeks of June cannot be taken for granted so if possible we want to keep the itinerary fluid.

    The provisional itinerary is to pick up the RV in Oakland and spend the first night near Point Reyes - we only want a short day on day 1 of picking up the RV. Then up the 101 through Eureka, Crescent City, then Grants Pass and Crater Lake if weather allows.

    Then back down to the coast and follow the 101 up the Oregon Coast before heading inland to McMinnville to see the Spruce Goose (I'm an aviation junkie!).

    Then out around Mount Hood and Mt St Helens, before (depending on time and weather) either heading into Seattle or alternatively doing a circuit of the Olympic National Park before returning to SeaTac and dropping off the RV on day 11.

    Now the questions! How far ahead do we need to book RV sites? We are definitely pre-booking first and last nights in advance, but if possible would like to keep the plan fluid the rest of the time to go where the mood takes us depending on how we feel and also the weather. Is this practical? If we have to, we'll nail down a specific itinerary and book the sites, but that takes out some of the spontaneity.

    If booking is essential - how far ahead? Would it be practical to just book 2 or 3 days ahead when travelling to allow for changes in the itinerary? I'm particularly thinking about the Olympic peninsula which we'll make a real effort to see if weather is settled, but may miss if not.

    We would prefer to alternate long days driving with non driving days, when we can get out and hike, so we're probably talking about no more than 4 or 5 (at most) overnight sites.

    Any other advice for first time RV hirers? We have our own trailer (?) in the UK (what we Brits call a caravan!) so we're used to trailer camping - but never used an RV before.

    All ideas gratefully received,

    regards

    Pat and Roger

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Welcome!

    The provisional itinerary is to pick up the RV in Oakland and spend the first night near Point Reyes - we only want a short day on day 1 of picking up the RV. Then up the 101 through Eureka, Crescent City, then Grants Pass and Crater Lake if weather allows.
    I'd recommend you take CA-1 from Point Reyes to Leggett - not 101.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default RV info

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    You should be able to find RV parks along the way, although popular areas like the Redwoods and Crater Lake could get busy. I would at least research suitable RV parks in areas you are likely to be and take a note of the tel numbers so you could call ahead. When I have done this before and the place I have contacted has been booked out, they are usually happy to give you contact numbers of nearby alternatives. It certainly helps to avoid racking up the time and miles searching, but having said that, there is never one too far away. I usually book the spots that are 'a must' and will keep us on a 'timeline' and leave the bit's in between open to change.

    If you have any specific questions regarding the RV just ask, but you will be shown how everything operates on collection and you may have to sit through a video before they let you on your way. It is much less daunting when you are shown around, then it is reading about it prior to going.

    Have to mention Yosemite, have you considered it ? For people who are "outdoors" people who want to hike, take photographs, see beautiful scenery", I can't think of anywhere better.

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    Welcome!

    I'd recommend you take CA-1 from Point Reyes to Leggett - not 101.
    Thanks. A quick bit of Google Streetview shows that looks like a really scenic route.

    Southwest Dave - thanks for the recommendation. That's exactly the answer we were looking for. We've booked first and last night and after that we'll phone sites a couple of days ahead. We're not too concerned about operating the RV - just wanting to know if there are any recommendations that aren't included in the briefs. Especially interested in choosing RV sites, which you've partially answered. KOA seem to have a good range of sites - are they any good?

    We had thought about Yosemite, having been there before and loved it. This time we need to end up in Seattle for a family commitment and Yosemite would be just too far out the way. Also beginning to think that adding Crater Lake and Olympic will rack up excessive mileage and maybe we'd be better off sticking to the coast road - Ca-1 and 101 until around Lincoln Beach before heading inland to see the Spruce Goose, Portland and Mount St Helens. By then we'll know whether there is time to do Olympic.

    Thanks for the suggestions.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default

    I have not used a KOA site as I have a preference for National or State park campgrounds or private run with more of a 'personality.' Although many RV rental Co's have associations and offer discounts at KOA they still appear to be expensive to me and a little to much alike for my tastes. I am more into natural surroundings than I am resort type campgrounds. Many people use them and are obviously satisfied but they have been described as the equivalent of 'McDonald's' to the camping world. The advantage would be that they are everywhere and most likely easier to locate.

    Like I say, I haven't used them and it is a preconceived notion of mine that doesn't appeal at all, you might be able to tell me otherwise after your trip, shop around though.

  6. Default

    Just completed the trip, and it was BRILLIANT. Full write-up here
    http://www.roadtripamerica.com/forum...129#post116129

    Regards, Roger and Pat

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