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  1. Default First time rv,houton,moab,gc,yosemite,sf,la,hou in 14 days leaving 14th jul

    Hello to all. Ran in to RTA forums a few days ago and need advise,suggestions,what to do, what not to do.We are from Houston, Tx. My wife and I are planning a trip with our four kids 13,12,9 and 7 year olds.We are leaving on the 14th and arriving back on the 28th.The RV is booked and now we are just trying to plan.We know pretty much where we are going and what we are doing but still its a bit overwhelming. Since we just decided to do this just two weeks ago.But were up for the challenge since weve been outside the country several times with the kids and have adapted well to small roadtrips it shouldnt be any harder here in the states.
    Here it goes.

    14th 11am head for albuquerque NM spend the night
    15th 4am head for Moab arrive in the afternoon
    16th Moab, Canyonlands or Arches? which is better?
    17th Moab, River rafting 5pm head towards Grand Canyon arrive late sleep
    18th tour the south rim at the GC 5pm head for Yosemite via Hoover Dam ,Las Vegas,get
    some sleep here at some point, where?
    19th 4am head for Yosemite unsure of the route tioga of course. Death Valley? Mojave Desert? suggestions?
    arrive at Yose in the afternoon.(one of my biggest concerns here is the parking for the RV will We be able to find parking in the park when we arrive,the next morning or do we have to park outside at campsite? If We do park outside do we have to drive to the park daily?This I think is my biggest concern of the whole trip since I know the park will be crowded)
    20th Yosemite, morning hike afternoon watering hole for the kids
    21st Yosemite hike,bike ,water
    22nd 4am head to San Francisco arrive in the morning tour the city (Where to park the RV? We plan to use public transportation for this )
    23rd San Francisco, Alcatraz, Golden Gate,China town

    UNSURE AT THIS POINT WE,VE BEEN TO ORLANDO TWICE SO THEME PARKS ARE ON THE BACK BURNER FOR NOW MAY BE KNOTTS BERRY FARM. AS FOR LOS ANGELES? WHAT IS THERE TO DO SEE OR GO DOESNT SEEM VERY ATTRACTIVE KIND OF LIKE NEW ORLEANS JUS ALOT OF HYPE.should we do another day at the GC ormaybe Zion,Redwoods?

    24th head for LA (things to do see?
    25th Knotts berry farm for the kids (maybe?)
    26th San Diego Zoo? is ti worth going?
    27th head for hou
    28th Arrive home 1pm

    As I metioned my biggest concern is getting around yosemite second worry finding parking for the RV.Our kids are fish they love to be in the water so if any one has some knowledge of watering holes around or by our route feel free to share them.also is it better to go thru NM or CO on our way to moab shorter more scenic never been.Also is the GC doable in one day?Ah so many questions.What about LA should we do Zion np?Things to do while RVing things not to do?Hope you all exp road tripers can help a first timer touring the southwest

    THANK YOU ALL

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    12,995

    Default dial it back, way back

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    you need to start by dialing your plans way way back. In your effort to see "everything" you have built a plan that is unreasonable, unsafe, and a recipe for a horrific time.

    For starters, Houston to Albuquerque is a 900 mile drive - that's practically a two day drive all by itself. It will take you a minimum of 17 hours, and quite likely more in an RV. Leaving at 11am, that puts you into Albquerque at 4am? Not safe, not reasonable.

    Its even more comical really, because you plan to leave Albuquerque at 4am the following day - so you essentially are planning to drive non-stop to Moab!

    Grand Canyon to Yosemite, you plan to leave GC at 5pm - getting into Vegas around 10 or 11, and then you plan to be back out on the road again at 4am!

    And the worst of it all is your final day, where you plan to apparently drive non-stop from San Diego to Houston in a day and a half? Its going to take you about 30 hours of on the road time, and you need a bare minimum of 3 full days to do that drive safely.

    Sorry to be so harsh, but your current plan is at best going to be a sure fire way to make everyone in your family miserable, because you've left no time at all for sleep. But more importantly, you will be putting your entire family (and everyone else on the road) in an extreme amount of danger because by trying to do these insane drives without rest you will be every bit as dangerous behind the wheel as someone who is drunk. (and no, having 2 drivers doesn't make that even a little bit more safe)

    Go back to the drawing board, get rid of the "leaving at 4am" and don't plan to drive more than about 500 mile in a single, long, day on the road in an RV.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    13

    Default

    Not sure what you are using to map this out, but I tend to use Google Maps.

    I roughly mapped out your plan here: http://goo.gl/MqE9

    You can see the distances and approx time taken to drive each stretch (those times don't allow much for traffic or at all for fuel stops, rest stops, food etc.

  4. Default I agree with Midwest Michael

    As a long time RV'er with 18 years of traveling in a motorhome, there is no way you will be able to make your plans work.

    14th 11am head for albuquerque NM spend the night
    Houston to Albuquerque is 850+ miles and at least 13 hours of driving time without stops. You will need gas and you will need to get up and stretch your legs. You probably won't make Albuquerque and you will be lucky to make Lubbock leaving at 11:00 AM

    15th 4am head for Moab arrive in the afternoon
    Houston to Moab, Utah is a total of 1220 miles and you won't be arriving in the afternoon unless you drive into the wee hours of the morning, which I do not recommend.

    16th Moab, Canyonlands or Arches? which is better?
    This would be like asking which child do you like best! These are personal preferences that make it hard for anyone to answer. It is going to be HOT in the Moab area in the summer so you might not want to do much hiking unless it's very early in the morning or late in the evening. Both parks have hiking. Arches is more a drive though and see the park kind of place with hikes to arches. Some arches and other scenic views can be seen from the road. Canyonlands is more a drive and stop at scenic overlooks. Don't get me wrong, it's scenic driving into and around the park is too but the biggest attraction for me is the overlooks.


    17th Moab, River rafting 5pm head towards Grand Canyon arrive late sleep
    This is 320 miles and even if you don't make any stop you will be arriving at the Grand Canyon after 10 PM. You should still have daylight as you drive past Monument Valley, but you will miss some of the scenic overlooks as you drive to Grand Canyon Village. You will need reservations if you plan on camping at either of the two campgrounds at Grand Canyon Village. There is a first come, first serve campground at the Desert View entrance to the Grand Canyon but sites will be taken well before you arrive.


    18th tour the south rim at the GC 5pm head for Yosemite via Hoover Dam ,Las Vegas,get
    some sleep here at some point, where?
    If you leave the Grand Canyon at 5 PM and drive the 280 miles to Las Vegas it's going to get you in after 9 PM. You will be seeing the Hoover Dam at night and arriving in Las Vegas after dark. I wouldn't recommend going any farther than Las Vegas.

    19th 4am head for Yosemite unsure of the route tioga of course. Death Valley? Mojave Desert? suggestions?
    If this is a rental RV, then you better check with the rental company to make sure you can drive though Death Valley. Death Valley in the summer is a killer on vehicles and can be for people as well!

    arrive at Yose in the afternoon.(one of my biggest concerns here is the parking for the RV will We be able to find parking in the park when we arrive,the next morning or do we have to park outside at campsite? If We do park outside do we have to drive to the park daily?This I think is my biggest concern of the whole trip since I know the park will be crowded)
    Las Vegas to Yosemite Village going the shortest route or fastest route is 7 - 8 hours without stops. You're not going to make Yosemite by afternoon. If you don't have reservations in Yosemite, you won't be able to find a campsite. I have never camped at the private campgrounds outside the park and have no idea if they are already booked or not. Camping should be your biggest worry for Yosemite. If you are lucky enough to catch a cancellation for a campsite in Yosemite Valley, you won't have to worry about parking. You can stay in the campsite and take the free shuttles around the valley.

    22nd 4am head to San Francisco arrive in the morning tour the city (Where to park the RV? We plan to use public transportation for this )
    23rd San Francisco, Alcatraz, Golden Gate,China town
    Your camping neighbors won't be so happy with you making noise so early in the morning! I live 50 miles away and have never been but I know you need to book tickets for Alcatraz so you better check to see how much in advance this needs to be.

    27th head for hou
    28th Arrive home 1pm
    This is 1500 miles and will be nearly impossible to do in two days with an RV and 4 over exerted kids and a spouse that is barley going to be speaking to you.

    Things to do while RVing things not to do?Hope you all exp road tripers can help a first timer touring the southwest
    As Midwest Michael said, don't drive over 500 miles a day. I recommend spending more time in fewer places so the kids can enjoy the trip and do things besides spend 70 hours in a vehicle driving.


    I would recommend you drop Las Vegas and California from the trip and cut your mileage almost in half. Spend more time in the other places you already have and enjoy them. Add some but not all the places that are near the places left on your route like Mesa Verde National Park, CO, Capitol Reef National Park, UT, Monument Valley, Lake Powell and see the Glen Canyon Dam, Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Parks, Painted Desert & Petrified Forest National Park.

    Utahtea

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,698

    Default [Pretty] Please !

    I have to chirp in here and agree that your plans are just not realistic. Even if you started the long drive home from SF, it would still be pushing beyond what would be enjoyable. I agree with UtahT's comments above, cut the miles and enjoy the things that are nearby and those that you are rushing by, choose Arches and Canyonlands and do a Cali trip at another time. You could use Zion > Vegas > GC as you turn around point. 500 miles is a long days driving in an RV and your 4 young children are not going to be amused having to be buckled up in their seats for hours on end.

    Please start again !!

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