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  1. Default Help planning west coast honeymoon road trip

    Hi, we would like some help planning our honeymoon in sept 2012.

    We are travelling from Ireland we have no flights booked so can fly into any city. we have approximate 17-19 days

    We have always wanted to do an RV trip and I have researched loads about the costs etc so I am fully aware it can work out expensive (but it is my honeymoon) So what I need is help picking a route, my must sees are yosemite and grand canyon after that we are open to suggestions. I have been to SF and LV before so need to spend too much time there.

    However because it is my honeymoon I would like to add something "special" into it, we had original thought of 10 days in the RV and 7 in hawaii but I am now thinking staying in the RV would be easier to organise and less hassle.

    So we would like something special like maybe an RV park on a nice beach around san diego or something for some quality time, is this possible? was also thinking Scottsdale would be nice for a couple of days pampering?

    Anyway if someone could suggest some things I could research them.

    My original plan was fly into SF over to Yosemite back to monterey all the way down to sn diego and then over to LV with GC, zion and Bryce. fly home from Las Vegas. has anyone done this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default To get you started.

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum.

    First allow me to congratulate you on your forthcoming nuptials. I can't think of a more grand honeymoon, than what you are planning. And you have plenty of time to plan. So here are a couple of hints to get you on the way. Make sure you get a good sized map of the US. I like the National Geographics map best. And then you might like to start by reading these threads. They should give you some ideas to get you on your way.

    As you have more questions, feel free to come and ask. There's always someone here to help.


  3. Default

    Thanks for this, I actually had read both these trip reports which was my main reason for forgetting about hawaii and just spending the honeymoon in the RV. I just loved the reports.

    I suppose I should have been a bit more specific. What I am looking for is some suggestions for a good honeymoon spot during the road trip to substitute for our week in hawaii.

    I was thinking somewhere relaxing or by the beach? are san diego beaches good for this?

    At the moment my thoughts are
    Fly into SFO

    2 nights SF
    2 nights yosemite
    2 nights PCH stops to be decided
    2 nights in LA area
    4 nights San Diego
    1 night GC
    1 night zion
    1 night bryce
    3 nights lv

    Fly home

    would love some suggestions on this itenery.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    I'd say you'd likely be better off doing a full loop, hitting Yosemite and Death Valley as you go back from Vegas to SF, rather than trying to zig-zag from the coast back to yosemite and then back again to LA.

    Resorts and Hanging out on the beach really aren't my thing, so I don't have a lot of great insight. I've always enjoyed San Diego and I think you could find something to your liking there. You might also look around the Central Coast (Santa Barbara, Morro Bay, etc), as I could see that being an excellent place to find what you are looking for. Additionally, you've got a nice wine growing region there too for a nice change of pace.

    You mentioned Scottsdale, if that's the kind of thing you're looking for, then you might also check out Sedona, Palm Springs, or possibly Tucson.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default I second the 'Loop'.

    Congratulations from me also !

    I agree with Michael, it would make a nice loop trip, starting and finishing in LA, SF or LV and so that you travel south down the PCH, putting you 'Ocean side' which will save you the trouble of crossing the traffic to get to the viewpoints on the ocean side, which is more difficult to do in an RV anyway. The PCH is slow going and on this, and other 2 lane slow roads, you should also use the pull outs to allow other travellers in cars to go past. You will almost always get a friendly wave and toot of the horn as a thankyou, and the total opposite if you hold up streams of traffic for long periods. ;-)

    Back to your itinerary, I personally think you are rushing through GC, Bryce and Zion even though I understand you wanting some time to 'chill' by the beach. From SD to GC is a very full day on the road and to get to Zion next day [although Bryce would make more sense and then Zion and to Vegas] you won't have much time at the canyon or the others.

    I would consider dropping a night from Vegas and one from SD and adding it to this part of the trip. A sunset over GC and Bryce canyon and a riverside stroll in Zion NP can be as romantic as anywhere ! ;-)

    Pleased you enjoyed our trip reports, if you have questions, don't hesitate to ask.

  6. Default

    Thanks guys for the comments, I had eliminated Death Valley as I wasnt too keen on taking an RV through it in early september also I was in Las vegas in septenber and the heat was incredible so I am bit scared about the heat in death valley.

    Following your advice Southwest Dave, I might skip San Diego add a day in santa barbara and 2 days to the zion/bryce/GC leg. Its so hard to sacrifice things :(

    I have a couple more questions which I hope you can help me with.

    Firstly we love biking so was wondering is there somewhere we could rent bikes from for three weeks. (The highlight of our last trip to SF was cycling the golden gate bridge)

    Secondly has anyone hired a C19 class RV, the small ones, are they really tiny inside, was thinking as there is just the two of us this would be easier to navigate twisty roads and off course it is slightly more fuel efficient. Any thoughts?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Mobility v space.

    It would be comfortable enough to drive through Death valley in a day and make a few short stops to enjoy the incredible landscape and stop in Lone Pine or the Bishop area. You would have to check your rental agreement to make sure you are permitted to drive across DV during Sept as restrictions can apply. I think you would be OK, but if not you could still create a loop around DV.

    Some RV companies [Moturus I think] have bike racks on there RV's and rent bikes as extras. My advice would be to talk to the local office of the RV company you decide to travel with and they should be able to point you in the right direction of where you can rent racks and bikes. I'm not sure of locations, but in some places like Yosemite you can hire bikes for a day or 2 while there, so that could be worth considering, as it might work out cheaper doing local rentals along the way.

    The C19 looks a nice unit. Although I have not used one, I have seen them up close when collecting our larger one. Not only are they shorter, they are not as wide as the bigger units and you do notice the width when driving on narrower 2 lane highways. Of course the sacrifice is the space inside and that I can't decide upon. We usually travel as a group of 4 in a 29ft RV, but it could be just 2 next time [?] and having had the extra room and having been 'spoilt', I'm not sure about living in a C19. Having said that, compared to a typical 'Euro camper' they will probably fel quite roomy. A lot of the National parks have fire pits and BBQ's outside and that's where we would spend most of the evening, so you will not feel to confined. If you don't mind using the 'cab over bed' for sleeping you won't have to worry about converting the dinette area into a bed each day, which will be a big plus.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California

    Default I'll THIRD the loop!

    As for San Diego beaches and RV'ing, here are a few with RV sites:

    San Onofre State Beach - it's north of San Diego, but therefore quieter.

    Silver Strand State Beach - on "the strand" near North Island.

    Carlsbad State Beach - north of San Diego.

    All of these have a campground, and it looks like some have hookups. There's the link to the reservation system. (If any part of your stay will be on a weekend, you will NEED reservations! These fill up quickly between March and November, especially on weekends.) These are the 3 that my fellow teachers use. (My husband and I are currently between RV's, but we're not beach RV'ers in the first place!)

    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 08-18-2011 at 10:25 AM. Reason: Link format.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Even in you only drove through Death Valley, never leaving the air conditioned RV, I think it would still be worth it to go that way because it would also allow you to go over Tioga Pass, which is a big part of the Yosemite experience. Also keep in mind that while DV's reputation as being very hot is well earned, the reality is that your trip will already take you across other deserts, like between Southern California and the Grand Canyon, and DV isn't going to be that much hotter.

    For bikes, I'd wonder if you might not be best off buying a couple of low end bikes from a big box store like Walmart. You could probably buy one for around $100 each, and I'd guess you'd spend at least that much on a 3 week rental.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Great idea !

    Buying a couple of bikes and donating them to a charity of some sort at the end would be a great idea. You could save money and somebody less fortunate could benefit, Win Win ! Just had a quick look and to rent a bike in Yosemite for a day is $28 and you could purchase a bike for around $90 in Walmart.

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