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  1. Default Advice needed on 4 Week road trip around California and Grand Canyon please!

    Having used this site for a previous RV trip around the Rockies, I am hoping for some advice. Together with my husband and 2 very active boys aged 9 and 11 we are flying in and out of LA on 26 july and 22 August. We hope to do about 3 days at Disney before picking up the RV in LA. Most recommended routes seem to take us further east of the Grand Canyon towards the other national parks. We are thinking of LA to the Grand Canyon and back again before heading up towars Sequoia and Yesemotie. Then on towards SF and spending about 6 days travelling back down the Pacific Highway back towards LA. We are contemplating a 30 foot Road Bear RV and are unsure whether this is suitable for some of the roads. Can anyone suggest routes, especially one that is not a 'there and back' between Grand Canyon and just east of LA. Also can anyone recommend good RV sites along our route. Are we missing out by not travelling over towards Bryce Canyon? We are outdoor enthusiasts and enjoy mountain activites. We are planning to avoid Death Valley and Las Vegas unless anyone can persuade me otherwise. I am very grateful for any advice or suggestions. I am reckoning on about 2500 miles for the round trip. Does this seem reasonable? Many thanks for reading this ramble....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default A few parameters to consider

    Fiona, Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum. So, you used the RTA site before, but have become a new member now? Great news -- it's always nice to see former lurkers join this merry band.
    a 30 foot Road Bear RV
    doesn't really tell us much. Is this a Class A or Class C? In any case, the roads you're thinking about are fine for any size vehicle.
    Most recommended routes seem to take us further east of the Grand Canyon towards the other national parks.
    Are these RTA recommended routes, or ones you've found elsewhere?

    Just for comparison sake -- Here is a RV trip that featured a loop from Denver, produced by our very own Southwest Dave.

    Here's another Four Corners trip (not a RV trip, but certainly possible)

    Here's a trip from Las Vegas to the north Rim of the Grand and up to Bryce.

    Here's a planning thread for a trip from Las Vegas to Sequoia

    And here's the piece de resistance -- a RV loop trip from San Francisco.

    Now, as to specifics....

    Four weeks is a great length of time for exploring parks just in California. It really comes down to how much driving you want to do and how much hiking and relaxing.

    Also, here's a check list for things to consider when renting a RV that you ought to print and have with you.

    And there is one more option to consider, there are outfitters that can help plan an amazing RV vacation. I personally recommend Tracks and Trails and it's worth looking at their site, even if you want to do it all yourself. (we get no referral business from them, but I've know them for over a decade).


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default what's really recommended

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I think you are really getting way too caught up in the idea of "recommended routes." First of all, when you say that most "recommended routes" take you east of the Grand Canyon, I actually don't really know what you are talking about. You mentioned Bryce Canyon, but that is north of GC, and there are dozens of other potential stopping points in the 4 corners states, in all directions. But more importantly, as you'll frequently read here, there is no one sized "best" route or routes.

    What I think you really do need to think about is what is it that you most want to accomplish, and what fits best with your style of travel. Worry about that much more than a pre-determined number of miles or a list of "recommended routes" that you have to follow. A road trip is about making your own plan and going where you want to go.

    I will say with regards to the Grand Canyon. If you have no desire to visit any of the other parks in Utah, or Vegas, or Death Valley - all which can be great places to visit - then GC becomes a very major detour. It really is a full day drive each way from any of the other sites in California that you've mentioned. If you are going to go out that far, then I'd certainly give consideration to all of the many other parks that are in that area, but that's something only you can decide. You might even look at skipping the Grand Canyon for this trip and spend your time completely in California, and maybe think about using some "extra" time by going farther into Northern California, like Redwoods NP. It really is not a right or wrong, but it is something you will have to decide for yourself.

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

    Default Book up early !

    As outdoor enthusiasts my opinion is that Yes, you would be missing out by not going to Bryce and Zion NP. You certainly have the time to visit this area [possibly Monument valley,Antelope canyon] but whatever way you look at it, you will 'miss out' on quite a bit as there is just too much to see and as Michael rightly says, it's what you want to do that's important.

    Generally speaking the RV will be fine and you can go pretty much where ever you can in a car. You will have to check on the current lenght restrictions along the 'Generals Highway' in Sequoia NP, but that's not a major problem. You can still enter Sequoia but it would be from the Northern end on 180. It's also more than likely that you will not be permitted through Death valley with an RV anyway, they restrict useage in the summer months through this hot desert area.

    With that in mind and if you wanted to visit Zion NP you could head sraight to Yosemite [with an overnight] via Tonopah to Mono Lake and across the spectacular Tioga pass and visit Sequoia before heading to the coast.

    For me the best RV sites are those in the National parks. There are limited numbers available for large RV's and book out really quick. You would need to secure a place as soon as possible after the booking window opens, usually 5-6 months in advance. That's literally as the booking window opens !

    Once you have established more of a route of where you are headed then we might be able to help with other RV parks and scenic stops etc.

  5. Default Road Bear RV - Farm41

    The Class C 27-30 you chose for your adventurous vacation. This Motor Home has lots of storage space and comes well equipped with slide out and TV. For more specific campground information feel free to visit or as these websites are designed to help you narrow your campsites by what you would like the campsite to have.

    If you have any questions don’t hesitate contacting us as we are here to help.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 01-10-2012 at 03:47 PM. Reason: New Members may not post email/off-site links

  6. Default San Francisco to Los Angeles

    Hello everyone. I posted a thread a few months back about our road trip from LA to Grand Canyon and back to Yesemotie in a RV. We took your wonderful advice and rather than do a 'there and back' have planned our route to also take in Zion NP, Bryce and Las Vegas. We have had a stressful days trying to book National Park campsites in Yesemotie Valley. Internet line crashed with one minute to go... however we managed to book Crane Flat which sounds lovely and have entered the lottery for the Half Dome pass!

    The purpose of this trip is to seek advice on RV sites between SF and LA. We are only stopping in SF in order to visit Alcatraz and hopefully cycle the Golden Gate Bridge. Currently deciding between Marin Park (we can get the Larkspur Ferry) or RV Resort Park (Pacifico). From here we have a bit of a hike to Kirk Creek campsite at Big Sur. Had not originally planned to go this far in one day but are very impressed with reviews of campsite and the only 2 nights we could book were straight after leaving SF.

    We have 4 further nights to book at RV sites. Our two boys want to spend their last 2 days at the 6 flags theme parks before flying home from LA. Can anyone please suggest the best places to stay between Big Sur and LA. There is so much choice and so many conflicting reveiws I am really confused. Some of the best sites (I have discovered too late) are NPS grounds and we have missed the boat as all are reserved. Also if anyone can reccomend a RV site close to 6 Flags, again I would be most grateful. The 4 nights we have still to book are Friday 17 to Mon 20 August.

    Also, we are still looking to book a RV park in Barstow. Any suggestions?

    Finally, I am so grateful for this wonderful site and the people who contribute to it. I have never visited America before and if the spirit of America is reflected in this website, we are going to have an amazing trip.

    Many thanks

    Fram41 (Fiona, Rod, Adam and Mark)

    Mod note] Please keep all questions regarding this trip in this one thread. It makes it easier for everyone to follow and ensures you get the best possible advice. Thank-you.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 03-17-2012 at 11:13 AM. Reason: Merged threads.

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

    Default Trust your instinct if need be.

    Hi and welcome back. I'm pleased to see you are making progress with your planning.

    I'm afraid I have no experience of RV parks in the areas you mention and hopefully someone might come along. However there are not to many regular members who are RV' ers, so I would recommend not getting too caught up in the number of choices available. If you see one that you like the look of, and nothing is driving you away, just go with your instinct. If I could not find an available NP or State park campground, I looked for private run Campgrounds. Some you could describe as 'rustic' but perfectly acceptable and for me, I have always found them to offer a more friendly and personal welcome, than a large chain like KOA. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with KOA as such, they are just not my cup of tea !

    City RV parks can look more like a parking lot, but they are limited in number [the land is just too valuable] so I would get them booked up too. Down the coast you could look for places around the San Simeon/Cambria area. Again, I have not stayed around Barstow, but I do recall an RV site at Calico Ghost town that the Boy's might enjoy. Here we are.

    If you have any other questions just ask, but please drop by after your trip and share your trip highlights with us !


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I can't recommend any specific sites either, but have you followed a previous suggestion and looked at

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