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  1. #1

    Default RV Camping Stops - Vegas to San Fran

    Hi all. I'm a complete RV novice so please bear with me. My friend and I are coming over from the UK in September on a road trip. We have most of it sorted except the bit from Vegas to San Francisco. We know vaguely the route we want to take (via the Tioga Pass) and we have 5 days to do it. The only problem we're having is finding campsites along the way and we don't want to leave it to chance in case we luck out. Our route isn't set in stone so if anyone has any recommendations for good stop-offs and sights to see we would be really grateful. Thanks x

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

    Default You can't beat staying in Yosemite Valley.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    If you are fortunate enough to find available sites in Yosemite Valley [one of the 'Pines' campgrounds] I would certainly recommend staying there for 2 or 3 nights. If you find one book it quick !! If you are planning on driving through Death Valley and doing a little exploring there are limited RV sites at Stovepipe Wells and Panamint Springs. You will also find options along 395 in places like Lone Pine, Bishop, Mammoth Lakes and Lee Vining. You will most likely want at least one stop, possibly two to the east of the mountains before heading over Tioga, depending on what sight seeing you want to do.

    If you can't find available sites in Yosemite you will find options in Groveland [Yosemite Pines is OK] and Oakhurst [High Sierra RV park, also OK] for sure, as well as Mariposa and/or El Portal I think. There is one site called Indian flat RV park, but I have not stayed there.

  3. #3


    Thanks Dave, that's really helpful. I don't suppose you've found any good websites for locating campgrounds have you?

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

    Default What I do.

    To be honest I just use my Internet to search. My first choices are National parks and State parks and by typing in name of park and RV campgrounds, you usually get results both in and nearby to the park. [ has info on every park] I then use town names followed by RV parks and check out what options there are. I prefer to use privately owned sites where possible rather than the chains like KOA, as they have a more individual experience about them when compared to the resorts. By searching like this you can check out photos and reviews etc and get a feel for the place rather than reading a listing with basic info. I also find it to be better value booking direct. You can buy a Woodals directory and the like if you prefer, if you want to book in advance, recommended in popular places] otherwise most rental RV's come equipped with a campground booklet.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default What I do....

    What I do....

    There are several really good campsite directories -- I carry Woodall's with me and when I reach an area, I figure out where to stay then.

    And I also recommend the 1/2 price camping by a friend of RTA which has 1200 campgrounds!


  6. #6


    Thanks guys, that has been really helpful. I must admit, half the fun is finding places to stay and this will make it a lot easier. Cheers x

  7. #7

    Default Tioga Pass - Scare stories!


    I'll be driving an RV with my friend west over the Tioga Pass on Hwy 120 in September. I've been reading up on it and there seem to be a lot of scary stories about how it's extremely steep and winding, no guardrails, a real danger of overheating, etc. Has anyone got any experience and can share their thoughts?


    Please keep all inquiries about the same trip in one thread.
    Last edited by AZBuck; 06-17-2012 at 04:46 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Nothing to be scared of.

    Hi, and Welcome to the The Great American RoadTrip Forum.

    I venture to say that most of the regulars on this forum have driven over Tioga Pass, in all sorts of vehicles. A quick 'Tioga Pass' search, via the top of this page, will no doubt bring up their experiences. Not sure where you heard these scary stories.

    For me, I had driven over Tioga Pass twice (albeit in a car), before I was aware that it was anything special. At that time, to me it was just another beautiful road.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default From an RV'er.

    We have driven over Tioga Pass in a 30ft RV with no problems/concerns at all and many do it in bigger rigs as well, so to confirm what Lifey said above, there is nothing to be scared of. Once you have climbed up from Lee Vining to the entry kiosk most of the journey is not that twisty and without dropf offs. There is a section as you you head down towards the valley that is slightly narrower with drop offs, but the edge of the road is walled.

    You will want to use the pull outs to stop and take in the views and take photos, but also use them to let other vehicles past if you are holding traffic up and you will be rewarded with a toot of the horn and a friendly wave. This rule should be applied to any slow/twisty 2 lane road where there are limited passing opportunities. Another tip as these are heavy vehicles, [and incase you are not familiar with auto boxes] is that you should manually select a lower gear when coming down steep gradients, so that the engine 'offers' braking assistance. This saves you having to ride the brake pedal for long distances, which in turn will overheat them and could cause brake fade.

    Take it steady, relax and you will soon discover that those 'scarey stories' are nonsense.

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