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  1. #1

    Default Aussie family first time RV holiday in USA

    We are planning our first trip to USA, first trip in an RV and first trip overseas with 2 small kids!

    We will arrive in LA mid october, staying there for 1 week then pick up the RV and take off.

    I am thinking of a route that goes something like: LA to Yellowstone to Grand Canyon to Las Vegas to Lake Tahoe to San Fransisco and return to LA.
    Going straight to Yellowstone as I understand that it "closes" for the winter at the end of October, so want to get there before it gets too cold.
    I dont have a really clear picture of the distances and whether this could all be done.
    We have the RV for 3 weeks, 2 kids; 4 yr old and an 8 month old (will be 8 months when we travel) so driving all day for many days is not really an option.
    We would prefer to stay off major hwys and see the little towns along the way.

    What do you think??? any tips and suggestions would be appreciated.

    Also any tips regarding RV travel, where to stay, kid friendly places.

    Thanks in anticipation

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Elevation, snow and an RV may be challenging in October.

    Hi Leanne. amd Welcome to the The Great American RoadTrip Forum.

    You don't say where in Oz you are from, but you need to realise that nowhere in Oz do we have the elevations at which Yellowstone is located, nor do we see the kind of winter weather which places like Yellowstone experience. Their 'season' is really quite short. By the last week in October much of it could well be snowed in. It will certainly be experiencing sub zero temperatures at night, making a stay in an RV challenging. In fact, many of the services start closing down late September. With two little ones and an RV, it may not be the best place to visit in October.

    At the Grand Canyon too, night temperatures could well be below zero at that time of year.

    To get a really clear picture of the distances, get a large wall sized map of the US. You can't get the whole picture on a computer monitor. My preference is for the National Geographics map, available in all good map stores such as Map Works and Map World, or online. LA to Yellowstone is more than 1000 miles, or over 1600km. (Think Melbourne to north of Brisbane.) Similarly, Yellowstone to the Grand Canyon is only marginally shorter. The distances, especially in the west of the country, are really hard to imagine until you get there.

    Lifey

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default October

    October is a near ideal time to visit many of the national parks of the west, but Yellowstone is a bit of an exception. By even early October the park is starting to move into Winter mode (the park doesn't actually close, but most of the roads and services do). In october, you'll find that roads should still generally be open, except for weather related issues, but nearly all lodging options including campgrounds are closed. The later in the month you are there, the less you'll find. Here's Yellowstone facilities closing schedule so you can see for yourself.

    I have to agree that if you decide to go, an RV might not be a good choice because of the very cold temperatures you are likely to see, especially when you are dealing with an infant.

    LA to Yellowstone is about 1000 miles, which means 2 full days on the road, if you and your family are up for being on the road for 9-10 hours a day, and that's sticking to the freeways. Obviously, you might want to add another day because of your specific situation.

    Going to Yellowstone first would make for quite a bit of extra miles, as you no longer could really do a nice loop, so that's something to consider too, especially with all you'd like to do in 3 weeks.

    Is there any chance you could move your trip up a couple of weeks? Starting in mid to late September could really make a big difference.

  4. #4

    Default

    Thanks guys, i have done a little more research and we have decided to skip Yellowstone this trip (good excuse to go back another time). It really will be too cold for us!
    Given that, we can spend much more time on the rest of our wish list. i think we might go LA, Vegas, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, yosemite, San Fransisco then back down the cost road to LA.
    Lifey- we live in Bendigo (2hrs north of melbourne)!
    Thanks

  5. #5

    Default Are bookings required?

    Quote Originally Posted by LeanneA1975 View Post
    Thanks guys, i have done a little more research and we have decided to skip Yellowstone this trip (good excuse to go back another time). It really will be too cold for us!
    Given that, we can spend much more time on the rest of our wish list. i think we might go LA, Vegas, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, yosemite, San Fransisco then back down the cost road to LA.
    Lifey- we live in Bendigo (2hrs north of melbourne)!
    Thanks
    just wondering if booking rv parks ahead of time would be required in these general areas??
    We are primarily looking for "full hookup" rv parks, but would also like to do a couple of odd nights "camping" in a national park, where would be the best place for this?? Given the time of year....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default A link for now.

    Although it is a quieter time to travel [my favourite time] if you have a set itinerary I would still consider booking for the National Park Campgrounds. You may or may not find vacancies in them by leaving it to chance and there will always be options outside of the National parks, it's just not the same as 'being there' imo. The NPS does not offer full hook ups but your RV will hold quite a lot of water etc and will most likely have a built in generator for power. A lot do have dump stations and water supply though.

    I'm on the road here in the UK at the moment and not sure when I will have access to the net again [could be a week] so you might like to look here for some ideas.

    Dave.

  7. Default

    Hi Leanne

    how did your trip go, my husband with our 2 kids are planning our first trip from mid oct - mid nov also and are planning on hiring an RV, who did you hire from what was your experience like and whats required as far as child restraints go. Would be most appreciative for your input.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Long time ago.

    Rennie, Leanne has not been back to this forum since her last post, and possibly will not get to read your post. You may be able to contact her by private message.

    Lifey

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