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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Oxford, United Kingdom
    Posts
    2

    Default 3 Girls and a little RV on the Road from Los Angeles - San Francisco and back again

    Hello All,

    I have been reading many interesting posts about places to visit on our road trip and now have a rough idea of where I will be going, I am travelling with my 2 daughters (17 & 22) in an RV, I know they are gas guzzlers but my youngest daughter is disabled and itís easier to travel with our own home (so to speak).
    We are taking 21 days to do this trip which I hope is long enough, starting in LA, then drive to Vegas and take the inland route through death valley and Yosemite park back to SF, I am intending to do the coast road from SF - LA as already suggested in previous posts so we are on the coast side of the road for pull offs, to drop off the RV in LA leaving 4 night before taking the flight back to the UK I am travelling from 22/07/13 - 11/08/13.
    I am taking a couple of days either end in LA for sightseeing, my daughter is in a wheelchair, although she is able to walk with support, I am looking for suggestions of campsites to stay on our trip near to places of interest, also a bit worried about taking the campervan into San Francisco/Las Vegas as I understand there are not many places to park overnight, I have seen some mention of Wal-Mart camping but not sure how safe that would be given we are 3 woman alone.
    I have allowed 1 day for unforseeables that always seem to happen on road trip and would really appreciate any advice on good campsites and anything I might have missed which is worth a must see.
    Last but not least has anyone got advice on a reputable RV hire company as itís a bit daunting booking on the web.

    day 1 (22 July): Arrive in LA,

    day 2,3 (23-24 July): LA and Hollywood.

    Day 4 (25 July): Pick up RV and drive to Vegas (280.3 Miles, route 15, 5 hours)

    day 5 (26 July): Time in Vegas

    Day 6 (27 July): early in the morning leaving Las Vegas, off to Grand Canyon (288 miles 93 and 40, 5 hrs)

    day 7 (28 July): early in the morning leaving Grand Canyon and going to Page (136 miles Route 89, 3 hrs)

    Day 8 (29 July): Rest day (Horseshoe canyon and antelope canyon)

    Day 9 (30 July): Leave page to Hoover Dam via Zion National Park (115 miles, route 89, 2hrs 20; 194 miles, 3 hrs 20, route 15).

    day 10 (31 July): early in the morning leaving hoover dam going to Death Valley NP (175 miles route 95, 3 hrs)

    day 11 (1 August): Leaving death valley to Yosemite NP (244 miles, route 395, 4 hrs)

    day 12 (2 Aug): Rest day (mono lake, Jamestown)

    day 13 (3 Aug): early in the morning leaving Yosemite going to San Francisco (166miles route 108/205, 3hrs)

    day 14 (4 Aug): San Francisco, sightseeing (Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz)

    day 15 (5 August): leaving SF to Monterey via Santa Cruz (112 miles, route 1, 2hrs 30)

    day 16 (6 August): leaving Monterey going to Santa Barbara (229 miles, route 1/101, 4hrs 30)

    day 17 (7 August): Leaving Santa Barbra to LA to return RV.

    Day 18 (8 August): Spend day in Venice/ Santa Monica

    Day 19: (9 August) Spend day at Newport/Laguna Beach

    Day 20: (10 August) Spare day (to be used at any point along the journey)

    Day 21: (11st August) Flight home to UK

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Good start.

    Hello and welcome to RTA !

    Thats quite some adventure to look forward too!

    The first thing that stands out is your plan to go back through Vegas to the Hoover dam when you will be driving right by there on route to the GC. I'm not sure it's worth spending a night there, but you could take a tour or just park up for a few photos. You might face delays due to security measures in place and they like to search through the RV choosing random cupboards for you to open. In fact you could save miles by heading to the GC from LA [overnight recommended] and then into Vegas from Zion. This would still put Hoover Dam a little out of your way though, and I would 100% recommend staying a night in Zion NP. [Could be your 'spare day'.]

    You will pass Mono Lake on the way to Yosemite but Jamestown is on the other side of the Sierra Nevada and out of the way. When you arrive at Yosemite I am quite sure you will just want to stay there and take in it's many sights ! These parks are amazing and you could spend days in any of them, it can take hours just driving through.

    National parks have wonderful campgrounds with a limited number of RV sites, so I would recommend booking in advance as soon as the booking window opens, literally ! They have been known to sell out within hours. You can get all the info of when this is at nps.gov. They don't all have full hook up services, but you should have an onboard generator for power when needed. [Observing silent hours].

    Las Vegas has a wonderful RV resort called the 'Oasis' which is a cab ride from the Strip. Circus Circus located on the Strip has RV parking but is more of a parking Lot than anything else. San Fran has limted RV sites so again I would recommend booking.

    The Grand canyon has the Mather camground or the Trailer village which has Hook ups. Zion has the Watchman campground and I would recommend one of the 'Pines' campgrounds in Yosemite Valley.

    One more thing, do not be fooled by computer generated mapping program travel times. You will need to add 20% to those to get a better idea of 'real world' driving where there are human factors such as traffic congestion, construction and the need to eat and fill with gas etc.

    The bigger RV rental companies can usually offer better back up if you have a problem and are generally pretty good. I have dealt with Cruise America [Denver office] and was very pleased with their service. If you visit their website be sure to click on the 'Hot deals' link. They often have special offers on and some of the best appear to come during winter months when they are trying to generate business for the coming season with 'early bird' discounts.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Oxford, United Kingdom
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    Hello and welcome to RTA !

    National parks have wonderful campgrounds with a limited number of RV sites, so I would recommend booking in advance as soon as the booking window opens, literally ! They have been known to sell out within hours. You can get all the info of when this is at nps.gov. They don't all have full hook up services, but you should have an onboard generator for power when needed. [Observing silent hours].
    Hi Dave,

    thanks for the advice, we are now looking at our route, if we go Straight to GC from LA can anyone recommend a place to overnight, also thanks for the heads up re the NP campgrounds, have already registered and will now have to wait till March/April next year for them to be released, will drop them an e-mail today to see exactly which date they are released.

    regards
    Catherine

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default

    You could make your way to Williams for the night and finish the short journey into GC the next morning, but it would still be quite a full day of driving from LA. Alternatively you could stop at Kingman or detour through Joshua tree NP and make a day of it, stopping around Lake Havasu and continue to GC next day.

    You can check the booking windows on the nps sites like here at Yosemite, where March 15th looks to be the earliest opportunity. Depending on the number of parks you visit, you might want to consider purchasing the annual pass for $80 that permits entry to the park for everyone in the vehicle. It doesn't include extras such as camping, but it can work out cheaper than paying individual fees. You can purchase it at the first NP entry kiosk you arrive at.

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