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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Vienna, Austria, Europe
    Posts
    7

    Default San Francisco RV trip.

    I am brand new to this forum. I am impressed about the magnitude of information here, great!! I have a similar trip in mind this summer; San Francisco "full circle" whereby we as a family, also in a RV, would like to travel from SF to Yosemite, to Las Vegas, to Grand Canyon, Flagstaff, Los Angeles and back along the coast to SF (as our "minimum desire"). Is such a trip in your opinion doable in 18 full days "on the road"? What could you recommend as a best route? I am starting my planning now and have to start somewhere I guess. Many thanks in advance.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 02-02-2013 at 07:10 AM. Reason: Moved to own dedicated thread.

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

    Default Anti clockwise.

    To start with, consider seriously reversing the trip from that outlined above. It is much more enjoyable to drive the Pacific Coast Highway - CA1 - from north to south. It means that the ocean and all the great view points and overlooks are on your side of the road, avoiding having to cross over traffic each time you enter and leave these areas.

    Eighteen days should give you some nice time to check out all the places on your list, and perhaps a couple more.

    Lifey

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default A start.

    Hello and welcome to RTA, glad you are enjoying the site !

    As Lifey mentioned above, you have a nice amount of time for your trip at a relaxed pace, and reversing it is a good idea worth considering. There are many route options and no single 'best' option although the popular round trip works well like so.

    San Fran to LA but to follow the coast road as mentioned above will require at least one overnight stop and is highly recommended. From LA you can head towards the Grand canyon and Flagstaff, perhaps best suited with an overnight stop on route, although possible same day. Joshua Tree NP and some of the 'Red Rock' country around Sedona would be a couple of options. If you stop in Flagstaff I would recommend you head north on 89 and enter the canyon from the east along Desertview drive [64] where you follow the path of the Colorado river into the main area, letting the scene unfold at the various viewpoints along the way. From the Grand canyon south rim you could head to Vegas, possibly detouring onto an original part of route 66 through Seligman to Kingman and stopping at the Hoover dam. You will need to allow time for security checks at the dam, they may want to stop and search the RV.

    From Vegas you can head into Yosemite via the Tioga Pass [CA120] crossing the mountains east to west into the Valley. It is unlikely that your rental company will permit you to drive across Death valley during the summer. From Yosemite you can head straight back to SF or spend a little time in the Napa Valley area.

    You can drive the route quite comfortably using 7 overnight stops so it's then a case of how long want to spend where. It would be quite possible to head into Southern Utah from the GC and visit Zion and/or Bryce canyon NP's before heading back down to Vegas on I15. Monument Valley and Sequoia NP's are another 2 within striking distance that you could consider adding into your initial plan.

    The one thing with RV's in National Parks during the summer is that there are more visiting than there are spaces available usually. Therefor if you wanted to stay in the parks [recommended] you would need to look into availabilty and if you are lucky enough to find sites, book them.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Vienna, Austria, Europe
    Posts
    7

    Default

    Well, thank you Dave (also for the help on the site). That is quite some basic and at the same time appropriately detailed enough to work from. As a first step, "reversing" the trip it is. Excellent idea, never thought of that, thanks, also to Lifey. I will work something out and come back with a proposal. Would appreciate your further opinion on that.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Vienna, Austria, Europe
    Posts
    7

    Default

    Folks, another general question. I understand that for very popular places like beautiful state parks and major cities i.e. attractions prebooking a campsite is more than a good idea.As to the remainder can you "just see" i.e. book an the fly while there? The freedom of a RV and flexibility of travel is somewhat limited if you have to book everything upfront. As an example are those KOA's always fully booked?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Keeping it flexible!

    With rare exception we never pre-booked any RV camping sites anywhere in the country. There are some parks in the most convenient urban areas that sometimes require reservations, but I can't remember ever pre-booking a KOA (that I had not been to previously).

    What you certainly want to do is to purchase a Woodall's or similar campground book and when you reach a particular place that you are intending to stop for the night -- you can scan the listings and see what appeals.

    Mark

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Vienna, Austria, Europe
    Posts
    7

    Default

    Thanks Mark, that is valuable info!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Vienna, Austria, Europe
    Posts
    7

    Default Grand Canyon & Bryce Canyon "Best and nicest way/route?

    Hello there again. I/we are still not fully done with planning our trip (San Fran, Los Ang, San Diego, Flagstaff, "The Canyons" + Parks, Hoover Dam, Yosimite, and back to SF again, in brief). The one we are somewhat stuck with now is what the best route is with our 30ft. RV with the two famous canyons? What give the best sites and is best doable with an RV? Anybody any good suggestions for us? Would be highly appreciated!

    Please do not start multiple discussions for the same trip. - Mod
    Last edited by AZBuck; 03-23-2013 at 03:55 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Vienna, Austria, Europe
    Posts
    7

    Default

    Hello Dave,

    Once again, great advice and actually quite detailes, many thanks again. As to the part of your 4th. paragraph

    You can drive the route quite comfortably using 7 overnight stops so it's then a case of how long want to spend where. It would be quite possible to head into Southern Utah from the GC and visit Zion and/or Bryce canyon NP's before heading back down to Vegas on I15. Monument Valley and Sequoia NP's are another 2 within striking distance that you could consider adding into your initial plan.
    This would mean heading up (north) to Lake Powell and move on to Bryce Canyon from there (I here this is really a great place to visit)? After this I think I would have to choose between Monument Valley or Sequoia? They seem quite some distance apart, or can this be done you think?

    Second question is what is the reason you would recommend me to do the GC from East to West? I would have to double back to go ti Lake Powell then. Is it really better this way?

    Once again, many thanks in advance for your much appreciated support.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 03-30-2013 at 03:55 PM. Reason: Fixed quote format.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Vienna, Austria, Europe
    Posts
    7

    Default

    One more question if you will allow me; is the CA395 an option (and worth it) towards yosimite or as you stated before the CA120 is a better option?

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