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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Posts
    23

    Default 5,000 miles over 31 days in an RV........family of 5 from Scotland....do-able or not?

    Hi

    Been using google to try and plan our summer trip to the USA, there will be 3 adults and two kids all eager to get away from not so sunny Scotland for a month in the kids summer holidays and we are planning on seeing as many of the national parks as we can sensibly fit in.

    Will be flying into San Francisco at the end of June and leaving from Los Angeles 1st week in August, apart from a hotel for a couple of days at the start and one night at the end we are looking to be travelling around in an RV and seeing the sites!

    Trouble is there seems to be so many great parks to see trying to decide on which ones to do and which ones to miss out is getting hard and the "to do" list is getting longer and longer. Totalled up the mileage today with the current list courtesy of google maps and its just over 5,000 miles.

    Long road trips, over shorter periods, are nothing new to us but this will be the first time in an RV and as its to be a once in a lifetime trip for all of us to the USA we want to make sure that we enjoy as much as we can, but also make sure that we dont try and do too much.

    The mileage doesnt seem to much to me, seeming as how its spread over the course of a month, and presumeably plenty to see and do along the way. What do you more experienced RV'ers think?

    Any "must do" places that we can see on the suggested trip route that you can suggest?

    Thanks for any input.

    Danny

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Yes, but......

    Hello and welcome to RTA !

    The mileage isn't really an issue as such, but it will depend on how long you want to stay in any one place. For example you could spend a week in Yellowstone and you would really need to spend 3 or 4 days there just to scratch the surface. As things are you would have to keep on the move, but could still have a great time.

    Personally speaking it might just be a bit too much time travelling in the RV for the Kids and it could be worth creating a smaller loop and seeing some other great parks along the way. Having travelled that far it would also make sense to close the loop and finish off from where you started and drive the spectacular coast road around Big Sur. With your list of places, I could see it taking 26-30 days just spending time scratching the surface of those great places, and you have 10 days of solid driving to account for.

    Some of the places not on your list that are just as spectacular would include Yosemite and Sequoia NP's in California and Rocky mountain NP and Mesa Verde in Colorado, plus there is much, much more than the National parks to enjoy along the way. I would consider including some of these places and cut out some of the places that are out on a limb somewhat, maybe Mt Ranier, Glacier NP, Wind Cave and Badlands, creating a smaller loop. That would give you more time out and about to explore and less time behind the wheel.

    As I mentioned your trip is perfectly doable , if you are happy to keep on the go, but cutting back on the miles is an option worth considering imo. For campgrounds in the NP's you really need to book in advance as they are popular during the summer and RV sites are limited in number. If it's this summer it may already be too late for many but you should be able to find private campgrounds nearby.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Bonny Hills , Australia
    Posts
    302

    Default Great Trip

    Hi, this is vey much like the trip my wife done in 2011. We had about 6 weeks and covered 8000 mile, Of this we spent about 5 days in Phoenix.We didnt really rush but just didnt stay in one place for too long.
    We had a few long days but mostly just plodding along looking around as we travelled. There is so much to see in the route you have chosen.
    One thing I would do different was after leaving Crater Lake, head to Bend and up to the Dalles and have a look along the Columbia River Gorge before heading to Portland.

    John

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Posts
    23

    Default

    Hi

    Thanks for the replies, yaken onboard the suggestions about Rainer and Glacier etc and jave done a a smaller revised loop to allow greater time to explore along the way.

    As it turns out due to pricing issues regarding the RV we are going to end up having it for 36 days in total rather than 31 so with the extra few days and the shorter loop we will hopefully be able to enjoy it all.

    Thanks again for the suggestions!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default A few more.

    You're welcome. You are in for an incredible adventure and I'm sure you will love it.

    A couple of little things that you might want to consider.

    If the Trail Ridge road is open [US34] it is a fantastic drive across RMNP to Grand lake, it also happens to be the highest continous paved highway in the US.

    Exit I70 for Moab one turn off earlier to US6/UT128 that takes you on a scenic drive through Castle Valley without costing hardly any extra time.

    When you leave Moab and head back to I70, take UT24 through Hanksville to Torrey [going right by Capitol Reef NP] and take 'Utah scenic byway 12' to Bryce canyon. [Great drive !]

    If you have time, from Page AZ take a detour to Monument valley via AZ98/US160/163. It's less of a detour than the Petrified Forest and arguably more rewarding, or you could just do both.

    Do find time anyway you can to visit Yosemite NP after Sequoia NP, it's a true gem of the National parks. Drive through the heart of Sequoia NP on the Generals Highway [198] and exit via 180 to Fresno [Kings canyon detour?] and then take CA41 through Oakhurst into Yosemite.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    The Generals Highway (198) through Sequoia currently has a 22 foot length limit. This may or may not still be in effect when you are here.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Well spotted.

    A very good point George .

    If the section of the 'Generals Highway' [198] from the south was still off limits to larger vehicles, [keep up to date on the Sequoia NP website] you can still enter the park via 180 and travel south on it, as far as the visitor centre and the neaby 'main attraction', the General Sherman tree.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Posts
    23

    Default

    More good advice :)

    Too much cutting and pasting to google maps and i missed of Yosemite NP!!

    Back in the list now :)

    Taking our trusty tom tom with us for directions but always like to have an old fashoined map as well.............any suggestions as to which one to get, ideally would like one with a large enough scale to show attractions and so forth rather than just the main highways etc.

    Oh, and is the America the Beautiful 2013: National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass at US$80 worthwhile? Would seem to be......

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    With the number of parks you are planning to visit, the National Parks pass would more than pay for itself. You can purchase it when you get to the entry gate of your first park.

    A Rand McNally atlas always works well for me, and is a bargain. You can typically get it at any big box store for under $10. If you're a member of your local auto club (AA in the UK, I believe), they should also be able to provide AAA maps for free.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Maps and more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    If you're a member of your local auto club (AA in the UK, I believe), they should also be able to provide AAA maps for free.
    If you are a member, and they do not have the maps in Edinburgh, make sure you take your membership with you. You will be able to pick up free maps at the AAA office in whichever city you fly into. All of Britain and most of Europe is part of this reciprical arrangements between automobile clubs worldwide.

    I always make sure I have a map of each State and major urban centre I plan to visit, as well as a Rand McNally atlas and my GPS. (Makes getting lost so much more interesting.) Both the Rand McNally and the AAA maps show all the parks and natural attractions, the major and minor highways and roads, and with a dotted line highlite the scenic routes. And much, much more.

    If you go to the 'shop' link on the green bar above, you can get the 2013 Rand McNally. They post worldwide.

    Lifey

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