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  1. Default Kiwi Family of 5 , Spring RV trip San Fran to LA via Yosemite, Vegas, GC, San Diego

    We are planning our first RV trip in California.
    Fly into San Fran Friday 18th April 2014, pick up the RV on Monday . We have 15days with the RV, and when we drop it off in LA we pick up a hire car for 4 days before we fly out of LA.
    As this is our first time Driving an RV we don't want to under estimate our traveling time and end up spending too much time on the road , instead of seeing/doing all the amazing things we can on our visit. Our rough plan is as follows
    1) leave San Fran go to SantaCruz
    2) travel santa cruz to Yosemite
    4) Yosemite
    5) Travel south to Death valley ? Which is the most interesting way to go ? We understand we cant go Tioga way as roads will be closed ?
    6) Death Valley
    7) Las Vegas
    8) Las Vegas
    9) Travel grand Canyon
    10) GrandCanyon
    11) Travel west towards SanDiego
    12) ?
    13) SanDiego
    14) San Diego
    15) travel LA drop off RV

    We are looking for advice on wether we should visit GC by way of 1/2 day Helicopter trip from Vegas instead of driving , therefore giving us days 9/10/11 to stay longer in other places along the way . It is expensive but may be worth it to reduce miles and allow more time too stop along the way.
    Help and advice very much appreciated

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I think you've got a solid outline of a trip here.

    You are correct that Tioga Pass will be closed during your time of travel. The fastest way, and really the only way to get from Yosemite to Death Valley in one day, will be to go south down to the Bakersfield area and then head east either via CA-178 or CA-58. You could detour into Sequoia National Park if you can add some time here. The only other alternative is to drive north and cross the Sierras near Lake Tahoe.

    Helicopter tours from Vegas rarely actually go to Grand Canyon National Park. Most tours go over the west rim, which is on Indian Reservation lands and is not nearly as grand as the National Park. It is also hard to beat the experience of actually standing on the rim. In other words, make the drive! If you still want to do an air tour, look at your options from the Grand Canyon airport just outside the park.

    Heading back to San Diego, you could head towards Sedona and the Phoenix area, or you could check out Joshua Tree NP if you're looking for some things to stop and do along the way.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Looks good.

    Yep, you are in for a great trip !

    I would 100% recommend driving to the GC south rim and spend at least a night there. Sequoia is a possibility heading south but you should check the National park website for lenght restrictions along the Generals Highway and how it suits your size of RV. You can still visit parts of the park but you might not be able to drive through it and exit at the south kiosk to Three Rivers and may have to double back. You could also drive through the Sequoia National Forest from Porterville to Kernville and Lake Isabella. It's scenic, but a slow twisty mountain road which is a bit of a work out.

    I'm not sure how high on your list of priorities San Diego actually is, but did you consider heading into Southern Utah and visiting Zion NP and Bryce canyon ? [Just a heads up/thought.] Otherwise Michaels suggestion of Sedona/ Joshua tree will break the journey nicely.

    Your trip looks relaxed and I'm sure you will all love it !

  4. Default

    Thanks for your reply.
    We can take a hint and will Drive to GC, Thanks for the encouragement.
    We have been trying to work out our travel times and have based it on an average of
    60 mph, 7 mp gallon, $5 per gallon , we are driving a 2013 28ft RV . Do you think
    they are about right ?
    We have been searching the pages of your site , and even though our trip is 6 months away its getting really exciting , cant wait
    Cheers & thanks for your help

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Not so quick in an RV.

    You would be lucky to average 60mph on Interstate, especially in an RV. Usually a full day on the road in a car with fuel, food and bathroom stops plus delays for congestion and/or construction, would equate to just under 60mph. In an RV thats likely to be 50 to 55 mph as it takes longer to slow down and speed up and is harder to maintain a set speed on hills, up and down, as you need to keep the 'lump' under control. In the parks it will be much slower of course.

    You should get just under/close to 10mpg from the RV and at $5 per gallon your sums should add up in your favour.

    and even though our trip is 6 months away its getting really exciting , - See more at:
    It's a great feeling !

  6. #6


    I'm no expert on RVing but I feel safe in saying driving around Las Vegas in an RV would not be a pleasant experience - just driving a car on the Strip is not a pleasant experience unless you enjoy traffic jams. If you want to check out some of the casinos along the strip, driving anything is just not an attractive venture.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Vegas RV parks.

    Following on from Charlies thoughts, a couple of very different RV resorts in Vegas are, Circus, Circus located on the Strip which is more of a parking lot affair than anything, [although I believe you can use the pool] or you have the Oasis RV resort which is south of the Strip and pretty 'high end' with all amenities. Circus Circus is great for location as you are near to the main attractions whereas the Oasis is a cab ride away, either way you will want to park the RV up and explore the City using 'foot power', public transport or cabs.

  8. #8


    It's a shame they don't have some sort of an on & off trolley running up and down the Strip. But I guess they're really not interested in facilitating going from casino to casino - the idea is to keep you in the casino. I used to like it downtown where you could easily walk from casino to casino. They've done a good job of making Fremont Stree more attractive but at the same time it has become more seedy with girlie shows and some rather unusual people similar to what you might see in Hollywood.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default CAT and the On-off Double Deck bus are both working on the Strip!

    CAT and the On-off Double Deck bus are both working on the Strip!

    "Hop-on, Hop-Off Bus Tours" operate every day. Read this report by Diane Taylor!

    Plus, there are Express Bus Routes on the Strip and Local Bus Routes -- thousands of tourists use them every month!

    Here is the Deuce Express Bus route -- runs everyday on the STRIP.

    And it's a huge stretch, in my view, to think that downtown Las Vegas is any more seedier -- it's greatly spruced up. Look at this report for a walking tour of Fremont Street and a video so you can see for yourself...


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Do your kids like Pin Ball Machines

    One of the lesser-known attractions in Las Vegas is known as the Pinball Hall of Fame. It's only a couple miles from the Strip. There are working machines from the last few decades and each one costs would it would have cost when the game was new. A pretty cool place to go and hang for a couple of hours!


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