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  1. Default First time in USA

    Hi all. Firstly what a great site, so much info. I have a couple of questions. We are coming to the states in July, RV hired from Cruise America, starting out from LA. Do you have to pre book RV sites or can you just turn up and take a chance, also can you park RV's in SF ( central- ish) as we want to visit Alcatraz. Not sure where we're heading after this, but want to take in Yosemite, possibly Vegas, can you suggest a thread or route.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,545

    Default

    Welcome to RTA! Glad you found us!

    Prebooking RV sites: it really depends a lot on when and where. If in a national park like Yosemite, YES, prebook. It may be even full now, but keep trying back, you never know if you'll get a cancellation. Along the roadside, probably don't need to prebook unless you like to pull in late at night.

    Parking an RV in SF: OUCH. It's very difficult. There are few RV parks and have a tendency to book early. SF is really not made for RV's. The closest RV park to SF is Marin RV Park. You should be able to catch public transport from there. There is also San Francisco RV Park. I haven't stayed in Marin RV Park in years (it's been around a long time), and have never stayed in San Francisco RV, so I can't recommend either one, but they're there. There are two or three others, but most of them are residential parks with only an empty site or two that they rent out to visitors.


    Donna

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

    Default How much time ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    If you haven't booked RV sites in Yosemite you will be extremely fortunate to find an available one now and this goes for most National Parks. There will be other options outside of the park, but even then the nearest can book up once the NP is full. The one thing you don't mention is how long you have for the trip. From SF to Vegas via Yosemite is popular and then with enough time you could go into southern Utah and Zion and Bryce canyon NP's and to the Grand canyon. If you wanted to take the coast highway to SF around scenic Big Sur you could do with a couple of overnight stops, around Cambria and Monterey perhaps.

    can you suggest a thread or route.
    You can see our RV trip that started from SF here. You will find plenty more info searching around the forums and I would suggest you get a good map[s] covering the area so you can check out your options in detail. Once you have a few ideas and let us know how much time you have, we can then make suggestions and help 'fine tune' your trip.

    As suggested by Donna, you would be better off to book an SF site near to transport links. Another option would be to find an airport hotel for a night or 2 with a suitable car park and use the BART rail system downtown. Parking an RV in SF wouldn't be fun and would cost a lot.

  4. Default

    Thanks for the replies. We are in the states for two weeks. I've seen the two sites you suggested Donna ( Thanks) and from the reviews Marin seems to be the better of the two. It was our intention to just see where the road took us, rather than have a definite route, after SF we were going to head inland, in the general direction of Yosemite, and if time allowed get to Vegas.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Time enough.

    There is nothing wrong with just 'winging it' and seeing where you end up, but doing a little research and having maps at least gives you some ideas and options. As mentioned, you would be fortunate if you were to find an available RV site in Yosemite and if you at least have an idea when you would there and there is an available site, I would book it. There are campgrounds outside the park but being such a big park can add quite a bit of driving, whereas in the park you can leave the RV and hop on the free shuttle buses. There is a small site in Groveland called Yosemite Pines which is OK.

    I personally would book an Alcatraz tour in advance to save queuing at the ticket office hoping you can get on the next boat. The best place to book is through the only official booking office here.

    A popular route from SF to Vegas is via the Tioga Pass [CA120] a spectacular drive over the Sierra Nevada. You would have to check with your rental company but there is a good chance that you will not be able to drive across the popular Death valley as most rental Co's ban doing so in the summer months due to heat. From Vegas you would have time to visit the south rim of the Grand canyon quite comfortably if it appealed.

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

    Default Reversing your trip.

    No doubt you will be taking the RV back to LA? If that is the case, have you thought of an anti-clockwise loop. The route between LA and SF along the Pacific Coast Highway is one of the best coastal drives in the world. However, it is best driven from North to South, where you will have the ocean on your side without the need to cross over traffic each time you pull in / out of the numerous view points and overlooks.

    This would look something like - LA - GC - LV - Yosemite - SF - PCH - LA.

    Lifey

  7. Default

    Lifey your a star, thats a brilliant idea. I got the rest but PCH?

    Dave. Your advice is much appreciated, thank you.

    So time for another question ( sorry) Can you buy maps that have RV parks on them, or maps that are specific to RV'ers. I have a sat nav which I am bringing with me, just need to upload/ update it a bit.

    Moody

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

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Moodyjag View Post
    Lifey your a star, thats a brilliant idea. I got the rest but PCH?
    Pacific Coast Highway.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    RV Guide

    There are Camping World retail stores all over the country where you should be able to walk in and buy one.

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

    Default

    You don't say where you will be coming from. Check if your automobile club has a reciprocal arrangement with the AAA. You will be able to pick up Woodals camp guides from them. (As well as maps of all the places you will be visiting.) I have never asked for maps with RV places on them. But, they may have them. Your home membership should give you access to all this without cost.

    Lifey

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