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Thread: Vancouver to LA

  1. Default Vancouver to LA

    Hello all! a mate and i are planning our 1st trip to the US/Canada from mid October to mid November. during this time we are planning a road trip from Vancouver to LA and hoping to spend about 10 days in total. I have done some research on way route and have come up with a initial travel map (link attached). Now we understand its coming into winter so I have a feeling we may miss out on all the places we want to visit and routes we wish to take? places we want to see thus far - Crater Lake, Red Woods National Park, Yosemite, Mt Hood and possible Lake Quinault (not in that particular order). At this stage we are wanting to hire a small camper van for two people that caters for one way trips. at this stage the Wicked campers are the only ones I found that can and a reasonably priced. We are open to any other suggestions here in regards to company's or methods?

    As this is our 1st international road trip, any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated on how to travel, where to stay and what we can/cant/should see. we are both very interested in nature, hiking, walking, history, etc. and not so much major cities although we understand we must go through some on our journey.



    https://www.google.com.au/maps/dir/V...34.0522342!3e0

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

    Default The rental.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Have you checked that Wicked campers will allow you to pick up in one country and drop off in another ? I don't know of any company that would do this, especially at a reasonable rate ! The weather is unpredictable at this time of year and it's possible you will see some disruption but most places should remain accessable, although it could be getting cold in the mountains at night and renting a car and finding cheap motels could work out a better option without much more expense, although you would probably have to get public transport across the border to Seattle and rent from there. It's a shame to be so close to the Golden Gate bridge and San Francisco without a visit !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default The Rental - Part II

    Besides the concerns that Dave listed about trying to rent an RV one-way from Vancouver BC, Canada to Los Angeles CA, USA, I will also note the following. As you say, you'll be traveling in late fall often at significant elevations so there is the distinct possibility that you will see freezing temperatures on one or more of your nights out camping. Have you given any thought as to what this means for your fresh water and sewage tanks? Do you know if your vehicle will even have them? Winter camping is significantly different from summer camping in RVs for just such reasons and will take considerable forethought and preparation.

    Have you done even a basic cost analysis of RVing vs. motels? The appeal of RVing is NOT saving money, that is a common misconception. Once you add up all the costs associated with it - extra rental cost, extra fuel costs, extra drop-off fees, campground fees, breakfast costs (Most motels offer a free, if limited, breakfast.), etc. - the cost of traveling by RV is usually higher than that incurred by renting a small sedan and staying in comfortable, warm motel rooms with full bath facilities.

    Have you read any of the reviews available online regarding Wicked Campers? I have and I would simply urge caution in dealing with them and be ready with a Plan B if you get to the agency and the van or the deal is not what you thought you had been promised.

    AZBuck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default The Trip

    Leaving aside all our concerns about your vehicle of choice, let's actually look a bit at your proposed itinerary. Certainly, there are a lot of great natural sites to see between Vancouver and Los Angeles and you plan on hitting most of them. But there are others that are worth the time, and you seem to have time, to visit. To that end I'd suggest that, rather than just barreling down I-5 from Seattle to Portland, you take the time to see some of the Washington and Oregon coast as well. Specifically, I'd suggest you look at leaving I-5 at Olympia WA and head for the coast at Aberdeen. Follow the coast road down (US-101) to Astoria OR, visit Fort Clatsop for a bit of American history, and then head inland. And again east of Portland, rather than just using the Interstate (I-84), use the old Historic Columbia River Highway (the former US-30) which provides access to a number of waterfalls via short hikes.

    The next place where scenery should win out over efficiency is northern California. There is so much to see and do along CA-1 which hugs the coast that using US-101 seems like a wasted opportunity. With Redwood National and Redwood State Parks already on your route, going to Huboldt Redwoods State Park and the Avenue of the Giants are a bit of overkill when it means that you'd miss Mendocino, Russian Gulch, Fort Ross, and Point Reyes National Seashore.

    AZBuck

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
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    9,270

    Default

    You can still go through Humboldt and the Avenue of the Giants, they are north of where CA-1 starts at Leggett.

  6. Default Reply - The rental

    Thanks South west Dave!

    I did some research on Wicked and found that they do allow renting a car from Vancouver and dropping off in LA. However after even more research it seems that more often than not people don't have too much positive things to say about Wicked campers overall. I did think about the weather especially the 1st half of the trip being in higher altitude the car rental/motel option looks the go. thanks heaps for the info and Golden Gate has to happen...... it is an EPIC landmark after all!

  7. Default Reply - The Rental - Part II & The Trip

    Thanks for the reply AZBuck!

    really appreciate the feedback as all my camping/motor home experience has been here in Australia thus never thought too deeply about fresh water, sewerage and sleeping at nights as a "cold" evening here is 10 degrees Celsius (in QLD) haha . also i must admit i did look at the camper van option as a cheaper cost due to the excessive prices in car rentals here in AUS. this is certainly not the case in the United States as its almost HALF the cost to rent an average car. after doing calculations on the new numbers its almost roughly even in cost however a bed and a room to sleep at night definitely sounds much more attractive!

    You were also correct in regards to Wicked as mentioned to Southwest Dave, not the best feedback on the cars, service and experience.

    This was a major reason i would ask on this forum as i felt i was not experiences as much as i could with my route. Aberdeen - Astoria - Longview looks like an amazing place to drive through rather than staring at a highway for a few hours.

    Mendocino -Fort Ross - Point Reyes, also sounds awesome especially as glc mentioned i can still do the avenue of the giants and take the turn-off north of Leggett (thanks glc).

    Thanks heaps for all the assistance and tips! much appreciated. seems like i have some re-planning to do!

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

    Default A little extra information to get you on the road.

    When it comes to car rental, have you checked out consolidators? These have been used by a couple of Aussies with satisfaction including keithg . You may be able to get better deals, especially when it comes to the one way drop fee.

    If you have not already done so, you may like to check out this thread, which, although in a different area, has some useful information.

    Be sure to take your RACQ membership card with you. It will give you access to free maps and tourism information from the CAA and AAA. Great to have their maps of all the places you will visit, as well as the States you traverse.

    There is a road direct from The Avenue of Giants to Cape Mendicino, the westerly most point of the 48 States, but I am not sure now if it is completely paved (essential for most rentals). It is a decade or more since I was there.

    Lifey

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

    Default

    You may want to take public transportation across the border and rent the car in Bellingham or Seattle.

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