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  1. #1

    Default California to Arizon RV Roadtrip in May 2015

    Hi there,

    We are a tri-cultural family (American/Chilean/Australian) currently living in Australia. We are finally getting back to the US for a visit after 7 years. We have three kids (11,8,4) and hope to give them an unforgettable road trip experience. We have a good idea of what we want to see but are unsure of the route to take and how much time to stay at each place. Also what to see on the way to each park and what are the best parks to stay at with a big rig and three kids. I should also add that this would be our first RV experience.

    We land in LA on the 7th of May and fly out to San Antonio to visit friends on the 31st of May. The plan is to rent an RV, class C 27-31 ft in L.A. and do a loop that includes the following: Big Sur, Sequoia National Park, Death Valley, Hoover Dam (not interested in Vegas at this time), a bit of Route 66 ( off Kingman I imagine would be the best stretch ), Grand Canyon South Rim, and San Diego.
    We have friends in San Diego so would plan to stay at least 3 nights there. No need to stay in L.A. as we're doing Disneyworld with family in Orlando afterwards :)

    I understand Death Valley's season ends mid May but has a Ranch that stays open. Is it still worth visiting? Would it be too hot?

    Thank you in advance for your advice and feedback!

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

    Default Can you reverse the loop?

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American roadTrip Forum.

    At this stage in your planning, would you be able to reverse the loop, so that you can drive the Pacific Coast Highway from north to South? That way it puts the scenic pull outs and views on your side of the road, avoiding the necessity to cross over oncoming traffic each time you pull in and out.

    If you are planning to stay in the Grand Canyon National Park - highly recommended -, keep an eye on the booking window. Accommodation in national parks is much sought after and quite limited. Bookings normally need to be made months in advance.

    Yes, Death Valley will really be starting to heat up in May, but is still worthwhile visiting. However you will need to check with the RV company to make sure you will be allowed to take the vehicle through there. It is an amazing landscape.

    Lifey

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I wouldn't say that that Death Valley's season ends in Mid-May. A few of the parks facilities start to close in May, but there are still several hotels and campgrounds that are open year round. I would also note that some RV rental companies have restrictions on using their RV's in DV during the summer, but those don't usually start until at least June. So, yes, I think it's a spot worth visiting, knowing that it will likely be hot.

    Otherwise, the loop you're considering sounds very good. You might consider starting by going to San Diego, then head to the Grand Canyon, onto Death Valley, over Tioga Pass into Yosemite, back down to Sequoia, then over to the Coast, and back to LA. By going this way, you would head south along the coast, letting you drive on the side of the road with the pullouts for scenic viewpoints. It would also get you to Tioga Pass later in the month, increasing the chances that the pass is open (it typically opens between mid-may and june). If Tioga is still closed, then you'd either have to go around to the South around via the Bakersfield area, or head up farther north to one of the passes closer to Lake Tahoe.

  4. #4

    Default

    Hi Lifey,
    Thank you so much for your reply and for your recommendations! Hadn't even considered being able to access the views of the Pacific Coast Highway from my side of the road! I will certainly check with the RV company about DV now that you mention it. Can you recommend one? We were looking into Apollo, but haven't locked anything in.
    Very grateful for you time and help!!

  5. #5

    Default

    Hi Michael,

    Thank you so much for your reply and your wonderful recommendations. Didn't think we'd have enough time to include Yosemite but will now look into it since you've mentioned it :). We will definitely reverse the loop and check with the RV company regarding DV. Could you recommend an RV company?
    Very grateful!!

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

    Default

    The 2 major RV rental companies that come to my mind are Cruise America and El Monte.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Not me.

    Never having rented an RV, it is hard to recommend any. The two mentioned above are the ones you will see most often, and there have been good reports about them on these forums. I believe they also have specials from time to time, so be sure to check out that. Also be aware of the 'extras', such as bedding packages when comparing the bottom line.

    Lifey

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    If you are primarily interested in visiting Sequoia to see the giant trees, it is worth noting that there is a grove of Giant Sequoias in Yosemite. It is an option to consider if you think you are too pressed for time to visit both Yosemite and Sequoia.

    Cruise America and El Monte are the of two biggest names out there with a nationwide presence, although there are also a lot of smaller companies out there which could be available to you by starting in LA. I don't have any specific recommendations, except to shop around, and make sure all the extra fees (including bedding, mileage charges, etc) are included in the quotes. Also, if you do consider smaller companies, be sure to find what they would do if you run into problems hundreds of miles away from their office.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default This, that and the other.

    It would appear that you have about 3 weeks in the RV ? Depending on the pace you want to travel at I still think you could include a lot more without feeling rushed, including a couple of Southern Utahs wonderful NP's, Zion and Bryce canyon. This is what I would consider, but you could simply leave out the Utah parks. LA >SD >GC >[possibly Mon ument valley] Bryce canyon > Zion > Death valley [Vegas would make a natural overnight stop, especially for Hoover Dam]> Yosemite > Sequoia ? [As said you could visit the Sequoia trees in Yosemite] > San Fran [Alcatraz] > Monterey/Big Sur/Cambria > LA.

    You will need to visit the NPS website and get info on when the booking window opens for the campgrounds and then book as soon as possible. Large RV sites are limited in number and very popular !

    Compare the RV companies in LA, but remember that big companies to have the back up if you should have mechanical problems etc whereas an owner rental might not and could cause delays. When looking on Cruise America's site click on the 'Hot deals' link and see what specials they have. During the winter months [near Christmas I have found] they often have good deals to keep the money rolling in during the off season.

    One thing to be aware of is that the Tioga Pass [CA120] into Yosemite from Death valley may still be closed due to winter snow accumulation so you will need to check. If not you can go south to Lake Isabella and around the mountains and then head north on the west side of the mountains. This would put Sequoia before Yosemite in the visiting order.

    You might get few campground ideas etc from our RV trip a few years ago.

  10. Default

    No doubt California and Arizona both states are amazing and offer many attractive places to have some fun with the family. If we want to visit the California as well as Arizona then you should connect to any travel company they can provide you the best transport facility with hotel amenities and complete guided tour. What will you say about it?

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