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  1. Default California November

    Hello everybody
    We are a family of 4 living in Denmark (a very small country far far away :-) We are 2 adults and 2 girls who in November will be nearly 1 and 5 years old. We are planning to go to California for the whole month of November. Part of this trip should include 2 weeks roadtrip.
    We are totally novices in this, so I would appriciate any help you could give me. First of all, is there any of you who have experience traveling with a baby under 1 year - is it doable and anything we should be particualy alert of.
    We are flying into San Fransisco, and will spend some days there before we rent our RV. Going to California the first time, we will try to be quite hard in prioritizing what to do, otherwise we will try too much, and end up stressing around. keeping our family in mind what can people in this forum recomment for us to do. Some keywords of interest for us: wine, seaside, a bit of the beaten track.

    Hope to hear from some of you - Thank you

    Kind Regards

    Jonas

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default First thoughts.

    Hello and welcome to RTA !

    Travelling with a 1 year old will not be any different to when travelling at home, days out etc. They will be more interested in the little things they enjoy now than they will the trip so that shouldn't be a problem at all.

    Travelling by RV will actually be more expensive than renting a car and staying in motels by the time you add all the associated costs such as, mileage charges, campground fees, high fuel consumption and other bits like kitchen and bedding kits etc. If you wanted to head to the mountains, Yosemite and Sequoia NP's for example, it could be very cold and even seeing snow is a real possibility. If you are sure thats what you want to do, then it can be a great lifestyle choice.

    With 2 weeks you could drive down the coast to LA and San Diego using CA1 from Monterey around Big Sur to Cambria. Lots of great views, seaside towns and attractions like Monterey Aquarium and near San Simeon, Hearst castle. You would need a minimum of 1 overnight stop just for the journey, but you could spend a week. North of SF is Napa Valley, a well known wine region and you have places such as the Golden Gate Rec area, Point Reyes and Muir woods to name a few. You have the National parks I mentioned to consider and with 2 weeks you could even visit the Grand canyon NP, Las Vegas and Death valley.

    What you really need to do right now is get hold of some decent maps and search around the forums for ideas and when you have a better idea of what you want to do we can help put it all together.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,545

    Default

    I've traveled with my own kids from the time they were about 4 weeks old, and revisited some of those experiences with my grandkids in recent years. A couple of tips:

    Allow 20% more time to travel with youngsters, as they need time to run around. BTW, they can sleep in a car seat while you travel, and they must be in a car seat whether you are in a car or an RV. You will stop more, too, because the 5 year old cannot be using the onboard potty while you are rolling. You must stop.

    BTW, I agree with Dave. You are better off with a car rental+motels, price-wise. As I said above, kids have to be in a car seat either way, in the State of California. Here are the laws regarding car seats here in CA. Another issue with an RV in November is the possibility of freezing temperatures, in the Sierras (Yosemite, Tahoe). The RV rental place may require you not to use anything onboard that requires water, which means no sink, no toilet, no showers -- all the reasons you might think an RV is convenient for.


    Donna

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

    Default It's All There

    Velkommen! Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    First, let me just reiterate a few things Dave said. An RV is probably not the vehicle of choice for an exploratory family RoadTrip such as you're contemplating. RV's are better suited to vacation where you drive to one or two locations, park it, set up camp, and explore an area mostly on foot or with a Toad. Trying to get to multiple locations, driving through the mountains or along twisty coastal roads aren't really the strengths of the RV lifestyle. And as Dave noted, they end up being considerably more expensive than a sedan and motels. Plus it's easier to secure the infant in a car seat in a sedan.

    As far as where to go, your 'wish list' looks as though you mostly want to see northern California. When you first pick up your car or RV, you should see a bit of the coastal beaches south of San Francisco, but I wouldn't go much farther south than Monterey/Carmel/Big Sur because beyond that there are very few roads inland and you'll be committed to a long drive on a single two-lane road. Instead go back through San Francisco, cross the Golden Gate Bridge and visit Point Reyes National Seashore, the Napa Valley, and maybe a bit of the Gold Rush history around Sacramento. Then you could head north (inland) to one of the less visited national parks, Lassen Volcanic National Park. Next up might be a loop back south through Nevada with possible stops at Virginia City and Lake Tahoe before continuing south to Lee Vining CA and crossing the Sierra Nevada over Tioga Pass (IF it's open) into Yosemite National Park before finally retuning to San Francisco and home. Note however, that Tioga Pass does get snowed in and closes for the winter sometime around November, so if it's already closed, you'll have to leave the Reno/Lake Tahoe area on US-50 or I-80 west to CA-49 south, and enter Yosemite from the west on CA-120.

    Loved Borgen by the way.

    AZBuck

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

    Default

    you'll have to leave the Reno/Lake Tahoe area on US-50 or I-80 west to CA-49 south, and enter Yosemite from the west on CA-120.
    Or CA-88, that's maintained year-round and is a lot less traveled and very scenic.

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