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  1. Default Australian family - RV road trip from San Francisco to LA over 12 days

    Hi We are are a family of 4 from Sydney Australia, our kids ages are 10 and 9. We are planning a one way RV trip from San Francisco to LA, in early August this year for 12 days.

    We would like to visit Yosemite national park. But really don’t have much else in mind. Would be grateful for any suggestions, and suggested RV parks that are fun. We’d like to mostly see the inland areas, not so much the coast. Interested in any thing fun and exciting, and active.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciate. I’m understand that places will start booking out so need to get a plan and get booked in.

    Thanks Bresoo

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

    Default A loop through some national parks.

    Hi Bresoo , and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    Sounds like a lovely trip. You know you could include the Grand Canyon. I doubt that the RV company will allow you to visit Death Valley in August, but you could still go from Yosemite via Vegas to the Grand Canyon and on to LA via a short section of old Route 66.

    Depending on the time and the speed at which you plan to travel, you could include some other parks such as Zion. Or you could head down the Pacific Coast Highway before heading inland to, maybe to Sequoia NP and thenonto Yosemite NP,

    Do you have accommodation booked at Yosemite? Accommodation within the national parks is limited and much sought after. It usually fill within hours of the booking window opening. But it may pay you to keep checking for tghe dates you will be there, as people's plans change and cancellations do become available. It pays to check frequently.

    Be sure that when you are at these spectacular NPs you book the children in for the Junior Rangers Program. It will teach them (and you) a great deal about the parks and when completed will earn them some cool souvenirs to take home.

    Another great thing is to get the children to keep a journal of the trip. This need not be anything elaborate, just their thoughts of the daym, before bed, and any small thing which they may have from there experiences - such as the stub from an entrance ticket. Photos can be added later.

    Lifey

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
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    10,747

    Default

    As mentioned above, try to get this tied down and booked into National parks asap. You can't beat the experience of NP camp grounds and RV sites are limited in number and high in demand. You should check if there is a significant one way drop off fee associated with dropping it back in LA, it could be there isn't as it's a popular route, but if there is have you considered a loop trip which could see you enjoy a couple of days down the coast to LA and then head to Sequoia and Yosemite NP's back to SF ? [ possibly the Grand canyon ]

    If you have it all checked out and LA is where you finish, I would head to Yosemite >Zion > Bryce canyon > Monument valley >GC south rim >LA. Between Bryce and Monument Valley you could go through Page AZ, or the long way around which goes through Capital Reef with the option of driving down the notorious Moki Dugway. Below is a link to a trip we took 'way back when,' but the basics are the same. You could take ideas and make your own trip as far as the GC and then take a direct route into LA.

    San Francisco RV trip link.

  4. Default

    Thanks Lifey,

    Good point about booking the NP in early. I'll investigate those national parks that you mentioned. Keen to also work out if there is something else adventurous non national park. Thanks again

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default More thzn you will have time for.

    Most of that part of the country is NP oriented. There are so many parks close together.

    But there are always adventures to be had outside of the parks, such as water activities. I would ask the rangers at the park. I deliberately say rangers, because if the first one you ask is not really fami9liar with the surrounding area, others may be. Another great source of information is to stop by any rangters office you see along the way.

    When in LV you will find that there are numerous trips to the Grand Canyon advertised, but be aware that all one day trips do not go to the National Park. There are flights, both helicopter and fixed wing which go to the West Rim - which is nowhere near as spectacular as the National Park.

    Not that I would want to put you off taking any of these, just be aware they are not a substitute for visiting the National Park.... but a great addition to visiting the park. Near the South Rim in Tusayan, there is an IMAX theatre with a fantastic movie of the Grand Canyon. It really gives a lot of detail of the park. At Zion too, there is an IMAX theatre which has a movie about Zion and Bryce.

    It is more than a decade ago that I saw these movies, so best to check if that is still the case.

    Lifey

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    As mentioned above, try to get this tied down and booked into National parks asap. You can't beat the experience of NP camp grounds and RV sites are limited in number and high in demand. You should check if there is a significant one way drop off fee associated with dropping it back in LA, it could be there isn't as it's a popular route, but if there is have you considered a loop trip which could see you enjoy a couple of days down the coast to LA and then head to Sequoia and Yosemite NP's back to SF ? [ possibly the Grand canyon ]

    If you have it all checked out and LA is where you finish, I would head to Yosemite >Zion > Bryce canyon > Monument valley >GC south rim >LA. Between Bryce and Monument Valley you could go through Page AZ, or the long way around which goes through Capital Reef with the option of driving down the notorious Moki Dugway. Below is a link to a trip we took 'way back when,' but the basics are the same. You could take ideas and make your own trip as far as the GC and then take a direct route into LA.

    San Francisco RV trip link.
    thanks good info. We're going to do Yosemite, Zion maybe via Death Valley, then Grand Canyon, then LA. Booking into Yosemite NP is provin almost impossible. I'll keep trying but will probably have to book something just outside of it for a plan B. Can anyone recommend a good RV rental company in San Francisco? Thanks for all the help

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default

    We have used Cruise America a couple of times and although there fleet of vehicles tend to come with some 'bumps and bruises' they have always been reliable and good value. We also used a family run business called Graner family Motorhomes and they were excellent with very well maintained RV's and no advertising on the sides. They do get booked up well in advance though. If you continue to have no luck with sites within Yosemite NP there is an RV site near Groveland called Yosemite Pines. In the park, one of the 3 'Pines' campgrounds in the valley are very nice and in a good location.

    You will almost certainly be permitted from taking your RV through Death valley in August and if you did break your rental agreement you would be responsible for any damage that might occur. The temps reach over 100 and apparently the heat can cause damage to the furnishings etc.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,545

    Default

    You will almost certainly be permitted from taking your RV through Death valley in August
    Um, I'm thinking that "permitted" should actually be the opposite: prohibited. Rental companies usually prohibit taking their RV's through Death Valley during the summer months.


    Donna

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default

    Correct Donna, that was a typo that should have stated 'Not be permitted'.

  10. Default

    Thanks everyone for the info.

    As an update, I've booked the RV from El Monte RV, but the one catch is that we have to do a loop, ie return to San Fran. We'll then likley get a hire car one way down to LA.

    We were planning on an itiernary that was: San Fran > Sequioa NP > Zion NP > Grand Canyon Sth Rim > Yosemite > San Fran, > hire care down to LA. However I'm concerned that this is too many miles, too much sight seeing and not enough doing. My kids prefer hands on activities rather than sight seeing and driving. So I'm keen to do Yosemite and Sequoia NP for 3 or 4 days. Now I'm researching some places we can go and do some hands on type activies e.g white water rafting (not too advanced), farm stays, horse riding, ATVs, hiking, water parks, swiming in rivers, etc.

    If anyone has any suggestions on the above that would be appreciated.

    Thanks

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