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  1. Default 24 Day RV Trip with Family Starting in Vegas

    I'm planning a 24 day trip next summer for myself, wife, and three sons (6,12,13). We're planning to fly to Vegas, rent an RV and drive to see the sights. I've planned a preliminary route, but as I've looked into the details, it seems I might have missed some worthwhile sites.
    I'll put my original plan below, along with alternate sites. I want to spend enough time at key places for us to explore and enjoy as a family without feeling rushed.
    ORIGINAL PLAN--Vegas, Grand Canyon (which rim? both?), Zion, Bryce, Salt Lake, Glacier, Yellowstone, Tetons, Rocky mtn. NP, and fly home from Denver.
    OTHER PLACES OF INTEREST--Glen Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands, Dinosaur Monument. Can we fit these in? Are these worth the extra miles? Is there something we've overlooked? Is there something we should skip?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Great family adventure !

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    That's a lovely trip you have to look forward to and with 24 days you would have time, but 'enough' depends on what pace you want to set for yourself as you could easily spend between 2 and 5 days at each of the parks, although not strictly necessary. The first thing I would do if you wish to visit Arches and Canyonlands is to create a loop trip and start and finish in the same city. The flights will likely be cheaper and you won't face nasty one way drop off charges for the RV. So you could go something like this. LV >Zion >SLC>Glacier> Yellowstone> Tetons >RMNP>Arches and Canyonlands>Bryce canyon > Grand canyon > LV. That would be about 7 days of solid driving from A to B without drive times around the parks and City's. Going to Glacier NP adds about 800 miles to your trip so that's something to consider if you are planning to cut back, as lovely as it is. Most parks require at least couple of nights and a full day to start to appreciate them, but Yellowstone and the Tetons really need 3 to 4 days devoted to them.

    I would recommend you check the site and check when the booking windows open for campgrounds for your actual dates and make a note of them. When they open you should book asap as RV sites are limited compared to the number of summer visitors and they sell out quickly. Another thing is to purchase the Annual pass at the first park you visit. It is $80 and permits entry to all parks for a year and will save you money on this trip alone.

    What you need to do is build from your preliminary route plan and see how many nights you might want to spend where and how much time you want to spend travelling between them. In an RV with Kids you shouldn't plan on any more than 450 to 500 miles in a day but that will be more like work. When we travel by RV we try and keep to under 350 miles between main atrractions and that leaves time to stop and explore smaller places in between. Once you have a first draught and/or more questions just post it up here and we can help piece your trip together.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Going to Glacier NP adds about 800 miles to your trip so that's something to consider if you are planning to cut back, as lovely as it is.
    It will also depend on when in "summer" this trip will be. This past year, it was nearly the end of June when Going to the Sun Highway opened for the season. That's the main drive through the park. Also, if you're in an RV, you will have to take either the free shuttles or get on one of the Red Bus tours -- your RV will be too large to take the entire length of the drive.


  4. Default Vegas to Glacier and Back in rented RV

    I'm getting ready to make a big commitment to rent an RV for next summer. Before I do, here's my most up-to-date itenerary and the RV we're planning to rent. I'd appreciate feedback as I've never done anything like this. I've thought and researched myself to death, but there are so many variables to consider!

    The trip is for the month of July, 2017.
    Family of 5...husband, wife, son 13, son 12, son 6

    We're planning to rent a 35ft motorhome (Winnebago Sightseer) through the RV share website. We've looked at several avenues, and this is least expensive (by about $2000), even though the RV is larger than we hoped. It seems very comfortable and spacious, but I'm concerned it may be too large to maneuver through the parks. I'm concerned we might have trouble finding campgrounds in the parks that accomodate 35 footers. I'm concerned that in the crowded months I'll struggle so much to get around and park that I won't be able to relax and enjoy the sights. We won't have a car for sightseeing within the parks, so our main way around will be the RV.

    Following is a list of our destinations along the way in order.

    Vegas (fly in, one night in hotel)
    Grand Canyon Caverns (one night)
    Grand Canyon (3 nights)
    Glen Canyon (2 nights)
    Bryce Canyon (1 night)
    Moab/Arches (2 nights)
    Vernal (Dinosaur) (2 nights)
    Tetons (2 nights)
    Yellowstone (3 nights)
    Bozeman, MT (1 night)
    Glacier (4 nights)
    Missoula, MT (1 night)
    Lava Hot Springs (2 nights)
    Salt Lake City (1 night)
    Zion (3 nights)
    Vegas (hotel)

    The total trip will be about 3500 miles in the middle of the summer. Are we biting off more than we can chew? I don't want my kiddos to be miserable with too much driving. However, I want to see as much as possible as this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us.
    Thanks in advance!

    Please keep all questions regarding this trip here. Thanks.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 10-14-2016 at 12:02 AM. Reason: Merged threads.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Good job !

    Wow ! Great job with the planning and you have a really nice relaxed trip to look forward to. Our last RV trip was similar mileage except we covered the ground in 16 days so your in great shape !

    The major thing to consider regarding the RV rental, is whether or not you would have the back up required if you had a mechanical failure that could take you off the road, especially if it's privately owned and an older vehicle. [Although new vehicles can fail] The peace of mind you get with going with a large company is that there is usually a depot not too far away and a replacement vehicle available if need be. Cruise America is usually quite competitive and if you go to their US site and see if there's anything available on their 'Hot deals' link you can sometimes save a good amount. They also normally include the insurance needed. On all quotes don't forget to budget for mileage charges and all the little extras that come with it. As mentioned in my previous reply, you will need to check the nps booking windows and secure your sites as early as possible.

    A couple of things you could consider tweaking in your itinerary is as follows, but only suggestions as what you have is good. Alter Grand canyon to 2 nights and then between Bryce and Moab travel scenic Byway 12 to UT24 and spend a bit of time at Capital Reef NP, it's a great scenic drive. Spend one night at Dinosaur and the following at Flaming Gorge Res. Split your nights at Glacier with 2 nights either side of the park as you won't be able to drive the Going to the Sun road in an RV that size.

  6. Default

    Thanks so much, Southwest Dave! I apologize for not attaching to the prior thread. Still learning. Thanks for getting us on track. Thanks for your prompt insights and advice. I've made note of the suggested changes. That's exactly what I need. Now I just need to decide on an RV and start booking campsites and fun activities for our trip! I'm grateful for experienced RVers like you who are willing to help me avoid unnecessary mistakes and oversights!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Really, you won't be able to drive Going to the Sun Highway in any sort of RV. We drove it this summer in a super-cab pickup, and we were just under the length. We had to pull in one folding mirror (the passenger side) in several places to keep it from hitting the wall. We noticed some crew cab pickups also on the road, and one ahead of us also folded in his mirror for the same reason. It was also necessary to take the CB antenna off the cab (yeah, we still have one, grin) in order to keep from hitting the ceiling of a tunnel. Someone warned us ahead of time, so it was off before pulling up to the gate at Glacier.

    The campground at Two Medicine Lake is beautiful - but it's not near the east entrance to the park. That's another 23 slow miles away, I think. St Mary campground is right there at the east entrance on Going to the Sun Road. The one on the other end, which you can reach by RV by using US-2, is Apgar. Also very pretty. Bear in mind that none of them have hookups. If you want that, you'll have to get into a commercial campground -- Mountain Meadows is one on the west side, St Mary Glacier KOA (expensive) on the east side.


  8. Default

    Thanks Donna! I'll be back on with more questions as we get more specific in our planning!

  9. Default

    Here's my latest question on our planning.
    During the trip, we have about 5 days (July 5-July 9) to travel from Glen Canyon to Flaming Gorge. At the end of this time, I'm hoping to be at Flaming Gorge so we can drive up to the Tetons. My question is how to break up the trip and where we should plan to spend most of our time. Remember I'll have a class A 36 ft. rig, wife and 3 boys, 6, 12, 13.

    So here is my first stab. Suggestions?
    5th--Drive 150 miles to Bryce from Glen. Spend rest of day and night at Ruby's Inn CG.
    6th--Drive through Capitol Reef to Moab. 275 miles. Camp in Moab Slickrock CG
    7th--rent a jeep? to tour Arches and Canyonlands. Camp in Moab (Goose Island if avail. or Slickrock again)
    8th--drive to Dinosaur NP area 300miles. Camp in Vernal (Fossil Valley CG)
    9th--Visit Dinosaur NP and drive to Ashley, WY 100miles to camp. (Firehole Canyon CG)
    Is this enough time? Should I skip something? What are the "must see" "must do" spots for us in this quick tour?
    Suggestions for places to camp in these areas? All that take reservations seem to be pricey, but I'm afraid in July we might be hard pressed to find a site without reservations. I've included the ones that seem to be a good fit.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    What you have there is certainly doable if you are happy with it, but I am wondering what is happening prior to Glen canyon ? If you are continuing from Grand canyon village then it would be less miles if you went to Bryce and then Glen canyon after Capitol Reef.

    Ruby's Inn is pretty cool, you can get the shuttle bus from there and leave the rig where it is for the main area and there is dining, shopping and Bryce Old town just across the road were you can put the Kid's in the jailhouse ! If you want to drive to the far end of the canyon [recommended] I would do it early morning as the viewpoint parking areas are small and I would recommend you go to the far end first and visit the viewpoints on the way back up. That will put them all on your side of the road and you won't be having to continuously pull your rig across the traffic to park.

    For Arches NP I would book the Devils Garden campground, but you will have to see when the booking window opens and get on it straight after as it will sell out real quick ! It's possible to visit the Islands in the Sky section of Canyonlands from there if you wanted to base yourself there for a couple of nights.

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