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  1. Default Planning California roadtrip (merged)

    Hi there,

    We're a family of 3 coming from Amsterdam and planning a 1 month road trip in California. Our daughter is 10 and we are planning on renting a RV for this trip.

    Any suggestions for route, attractions, ideas about budget. Any kind of information will be welcomed.

    Thanks, Vered

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Very General Advice

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Its nearly impossible to say anything specific about your trip without knowing any of the details or what your interests and the like are.

    However, there is already a great deal of general information about Budgets, RVs and California on this site.

    Between the Planning Section and the Forum Search you should have an overwhelming amount of information to help you get your planning started.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Some Hors d'Oeuvre

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    A month in California can cover a lot of ground, and there is far more to see and experience there than you are ever going to be able to squeeze in. But let's at least get you started on planning your adventure. For starters, if you've never travelled in an RV before (or even if you have) check out a few of the many articles related to such travel that we provide. Also be sure to read and print out this article on renting an RV. We also offer tips on travel with children. As far as budgeting goes, travelling by RV allows you to cut down on other day to day expenses. One of our moderators has written an excellent post enumerating what some of the other expenses might be.

    OK - so much for background. As I said, California is a huge state, with many natural and man-made attractions. Before we could even begin to tell you what to do, we'd need to know about your interests and tastes. What do you like/want to do while you're here? How about your daughter? Where are you flying in to? Are you on a shoestring (tight budget) or something with a bit more flexibility? How big is the RV you're looking at - will it fit on all the roads we might recommend? What's you're comfort level with driving such a rig, and how far to you plan to drive on any given day. These are just some of the questions you need to answer in planning your RoadTrip


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Welcome!

    You should also check out the International Page of information here. Lots of good information for you.

  5. Default Planning California roadtrip (merged)

    Hi all,

    I've read through most of the relevant posts already (this is a fantastic site!) and put together a rough itinerary for a summer road trip for our family (July-August 2007). We are going to rent an RV and we have about 3.5 weeks. We fly in/out of San Francisco (from Amsterdam). We're more interested in natural wonders than man made ones, and our daughter who is 10 loves music and show-biz.

    I would really appreciate any thoughts/advice from people who've traveled this route/locals to the area.

    In particular, are we being too ambitious in terms of distances and times? Basically are we planning too much road per day? Any recommendations for a good reasonable priced rental RV company? Also must sees' which we have missed out? Any recommendations of how long to stay where etc..

    What would be the best order to do the following sites:
    SF – 1-2 days
    Highway 1 – Santa Cruz, Monterey, Carmel, Big Surf
    LA – 2-3 days - Universal Studios
    Disneyland – 1-2 days
    San Diego – 1-2 days Sea world
    Sequoia National Park
    Yosemite National Park
    Lake Tahoe
    Back to SF

    Look forward to hearing from you, thanks in advance for your help

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default A few more resources for you

    Quote Originally Posted by Amsterdamrose View Post
    I've read through most of the relevant posts already
    At the risk of redundancy, here are a few more things to look at. There are so many resources on this site, sometimes it is easy to miss one or two. First of all, here is a good overview about renting RVs, here is a checklist you ought print out and take with you when you pick up your rental -- here is a really great (free) site for planning RV vacations plus (if you have the budget they will create a personalized trip that is one of the best packages in the industry).
    We're more interested in natural wonders than man made ones, and our daughter who is 10 loves music and show-biz.
    Thanks for that -- you have been reading some of those other posts!
    I would really appreciate any thoughts/advice from people who've traveled this route/locals to the area.
    Look at the second post in this thread for more ideas, AND look at the bottom of this page!
    What would be the best order to do the following sites:
    The order looks fine to me.


  7. Default 3 weeks roadtrip California - advise

    Thanks for all those helpful links.
    Any idea how much budget should I plan on for this plan?

  8. Default 3 National Parks in 12 days - too ambitious?


    I’m trying to plan the best route (scenery wise) for our 3 weeks road trip.
    We’re arriving on July 17 to San-Francisco. We’re going to rent RV for this trip. The first part of the trip is quite easy basically Highway 1 to LA and from there to San Diego. This I estimate will take us (with stops on the way and 2-3 days in LA) and Disneyland (we have a 10 year old with us) about 10-12 days.

    Then we wish to continue to see Grand Canyon Park, Sequoia National Park and Yosemite National Park and back to San-Francisco.

    A few questions to this learned forum:
    1. Is my estimation of 10-12 days for SF – to SD is reasonable?

    2. Is it possible to do those 3 parks in the remaining time (12 days) when I still wish to stay at least 2-3 days in each park to enjoy certain activities that are special for that park?

    3. Could you recommend what will be the most interesting roads to take (with RV) to reach those destinations?

    4. Do you think I need to reserve places for overnight in the RV parks or would it be possible to do it as we go to reserve from one place to the next?

    5. If you have any recommendations for a good place where we can rent an RV (San-Francisco area) will be very much appreciated.

    Thanks, Rose

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default We Like Ambition

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Your trip is actually very restrained and comfortable in comparison to some plans that we see. So I wouldn't worry on that score. I see nowhere where you'll be rushed to the point of felling that you don't have time to enjoy your surroundings. So the answer to both (1) and (2) is yes: reasonable and possible. As to (3), your general order of sites should probably go San Diego, Grand Canyon, Sequoia, Yosemite, San Francisco. Here's a post where I lay out three possible routes from San Diego to the Grand Canyon. With the time you have available, and with a child, I think that the 'interesting' route through the Imperial Valley, up the Colorado, and cutting across Arizona would be the most enjoyable. From the Grand Canyon to Sequoia and Yosemite your choices are much more constrained since you will have to come around the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the south. This thread discusses some of your options in detail. On (4), the closer you want to stay to the parks, the more I would recommend that you make reservations now. Many of the parks themselves are already booked solid for the year and you will be coming at a very popular time. Finally, to rent an RV start here. Our Editor, Mark, has far more experience with this mode of transportation than I do, and he might be along later with some specific recommendations, but this should certaily get you started.


  10. Default Plenty of time..

    Hello Amsterdamrose, and welcome to the RoadTripAmerica forum!

    From SF to San Diego is a very scenic trip, and how long it takes will depend upon where you want to stop and what you'd like to do along the way. The distance is drivable in 1 day (particularly if you take the less scenic superhighways), but typically this route will take from 4-5 days with lots of scenic stops, following the scenic California Coast 1 from Santa Cruz to Santa Barbara and beyond.

    As a rough rule of thumb.. for a day's trip without pushing it.
    SF - Monterey or Carmel --
    Monterey to San Simeon/ Cambria/ Morro Bay (with a stop at Hearst Castle and a slower drive down through Big Sur)
    San Simeon to Santa Barbara or San Ynez (letting you stop along the way and perhaps do some wine tasting near San Ynez)
    Santa Barbara to LA area somewhere
    LA to San Diego.

    From San Diego, a good route would be to Grand Canyon, then Las Vegas, then Sequoia (possibly stopping in Death Valley), and then Yosemite, before returning to SF.

    You have a couple of options. There's the direct fast route from SD to the Grand Canyon which goes up I-15 to the I-40 and then east and is drivable in a long day's drive -- or you can go somewhat east from San Diego, into Arizona and up through Phoenix, Sedona and Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon.

    Similarly in going from Las Vegas to Yosemite, you have the option of going through Death Valley, and then over the crest of the Sierras on the Tioga Pass road to come in just north of Yosemite. However, it would be a day's drive back south to Sequoia, before heading back to San Francisco.

    You will be in the start of the big tourist season here, so I would encourage reservations in high demand locations -- such as campgrounds along the beach and in the national parks, in particular.

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