RV'ing out of and into SF in two weeks
Just booked a trip over wich as well as having a few nights in New York, will involve picking up and dropping off a 25ft RV from San Francisco and using it for two weeks. We have booked a mileage pack of 1000 miles, though we currently have the option to increase this or go unlimited.
There will be myself, my wife and our two kids aged 13 and 10, and we plan to do and see quite a bit of stuff, but try and do a few nights in each place rather than drive miles every day.
Definately want to take in Yosemite, Redwoods, and the Volcano area, and would like to drive the coast highway too and drop down to some beaches.
Anyone got any other suggestions?
Do you think 1000miles limit is enough?
Any hidden gems that you know of?
Clocking up the miles.
Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !
Most company's offer an additional mileage rate of around 32 cents per mile that can be added on at the end of your trip, but you can often save a little by pre booking them in a package, it will depend on the miles you want to do. Just to follow your outline to get from SF to the Redwood National park, Lassen volcanic park, Yosemite and back to SF is over the thousand miles plus any detours.[Lake Tahoe would be one]. With so much on offer in this neck of the woods I would start by searching the forums and seeing what appeals to you the most as their are many more options in the Southwest you could consider from SF.
If you are travelling in the summer you would need to book campgrounds in popular spots like Yosemite at the earliest time they are available to make sure you get a spot.
Have a look around and keep asking questions as they arise.
Well we've got our NY accomodation booked for the 5 days we are there, which is a start. We have got some advice that if you are doing any of the west coast highway in California it is best to go North to South. So maybe what we will do is head south from SF down the coast the cut across country ending up in Yosemite, then head north inland, finally cutting back across to the coast Highway again.
Tell me is Oregon a feasible detour? Could we head up into the southernmost parts of that state and take in anything of interest?
Or would that add loads to our mileage?
On another angle, seing as we will be self catering for most of the trip (NY included) how do grocery prices in the US compare with the UK?
The southern most part of Oregon is nearly 400 miles north of San Francisco. Certainly there is plenty to do there, but based on a loop of going south through big sur, and then back up through Yosemite, that would be a very large detour.
I think you need to get a little more focus in on what it is you are trying to accomplish, because I'm having a hard time following your current plans.
Maybe I cant get my head around the distances combined with the average speed?
I guess I'm used to driving through Europe at 120kph to get to the French alps from northern England in two days. Thats nearly 700 miles.
We plan to get to Austria from the north of the UK in February which is 700 miles. We plan to do it with one stopover, on the German/Austrian autobahns where there is no speed limit. We also plan to ski the day after we get there too!
I guess the US is a combination of bigger distances and lower speed limits!
I'll get the map out tomorrow and work things out a bit more.
sort of, but not really
Well, you're kind of thinking across purposes here.
On an American Freeway, in this case I-5, you'll see a speed limit of 70-75 mph so that's not really different than 120 km/h. Driving 700 miles in 2 days on such a road certainly isn't out of the ordinary here - in fact, for long haul driving, we recommend 500-600 miles in a day as one full day on the road. If you just wanted to "get there" you could go from SF to Vancouver Canada (about 1000 miles) with one stopover pretty comfortably.
But this isn't a trip where you're talking about just trying to get between two points. This is a trip where you're talking about taking scenic, but slower, two lane roads along a twisting coast and into the mountains. On these roads, you'll probably be doing pretty good to average 40-45 mph. They are certainly worth while drives that are built to be enjoyed, but its just an apples/oranges comparison to your 700 mile drives on a freeway.
Feasible day drives in an RV
THIS IS NOT A SUGGESTED ITINERARY!
This is just some random thoughts on where you MIGHT stay (for one or more nights) a reasonable day's RV drive apart, assuming you're doing a loop from SF north. You would want to stay a minimum of two nights at most of these places, in order to actually SEE them.
Yosemite from SF. Half day drive.
Lassen (area, possibly stay in a state park like Burney Falls). Long day's drive.
Crater Lake (area). Another full day's drive.
Southern Oregon coast (maybe Gold Beach: take a Jet Boat ride on the Rogue River). Almost full day drive.
Redwood Park(s) area. Half day drive (or less).
Somewhere on the CA coast north of SF (Fort Bragg/Mendocino). Half day's drive.
Return to SF. (Half day's drive).
The above is 7 days driving, leaving you another 7-odd days squatting and enjoying wherever you're stopped at. This loop does not get you south of SF into Big Sur (which validates Midwest Michael's point about the distances and timings in trying to include both Big Sur and southern Oregon in a two week trip). You COULD do it, but my guess is you'd feel you spent too much time behind the wheel and too little time enjoying the stops. To add Big Sur you'd probably want to drop Crater Lake and the Oregon coast; going from Lassen to Redwood NP directly.
Note about beaches... in northern California you probably won't be spending much time in the water. It is quite cold! You'll notice all the surfers have wetsuits. People do swim, but this is not Hawaii. They're fun to walk, many have neat tidepools to explore for interesting critters (when the tide is out), and maybe even some sunbathing... but the swimming beaches are all down in LA and San Diego.
The bigger picture.
Following on from Cal's suggestion, I think it's feasible to do the route he has outlined and head South from SF as far as the Morro bay area before heading inland to Yosemite and over the Tioga pass [CA120] then North on 395 towards Lake Tahoe, Reno and onto Lassen.
As Michael said it's not so much about the miles but the time to see the places you are visiting. Yosemite is larger than the Lake district [although nowhere near the road miles] with low speed limits and you will need a couple of day's there to enjoy it.
The complete route is just over 1600 miles but by the time you have added detours/driving around the parks/city's I would imagine you will be looking at 1800-1900 miles and will keep you on the go. A couple of day's in SF on arrival, a couple down the coast and 2 more in Yosemite and you can see how quickly time can go. A week gone to Tahoe and around 750 miles covered, of course it is just an example but hopefully it will help you get a better picture of what is needed.