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  1. Default Phoenix, Grand Canyon, Vegas, Yosemite, San Francisco in July with baby!

    Afternoon all, my first thread and while I appreciate there must be a lot of good advice around here, I could really use some first hand knowledge! So, in July we (myself, wife, son (21) daughter (17) and daughter (8 months) are landing in Phoenix to pick up a C30 RV, then heading out to visit the Grand Canyon for starters. Then to Vegas where, 6 days into this leg, we say goodbye to som as he flies home for a wedding, leaving the dour of us to head off to Yosemite and the coast en route to San Francisco where we fly home from. All advice gratefully received, particularly with regard to good campgrounds and tips for places to visit to suite our family. Anyone done it with a baby before?

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

    Default How long in total.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    To get a campground site for this size RV and at this time of year in the National parks you should book asap after the booking window opens, the dates you can find on the National parks site at followed by park name. For Grand canyon South rim I would recommend 'Mather campground' and in Yosemite one of the 3 'Pines' campgrounds. In Vegas the Oasis RV resort is pretty cool and not to far from the strip with a free shuttle bus service if need be. You can head to Yosemite across the Sierra's from Lee Vining on the Tioga pass [CA120] and then head to the coast or head to the coast and across to Yosemite. It's more or less certain that your rental agreement will prevent you from entering Death valley during this time of year so you will have to route accordingly if that is the case. Either way I would make an overnight stop from Vegas to .......? and a couple of days to drive up the coast if you are heading to the Morro bay area and around Big Sur. You don't say how much time you have for your trip overall and that will go a long way to working out your itinerary.

    Use the search function to look around the forums and you will find lots of ideas on this much discussed route and let us know as you have new questions.

  3. Default

    Thanks for the advice! We are landing in Phoenix on the 8th July and flying back from SanFrancisco on the 23rd.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Sounds good.

    With 8 or 9 days 'post ' Vegas you certainly have time to do a little exploring on the way to SF. Tioga pass [CA120] across the Sierra Nevada is very scenic and a big part of the Yosemite experience. From Vegas you will need to stop on the East side of the mountains and Mammoth lakes should be about as far as you should aim. Into Yosemite and I would recommend at least 2 nights in the park and then make your way to the coast in the Cambria area. A couple of days to SF and 2 or 3 in SF would finish the trip off nicely. You could consider squeezing Sequoia NP in between Yosemite and the coast but it might feel a little 'busy'. As for the RV, I would consider dropping it off as you arrive in SF and spend a couple of nights in a Motel. RV parks are limited around the City and you certainly wouldn't want to take the RV downtown. Being a compact City with good transport it is easy to get around on foot and cable cars.

  5. Default

    Hey Dave,

    Well you were certainly right about the slots going quick for 'the pines'!! Despite three of us on different computers all trying to get on, we missed them. It would have been easier to get Take That tickets! There's still a little hope with next month's release. However, as a back up, I've booked three nights in Sequoia. A quick question if anyone can answer please. We have to drop one of us off at Las Vegas Airport on the 14th July around 4.00pm and want to hit the road in the directon of Fresno. I'm conscious it will get dark around 8.00pm, so was thinking of trying to get to Barstow and stop over there. Any recommendations?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    With no stops and no traffic, you can make it from LV to Barstow in about 2.5 hours. There's essentially nothing between the NV-CA state line and Barstow except Baker, which has no RV parks that I'm aware of.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Too early perhaps?

    Well you were certainly right about the slots going quick for 'the pines'!! Despite three of us on different computers all trying to get on, we missed them.
    As you are in Vegas on the 14th, I am presuming you are in Yosemite on or after July 15th. If the dates you were trying to book was 15th onwards the booking window doesn't open until March 15th and that's why they would be unavailable.

    Barstow is about 3 hours from Vegas with the RV, so that shouldn't be a problem.

    When heading to Sequoia you have 2 choices, driving through Three rivers and North on the Generals highway [198] or the alternative is Highway 180 from Fresno and South down the Generals highway. Taking option 1 through Three rivers takes you through a tricky section of the Generals Highway which is narrow and twisty. There is an advisory for vehicles of over 22ft in lenght to take the 'other' route, but the legal requirement is that you are under 40ft for a single vehicle. I have driven it in a 30ft RV and felt quite comfortable, but I do have experience in driving large trucks. When driving on any 2 lane roads it is customary [and law in some cases] to use the pull outs to let traffic by you that you are holding up. You will [in most cases] be rewarded with a toot of the horn and a friendly wave by doing so and it will help keep you relaxed.

  8. Default

    Thanks for the advice. A tip you might like to pass on is that if you want to book into Yosemite around the 15th of the month, it would be an idea to try and put an extra date on the front end so you can access the bookings a month early. In our case (though we weren't quick enough to secure the booking) we wanted to have our first night on the 16th of July, so technically we should book from 15th March onwards. However, those booking across those dates from the previous booking period have priority and could secure the 16th ahead of us. So we decided to book from the 14th July to the 17th and by doing so, we could book yesterday. Great theory, but you have to be so, so fast when that window opens! At least we can try for the 16th again in March, but if you check now, you will see some sites are already booked up.

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