Having recently found a very cheap 2 week fly/drive deal to Las Vegas from the UK I'm about have my first taste of driving in the USA (I've visted before but never driven). So if you'll indulge me I have a bunch a questions about my planned trip and about driving in the US in general. We're intending spending half the time in Vegas (from where we'll do the Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon) and half driving elsewhere.
We're intending leaving Las Vegas on Thursday 30th June and returning on Friday 8th July. In that time I want to visit a friend in L.A. (and take in 6 Flags and Universal) and my wife wants to take in SF.
My prospective intinery is as follows.
T Vegas -> Death Valley -> ?
F ? -> Sequoia -> SF
S SF -> Santa Cruz -> ? (via coast road - I1 ?)
M ? -> L.A.
F L.A. -> Vegas
On the trip
Does that look viable, my job means I'm used to doing 500 miles in a day (although on easy motorways) but obviously in a car I know on roads I know and not day after day ?
Is Death Valley a sensible trip at this time of year ? Other than extra water, what precautions should I take ?
This itenary has me doing a large chunk of the coast road on 3th July. Is this a good or bad day to be on the road ? Is there somewhere I should be on the 4th to get a real "feel" for the day ?
What suggestions do people have for the missing stops, and for "must see" stops along the way ?
On Driving in the USA
By default I'm only likely to be getting a compact or small 4 door car, is it worth upgrading ? (I don't mind small cars, but I'm worried about doing this kind of mileage in one).
What are the speed limits in the US and how strongly are they enforced ? I spent some time in North Carolina a few years ago and was amazed how slow everyone drove !
I'm about to get a hand held GPS / route finder, I assume coverage for these is good in the US ?
Thanks In Advance