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Old 10-02-2012, 03:22 AM   #1
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Planning a trip - would appreciate your advice

Hi All!

I am planning a visit to the US and would like to rent an RV for 2 adults and 3 kids for a trip this is what I have been suggested:

Period spring

Day 1 - Arrive at Los Angeles
Day 2 - Los Angeles / Palm Springs (208 km / 02h19)
Day 3 - Palm Springs / Grand Canyon (653 km / 07h04)
Day 4 - Grand Canyon
Day 5 - Grand Canyon
Day 6 - Grand Canyon / Monument Valley (288 km / 03h33)
Day 7 - Monument Valley / Lake Powell (217 km / 02h40)
Day 8 - Lake Powell / Bryce Canyon (251 km / 03h00)
Day 9 - Bryce Canyon
Day 10 - Bryce Canyon / Las Vegas (425 km / 04h26)
Day 11 - Las Vegas / Barstow (234 km / 02h24)
Day 12 - Barstow / Yosemite (547 km / 06h20)
Day 13 - Yosemite
Day 14 - Yosemite / San Francisco (307 km / 03h48)
Day 15 - San Francisco

we could take an extra week too...
This is a first sketch any suggestions really welcome
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:43 AM   #2
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Re: Planning a trip - would appreciate your advice

Is there some compelling reason to visit Barstow? A really, really compelling reason? A I-need-to-donate-a-kidney kind of reason?


Herb
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Old 10-02-2012, 06:38 AM   #3
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Re: Planning a trip - would appreciate your advice

Welcome buddy
you will have a great trip
have you been to the us before?
how many people?

some observations..

Day 1 - Arrive at Los Angeles
Day 2 - Los Angeles / Palm Springs (208 km / 02h19)
dont know why you wanna visit here
not much to see IMHO

Day 3 - Palm Springs / Grand Canyon (653 km / 07h04)

Day 4 - Grand Canyon
Day 5 - Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon rocks, great stuff, well laid out

Day 6 - Grand Canyon / Monument Valley (288 km / 03h33)

No first hand info on Monument Valley, folks?
Day 7 - Monument Valley / Lake Powell (217 km / 02h40)

Day 8 - Lake Powell / Bryce Canyon (251 km / 03h00)
Day 9 - Bryce Canyon

Bryce rocks!
make sure you hit Zion AND Kodachrome Valley
Kodachrome one of our all time favorites
You pass Zion on way to Bryce
Kodachrome is a hour or so from Bryce

We did southern Utah Chrismass 2010
I will post a belated TR
Day 10 - Bryce Canyon / Las Vegas (425 km / 04h26)

Day 11 - Las Vegas / Barstow (234 km / 02h24)

Vegas is... well Vegas :)

I would take go Vegas PASS Barstow (just a truck stop realy)
Then UP the 395, see the sights then to Yosemete then SF

Yu could spend the whole trip on 395 IMHO


Day 12 - Barstow / Yosemite (547 km / 06h20)
Day 13 - Yosemite
Day 14 - Yosemite / San Francisco (307 km / 03h48)
Day 15 - San Francisco

we could take an extra week too...

we did a trip this christmas
lots of one night stays
many miles
IF to do over again, less stops, more time to relax in cool spots
You might really like Alabama hills

Andrew can attest to Motor Home driving in USA off road :a5:

i am sure more guys will pipe in and with pics

best

bw

ps
i am pretty sure you will meet up with some of us on the trail :)
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:33 AM   #4
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Re: Planning a trip - would appreciate your advice

Saabman, sounds like a great trip. You will love Monument Valley and I recommend Zion as well between Grand Canyon and Bryce. You can see Zion in one day if you don't plan on doing much hiking, and it's the kind of place you park and ride a (free) bus, so you can enjoy and take lots of pics. Save some time in the afternoon to stop and take some pics as you drive from the Zion Canyon area through the park over towards Bryce, some of the most interesting rock formations I've ever seen, an unbelievable photo opportunity.
Also, if you only have one night to spend in Vegas, try to get there in time to park and walk the strip the night you are there. It's a truly 'American' thing and not something you will ever forget.

Many more will chime in here.

How big of a MH are you thinking of renting? The smaller the better when it comes to parking and enjoying our National Parks.
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:48 AM   #5
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Re: Planning a trip - would appreciate your advice

At first look I think your driving time estimates are much too optimistic, especially in a motor home. Example: 653km (405 miles) in 7 hours (@~57mph). No way that's going to happen. If you are using Google Maps for time estimates: don't! They are OK for car travel, but in a motor home you are going to be a lot slower, especially in 1) an unfamiliar motor home and 2) an unfamiliar country.

I would also plan an extra day for Yosemite, if you can find an open campsite (pretty hard to do sometimes). There is a lot to see/do there, and lots of good ranger activities to take advantage of.
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:51 AM   #6
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Re: Planning a trip - would appreciate your advice

Depending on when in "Spring" you may have some problems getting to Yosemite from Barstool (395 to 120 Tioga Pass) if it is a heavy winter.

Coming from France, you might be underestimating the scale of the US. Several years ago I came across a young woman from Switzerland on the side of the road, 20 miles from Las Vegas on the road to Pahrump, NV. She was sitting there next to her bicycle and belongings crying at 9:00 Am with the temps already in the 80's. She had flown into Las Vegas the night before and was planning on riding to San Francisco, CA - it didn't look so far on the map she had. She ended up in San Diego with her bike in the back of our truck.

I traveled for three months in Europe as a student and nothing is more than a few hours or less from the last place. Here, the distances are much greater and hard to appreciate from a map or Google Earth.

You have picked some wonderful place to visit, leave yourself plenty of time.

El Monte RV Rentals is a good source.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:18 AM   #7
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Re: Planning a trip - would appreciate your advice

My comments:
There isn't much for kids to do in Palm Springs/Palm Desert although we go each year on the way to Death Valley or Anza-Borrego Desert SP but that it because my wife likes the shopping there. When we go, we have stayed at Sky Valley Resorts:

http://www.calientesprings.com/rv/index.php#

They have some nice hot springs pools.

Unless you are going to hike down into the Grand Canyon, 4 days is too long in our opinion. It is nice to watch the sunset from the rim but, otherwise, we consider it a one-day park. Likewise, Monument Valley is a one-day place. You can camp at the campground there and drive through the area (not sure if they still allow you to drive yourself though...we could we when visited in 2001). But figure spending the night, taking the drive, and leaving the same day.

Las Vegas has given up on the kid-friendly/family-oriented approach they tried a dozen years ago. Some of the stuff is still around such as Circus-Circus, but the old amusement park behind the MGM is gone. We go each year but to see a show, dress up for dinner, etc.

When are you planning to travel? bw's suggestion to avoid Barstow and head up Highway 395 is a good one. There is no reason to stay anywhere near Barstow. You could travel from Vegas through Death Valley and stay near Lone Pine. It would be very hot in Death Valley during the summer months but okay if you don't plan to camp there.

If you do drive Highway 395 north, stop and visit Bodie State Park. Fascinating ghost town. The kids will love it too. It too can be warm during the summer months but get there early and walk around before it gets too warm.

You can cross over into Yosemite NP via Highway 120 from Lee Vining as bw's suggests but note that this road is closed between October or so and late spring. The website for Yosemite NP lists information on past season closures. If you are traveling between Memorial Day (last weekend in May) and October, you should be fine.

There are few places to park a RV in San Francisco but you can park at outlying a BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) station all day and take the train into the City. (If you are looking for camping in the Bay Area, don't overlook camping in some of the East Bay Regional Parks.)

Some things to do with kids (and yourselves) in San Francisco include Alcatraz, Chinatown, Fisherman's Wharf, and the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. If you do take BART into the City, they have an extensive transit system to help you get around (the City discourages driving and parking) and lots of taxis. You really don't want to drive there unless you've been there before.
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:04 AM   #8
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Re: Planning a trip - would appreciate your advice

Instead of Palm Springs, I'd think about Joshua tree National Park instead, As others have said, unless there's something specific you want to see in PS, it's nothing special. JT is a great place for camping and exploring for a day or so and the drive north from there goes through some truly vast and spectacular desert scenery as well as huge mineral pans being mined for salts.

I'm not sure what part of the Grand canyon you plan to visit but I prefer the north rim for the relative lack of amenities and crowds. It's a bit harder to get to than the south rim but it more than makes up for the drive. Though if you are in a big RV and not planning on hiking a lot, I agree with others that you might want to cut the trip a bit shorter there.

Depending on your interests, you might want to specifically look up some of the Indian ruins and cultural sites in the areas you are planning to visit. Most of the bigger sites are a bit further east (Four corners area) but there are still plenty of sites. It's relatively recent history by European standards but there are some fascinating places to visit.

Should be a wonderful trip and something the family will never forget.
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:33 AM   #9
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Re: Planning a trip - would appreciate your advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by BajaSportsmobile
Coming from France, you might be underestimating the scale of the US. Several years ago I came across a young woman from Switzerland on the side of the road, 20 miles from Las Vegas on the road to Pahrump, NV. She was sitting there next to her bicycle and belongings crying at 9:00 Am with the temps already in the 80's. She had flown into Las Vegas the night before and was planning on riding to San Francisco, CA - it didn't look so far on the map she had...
On a map, Las Vegas and S.F. aren't far apart, provided the map is from the perspective of the International Space Station! That's about 600 miles between those two cities.

Trust me, there are plenty of people in this country, who do not have a proper appreciation for the scale of distance in the western U.S. Some of the counties here are bigger than some of the eastern states.


Herb

P.S. You have some good karma points for helping her out like that.
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:11 PM   #10
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Re: Planning a trip - would appreciate your advice

Saabman take a map with you thursday.

Quote:
Originally Posted by billwilson
Andrew can attest to Motor Home driving in USA off road
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