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Author Topic: Kiwi couple on their way soon.  (Read 6306 times)

soolaimon

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Kiwi couple on their way soon.
« on: February 16, 2012, 01:37:18 AM »
Hi, We are a couple in our later 60's and will arrive Los Anglese early May where we hope to buy a Class B or smaller C and during a 4 month period take a trip up to the Seattle area via Las Vegas, Death Valley???, 395 to Yosemite and other Parks and forests etc and then back down via the coast.
Roads I have perused via google maps etc on the way are 15-40 to Las Vegas then depending on temperatures etc at the time up 95-190 to see some of DV. and on to 395 and north to visit Yosemite-Tahoe and other points of interest, Reno, then 97-197 to Seattle. Down the coast back to LA as we like.
This is a very tentative plan as far as the highways and roads are concerned but it gives you an idea of our route and I would wellcome any comments.
We have driven over a lot of the US in the past and sailed up and down the east coast of the America's in the past and feel that our choice of rv size should be ok, <24ft.
I have been trawling Craigslist, RV online, ebay etc. and nearer the time will hopefully have a short list before we arrive May 9. So if any of you have a suitable rig comming up for sale about that time (price range  10-14k)   you could email me at soolaimonii@xtra.co.nz  Also, contact details of any dealers in the LA area that you could recomend.
A couple of months to go, but time will go buy quickly and we sure look forward to exploring the West of the US. 
Cheers, Soolaimon.

Tom

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Re: Kiwi couple on their way soon.
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2012, 09:59:06 AM »
Quote from: soolaimon
..... and on to 395 and north to visit Yosemite-Tahoe and other points of interest...

One caveat - the road from Hwy 395 to Yosemite goes over Tioga Pass. That road can be closed until June due to snow. Looks like we have a lot less snowfall this winter, but you should still monitor the NPS web site for road conditions.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2012, 10:04:25 AM by Tom »
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soolaimon

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Re: Kiwi couple on their way soon.
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2012, 11:13:05 PM »
Thanks for that Tom, I will take that advise on board.
How about the route from Las Vegas through to best part of Death V and on to 395, any recomendations for that and places to camp???
Thanks S.

Tom

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Re: Kiwi couple on their way soon.
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2012, 05:51:24 AM »
Having never been to DV, I'll leave it for someone more familiar with the area to respond to that question.
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skyking1

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Re: Kiwi couple on their way soon.
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2012, 08:09:16 AM »
I am more familiar with Washington state roads. I would come up 97 and cross the cascades on SR410, Chinook Pass. It provides a truly spectacular "reveal" of  Mt. Rainier when traveling westbound. Stop at the top and enjoy Lake Tipsoo and the mountain wildflowers.
Our favorite east side campground is the last one before the summit, Lodgepole. If you get there midweek there are always available spaces. The lower loop by the river has that wonderful music all night long.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2012, 08:11:43 AM by skyking1 »
Kelly and Mary

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soolaimon

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Re: Kiwi couple on their way soon.
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2012, 10:45:27 PM »
Hi, and thanks for the information so far.
Another question..... As I said above, I have been looking on Craigslist and ebay etc. for an rv and I have replied by phone to two people so far on craigslist but when there is no ph number in the ad I have clicked on the reply address at the top of the add. So far I have only had one reply from doing this.
I have sent several replies so far now with no responce.  Is there a problem with overseas enquiries, or am I doing something wrong?? Cheers.

skyking1

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Re: Kiwi couple on their way soon.
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2012, 10:57:43 PM »
CL can be quite flakey. The sellers may also look at your sending address and figure out you are from far away, and fear it is a scam.
Kelly and Mary

1996 Dodge CTD 2500 "Woody"
1991 Avion 29.5 ST
Washington State

http://boondockerswelcome.com/users/skyking

soolaimon

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Re: Kiwi couple on their way soon.
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2012, 02:42:03 PM »
Thanks Skyking, I think you could be right cause one reply I had was not very complimentary at all, but I finally did make contact with that seller. However, I have 3 more that I have answered and have not heard back. It is a pity, cause we are genuine buyers.  I have sent an agent to inspect one rv so far.
Plenty of time yet as we don't arrive till early May.  Cheers.

GaryandAngela

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Re: Kiwi couple on their way soon.
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2012, 10:49:19 PM »
Hi , I would look at renting an RV....rates are excellent for May/June and you just give it back when your done. We are booked again June 15 ...last year we did yosemite,DV etc in Sept . Happy to pass on any tips.
We have a facebook site that might help you

cheers Gary
« Last Edit: March 31, 2012, 12:56:02 AM by Tom »

The Escape Goat

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Re: Kiwi couple on their way soon.
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2012, 08:55:02 PM »
One caveat - the road from Hwy 395 to Yosemite goes over Tioga Pass. That road can be closed until June due to snow. Looks like we have a lot less snowfall this winter, but you should still monitor the NPS web site for road conditions.
I did that climb once in a car - and it struggled to make it over. If we'd been in an RV we'd probably still be there.
http://www.theescapegoat.com
Better to aim for the stars and hit the top of a telephone pole,
Than to aim for the top of a telephone pole,and shoot yourself in the foot.

Tom

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Re: Kiwi couple on their way soon.
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2012, 09:03:05 PM »
Quote from: The Escape Goat
I did that climb once in a car - and it struggled to make it over.

The first time we made that trip was in Chris' Triumph Spitfire, which had a 1200cc engine. Eventually we were crawling along below walking speed  ;D
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soolaimon

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Re: Kiwi couple on their way soon.
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2012, 04:43:39 AM »
Hi All, Only 2 weeks to go now, visas all in order and ready to go. All we need is an RV. Craigslist still seems to be a problem getting replies to ads. I have had a few to no avail, so if there is anyone out there with a 20-24ft rv in the Los Angeles area  that you think would suit us we will be ready to inspect from May 9th on. Cheers.

Lou Schneider

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Re: Kiwi couple on their way soon.
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2012, 11:45:14 AM »
Quote
How about the route from Las Vegas through to best part of Death V and on to 395, any recomendations for that and places to camp???

A shorter and more direct route is to take NV 160 from Las Vegas to Pahrump, then Bell Vista Ave. just north of Pahrump to Death Valley Junction.  Bell Vista Ave. is a county road, there are signs at both ends marking it as the direct route.

The park headquarters and main campgrounds are at Furnace Creek Ranch, about 30 miles west of the Junction.  Be prepared for heat as the temperatures in Death Valley will likely be well above 100 degrees.

Top off your gas tank in Pahrump, fuel in Death Valley is available at Furnace Creek but it's about $2 per gallon more expensive than it costs outside the park.  You can also fuel up in Beatty on your way out at similar savings.

Unfortunately, there's no easy way to get to 395 from inside Death Valley.  190 has a very long, steady uphill grade from Stovepipe Wells that will severely tax your RV's engine in hot weather.  Then it descends into another valley and climbs a second mountain range before joining up with 395.  Ask locally before going.

If you have time, stop in and visit the Amargosa Opera House as you pass by at DVJ.  Marta Beckett took an abandoned mining company headquarters and over 40 years single handedly transformed it into a motel, cafe and a theater for her one woman shows.  Unfortunately, she's no longer performing but the her beautiful hand painted murals remain.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2012, 12:03:14 PM by Lou Schneider »

SeilerBird

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Re: Kiwi couple on their way soon.
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2012, 11:58:50 AM »
I think there are a few flaws in your plan. Going to Las Vegas and Death Valley in May or June is not recommended. It is extremely hot there that time of year and you will not enjoy being in an RV there at that time of year. Average daytime temps there are well over 100 and it gets down to 70 or 80 at night. If you must go there plan on staying in a hotel instead of the RV. The Tioga Pass into Yosemite is definitely not recommended. It is very steep with lots of switchbacks and it goes up to 10,000 feet. As others have noted it is usually closed until June, but this year it may open early due to lack of snowfall. Do you have reservations at a Yosemite campground? If not there will be no place to stay. Yosemite campground reservations need to be made 6 months in advance.

I would suggest leaving LA and heading for Sequoia and King Canyon National Parks. There will be great weather and campsites will be available. You could drive through Yosemite and then head up to Tahoe. After Tahoe head north to Seattle going through and/or camping in Lassen Volcanic National Park, Crater Lake NP and Mt Rainier NP. The trip back down the coast will be awesome. I am in San Diego heading up the coast in the opposite direction so we would be passing each other at some point in time. I will be taking 6 months to travel up the coast.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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Lou Schneider

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Re: Kiwi couple on their way soon.
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2012, 12:21:55 PM »
If you want to visit Las Vegas, fly there from Los Angeles.  Airfare is cheap and Las Vegas is very affordable Sunday-Thursday.  Friday and Saturday nights are when the hotel rates double or triple.

Check the casino websites - you should be able to book a perfectly fine room at one of the lesser resorts on the Strip for $45 a night or less.  Circus Circus, Imperial Palace, and Stratosphere usually have good rates.

Southwest Airlines has good airfares - even better if you can book 2 weeks in advance.  You can reserve a car on their website also - they have a handy table comparing rates from all of the rental companies.

If you want to sample Death Valley, a day trip in your rental car via Pahrump, looping through the park to Scotty's Castle at the north end, then through Beatty and back to Las Vegas would be fairly long but do-able. Or stay overnight at Furnace Creek Ranch in Death Valley.

Las Vegas also has several RV dealers and buying a RV there would let you register it in Nevada and avoid the California taxes. 
« Last Edit: April 25, 2012, 12:52:13 PM by Lou Schneider »

soolaimon

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Re: Kiwi couple on their way soon.
« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2012, 04:16:39 PM »
Thanks ZZYZX and Lou for your input, I am now considering re-routing our trip accordingly. Also I will check out the dealers (rv's only) in Las Vegas. Any suggestions???  Thanks again.

SeilerBird

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Re: Kiwi couple on their way soon.
« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2012, 04:54:18 PM »
Also I will check out the dealers (rv's only) in Las Vegas. Any suggestions???  Thanks again.
I personally would not buy from a dealer, especially in Nevada. If you buy from a dealer you will pay 8% sales tax. If you buy from a private party registration in Nevada is dirt cheap. I use MailLink for my mailbox to register my vehicles in Nevada.

http://www.maillinkplus.com/
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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soolaimon

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Re: Kiwi couple on their way soon.
« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2012, 12:42:21 PM »
Hello, A few notes on our travells so far...... We purchased a 2000 Tioga 22ft C lass in Los Angeles and have travelled and camped our way up to the Seirras via 14 and 395 to Lee Vining then over the Tioga pass to Yosemite, (great drive over that pass!) From there we went up thru the "Gold Country" to Oregon and up to the Columbia River gorge to Biggs, on over to Seattle/Annacortes/Vancouver Is. and then back south down the coast to this little city of Watsonville where we are taking a break from travelling for a week or so. It is a great town for doing just that.
We did not reserve ahead at campgrounds anywhere and so far only once have we heard "sorry, we're full".  The state parks in Ca have been rather expensive compared to those in OR and WA and the independants vary considerably, some good ones cheaper that the state parks.  Wal-marts and Cassinos have come in handy now and again as well.
Having a smaller C class has been great for going into the downtowns and also ideal for dry camping out in the "sticks" as well.
All in all, a great trip so far, although, the weather on the coast could have been better at times.
So, now we have one month to complete our southern route back to LA and we hope to be able to sell our rv home before then. We have had to upgrade a few items along the way and it is now in very good condition, so it will be a good buy for someone.  Storing it for a further trip is also an option we are considering.
I will list on Craigslist and the fore sale columm in this forum and see how we go.
All for now. Cheers.

soolaimon

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Re: Kiwi couple on their way soon.
« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2013, 07:58:17 PM »
Hello all, We are back in NZ enjoying our summer and our RV is stored in Lancaster Ca. hopefully enjoying a mild winter?? From that you will take it that we have not yet sold the rig, but we have booked flights and will return to the US in early May to do some more travelling.
Our thoughts for this time will be to head to Las Vegas for a few days at Sam's Town or similar and then do a curcuit around the National Parks of Utah. A rough itinery of our route is from Vegas up 15 to St George on to 9 to Springdale and Zion then down 89 to Kanab/Page to 98 Kayenta to 163 Bluff, 191 Moab to 70. Then west to 24, Hanksville, 12 Torrey, Cannonville/Panguitch 143 to Cedar City.
This should get us to most of the popular parks, and with 3 months we shouldn't have to hurry, also starting early May I figure we may miss some of the heat around Vegas.
I would wellcome any comments on our proposed route. We do enjoy the lifestyle of being on the road in the US and after this trip we will have driven or sailed around or through all but 3 of the mainland states. Once again we hope to sell our rv in July. :)
Cheers R.

99WinAdventurer37G

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Re: Kiwi couple on their way soon.
« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2013, 09:41:28 PM »
That's a wonderful trip.  You will be glad you have a smaller rig going through Zion.  I believe you should be able to take that through the tunnels in the park.  Are you in good shape for hiking?  Zion National park has an epic climb that is worth the trip.  Here's a little video of the hike;  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxUNRe1xnJI  There are many more on youtube.  Although I walk about 4 miles a day, it was still a tiring, but exhilarating hike.  There were many making the hike that were well over 60 and they did very well.  I could stay in Zion a week and still not get all the hikes in I'd like to take. 

Then, just down the road is Bryce Canyon.  Wow, what beautiful hikes here as well!  Even just driving down 89 is great for a flatlander like myself.  But you will really enjoy this trip.  I've been there three times and am planning another visit as well.  Much more to see. 
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cajunkev

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Re: Kiwi couple on their way soon.
« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2013, 07:13:43 PM »
Hi Kiwi couple, we are coming up behind you....planning 5-6 months in US starting around August. If you available to chat in NZ would welcome the opportunity. Not sure of the protocol so let me know if you are open to discussion.

Cheers
Kiwi's can fly and drive RV's
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SeilerBird

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Re: Kiwi couple on their way soon.
« Reply #21 on: February 20, 2013, 07:52:31 PM »
The problem with your trip is you are starting in May. You won't be missing the heat of Vegas in May. My suggestion would be to start the trip in February or September. Southern Utah is very hot all summer long and you are planning on being in southern Utah all summer long. Plan on it being 100 degrees F almost every single day except when you are at Bryce Canyon. The entire area you are planning on visiting is desert.

However you should be aware that the area you are planning on visiting is some of the most beautiful in the country. There are 5 National Parks in Utah. They are all very different from each other and are all drop dead gorgeous. Sam's is a great place to stay in Vegas.

All five of Utah's NPs are great for hiking and Zion is my favorite of the five. Angels Landing and the Narrows are two of my all time favorite hikes. Unfortunately the Narrows can only be hiked in the summer. If you do go in the summer make sure you make reservations at all the parks in advance. They do fill up in spite of all the heat.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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soolaimon

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Re: Kiwi couple on their way soon.
« Reply #22 on: February 20, 2013, 08:30:23 PM »
Hi Cajunkev, Happy to chat. Send your phone number to soolaimonii@xtra.co.nz and I will give you a call.
Hi SeilerBird, Thanks for the advise. I am aware that it will be quite hot where we are going and if it gets too uncomfortable we will hurry up some and then go somewhere less hot. We have 3 months so should be enough time to take in the best of the Utah parks and then escape. The reason we come to the states in May is to escape our winter here in NZ and although our winter in the north where we live is not too bad, it sure is good to be able to go somewhere that is better and get some fabulous scenery thrown in as a bonus. We do have a mobile phone with us so usually we call ahead to the camps to book, and last year we found that until July there were always vacancies so let's hope we find that is the case again this year. Also, we are self contained and don't mind boondocking, and on reading a lot of the great posts here it would seem that there are several oportunities to do just that along our route.
Cheers

SeilerBird

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Re: Kiwi couple on their way soon.
« Reply #23 on: February 20, 2013, 08:41:04 PM »
If you must start in May then I have an alternate plan for you. Start in Vegas and stay in a hotel instead of an RV. Then head north to Zion and Bryce Canyon. After that head to Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park and then Glacier National Park. Then head over to Mount Rainier NP and Crater Lake NP. Then down to Tahoe.  Great weather just about everywhere you will go.

You do not want to boondock in Utah in the summer. You will be running your gen and your A/C way too much.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Life list of birds:
https://goo.gl/photos/xuP9zPD2KP2swN1g8
2016 photos:
https://goo.gl/photos/aXQPbnVpgzNvs4Jq8
My portfolio:
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