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Author Topic: From Seattle to San Francisco and so many questions  (Read 1793 times)

Onliner

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From Seattle to San Francisco and so many questions
« on: January 02, 2014, 05:06:28 AM »
Hi there :)

we are a young family and need some advice for a trip in special circumstances. We are going to start in Seattle on the 8th of May and make it all the way down to San Francisco until June 6st. In SF we will meet the members of our family in Berkeley and stay there until we return to Germany.  What makes this trip special is our nine month old son (today five month) who will accompany us. We always wanted to visit the States as a couple and the German government program for young families gives us the opportunity to make it happen. Our plan is to drive down Highway 101 and leave the coast at around Florence to see the back country (Blue River, Crater Lake, Klamath Falls). The second part of the trip goes back to the coast and the giant redwoods between Fortuna and Lakeport. The third and last part is the Yosemite park where we want to stay for a couple of days for hiking and relaxing.

Thatís the rough planning and before we can go into details there are many open questions. Iíve made comparable trips in Europe within the half of the time (last one: http://goo.gl/maps/Kx2iB) but we wonít drive more than 150 miles with an infant on board. And thatís way we have many many questions. First one concerns the RV parks. With Google Maps and websites like trailerlifedirectory we are able to find RV parks near the locations we want to stay but we are not sure about the reservations (beside Yosemite). If we make all reservations in advance we are on the safe side but have no scope for spots we might enjoy. What is your advice and does any of you have experiences with RV parks in that specific location? Is it allowed to park and sleep aside RV parks?

Besides the reservations we are thankful for any further tip. What we know so far:

  • our vehicle is a C25 motor home and we have to buy a booster seat before we start
  • we have to pay an extra fee for the one way rental
  • we are driving down the coast in May and therefore need rain gear
  • nights in May can be very cold in Oregon (internet says down to 50 degrees) so we have to get some additional blankets for the infant
  • is the air conditionier silent enough to have it working the whole night? What about a heating?
  • what else? :)

Thanks in advance for any tip and advice!
Bastian
« Last Edit: January 02, 2014, 05:09:25 AM by Onliner »

SeilerBird

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Re: From Seattle to San Francisco and so many questions
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2014, 05:57:41 AM »
Our vehicle is a C25 motor home and we have to buy a booster seat before we start
Yep, car seats are required in California.
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We are driving down the coast in May and therefore need rain gear
LOL, no you won't need rain gear. If it does rain it will be very light at that time of year.
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Nights in May can be very cold in Oregon (internet says down to 50 degrees) so we have to get some additional blankets for the infant
Yes it gets down into the 50 at night in Oregon but in this country that is not considered very cold.
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Is the air conditioner silent enough to have it working the whole night? What about a heating?
Yes they are both quiet enough but it is doubtful you will need to run either one all night. Bring an electric blanket, since they are much more efficient.
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What else?
The only place you will need reservations for would be Yosemite. There is very exact rules on getting a reservation for Yosemite. You need your reservations exactly five months in advance:

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/camping.htm

The only other tip is to be prepared for some of the most beautiful scenery you have ever seen. The west coast and Yosemite are without equal IMHO.
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Tom

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Re: From Seattle to San Francisco and so many questions
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2014, 06:41:12 AM »
Quote
Bring an electric blanket

An electric blanket from Bastian's homeland won't work. Best to buy one when he gets here.
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donn

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Re: From Seattle to San Francisco and so many questions
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2014, 09:11:55 AM »
Actually infant car seats are required in all states.  Places like walmart have lots of choices.  I am guessing your renting a motor home.  They come equipped with a furnace, so dont be afraid of cool weather.  If you have decent water resistant jackets, maybe a light sweat shirt long pants you will be fine in May on the coast.  Be sure to take your time, stop often and see the sites.  We live i. oregon and when you get closer send me a private message if you like and i can help you with your travel itiniary as far as Oregon is concerned.  One thing to remember, the state of Oregon is roughly equal in size to the entire country of Germany.  Distances can be deceiving to first time visitors.  Unless you have specific reasons to fly into Seattle, you might also consider landing in Portland and starting your adventure from here.

Onliner

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Re: From Seattle to San Francisco and so many questions
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2014, 02:31:40 PM »
Thanks for the replies so far. How could I miss the furnace at the description of the motorhome - problem solved :)

Yes it gets down into the 50 at night in Oregon but in this country that is not considered very cold.

Same here but not for an infant. 61 to 65 is okay but if it goes down to 50 we need the blanket or the furnace. The little ones catch the cold so quick.

The only other tip is to be prepared for some of the most beautiful scenery you have ever seen. The west coast and Yosemite are without equal IMHO.

I'm all of a dither and counting the days. I've been to SF and LA several times but never had the chance to see more than down town. Really looking forward to it!

One thing to remember, the state of Oregon is roughly equal in size to the entire country of Germany.  Distances can be deceiving to first time visitors.  Unless you have specific reasons to fly into Seattle, you might also consider landing in Portland and starting your adventure from here.

You're right. It might be a bit too ambitious to drive the 101 down to the giant redwoods and to the Yosemite but we have four weeks... We'll see :) Portland was our first goal but there are two reasons we decided to start in Seattle. First is the flight. There are no direct connections between Frankfurt and Portland and we didn't want to stress the infant withe another boarding, start, and landing after eleven hours inside the plane. Second reason is the rate for the motor home. We are booking the RV trough a German company that is a contractor for the major US companies and for some reason the price in Portland is nearly twice as high as in Seattle. We've checked that on several websites and phones calls and I'm still puzzled about that fact.

We live i. oregon and when you get closer send me a private message if you like and i can help you with your travel itiniary as far as Oregon is concerned.

Much appreciated :)

wackymac

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Re: From Seattle to San Francisco and so many questions
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2014, 02:46:21 PM »
Lufthansa used to fly direct from Frankfurt to Portland.  I went on their website and it looks like they still do.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2014, 02:49:50 PM by wackymac »
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donn

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Re: From Seattle to San Francisco and so many questions
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2014, 03:00:34 PM »
With the additional costs, I can understand Seattle now.  As  suggestion, pick up the MH and head due south on Interstate 5 to the city of Longview,WA.  This is about 2-1/2 hours drive.  Here you can cross the Columbia River and get on US hwy30 west.  Your first stop should be Ft Stevens State Park or the KOA right across the road.  This is a really great park and beach access.  This is an old military fort and gun emplacements you can walk around.  There is also the remains of an old ship wreck you can see during low tides.  From here south are so many places plan on no more than 50-60 miles driving a day.  Also be sure to stop for fresh sea food everywhere you can.  That time of year many of the state parks should have sites for a night or two.  You will find them first rate.  Be sure to bring your camera and lots of space for pictures.  As with the car seat, you can find either sleeping bags or bedding at places like Walmart pretty reasonable.  Just plan to donate them to the Salvation Army or a relative when you leave.

Onliner

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Re: From Seattle to San Francisco and so many questions
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2014, 10:04:04 AM »
@Wackymac: it seems so but if you search for flights you won't get any direct connection. All flights go via Atlanta or Seattle

@donn: thanks for all the tips! We have planned to donate the seat to the salvation army or a similar organization once we've reached SF

@all: While we were going into details there rose some specific questions regarding the motor home and the local laws.

The first one is about local laws and  mentioned it above. Here in Germany and most parts of Central Europe it is allowed to park a motor home at public parking spaces for at least 24  hours. What I've read about Seattle so far is that it isn't allowed to park a motor home on public streets for longer than one night. My question is: are there specific rules/laws for the whole state or does every community set up own rules?

In Germany and some other European countries it is also allowed to sleep inside a motor home for one night (8hrs) if you were not able to find a RV Park/parking place. So Second questions regards the fictional case that we would not be able to find a RV park for the night. Are we bound to park the vehicle and find a motel or could we sleep inside until the next morning?

donn

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Re: From Seattle to San Francisco and so many questions
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2014, 11:06:03 AM »
@Wackymac: it seems so but if you search for flights you won't get any direct connection. All flights go via Atlanta or Seattle

@donn: thanks for all the tips! We have planned to donate the seat to the salvation army or a similar organization once we've reached SF

@all: While we were going into details there rose some specific questions regarding the motor home and the local laws.

The first one is about local laws and  mentioned it above. Here in Germany and most parts of Central Europe it is allowed to park a motor home at public parking spaces for at least 24  hours. What I've read about Seattle so far is that it isn't allowed to park a motor home on public streets for longer than one night. My question is: are there specific rules/laws for the whole state or does every community set up own rules?Generally speaking each local municiplaity sets the rules.  Some WalMart stores allow over night parking, but do not bet on it.  There are several camp grounds not too far south of StaTac that I would suggest for the first over night.  I know how grueling the flight from Germany can be.  Done it several times, Portland to Stuttgart.
In Germany and some other European countries it is also allowed to sleep inside a motor home for one night (8hrs) if you were not able to find a RV Park/parking place. So Second questions regards the fictional case that we would not be able to find a RV park for the night. Are we bound to park the vehicle and find a motel or could we sleep inside until the next morning?

Plan on an RV park, In fact, depending on time of day you get in, and finish the walk through on the Motor Home and then a trip to Wal Mart for supplies a good nights sleep will be in order.  Have you considered first day in a motel, then pick up the MH when you are some what rested?  There is a web site, www.rvparkreview.com.  Go on there and search for RV parks south of Seattle to read reviews and possibly pick one for the first day.  Personally I would not recommend or suggest street parking for over night.

ArdraF

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Re: From Seattle to San Francisco and so many questions
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2014, 01:02:57 PM »
Always look for signs that state the property owner's parking rule.  There are a few communities that allow no parking of RVs on any city street.  Some allow it only for loading or unloading and specify the maximum number of hours.  Other communities vary widely which is why it's important to look for signs.

ArdraF
ArdraF
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