EPDM Coatings
rvupgradestore.com Composet Products Custom Yacht Interiors

Author Topic: Dream Family RV Holiday  (Read 1061 times)

Naomi5501

  • Posts: 2
Dream Family RV Holiday
« on: September 06, 2016, 11:38:42 PM »
Hi All,
Thank you for reading my post.
I am from Brisbane Australia and we have our dream family holiday "planned" (I say this loosely) and booked coming up soonish in Dec. I say dream as we have been talking about it for something like 12 years, lol. My husband and I got married in Vegas 14 years ago and said we would take the kids back one day so we are super excited to be able to take them finally now that they are a bit older.
We are a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 children, aged 10 and 11) and have flights and the RV booked. We fly into LA mid Dec and plan to stay in Anaheim for 4 nights doing Disneyland etc. We will then pick up the RV and head off. At this stage I am not planning to book into any parks as I don't want to have to stick to a schedule, I just want to take it easy and stop where ever we find a nice spot, however I am concerned about pulling up on the side of the road so to speak to set up & stay.
At this stage our plan is to head from LA to San Fran, Las Vegas (Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam as we missed those 14 years ago) then to San Diego and back up to LA to return our RV in Jan 2017. We have 19 days in the RV so my questions are:
1. Is this 'doable'?
2. Do you think we would have too much time and should we plan to head from San Fran to Salt Lake City and then down to Vegas?
3. Are we crazy not booking in any parks?
4. Where can we stop in San Fran? Somewhere that we can somehow get into San Fran to look around as I have heard driving an RV in San Fran is not really a good idea.
5. Any suggestions on "must see" places along the West Coast to stop at?
6. What should I pack/buy to keep the kids happy in the RV while we are driving?
7. Weather wise in DEC/JAN will we need to pack coats, summery clothes or a mixture of each?

Thank you so much for your help! I am feeling very anxious about the trip as I really want it to be all that I have thought it could be all these years.
P.S We have booked an Eclipse Camper so I am hoping its suitable and "not too big"!

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 44726
    • RV Forum web site
Re: Dream Family RV Holiday
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2016, 08:14:41 AM »
Naomi, welcome to The RV Forum.

Quote
1. Is this 'doable'?

Yes.

Quote
3. Are we crazy not booking in any parks?

No, we rarely make reservations. But, please don't plan on "pulling up on the side of the road so to speak to set up & stay". In most places, this will be illegal &/or you will find yourselves woken in the middle of the night and told to move on.

Quote
4. Where can we stop in San Fran? Somewhere that we can somehow get into San Fran to look around as I have heard driving an RV in San Fran is not really a good idea.

It would likely be a white knuckle drive. Plan on staying at a campground on the Marin side of the Bay and taking a leisurely ferry ride into SF. You'll get some great views (fog permitting), and will be able to take public transport from the ferry building in SF to Fisherman's Wharf and the cable cars. Marin RV Park is one suggestion.

Quote
5. Any suggestions on "must see" places along the West Coast to stop at?

Hearst Castle, near San Simeon. There are numerous campgrounds along the coastal highway. e.g. Morro Bay State Park or Morro Dunes RV Park.

Quote
6. What should I pack/buy to keep the kids happy in the RV while we are driving?

Nowadays, kids seem to immerse themselves in electronics  ???

Quote
7. Weather wise in DEC/JAN will we need to pack coats, summery clothes or a mixture of each?

It will be our winter, and you'll definitely need coats and sweaters.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2016, 08:53:14 AM by Tom »
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

SeilerBird

  • ---
  • Posts: 11009
  • Everything I state is my opinion.
Re: Dream Family RV Holiday
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2016, 08:42:59 AM »
If I was the one planning the trip what I would do is not make any reservations and after you are done with the four days at Disney I would consult weather reports and decide if I was going to head up the coast first or head to the Grand Canyon first.
The weather at the Grand Canyon is extremely variable. I have been snowed on in both June and May there. The south rim is located at 7000 feet. The north rim will not be open at that time of year. If the forecast shows no snow for the next few days I would head directly for the canyon and run the trip backwards. The weather on the coast will probably be good no matter when you go there. I have lived on the California coast for 40 years and it is rare that the weather is really bad. It does happen but the odds are slim compared to the odds of bad weather. If it is snowing at the canyon then head up the coast and by the time you get to the Grand Canyon it should have cleared up. Rarely is the weather really bad there for a long period of time.

Tom is right, you can't just pull up on the side of the road, however most Walmarts allow for free overnight parking. But you will not have any problem finding a camping spot. At the Grand Canyon there is a campground right at the entrance called Grand Canyon Camper Village and they will have an opening.

http://www.grandcanyoncampervillage.com/

I second the suggestion of Morro Dunes RV Park. One of the prettiest parks on the coast.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
My new Pixel camera:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/rMSw5eVkCfKuuEOP2
My portfolio:
https://goo.gl/photos/Cx4SaYhGfYFShSty7
My Grand Canyon shots:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/Nc1AT8tQp25wJwfm1

robertusa123

  • ---
  • Posts: 1507
Re: Dream Family RV Holiday
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2016, 09:09:10 PM »
That time of year. No problem.   Its a lot of driving. So make shour it doesn't become a death march
1996  26ft. 3 kids 2 dog and the wife too

Naomi5501

  • Posts: 2
Re: Dream Family RV Holiday
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2016, 12:44:14 AM »
Thank you so much to those of you who have replied, some great info and suggestions.

Can you tell me what there is to do or see or place we could/should stop on the way LA to Vegas or vice versa (depending on which way the weather takes us)?

Also we had thought we might stop in Reno on our trip, I understand there might be snow about and wondered if you think this will be ok for the RV? Any suggestions of RV parks to stop at in Reno would be appreciated.

Lastly, you mentioned you cannot "just pull up on the side of the road"....where can you stop other than RV parks? Are there signed areas that you are allowed to stop at?

Thank you again
Naomi

VallAndMo

  • ---
  • Posts: 502
  • Vall and Mo, a married couple getting ready for FT
Re: Dream Family RV Holiday
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2016, 05:56:49 AM »
Hi Naomi,

Your plan is certainly doable. We're foreigners and have done similar trips in the US more than once, with similar mileage and in a similar time, and it worked great, albeit just me and DW, never with our kids (which are already adults and taking care of their own business).

Some specific info you requested:

Can you tell me what there is to do or see or place we could/should stop on the way LA to Vegas or vice versa (depending on which way the weather takes us)?

If you aren't familiar with the American SW deserts (or are familiar and like them), I would definitely recommend crossing the Mojave National Preserve by taking I-40/Kelbaker Road instead of I-15 (ie, driving this, or even better, this instead of that). It will add less than 40 miles and (if you don't stop) 40 minutes to your trip, and it's well worth it.

If you chose to go through the Mojave NP, I can suggest a few stopping spots:

1) Of course, Kelso Depot (at the "Kelso" marker I left at the first route map above).

2) If you have 2 hours to spare, I suggest you take the Kelso Dunes hike.

3) If you plan on overnighting on the way, the Hole-in-the-Wall campground is inside the Preserve and not too much out of the LA<->LV way, see this topic here for more details.  If you rather stop by the side of the road, the Mojave NP has a few "official" roadside camping spots right by the road where you can stay for free (We've stayed a few times at the Kelso Dunes Mine and at the Sunrise Rock spots and they are both pretty good).

4) If you have no time for any of the above, I suggest you just park at Granite Pass and spend as much time as you have (even 15 minutes is worth it) wandering around the interesting rocks and desert views.

On your way into (if you are coming from Vegas) or out of (if you are coming from LA) the Preserve, I suggest stopping at The Mad Greek for a quick lunch. The food is good and the place is... interesting.

Quote
Lastly, you mentioned you cannot "just pull up on the side of the road"....where can you stop other than RV parks? Are there signed areas that you are allowed to stop at?
In the US you are basically supposed to stop at campgrounds. But you can also boondock (ie, dry camp) at allowed locations (usually public land, and following certain rules). To locate these places in advance, there are two sites I use a lot: http://freecampsites.net and http://campendium.com. Go have a look, both are pretty much self-explanatory.

Hope this helps, and if you need any more info regarding the Mojave NP and whereabouts it, just ask.

Cheers,
--
   Vall.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2016, 06:00:50 AM by VallAndMo »

 

Hosted by Over The Network