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Old 05-28-2013, 10:06 PM   #15
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That's a long way to drive and plan to see the sights in between in just 2 weeks.
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Old 05-29-2013, 02:13 AM   #16
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echo the idea of taking the US ferry to Victoria, probably cheaper than BC Ferries.
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Old 05-29-2013, 05:18 AM   #17
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echo the idea of taking the US ferry to Victoria, probably cheaper than BC Ferries.
Good idea.....or maybe not? We just took the Blackball Ferry in late March and.....

1) It has a very limited number of sailings so even in March you need reservations.
2) This is a small ferry where they cram you in. No biggie, but just a heads-up....

(A) Very small parking (waiting space) on the dock & it was so narrow we couldn't actually fit all the way down our lane...
(B) We just barely fit through the XRay scanner to get on the boat..
(C) We couldn't fully open our door (on the boat) to get out and just about damaged our retracting steps....(D) We couldn't drive-off the boat as the exit is off the side, so we needed to pull forward & back to get the proper angle. *** good thing we had unhooked our car before boarding the boat!
D) The trip across the Straights of Juan de Fuca is nothing special.
E) The Ferry docks in downtown Victoria so be ready for some "tight" city driving with your MH.

3) On the other hand.....the BC Ferry from Tsawwassen to Schwartz Bay through Active Pass and the Gulf Islands is spectacular and a very special trip.....the BC ferries are much larger and more convenient to load & unload....much better coffee! Much bigger waiting lot and sailings every 90 minutes so reservations are not necessary. You also unload in Schwartz Bay onto a 2lane freeway.

We've done both & just prefer the BC Ferries experience. Regardless of your choice, be sure to unhook your toad as they charge by the foot and it is much cheaper to separate your vehicles.
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Old 05-29-2013, 10:19 AM   #18
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Something that no one has said yet it that the section of I-40/CA58 route from Kingman, AZ to Mojave, CA can be very hot that time of year. The area around the Colorado river could be over 110. It's desolate and the heat is hard on tires. So make sure your rig is up to the task if you go that way.

I would suggest the I-40, US93 to Vegas, US95 to I-80, and US395. It's still hot in Vegas but you will climb to the high desert and it will be a little cooler.
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Old 05-29-2013, 10:43 AM   #19
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If you stay on interstates you will not see the beauty of the west. From the Grand Canyon (suggest you stay at Trailer Village IN the park for the best experience), then exit via Hwy 64 east to AZ Hwy 89 at Cameron, AZ. Then continue north on 89 to Alt 89 west to Jacob Lake. At the 89/Alt 89 intersection you will run into a closed highway on 89 to Page - under repairs for a road collaspe - so you'll have to take Alt 89. Continue on Alt 89 to Fredonia, AZ and if you want a very scenic route continue north on Utah 89 to I-70. Along this route you can take in Zion Nat'l Park and Bryce Nat'l Park. From I-70 there are just so many secondary roads to take depending on what you plan on seeing and stopping for.

As someone already stated, you should definitely order online the Mountain Director - West for detailed descriptions of the secondary roads. We have done just about every one during our 16 years of full-timing and they're no problem for us but others might not be as comfortable with them. It's best to study tabout hem yourself rather than taking someone's word. Everyone is different in their comfort level.

I would not recommend continuing from I-40/Grand Canyon, AZ over to Barstow, Calif to I-15 or over to I-5. It's a VERY boring drive with very few RV parks. Instead, from the Grand Canyon head north into Utah.
Have a good trip!
I second these comments.

In the San Antonio area try Alamo Fiesta RV Park in Boerne, Tx. Outside the big city and close to a smaller town about 30 miles from San Antonio on IH-10.

In West Texas try Davis Mountains State Park (close to McDonald Observatory) or Balmorhea State Park closer to IH-10. You can drive north from there through the Guadalupe Mountains, Ruidoso, Albuquerque, west to Flagstaff and see the Petrified Forest along the way. Then on to Trailer Village in the Grand Canyon National Park, then to Glendale, UT where there is a nice little RV park called Bauer's Canyon Ranch RV Park. It is centrally located between Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon. After that you can drive north through the Cedar Breaks Park and on to IH-15.

Nice trip. Have fun.

Don
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Old 05-29-2013, 02:42 PM   #20
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Made this trip last year and twogypsies is 100% right
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:15 PM   #21
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Thank you all. I have read and appreciate each response. I had not originally thought of the heat issue on the tires but after reading an article on death valley became very aware. Is there a good compromise for mid July on which route is scenic as well as flatter and less hot?

We will take our time and go no more than 3-6 hrs each day with stops. However, we were hoping to make it to Victoria for the busker International festival the 3rd week in July. We also have to find a place to live before school starts in September and my husband needs to be there to start a new job the first of August.

Has anyone visited the Valley of Fire? What is the best route west from Los Vegas or the Hoover dam? I seems the routes from there may be a little hotter and steeper.

Thanks again everyone!
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:02 AM   #22
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Big Bend and Carlsbad Caverns are definitely worth the stop. Big Bend had incredible scenery. Carlsbad Caverns is just amazing. While in the neighborhood, you should try to check out White Sands. Unfortunately, the route from Carlsbad to White Sands takes you through Cloudcroft which is a beautiful place. Downside is that the drive from Cloudcroft down to Alamogordo is a pretty significant drop in elevation in a short distance. It's not hard, just make sure you use a lower gear, watch your speed and don't over use your brakes.

From Alamogordo, you can head over to Carrizozo to San Antonio NM, up to Socorro then over to Quemado and into Showlow AZ. Between Socorro and Magdalena NM, is where the VLA resides and that is a pretty incredible site. From Showlow, you can easily pop up the Grand Canyon.

Good luck and have a fantastic trip.
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Old 05-30-2013, 11:42 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by canadianmama View Post
Thank you all. I have read and appreciate each response. I had not originally thought of the heat issue on the tires but after reading an article on death valley became very aware. Is there a good compromise for mid July on which route is scenic as well as flatter and less hot?

We will take our time and go no more than 3-6 hrs each day with stops. However, we were hoping to make it to Victoria for the busker International festival the 3rd week in July. We also have to find a place to live before school starts in September and my husband needs to be there to start a new job the first of August.

Has anyone visited the Valley of Fire? What is the best route west from Los Vegas or the Hoover dam? I seems the routes from there may be a little hotter and steeper.

Thanks again everyone!
If you want to stay out of the heat your best bet is to go north from Las Vegas on I-15, I-84, I-82, I-90 into Seattle.
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Old 05-30-2013, 12:57 PM   #24
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...We've done both & just prefer the BC Ferries experience. Regardless of your choice, be sure to unhook your toad as they charge by the foot and it is much cheaper to separate your vehicles.
Jack...don't want to hijack the topic too much but are the ferries "pet friendly"?
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Old 05-30-2013, 07:47 PM   #25
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We were planning the I40, CA58, to the I5 route but due to the issue of heat and scenery, rethinking this and now looking at heading north. We had wanted to travel the Pacific coast but we are also interested in seeing the hoover dam and some of the great parks like valley of fire I read about going north.

I have read everyone's suggestions a few times but will go over the northern routes again tonight and try to draw something up. We can always make the trip again to the hotter locations, during cooler weather.

At the Grand Canyon we are debating between Trailer village and staying the night in Williams and taking the train in. The train depot offers a great doggie day care which would allow us to go out for an early dinner as well. It will be put to a family discussion and decided.

We have purchased an America the beautiful pass as well so would like to frequent as many national locations as possible. Our 24 year old daughter has also decided to join our journey. So we are now 4 people plus 2 large dogs ! The suggestion of going north and also seeing Zion and Bryce parks is good.

Hopefully my mountain directory gets here soon.

Planning, planning, planning.......Thank you all so much!
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:03 PM   #26
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Two things: Valley of Fire would feel like its name - HOT! Grand Canyon is dog-friendly. In most national parks dogs aren't allowed on trails but the Rim Trail is fine for doge in Grand Canyon. The train from Williams only lets you stay at the Canyon a few hours - definitely not much time. The ride from Williams to the Canyon is boring scenery. Lots of choices to make. Have a great trip whichever you choose.
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Old 05-31-2013, 08:43 PM   #27
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Received my Mountain Directory for the West today....FANTASTIC! Thank you very much for recommending it. It will make a big difference in planning the trip. I think I will plan on both secondary and interstate highways.....get off the interstate whenever possible and back on the interstate when elevation is an issue.

right now I have us leaving Mississippi and going to San Antonio for a couple of days and staying at Gauteloupe River state park (near friends) then on to Big Bend and a campground in the park, next on to Carlsbad Caverns and a stay at Brantley Lake State Park, somewhere on route , and a stop at Petrified Forest and staying in Williams and taking the train at the Grand Canyon. Mainly because of the dog services. On to Hoover dam, vegas and perhaps valley of fire. Have not gone further in my great new book than that. Really enjoying it!
Have ideas but will check grades and go from there.

THANK YOU ALL! I love IRV2 forums. It is great to share information. So many wonderful people who take the time to answer.
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:02 PM   #28
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Vegas in July will be well over 100 degrees. Grand Canyon-mid 90's. It's hot here out west that time of year! Go see what you want to see, the heat will be everywhere.
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