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Old 11-22-2010, 09:00 PM   #1
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I have zero RV experience other than walking through some used ones and ordering a copy of Woodall's. It has been my dream to "go west" and "do the National Parks"... The plan is for DW, 3 DS's (14, 12 and 9) and myself to fly to Vegas at the end of June and spend 4 weeks in a rented RV driving, camping and hiking.

I am trying to do all the research and planning I can so this is a trip to remember and not a trip to forget (maybe I've seen too many movies)! I love the idea of RV'ing and am really looking forward to it. Hopefully your vast experience will help! Any guidance is appreciated!

Some questions that come to mind are: Class A or C? We don't want to be too cramped and I'm not afraid to drive a big rig, but we also don't want to have trouble fitting at camps and getting around the parks. Maybe we should tow a vehicle? Is the best way to break camp everyday and drive the RV to hiking spots, or is it better to have a towed car? Or take shuttles? Or just make sure we're close enough to walk to hiking?

Any suggestions on rental places in the Vegas area?

Thanks for the help! I'm sure I will have more questions, but this will get me started in the right direction! I do appreciate it!


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Old 11-22-2010, 10:07 PM   #2
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It will be around 115 degrees in Vegas then. Something to keep in mind. Utah and California about the same in some sections.

Class C is better for sleeping several people due to the bed over top of the cab. Kids can look out the front of it too.

I haven't ever seen any class A's for rent, that doesn't mean there aren't any, just that I've never seen one.

You may want to rent one where you live for a weekend. Any problems will come to light pretty quick in a matter of a few days.

I know of more than one RV rental place that frowns on towing cars or boats behind their rental vehicles. In any case you would need a car that has the towing equipment installed and I've never seen that on a rental car.

So I think you will be using just the RV most of the time. You can rent cars at the destination spots. For example if you go to Disneyland you can rent a car there for a few days to travel and explore.

Have someone show you how to hookup the sewer hose and do a pretend dump. I was behind three girls, who had rented a class C, at the dump station of a campground. They did not hook up a sewer hose. They parked next to the concrete square and pulled the plunger. The one girl got it square on the legs. We were there a while until it was ready for me to use. The girl squealed most of the time. That was probably her last camping trip EVER.
I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it.

Reserve early. Lots of people come out here while school is out. Also for the 4th of July you will need reservations at just about any campground in the western U.S.

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Old 11-25-2010, 10:07 PM   #3
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Welcome Doug and good luck on your camping trip. You can probably get by with a "C" and drive it anywhere you need to go eliminating the need for a tow. Arch's advise is good, rent one locally and try it for a weekend. See how it fits.
Travel well, travel safe,
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Old 11-26-2010, 09:45 AM   #4
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I would take the advice to rent locally 2 or 3 weekends or longer to determine logistics, personal needs, and getting acquainted with RV'ing. Class A motorhomes are available (El Monte out West), but I would do a class C as they are easier to get around town and many campgrounds. National parks such as Grand Canyon, Zion,& Yosemite that I personally know have free transportation in and about the parks. I'm sure there are others that I've not personally used. This will allow you to set up camp and see the sights without disrupting camp every day. Check out the amenities of the parks you want to visit on Google.
My advice if you want to tour cities like Las Vegas, San Francisco, Phoenisx etc would be to park the RV and rent a car.
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Old 11-26-2010, 10:31 AM   #5
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Welcome to the forum! Sounds like a great plan. You've already gotten the best advice but I'll just add my two cents:

* Vegas is going to be hotter than you can imagine. The National Parks are often at higher elevations and provide a bit of relief but keep in mind where you are going. It's the desert.

* Whether you were asking about renting or buying I would suggest a Class C for your current needs. Ironically, the larger the coach, often times the fewer people they are designed to sleep. We full time in a 40 foot Diesel Pusher but have a hard time when someone wants to "sleep over". Also, a coach our size has a hard time in many/most National Parks since those parks aren't really laid out with big rigs in mind.

* Don't even think about trying to set up a car to tow. WAY too expensive to set up initially... ~$2500. Disconnect and take the coach or rent a car.

* Don't miss Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah.

* If you find you like this whole "RV Thing"... I would advise a used Class C until the kids are gone and then you'll know a lot more about what you like and don't like when you start shopping for a Class A.

Rick, Nancy, Peanut & Lola our Westie Dogs & Bailey the Sheltie.

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Old 11-26-2010, 10:57 AM   #6
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Good friends of our did the same thing last summer with their three boys. After hearing of our RV trips for years, they rented in Vegas on July 1, did the Grand Canyon, Glen Canyon Dam, Bryce and met us in Zion around July 10. Here is a couple of lessons they learned:

1. They flew to Vegas and stayed in a hotel the first night
2. It took 2-3 hours to pick up the MH (El Monte)
3. The explanation of the MH features was way too rushed
4. they rented a 27 foot class c
5. remember you have to rent or buy all your camping stuff (dishes, pillows, folding chairs, BBQ grill). They bought cheap stuff in WalMart and donated it after the trip to one of those used clothing boxes).
6. They had the GREATEST vacation ever!

Good luck!
Tom and Katharine
'07 Winnebago Tour 40TD, 400hp Cummins
RVing for 19 years & 150,000+ miles
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Old 11-26-2010, 03:40 PM   #7
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Do a through examination of what ever you rent. Take lots of pictures of any existing damage. Document every little ding! My son rented a hugh class "C" ( in Denver) and it had lots of damage - some hidden. When he returned it there was (and still is) an attempt to charge him for all damage - all of it was prior to his getting the RV. He has phone pics of the prior damage and lots of contacts with folks who have experienced this same treatment from this same company. Company had disconnected the awning, stereo, levelers, and the generator - none of this was mentioned prior to or during the walk-thru. Sorry I don't have the name of the company or I'd pass it on. He was told when he picked up the unit "If you don't like it - cancel it!" Of course, by then all reservations had been made and it would have cost him a bundle to cancel. I've encouraged Son to send a letter to Colorado's Office of Consumer Affairs since this seems to be an ongoing scam.
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Old 11-26-2010, 04:21 PM   #8
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Hi Doug,

I have to agree in the years I grown up and following coaches I have never seen a class A for rent. I'm goign to Guess if you do it not by a dealer or company but a Personal one. The best tip I can give ou is be safe be well have fun and most of all enjoy your trip to come. tkae your time don't rush and enjoy the site seeing.

Best Of Luck
The Williams Family-Northeast, MD 21901
1999 Foretravel U320C-Gray, Black Mix W/ White
41 FT 9"-M11 450 H.P Cummins-1550 Ft Lbs of TQ
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Old 11-28-2010, 07:35 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone for posting lots of great advice! I appreciate it! I will rent a Class C locally (Michigan) and we'll try it out. My brother-in-law lives in the Vegas area, so we'll stay with him a few days before our trip and have time to get everything we need at Walmart, etc.

Does anyone have any particular campgrounds they recommend for Grand Canyon, N or S rims, Zion, Bryce, Arches, Canyonlands, Yellowstone, Glacier, Mt. Ranier and Yosemite? Or any other great places we shouldn't miss? I know that's too much to cover in a month, but I'm still working on picking the best places to go and not spend the whole month just driving!

Thanks again!

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