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Old 01-21-2020, 01:51 PM   #29
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They're renting out of Los Angeles so after the first 50 miles they'll be 'experienced'. After that everything is a piece of cake.

What I tell folks driving to Alaska to think of it as multiple short trips ..... not the whole mileage. It's easier to take that way.
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Old 01-21-2020, 03:30 PM   #30
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I fundamentally disagree with this statement, after 50 miles in dense traffic around a major city, they may be exhausted, perhaps no longer paying attention to details that they should be, but they will not be experienced, their stress level will likely still be insanely high, as will their fatigue level.
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Old 01-23-2020, 12:08 AM   #31
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Natl Parks and RV

You are probably not too familiar with RV operations. Grant Village in YNP has no hookups for your RV so you will need a generator for electricity there and maybe in some other places.. Be sure your RV has a generator and that you have a full explanation on the operation of all the RV functions. You can learn a lot on the operations on this and other online sites and read books for info. Have fun.
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Old 01-24-2020, 07:14 AM   #32
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You are probably not too familiar with RV operations. Grant Village in YNP has no hookups for your RV so you will need a generator for electricity there and maybe in some other places.. Be sure your RV has a generator and that you have a full explanation on the operation of all the RV functions. You can learn a lot on the operations on this and other online sites and read books for info. Have fun.
Thank you for the suggestion. We have a generator in the RV with 3 hours per day included. So in 28 days we have 84 hours. We don't really know how much time we will need to use it in the camps with no hook up. I guess we will find it out... :-)

As for the RV functions, we are already watching videos about just everything. :-) We also mean to film everything while we are given explanations, in case we forget something.
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Old 01-24-2020, 07:46 AM   #33
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Thank you for your suggestions.
We are actually revising our plans for the Las Vegas helicopter trip and trying to include a visit to the Grand Canyon as you suggested, although our youngsters would love to see Vegas...but for that it's just sufficient a night stop I think...

As for the Sequoia, it is out of the way I know, but we could't bear to exclude it as we really MUST see the giant sequoias, and we don't know if we will ever come back another time...
Recently visited Vegas and it was a royal PITA to drive in a car. Iíd never try it in an RV. Too much traffic and thereís (always?) construction on the strip. Personally, Iíd avoid Vegas.
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Old 01-24-2020, 11:45 AM   #34
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Thank you for the suggestion. We have a generator in the RV with 3 hours per day included. So in 28 days we have 84 hours. We don't really know how much time we will need to use it in the camps with no hook up. I guess we will find it out... :-)

As for the RV functions, we are already watching videos about just everything. :-) We also mean to film everything while we are given explanations, in case we forget something.
Sounds like you're doing all your homework and getting a A+!!! You'll have a fantastic trip!
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Old 01-26-2020, 07:01 PM   #35
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I would spend less time in the desert at the beginning of the trip, just rocks for the most part. Even the grand canyon is not much to look at after the first few hours. Grandiose for sure. If you like trees, greenery and wildlife you'll really enjoy the north. The snow should just be waining from the very peaks.
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Old 01-26-2020, 07:55 PM   #36
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This is my first time replying to a post. I have learned a great deal from reading post and all the great replies. I donít know much about where you live but if there is a rental RV available you might want to rent one for a couple of days and do a practice run. I retired late 2017, and we took about 4 months visiting mostly national parks out west. We enjoyed every minute of it, and Iím sure you will also. Our 4 months wasnít nearly enough time and we canít wait to hit the road again. Hope your trip was as great as ours was.
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Old 01-26-2020, 08:01 PM   #37
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OK; I'm going to shine a spotlight on things I don't think you've given enough consideration to. You state that this will be your FIRST TIME with an RV. BAD IDEA. Can you rent / borrow an RV in Switzerland in order to get SOME familiarity? Doing so would be a HUGE step forward. How many drivers will there be? If only one person does all the driving, in two or three weeks, they're likely to be toast (especially when sleeping on the CRAP mattresses many RVs have as OEM). Additional driver(s) will make life a LOT easier. Switch drivers each time you stop for fuel etc or every second hour, whichever comes first. At a rental place, you'll get BASIC instruction (if that) and, probably NOT get to try out each and every system in the RV you'll be driving off in (if you DO get a PDI -Pre Delivery Inspection, VIDEO IT!). 200 miles a day SEEMS like a reasonable target. That would be approximately four driving hours UNLESS Murphy's Law bites you (over 45 days, he WILL "bite you" at least once). I don't see ANY allowance for mechanical or other problems. I'd recommend at least one day in ten as a "Down Day" (nothing special planned but, you'd have extra time to relax and, readjust your schedule if Murphy has intruded). If EVERYTHING is still going according to plan, that extra day can give you more time to explore or, get ahead on your route. You mention shuttles to some of the sights you want to get to. Between waiting times for shuttles to arrive and the shuttle time itself, I expect you could easily burn ~ two hours a day. If you haven't allowed for this, it will seriously cut into the time you'll be able to spend AT the various locations you want to visit. From your schedule, you may not get more than four hours or so AT the location. You won't even get to scratch the surface of what there is to see. You might look into joining AAA (American Automobile Association). Their RV Premium Membership gets you RV road service and towing as well as routing service (which you should order well in advance). I think I pay ~ $130/year for it (NOTE: not ALL chapters of AAA offer the RV premium plan). RVs traditionally do NOT have spare tires. Truck/RV road service generally brings out a new, proper sized tire and swaps it (you'd need to provide the EXACT tire specifications to the road service provider). To spend all that money and, travel so far just to get here, it would be a shame to go home without having had an excellent time. Bottom line, I recommend that you scale it back. It simply is NOT possible to see everything (or most of everything) out west, even if you had the entire summer (or year!) to do so. Last point, I do NOT know how foreign driver's licenses are handled in CA or other western states. It would be a GOOD IDEA to get IN WRITING exactly what the laws are regarding them AND how they would apply to driving a rented RV with said foreign license. I expect the RV you rent will be a basic Class-C motorhome which would have a GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) of NO MORE than 26,000# (which can usually be driven legally with a "standard driver's license). At 26,001# a vehicle goes from a Class-6 MEDIUM Duty Truck to a Class-7 HEAVY DUTY TRUCK. Licensing requirements can change significantly for HDTs. CDLs (COMMERCIAL Driver's Licenses) may be required when driving a HDT. Your trip CAN be done successfully BUT, there are a LOT of ways it can "go sideways" (fail). At least you DO have time to take care of the myriad of details you're going to have to deal with. These are thoughts just off the top of my head. I expect I will think of other "gotchas" after I post this. GOOD LUCK!
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Old 01-26-2020, 08:19 PM   #38
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You need to find a cool 4 TH of July parade.
May I suggest a Boulder City? Small town just outside of Las Vegas.
Lake mead nearby.
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Old 01-26-2020, 08:42 PM   #39
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I would go up the coast to San Francisco, the across to Yosemite,
check out our trip last fall

Darrell and Kitty: California Coast 2019
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Old 01-26-2020, 08:49 PM   #40
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Looks like there has been a lot of good advice and tips already said.
Your plan seems very well thought out, reasonable, and worth the effort!
It is good that you have planned rest days (no driving).
I think your daily mileage goals are normal and easily attainable, especially as a family with teenagers. Even your planned 'long travel' days are not impossible, especially if you can plan for them. I've done trips like this with my family and 37ft travel trailer, it is worth it.

A 27ft motorhome is not a ridiculous size either. You'll be a confident driver within hours. Not sure what would be a similar sized vehicle in Switzerland, maybe a Mercedes Sprinter Van, but wider/fatter.
A 27ft motorhome will easily pass through this whole route.

Highly recommend to have reservations at all locations.
If not, then have a back up plan location to stop/camp at. Almost all of your planned locations will be crowded and impacted because of American summer-time travel season.

Almost all of your planned locations will be hot. 85į-110įF during the day times. Grand Canyon and its region could still be in its monsoon season (daily afternoon thundershowers & lightning) But dont let that be a deterrent.

As you get closer to your flight to California, check ALL of the campgrounds for current status of fresh drinking water availability and septic dump/drain availability. Check their website, or contact the campground office for status. Some places may have water restrictions, or no water at all. Same for septic sewer dump/drain. Plan ahead if a campground has drinking water restrictions.

Buy an National Parks Annual Pass at your first National Park. It is only $80, and valid for 365days at ALL National Parks and Forests. (typical National Park entrance fee is $30 at each park!)

I can think of many more helpful tips and advice.
This is a trip of a lifetime!
I think you SHOULD do this trip, and I cannot think of anything serious to scare you away from it.
I live in Los Angeles area. Feel free to PM me if you have more questions.
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Old 01-26-2020, 08:50 PM   #41
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you should rent an RV where you live and get your feet wet with a short vacation to see what it is really like.. it can be a lot of work..Route 66 would be a nice addition to your trip...have fun !
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Old 01-26-2020, 09:50 PM   #42
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I have driven much of route you listed.

First, LA traffic is very difficult. If you will be in your RV when you go grocery shopping, stop outside LA to do it. Remember you onlyaverage about 50 job with stops, but that first leg will be much slower. It will likely takes a couple of hours to get on the ride.

Second, 250 per day is quite easy so don't be afraid to think about driving fewer days and spending more time at places.

Third, Soon and Bryce are beautiful, but very crowded. Our favorite Utah park is Capitol Reef.

Fourth, Yellowstone is magical. The park is very large so I would consider more time there. It has geysers, paint pots, the Booling River, bison, bears, elk, wolves and much more. I wouldn't rush thru it. I would trade Sequoia for more time in Yellowstone. You are doing lots of driving, going to fewer places will let you experience the lines you go to more deeply.

Fifth, Las Vegas in the summer is very hot (100 degrees and up)The Grand Canyon is great, but Vegas with kids is probably a bad bad idea. I would skip it.

Sixth, there is a park called Great Basin in Nevada that is quite special.... With great cave tours and a DARK skies for stargazing.

Last, all the places you mention are very croweded and require reservations. It is near impossible to just drive up and stay, so plan ahead.

Wish there was a way to provide you an email address to trade info.

Enjoy!!!
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