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California by Rv in December.

Basingstoke, United...
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California by Rv in December.

My family 2 adults 3 children are planning a holiday next year in California by RV, we want to go from San Francisco to Yosemite, and work are way to San Diego and La. Any Advice on routes would be most welcome as i know it is winter in the north and some roads are not suitable for a RV. Also any help regarding Class A or Class C happy with either, but would like a tv, we will use rv parks along the way.

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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1. Re: California by Rv in December.

Hi Jamie R

Here are two Traveler Articles about RV travel that were penned by TA member half-Brit:

Types of RVs tripadvisor.com/Travel-g28926-c151379

Where to Stay tripadvisor.com/Travel-g28926-c151535

As your trip is entirely within the state of California, I suggest you also post on the California forum tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g28926-i29

When is your trip? "winter in the north" isn't descriptive enough to determine the month of travel. Do you have at least 2 weeks for the trip? More?

If your focus is the natural beauty & outdoors of California, an RV makes sense. But in winter (limited daylight, freezing pipes, cold box for sleeping, cramped quarters for evening 'family time') it's a less attractive option. If you're planning to spend lots of time in cities, using a car & motels makes sense. There isn't a good RV Park that is centrally located for any of these cities, and if you drive to an attraction, you'd have to take your 'home' with you.

Lewes, United...
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for Road Trips
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2. Re: California by Rv in December.

Hi Jamie

You've already been steered to some terrific articles on RV travel, and helpfully recommended to post more questions on the California forum. It's not for the faint hearted, and, while very much suited to a family happy to avoid big cities, is very much not a cheap way to travel, or a fast one. As well as there being some restrictions on routes you can take, you will find you travel much slower than you'd expect, and any suggestions of travel times offered on any website will be extremely optimistic.

If you wish more info, please provide us with a bit of background on yourselves, and, as already mentioned dates, etc of travel, durations, etc - December isn't really specific enough. And why December? While many places in Southern California will be warm, it can be wet, and inland or high up (like Yosemite) rather cool. Also, I don't know how much camping is available in Yosemite, although PNWF will know, of course at that time of year. The Tioga Road will certainly be closed owing to snow.

As to RVs. Class As are usually larger and much more expensive to rent. They're like busses, while Class Cs are the motorhome style ones. I would expect that all RVs available to rent in the USA will come with a TV and DVD player, ours certainly had one (despite the fact we never used it). Note that to hook up the TV to satellite TV and cable channels, some RV parks charge an extra fee and not always every parking spot will have the necessary cables and connections.

You may well be charged a one-way fee by the RV rental company. These fees can be surprisingly high, on top of the rental costs. BTW, you are also going to have to pay for mileage and other costs not included in the basic rental charges. Most RV company websites do spell out all their additional charges, but don't often give you an idea of what the total might come to.

Don't hesitate to get more info here or on the other forums.

Have a great trip,

SWT

Edited: 31 December 2011, 16:18
Washington State
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3. Re: California by Rv in December.

I just reread the title. December. Sorry I missed it earlier.

For the Yosemite portion, the only 'RV Park' that will work is probably the KOA in Midpines. Then ride the fee YARTS shuttle 1+ hour to Yosemite Valley. None of the campgrounds in Yosemite have hook ups.

However, the Yosemite Lodge at the Falls (motel) has electricity, heat, televisions, food, and a great location.

Basingstoke, United...
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4. Re: California by Rv in December.

Thank you for the replies, we are set on December 14th onwards, we have 3 weeks, would like to be near LA for christmas,as we are interested in the parks. The only place we are definitley interested in the north is SF, we could look at then moving south including desert areas, and finishing in LA. Lots to look at.

Jamie

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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5. Re: California by Rv in December.

Hi Jamie R, I'll add a bit to the info SussexWorldtraveller gave you about RV styles. If you can find a Class A with both rear bedroom and overhead bed, that would be your best bet, since the amount of folding and reorganizing you will do will be minimalized. In a Class A, you'd be using both the dinette and the couch for sleeping. Be sure you tell the rental company that you will have 5 people.

RVing is great, we've done it for going on 20 years, but there are some drawbacks in the winter. You'll be warm and toasty inside as any unit will have a propane furnace, but you will need to "manage" your water and sewer hoses to prevent freezing if you visit cold snowy winter areas such as Yosemite. Your windows will fog up and yes, it will be tight living quarters. However, if you spend more time in southern Calif you may find the weather will allow you to spend time sitting and relaxing outside as it's rarely really cold there!

However, if you plan to make your meals in the motorhome, with 3 children the higher cost of the rental (v. motels) might pay for itself.

Here are some great websites to help you find RV parks. I would strongly recommend those with full hookups over rustic campgrounds in winter:

goodsamclub.com/travel/campgroundsandrvparks/

woodalls.com/campground/…rv-campgrounds.aspx

http://www.rv-clubs.us/rv_campgrounds.html

http://www.rvparkhunter.com/page2.asp

http://www.rvparkreviews.com/index.html (all RV park reviews by RVers only– excellent )

http://camp-california.com/

http://www.koa.com

western WA
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6. Re: California by Rv in December.

Is December really a good time to visit Yosemite? There are other parks that seem a better choice for an RV vacation in December. Maybe go down the coast on 101, then head out to Death Valley and Joshua Tree?

I have only driven to Yosemite and Kings Canyon in the summer, and my memory of the drive is that it is one that I would not want to take in an unfamiliar Class A motorhome, to say the least. I am an experienced winter driver and have navigated many mountain passes in my time. I hope a Californian gives you more advice on it.

Adirondack, New York
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7. Re: California by Rv in December.

Jamie, repost your question on the California forum. After all you're traveling exclusively in CA.

tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g28926-i29-Califor…

Edited: 02 January 2012, 12:21
8. Re: California by Rv in December.

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