newbie neding help- California trip

Hi All!
I am planning our first RV trip, flying in from the UK, renting a 31 foot c class and traveling( hopefully) to San Fransico, Yosemite, Death Valley, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Los Angeles over three weeks.
Is this realistic we have two kids ( 7 1nd 10). ANY advice on anything very welcome .
From very excited and in planning overdrive !
Nikki the Newbie


Senior Member
newbie neding help- California trip

LA to SF is 617 km (1 to 2 days), SF to Yosemite is 294 km (1/2 day) with 2 steep grades, Yosemite to Death Valley is 498 km (1 day) with 4 steep grades, DV to Las Vegas is 226 km (1/2 day), LV to Grand Canyon is 445 km (1 day) with 2 steep grades and GC back to LA is 787 km (2 days) with 4 steep grades. Total is 2867 km, estimated driving time is 33 hours. So you will probably be driving part or all of 8 days of the trip. It can be done, but you will probably be spending only 1 to 2 days in each place. Plan to spend the first day recovering from your flight rather than driving... Save seeing LA for last so you are back there a day or two early; this provides you a buffer for the unexpected.

Keeping kids occupied while driving may be a challange. See if the unit you are renting has VHS or DVD which will work while you are driving (if the TV is visible to the driver, it won't work) and if not, consider buying a portable unit. With a stock of movies, of course. Games, coloring books, puzzles, etc as well. Not sure if they will enjoy Las Vegas as much as an adult would, as many of the attractions are age limited.

You may want to consider signing up with Passport America, and get 50% off at participating campgrounds. Good Sam Club has a small discount at some other campgrounds (10% I think), Gas (at Love's) and offers the free travel routing service I used to provide the above mileage info.

For the Grand Canyon, if you go on your own, you will likely not be a happy camper due to the lines, crowds and restrictions. Marvelous Marv has a great tour which gets around most of that and if you make your reservations though the adequate campground (which is a Passport America member) he is affiliated with (Canyon Gateway, in Williams), the price is not too bad. Williams is also where the train to the Grand Canyon comes from, if that is your preferance.
newbie neding help- California trip

thankyou SO much! Lots of great info and lots to think about, will follow up your links and keep looking at the maps!
Many thanks!
newbie neding help- California trip

What Ho Nicky!!

I live in NOrthern Calif. and I would suggest that you do San Francisco, before you pick up your MOtor HOme. It is not the most RV friendly place, same holds true with LA. Terrible traffic jams at all times of day or night, The rest of your itinerary sounds great.

Berty Wooster
newbie neding help- California trip

If you are going to be the only driver you will never make it in the 33 hours hertig said you would and still see the country, especially with 2 kids. I noticed in your post you said "we" so I am thinking there will be another driver. If you never drove a 31 foot RV before you are in for another treat. Make sure where you rent your RV they explain how to operate everything on the motorhome. Some things can be confusing for a first timer. All in all, I wish you the best and enjoy the USA. Remember wherever you camp there will be people there to help you or to answer your questions. RV people tend to be a family and help each other.
Good Luck,