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late decision to go in rv, now where to stay?

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Newcastle, Australia
posts: 2,469
late decision to go in rv, now where to stay?

I know RV spots sell out within minutes but was seeking some advice.

We have decided to rent an RV from LA to SF and were hoping to stop in Yosemite for 2 nights on May 4 and 5.

Any suggestions on where we could stay with the RV. Is it possible some of the national park spots may be home available, ie someone cancels their booking?

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
posts: 38,830
reviews: 59
1. Re: late decision to go in rv, now where to stay?

Yes, it is possible that there will be cancellations. Check the reservation website often. You might also look at the KOA in Midpines (about an hour from Yosemite Valley) or the Indian Flat RV Park (about 25 minutes from Yosemite Valley, very basic)

Since May 4th is a Saturday (definitely busier), try to get a campsite just for May 5th first. I see there is one in Upper Pines for a 27' RV, but that might not be big enough.

Hmmm. There are two big sites available in Hodgdon Meadow for the 4th. It's higher elevation and cooler, but it would be a reasonable location if you want to be in the Park.

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
posts: 38,830
reviews: 59
2. Re: late decision to go in rv, now where to stay?

I see you posted on the Road Trips forum as well. Since this is a short drive in California, I think the CA forum is a better choice. But maybe you'll glean some useful tidbits over there.

What day do you pick up the RV? Where "in" L.A.? Do you drive away from the RV depot at 1:00 or arrive at 1:00 for your appointment to pick it up? Are you buying personal kits from the RV company or outfitting your own family (ie ~ do you need to go to a store)? What are you goals with the RV ~ sightseeing vehicle or family camping trip? How big is the RV?

Corona del Mar, CA
Destination Expert
for San Diego, Orange County, California
posts: 34,412
reviews: 342
3. Re: late decision to go in rv, now where to stay?

I am just not a big fan of people renting RVs to drive on Highway 1. It isn't an easy drive to begin with and I think the RV makes it worse and harder to see sights in the various cities along the way. An RV trip in the wide open spaces of the West makes sense, but not along the 1 to me, especially if you are not an experienced RV driver.

How much left hand drive experience do you have?

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
posts: 38,830
reviews: 59
4. Re: late decision to go in rv, now where to stay?

hindo has already visited Hwy 1 by this point and wants a mountain visit.

>>Pick up is at 1pm so we will head out for a couple of hours that day then stop for the night. We will have already been in CA for a week so will have everything we need, or at least most things.

We have already driven coast road so any other options would be appreciated. Also if it is possible to include Yosemite NP that would be cool.<< tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g1-i12567-k6350859

and

>>we have 6 in our family - 2 adults and 4 kids under 9 (including 2 infants).<<

==============

I am not familiar with these RV Parks, but this itinerary might work for you and allow the kids time to enjoy the experience of camping.

Night 1: Visalia KOA

Day 2: stay at the RV Park till noon or so, then head out.

Night 2: Coarsegold KOA or Summerdale Campground in Fish Camp or a campground at Bass Lake

Day 3: Mariposa Grove in the morning, either Wawona or Yosemite Valley in the afternoon.

Night 3: Wawona Campground or a campground in the Valley (if you're lucky) ... maybe Crane Flat or Hodgdon (extra driving.)

Day 4: Enjoy Yosemite Valley.

Night 4: Valley campground or other

Day 5: drive to SF area to drop the RV

================

Maybe there are some decent Forest Service campgrounds in the Sequoia - Kings Canyon NP area or Sequoia National Forest. Your kids might just want a day to play in the woods. (In reality, this would likely be a campground with pit toilets, trees, squirrels, and maybe trails. But it's plenty of 'wilderness' for small children.)

Newcastle, Australia
posts: 2,469
5. Re: late decision to go in rv, now where to stay?

Thanks for the helpful replies.

We have driven on the left hand side very often, and have just spent 3 years living in the South Pacific where they drive on that side of the road. If anything it is more difficult driving on the right hand side!!

Yes we pick up RV at 1pm, so I am guessing we will get away around 3pm once the information session and paperwork are completed. Happy to drive for a couple of hours that afternoon before finding somewhere to stay for the night.

Goals are to combine a bit of sightseeing with mainly a family camping trip. My wife and I have been to CA something like 15 times over the last 20 years and have seen quite a bit of it and the rest of the USA (think we have done about 38 states thus far). This short trip is really a test drive to see if we might do a longer RV trip some time.

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
posts: 36,277
reviews: 776
6. Re: late decision to go in rv, now where to stay?

I might be concerned about snow . . . PNWFamily any thoughts on that?

Hindo, there are some privately owned RV parks outside the National Park but they are all about one hour's drive into the valley. However, they will have hookups and may have availability at this late date.

The roads into the valley are okay, just narrow in spots and winding here and there.

Here are some websites to help you find RV parks & campgrounds:

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

http://camp-california.com/

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

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

http://www.koa.com

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
posts: 38,830
reviews: 59
7. Re: late decision to go in rv, now where to stay?

OP has two nights at Hodgdon, just don't know which two of the four.

Snow continues to be a possibility. We were chased out of the high country by a snow storm in August one year. But May is usually nice. If it starts snowing, stay put!

Newcastle, Australia
posts: 2,469
8. Re: late decision to go in rv, now where to stay?

Hodgdon was the only spot we could get. It's not ideal but better than nothing. We have sites booked for Saturday and Sunday, May 4th and 5th

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
posts: 36,277
reviews: 776
9. Re: late decision to go in rv, now where to stay?

I'm not familiar with that campground, but just read a few of the reviews here on TripAdvisor :-(

What I would advise you to do is make sure you have your freshwater tank absolutely completely full, and your black and grey water tanks totally empty before you arrive. Be careful about your water usage when you take showers and do dishes, as people tend to use more than they realize. Your water pump will pull from your battery, so you might need to run your generator a bit, or run it when you're using the water pump for a shower. Be sure your propane tank is full too.

Maybe buy a couple of cheap towels or rugs to put on the floor as it looks like the campground has lots of dirt ;-)

Edited: 2:50 pm, April 07, 2013
10. Re: late decision to go in rv, now where to stay?

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