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Car and RV hire for road trip in California

Auckland, New...
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Car and RV hire for road trip in California

Hi there

We are 3 families travelling to the USA next September with 7 children age ranging from 12-14 years old. (one set of triplets if you were trying to do the math) :)

We are flying into San Francisco and our road trip will begin there. Thinking we will spend a couple of days in San Francisco without a vehicle, as from the forums I read, own transport is not necessary. We haven't booked any accommodation as yet but ideally will try and book some sort of condo near town. We then will collect a RV to start our road trip via Yosemite, Death Valley, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon then onto Anaheim. Here in Anaheim we are wanting to switch our RV for large SUV/car's to then finish the trip by a visit to San Diego and surrounding areas of Anaheim etc.

The RV would be a one way hire - SFO to LAX then the car would be pick up and return to LAX. Ideally we would want to collect the car from Anaheim as we will be staying there however drop off to the LAX International Airport when we fly out.

Are there any companies that do both RV and car hire? Just trying to avoid dropping off our RV then having to travel miles across town with kids and baggage in tow.

Thanks for any help you can give me. :)

Rachel from down under - New Zealand

Uden, The...
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1. Re: Car and RV hire for road trip in California

Not sure how big your party is. 6 adults and 7 kids? All in one RV???

Fort Bragg...
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2. Re: Car and RV hire for road trip in California

From what I understand from other forum posts is that the pick up for RV's is nowhere near the airports.

Corona del Mar, CA
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for San Diego, Orange County, California
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3. Re: Car and RV hire for road trip in California

13 people traveling together? How many total nights?

From my viewpoint, I don't see the need for an RV, I'd get two or three separate vehicles. If you were traveling for 30 days and spending a week here and a week there in national parks or open spaces I might get it, but for the rather common trip you are talking about, I think an RV would be more of a hassle than a help.

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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4. Re: Car and RV hire for road trip in California

Is this a trip for September 2014 or 2015?

Read the relevant Top Questions on each forum. The SF forum has ideas about vacation rentals in the City and descriptions of neighborhoods. You might be able to find a few rentals near each other.

Campsite reservations will be essential.

Yes, the RV rentals "in" San Francisco are not in the city. Nor are they at the airport SFO. They are located in different Bay Area cities. SF forum folks can help you figure out the best way to get there from SF.

When you get to Anaheim, drop the people at the hotel. Then drive the RVs (I am assuming 3 RVs) to the RV depot. After checking them in, take a taxi to the Anaheim hotel (or public transit.) Pick up a rental car in Anaheim after your Disneyland visit. There are lots of car rental locations.

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This topic from the Top Questions on the right will help: FAQ: RVing in California: Is it Right for you?

Edmonton, Canada
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5. Re: Car and RV hire for road trip in California

with that many people, you are going to need 2-3 rv's and when you trade to cars, you'll probably need 3 for that too...remember, all the luggage needs space. rv's are expensive to rent in the US i hope your budget is big. check out top questions re yosemite. is everyone going to be happy with extreme heat if going to death valley and las vegas. sounds like a great experience but check out the costs. in addition to the one way drop off fee, also ask how much they charge for additional drivers.

Auckland, New...
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6. Re: Car and RV hire for road trip in California

Thanks all. Sorry I forgot to say each family will be in their own RV and Car. I like my sleep to much for the 13 of us to share! :)

Uden, The...
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7. Re: Car and RV hire for road trip in California

An RV will be great for a longer stay at places like Yosemite or Grand Canyon but we don't know how long you have for this trip and with 3Rvs you certainly must make reservations. September still will be 100F in Death Valley and most companies forbid to drive in Death Valley till mid septemer.

Edited: 4:58 pm, June 16, 2014
Corona del Mar, CA
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8. Re: Car and RV hire for road trip in California

How many nights is still crucial. I would not rent RVs on a trip less than 30 nights. If you are moving every other day or so you are far better off with cars.

Los Angeles...
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9. Re: Car and RV hire for road trip in California

So you have a parade of 3 big RVs everywhere you go? Good luck finding parking spaces... even harder finding 3 RV parking spaces near each other. Seems that require a lot of coordination and not practical. In some places, e.g. Yosemite... since the RV is your only mean of transportation, from one sightsee-spot to another, may be a mile away... you are moving all 3 RV in a parade every time?

Oregon Coast
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10. Re: Car and RV hire for road trip in California

Hello RACHEL C, I'm a long time RVer, so perhaps can help you rather than try to discourage you. RVing is not quite the same in California as it is in Australia. We have so many more people that it is not quite as "free spirited".

Here you absolutely *must* book your campsites well in advance for staying in the National Parks. Months in advance.

Is this trip this September, or in 2015? That will make a big difference.

I don't see any problem with your group having three motorhomes. You should get a walkie-talkie system so the three of you can easily communicate. They are not very expensive and will make your trip much more enjoyable. They are far easier to use than mobile phones - and you will be in some "dead zones" with no phone service.

Unless you are in a congested city, you'll be able to find parking as you make stops along the way. You may have to walk a few hundred yards.

Are you familiar at all with motorhomes?

You will be travelling more slowly in them than in a car. How many days is your trip?

I don't know of any RV rental companies which also rent cars. If you click on the link below, you can read a TripAdvisor Traveler Article about American RVs. At the bottom you will find blue links to the websites of some reliable companies:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g28926-c151379/Califo…

It will not be cheap! Figure about $40/night for campgrounds in NPs - more for RV parks. You will get only about 9 MPG, (miles per gallon) and gas will be $4 per gallon or more.

The desert areas will be *hot* so make sure you have at least electrical hookups in places like Death Valley. It is necessary so you can run the air conditioner.