Vegas Valley Fleet and Auto
4275 West Bell Drive
Las Vegas, 89118
I offer these guys with my highest recommendation.
Red Rock RV wash has washed and waxed my MH more than a few times at the Oasis. I find them "not bad", a bit pricey, but the best I've seen in town.
You will find the people on this website knowledgeable and friendly. Having enjoyed the comments of my on-line friends for years I can say that you should not have a problem if you add some information to your profile. The type of RV, length, engine, year will help others answer your questions.
All of my previous motorhomes (MH) were gas. The mountains out here in the west can be a challenge. My older "big block" 484 GM struggled on the mountains with a tow car. The newer V10 and then the Workhorse 8.1 did fine on the grades pulling a 3000lb car but it really ate gas. I now have a diesel, which should handle a heavier toad but I've yet to try. At 4000+ lbs your toad is probably close to or over the combined weight rating of a gas MH. Adding a tow dolly or trailer will add another 500 to 1000 lbs to the combination. This may also exceed the weight rating of your hitch, even on a diesel. All things to consider in your new venture. Also, if your going to drive the western mountains, really consider a supplemental brake system...Really.
If you lose pressure and then lose the tire it will probably cost a bunch more than new extenders. My one blowout years ago took out some fiberglass and a couple of wire harnesses. Could have been much worse.
Get new shiny ones.
I use the ReadyBrake with my Demco towbar. ReadyBrake also makes a towbar but I already had the Demco and I am comfortable with it. I had it installed by a tech because I did not want to drill through the firewall myself and because I don't bend real well anymore to run the cable. I've used it for two years now and I'm satisfied.
As for do you need a brake: I ACTUALLY HAD MY SATURN DISCONNECT FROM THE RV...REALLY. The hitch shop used welds on the baseplate. On the first trip the weld failed, luckily at a slow speed, in a small town, not far from home. I did not have the supplemental brake attached (box type) since it was just a short drive. The shop paid for all the repairs. No one was hurt and no damage to anything but the Saturn, which had the front end pull away. I now ALWAYS use a supplemental brake.
Based on what I just sold my 2005 38ft Adventurer for the offer is way overpriced. You found a floor plan you like...good start. You have a high price point...good start. Now call a few dealers near your home base, tell them what you are looking for, and let the party begin. It won't take long for the better salespeople to find and negotiate a new rig. Recently I was offered a pretty good deal at LaMesa Davis, although I did not take it. SeeGrin in Gilroy seemed to have a pretty good inventory of consignment rigs. And there is always Oregon.
I like your plans. We have traveled that route with the kids and now grandkids a few time. Petrified forest is a fun drive and hike if they are into natural wonders and pictographs. Meteor crater is a bit of a tourist trap (my opinion) as it is run by a private group that tries to impersonate the National Park Service with uniforms. Sunset Craters just East of the Grand Canyon outside of Flagstaff is a far better place to hike, visit the educational ranger station, and spend a few hours. (again my opinion) If the kids are into Indian Lore and the Hollywood Western then Monument Valley at Goulding's Outpost is a great stop. Lovely, Fantastic, Nature's Beauty showing off, but it could be boring for teenagers who do not enjoy scenery. We loved it...twice. While at the Grand Canyon do not miss BearAzona. A drive through animal preserve. We spend about 5 hours there with kids and grandkids. Well worth the visit. Although the Albuquerque children's park may seem a little young for the kids, they have a butterfly village where you walk through with hundreds of butterflies. I'll let you decide if that fits the bill. Enjoy.
I think most Chevy GMC products are towable 4 down. But you can check with the annual publication by FMCA or Motorhome Magazine, they both have archives. Naturally you will want to verify this with the owners guide. It sounds like your towing load will exceed the 5000 lb limit on most if not all gas rigs, both the hitch limit and the GVCWR. Just things to think about.
I have nothing but the very best comments on Wholesale Warranty, their products and their personnel. I've dealt with the company for many years. They helped me file a claim when I had one. It was paid satisfactorily. Over the years, on different motorhomes, my warranty has paid for replacement of my HWH jack, a jack motor, and jack springs. Basement a/c repair. Replacement of the cooling unit on my Norcold frig. The motherboard on the frig. and other things I can't remember at the moment. Even with this high recommendation, my new rig was negotiated with an included dealer supplied extended warranty. It has been less than a month and I received my partial refund check from Wholesale Warranties without the slightest form of a hassle. Although I am not their customer at the present time I am sure I will renew my relationship with the company in three years when the dealers warranty expires.
Unless you are super comfortable on winding mountain roads I would definitely avoid both those routes. Malibu tunnel would be a tight drive. Both roads have shear drops and both are heavily traveled by car commuter traffic. Going a bit wide on a turn and crossing the yellow could find you with a sports car (Ferrari) or motorcycle in your lap. Given your size go the long way...take the 405 and exit Sunset, turn right and it is a straight shot to the 101, from there it is not far to Malibu. Even in a car it is our preferred route to the beach.
For many years (35+) we vacationed with our kids, now we often take grandkids. None of our RVs had bunk beds. The children loved the idea of sleeping on the couch, on the floor in sleeping bags, and especially outside in tents. When we tented in the sunny California summers we always set up the tents under the awning and left the doors and windows open in the MH. Since the older children often brought their best friend two in a tent worked out great. The little ones will sleep anywhere, the older children probably want to be as far from the adults as permissible. Happy Trails.
We've taken the Yellowstone trip four times, most recently this summer. Grizzly is a lovely park right next to the park entrance, but I really enjoyed this last trip staying at West Yellowstone KOA, 6 miles from the park entrance. Quieter, more rustic, large spaces, well kept, just nice. We have found that there is so much to see in Yellowstone it is difficult to plan your trip based on mileage. We would start out after breakfast, be home for dinner, and never cover more than 100 miles, often less. So many turnouts, viewpoints, animals, and you can spend hours at the ranger stations. If you plan too much time and run out of things to see that tickle your fancy, Jackson is only about a 2 hour drive from West Yellowstone, and it is good for a few days of touring.
I like the ReadiBrake. I use it on my Saturn Vue, my daughter uses it on the Jeep. I will get the ReadiBrake when I change toads early next year. Difficult to install, at least for me, I had a mechanic do the instillation, but simple to use, and it does not draw any power from the toad. Oh, I have the Demco tow-bar and I use the ReadiBrake extension...available for most tow-bars.
Sommerville Almond Tree RV Park in Coalinga is a very nice overnight park. Right off the I-5, clean, level, well groomed. If you get there after the office closes you just pick a spot and pay in the morning. If you call ahead, like we do, they save you a spot and give you the WiFi code. Just a nice overnight when we don't want to make the Sacramento trip in one day.
I believe that at least one exit window is mandated by DOT. The windshield can be accessed without too much difficulty. An alarm system is not a problem, you can have a competent alarm company monitor the windows, the door, and even install a motion sensor. These systems can be monitored 24/7 with a cellular system. You could bar the window and put a screen behind the cab, similar to check cashing vans, making access to the rear extremely difficult. But in reality situational safety is more important. Stay in a safe campground in a safe neighborhood. You can check with the local law enforcement to see if the neighborhood you are choosing is relatively secure. Campgrounds are full of people, increasing safety. You bigger concern might be travel to and from work. Parking lot safety, commute safety, and shopping safety.
Just be careful and get professional advice before making your home too secure. Bars on windows, even in brick homes, and trap you inside as well as keeping rescuers out.
Travel Village RV in Valencia or Castaic RV park, both in the Santa Clarita Valley right off the I-5. Malibu RV park is pricey and lovely. It is on the right side of the mountains for Los Angeles, wrong side of the highway for the beach, and also a long drive to Pasadena. Pomona KOA next to the LA Fairgrounds is a very nice park mentioned by others. All of these will be about an hour drive from the LA tourist attractions. LA itself is not really RV friendly and there are no lovely parks central to the city. There are a few parks in the San Fernando Valley (my neck of the woods) but I personally would not even briefly consider them because of location, most are cheap full time housing.
Once you get to Valencia (Six Flags Magic Mountain) on the 5 take the 210 to Pasadena, Stay on the 210 for a long drive past the 15 then the 215 until the 210 merges with the 10. You could still get some significant traffic in the Santa Anita area. If you take this route there is a confusing merge where the left lanes head into Pasadena and exit the freeway and the right lane goes through an underpass to take you to onward on the 210. The far right lane goes to the 10. This all sounds confusing, but it is my favorite route from the San Fernando valley to points South or to Las Vegas by car. In the motorhome I take Palmdale highway to avoid the steep grade on the 15.
As noted on my current Good Sam card, I have been a member for 29 years. My GS roadside assistance is valid through May 2015. But, I have the old card without the magnetic strip which is needed for PilotFlying J discounts. I called last week and asked if I could get a new/newer card and was told no problem, a new card would come out in about 4 weeks. OK, I've lived without it all this time no big deal. Now for my venting: On our latest trip last weekend we visited two Indian casinos where I was issued a players card, with a magnetic strip, instantly. When I visit a hotel I am issued a magnetic key card instantly. Why does it take 4 weeks to get a re-issued GS card?
PS. While in Vacaville we stopped at the Camping World there and purchased a bunch of stuff for our new rig. Nice store. But why couldn't they have updated my GS card. I didn't ask, but I did show my old card for my discount at the register. Again, Just wondering.