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 > Traveling West from Gulf Coast

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judis

Foley, Alabama

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Posted: 08/19/12 05:37pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My husband and I will embark on our trip of a lifetime in February2013.
We will leave the Gulf Coast in Alabama with our 37 foot fifth wheel in tow and arrive in California mid March to view whale migration.
We will slowly make our way back staying in Las Vegas, Utah, Arizona,and other places of interest.
Any suggestions of routes, campgrounds, tips to keep in mind for such a long trip would be greatly apprciated.
We will be staying in or near SF for 2 weeks and I'm having difficulty finding a campsite with decent reviews. Any suggestions?

pulsar

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Posted: 08/19/12 05:55pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

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mikestock

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Posted: 08/19/12 06:34pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you have time you should go up through the Redwoods and up the Oregon coast, however if you leave the coastal area in the Northwest you could hit Winter weather that time of year. There is so much to see you could spend months in California alone.

There is a lot to see in Utah, if you like big rocks. Monument Valley is one of my favorite places. Don't miss Arches, Zion, Bryce Canyon or Canyonlands. I'm sure the Grand Canyon is on your list.

Camping around SF is something I avoided. Can't help there.


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sealevel ram

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Posted: 08/19/12 07:44pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That is a lot of territory with so many interesting places.
We have been to CA many times, and my suggestion (opinions will vary) for a route out is: Mobile to Jackson, then I20 to Ft. Worth, then US 287 to Amarillo and I40 west.
We stayed at a park in SF. Don't recommend it.
Love the area north of Santa Barbara (lots of wineries) to Morro Bay. But depends on your tastes. Also the Lone Pine area on 395 to Lake Tahoe. May be too cold in March.
Take your time and have fun.

* This post was edited 08/19/12 08:10pm by sealevel ram *


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bikendan

Napa, Cal.

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Posted: 08/20/12 11:25am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

judis wrote:

we will be staying in or near SF for 2 weeks and I'm having difficulty finding a campsite with decent reviews. Any suggestions?


you don't have a lot of choices.
if you don't mind KOAs, the Petaluma KOA is popular.
Napa has a couple of nice RV parks with hookups.
Pleasanton has a RV park at the fairgrounds.
avoid Candlestick RV park!
SF RV Resort in Pacifica is well liked but expensive.

that's about it.


Dan- Firefighter, Shawn- Musician/Entrepreneur, Zoe- Faithful Golden Retriever(RIP), 2007 Chevrolet Avalanche LS, 2007 Rockwood Roo 23SS w/Equalizer and Prodigy, and 5 Mtn. bikes and 2 Road bikes


judis

Foley, Alabama

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Posted: 08/19/12 07:34pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks so much for your suggestions. We will
be in no hurry on this trip as I am retiring and will
be on no schedule.
Any campground with full hook ups that you would recommend in Utah?

2gypsies

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Posted: 08/21/12 12:49am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Can you give us places or cities you want to see along the way - then it will be easier to suggest campgrounds? Do you like hiking, museums, cities, breathtaking countrysides? Asking for a good campground in Utah isn't very helpful but we'll try.

You did mention San Francisco and we would recommend staying north of the city. Someone mentioned Napa and Petaluma which would be good. You can drive to the ferry dock near San Rafael and pick up a cheap, fast, scenic ride which will let you off at Fisherman's Wharf. (Google the San Fran ferry for more info) You won't even have to drive into the city. From there I would highly suggest you take a small van tour of the city. It will even take you across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito. This is the tour company we used and the tour was excellent and in a small group. After the tour you will be let off again at Fisherman's Wharf where you'll take the short ferry back to your car. It's an excellent relaxing way to see the city.

San Francisco Tour

Here's a link to Napa Country Fairgrounds RV Park:

Napa County Fairgrounds RV Park-Calistoga Campground

Unfortunately, RV parks really close to the city are hard to find and you really don't want to drive your RV into that congestion!

For "Utah" I would suggest you tour the southernmost national parks - Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Arches, Canyonlands but don't try to see them by parking in one spot. Move to each of the park's areas. Driving is too great otherwise. We prefer to stay IN the parks themselves but there are plenty of RV parks just outside the parks.

For Arizona, Grand Canyon Nat'l Park is a must. For your first time I would recommend the South Rim and staying IN the park at Trailer Village. It has full hookups and you can pick up the free shuttle bus right outside the campground. The campground is very near the rim (oops - well not THAT close!)It would give you a very scenic relaxing stay.

There are many, many wonderful things to see in the western states you've chosen. Have a great trip and the fun part is the planning!!


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klm

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Posted: 08/20/12 01:07pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We opted to stay in Rio Vista along the river - and ride the BART into SF. Worked for us, as we were coming up from Yosemite.


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tahiti16

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Posted: 08/20/12 07:10pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One that can help with suggestions is what kinds of things interest you? The variety we have of things to do in CA is huge so some guidance might help. As others have stated the SF area is pretty dismal for camping. Do you want to near the city for the 2 weeks or are you going to use that as a base to explore from? If a base then what you are interested in seeing will help on suggestions. Many places south, east and north of the city that are great for exploring from depending on your interests.


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judis

Foley, Alabama

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Posted: 08/22/12 03:28pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I appreciate all of the great information. We may never come home once we get on the road!

We will use the campsite near SF for our base and will travel to Sonoma Valley, Muir Woods, Carmel. I am considering the Pacifica RV Park. Would like some opinions from those who have stayed there.

As for our "like" we enjoy viewing wildlife and hiking so sounds like many opportunites.

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