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Talk to me about camper vans - considering an RV holiday in California...

(8 Posts)
plipplops Mon 18-Jan-16 10:21:23

We're going to Northern California in October, flights booked. Planning on going to the national parks (Yosemite, Sequoia, Kings Canyon etc) as opposed to cities. A biggish RV (30 foot) is loads cheaper than hotels at that time of year, but we can't decide if it's a great or terrible idea. Temperature in Oct is average min 6 degrees, average max 22 degrees. We'd be moving every 2-3 days I guess, staying in a mix of campgrounds and just out in the wild.

I've never been away in a camper van, and we don't much like camping (but that's mainly because of all the setting up tents, then unzipping the bloody thing and navigating across a wet dark field to find a loo in the night).

So I think my questions are:
- How annoying is it to not really be able to just pop down the road to a shop without having to strap everything down?
- It is cold?
- Are they hideous to drive?
- What else haven't I thought of???


specialsubject Mon 18-Jan-16 21:59:29

you may not have thought of the difficulty of getting these monsters along the park roads. Check the official park websites for details.

plipplops Tue 19-Jan-16 07:25:54

From the guidebook it seems clear there are some roads that are a bad idea (v windy into the mountains etc), but I get the impression that since for the americans a 30' RV is relatively small it should be ok? But what do I know?!

PotteringAlong Tue 19-Jan-16 07:28:29

If you don't like camping it seems like a risky strategy to me - it's a whole lot of money to spend on a holiday you might not like.

How about hiring one here and trying it on a small scale for a weekend first?

GalensOyster Tue 19-Jan-16 07:31:01

We're doing this in July for 10 days. I started a thread in Travel / Longhaul which has got lots of advice on it. You might want to look there.

indyandlara Tue 19-Jan-16 07:35:24

We were in California last summer. I would be wary of driving an RV through Sequoia and King's Canyon. Going North to South you basically drive down the side of a mountain and it is tight in places. Personally I wouldn't be happy doing that in an RV.

specialsubject Tue 19-Jan-16 11:26:59

the park websites will tell you the max length of RVs that can negotiate the roads.

but I agree - if you don't like camping, don't do it! It is a HOLIDAY, if you don't have the budget to make it more than an endurance exercise, do something else.

plipplops Thu 21-Jan-16 13:20:21

Thanks all, Galensoyster I've read your thread, v interesting. I think we're veering back towards the car and hotel thing again, will just have to be a mix of cheaper motels and the odd nice night.

Tricky though as the DDs would absolutely LOVE the camper, and it'd be a proper adventure. Shame we can't work out a way to do it for maybe 5 nights, but since we're doing a big circle it's not going to fly...

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