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MyFamilyHoliday
Hello

I am looking for some advice on RV parks for us to stay in when we come for our much anticipated family holiday Nov 2011 till Jan 2012.

A little bit of background, Hubby and I are coming over with 6 children (19, 18, 16, 13, 9 and 8)
We are staying in a house in LA for a week then touring round in an rental RV for about 2 weeks. Then staying with my sister near Seattle for 3 1/2 weeks. We then RV it back down to LA - taking about 1 1/2 weeks to get back down before staying in a house in Anaheim for the last week.

We have great kids who just want to see and experience things they dont/cant see here in Australia. We have already booked a college football game as well as an Ice Hockey game smile.gif

I am looking at getting the Go LA and Go San Diego passes as for 8 of us they seem great value.

Id love some advice on RV parks in each area - especially advice on showering etc as our RV will be winterized.

'These are the areas Id appreciate some help/advice with..

1) RV park in/near San Diego early December fo 4 to 5 nights - is there somewhere we can stay that has public transport into San Diego? Or are we better off getting car rental while we are there?


2) RV park in/near San Francisco in either early December fo 4 to 5 nights - is there somewhere we can stay that has public transport into San Diego? Or again are we better off getting car rental while we are there?


3) is there an RV park near to Six flags Magic Mountain? just for an overnite stay?

4) We have been looking at the KOA park at Las Vegas, on the strip for our stay in Las Vegas (approx 3-4 days) Has anyone been there and any suggestions?

5) Are there any other recommendations of RV parks or even places to stop at or see between Los Angeles and Seattle?

Apologies for the long post - would LOVE some help if anyone has time

Thank you
nedmtnman
QUOTE(MyFamilyHoliday @ Jul 29 2011, 05:21 AM) *

Hello

I am looking for some advice on RV parks for us to stay in when we come for our much anticipated family holiday Nov 2011 till Jan 2012.

A little bit of background, Hubby and I are coming over with 6 children (19, 18, 16, 13, 9 and 8)
We are staying in a house in LA for a week then touring round in an rental RV for about 2 weeks. Then staying with my sister near Seattle for 3 1/2 weeks. We then RV it back down to LA - taking about 1 1/2 weeks to get back down before staying in a house in Anaheim for the last week.

We have great kids who just want to see and experience things they dont/cant see here in Australia. We have already booked a college football game as well as an Ice Hockey game smile.gif

I am looking at getting the Go LA and Go San Diego passes as for 8 of us they seem great value.

Id love some advice on RV parks in each area - especially advice on showering etc as our RV will be winterized.

'These are the areas Id appreciate some help/advice with..

1) RV park in/near San Diego early December fo 4 to 5 nights - is there somewhere we can stay that has public transport into San Diego? Or are we better off getting car rental while we are there?
2) RV park in/near San Francisco in either early December fo 4 to 5 nights - is there somewhere we can stay that has public transport into San Diego? Or again are we better off getting car rental while we are there?
3) is there an RV park near to Six flags Magic Mountain? just for an overnite stay?

4) We have been looking at the KOA park at Las Vegas, on the strip for our stay in Las Vegas (approx 3-4 days) Has anyone been there and any suggestions?

5) Are there any other recommendations of RV parks or even places to stop at or see between Los Angeles and Seattle?

Apologies for the long post - would LOVE some help if anyone has time

Thank you


When we go to San Diego we stay at Santee Lakes in Santee Ca. From there you can catch the trolly into San Diego but you will also need to drive some too. We love to go to La Jolla as it is one of our favorite places.

I am sure you will get some help here. Enjoy your stay.

pianotuna
Hi,

For most of the trip the RV would not need to be winterized. If you are experienced I'd suggest considering winterizing sometime during the trip, and then dewinterizing when you are far enough south.

You can expect the RV to burn 33 to 39 liters per 100 kilometers. At current prices in USA that works out to about $37.00 per 100 kilometers. Quickest route distance for the trip is about 4700 kilometers.

Most folks don't drive more than 500 k per day.
RFCN2
member 60831

I read your post a couple times to make sure I understood what you wanted to do. Basically a five week trip from San Diego to Seattle in the Nov - Jan time frame. We are doing that trip now but six weeks, and we are including Wyoming and Montana. We live in San Diego. We own our motor home we are not renting, but have done the trip you are talking about in a rented motor home a while back in 28 days.

Time of year. I know Nov - Jan is summer in Oz. Not here. Up to and including San Francisco plus the desert areas like Las Vegas you have generally a mild year around climate. But not north of San Francisco and certainly not Seattle. It snowed a bunch in Seattle this last year. I think there also might have been a dusting of snow in Vegas this past winter. My point. After leaving a hot mid summer Australia do you really want to live in a motor home in cold? Do you want to drive a rented one in snow? Since you have a lot of time it is likely you could time your drives to avoid the northern areas when it is snowing. But there are several mountain passes on the north - south route. Even just north of Magic Mountain close to LA it was closed several times this year due to snow. If it were me and it is not, but in my humble opinion RVing in the South is a better idea that time of year. Fights are cheap to Seattle from California so just RV in the south and fly to Seattle and back.

Here are some answers to your specific other questions.

1. I live in San Diego and have stayed in or been in most of the RV Parks. The previous poster suggesting Santee Lakes makes a good suggestion. It is a public park but very nice. It is close to the city but not to the San Diego public transport. San Diego has a very good trolly system which can get you from Mexico to Santee quite easily. The thing is the extra five miles from the RV Park to the trolly. There are buses but I don't know the routes in Santee. There are several other good RV Parks in San Diego. Campland by the Bay, there is one good one in Chula Vista whos name I have forgoten, Pio Pico. The things to see in San Diego with 6 kids are the Zoos, there are two. Buy a ticket where you can get into both. They are the World's best ones. I am prejudiced as I volunteer at the Zoo. Sea World is in San Diego. A great aquatic park. San Diego has a wonderful collection of museums all in the same place. Balboa Park in the middle of town. There is a pass to get into all. Or go Tuesdays as they are all free. At that time of year Borrego Springs is a desert area about two hours drive from San Diego. You might consider visiting in your RV. There are two very good RV parks there. You will be a bit early for the desert blooms, but still a great place to hang out that time of year.

2. San Francisco will likely have good weather that time of year. There are a couple of good RV parks around SF, but I never stay in them. But I have visited SF 100 times and can tell you they have great public transport and the city is compact.

3. There is a very good RV park in Valencia California right next to Magic Mountain. We will be staying there in three weeks. It is called Valencia Travel Village.

4. We stayed at the KOA Las Vegas two months ago. It is right on the Las Vegas strip and in your situation a good place to stay. It is in the back of the hotel Circus circus which is a kid oriented hotel in Vegas.

5. There is a huge variety of things to see from San Diego to Seattle. huge!. That time of year you could consider taking the coast route 1 through big sur. I recommend taking it south as you will be on the outside of the road. It is easily one of the World's best drives. Stop at the RV park right in Big Sur. Go to Pheipher beach. Stop at Nepenthe. Stop at Cambria see Hurst Castle on the southern part of the road. Even in winter Yosemite has a clear road. I would go there. An unforgettable place. The redwood parks north of San Francisco are likely to be OK that time of year. Take raincoats. Seattle is a wonderful city with many places to see. My sister lives there. I recommend, Pikes Market, Seattle center and the fantastic music museum called EMP (experience music project), go up to the top of the space needle, go see the Boeng tour where they make airplanes.

If you need help when in San Diego email me rfcntwo@gmail.com

Bob
MyFamilyHoliday
Thank you all for your replies, ive only gone through them quickly but hubby and I will go through more thoroughly today to take down notes lol

Bob, thats a lot of info but I really really appreciate it - its just what we need. Yes we know we are trading our Summer for some real cold weather but our main reason for visiting is to spend christmas with my sister whom we havent seen for 8 1/2 years so the timing is not something we can change. Maybe we can come back in a few years during your spring/summer!

Someone mentioned that maybe the RV would only have to be winterized during part of the trip - the RV company just stated it would be done before we picked it up. Can I ask your opinions... should I look into maybe having it done at a certain point in our trip or should I just leave it as being done from the start?

Thank you again everyone - your help has been wonderful
Texasrvers
OK, I'll show my ignorance. Why does their rental coach need to be winterized if they will be staying in it the whole time? Being from Texas we have never had need to winterize our coach during the winter months. However, we have gone on several trips when the temperature got below freezing (lowest was 14 degrees), and even then we did not "winterize." All we have ever done is detach the water hose from the park's faucet. The heat from the coach keeps everything else from freezing. In the coldest weather we did open up the cabinets so that warm air could get to the water lines better, and we also have heated bins so that our holding tanks don't freeze, but other than that we don't do anything special.

Maybe I am misunderstanding the term "winterize." To me that means you drain all the pipes and put in antifreeze (or whatever it is that you are supposed to use to keep them from freezing). It is my understanding that "winterize" is something you do when the coach will be stored in freezing weather for a long period. If the coach is winterized in this manner, how can they even stay in it? What am I not understanding here?
Fitzjohnfan
Texasrvrs, I'm with you, I think the rental place is just advising them that the coach is winterized and won't have water in it when they pick it up. If they rinse the tank out and the fresh water lines, they should be able to use the coach the entire time un-winterized. They will just need to keep the heat on in the coach, and winterize again before returning it.
MyFamilyHoliday
Hi again

I actually asked to clarify this with the rental company and was told we would not be able to use the sinks/shower at all in the RV as it would be winterized )and yes i was told this was because they put the stuff through the pipes)

I was told I can still use the toilet though.

In all honesty I found this out AFTER I had booked and paid for the RV, otherwise I may have changed my mind....

pianotuna
Hi,

Do you RV in Australia?
Texasrvers
QUOTE(MyFamilyHoliday @ Jul 30 2011, 07:12 PM) *

Hi again

I actually asked to clarify this with the rental company and was told we would not be able to use the sinks/shower at all in the RV as it would be winterized )and yes i was told this was because they put the stuff through the pipes)

I was told I can still use the toilet though.

In all honesty I found this out AFTER I had booked and paid for the RV, otherwise I may have changed my mind....



Oh wow. I sure think you should try to renegotiate that deal. There is absolutely no reason the RV should be winterized for most of your trip--if at all. I personally would be very unhappy if I had rented an RV and then was told I couldn't use the water. Just think of all the times you would need it--drinking, cooking, showering, washing dishes, brushing teeth, etc., etc. And even if you can use the toilet, how will you flush? And how will you dump the tank. Both of those require water. If you can't get the deal changed I sure hope you got a really great price because you will basically be using the RV for just sleeping.

Along these lines and to answer one of your first questions, you will be able to find numerous campgrounds that provide showers and restrooms, so even if the RV is winterized you will still have these services available to you. But I gotta say that with the number of people you will have with you, I would certainly want water to be available in the RV.

I just can't understand why someone would rent you a winterized coach knowing that you will be staying in it. Did they say why it needed to be winterized? I'm sorry to ask, but are you sure you are dealing with a reputable company? In any event--good luck.
MyFamilyHoliday
Hi all

Here is a copy and paste of the wording from the email i got from them when i asked to clarify about the winterization etc

.................................
> Each motorhome has to be winterized from November to April in Denver, Chicago, Boston, New York, Dallas, Atlanta, Seattle, vancouver, Salt Lake City, Buffalo, nasville and Charlotte (rental location and period may vary depending on the weather and temperatures) to prevent freezing. This will inlcude the water pipes, toilet, fresh water tanks, sink, shower, external shower, hot water heater and holding tanks. Winterization requires that water be drained from the fresh water tank, hot water heater and both waste tanks. Once the vehicle is winterized, no water can be put into the fresh water tank and it cannot be hooked up to the city water supply anymore. Therefore, no water at all is available in the motorhome. The toilet, however, can still be used as long as windshield washer antifreeze is poured down to rinse.
>
> Pink RV antifreeze has been run through all the pipes and put into the black and grey tanks. If the renter removes this antifreeze and put water into the system, the tanks and pipes will crack. If this happens, he/she will be responsible for repairing these systems and any other damages caused by cracking pipes/tanks.
>
> It is the renter's responsibility to have the vehicle re-winterized on the return trip (if dewinterized for a trip to an area with warmer temperatures). Upon return, if the renter presents us with a receipt from a Southern RV Service Center, we will reimburse him/her, up to a maximum of USD 75. If the renter does not have a receipt, we will keep the security deposit and charge him /her for any additional costs incurred in repairing damaged pipes, tanks,water heater, walls, floors etc.
......................

Ive been trying to play around with figures etc this morning to see if it really would be worth our while to Rv it or just get a hire car and stay in motels etc

Im so confused as i want to make this the best holiday I can for our kids (we havent had a holiday for 6 years, none of us have been outside Aust and so as you can imagine this is a HUGE one for us)

I originally went for the Rv as i thought it would be cheaper than accom and carhire, even though I knew gas would be a lot more. But ive since found a good price on car hire for the entire 8 1/2 weeks.... but then we dont have the convenience of being able to cook in the RV each night and also hubby is worried about carrying 8 peoples worth of luggage in the car as well??

So I havent written the RV idea off totally but as you said with winterization we will prob not be able to do much more than sleep in it!

If I cancel it I lose my $900 deposit as it states it is non refundable - but not much I can do about that I guess.... very frustrating

Thanks all for your help so far
Alessandro
QUOTE(MyFamilyHoliday @ Jul 29 2011, 06:21 AM) *


4) We have been looking at the KOA park at Las Vegas, on the strip for our stay in Las Vegas (approx 3-4 days) Has anyone been there and any suggestions?



We have been at the KOA at Las Vegas. This is no more than a parking lot with all amenities for a RV, so full hook up. No shade, so also in December hot. There is a small swimming pool, but we found this very unattractive to spend time. Advantage: on the strip!
Another suggestion: go to Main Street Station Hotel. They have also a RV camping, which is a parking lot, too! This place is 2 blocks away from Fremont Street. We love the "old" Las Vegas. One can simply take the bus to the strip, which can take 45 minutes later in the evening due to traffic jams. The price is suprising low. All sites have full hook-up. The champagne brunch in the Main Street Station is fantastic for a price one won't believe, so little!
Enjoy your trip. Next year we fly from The Netherlands again to LA to start another 7 weeks trip with a hired coach.
Alessandro
QUOTE(MyFamilyHoliday @ Jul 31 2011, 02:36 AM) *


So I havent written the RV idea off totally but as you said with winterization we will prob not be able to do much more than sleep in it!

If I cancel it I lose my $900 deposit as it states it is non refundable - but not much I can do about that I guess.... very frustrating

Thanks all for your help so far


I am rather confused by this story. How can a renowned RV rental company rent out a RV knowing that the renter wants to travel to the snow! Indeed, one can only sleep in itjava script:emoticon(':angry:', 'smid_6') All the benefits of RV-ing are gone. It is a shame. I wonder which company this is; they should be put on a "black list". The rented should have been informed properly about the limitations during winter. I would sue them if they do not want to pay back the $900 deposit! I would follow the earlier suggestion probably and fly to Seattle and back and make a trip in the South West to Arizona and New Mexico starting in LA. The high plains may even be difficult to travel due to winter conditions, which can be harsh.
java script:emoticon('B)', 'smid_15')
I hope you and your family can have a good time after all.

Greetings from Alessandro
Texasrvers
OK, the info you posted lists the cities that require their RV’s to be winterized. (I can understand this because most of those cities get some very cold weather in the winter.) However, I did not see any of the cities where you will be in the list. I am assuming you will rent the coach somewhere on the west coast. LA, perhaps? So is it possible that the RV you will rent will not be winterized after all? That would be the best solution. You would have a normal RV with all of its utilities available to you.

If that is not the case and the RV you get is winterized, the next best solution I see is to de-winterize it and then have it re-winterized when you return it (like the information talked about in the last paragraph). Yes, this will be a hassle and an added expense to do this, but I am trying to think of ways you won’t lose your deposit but still have an RV that you can actually travel in and live in comfortably. So if I were you I would check into this a little further. Apparently you begin and end your trip staying in a house so this would be a good time to take care of the de- and re- winterizing.

If you do manage to get an un-winterized coach and if you take it into freezing weather you will need to read up on the precautions you will need to take so that the water lines will not freeze. As I mentioned in my first post we are not cold weather campers, but the few times we have been in freezing weather we had no trouble, and basically all we did was unhook our water hose. The heater in the coach took care of the rest. Some of our other members can better advise you in this area.

What size coach have you rented? And what style—Class A, Class C? I am assuming it is big since you will need to sleep eight people. I can see how this would probably be cheaper than staying in a motel, but not being able to use the water would still be a big negative in my book.

Stay on that winterizing problem and let us know what you find out. Also feel free to ask any other questions you may have. We’re here to help you.
lookingtocruise
Hello fellow Aussie,

This is a great way for you and your children to experience the USA.
I have been living here in the USA for nearly 3 years and the last 12 months on the road in a fifth wheel. I am currently stationed just outside Galveston Texas. I did however live in Kingman AZ for two years and had stayed at Fort Beale Rv Park. If you are planning to go to Vegas this town is 90miles away and now with the new bridge is only about a 60 min drive to Henderson. Staying in Kingman would allow you to visit the different side of the desert. Vegas is great but only for a couple of days. There is more to do in the great outdoors just outside of Vegas.

As for the last post don't cancel the RV side of things USA and the areas you are going to will only be starting there cold season. You will be fine the RV you are renting.
Happy travels.
lookingtocruise



QUOTE(MyFamilyHoliday @ Jul 29 2011, 07:21 AM) *

Hello

I am looking for some advice on RV parks for us to stay in when we come for our much anticipated family holiday Nov 2011 till Jan 2012.

A little bit of background, Hubby and I are coming over with 6 children (19, 18, 16, 13, 9 and 8)
We are staying in a house in LA for a week then touring round in an rental RV for about 2 weeks. Then staying with my sister near Seattle for 3 1/2 weeks. We then RV it back down to LA - taking about 1 1/2 weeks to get back down before staying in a house in Anaheim for the last week.

We have great kids who just want to see and experience things they dont/cant see here in Australia. We have already booked a college football game as well as an Ice Hockey game smile.gif

I am looking at getting the Go LA and Go San Diego passes as for 8 of us they seem great value.

Id love some advice on RV parks in each area - especially advice on showering etc as our RV will be winterized.

'These are the areas Id appreciate some help/advice with..

1) RV park in/near San Diego early December fo 4 to 5 nights - is there somewhere we can stay that has public transport into San Diego? Or are we better off getting car rental while we are there?
2) RV park in/near San Francisco in either early December fo 4 to 5 nights - is there somewhere we can stay that has public transport into San Diego? Or again are we better off getting car rental while we are there?
3) is there an RV park near to Six flags Magic Mountain? just for an overnite stay?

4) We have been looking at the KOA park at Las Vegas, on the strip for our stay in Las Vegas (approx 3-4 days) Has anyone been there and any suggestions?

5) Are there any other recommendations of RV parks or even places to stop at or see between Los Angeles and Seattle?

Apologies for the long post - would LOVE some help if anyone has time

Thank you

RFCN2
You definitely want to use the water system in your RV.
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