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Post Info TOPIC: Any Recent RV Experiences at Grand Canyon & Yosemite?


RV-Dreams Community Member

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Any Recent RV Experiences at Grand Canyon & Yosemite?


We are planning a trip from our home in Kansas to the Grand Canyon via New Mexico, then on to Sequoia/Yosemite and then visiting our daughter and son-in-law near San Francisco before heading up the coast to Seattle. Whew!

We took our first "plunge" in our new-to-us 2007 32' Holiday Rambler Savoy TT last summer to Colorado, had a wonderful time and learned a lot, so this is the farthest we will have travelled. Any advice on campsites for a June trip?

We are trying to decide whether to make reservations or boondock our way to California.

Any advice would be appreciated. We will be fully retired by the time we make this trip, so travel time is not really a concern.

We love this site and have learned a lot so far! Thanks to everyone for sharing their knowledge with us newbies.

Mark & Dinah

Wichita, KS



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Think about doing both the South Rim and North Rim of the Grand Canyon - - it is like doing to different parks. And if you are on the North Rim, you are just a hop and skip away from Zion and Bryce Canyons.

Definitely will need reservations when you get near SF or are you driveway parking? Where do your kids live in the SF area? And yes, reservations for Yosemite if you want to stay in the park. Of course that goes for any of the national parks.





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We are staying outside of SF, then will drive in and park the truck and use public transportation to travel throughout the city. Thanks for the suggestions!



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If you consider the North Rim as well as the South Rim, you might consider taking Highway 160 across Southern Colorado.  That's a much prettier drive than I-40, although you would have to contend with Wolf Creek Pass, which is east of Pagosa Springs.  There is a lot to see taking that route, such as the Durango/Silverton steam railroad at Durango and Mesa Verde near Cortez.  Then, Highway 160 would drop down towards the Grand Canyon.  The biggest issue might be that it is mostly 2-lane road, I think.

Terry



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We went to Yosemite in a rented 32' Class C motorhome about a year ago, before we got our own rig. The park is just gorgeous--one of the most beautiful and spectacular places in the world, really--and if you can get there before peak tourist season (May-September), you'll miss the crowds as well. If you go, be sure to get out of the Yosemite Valley on a day trip, at least; something like 98% of visitors never leave the Valley, yet some of the most amazing sights are outside it.

We stayed at the Upper Pines campground in the park. It's the only one in Yosemite Valley open to RVs in the winter. During summer you have more options, but you'll also probably need advance reservations due to the demand.

Upper Pines has no hookups - it's dry camping only, though there is a dump station (right by a beautiful creek, probably the best-looking dump station you'll ever see!). I think that all of the RV campgrounds in Yosemite have no hookups, actually. Generator hours are limited--I think it was a couple of hours in the morning and another couple in the early evening--so you do need to plan your day around those if you need electricity.

If you go when snow is a possibility (that's pretty much anytime except summer), you may be required to carry and possibly use tire chains. We didn't on our late December trip, but a major snowfall happened shortly after we left.

If you're arriving from the west, there are two roads to get into Yosemite Valley: the northern route, highway 120, through Groveland and Buck Meadows, and the southern route, highway 140, from Mariposa. Hwy 120 is a narrow road with tight switchbacks as it climbs into the mountains. We found it a challenging and rather nerve-wracking drive, especially since it was cloudy and raining--at one point, we actually drove up into the clouds. Hwy 140 is a newer road and much less twisty, but we didn't learn that until we were already in the Valley. It takes a little longer, but we came out of the park that way, and I'd definitely take 140 both ways the next time.

 



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Another route to Yosemite is from the south on Hwy. 41 out of Fresno. Getting a reservation in Yosemite is really tough, if you can't get one you might consider the Escapees park in Coursegold which is also on Hwy 41 a few miles from the Yosemite gate. Yosemite is gorgeous. If you have the time be sure to drive to Toulumne Meadows. Great vistas as you go and beautiful scenery. Leaving Yosemite you might consider taking Hwy 49 going north (Hwy 41 south to Oakhurst). It is much more scenic than our flat valley and you will go through Mariposa and the old cowboy town of Columbia which is very interesting.

Going to Sequoia, take hwy 198 off Hwy 99. About 45 miles down the road is the little town of Three Rivers which has a RV park, From there you can drive into Sequoia and on into Kings Canyon if you wish. Don't try to take your RV past Three Rivers, the road is VERY twisty and if you are over 22 feet, illegal.

If you are 62, be sure to buy the Senior Pass on your first entry into a National Park. It is $10 and it gives you free admission for life into all our great parks.

Chuck Duck
2004 Windsor
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-- Edited by CDuck on Saturday 20th of February 2016 10:46:38 PM

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Thank you, Thank you! The suggestions are really appreciated. We'll start our voyage in mid-May and boondock much of the way through New Mexico and Arizona, with a couple of stops to refill water, gas and dump tanks, until we hit the Yosemite area. You are such a wonderful community and we are grateful for all this valuable information everyone is so willing to share. Especially about the roads and easier access...:)

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A couple of people have mentioned the Senior Pass. If you're not yet old enough for that, there is also the America the Beautiful Annual Pass, which costs $70 for one year and gets you into every federal fee area (national parks, national monuments, US Forest Service, Bureau of Reclamation, etc.). We've already almost covered the cost of that pass just in a couple of months.

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The America the Beautiful pass is $80.

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David and Cheryl wrote:



Upper Pines has no hookups - it's dry camping only, though there is a dump station (right by a beautiful creek, probably the best-looking dump station you'll ever see!). I think that all of the RV campgrounds in Yosemite have no hookups, actually. Generator hours are limited--I think it was a couple of hours in the morning and another couple in the early evening--so you do need to plan your day around those if you need electricity.


 

Can you help a newbie out and explain what this means? I would have no idea what to ask to make sure we know what the generator hours were or of it was "dry" camping. Hoping to take a test trip this summer so Id like to learn as much as I can. 

 

thanks

 


 



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FLmom wrote:


David and Cheryl wrote:



Upper Pines has no hookups - it's dry camping only, though there is a dump station (right by a beautiful creek, probably the best-looking dump station you'll ever see!). I think that all of the RV campgrounds in Yosemite have no hookups, actually. Generator hours are limited--I think it was a couple of hours in the morning and another couple in the early evening--so you do need to plan your day around those if you need electricity.


 

Can you help a newbie out and explain what this means? I would have no idea what to ask to make sure we know what the generator hours were or of it was "dry" camping. Hoping to take a test trip this summer so Id like to learn as much as I can. 

 

thanks

 


 


Dry camping means no utilities at the sites. You'll need a generator to recharge your batteries and can only run it during whatever the authorized generator hours are. Typically it's 8 AM to 8PM or something like that but some parks have just morning and evening hours instead.  No water at the site means you'll either have to fill up at the water station on the way into the campground or show up with a full water tank…check the campground web site to see if there's water available. No sewer…same thing but there's usually a dump station…again check the campground to make sure.

Most commercial parks will allow you…for a fee of 10 or 20 bucks…to fill your water tank and dump your black and gray on the way in and out of the national park.

Hope this helps.



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So if you can't run your generator does that mean you have no heat or ac ? Or is that run on battery power that would be charged by generator during those allowable times?

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You will have heat (because it is provided by propane), and the furnace fan runs on 12V DC (batteries). However, AC , TV and Microwave all run on 120v AC so they need either a generator, or a BIG battery bank (multiple big batteries) and an inverter (Which converts D.C. To A.C.) ... If none of this makes sense, then you are not yet ready for serious boondocking until you do much more reasearch.

Don't mean to sound snippy, but there is a LOT to know and it takes time to learn it all.  Keep asking questions and it will come to you, in time.

Good Luck!


-- Edited by RonC on Wednesday 1st of February 2017 09:56:48 PM



-- Edited by RonC on Wednesday 1st of February 2017 10:00:06 PM

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I am very far from ready. This I know for sure. I have only just begun this learning process.



-- Edited by FLmom on Thursday 2nd of February 2017 01:46:47 PM

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FLmom wrote:

I am very far from ready. This I know for sure. I have only just begun this learning process.



-- Edited by FLmom on Thursday 2nd of February 2017 01:46:47 PM


 Start with reading the main RV-Dreams website, http://www.rv-dreams.com/ , which has lots of material to get you started.



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