West coast roadtrip...

Travel Forums North America West coast roadtrip...

1. Posted by bludnik (Budding Member 3 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Me (23yr) and my brother (26yr) are planning to do a roadtrip on the west coast of the us in May/June 2008. We've decided to go by RV (motorhome). That plan is to go from LA to LA, since flights are cheaper to here from Norway and spend aprox 14 days on the trip.

Have plotted out the following preliminary route: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF&msa=0&msid=110890382028410073784.000443735ca26252f1213

Los Angeles
San Diego
Tijuana (Is to be discussed with the rental company. If they don't allow us, we'll rent a car in San Diego or jump on a bus to go into Tijuana)
Grand Canyon
Las Vegas (Including hoover dam)
Death Valley
Napa Valley
San Fransisco
Carrizo (San Andreas fault line)
Los Angeles

Found a good offer from Road Bear RV with $73 a day for the 14 days, which we found to very good. And the people seem rather ok as well. Going for this rv: http://www.roadbearrv.com/veh_mh22.php

Anyone have some other ideas for places to visit?
Things to see?
Advice on renting RV?
Advice on sleeping in RV in national parks?
Should we invite others to come along in change for paying for the fuel from youth hostels and such?
Anyone have experience with travelling like this?
Advice on where to buy food? (Some mega-sized supermarket?)
Some corny sight that we just HAVE to see? (Worlds largest burger, a steakhouse with a 10 pound steak, worlds largest paper cup or thermometer etc)

2. Posted by Calcruzer (Travel Guru 2004 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Hey, I just got back from being in Norway last month. Sam I Am gave me a great tour of Oslo.

You have a good road trip plan, but here's a few things to know.

There is no way in the world a rental company is going to let you take an RV into Mexico. The RV will disappear within the first four hours after you park it anywhere.

Instead do one of two things:
What I don't suggest:
(1) Park your RV at the border and walk across, then get a cab into the "party" area of Tijuana, or
What I do suggest:
(2) Drive your RV to the San Diego airport and park it in a long term lot and rent a car (make sure you pay for "Mexican insurance" with the rental agency since US insurance is invalid in Mexico). Then drive your car into Mexico, but follow the signs marked "toll road" and go down past Tijuana to Rosarita Beach, Puerto Nuevo and (if you have time) to Ensenada. This is a much more enjoyable (and safer) trip than going to an entirely touristy rip-off area on Revolution Avenue in Tijuana. The "toll road" is relatively cheap, and Rosarita Beach and Ensenada will be much more "happening" in the summer than Tijuana--especially if you wait until June to do this after the schools and colleges let out (the ones in California let out in mid-June). In other words, plan your trip to Mexico for the weekend or for the end of your overall trip. Book ahead since the hotels in Rosarita/Ensenada will fill up.

Then go back and return your car and pick up your RV. (or better yet, book the car in LA--then go back to LA--and this way you don't have to pay for the RV until after you return). It's only about a 3 1/2 hour drive from San Diego to LA Airport--about 4 1/2 from the Mexican border.

P.S. As far as buying food, if you want to eat cheap, almost all the supermarkets chains in the US have a deli section where you can buy "deli meats", salads, or a rotisserie chicken for a real cheap price. In California the major chains are Vons, Safeway, Albertsons or Ralphs. There are some Mexican-style markets in smaller towns that sell stuff for about half this price--but usually you have to be able to have a place to cook their stuff. You can also buy fresh sushi this way also.

As far as weird things to see--I suggest Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, and the World's largest thermometer in Baker, California (just south of Death Valley).


3. Posted by Calcruzer (Travel Guru 2004 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Oh, and drink beer when in Mexico (I suggest Dos Equis amber or Negro modelo or Corona) or make sure the water (and ice in the water) you drink has been filtered. Otherwise you will end up with a case of "Montezuma's Revenge".

4. Posted by Ham Radio (Respected Member 285 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

As an alternative to driving or taking a bus into Tijuana, the locals ride the San Diego Trolley Blue Line to San Ysidro/International border. You just walk across the border and there are transit options on the Mexican side.

The SD Trolley is a light rail electric trolley line (red cars) that run all the time and can get you around most parts of San Diego easily, safely, and inexpensively.

More info at:

5. Posted by LillyPond (Budding Member 4 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

How can you come out to California and not make an effort to visit Orange County (Newport Beach/Laguna Beach/Anaheim) or Santa Barbara (Montecito/Goleta/Downtown)?

6. Posted by Wonkerer (Respected Member 592 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Just a quick note - I would invest in an Exit Guide - it should help you to know where you can park and get gas, etc.