RV newbie looking for advice

Discussion in 'Trip Planning and Travel Concerns' started by happyflyr, Nov 2, 2015.

  1. happyflyr

    happyflyr
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    Greetings,

    I'm a total rv newbie, finally decided to rent an rv and have an adventure around Christmas time. I'm based in NorCal, not too far from San Francisco. Originally, i thought to go Grand Canyon, but it turns out that RVing in subzero weather is a whole new ballgame, so that won't work. I'm looking for ideas on where else to go (within California). I'll have about a week, and i'll be traveling with kids. All suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you!
     
  2. RickB

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    I can't suggest specific places to visit because I don't know what you and the kids enjoy. But, I'll suggest planning your vacation around activities that keep the kids from becoming bored. The days are at their shortest then, so plan some activities with the kids that will fill the time between dark and bedtime. Your RV will become very small if the kids are bouncing off the walls. Wherever you go, try to create memories!
     
  3. BankShot

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    Welcome to the wonderful world of RVing. I live about half way between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe up I-80 and can recommend some places you might consider over the Christmas holidays. It's probably best that you stay away from the mountain areas due to snowfall and much colder weather but you should be good to go along some of the coastal areas. I guess my first question is what type and size of RV are you renting? And will you be towing a vehicle? That will make a lot of difference in where you can toss out the anchor and go exploring once you reach your destination. With that in mind you might check out the San Diego area where you will find a couple of nice RV parks that offer a lot of activities for families all year round. As Rick B stated, you will want to go to an area that is "kid friendly" so as to have lots to keep them occupied, etc. Check out parks in the Mission Bay area as there is one in particular that is supposed to be geared towards family entertainment, etc. A tad pricey and it can be crowded at times but the kids would probably love it. You could head north up the coast and visit the Eureka area as there are a couple of parks up that way you might also like.Going south, Morro Bay also has a couple of nice parks and the town itself is a fun one with lots to do, etc. With only a week to travel there isn't much to offer heading east or further north inland, again due to the winter driving conditions. Call a few parks and talk with them after reading the reviews on this site and you are sure to come up with an area and park that will fit the bill for this first time out. RVing is a great family experience and you want to be sure your first trip works for everyone in the family, especially the kids. Good luck and safe travels................

    Regards, Bankshot
     
  4. nedmtnman

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    That time of year is my favorite to visit Death Valley. There is a lot to do there if you are interested in geology and nature. Scotties Castle is a must see if in the area. We have been to Death Valley a few times and enjoyed it each time.
     
  5. FosterImposters

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    Just FYI: Scotties Castle in Death Valley area will not be open to visitors for quite a spell. Recent heavy rains seriously washed out the road to and from. There was also some minor damage to the Visitor Center (couple feet of mud). They are cleaning up the Castle, but the roads in will take longer to repair. Be sure to check their website on status, if you are so inclined to include Scotties Castle in your Death Valley adventures. Cheers! :cool:
     
  6. Jerry S

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    I am curious. Where did the Original Poster hear/read/see that the Grand Canyon has "subzero" temperatures at Christmas? My weather almanac shows an average high in December of 43F and average low of 20F for the Grand Canyon Airport (10 miles south of the South Rim). The January averages are 41F and 18F. The North Rim is a few degrees cooler. This is certainly nothing close to "subzero". True, I would not want to visit the area with temperatures only in the 20s and 30s, but "subzero" is not likely based on meteorological records.
     
  7. Texasrvers

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    You might reconsider the Grand Canyon. We have been to the south rim 3 times in either Jan. or Feb. Only one of those times had freezing weather during the day and even then it was probably close to 32 degrees. The other two times we just had on light jackets. The nights have been freezing, but still only in the mid to high 20's. One year there had been a big snow (the freezing year) so we stayed in Williams and took the train up. If you can do that the kids will really like the train ride. Before the train leaves in the morning, there is an old west "shootout" near the depot, and on the trip back, there is a train robbery with the robbers riding up on horseback, boarding the train, and being chased by the sheriff. Also in Nov. and Dec. they have the Polar Express Train. You did not mention how old the kids were, but they might like this also. Course the weather can be worse than what we've experienced, so you just have to keep an eye on the forecast. I'm pretty sure the north rim is closed in the winter so the south rim would be your only choice at the time you are going.
     
  8. mdcamping

    mdcamping
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    Maybe he's thinking celsius

    Mike
     
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  9. BankShot

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    Come on guys, give the poor newbie a chance. He lives in the bay area for crying out loud. To him anything below 40 degrees would be sub freezing..............:D
     
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  10. Onemoretrail

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    Flagstaff, just down the road from the Grand Canyon, had a good dump of snow recently. Just saying.
     
  11. mdcamping

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    Brrrrrr all this talk of snow & cold is giving me a chill! :D

    Mike
     
  12. Jerry S

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    I did consider that maybe the OP was talking on the Celsius scale, but the fact that he is from the Bay area would indicate he is American. How many Americans use Celsius when talking about air temperatures? Also the term used by the OP was subzero, not subfreezing. There's a 32 degree difference between the two on the Fahrenheit scale. That is why it is important to use the correct terminology. Without it, people misunderstand what you are talking about.
     
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  13. happyflyr

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    Everyone, thank you very much for your replies. Lot's of great info, and ideas for the future. Jerry S, you're correct, i meant to say subfreezing, not subzero. The cold doesn't bother me much, as I'm originally from Russia, but having rv waterlines freeze would be a bad thing, that's why i was somewhat hesitant to go where there's snow.
     
  14. Texasrvers

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    Ask if the RV you plan to rent has heated storage compartments. That will help keep your tanks and water lines from freezing. Our storage compartments are heated, and we did just fine in 14 degree weather one time. However, you will need to unhook your water hose, drain the water out of it, roll it up, and store it in a bin. One time just after we started to RV we unhooked the hose, but did not do the other things. The next morning we had a very long straight hose that was as hard as a steel pipe. We had to take it to the showers and run hot water through it before we could roll it up to take with us.
     
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  15. happyflyr

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    I called them up, and asked, and it turns out they winterize all their RVs, so we won't have any running water, and won't be able to use restroom & showers.
     
  16. Texasrvers

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    They keep it winterized even if you are not going to be in freezing weather??? That does not sound right to me. I know there could be a lot of damage if someone allowed the lines to freeze, but having no water or bathroom facilities is a huge inconvenience. I hope you are getting a big discount because of that.

    Does anyone else have any insight on RV rental companies winterizing their units?
     
  17. Luvtheroad

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    Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve in Santee is a great place (don't get this mixed up with a park called Santee Lakes Campground). Full hookups, fishing lakes, two pools, hot tub, but I don't know if the pools are open in winter. It's close to the trolley to San Diego, which can take you just about any touristy place you want to go in SD by transferring to other trolley lines. Lots of shopping close by. Easy to access off the highway. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay there last year.
     
  18. BankShot

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    Being new to RVing you may just want to call them again and go over this "winterizing" thing again. I can't believe an RV rental company in Calif. would rent out an RV and then make it so you don't have running water and can't use the amenities that RVs are based upon, that being your own toilet and shower, etc. This isn't sounding right to me. And if this is the case then I'd be fast seeking out another rental company to do business with. Someone else on this forum may be able to clear this up due to their own past experience renting RVs but again, this just doesn't sound right....???

    Regards, Bankshot
     

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