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Six Guys, One Pacific Coast Adventure!

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Six Guys, One Pacific Coast Adventure!

Hi All,

Firstly, may I say I'm 100% new to forums, so please forgive any improper etiquette and attribute to this being my first ever question!

I've been scouring some of the pages and there are clearly a great number of people with a vast amount of knowledge on the area I am interested in, so hopefully someone will be able to help.

Myself and five friends, all guys, all mid-twenties and all from England (I'm actually Welsh and, yes, I will insist on splitting hairs), are looking to realise a dream we've had for years by doing a stretch of the Pacific coast during April of this year by car(s) or RV. We have friends in San Diego so would like to start there, and have found some good flight deals out of San Francisco, so it would be great if we could finish up there.

What we're ideally looking for is a mix of lovely coastal stretches and scenery, wildlife (national parks? although i hear they may be closed due to snow?) and ample opportunity to park up for the night and go for a few cold ones! It would be great to meet Americans our own age along the way, although we're not necessarily looking for clubbing Meccas; buzzy little towns would do just fine!

The idea of a hiring a big RV sounds great and also seems quite cost effective, although I understand that it can be quite difficult to book get the larger ones booked in, campsites along the scenic route between San D and San F get booked up pretty early? So, two cars could be an option.

Budget wise, we conservatively have around £1500 ($2,460) each and we can get flights for around £650, which leaves us with around $1,300 each for the two weeks. While we don't want this to be a super-cheap student trip, we will happily do things economically.

Also, I seem to hear conflicting things regarding the weather in this part of the world during April? I appreciate that California has a fair few microclimates, so what would one expect for a predominantly coastal route between San Diego and San Francisco?

Additionally, we'd be open to suggestions of detours inland for things worth seeing!

Any help and suggestions would be much appreciated. We really are going around in circles at the moment!

Thank you,

John Roberts.

Lewes, United...
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1. Re: Six Guys, One Pacific Coast Adventure!

Hi Welsh John!!!

Welcome to the Road Trips forum!

As a mere girlie, perhaps my advice might not be appropriate, but ....

April actually should be fine. Yosemite NP may well have snow and be a small cause of concern - but there are ways of enjoying the park and not being affected by snow, etc - and it's a great time to see it anyway. Otherwise, most other places you are likely to visit won't have snow issues. Fog in the central valley and some spots along the coast is your only other small risk factor, I'd say.

So go for it.

A drive up the Pacific coast from SD to SF should be great fun, with the odd detour here and there.

The budget could be an issue with the RV as they're expensive, but 2 x cars and 3 x motel rooms will come to a fair cost anyway. Do the sums yourselves. Just one quick point about the RV. The layouts of rental RVs can be poor and inefficient. You'd need a huge one of you're all large guys as the beds can be short or narrow and I'd guess sharing isn't what you're after. Check layouts carefully too as the shower and only loo can be in part of 'the master suite' sometimes which is a bummer if you're sharing!

I do have a question: Vegas isn't mentioned. Is that on the event horizon?

I'm sure the rest of the regulars on this forum will chip in with their comments too. You are bound to be advised to also post on the California forum!

Have a great trip,

SWT

Wednesbury, UK
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2. Re: Six Guys, One Pacific Coast Adventure!

Hi John.

As SWT says yes, go for it! In two weeks Vegas, the Grand Canyon and Death Valley could feature if you wanted them to, but it will speed things up a fair bit, and make the RV less a good option.

You don't mention LA either, but cities don't fit with how you have described what you want from the trip?

Oregon Coast
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3. Re: Six Guys, One Pacific Coast Adventure!

I've been RVing for many years and I think even a large one might *not* work too well. Look at some websites to see the interior. SWT is corrrect in that it is very close quarters, maybe too close for six guys!

If you click on the blue link below you’ll find a TripAdvisor Traveler Article which will give you some general information about renting RVs in the USA.

At the bottom of the article, if you're still interested, you'll find more blue links for further information, including names of several reliable rental companies, types of RVs, how to locate RV parks and campgrounds and much more!

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g28926-c187230/Califo…

What you might think about is a large van for you all to go together. You might also think about buying a cheap tent and sleeping bags so you could camp a few nights to save money. You're probably planning to carry a cooler already.

Look into KOA camping cabins... www.koa.com as a possible option.

Henderson, Nevada
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4. Re: Six Guys, One Pacific Coast Adventure!

Welcome John (and friends)

It will not snow in California between SD and SF in April... It might rain... but it will probably be wonderful, especially compared to the UK...

With two weeks you have lots of time, but not unlimited time... But, you can drive from San Diego to San Francisco in one day... (don't) so you can spend time along the way...

Time with friends in San Diego... A few days in LA, a night in Santa Barbara, a night in San Luis Obispo, a night or two in Santa Cruz, time in San Francisco... Assign time needed for each... then other places to explore... Yosemite is special... The California desert inland from LA may call to you...

As a Welshman, remember, we use less letters... just saying... and our beer is colder...

Randy

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5. Re: Six Guys, One Pacific Coast Adventure!

Welcome to TripAdvisor. If only everyone's first posts were as well constructed as yours!

You've had advice from three of the great minds of the TripAdvisor forum and Randy who I don't know but looks like he's coming up on the rails. Now it's time for amateur hour.

I've done four California road trips, including the one with mates you're planning. I wouldn't do it in an RV if I were you.

Your time will become dominated by two things: The management of the vehicle, including where to park the damn thing each night, and the cabin fever of six guys in a small place.

With cars, dare I suggest, convertible cars (which aren't particularly more expensive... two cars, two weeks, six guys... £120 per person) you get:

1. The ability to drive a road trip, a Californian coastal road trip, the way it was meant to be done.

2. The ability to be right in the centre of towns and cities, which is where you want to be, I assure you.

3. The ability to either pre-book accommodation (be it cheap motels, hotels or hostels), find them once you arrive or act on advice from people you meet along the way.

4. The ability to detour to places you might not do with an RV.

5. The ability to split up and do different things when you want to. And, come on, there are six of you, you're not always going to agree.

I could, and will if you're unconvinced, list another dozen abilities.

My amateur advice: Do it in cars.

Edited: 08 January 2014, 09:13
Uden, The...
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6. Re: Six Guys, One Pacific Coast Adventure!

I don't have an Rv but owe a big caravan (trailer) that sleeps 6 but that's about it. You won't be comfortable with 6 guys in an RV at all and driving it also can be quite a hassle. Convertibles are great but have very limited bootspace and the guy at the back seat will be sorry to spend time in the car . 2 people in one convertible will be fine but not 3. May I suggest to rent an extended SUV like a Chevy Suburban and stay cheap motels? But cheap motels with ocean views won't go together.

Tet

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7. Re: Six Guys, One Pacific Coast Adventure!

I agree with LDN's far from amateur advice too, I should have had the word 'even' less a good option in my post.

An if that trip becomes city rich (SD, LA, Vegas) then its really not an RV trip anyway.

Your choice ultimately, but I'd go with two cars.

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8. Re: Six Guys, One Pacific Coast Adventure!

I might have been hasty with the convertible suggestion. I was caught up in trying to extol the virtues to John of doing the trip in cars.

It can work. Convertibles I've rented before do have comfortable rear passenger seats. So three per car is an option with light packing and some bags on the spare seat.

But it's probably not the best idea.

I'd say get one SUV and one convertible but knowing the arguments that would cause it's probably the worst idea ever!

Uden, The...
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9. Re: Six Guys, One Pacific Coast Adventure!

Once travelled in the back seat of a convertible and it almost blew my head off........No conversation with the other folks in the car either.

Lewes, United...
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10. Re: Six Guys, One Pacific Coast Adventure!

I've never sat in the back of any of the convertibles I've had, but then they've not had a back seat! Most available in the USA do have a horrid, hard bench just fit for the cool box and coats but no more. 3 into a single convertible is a total no-no, surely?!

We've managed to get six adults (but I'm small) plus luggage that included ski gear and skis into a (I think) Tahoe before now, but that was just a mini road trip, just 4 days to get the long way to Mammoth and 2 on the way back to SF. Not sure how it would work for 2 solid weeks on the road.

SWT