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San Francisco to L.A

Leeds, United...
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San Francisco to L.A

Hello,

Myself and three friends are planning to go on a road trip from San Francisco to L.A next summer. We would have all just turned 21 and this will be our first major holiday away so as we are all very inexperienced with all of this I could do with a lot of help.

Holiday Background plan: We do not have an official plan yet, but we have a few ideas on what we want to do. Some of these include starting in San Francisco, then heading south possibly taking major detours to yosemite national park, but mainly heading through the major places along the coast and ultimately ending in L.A with the possibility of taking mini trips to Vegas and san diego (a lot, I know!!). Anyway we are planning to go for three weeks and do as much as we can on as small of a budget as possible. We are planning on renting an RV as it would be quite cheap.

Could anyone please help by just giving general advice/places to go? If anyone who has done a similar trip could give us some advice it would be greatly appreciated. If anyone could link me to some good RV hire websites that they may have possibly used before which are also cheap that would be great! Also general estimate on spending money for three weeks over there!

I know this is not a lot to go off but we just need ideas and help in the booking and planning process! Thanks.

Wednesbury, UK
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for Road Trips
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1. Re: San Francisco to L.A

Hi and welcome to the forum.

That is a pretty standard trip in 3 weeks and in loop it would be easy to fit in Yosemite, Death Valley, Vegas, Grand Canyon, San Diego, LA and Highway 1.

But, not sure that an RV is great choice for that trip, lots of cities. There are a lot of good TA articles on RV's. just check out the link in the Top Questions on the right of the Forum, read them, and see if it really right for you.

An alternative might be a car, motels and a bit of camping?

Sample route.

3 nights SF.

2 nights Yosemite.

1 night Lone Pine or DV.

2 nights Vegas.

1 night GCNP.

1 night Kingman.

2 nights San Diego.

2 nights LA.

2 nights up Hwy 1.

16 nights, so 4 to add in to city locations, or do a bit more round the Grand Canyon like Zion, Bryce Canyon, Page and Monument Valley? Depends what type of trip you want?

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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2. Re: San Francisco to L.A

Hi

Do you mean summer 2014 or summer 2015?

Las Vegas is not a mini-trip from L.A.

An RV would not be cheap. I think it would be more expensive and less convenient for this city-focused trip. No RV Parks in cities, higher use of gasoline, extra mileage charge, inconvenient for local tourism in a destination, and so on. Please read the RV info linked to the Top Questions on the right.

Some of the campervan companies don't charge extra for drivers under 21, although almost all car rental and most RV rental companies do. Car minivan type campervans sleep 2 people okay, but 4 is pretty tough. Maybe you're thinking of a Jucy van with a tiny "penthouse" on the roof. A regular tent would be more comfortable.

But again, this is not a convenient way to stay in a city. And a hot city like Las Vegas means you'd enjoy airconditioning.

The Top questions on the right side of the page usually has info for travelers. Look at the California state forum page, especially the California Itineraries. Think about what is most important to you & your friends. You might be perfectly happy with inexpensive hostel or cheap motel accommodations, and then spending your money on surf lessons, nightlife, or something else.

If this is for 2014, you need to start making plans NOW.

Leeds, United...
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3. Re: San Francisco to L.A

Great advice!! I will look in the top questions! Thanks, and yehh it's 2015 so we've got some time to mke our minds up

Lewes, United...
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4. Re: San Francisco to L.A

Hi

With 4 of you, I don't think you'd squeeze into a cheap, basic campervan, so you'd be looking at a proper RV. These are, when you know what all the costs are, surprisingly pricey. Whatever you see on a website as the starting rental price, double it for the real price. However, any rental car will charge you a young driver surcharge, and all drivers will need to have held a full DL for over a year. Camping in rural areas and basic hostels in cities is the best way to keep costs down, California is one of the most expensive states in the USA.

Using this forum, as already mentioned, will provide lots of food for thought and discussion with your mates over a beer or two. Just revert when you have questions, and we will see what more help we can offer.

SWT

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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5. Re: San Francisco to L.A

The Jucy campervan has two double beds and four seatbelts. But you have to be very fond of each other to be in such confined quarters!

"The Jucy Champ USA ... has 2 double beds,fridge, gas cooker, sink and DVD player. The Champ base van is the Chrysler Town (& Country) with a custom built interior and four seat-belts."

Photo …wordpress.com/2011/10/jucy.jpg

Jucy is about $3,000 for 3 weeks from SF to L.A., 2100 miles. Campsites are $20 to $50 per night = $600-800 Gasoline is about $4 per gallon at 18-20 mpg = about $475?

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3 weeks round trip in a standard RV that sleeps 4 plus personal kits with 2100 miles (not returning to L.A.) is about $5,300. Campsites $600-800 Gasoline is about $4 per gallon at maybe 10-12 mpg = about $700?

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I agree that travel on a small budget is usually rental car + cheap hotels + hostels + tent camping (saves on meals as well.) The key factor will be the young age. Perhaps a special deal will be found with the young driver surcharge included.

Uden, The...
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6. Re: San Francisco to L.A

Great plans! I'd camp as much as possible with your age. We're too old for that now but always camped long ago. If you rent a car don't rent a too small one because all your luggage won't fit in the boot.

Wonder Lake...
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7. Re: San Francisco to L.A

we just used a jucy campervan and not recommend them. Our experience.

I wanted to really love renting the Jucy campervan especially at the great price we got it for but there are so many issues that make it not ideal.

Positives

+since it's a minivan it's far better on gas than a larger campervan and it's easy to drive especially for people that don't drive vans.

+at the San Leandro location the Jucy customer service was great and they even let us return it late due to a misunderstanding and roads being closed due to rain and snow.

+ some features of the "kitchen" are great, like the frig drawer and the two stoves

+price, we had a deal through Zozi that was around 150 for three nights including bedding.

+the curtains blocked out most of the light and it was easy to set up the bed and table

However there some major issues we had both before getting the van and then using it.

Negatives

-the worst customer service I've experienced in a long time from their rep in New Zealand. The 1-800 number goes to New Zealand. Do not call it as they are both rude and uninformed. They listed the location as being in San Francisco but it's in the East Bay in San Leandro. This is an issue because by public transit it's around 2 hours from SFO and you have to take a taxi or driving it's around 45 minutes with traffic and you have to have a car. I called to find out if it was safe to park around there and the customer service rep first told me there was paid parking but it wasn't through jucy then she told me I could take a shuttle from SFO. Neither of these things are true. There is no airport shuttle that will take you to the location, you can hire a taxi or private car but that will cost you at least $75. She had no idea there was a BART station only a mile away nor is it on the website. But worst of all when I corrected her, she told me I was wrong and she didn't have to listen to me and hung up on me. I then talked to a person at the location in San Leandro who wasn't even a Jucy rep but knew a lot more about the parking, the head of the American division who was EXTREMELY nice and helpful and another person in New Zealand who was nice but clearly protecting his coworker. I don't think it's an unrealistic expectation to know how people can get to your location especially if you are dealing with tourists and misinformation is never a good idea. As it's only 26 miles from the Airport but transit is very different in the US than it is in Europe or NZ.

Also it turns out that business location that Jucy rents from has a private car service that for 8 dollars flat will take you to the BART station. No one at Jucy seemed to know about it but it would be great to include that on the website or with customer service reps.

-the fold down bed in the campervan is too short for anyone over 5'9".

-the only way to have a heater on is with the car running and most national park camp sites and many campground have rules about no noise including engines from 10pm to 6am. We ended running it twice a night because it was so cold in Yosemite in April.

-we couldn't use the penthouse because it was too cold up there and there was no heating. Also the only access is from outside up a rather tiny ladder. I would be afraid of both kids and large adults being on it.

-there is not enough space for 4 people. The bed below smaller so better for kids but I think many parents would be uncomfortable not being able to see thier kids at night. We only had one bag each but other than under one bench and moving the table there isn't any storage.

-you can't access the kitchen from inside like most campvans and we didn't use the "sink" as it doesn't have real gray water tanks and you have to return it fully dumped since they don't have facilities on site. Too much space was taken up by the silverware tray and there were no knifes to cut with nor serving utensils.

-the worst was the "all in included bedding" was two thin tiny blankets that would have kept one person warm using both. We would have brought sleeping bags or blankets if they had been honest.

-The brake disks or pads need to be replaced. My spouse mentioned this when they returned the campervan.

-the DVD system and Heat control are poorly place and I hit my head on them many times. Who still uses DVDs?

Overall we made due and it was a great price and a fun adventure but I would not rent a Jucy campervan again due to the size issues with the bed, the ignorance of the customer

8. Re: San Francisco to L.A

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