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San Fran-LA campervan campsite help

London, United...
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San Fran-LA campervan campsite help

Me and a friend are travelling from San Francisco to Los Angeles and then onto Las Vegas in a Jucy campervan this coming September. We need some help with where to stay between San Fran and LA for a 1 week period. I have read several threads about camper van/RV road trips but am struggling to pin down exactly where the best areas/best campsites are to stay, whilst also minimising costs of campsite pitches (we are getting a Jucy van to keep accommodation costs down).

If anyone could share similar road trip itinaries and any particularly good campsites around San Fran/LA (malibu) that would be a great help! Thanks

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San Francisco
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1. Re: San Fran-LA campervan campsite help

Ed, Welcome to Trip Advisor. You could start with this Top Question on the California Forum:

Where to stay with an RV, with some helpful links on places to stay.

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g28926-c151535/Califo…

Then read the first Top Questions about the Highway l Coastal Drive (see this page over to the right, on a non mobile device)

San Jose, California
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2. Re: San Fran-LA campervan campsite help

Also, let us know what sorts of campground amenities are must - haves (vault toilets ok, or do you need flush toilets? Showers?)

And, are you looking to commune with nature, stay closer to towns, etc?

Grover Beach...
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3. Re: San Fran-LA campervan campsite help

And just an FYI, some of the campgrounds have shut off their water due to drought, so showers and flush toilets may not be available at all campgrounds.

San Francisco, Ca
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4. Re: San Fran-LA campervan campsite help

Also, because of the long, skinny nature of Hwy. 1 between SF and LA, in order to minimize backtracking, you might consider 2-3 nights in each of 2 or 3 locations. In other words, if you spend all week in Monterey, you won't really be able to explore Paso Robles or Santa Barbara; if you spend all week in Cambria, you won't be able to explore Monterey.

If you don't mind moving a bit, I'd say 2 nights around Monterey, 2 nights around Cambria and 2 nights around Santa Barbara.

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Monterey
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Monterey County, CA
Santa Barbara
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Grover Beach...
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5. Re: San Fran-LA campervan campsite help

The only camping near Cambria is at San Simeon State Park and that park's water has been shut off.

Morro Bay or Pismo Beach are good alternatives..... at least for now. Never know if/when the water is shut off at those parks, as well.

London, United...
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6. Re: San Fran-LA campervan campsite help

Thanks for the quick response already and apologies I didn't supply enough information previously.

We are not too bothered what facilities the campsites have, it will purely be a place to get the van off the road in order to keep within laws around not sleeping by the side of roads. Obviously showers/flush toilets would be beneficial but price is the main factor really. Being near towns would be beneficial but I imagine this may affect the price.

Any suggestions would be extremely helpful.

LA
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7. Re: San Fran-LA campervan campsite help

You need to plan ahead and reserve campsites. On the popular routes you are planning on driving, you cannot rely on finding open campsites.

Most campgrounds are not near towns, unlike in Europe. This is especially significant in major cities, like San Francisco and Los Angeles. You will have trouble finding campsites in popular places like Malibu and Santa Barbara.

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Malibu
Malibu
California
Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara
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San Jose, California
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8. Re: San Fran-LA campervan campsite help

To check availability and make reservations, check out www.reserveamerica.com - I have used this site quite a bit to find campsites. It gives good info about the campgrounds too. US Forest Service campgrounds are usually the cheapest - fewest amenities too, so you will probably have potable water and a vault toilet, but that's it. CA state park campgrounds are also reasonable, but not cheap - some have more amenities like showers, which is nice every few days.

It is harder to find campgrounds near towns, but there are some - New Brighton State Beach in Capitola is one that is in town and on the beach - it is very popular though, so getting reservations might be tough. But you can search on the Reserve America site and see what is available. If you set your dates as flexible, you can browse availability over a range of dates.

Along the Big Sur coast, Limekiln is my favorite place to camp, but it is a state park campground, so more expensive than US Forest service campgrounds - just down the road are Kirk Creek and Plasket Creek campgrounds - both US Forest service campgrounds and both in phenomenal locations - not near any civilization though.

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9. Re: San Fran-LA campervan campsite help

Ed H--

The following websites will help you to locate RV parks and campgrounds:

http://camp-california.com/

http://www.rv-clubs.us/rv_campgrounds.html

http://www.rvparkhunter.com/page2.asp

allstays.com/Campgrounds/California-campgrou…

http://www.koa.com

http://www.rvparkreviews.com/index.html (all RV park reviews by RVers only– excellent )

London, United...
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10. Re: San Fran-LA campervan campsite help

Thanks for all your responses and help on this. We have booked campsites for every destination on our journey apart from San Francisco. We are struggling as either spots are fully booked or they are extremely expensive at around over $80 per night.

How possible is it to arrive at campsites and try and get a spot on the day due to cancellations? If not, are there any overnight stay areas that you could recommend? The cheapest I have found is $40 for a KOA campsite but this is around 40 miles outside of the city and far from ideal.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

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