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25 days road trip

ram
London, United...
Level Contributor
18 posts
3 reviews
25 days road trip

Hi All

how icy will it be to drive along H395 north bound from death valley upto Reno, i've rented a toyota RAV4 which i believe is 4x4.

We are landing in las Vegas on 11/28/2018, we are staying the night in vegas and to Death valley on 11/29/18 staying the night at longstreet inn casino just out side DV. Only booked in for 1 night at the hotel but might stay an extra night around DV,then north on H395 towards Reno but i would like to stop along the way and make the most of it so any recommendations are really welcome, never been to USA so really appreciate any input.

I've got to get back to vegas on 12/22/18 so my thoughts where to head west towards fort brag to the coast and then head south hugging the coast upto San Diego and turn east.

sorry i sound a bit vague but i am not very good at planning ahead and tend to just drive and stop and stay the night when ever the night happens to fall but that's when i've been on my own but this time i've got swambo with me and i don't want to mess up

Thank you all in advance

Ram

18 replies to this topic
San Francisco, Ca
Level Contributor
21,952 posts
79 reviews
1. Re: 25 days road trip

(I had to Google it: SWAMBO means "She Who Always Must Be Obeyed")

While you should be able to 'wing it' in some locations (Fort Bragg and parts of the North Coast), if you want to visit San Francisco, Yosemite, Monterey and the Big Sur coast, you should book at least those in advance. Doesn't have to be weeks prior, but at least do your searching online the day before you arrive somewhere, rather than in person after you arrive. And for Yosemite, book something tentative now, since the lodging in the park books up a year in advance!

Even if you don't want to book in advance, do your research in advance so you have a short list of places that you want to try in each destination. Otherwise, you're risking having to compromise on price, quality or location.

As far as "how icy?", that's like asking "how long is a piece of string?"... the answer is, "who knows?" You might luck out with mild weather, in the mountains you might drive into an early winter snow storm. Once you hit the coast, however, the biggest weather issue 'might' be some rain. Although keep your eye on the fire situation... November is not normally fire season, but it appears that all bets are off this year.

One interesting and somewhat unheralded stop on 395 is the site of the Manzanar Japanese internment camp from WWII. Read up about what this was, as there's very little physically left, but it's a piece of history that shouldn't be forgotten.

So Cal
Level Contributor
12,231 posts
75 reviews
2. Re: 25 days road trip

FYI, SUVS are not necessarily 4WD. In fact, these days more and more of them are not, so if you really want that, I'd book that specifically. I'd be more concerned about encountering ice and snow heading over the Sierras than on the 395, though both are a possibility.

Edited: 13 November 2018, 17:59
Los Angeles...
Destination Expert
for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
Level Contributor
14,422 posts
120 reviews
3. Re: 25 days road trip

I think you'll be fine with a semi-spontaneous trip (as long as you are okay with staying in whatever is available just outside of Yosemite - and don't wait until the day before, of course). Other places will be more spontaneous (although we had a memorable drive looking for someplace to stay when I failed to make reservations - that was the time we ended up in Mammoth - I did finally start calling - and having to use chains).

Once it starts to snow or threatens snow, people flock to hotels and motels to settle in. So, if you are in that situation, don't put miles above lodgings, get a place to stay along your route. Remember that going will much slower if there are winter weather issues - which include ice from melted run-off if it has snowed recently).

If you *must* be in Vegas by the 22nd, I would plan to get there on the 20th, then, if things go awry, you will have time to regroup.

Along the 395 are the Alabama Hills, Whitney Portal, Bristlecone Pine Forest, the charming towns of Bishop and Lee Vining and much else.

ram
London, United...
Level Contributor
18 posts
3 reviews
4. Re: 25 days road trip

Thank you SFsusanW, for your input hopefully i'll roughly get an idea where i would be 1-2 days ahead of my next destination so will be able book a day ahead, specially in busy places

JenAzz i see what you mean by most suv's not being 4wd but i'm pretty sure(but could be wrong) that the 1 i picked is a 4wd albeit a soft one but thanks for pointing it out anyway

LesBiscuitD i intend to drive in the mornings and by midday find a place and explore the destination

thank you all

ps i intend to get a local sim for my mobil, any idea's on which co. and plan i should be using for DATA and Talk time

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
59,767 posts
149 reviews
5. Re: 25 days road trip

T-mobile

ram
London, United...
Level Contributor
18 posts
3 reviews
6. Re: 25 days road trip

Thank you belomiser

Goldfield, Nevada
Level Contributor
11,179 posts
34 reviews
7. Re: 25 days road trip

If you're going to go up the 395, don't stay 2 nights at the Longstreet, because that would mean backtracking. You would have to drive east out of Death Valley to go back to the Longstreet, when you want to drive west out of Death Valley to get to 395.

However, the Longstreet is close to Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, if visiting that interests you.

Maybe stay in Lone Pine or Bishop for the night after Death Valley.

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
Level Contributor
44,633 posts
1,112 reviews
8. Re: 25 days road trip

Regarding mobile phones -- If you drive in very rural areas such as Highway 1 north of San Francisco, you will sometimes be in "dead zones". Do not rely on your phone to be connected at all times as it won't happen.

In rural areas, the two best companies are AT&T and Verizon. Their service coverage areas are far, far greater than any other company. In cities or more populated areas, the companies are all about the same.

Keep right ;-)

ram
London, United...
Level Contributor
18 posts
3 reviews
9. Re: 25 days road trip

Thank you sunrisesandiego i see what you mean by backtracking to longstreet for the night, so next night in Bishop, i have a question here, is it possible to drive around in DV without damaging the rental SUV and also is there a track or road from the crater in the north of DV to Bishop. I will def, look into Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge.

Hi Halfbrit i have already got a lyca USA sim and i believe that will give me 4gb data and unlimited talk time locally and also back home in the blighty, me and wife both carry Dual sim Samsung j2pro's, so if this doesn't work out i intend to get another local sims,one recommended by you

Thank you

San Francisco, Ca
Level Contributor
21,952 posts
79 reviews
10. Re: 25 days road trip

>>so if this doesn't work out i intend to get another local sims<<

If you have to do this, make the decision when you're close to as big a town as possible. In the US, most of our cell phones come 'locked' to a specific carrier and swapping out SIMs is fairly unusual. So in a smaller town, you might not find a store selling SIMs, although you should be able to find somewhere selling 'disposable' cell phones (larger grocery stores and drug stores might have them), but I don't know what type of reception they'll get along the coast.

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