/ Family dirtbag lite in America

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jethro kiernan 08 Jun 2019

Toying with the idea of a west coast of America road trip with the family starting in Squamish and finishing in LA or Las Vegas via Yosemite, over a month for the whole thing, whilst I realise this won’t be cheap I’d like to cut costs. If it’s too expensive a European road trip will be on the cards instead.

Sending the kids out to forage for left over pizza whilst sleeping under a boulder probably isn’t an option but maybe an RV, cheap motels is. A touch of family acceptable dirtbagging that is wife friendly but also wallet friendly.

we have the option of a few friends/family to stay at various places but wouldn’t want to take the piss.

what would people expect to pay for a family of 5 for a month? Ball park

I appreciate the carbon thing with the flights but this is a one off family trip (and I’ll plant some trees to offset)

Post edited at 10:31
heleno 08 Jun 2019
In reply to jethro kiernan:

An RV to sleep 5 is probably about £100 a night. Camping will range from free, to about £30 (per family) in hot spots like Yosemite. Fuel is cheap and if you cook in your RV food won't cost much than at home. If you plan to visit a few different National Parks an annual parks pass may be worthwhile.

We did this a few times with our kids and every trip was fantastic. If your kids are young ask about National Park Junior Ranger programmes at the Visitor Centres - it's a great way for them to learn about the landscape and the wildlife. 

jethro kiernan 08 Jun 2019
In reply to heleno:

 Cheers 

Enty 08 Jun 2019
In reply to jethro kiernan:

I'm all over this Jethro. I want to do exactly the same thing.  I fancy spending my annual 3k Ibiza money on something like this.

Enty

EricH 08 Jun 2019
In reply to jethro kiernan:

Just watch out for the terrible exchange rate at the moment! I'm out in the States with family now (mostly staying with relatives) but even food shopping at Walmart is rinsing the wallet in a way it never used to coming over from the UK. We managed to Airbnb our flat in the UK for our whole 3 week trip - sounds like a ball ache but has paid for all our flights!

Also worth noting Yosemite camping (outside of dirtbag central Camp 4) gets booked up months if not years in advance, though you may get lucky.

Bon voyage.

jon 08 Jun 2019
In reply to jethro kiernan:

Sounds brilliant! Let me know if you find any cheap/half reasonable RV rental.

Robert Durran 09 Jun 2019
In reply to jethro kiernan:

Many campsites outside the National Parks are very reasonably priced. The ones on public land such as Forest Service ones especially so. They are usually very pleasant with basic facilities  and picnic tables on separate sites. RV rental will be pricy, but with the weather pretty reliable, car camping with tents should be really enjoyable. US camping road trips are fantastic! But do book well in advance if you want to camp in National Parks. Many National Monuments and State Parks are real gems and far less busy. Consider camping outside and driving into the famous honey pots by the day

jethro kiernan 09 Jun 2019
In reply to jethro kiernan:

I have fond memories of Tuollome, would camp their and visit Yosemite for a couple of Days. I’m going to see if there is an Air BnB for vans, RVs running on the west coast. 

jethro kiernan 09 Jun 2019
In reply to jon:

I’ll keep you posted

jethro kiernan 09 Jun 2019
In reply to Enty:

Let’s keep in touch 

In reply to jethro kiernan:

Definitely get an annual parks pass as mentioned before. $80 for all the national and forest parks and national monuments as opposed to around $30 for a day trip to one park.

HeMa 09 Jun 2019
In reply to jethro kiernan:

Unfortunately can't help, but if you fancy posting something after the trip that be great as we have something similar planned for 2020.

I did check out briefly them RVs and they seemed a tad spendy... but then again if you cook etc. in the RV you'll save a lot.

Also remember that Wallmarts are open 24/7, have bathroom and basic amenities available, plus allow overnighting in their lots (a lot of other places don't).

Luke_92 09 Jun 2019
In reply to HeMa:

Just to clarify, as someone who drove lorries cross country in America for a year, not all Walmarts are open 24/7 anymore and some no longer allow overnight parking (the majority still do though) so sometimes better to check in advance! 

Robert Durran 09 Jun 2019
In reply to HeMa:

> Also remember that Wallmarts are open 24/7, have bathroom and basic amenities available, plus allow overnighting in their lots (a lot of other places don't).

It would seem to me very bizarre to doss in Walmart carparks when you have the whole of the magnificent American west to choose from!

HeMa 10 Jun 2019
In reply to Robert Durran:

It really depends. If you're driving a proper long distance (say from Cascades to Yosemite). It's a long drive, so dossin' on the way is adviced. And for that Walmart is pretty good.

But once you're not planning on covering greater distances, then any one of the numerous camping grounds and alike will the appropriate option. I mean, why spend 40 bucks or more if you're just planning on stoppin' long enough to sleep and you start driving again in the morning.


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