Running from San Francisco in the north right down to San Diego, just minutes from the Mexican border at Tijuana, California has to be one of those ‘dream destinations’. It has everything from beaches to forests and National Parks so whatever your inclination, do join us for this magnificent ride. You will most definitely want more than one night in each place!
Hiring a motorhome to see America truly is an exceptional experience. The great outdoors is just waiting to be explored. Wake up to the sound of birds and a view of a vast mountain range. Step outside and take a deep breath of mountain or sea air. Relax and eat breakfast in the sunshine. Then head out to your chosen destination for a full day of fun. There is never any rush…and it doesn’t get better than that.
What's Not Included
- Security deposit of US$500 is payable on pick up with valid credit card
- Camping chairs
- Campground fees
*Motorhome rental prices are subject to change on a constant basis due to inventory fluctuations. Early booking ensures lower rates and availability, particularly for one-way rentals.
Los Angeles Arrival
San Simeon Creek
Day 1 Los Angeles Arrival
Transfer independently to your Airport hotel in Los Angeles for your overnight stay. Should you wish to extend your stay in Los Angeles, this can be arranged for an additional charge.
Day 2 Santa Margarita
Transfer to RV Rental location to pick up your motorhome from Cruise America in Los Angeles. Just under 4 hours drive on main Route 101 will bring you to the KOA where you will spend your first night. They call the area around Santa Barbara “America’s Riviera” so their beaches and restaurants might make it a natural break along the way.
240 miles to Santa Margarita
Visit Chumash Painted Cave to see some of the very elaborate and colourful rock paintings that have survived for five hundred to a thousand years.
Suggested overnight campground: KOA Santa Margarita
Day 3 San Simeon Creek
Back-haul on 101 just 11 miles, turning towards the Pacific Ocean and on to California’s spectacular Route 1 at San Luis Obispo. After about an hour you will see the signs for Hearst Castle and you can check into your campground and then spend time at the folly built by newspaper billionaire William Randolph Hearst or enjoy the San Simeon beaches. 55 miles to Hearst Castle
Visit San Luis Obispo. They shorten the name to SLO and invite you to enjoy the Slolife of laid back southern California
Suggested overnight campground: San Simeon Creek
Day 4-5 San Francisco
Head north on Route 1 and one of the world’s most scenic drives. You will want to stop at Carmel and at Monterey and you will not want to miss the famous 17 mile drive which hugs the Pacific coastline and past famous golf courses and mansions in Pebble Beach. You’re headed for San Francisco, your campsite is located just 15 miles from the city and you can take the bus and BART from near the campground into the city to explore.
230 miles to San Francisco
Visit the Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park where many of these massive trees have stood for over a thousand years.
Suggested overnight campground: San Francisco RV Resort – 2 nights
Day 6-7 Yosemite
Head east now toward Yosemite. It’s one of the most famous of all National Parks and no visit to California is complete without experiencing Day 5/6 > Head east now toward Yosemite. It’s one of the most famous of all National Parks and no visit to California is complete without experiencing Yosemite’s magnificent scenery. It is not a long drive, around 3 hours on the Interstate and we are recommending Yosemite Pines RV as your destination for the night – or nights – you choose to spend here. The campground is an hour’s drive from the West Entrance but, because Yosemite’s three quarters of a million acres have few roads, you can see the valleys and rock formations, the Yosemite lakes, the waterfalls and the highest peaks and yet still have all the resort facilities and full hook-ups for your vehicle waiting when you return to your campground.
150 miles to Groveland, Yosemite National Park
Visit Bridal Veil and Yosemite Falls and, if you can, take the 2.5 mile hike to Inspiration Point. It’s steep towards the end so can take a little while but your reward will be the classic photograph of the Yosemite Valley bookended by the peaks of El Capitan and Half Dome.
Suggested overnight campground: Yosemite Pines RV overnight – 2 nights
Day 8 Boulder Creek
Return to Yosemite and this time drive right through Yosemite to join the very scenic Route 395 headed south on the other side. There’s so much of importance linked by this road that it has its own website – scenic395.com. Having just left Yosemite, you’ll now pass between no less than three more National Parks: Kings Canyon, Death Valley and Sequoia. You’ll also pass Mt. Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous USA. It’s almost within sight of the lowest point which is in Death Valley’s Badwater Basin.
285 miles to Lone Pine
Visit Manzanar. As a contrast to the natural beauty around, this was the site of the relocation camp that housed 10,000 internees during WW2. If it’s the right time of year you may also want to take our little side trip into Death Valley and on to Lake Havasu.
Suggested overnight campground: Boulder Creek RV Resort
Day 9 Mojave Desert
Continue south on 395 through the Sierra Nevada and then to the flatter lands of the Mojave Desert. It’s a gentle three hour drive. Overnight is in the town of Barstow , a crossroads town that once saw The Old Spanish Trail and Route 66 pass this way. Most visitors now are here for the two outlet malls and their one hundred stores.
160 miles to Barstow
Take the shuttle from KOA to the silver mining ghost town of Calico.
Suggested overnight campground: Barstow campgrounds (KOA, Kampgrounds of America)
Day 10-11 San Diego
Campland on the Bay is San Diego’s premiere campground. Dig your toes in the sand on the private beach. Catch some sun and fun on a sailboat from the marina. Enjoy one of dozens of activities and amenities for kids and adults that make Campland everyone’s favourite.
185 miles to Campland
Visit the historic Del Coranado, San Diego Zoo and the waterfront. The restaurants and souvenir shops of Tijuana, Mexico, make a popular evening out.
Suggested overnight campground: San Diego Campland overnight – 2 nights
Day 12 Newport Beach
Today you are heading for another great campground beach resort, located in Newport Beach. Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort and Marina is a 110-acre resort at the entrance to the Back Bay Nature Preserve, its home to the premier RV Park and Marina in Southern California. Enjoy the mile of beach front with swimming and a playground on the beach for the kids. Rent a sailboat, electric boat or tour the Back Bay by kayak.
90 miles to Newport Beach
Check the events calendar for your visit as there is always something happening at Newport Beach from the oldest International Yacht Race in the world, the critically acclaimed Film Festival, Jazz Festival, Wine Festival and the list goes on.
Suggested overnight campground: Newport Dunes
Day 13 Los Angeles
After breakfast it is just a short 30 mile drive which will bring you back to the Cruise America depot in Los Angeles.
What is touring in a Motorhome really like?
Freedom…Stay in one place as little or as long as you want. No set times for breakfast or dinner. No unpacking and repacking every day.
Flexibility…Chose either to follow one of our suggested itineraries or design your own. Not so keen on a place when you get there? No problem…all aboard and on to the next location.
Access…When visiting places such as the Grand Canyon or Zion National Park, you are able to overnight within the grounds of the parks and usually at a minimal cost. Aside from the National or State Parks, practically all of the tourist sites and sights that have drawn you here have welcoming Motorhome Parks right there.
Nature…Wake up to the sound of birds and a view of a vast mountain range. Step outside and take a deep breath of mountain or sea air. Relax with the family and eat breakfast in the sunshine. Then head out to your chosen destination for a full day of family fun. There is never any rush…and it doesn’t get better than that.
Cruise America offer four different types of motorhome:
T17 Truck Camper: Sleeps 3 people, length 6.15 metres
C19 Compact Motorhome: Sleeps family up to 3 people, length 6.15 metres
C25 Standard Motorhome: Sleeps family up to 5, length 7.3-7.6 metres
C30 Large Motorhome: Sleeps family up to 7 people, lenght 8.8-9.1 metres
All Cruise America’s motorhomes have a refrigerator and freezer. They all have a hob and a microwave and cupboards for food storage in the kitchen area. All have a shower, basin and flush toilet. Waste water from the bathroom and kitchen goes into two on-board holding tanks when you are not hooked up to mains drainage at a campground.
Cruise America also provides a Personal Kit with personal bedding and towels and a Kitchen Kit of pots and pans and crockery.
All Cruise America vehicles come with power steering, power brakes and automatic transmission. If you drive a manual vehicle at home, it will take you seconds to get the hang of forgetting your left foot and just using the on/off pedals – the power and the brake.
From our own experience, the vehicle length has never been a problem – it just seems to follow
you! Just be sure to make your turns wide. The vehicle width takes a little while to get used to,
but by day two you will be driving your motorhome like a professional! You don’t need a special license – all you need is to be 25 years of age or older and possess a valid driver’s license and a major credit card.
Campground rates vary based on time of year and what facilities they offer. Generally you can expect to pay between $10 and $50 per night.
A partial list of commonly found facilities would include: electric, water, sewer hook-ups, washer, dryer, swimming pool, playground, BBQ pits, on-site convenience store.
If wanting to stay near big attractions – Disney, Universal Studios, Niagara Falls – or close to popular cities or in the National Parks, we would always recommend advance booking for campgrounds. Otherwise, if travelling in July and August booking ahead is a very good idea also.