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rvnewbie Nov 16th, 2008 05:44 AM

Rv Trip
We are planning an RV trip starting in Denver (to pick up RV) Then drive to South Dakota to see Mt Rushmore. Not interested in staying more than one day in SD then to Yellowstone. After yellowstone we will continue traveling and end in Vegas. We only took two weeks for this. Can we do it?

dgassa Nov 16th, 2008 06:31 AM

The short answer is, Yes. As long as it's not in the winter. From Yellowstone head south to the Grand Tetons then perhaps a stop in Zion and Brice. All doable in two weeks.

RedRock Nov 16th, 2008 06:56 AM

Its doable but be aware there are some roads in that part of the country that are not suitable for some RV's. Know the RV's capability as well as yours. you may want to go to and ask a few experienced RVers about traveling and driving in that part of the country.

tambennett Nov 16th, 2008 10:12 AM

What time of the year are you doing this trip?

LindainOhio Nov 16th, 2008 10:38 AM

This is a great trip. You could start your camping in Rocky Mountain National Park. Y

We loved camping at Custer State Park when we went to Mount Rushmore.

We rented cabins in Yellowstone--at the time, you could not reserve campsites. Along with Yellowstone, you have to include the Tetons--we love the Tetons. We stayed in a fabulous "tents only" campground in the Tetons.

You will also be close to Bryce and Zion at the end of your trip. Lots of options.

Will you be charged a one way drop fee if you pick the RV up in Denver and drop it in Las Vegas?

Renting an RV is quite pricey. We recently priced one and found that we could stay in cabins for less than the cost of renting the RV.

rvnewbie Nov 17th, 2008 09:40 AM

Thanks for all the advice. I will check the website from you RedRock. My husband and i have never driven an RV and we rented a 30" one from Cruise America. We are traveling the last two weeks of June. There is a drop fee to leave the RV in Vegas. I will have to check out custer state park for overnight stay. Since we will only have the RV what is the best way to see Yellowstone? We are traveling with two teenagers.

RedRock Nov 17th, 2008 09:45 AM

If you are planning on checking out Custer State Park in the Black Hills our favorite camp ground is the Center Lake CG near the Black Hills Playhouse. A little more off the beaten path and less crowded than some of the others in Custer SP. Most of the sites will take a 30' RV with no problem... No hookups so it would be dry camping.

dgassa Nov 17th, 2008 06:30 PM

Just about the only way to see Yellowstone is to drive the RV. Not public transit or shuttles to my knowledge. If you go to Zion and Brice, there have a shuttle system that works well and is free or at least no additional cost over and above the park entrance fee.

utahtea Nov 18th, 2008 01:12 AM

This is my area of expertise. Not only do we travel to these locations often, we also have a 30 foot motorhome.

Driving a motorhome is a little more tiring than driving a car, so unless you there are two of you that can drive, I wouldn't plan on more than 500 miles per day.

That said, you are going to spend a lot of time driving to "just see" Mount Rushmore. Depending on what time you pick up the RV, you might have to spend more than one day getting from Denver to Mt. Rushmore. It's almost 400 miles.

I would not plan on driving all the way from Mt. Rushmore to Yellowstone in one day. It's a pretty slow drive from Sheridan, WY to the East Entrance. I'd plan on only making Cody, if that. That will be almost another 400 mile day.

You are going to want to make camping reservations if you want to stay in Yellowstone National Park. If you want to have full hook ups (electrical, water, sewer) then you will need to stay at Fishing Bridge RV Park. It's pricey at almost $40 per night. You are packed in like sardines. I know..we stayed there for the first time this Sept. We had a tow vehicle this time, but if you don't then you will have to hook and unhook everytime you take off. If you don't need full hookups, then I'd recommend Bridge Bay campground near Yellowstone lake for a couple nights to explore the Canyon, Lake and West Thumb areas. Then Madison Campground to explore Mammoth and all the geyser areas. Both campgrounds take reservations, have RV dumps and can accommodate a 30 ft. RV.

The drive from Canyon to Tower Junction is a pretty hard mountain pull and a slow drive. Chances are you will not be able to find a parking spot for the RV at Tower Jct. Been there and tried that a few years go before we had the tow vehicle. I'd almost recommend forgetting that area unless you also rent a car or take a tour.

Watch signs in Yellowstone. They recently changed it so RV's are not allowed on some one way drives. These are to lesser known areas.

The easiest route from Yellowstone to Salt Lake City would be down to the Grand Tetons and then take Hwy 89 to I-80. There are no serious mountain passes this way.

If you have 5 days left, I'd recommend going to Capitol Reef National Park for a night, taking Scenic Hwy 12 over the Boulder Highway to Bryce Canyon and then to Zion National Park before heading to Las Vegas. You will have to pay the $15.00 tunnel fee if you enter Zion from Mt. Carmel Junction.

If you plan on staying in Bryce or Zion, I'd highly recommend making reservations. If you need RV hook ups, then stay just outside of Bryce at Ruby's Inn & Campground. North Campground in Bryce takes reservations, but has not hook ups. If you can do with just electrical hook ups, make reservations at Watchman Campground in Zion. There is a private campground in Springdale, Utah just across from Watchman but I think in the park is so much nicer.

Let me know if you have any questions.


Anonymous Nov 18th, 2008 06:12 AM

Utahtea must have more stamina than I do. I have a 24-foot motorhome, and I would find 500 miles per day completely exhausting. For me, 200 miles is an easy day, 300 is a medium day, and 400 is the maximum I can do without becoming dangerously tired or crosseyed. I have driven the Boston/DC route (about 500 miles), in both the motorhome and a car and was surprised at how much less tired I was after making the trip in the car.

tambennett Nov 18th, 2008 06:27 AM

500 miles per day is safe and easy to do as long as you make regular rest stops! We took a 3 week trip in our 36ft MH last year. We left Birmingham, Al and drove to Sedona for 3 nights.We did stop in Memphis for one night on the way and 2 nights at Walmart before arriving in Sedona! Then the Grand Canyon for 2 nights, Las Vegas for 3 nights, Yellowstone for 2 nights,Tetons for 2 nights, Cheyenne for 2 nights, then staight home with an overnight in Walmark parking lot! Have fun!!!!!Stay safe!

letsgo39 Nov 18th, 2008 06:52 AM

All reservations for inside Yellowstone Park are made thru
You will find a lot of info on this site regarding other things to do in the park.I think there are bus tours available in the park but I don't remember where I heard that. Probably on tripadvisor but the xanterra web site will tell you all you want to know.They are also the vendor for several other national parks.
We are headed to that same area next July but will be staying in cabins etc.I have already made my hotel reservations for 2 nights at Rushmore(Keystone),2 nights Cody,5 nights in Gardiner(condo) and 2 nights in Jackson.We are considering 1 night in Red Lodge also.I found making reservations within the last 2 weeks that a couple of places I wanted to stay were already booked for next July.I got much of my information from tripadvisor so you might want to check the different forums there.DH and I have been in the area several times but we are traveling with DS and GS who have never been there.I agree that if you are picking up your RV in Denver you must see RMNP.It is just beautiful and not out of your way at all.

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