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florida4 Oct 29th, 2007 06:43 AM

Yosemite RV Sites
We are visiting Yosemite in a rental RV that we will pick up in San Francisco on a Monday morning in June. We will and get some food and essentials. (1) What is a good place to spend the night on our way to Yosemite or should we plan on making it to Yosemite for the night?
(2) We have 2 boys ages 10 and 12, would a stop to do gold mining be a good idea? (3) We are spending 4 nights total in RV, what campgrounds do you recommend? We are thiking 2-3 nights in Upper Pines Campground and 1 in Tuolumme Meadows? What about Wawona Campground?

Any help or advice would be appreciated?

J_Correa Oct 29th, 2007 09:31 AM

SF to Yosemite valley in a car is about 4 hours, so in an RV, I'd add another hour. I would just do that in 1 day and get to Yosemite. There are some interesting places along the way, once you get into the foothills, but I would be inclined to spend my time in Yosemite.

Depending on the snowfall this winter and what part of June you are traveling, the high country may or may not be open yet. So keep that in mind in your planning.

curmudgeon Oct 30th, 2007 07:26 AM

Columbia state park is a preserved old mining town. It's somewhat close to your route. Be aware that the roads in the mountains are quite different than Florida; lots of twists and turns, and sharp dropoffs - doing it in an RV could be painfull depending on your experience level.

Driving a RV in SF isn't lots of fun either (the pickup point might actually be in Oakland, which has much easier freeway access).

utahtea Nov 15th, 2007 11:00 PM

I think I'd be inclind to spend all the nights in Upper Pines campground. If Tioga Pass is open you can make a day trip of it and you can do the same with the Wawona area. I've never camped in the Wawona area so I really can't comment. As J_Correa has pointed out, the High Country might not be open.

You boys are going to love Yosemite and the Valley is a great place to spend a lot of time. Just be aware that there are no RV hookup in the park. There is a dump station in the valley to dump the waste tanks and fill up water but no electrical hook ups. You can run your generator sparingly between 7 am and 7 pm. I asked the ranger what sparingly meant when we had the RV next to us run it for over 4 hours straight. They told me 1/2 hour is considered sparingly.


florida4 Jan 15th, 2008 06:26 AM

Utahtea - we used all your advice for our RV trip to the Grand Circle 2 years ago and it was the best trip of our lives so THANK YOU!

I just booked us in a post at the Upper Pines Campground. I am a little nervouse about spending 4 nights without hookups. I am relieved to hear there is water for filling up because I only knew about the dump station.

Will we be OK in terms of being able to get some hot water for showering? Will we be able to run the generator enough to get lights and microwave for meal time? We are only renters and the last trip we almost always had full hookup and it was not a problem.

My husband thought we should look into staying "right outside" the park with full hook up. I found some places in Groveland but how far is that from the main areas of Yosemite? I read 5 miles in some places and 22 in others.

Thanks for your help. We loved our RV trip and can't wait to go again.

PS - We are picking up the RV oustide of SF (with Road Bear RV)

curmudgeon Jan 15th, 2008 08:24 AM

Some outside campgrounds may be 5 miles from the park entrance station, but 25 miles from the main points of interest in the park. If you have an Upper Pines spot, just stay there. Your hot water in the RV should not need hookups (uses propane); you just need to be sparing with water use so you don't have to dump the tanks every day (though you can, it's just a nuisance).

Your basic lights should run on battery power. The microwave would require hookups or a generator, and I will guarantee that your neighbors in tents would really prefer that you do that old stone-age cooking with gas on the stove thing instead of always firing up the generator; just run it for half an hour in the afternoon to charge up the batteries instead if you didn't drive the RV somewhere.

The store in Yosemite Village has a pretty broad (though somewhat expensive) selection of groceries and supplies, so if you forget something, you can get it there.

J_Correa Jan 15th, 2008 08:36 AM

If you stay outside the park, then there is the issue of getting into the park - will you have a tow car? If not, I would stay inside the park because otherwise you will have to drive the RV into Yosemite each day and find a place to park it. The only way around that, that I know of, is if you stay along Hwy 140 where the YARTS bus goes - you could ride that in and out of the park.

florida4 Jan 16th, 2008 01:24 PM

Thanks for the advice. We are keeping our reservations at Upper Pines and are excited to be staying in the park.

J_Correa Jan 16th, 2008 03:26 PM

We are off to Yosemite in April - only a few months out now. When we made the reservations almost a year ago, it seemed like the trip would never get here - LOL.

BWBlakely Jan 17th, 2008 06:38 AM

Go to and click on 'Rentals' (you don't have to be one of our Rental Customers to take advantage of all the great travel information we have) in the menu on the left. Once our home page comes up, scroll down the menu, again on the left and click on "Campgrounds" where you can connect with every campground in North America.

You'll see a great "Special Events Calendar" that covers the entire U.S., but don't look at it for just the time period you're planning to go out...the places we list there are good places to visit just about all year.

Then take a look at our "Travel Links" where you will find some real fun links like "The Wackiest Tourist Attractions in the U.S." and "The Largest Roadside Attractions in the U.S."...your kids will have a great time looking at these! There are also some very helpful links...MapQuest, but also a national D.O.T. site to check out road condtions & weather. At "" you'll be able to see what's at every exit on every freeway in the U.S., so if you carry a BP gas card and want to put all your fuel purchases on it, you'll know where all the BP stations are.

There's a lot of other great travel aids to help out on your trip. It sounds like you're going to have a great time!

utahtea Mar 11th, 2008 12:18 AM

Hi florida4,

Sorry it took so long to get back to you. As curmudgeon has mentioned, the hot water heater in the RV runs off of the propane tank. So will the gas stove and oven. The microwave as mentioned will need the generator. Generator use is permitted sparingly between 7 am and 7 pm. You should be able to microwave most things in a short time so that shouldn't be a problem.

You do need to conserve water when taking a shower or you will be dumping every day to every other day. What we do is get wet, turn the water off, wash, then turn water back on to rinse. There are also pay showers nearby at Curry Village. It's a either a short walk or you can take the free shuttle buses there.

I'm glad you decided to stay at Upper Pines. Groveland is to far in a slow RV and there can be long lines at the gate to get into the park. We were in Yosemite in November and found out that they are not allowing vehicles over 28' on Hwy 140 between Mariposa and the park entrance so camping over there might not be an easy option. I don't know how long that restriction will be in place.


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