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Old 01-09-2016, 03:54 PM   #15
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49 is winding, curved, hilly, single lane, bumpy, nasty piece of CA highways for an RV. Traffic in the summer is a problem as well. Parts are really pretty and there are some great places to explore. If you want to take your time and visit the towns and experience the area then go for it.
Yep, that's why I loved it. Traffic is only a problem in a few rather brief parts of the trip. Getting there, for me anyway, is half the fun. If Interstates is what you enjoy, this is not for you.
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Old 01-09-2016, 10:39 PM   #16
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Choices... choices...

I've never shyed away from winding, curvy, narrow roads in the RV. We were told to stay off the roads in northern Yellowstone because they were bad... but they didn't really bother me. Same with many other narrow winding mountain passes. Lots of folks like to keep their RV on the interstate, and then explore the back roads with their toad... well, we don't have a toad, so we go wherever we can squeeze into.

Rough roads are another story...

Knowing that 49 is probably a slower moving route is very helpful information. Just looking at the map, it seems like it would be an "off the beaten path" type of roadway, without all the bumper to bumper mayhem... but maybe nothing west of the Sierra Nevadas is "off the beaten path..." it sounds like the whole region is just simply congested... perhaps similar to the Atlantic coast between DC and Boston.

I guess at the end of the day we will just have to make a decision and roll with it.

Thanks for all the input...

-cheers
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Old 01-09-2016, 11:54 PM   #17
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Choices... choices...

I've never shyed away from winding, curvy, narrow roads in the RV. We were told to stay off the roads in northern Yellowstone because they were bad... but they didn't really bother me. Same with many other narrow winding mountain passes. Lots of folks like to keep their RV on the interstate, and then explore the back roads with their toad... well, we don't have a toad, so we go wherever we can squeeze into.

Rough roads are another story...

You will be fine, the roads aren't rough and the traffic ain't bad. I did polish the tires down a bit on all those curves. There are areas that your steering wheel will never stop moving. If I would have heeded all the warnings about treacherous roads, I would have never left the driveway.
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Old 01-10-2016, 02:30 AM   #18
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I suggest driving south from Eureka, CA on US-101 to Willits, CA. Enjoy the Giant Redwoods on this scenic route. South of Willits, take Hwy-20 east to I-5 at Williams.

Avoid the Hwy-299 and Hwy-36 routes from Eureka to I-5, just not suited for RV travel. They are favorites for motorcycles and sports cars.

Avoid getting too close to San Francisco on US-101. South of Santa Rosa is just too much traffic. Don't want to drive east on US-80 from S.F. to Sacramento, this is commuter gridlock.

Head south on I-5 through Sacramento to Manteca (south of Stockton). Avoid morning/evening rush hour(s) traffic, as this is heavy with S.F. and Silicon Valley commuters. Connect to Hwy-120 east from Manteca towards Sonora/Yosemite/Hwy-49.
Yosemite Lakes RV Resort, Groveland is popular in the Yosemite area. Flag City RV Resort, Lodi is a popular RV stopover for I-5 travelers.

Safe travels.
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Old 01-10-2016, 11:21 AM   #19
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I suggest driving south from Eureka, CA on US-101 to Willits, CA. Enjoy the Giant Redwoods on this scenic route. South of Willits, take Hwy-20 east to I-5 at Williams.

Avoid the Hwy-299 and Hwy-36 routes from Eureka to I-5, just not suited for RV travel. They are favorites for motorcycles and sports cars.

Avoid getting too close to San Francisco on US-101. South of Santa Rosa is just too much traffic. Don't want to drive east on US-80 from S.F. to Sacramento, this is commuter gridlock.

Head south on I-5 through Sacramento to Manteca (south of Stockton). Avoid morning/evening rush hour(s) traffic, as this is heavy with S.F. and Silicon Valley commuters. Connect to Hwy-120 east from Manteca towards Sonora/Yosemite/Hwy-49.
Yosemite Lakes RV Resort, Groveland is popular in the Yosemite area. Flag City RV Resort, Lodi is a popular RV stopover for I-5 travelers.

Safe travels.

That's how we'd go. X2
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Old 01-10-2016, 10:13 PM   #20
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Avoid getting too close to San Francisco on US-101. South of Santa Rosa is just too much traffic. Don't want to drive east on US-80 from S.F. to Sacramento, this is commuter gridlock.
How else would you see San Francisco, one of the world's great cities and tourist meccas, if you avoid getting to close to it? And how else would you get to Sac from the Bay Area if you avoid 80?

Ah, variety and different perspectives! That's what makes America great.

Cheers!
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Old 01-10-2016, 10:14 PM   #21
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Hear, hear!

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Originally Posted by lynnmor View Post
You will be fine, the roads aren't rough and the traffic ain't bad. I did polish the tires down a bit on all those curves. There are areas that your steering wheel will never stop moving. If I would have heeded all the warnings about treacherous roads, I would have never left the driveway.
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Old 01-10-2016, 10:21 PM   #22
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The so widely varied opinions proves that there will never be a consensus on the best route. We've driven the routes to which some have exclaimed "never!" in a 37 footer with a toad without the slightest problem. The best suggestion would be to try the route that appeals to you, take it slow, and just enjoy the adventure. Happy travels!
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Old 01-11-2016, 03:09 AM   #23
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The so widely varied opinions proves that there will never be a consensus on the best route. We've driven the routes to which some have exclaimed "never!" in a 37 footer with a toad without the slightest problem. The best suggestion would be to try the route that appeals to you, take it slow, and just enjoy the adventure. Happy travels!
I think this is probably true.

We all roll just a little differently don't we? It's part of what makes the world go around. I still value the opinions of others who can not only tell me what they liked or disliked... but also why. There might not ever be a consensus, but you might find common ground.

I've seen a tiny piece of San Francisco when I had to go there for work 15 years ago. Got to see Alcatraz which was pretty cool... and Fisherman's wharf which I don't care if I ever see again. I've been in lots of big cities... for the most part, I don't care for any of them. I'd rather be in the middle of nowhere staring at the stars and mountains, than in the middle of a crowd... To me, the coolest thing about a city is passing through at night to see all the lights.... ...and that's just how I roll.

Whichever road we decide to take in California... I'm sure it will be a memorable one, if for no other reason than our family will be together as we go. Thanks again everyone!

-cheers
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Old 01-11-2016, 08:56 AM   #24
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The so widely varied opinions proves that there will never be a consensus on the best route. We've driven the routes to which some have exclaimed "never!" in a 37 footer with a toad without the slightest problem. The best suggestion would be to try the route that appeals to you, take it slow, and just enjoy the adventure. Happy travels!

Absolutely agree. That's why we really appreciate the input from everyone, especially the detailed "whys". We know what we prefer and what we believe our rig can handle and the driver is comfortable with. Knowing why the route is recommended or not is the most important piece. For example, we didn't like scratching the paint on the coach taking the 49 due to the trees and bushes encroaching into the narrow windy lanes and no way to avoid them. That may not bother others. It's all in the details.
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Old 01-17-2016, 01:26 PM   #25
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Larry is right on- do that route often on business.


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Old 02-14-2016, 06:19 PM   #26
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After some reading and a little more thought... I think we would actually like 299 in an RV, providing the traffic isn't terrible. I'm a fan of mountain passes and windy roads, regardless of what vehicle I'm in. From there, we could head down I5 to 120 like larry suggested and head for Yosemite.

But there's another option we're looking at...

What does anyone think about going down 395 on the east side of the Sierra Nevadas, instead of the more congested west side? Looking at the map, It looks like it might be pretty scenic... If we wanted, we could cut back west on 120 through Yosemite for a day trip just to take in some sights, and then head east again on 120 and make our way to Tucson. Thoughts?

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Old 02-14-2016, 06:24 PM   #27
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I do realize this would omit the section of 101 called the "avenue of the giants..." which from what I've read is the best section of highway to see the redwoods.

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Old 02-14-2016, 06:45 PM   #28
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Been a while, but if I remember 101 through SF
goes across the golden gate bridge, ( toll one direction) and through downtown SF.
Check maps.
Northern 101 is nice.
Stay away from hwy. 1 .
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