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Old 11-17-2014, 07:20 PM   #29
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If you are driving legal in your home state you are fine in CA because of reciprocal agreements.

We came down the coast a few years ago. One of the places I really remember is Banden Oregon. Spent several days there. Old town is the best. Went to the Cranberry factory. Loved it.
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Old 11-17-2014, 09:05 PM   #30
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I'm not experienced enough to know if this is relevant for someone with a driver's license from another state but CA requires a commercial license for MH over 40 ft. That's why I ended up with a 36...
Hi and welcome to the forum.

It's actually not true that California requires a COMMERCIAL license for a MH over 40'. They, like many other states, require an elevated "class" of non-commercial license though. Full commercial endorsement is reserved for the real pros.

Rick
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Old 11-19-2014, 10:10 AM   #31
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In an earlier post it was suggested you avoid going through San Francisco by detouring on 880, and 580 around the east bay. I'll chime in and disagree with that advice. That's a long boring drive to avoid a short interesting drive. If you approach San Francisco from the south on 280 and exit on Junipero Serra Blvd you will follow Hwy 1 through San Francisco to the Golden Gate Bridge. That route will take you through Golden Gate park and the old Presidio Army Post, now National Park land. The entire route is multi-lane. There are stop lights but much of the route is more like an expressway. If you've never driven across the Golden Gate Bridge I highly recommend it. There are parking areas on the both ends of the bridge so you can get out and walk across the bridge if you want. There is an area for parking tour buses there, not sure if you can park RV's or not. I wouldn't recommend it during rush hour, but if you drive this route on a weekend, mid morning you'll be off the freeway for 20 or 25 minutes tops. If you go the long way it will take a hours and the trip will be very forgetable.

As a disclaimer I should mention that I grew up in San Francisco and learned to drive there. I wouldn't take this route myself, I'd take a short cut that is even more scenic but you really have to know your way or you'll get lost for sure.

If you follow this link you'll see that your MH meets the size restrictions on the GG Bridge.

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Old 11-19-2014, 05:03 PM   #32
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Yeah, you want to skirt all the big cities. Not always the easiest or shortest thing to do. And always consider commuter times. (Just last night, a friend of my wife's was complaining on fakebook that she had been doing 10mph on 10 as she went from the Santa Monica area back to Palm Springs.). When you leave San Diego, consider this route. Takes 15 to 210 to 118 to 23 to 101. Pismo is nice, but avoid the school vacation times. When in San Diego, if Bernardo Shores is still open (apparently going to condos), I highly recommend it. We use Betabel RV near San Juan Bautista, then use our CRV to day trip the coastal areas between Monterrey and Santa Cruz. Ancient Redwoods is great! The last time I was there, far too long ago, the owner told me that they close in the winter because they are in a flood plain when we get the rain we so desperately need.

As an aside, we are currently negotiating for a 43' DS. Even with our 37' Winnebago, it's just so much more enjoyable to park it and drive the dinghy. And that's what we worked for all those years, huh?
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Old 11-21-2014, 07:21 PM   #33
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Hi and welcome to the forum.

It's actually not true that California requires a COMMERCIAL license for a MH over 40'. They, like many other states, require an elevated "class" of non-commercial license though. Full commercial endorsement is reserved for the real pros.

Rick
Thanks for the welcome and for correcting my inaccurate assessment. This thread was very informative for me in other ways as well. I live just north of SF and have been scouting a potential route through the city for trips South. I'll need a lot more wheel time before building up the courage to cross the bridge and go down 19th but have seen my enclosed transport guy do it (and not slowly) with his 4 car trailer more than once.
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Old 11-21-2014, 09:20 PM   #34
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Hello Folks,

Never been to California and thinking of tackling a trip starting in Late March near San Diego and up the west coast to the north end of California. We are thinking about using the Pacific Coast Hwy to the maximum extent possible. That brings up a few questions as we think about that plan that perhaps you folks can tell us if we are crazy or just asking for more adventure than fun. LOL

1. Is this kind of route feasible for the most part in a 43' MH & toad? By that I mean are there any serious restrictions because of our size, major lacking in camping places, road conditions and such.

2. With the thought that we want to see as much of the coast as we can, where would it be best we jump over to I-5, I-405, the 101 or any other alternate route?

3. Any other general thoughts and suggestions including recommended places to stay for a week or so at a time are welcome.

BTW...our plan after reaching the north end of CA is to work our way back to Salt Lake City and decide what is next from there.
I live in the SF Bay Area and have driven parts of the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), some many times. I think there are sections which might be OK for you, others that are not. In those places where Highway 1 is also 101 you might be OK, but in many places where the PCH is just Highway 1 a rig that size would be very difficult if not impossible: a fools errand. It takes a lot longer to drive the cost along the PCH than a more inland route and it can be tiring with all of the winding of the PCH which is very snake like in places.

Parts of the coast are gorgeous and not to be missed if at all possible. It would be better to make those day trips.

I don't know when you will be traveling but the spring is nice in CA. Much past April and a lot of the state is drying out from the winter rains and turning brown which it remains until the rains return in the fall and it can be December before things start getting green again. Wetter years it's greener longer than dryer years. During the spring, if the winter has had rain, there are places with rolling hills of green grass with bright yellow mustard in flower and bright orange California poppies. Sonoma and Napa come to mind and they are not far from the coast but there are many other places you'll see similar scenes.

The drive along 395 on the eastern side of the Sierras is spectacular but that's on the opposite side of the state from the coast.

HTH
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Old 11-22-2014, 08:32 AM   #35
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Thanks for the welcome and for correcting my inaccurate assessment. This thread was very informative for me in other ways as well. I live just north of SF and have been scouting a potential route through the city for trips South. I'll need a lot more wheel time before building up the courage to cross the bridge and go down 19th but have seen my enclosed transport guy do it (and not slowly) with his 4 car trailer more than once.
Yeah, we have family in Mill Valley and we used to take the coach to stay at a park on the water nearby. We made the trip over the bridge in our 40DP with toad during off hours and didn't find it bad at all... but one should be comfortable behind the wheel before trying it.

Best of luck

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Old 11-27-2014, 01:41 AM   #36
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The south of Golden Gate approach has been extensively rebuilt in the last year so that will help you.
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Old 11-28-2014, 11:38 AM   #37
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I know you said you may not be taking this trip for another year and a half, but planning is half the fun, well almost. I'll second what akjon said, SF along Highway 1 is not bad. The way around the Bay Area is very long and boring! As others have said, DO NOT do Highway 1 between Morro Bay and Monterey! Stay in Morro Bay (easy drive to Hearst Castle) then head back to 101.

A great drive and very doable in your rig would be to head to Monterey from Highway 101 at Salinas and head up Highway 1 thru Santa Cruz, Half Moon Bay, Pacifica, and then up 280 and back on to Highway 1 / 19th Avenue thru San Francisco and across the GG Bridge. Which has no tolls going Northbound! From there North stay on 101 and use the toad to visit the coast. This part of the Highway 1 on the North Coast is almost as bad as along the Central Coast, beautiful but with much less traffic.

Good luck, hope you get to make the trip sooner rather than later.

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Old 11-28-2014, 03:14 PM   #38
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A great drive and very doable in your rig would be to head to Monterey from Highway 101 at Salinas and head up Highway 1 thru Santa Cruz, Half Moon Bay, Pacifica, and then up 280 and back on to Highway 1 / 19th Avenue thru San Francisco and across the GG Bridge. Which has no tolls going Northbound! From there North stay on 101 and use the toad to visit the coast. This part of the Highway 1 on the North Coast is almost as bad as along the Central Coast, beautiful but with much less traffic.

Good luck, hope you get to make the trip sooner rather than later.

Tom
I know they've been working on improving the Devil's Slide area near Pacifica but hopefully it isn't as bad as it was back in the day.
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Old 11-30-2014, 09:14 AM   #39
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They built a tunnel to bypass Devil's Slide.
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Old 11-30-2014, 09:55 AM   #40
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Yeah, Devil's Slide is all but a thing of the past. The tunnel is now open and it by-passes about 2/3 - 3/4 of the previously treacherous and often washed away section that I would never recommend ANY RV ever go on. I think they have made part of it accessible still, but thru traffic never sees that area.

I think if you use the combination of the big rig accessible sections of Highway 1 and then Highway 101 to get around the sections that aren't accessible, you are guaranteed to get a feel for everything that the coast has to offer. The coastal hills are just as beautiful and awe inspiring as the coast itself.

One more thing, and I only mention this as I am taking my fourth grade triplets to see them, is to stop and visit some of the Spanish Missions that dot Highway 101 (El Camino Real) from San Diego all the way to Sonoma. 21 in all and most are within a mile or two of 101. San Jaun Capistrano and San Francisco de Asis are the two oldest original buildings in California. Others have been rebuilt, but are simply (some ornately) beautiful. Some are working parishes, others are museums, a few are state historic parks, all are worth the side trip.

Tom
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