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Old 08-12-2014, 09:55 AM   #1
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Avoid LA Freeways If You Care About Your Rig

Yesterday we went from Santa Nella to Temecula. So we traveled I 5 to 210 to 57 to 10 to 15. We did the reverse of this two months ago heading north. In the future I am just not going to submit my RV to the extreme abuse of driving the LA freeways and dodging the crazy people that drive on the roads. I am going to go up 15 and left at Barstow. Either over to 5 on 158 or up 395.

I checked last night and several recent surveys have put LA roads as the worst city roads and freeways in the USA. I agree. They are (in my experience and opinion) by a very wide margin the most damaging roads to subject your RV to in any city west of Denver. (I don't know Alaska roads so not including those.) On top of road condition you add in the crazy dangerous drivers. Also, in my opinion the Los Angeles area drivers by a wide margin are the worst in the west. They travel like swarms of bees, passing on the left, passing on the right, squeeze by the RV at the last second on the right, and so on.

My point of this post is to warn RV travelers to avoid the LA roads if possible if you care about your RV and your safety.
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Old 08-12-2014, 12:03 PM   #2
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Bob,
Sorry to hear you had such a bad experience. The route you took is exactly the same route I would have taken to go from your origin to destination. And, you make it sound like the trip up was much better than the trip back.

I am a native So. Cal. guy and I am certainly not going to defend traffic conditions in this area. It was one of the reasons I was satisfied to leave our rig in Las Vegas for a number of years.

In So. Cal. it is all about the timing. If you can't go through around 2:00 pm things are going to be difficult. We timed our recent return trip to travel the I5 right around 2:00 and things, while not perfect, were much better than the traffic you seemed to encounter.

But, I had to chuckle a bit at your post. I had exactly the same reaction to El Paso just a few weeks ago. I thought all the people there were kamikaze drivers. Going through on the I 10 was a zoo with people shooting up on the right and cutting right in front of you there. So, I guess a lot of this has to do with what you are familiar with.

I'm glad that you made it through without incident.

Bob
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Old 08-12-2014, 12:08 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B Bob View Post
Yesterday we went from Santa Nella to Temecula. So we traveled I 5 to 210 to 57 to 10 to 15. We did the reverse of this two months ago heading north. In the future I am just not going to submit my RV to the extreme abuse of driving the LA freeways and dodging the crazy people that drive on the roads. I am going to go up 15 and left at Barstow. Either over to 5 on 158 or up 395.

I checked last night and several recent surveys have put LA roads as the worst city roads and freeways in the USA. I agree. They are (in my experience and opinion) by a very wide margin the most damaging roads to subject your RV to in any city west of Denver. (I don't know Alaska roads so not including those.) On top of road condition you add in the crazy dangerous drivers. Also, in my opinion the Los Angeles area drivers by a wide margin are the worst in the west. They travel like swarms of bees, passing on the left, passing on the right, squeeze by the RV at the last second on the right, and so on.

My point of this post is to warn RV travelers to avoid the LA roads if possible if you care about your RV and your safety.
Same experience in June. And the crazy thing was; I stayed with a couple of cars for at least 50 miles. They gained NOTHING for all their lane changing and speeding at every opportunity.
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Old 08-12-2014, 04:23 PM   #4
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We retired out of Temecula. Still return twice a year for doctor, dentist, etc. The route I use coming from Northern California is to go over Tehachapi, down 395 then down Cajon Pass. 210 over to 10 to 79 to Temecula. (I do jump over to 215 via Scott Road in Menifee.) This route avoids as much traffic as possible. And, absolutely, timing is everything in So Cal's traffic!
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Old 08-12-2014, 06:48 PM   #5
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Where else can you get the training to be a nascar driver for free. I love LA drivers.
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Old 08-12-2014, 09:04 PM   #6
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Where else can you get the training to be a nascar driver for free. I love LA drivers.
So true!
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Old 08-12-2014, 10:33 PM   #7
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I went to the Captain Ron driving school:

Martin Harvey: Slow down! There's boats all over the place!
Captain Ron: Don't worry. They'll get out of the way. I learned that driving the Saratoga.

So guys, while in LA - just close your eyes and punch it... This is where size matters, and our air horns usually will get noticed!!!

Be safe, have fun, and avoid LA at all costs!
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Old 08-13-2014, 12:51 AM   #8
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Anybody who thinks California roads are bad has never driven in Indiana or Michigan....

From Indy, live in SoCal.

One thing folks from other states don't realize that there are no "drive right pass left" rules out here. Thus anyone (except trucks) can drive in any lane, at any speed. Drives me nuts.
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Old 08-13-2014, 12:31 PM   #9
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To Bob&AnaMari - I have lived in So Cal most of my life and did do the timing right. We hit Pasadena going south at approx 1:30pm. And the reason the through LA drive seemed better going up was that it was the beginning of our trip so I was more rested.

biosensai - That is the route I plan to take next time.

My main complaint is the condition of the roads. And while it may be true other areas such as Indiana and El Paso may have poor roads in my option the Los Angeles roads are worse than either by a wide margin. I have been to El Paso and Indiana in the last few years in the motorhome. In neither place did the roads have anywhere near the damage of the LA roads. Our motorhome which normally rides like a dream was repeatedly hammered by horrible condition major freeways. The only area in our just finished 3,000 mile trip was I 5 in Stockton. This was another area of third World pavement.

Large areas of California have very good to excellent roads. For example i 5 from the Oregon border to Sacramento is in my opinion and excellent road from both design and condition. I 5 from Tracy to Santa Nella is the same. Very good to excellent. I 15 from Corona to San Diego is very good. So why are Stockton and Los Angeles so bad? It must be the local authorities who control road maintenance and not the State of California. I have to make two assumptions. 1. Stockton is broke and not paying their bills. 2. Los Angeles I don't know, but for some reason the people in charge of the roads are not able to do their jobs properly.

Special mention also needs to be made on the Seattle area. Highway 405 there is dangerous. Stay off of it in your RV. The condition of the road is not terrible, but inconsistent pavement, poor to bad road design, constant curves, narrow lanes. Seattle in general has the second worse traffic of our trip this summer. 405 has been a bad road for years and getting worse not better.
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Old 08-13-2014, 02:57 PM   #10
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For me, at least out west, the worst stretch of "interstate" I've hit is, without a doubt, the 680 between Milpitas and Dublin, CA. Even with the recent patches it's a pretty horrific drive -- in our old gasser it actually bounced around enough to pop the microwave door open and eject the glass tray onto the floor.

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Old 08-13-2014, 08:46 PM   #11
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We live in So Cal and I spent 37 years driving all over So Cal building freeway bridges and still live 75 miles east of LA. As we criss-cross all over the US we constantly say in different states " these people are nuts they drive like they are from LA !!" Point being is they are everywhere but LA contains more of them per square mile is all. I just sit back ,stay in my lane, use my turn signal well in advance and cruise on down the road. I keep telling myself it's way better than working !
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Old 08-13-2014, 09:18 PM   #12
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Interstate 10 in Louisiana is a fine example of how bad a road can be. I have cracked two windshields on that road.
One thing I am convinced of is that Concrete roads are the worst. Unless they grind them regularly, they will beat you to death.
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Old 08-14-2014, 01:06 AM   #13
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One of my racin buds was an Indiana State highway engineer. Back in 83 he said we're doing it all wrong. We put asphalt on side streets and concrete on freeways. the beating of heavy traffic on the freeways destroys the concrete. the LACK of traffic means the oils in asphalt will float up to the surface and wash off, and then the asphalt will fall apart. Evidently asphalt needs traffic to "knead" the oils back into the surface.

Well, my old neighborhood in Indy had concrete streets laid down in 1952, and in 1992 they were still in reasonable shape - most of the damage was from fixing gas leaks back in the 60s. Each block probably had at least four patches!

Our asphalt street was laid in 1989 and while the surface has never been cut to repair a utility, the fine surface is completely gone and might as well be a gravel road.

You can also use a continuous paver and recycle and re-lay asphalt at a pretty high rate, but it tales a hell of a long time to tear up concrete and put new stuff down. Just look at any big city with an interstate repair or expansion project - it takes YEARS.

The alternative is to stop being a bunch of cheap b@$+ards and do it the german way - concrete something like 14" thick with really good preparation of the roadbed. We copied their idea but really cheapened it up.
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Old 08-14-2014, 11:37 AM   #14
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VanDiemen - Good information. I agree about German autobahns. I have cruised from one city to another on those at 125 mph. Near perfectly smooth. I did not realize about the difference between asphalt and concrete.

In my original post I did not put in that two days ago when we were doing the torture ride through LA freeways that the cap on my passenger side wheel bearing oil reservoir fell off. I got out of the bus to walk around for a rest stop and saw oil steaks on the wheel. Panicked thinking the massive bumps on the 57 and 10 damage the bearing. Then realized that the cap came off during the battering. I put cap back on and all seems well now.
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