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Old 05-02-2015, 06:33 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2015
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Best route

Best route for a nervous person!! We got our first motorhome, fleetwood bounder 33c, gas, not diesel. We have a toad. We are driving cross country in June from Atlanta. After reading about mountain roads, I am starting to get nervous. Not much for hairpin turns and heights at all, so I have not been thrilled to begin with, thinking I might have to sit in the back. But then I heard about how hard it can be to go down a road with brakes burning out and now I'm really stressing. So first, if I can get some info on experience with that I would appreciate it. Then questions of easiest routes -

Bryce National Park to Lake Tahoe - We were trying to avoid Las Vegas cause of heat in late June, but if you tell me there are less tricky roads, we'll do it!

Napa to Portland - We were going to go up the coast towards Eureka and then in through Eugene to Portland, but...
I'll stop with these two routes for now. I'll come back for later updates on our route.
Thank you, it's wonderful to have experienced people who are so willing to give advice and help out!

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Old 05-02-2015, 07:26 PM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2007
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if we new more about your RV such as year, chassis, and toad
it would help. you can add this info in the signature section of your profile.

01 WINNEBAGO 35U W20.8.1L SW Wa, Hi. Good Sam, SKP. AMSOIL fluids. BANKS ecm program. SCAN GAUGE II w/ Ally temp. 2 LIFELINE GPL-6CT AGM Batts on their sides. TST tptts. K&N panel air filter. AERO mufflers. TAYLOR plug wires. ULTRA POWER track bar. KONI fsd shocks, toad '14 smart car
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Old 05-02-2015, 07:30 PM   #3
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I hope you have a braking system in your toad. That's the first step to safer mountainous driving. Learn to downshift going up to keep engine revs up instead of lugging the engine. Going down, again use a lower gear to let the engine do as much braking as possible. Use the brakes firmly to slow down about 10 mph, then let your foot off the brake pedal until you need to slow down again by 10 mph. Riding the brakes or using them gently will build up heat and cause problems. Pull off once in a while, especially after repeated applications of brakes to look at scenery and let brakes cool. Many carry a remote IR thermometer to 'shoot' at the wheels and brakes to see how hot they are getting.

You can use Google Earth to trace out a route, then look at a profile of the route to see elevation change. Also, a good book for mountain driving is:

Mountain Driving Guide for Truckers, RV and Motorhome Drivers

It describes most all western highways and the terrain encountered.

Bob & Donna
'98 Gulf Stream Sun Voyager DP being pushed by a '00 Beetle TDI
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Old 05-02-2015, 09:20 PM   #4
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Your two routing requests are not drives with hairpin turns or drop-offs if you stay on the boring interstates.

Bryce to Lake Tahoe: UT 89 north to I-70 west to I-15 north to I-80 to Reno/Lake Tahoe.

Napa to Eureka: Take 101 all the way up. (Not to be confused with Hwy 1 which you don't want to get on.)

Have a auxiliary braking system on your towed vehicle. Gear down at the top of hills. Don't wait until you start down. Gearing down is much better than using your brakes. You'll be pros before the finish of your trip.
Full-timed for 16 Years
. . . Back in S&B Again
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Old 05-02-2015, 09:22 PM   #5
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Sorry for all the line spacing in my above post. IRV2 did that to me and now I can't edit it. :(
Full-timed for 16 Years
. . . Back in S&B Again
Traveled in a 2004 Newmar Dutch Star 40' Diesel
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Old 05-02-2015, 09:25 PM   #6
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Bryce to Lake Tahoe - you are going to cross a desert. I would take 89 N to Richfield, the use I 15 to get to US50. That takes you into Reno and avoided Los Vegas, it still will probably be hot. We have done much of that area with a 35' gas plus toad without problems. There will be some hills/mountains but the roads have good shoulders. Follow the towing advice given earlier.

Napa to Portland - you will do fine on 101. I would not suggest taking 1. That trip is actually better done southbound if your schedule/route would allow it since most of the pullouts are on the Pacific side of the road.
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Old 05-03-2015, 10:24 AM   #7
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US-101 doesn't go to Napa. CA-12 will take you from Napa to US-101 at Santa Rosa.

As for Bryce to Tahoe US-50 is the shortest route. I-80 is probably an easier route but about 2 hours longer. Not much along US-50 so plan your gas stops accordingly.

2012 Monaco Knight 36 PFT
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland
2005 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited on 2007 16' Car Hauler trailer
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