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Old 12-06-2015, 05:18 PM   #1
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Class A DP safest route

I am heading south for the winter from Oregon to Central California. We have 3 of us in a Caravan. Looking at the weather it snows for the 5 days before we are leaving over the Siskiyou Pass (Mt. Ashland/Mt. Shasta) are. so we have decided to bypass The Siskiyou Pass by heading over to Hwy. 101. We are looking for the best way to come back to I-5 and curious if 299 out of Arcata California or if driving down 101 to Route (HWY?) 20 South of Willits (North of Ukiah) would be better. It looks like taking 299 might well put us back up to some altitude and risk of snow and ice whereas 20 appears to be a "larger" road and a shorter (though a longer drive on 101) trip and less likely to have altitude and snow ice issues. I am really interested in this from a Class A perspective. I have a 40' Class A DP (no Tag axle) and will be towing a Jeep Wrangler unlimited (which we could unhitch and drive separately if that would be preferable). The other two couples have slightly smaller rigs. Any experience with these routes and potential issues would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-06-2015, 05:29 PM   #2
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While I have zero to offer about routing, I ask why the OP if the potential for problems exists? Is time a non-negotiable factor? Sounds like your asking the question is presenting enough level of concern to maybe wait for a week or so?
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Old 12-06-2015, 05:29 PM   #3
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Don't have a clue, but it seems very complicated reading your post. There are some on here that more than likely have traveled some of the roads you are asking about. All I can say is 'BE SAFE' out there and 'May the force be with you' !!
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Old 12-06-2015, 05:35 PM   #4
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We have some time constrictions. Hwy 101 is much lower and rarely gets snow in those areas...it is slower and has more twists and turns tha I-5. The Siskiyou pass is (according to some sources) the snowiest Interstate "Pass" in at least the Western US and has the most Truck accidents. The simplified question is:
When returning to I-5 from Hwy 101 in California, is 299 or 20 the nicer/better route with less chance for snow on the road. Looking for information from those that have driven one or the other or both.
Thanks!
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Old 12-06-2015, 05:48 PM   #5
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Wobster:

Wife and I took 299 this past summer westbound from I-5 and will avoid at all costs. Many turns and twists along with 5 stops due to construction. It's not the construction issues that bothered me, but the ups and downs and tight turns. Even though it's driveable in a 45ft motorhome, it took forever. With winter conditions possible, I would not take 299. We had thought about 20 but settled for 299, so I can not give any info on 20.

Good Luck. Deeds
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Old 12-06-2015, 05:49 PM   #6
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We've gone over that road in Jan. If it's snowy we stop short of the mountains, then hit the passes during mid day. By then the roads are pretty clear. Never had to wait more than overnight.
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Old 12-06-2015, 06:01 PM   #7
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I believe 20 will be a better route. 299 has a couple passes to go over that could have snow.
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Old 12-06-2015, 07:24 PM   #8
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As an retired OTR driver I would say that you go East from Eugene on 58 to 97 then South to Klamath Falls. then follow 97 to Weed Calif., there you will meet I5 and miss the big hills. Its downhill to Sacramento then you can make the choice that you want from there.

Good luck for your ride.

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Old 12-06-2015, 07:39 PM   #9
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I've been over 299 and 20 many times in all seasons for work. If there is snow on 5 in the Siskiyous, there will be a lot of snow on 299 especially in higher areas and in the windy parts around Weaverville. It's not a bad road, but it's not fast even in good weather. Given the choice I would stay on 101 and cross over to 5 on Highway 20. (In any event don't even consider 36, it's just about the worst road I have ever driven; narrow, windy, potholes, patches, lots of elevation changes.)
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Old 12-06-2015, 08:01 PM   #10
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Hi Wobster. I live near I5 and Hwy 20 and frequently travel Hwy 20 between Williams (I5/20 junction) in a 40 DP pulling a full size Duramax 4x4. It is an easy and scenic drive from 101 at Willits via 20 to Williams. We make several trips to Fort Bragg and 20 is the route we take. Have a great trip.
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Old 12-06-2015, 08:09 PM   #11
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Kathy and I have traveled from southern Washington south to the San Francisco area many time in all types of weather in our DP. We travel south on I-5 to exit 99 Canyonville, Oregon and stay at Seven Feathers RV park (great park) stay several days until the roads are clear according to tripcheck.com then continue south on I-5 to Red Bluff, California and Durango RV Resort. The trip from Canyonville to Red Bluff traverses all the mountain ranges. Have made this trip 20 - 25 times over the past 35 years without a single problem.


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Old 12-07-2015, 11:39 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pops2 View Post
As an retired OTR driver I would say that you go East from Eugene on 58 to 97 then South to Klamath Falls. then follow 97 to Weed Calif., there you will meet I5 and miss the big hills. Its downhill to Sacramento then you can make the choice that you want from there.

Good luck for your ride.

I think there are still some lower mountain passes between Weed and Lake Shasta, just north of Redding that can have snow & driving problems.

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As far as 101, if it is snowing in the mountains it'll probably be raining hard with strong winds on the coast. If time table is not important and I-5 is snow packed I'd suggest wait somewhere around Medford for a day or two. Rarely is I-5 closed more than a day and roads most often clear in a couple days.
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Old 12-07-2015, 12:24 PM   #13
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To the OP, when is this 5 Days of Snow due to happen?

We are heading down between Dec 26 and Jan 1!

That's a little too far in the future to predict ,but in past 10 Years We only encountered Snow once ,that shut the I 5 for a few hours. We waited it out at Seven Feathers!
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Old 12-07-2015, 02:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wobster View Post
I am heading south for the winter from Oregon to Central California. We have 3 of us in a Caravan. Looking at the weather it snows for the 5 days before we are leaving over the Siskiyou Pass (Mt. Ashland/Mt. Shasta) are. so we have decided to bypass The Siskiyou Pass by heading over to Hwy. 101. We are looking for the best way to come back to I-5 and curious if 299 out of Arcata California or if driving down 101 to Route (HWY?) 20 South of Willits (North of Ukiah) would be better. It looks like taking 299 might well put us back up to some altitude and risk of snow and ice whereas 20 appears to be a "larger" road and a shorter (though a longer drive on 101) trip and less likely to have altitude and snow ice issues. I am really interested in this from a Class A perspective. I have a 40' Class A DP (no Tag axle) and will be towing a Jeep Wrangler unlimited (which we could unhitch and drive separately if that would be preferable). The other two couples have slightly smaller rigs. Any experience with these routes and potential issues would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks in advance!
299 is slow and construction apparently is still bothersome. 20 from Willits to the coast is small and lots of tight turns. There is always the 36 from below Fortuna and that takes you all the way out to Red Bluff. The 36 is a two lane road with not a lot of traffic on it and it is a beautiful run. Could be something to consider.
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