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Old 05-31-2013, 06:00 PM   #1
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Highway 101

Hi everyone.. Thinking of traveling north on highway 101 from the LA area in my 35 ft Chieftain.. I've heard much of 101 is bone jarring pavement.

Anyone have any info?
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Old 05-31-2013, 06:04 PM   #2
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Not at all. Traveled from LA to Santa Cruz via Salinas several times. It's a heck of a lot smoother than I-5. Also traveled on 101 from San Francisco to Astoria, OR several times and it's not bad either.
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Old 05-31-2013, 06:42 PM   #3
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Thanks wacky mac
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Old 05-31-2013, 07:11 PM   #4
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We live in Santa Cruz and I have driven 101 from LA and agree. Much nicer than the 5. I take 101 to 129 and come in through Watsonville. If you are planning on taking 101 above San Francisco, turn off 101 to 85 below San Jose and then turn North on 280 from 85. This will take you through San Francisco on 19th avenue and across the Golden Gate bridge. Traffic in the city on 19th avenue (stay in the middle lane), but a beautiful drive. We are taking it again next month and will follow 101 to the 199 and then over to the 5.

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Old 05-31-2013, 07:17 PM   #5
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Not at all. Traveled from LA to Santa Cruz via Salinas several times. It's a heck of a lot smoother than I-5. Also traveled on 101 from San Francisco to Astoria, OR several times and it's not bad either.
X2 on all counts. 101 is our preferred route when traveling the coast.

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Old 05-31-2013, 07:42 PM   #6
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Thanks guys! So Ventura through Santa Barbara is no big deal for my Chieftain and 2500lb toad?

Ultimately headed up and over through Sacramento, out to Placerville area. Is the climb to Lake Tahoe on highway 50 a big deal?
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Old 05-31-2013, 07:53 PM   #7
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101 is no problem at all until you get well up near the Oregon boarder and even then it just a little twisty. We've done it in our 40DP w/Explorer toad many times.

I lived near Placerville for 25 years and I always avoided taking my rig over the Sierras on hwy 50 because it's one lane in each direction for most of it and there are some steep climbs and tight curves. Many people do it with big rigs though so have at it if you like. Holding up traffic would be my biggest concern.

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Old 05-31-2013, 08:30 PM   #8
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101 is no problem at all until you get well up near the Oregon boarder and even then it just a little twisty. We've done it in our 40DP w/Explorer toad many times.

I lived near Placerville for 25 years and I always avoided taking my rig over the Sierras on hwy 50 because it's one lane in each direction for most of it and there are some steep climbs and tight curves. Many people do it with big rigs though so have at it if you like. Holding up traffic would be my biggest concern.

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Humm, not interested in the 50 ride at all.. How would you get to Tahoe if originating from the Placerville area?
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Old 05-31-2013, 08:46 PM   #9
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Humm, not interested in the 50 ride at all.. How would you get to Tahoe if originating from the Placerville area?
It's a good question and I probably wouldn't go all the way around via I 80 and Reno (taking 80 to Truckee and over through Emerald Bay is bad too) if I were you either. I just never took my rig to Tahoe when I lived there although I've traveled 50 many times on bikes and cars. I just tried to recall if, in several years of full timing and 50,000 miles, we had ever taken the rig on a stretch of road that compares to 50 and I don't think we have for that long of a distance. But, it's nowhere near as bad as the PCH on the central coast... just as a calibration point for you.

I'd suggest just making sure you don't attempt it during weekend traffic periods and you'll probably be fine.

Good luck.

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Old 05-31-2013, 10:15 PM   #10
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Thanks again Rick...well, I gotta get back home to Indianapolis at some point.. hahaha... Is 80 through Reno a rough go?

As for Tahoe, are you thinking that 89 down to Tahoe City if rough? I've been on the road to Emerald Bay. Beautiful, but I would not run an RV there. Is that 89?
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Old 05-31-2013, 11:12 PM   #11
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Thanks again Rick...well, I gotta get back home to Indianapolis at some point.. hahaha... Is 80 through Reno a rough go?

As for Tahoe, are you thinking that 89 down to Tahoe City if rough? I've been on the road to Emerald Bay. Beautiful, but I would not run an RV there. Is that 89?
Yep, it was 89 I wouldn't even consider in a big rig.

If Tahoe isn't your "destination", I'd take Interstate 80 over the Sierras. It's all multi lane highway with none of the curves and pucker factor that hwy 50 brings. It's very pretty too, but doesn't hold a candle to the views on 50 coming into Tahoe. Maybe you should try to just take your toad up to Tahoe on a day trip if you haven't been there. Drop a nickle in a slot for me.

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Old 05-31-2013, 11:28 PM   #12
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Yep, it was 89 I wouldn't even consider in a big rig.

If Tahoe isn't your "destination", I'd take Interstate 80 over the Sierras. It's all multi lane highway with none of the curves and pucker factor that hwy 50 brings. It's very pretty too, but doesn't hold a candle to the views on 50 coming into Tahoe. Maybe you should try to just take your toad up to Tahoe on a day trip if you haven't been there. Drop a nickle in a slot for me.

Rick
Ha! well, Tahoe was a destination we did not want to miss. Wanted to stay at Zypher Cove.. Seems is much easier to get there coming from the east?
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Old 05-31-2013, 11:38 PM   #13
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That's a great spot. We've never had the coach there but know it pretty well.

If you're comfortable behind the wheel of your rig and take 50 in off peak times, I'd say go for it. It's not that it's a highly dangerous route... just a bit uncomfortable at times. There will be times when DW might feel a bit like she's hanging over the edge, but that comes with the territory.

Enjoy the trip!

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Old 06-01-2013, 12:10 AM   #14
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That's a great spot. We've never had the coach there but know it pretty well.

If you're comfortable behind the wheel of your rig and take 50 in off peak times, I'd say go for it. It's not that it's a highly dangerous route... just a bit uncomfortable at times. There will be times when DW might feel a bit like she's hanging over the edge, but that comes with the territory.

Enjoy the trip!

Rick
Handling the rig is no concern to me. The grade IS. Chieftain is a beast but is only a 275 hp V10 with a 4 speed trans and I hate to work it so very hard. So if I have to grind it in second gear at over 4000 rpm for long stretches, I would avoid it...
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