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Old 08-24-2014, 10:17 AM   #1
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Hwy 1 in California

We want to travel down Hwy 1 along the California coast beginning at the CA/OR state line going southward. Is this safe in a motorhome, or should we use our tow car and do it in sections? Trip is to start around Sept 1, 2014.

Any other suggestions? (We did see that a magnitude 6.0 earthquake hit in Napa this morning (Sunday, August 24), so we'll check on any road damage.

Thank you,

Dean & Kathe
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Old 08-24-2014, 10:33 AM   #2
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cdarmko

We live with in 50 miles east of SF. No major road damage on major highway. Hwy 1 coming south in beautiful. Half way down 1 gets a little scary on the out side lane do to the drop offs. But it is a nice drive in a car. Hope this helps, have fun, weather is beautiful.
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Old 08-24-2014, 02:03 PM   #3
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It depends on the length of your motorhome. Small is o.k. but 36'+ is not recommended because you really won't be looking at the sights. You'll be looking down the cliffs! :( Have a good trip.
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Old 08-24-2014, 02:09 PM   #4
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We just came down that way from the Oregon Coast...I would not go any further south on Hwy 1 than Monterey...Big Sur area is beautiful but best done in a car. We have done the drive several times in our car but I wouldn't want to do it in our MH. Once you get south of the Big Sur area you can bounce back and forth on the 101/Hwy 1 and follow the ocean down.
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Old 08-24-2014, 02:26 PM   #5
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X2 on what Mike and Cha said, beautiful drive in your CAR.
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Old 08-24-2014, 02:30 PM   #6
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My wife's brother lives in Gualala, south of Fort Bragg. We've driven there numerous times from the Salem, Oregon area via I5 and US 199 and I wouldn't consider driving anything else but a car or small motor home. I see people driving big MHs and even fifth wheels on that route, but that would be a grueling, unejoyable trip in my opinion. I think every time we have made that trip, there were construction delays. We often take our 5th wheel up and down CO 550 (Million Dollar Highway) and have traveled back roads in Vermont and traveled the length of CA 49 both ways without any intrepidation, but 199/US 1 would not be a trip I'd want to do with a large RV.
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Old 08-24-2014, 02:48 PM   #7
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I have driven Hwy 1 in a car many times. I would do it in a 25' class C and nothing bigger, and would not consider towing a car. Going north on Hwy 1 at least you are not right on the edge looking over. But one of my friends drove their 40' class A north on Hwy 1 a couple of years ago and scrapped his motorhome in two places on the rocks.

BTW we drove the Rt 199 the previous poster talked about in a 25' class C a few years back. No problem. I would never under any circumstances take our 42' class A. Not that I could not do it or drive down Hwy 1 going south with our 42', but it would not be fun. For me RVing has to be fun these days or why do it.

Park your motorhome in Carmel and drive tow car down to Nepenthe, then back. Or stay the night at the Post Inn.
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Old 08-26-2014, 09:07 AM   #8
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In 2012 I drove our 35 ft. V-10 coach with toad on hwy 1, from Leggett, over the coastal mountain range to Westport. Going up was bad with the hairpin switchbacks with no visibility around the corners, but going down the other side with the steep grades and switchbacks, had my brakes smoking. The experience was so bad, that going back the following week by a different route, I had DW drive the car behind me until we got back to 101. Next time we visit the California coast, I will heed others advice, and park the RV along 101 and use the toad for excursions to the shore.
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Old 08-26-2014, 09:17 AM   #9
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I have done it in a 38' MH, with toad. take your time and enjoy the views. traffic will backup behind you. Get over and let them pass when ever a safe spot is found. If time is important to you, don't do it.
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Old 08-26-2014, 09:34 AM   #10
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I have done it in a 38' MH, with toad. take your time and enjoy the views. traffic will backup behind you. Get over and let them pass when ever a safe spot is found. If time is important to you, don't do it.

What kind of breaking system do have on your toad?
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Old 08-26-2014, 09:42 AM   #11
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What kind of breaking system do have on your toad?
M & G brake. I love it and i am in the market for a new toad and will get the same brake. M & G offers a exchange program so you don't loose all your original investment when changing.
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Old 08-26-2014, 09:59 AM   #12
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We were traveling North from Pismo Beach (a great spot) and it was a challenge
in a 41 footer.

Will not soon forget inching along one of those hairpin turns when a large tanker truck came around the corner.

With 15 cars behind me (pull-outs are few) and the rocky overhang very close to my tall coach I stopped in the road. There was almost no margin between my space and the semi truck.

He crawled by at a slow walking pace and our mirrors were about 4 inches apart.

I think all the folks behind us cheered when we got back up to 20 miles per hour.

By the way, I saw almost none of the great ocean views that day, as you can imagine. You will focus on protecting your coach.

If you do drive it, break up the trip into 2 days.

You will need the rest!
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Old 08-26-2014, 12:40 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by cdarmko View Post
We want to travel down Hwy 1 along the California coast beginning at the CA/OR state line going southward. Is this safe in a motorhome, or should we use our tow car and do it in sections? Trip is to start around Sept 1, 2014.

Any other suggestions? (We did see that a magnitude 6.0 earthquake hit in Napa this morning (Sunday, August 24), so we'll check on any road damage.

Thank you,

Dean & Kathe

There are a few other posts about CA coast such as this one: Headed to San Francisco down the Oregon coast We have traveled the from Oregon the to the San Francisco area several time in our motorhome. I would not take HWY1 with my RV. US 101 is a safer better choice (in my opinion). I did CA 1 several years ago in a 27 foot RV from Oregon to Los Angeles and would not do it in a larger motor home. I think the consensus is to avoid CA 1 in Northern CA and South of San Francisco. How large is your RV?
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Old 08-26-2014, 12:59 PM   #14
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We just did Oregon to almost San Francisco weekend before last in our 27 ft class C. It was fine, but I agree with the others that anything larger would not be very enjoyable. We took our time and stopped every 50 miles or so and stayed over at parks to let the dogs play on the beach, relax and enjoyed. It was a good trip I am ready to do it again. Since we were on the move daily we did not take a toad....that and I am still in the process of getting it ready to tow. Most of the RV parks through there are awesome. Westport and Caspar beach, both in the Ft. Bragg area, have beaches, but Westport is my favorite. We also stayed in Gualala in the Redwoods and that was awesome and cool park. they had all the electical etc hidden in the trees so you couldn't even see them....we had to search for a while. Next trip we are going up the Oregon coast. Have fun!

Annie
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