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Old 03-20-2016, 07:30 PM   #1
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Hwy 38 or Hwy 42 from I5 to 101?

We are in Red Bluff CA heading to the coast. We plan to stay on I5 to Canyonville, and then cross to the PCH. Which is better (easier or more scenic) for a 34' motorhome to cross east to west? We are considering Hwy 42 or 138+ 38, or 38.
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Old 03-20-2016, 11:17 PM   #2
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We used both 42 from Winston, OR; 138/38 from Sutherlin and 126 from Eugene. In our opinion all are similar, two-lane, curvy and fairly slow, especially on Friday through Sunday when everyone heads to the beach. RVers and boaters use them all. However, this time of year probably wouldn't be too bad.
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Old 03-21-2016, 10:28 AM   #3
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Check Oregon ODOT's trip check before choosing either. There is some construction on 38 and there was a huge landslide on 42 this winter. I don't see any notice at trip check so they must have it totally put back together.

OR 38 is a great road with lots of passing lanes but OR 138 is two lanes and has some real curvy sections. 138 travels through a real beautiful section of Douglas County. OR 42 is way better than it used to be but still not enough passing lanes. Probably an easier drive. I don't think the scenery is as enthralling.
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Old 03-21-2016, 12:08 PM   #4
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Traveled both routes last week for work on motorhome in Grants Pass and rally at 7 Feathers in Canyonville.

Depends on where you want to hit US 101. both are very scenic drives. Hwy 42 will bring you to Bandon or Coos Bay. Bandon has golf, nice downtown, ocean drive, cheese and candy. Coos Bay is the commercial center of the south coast, along with Shore Acres, Sunset Bay, and Cape Arago. Hwy 138/38 will bring you to Reedsport in the dune country. Turn north and you drive through the most scenic areas of the Oregon coast.

Hwy 42 is a curvier road. Travels west from Winston, through Camas Valley and down the middle fork of the Coquille River. The major landslide has been repaired temporarily and is no problem.

Hwy 138 cuts off at Sutherlin to join hwy 38 at Elkton. 138 is little curvy but not bad. Hwy 38 is probably the best and fastest way to the coast. Not much in the way of hills, lots of passing lanes. Road follows the Umpqua River and from Scottsburg down resembles a fjord.

Happy travels.
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Old 03-22-2016, 08:34 AM   #5
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Thanks to all repliers. Very helpful.
Best to all!
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Old 03-24-2016, 09:22 AM   #6
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Report on route

We decided to take the 138 from Sutherlin, which connects to the 38 and ends in Reedsport. As reported the 138 was curvy and slow, but not too bad. There was one narrow bridge and in some places the road shoulders were tiny. Once we got to the 38 it was more relaxing a drive. I was surprised how few hills there were on this route and found the traffic light with periodic passing lanes and some places to pull off to let faster vehicles pass.

There was some construction on the 38, but we didn't need to stop at the flagman, so no delay for us. The nice thing was that being the last vehicle to make it through the flag zone, we experienced no traffic on our tail for a nice period of time! <grin>

Thanks for all for helpful information!
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Old 03-24-2016, 09:30 AM   #7
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That narrow bridge puckers me up cause there's always an RV coming from the opposite direction. But I agree, both are really pretty drives. I like 42.
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Old 03-24-2016, 11:31 AM   #8
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Me? I don't cross that bridge with Semis or motorhomes coming the other way. Yeah, there are a few no/little shoulder spots on 138. In particular one spot where there is no shoulder and a huge hole just off the pavement. I used to drive that way all the time to go offshore recreational tuna fishing out of Winchester Bay.
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Old 03-24-2016, 11:51 AM   #9
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Something I forgot. We usually pull into Coos Bay our second day out. And if you're like us, lists or not, we always forget something. Coos Bay has everything you can think of including a modern Safeway and that other place kind of like a Walmart (Brain flatulence!). All right off the highway.
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