Originally Posted by VR AND JR
Will be travling in 30 ft RV in two months to Petaluma, ca from Long Beach, ca
How is hwy 101 - any problems crossing golden gate bridge? thanks
We live just south of the SFO Bay area, in Gilroy, which is right on US 101. Our preferred route to Petaluma is:
US 101 north to San Jose, then I-880 north to Oakland.
Passing through downtown Oakland, stay on I-880 instead of taking I-980. Our Garmin prevers I-980, but it's only about 0.3 miles shorter and involves some difficult lane changes. From NB I-880, merge onto westbound I-580/eastbound I-80. (It's strange but true, for a few miles, EB I-80 and WB I-580 are the same stretch of road.)
A few miles further, you can either take the I-580 exit, cross the Richmond Bridge (high toll for RVs), and then merge onto northbound US 101 to Petaluma... -- OR -- ... stay on EB I-80, cross the Carquinez Bridge (same high toll for RVs), then exit to WB SR 37, to US 101, then north to Petaluma.
If possible, you'll want to time your passage through the Bay Area, if on a weekday, to be between 10 AM and 3 PM. If on a weekend, time it to be after 9 AM Saturday and before about 5 PM on Sunday.
We completely avoid San Francisco in our RV. If you go through the city on US 101, there are many blocks of heavy traffic. If you use I-280, you still end up going up 19th St, with very narrow lanes, and then through Golden Gate Park, with a tunnel with low clearance on outer lanes.
In additon, construction for a seismic retrofit of Doyle Drive, the northbound approach to the Golden Gate Bridge, is starting. There will be construction here for at least 2-3 years.
Hope this helps...