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Old 01-09-2014, 09:03 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Oregon
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Portland OR to Phoenix first of March

We are planning our first long (long for us @ 3wks) trip in our new 40' 5er. We are new to pulling "Big Bertha" and have done relatively short close to home trips so far. My question is that we are heading to AZ for Spring Training at the end of Feb and are not sure what the best route is. Right now I have reservations along the way going south I-5 then cutting over at Bakersfield CA to Phoenix. We are somewhat concerned about the weather over the Siskiyous during that time of year... so we are contemplating going through Nevada (through Reno & Vegas) but are also concerned about the pass that way as well.

Are there any regulars that go from the Pacific NW to AZ that have a big rig and a favorite route,,, especially late winter/ early spring?

Thanks for any suggestions!

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Old 01-09-2014, 11:27 PM   #2
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Many state have dot cameras 511 HOME here is a DOT link for Nevada and as of now I do not see any chain requirements in the entire state. These are handy references for checking your route before you head out.

We have done the trip many times. The Siskiyous have great snow clearing equipment and you can use Oregon DOT cameras to see what is going on. TripCheck - Road Cams, Road & Weather Conditions in Oregon - ODOT We check this regularly to get a feel for conditions. This is a dry year so I think snow may not be a big issue.

We call the DOT when we hit Medford and get the pass report and if it is good we go. Timing is everything watch the weather and pick your date accordingly. Doing so over the past ten years has made it easy for us. It's a haul but weather has never been the issue, it is just the mountains so it is a long day. Same with Shasta area.

We go from Coburg to Redding in one sitting in our MH and it is over. Once you get to Redding it is downhill all the way to the Grapevine basically. I-5 is kind of rough south of Sacramento but they have been doing a lot of repair work, you will be doing 55 all the way that is the speed limit towing. I do it in our MH, just relax you will get there.

The Grapevine is a big hill 7% and long then it drops you down into Northern LA area. I have done it a lot and there is nothing to recommend it except it gets you where you are going. I cut over on the I-210 and stay on it until the I-10 which will wind you up in Phoenix. It is a days worth but again avoid peak traffic times and things move along.

I have a reason to go to Paso Robles so I cut over to the 101 around Santa Nella Villages. There is a park in Santa Nella, a one nighter. We have found it handy to stay there because there is not much around that area and it is convenient. Not a great park but they have wifi and had some new managers last year who were working hard on the place. From the 101 I get over to the I-210 as fast as I can Hwy 101 into LA is not fun at all.

Depending on your route through Nevada you can get into some elevations. If you are on 395 in Northern California the elevations are high and there is kind of a dearth of facilities above Reno. Nevada highways are really nice but I do not know how they are managed for snow since they are state highways and not interstates. They are really fine roads however and used by truckers and in good weather a far better more scenic ride than down the I-5.

You plan through Bakersfield is as good as any and for your first time maybe the Interstates are better. But you could plan your return trip a different way up through Nevada just a little later in the year. It is beautiful.

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Old 01-10-2014, 07:22 PM   #3
Join Date: Aug 2013
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Thank you so much for the input! I really appreciate it... now I can look into our route using your suggestions
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:19 AM   #4
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I don't like I-5 south of Eugene, there are four hills you must climb before you get to Medford and then you have the Siskiyou pass. If it were me, I would take I-5 to south of Eugene then OR-58 to US-97 to Klamath Falls. If you really want to take I-5 thru California you stay on US-97 to Weed, there is some elevation but it is better than I-5 from Eugene to Weed. Or the route I would take from Klamath Falls, is to Reno, I-80 to Sparks, US-50 to Fallon, US-95 to Las Vegas to Phoenix. I believe this not only shorter but it would have less elevations to deal with, but then it has been years since I have been from Reno to Las Vegas.
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Old 01-13-2014, 01:05 PM   #5
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We go from Grants Pass to Kingman, AZ once or twice a year. Weather permitting we prefer to take hwy 89 near Mt. Shasta, CA and head towards Susanville, CA and then down to Reno, east a bit on I-80 and then down hwy 95 to Las Vegas and hwy 93 to Kingman and on to Phoenix. I think this is the shortest route but also is mostly two lane highways. If you want to stay more so on four lanes (or more) I-5 or US99 to Bakersfield, across 58 to four corners and south on 395 to I-15 to I-210 to I-10 is, I think, a good choice.

No matter which route weather can be an issue.
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Old 01-14-2014, 12:28 AM   #6
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Oregon
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Thanks everyone! With your help we are certainly looking in to going through Nevada... I like the Susanville route and use it when driving from Portland to Reno for weekend trips and I make great time in the car. Just not sure how much it would slow us down pulling the big trailer. Thanks again... and if any thing else comes to mind I appreciate and research all the routes that are suggested.

Thanks again!!
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Old 01-14-2014, 12:50 AM   #7
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We go from Coburg to Redding in one sitting in our MH and it is over.
We go from Vancouver WA to Redding (or maybe a little further) in one day. We watch the weather and try to hit the Siskiyous during mid day as the roads are cleared up by then (if it's going to clear up at all)

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