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Old 05-18-2016, 03:48 PM   #1
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Question Rough stretch of I-5 near Valencia, CA

On our last drive along I-5 near Valencia/Santa Clarita, CA we encountered the roughest stretch of road that we've ever experienced. It didn't matter what speed I drove, or which lane I tried. Our 30' motorhome sounded like it was coming apart. Cabinet doors & drawers were opening, pots & pans were jumping up & down, and our cat was so scared that he peed on our bed.

I swore never to drive on that stretch of road again. However, it is now on the route of our next planned. Looking at Google Maps, I see that there is a parallel route called "The Old Road", which I plan on taking instead.

I was just wondering if anyone knows exactly where the roughest part of I-5 is, so that I know which exit to use for getting off I-5, and when it is safe to get back on I-5 after hopefully bypassing the worst parts?

Thanks for any guidance you can provide.
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Old 05-18-2016, 03:51 PM   #2
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Lately I've avoided I-5. There's nothing wrong with 99 and more places to stop. It doesn't go as far south, but there's a lot or roadways down there. 210, 215, whatever it takes. But once around San Bernardino and the like, the traffic is all the same....terrible!!
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Old 05-18-2016, 04:02 PM   #3
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You are located in T.O., where are you headed that would put you through Valencia on the 5? With that info I could help route you around that area. Unless there is something very specific in that exact spot of the 5 you are going to (Camping World, Egg Plantation...)
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Old 05-18-2016, 05:27 PM   #4
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Hi Gavenger,

No, I'm not trying to visit any place in that area. I'll be driving from Thousand Oaks to the Kern River, and was hoping to avoid that really rough stretch of I-5. I would appreciate any tips you could offer. Thanks!
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Old 05-18-2016, 05:30 PM   #5
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Old 05-18-2016, 05:45 PM   #6
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Hi Gavenger,

No, I'm not trying to visit any place in that area. I'll be driving from Thousand Oaks to the Kern River, and was hoping to avoid that really rough stretch of I-5. I would appreciate any tips you could offer. Thanks!
Ok, the only way I can see you traveling that stretch of the 5 is your coming from T.O via the 126, south on 5 to the SR14 North.

You could do SR126 to I-5 North, and take the SR138 (Gorman) to the SR14 North.

Or, SR23 to SR118 East down to 405/I-5 to the SR14 North.

Or SR126 to I-5 North over the Tejon Pass, transition to the 99 into Bakersfield and come down SR 58 East through Tehachapi to the SR14 North.

If theres anything Im missing let me know

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Old 05-19-2016, 01:47 PM   #7
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Hi Gavenger,

Thanks for the info. But if I understand you correctly, all your options involve taking a different route via the 14, which is longer and out-of-the-way. I'm not looking for a completely different route... I would prefer to take the shortest and most direct route (which involves I-5) but I would like to avoid that really rough stretch of I-5 by getting off the freeway and taking surface streets. Of course, I would prefer to be on surface streets for the shortest distance possible. That's why I was hoping someone could tell me exactly where that rough stretch is (i.e between which freeway interchanges).
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Old 05-19-2016, 04:20 PM   #8
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If you are referring to the section by Magic Mountain, yes they did a horrible job when that was repaired. However, it is only a mile or two.
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Old 05-19-2016, 04:33 PM   #9
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unfortunately the roadway on the 5 from the SR126 to the SR14 interchange is horrible. You could decline to get on the 5 South at the SR 126 interchange and it will put you on Newhall Ranch Road, which will ultimately run into the SR14 North (it turns into Golden Valley Road). I dont recommend this route as when Newhall becomes Golden Valley youll be going up a VERY steep hill to get to the SR 14 N. You could get onto Soledad Canyon just before the giant hill, and take that route over to the SR 14 N.

You could get off onto The Old Road from the SR126 right before the 5 and take that. The road may not be super smooth in areas, but you'll be traveling slower so it wont be as bad. Personally, on this route, I would take The Old Road to Lyons Rd., Turn Left and go to the bottom of the hill to Newhall Rd., Turn Right and take that road to the SR14 N.
Without knowing exactly how much you want to avoid it could be tough.
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Old 05-19-2016, 07:38 PM   #10
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we just went north and then south thru that stretch of I5 and i did not find it too bad. I thought the south 99 from Stockton to Grapevine the roughest road on our most recent trip.
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Old 05-20-2016, 03:46 PM   #11
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unfortunately the roadway on the 5 from the SR126 to the SR14 interchange is horrible.
Thanks, that's the info I was looking for.

Here's what I plan to try when we head north from Thousand Oaks next week:

From SR118, we'll take Balboa Blvd north, then turn onto San Fernando Rd, which becomes The Old Road. We'll stay on The Old Road all the way through Santa Clarita/Valencia, and then maybe get onto I-5 at the SR126 interchange. Or we might even keep going on The Old Road a few more miles, and get on I-5 at Lake Hughes Rd.

That'll be about 20 miles of driving on surface streets, rather than the freeway, but it'll be worth it to avoid the punishment of that rough stretch of I-5 (to us and our cat anyway).

Thanks for the help. I'll let you know how it works out.
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Old 05-20-2016, 04:17 PM   #12
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Wait, i thought you were going to Kernville (Kern River)...btw, if you've never done the transition from Balboa to The Old Road, its interesting. Check it out on google maps first. Its also a horribly maintained road in that section. Why not travel North on the 101 to the 126 in Ventura, then take the 126 to the 5? Stop and get some fruit in Fillmore ;-) for the rest of your route, makes no sense to me. But you do you :-)
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Old 05-20-2016, 06:10 PM   #13
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Wait, i thought you were going to Kernville (Kern River)
Right, we're taking the shortest/quickest route, which is to take SR118 east, then I-5 north towards Bakersfield, then to SR178 to the Kern River. We don't want to take SR14 that you keep mentioning.

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if you've never done the transition from Balboa to The Old Road, its interesting. Check it out on google maps first.
Thanks. I do see that weird spot where you have to turn from Balboa Blvd onto a little connector called Balboa Rd, which connects to San Fernando Rd, which becomes The Old Road.

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Why not travel North on the 101 to the 126 in Ventura, then take the 126 to the 5?
That's an option, of course, but according to Google Maps it's 24 miles & 39 minutes longer.
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Old 06-02-2016, 08:46 PM   #14
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Hi folks. Just wanted to update everyone on how things went.

We were heading east on SR118 towards I-5 North, and since we didn't know exactly where the I-5 became extremely rough, we exited the 118 at Balboa Blvd, and took it north to San Fernando Rd, then continued north on that. It became The Old Road, and we continued following that north for twenty-some miles until we reached SR126, where we got back onto I-5. The freeway was still rough for a couple miles, but then improved.

Overall, I don't think this was a great option. The Old Road was smoother than I-5 (mostly), but it sure took a lot longer due to traffic signals.

On the return trip, we exited I-5 as soon as it started getting rough, which was just before the Lake Hughes Rd exit. From there, we followed The Old Road for a few miles down to SR126, then took that west to SR101, and then south back to our home in Thousand Oaks. That was twenty-some miles longer than staying on I-5, but it was much easier driving than taking The Old Road all the way south, and it was definitely smoother than staying on I-5.

So I think that will be our new route when we want to head north on I-5, but want to avoid that horrible stretch through the Santa Clarita/Valencia area.
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