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Old 07-04-2015, 02:20 PM   #1
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RV route from San Jose to Moab

Any RV's with experience driving East from California to Utah, I'd like to hear your thoughts. We will be traveling from Houston to the Santa Cruz (near San Jose) area early August via the southern route through Bakersfield etc. Driving a 38' Class A diesel pulling a toad. On the way back we would like to visit Moab, Arches NP, etc. Most map sites recommend coming back to Barstow CA and taking 15 NE to Utah. Looks like a nice route but I'd really like to go North from San Jose. Is taking 80 through Reno to Fernley and taking 50 East or staying on 80 a worthwhile and RV friendly route? Any other suggestions? thanks so much.
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Old 07-04-2015, 02:51 PM   #2
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The "easiest" would be to take I-80 across to UT, then connect to I-70, and down to Moab. However, US50, the "Loneliest Road in America" is a good road and would be more direct in joining up with I-70, then highway 191 south to Moab. Just plan ahead and fuel up when available. The climb over the Sierras isn't difficult, just slow in places, on I-80. Take your time and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

The other route south to Barstow and over to I-15 toward Moab is a good series of roads as well.

We recently drove the route from where I-15 meets Hurricane, UT, then across on highway 89A / 89 over to Kanab/Page, AZ, and down to highway 160, before turning north toward Blanding, UT and up to Moab.

Good roads, lots of things to see/do as you pass through the area, such as Best Friends (if you're an animal lover - they have a couple of RV sites there) in Kanab UT, Lake Powell AZ, Monument Valley UT (rough road there for a few miles, but not terrible), and some great sites to explore around Blanding if you're interested in ancient Anasazi dwellings, along with the Natural Bridges National Monument nearby. The Blue Mountain RV park in Blanding is very comfortable and reasonable, with very knowledgeable and hospitable hosts.

Moab is one of our favorite places - we have one more trail to hike to say we've done them all, and will be there in October to finish it off. Don't forget Mesa Verde, if you're heading south from Moab back home. Fantastic experience!

Journey safe!
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Old 07-08-2015, 04:56 PM   #3
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Hwy 50 from Sacramento to South Lake Tahoe area is doable, but be aware of turnouts and passing lanes for courtesy to faster vehicles. Much of it is 2 lane. Alternatively can go I-80 and then pick up hwy 50 as you said. Once out of Tahoe area, hwy 50 becomes "the Loneliest Highway in America", but is an easy drive. It is just not much except for a few small towns all the way across NV. Drive is easy, but you are are in middle of nowhere for many miles at a time. Very scenic if you like the desert type environment. This would be the most direct way to link to I-70 east and then a short 30 min drive down to Moab. You can camp at many areas along hwy 50 for free, dry camping of course, if you want to take it slower.

My suggestion is day 1 San Jose to Tahoe area and camp for the night, then day 2 "Loneliest Highway" to Ely, NV and stop for the night (Ely is about the biggest town once you leave Tahoe area), and then on to Moab day 3.

BTW, hwy 80 once out of Reno area is also pretty boring, but at least you have some bigger towns to go through heading east. You could drop down at Wells, NV or Wendover, NV to Ely and then head east on hwy 50.
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Old 07-09-2015, 05:31 PM   #4
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Thanks pagosajoe and 38chevy454 for your recommendations. I was not aware that Hwy 50 was the Loneliest Hwy. We traveled the southern route a couple of years ago and thought I-8 south of Phoenix to San Diego was pretty desolate. Our MH runs great but those long stretches with no cell phone or towns always give me the willies! My go I-80 for the peace of mind esp. if both roads have about the same scenery but I-80 has more towns. Any thoughts about Hwy 6 from Benton coming through Yosemite from Modesto or taking 395 from Carson City to Benton, then 6 from Benton to Ely? Seems any way, there is a pretty wide area of land to cross. Thanks
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Old 07-09-2015, 06:59 PM   #5
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Highway 50 is my favorite-"loneliest road in America" We loved it

We left Moab headed for Tahoe and stayed at Upper Lehman Creek Campground, a Great Basin National Park Campground in between the two . We had a Stream roaring about 15 feet from our coach.
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Old 07-09-2015, 09:48 PM   #6
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We absolutely love Hwy 50 across Nevada. It's an easy drive and it really isn't that 'lonely'. Plus our Verizon worked sufficiently. There are fuel stations along the way but best to fuel up before and you'll get a better price.
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Old 07-10-2015, 06:37 AM   #7
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Good thought on the Fuel Fill- . We were camped in Montana, next to a Police Officer,last summer, he reminded me: " Remember your in Montana, & the West-There is not a fuel Station on every Corner". Sometimes it is a long way between fueling opportunities.
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Old 07-12-2015, 12:00 AM   #8
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RV route from San Jose to Moab

I live in near Salt Lake City during the summer. If you are going to be going as far north as San Jose, you can connect to I-80 eastbound near San Francisco. There are a couple of nice rest stops near Truckee, California. Also cheap camp sites in Reno and Elko. Check with the casinos. A bit hilly near Truckee, but it flattens out once you drop into Nevada. Be careful going through Truckee, the freeway can be a little dangerous, a lot of blind curves going through the high California mountains. Again it gets pretty flat once drop into Nevada. Wendover has a lot of cheap campgrounds for overnighters. There is also a nice and quiet rest stop an hour east of Wendover if that is more appealing. Salt Lake City has a few RV parks but they are very expensive. You can try the Van Waller Homestead RV park in Tooele only $20 a night with full hookups, which is about 30 minutes west of Salt Lake. East of Park City has some overnight dry camping. You might try checking with their visitor information. There is an overnight parking lot at the Union Pacific Rail trail mountain bike trail near where I used to live.

Check the east summit county has a lot of available dry camping near Rockport Reservior it's a lot cooler up there in the summer because of the high elevation about 6000 to 8000 feet. I took the drive from Barstow to Salt Lake once. Never again! It's the long way around. Took forever just to get back. I would avoid I-15 in Salt Lake at all costs until you absolutely have to use it. Especially between the hours of 8Am to 10 AM and 4PM to 7 PM. Given the huge size of the metropolitan Salt Lake area, the traffic jams are unimaginable on I-15. Easy place to have an accident and drivers wont let you in. Salt Lake has traffic on I-15 almost 24 hours a day. But The rush hour traffic will have you pulling your hair out. LOL. So I suggest using I-80 if you are going to be in Northern California anyway. I-80 doesn't get the horrendous rush hour traffic that I-15 does.

Hope this helps. Have Fun


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Old 08-30-2015, 04:04 PM   #9
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san jose to mammoth in eastern sierras

35' rig towing a jeep. how is the 50 to the 89 to 395? or should i get on the 88 towards minden even though it is out of my way? would tioga Pass be better?
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Old 08-30-2015, 04:14 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by turnkey View Post
35' rig towing a jeep. how is the 50 to the 89 to 395? or should i get on the 88 towards minden even though it is out of my way? would tioga Pass be better?
Personally, I'd NOT recommend Tioga Pass. LOTS of winding and steep sections, and you'll cause a rolling roadblock. Beautiful trip through Yosemite, but in a car.

Love Mammoth. Went to high school in Bishop, and skied Mammoth a lot. Paul McCoy, owner of Mammoth, let us have ski lessons/boots/poles/lift tickets for $1.50 if you had at least a B average. Great guy!
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Old 08-30-2015, 08:36 PM   #11
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35' rig towing a jeep. how is the 50 to the 89 to 395? or should i get on the 88 towards minden even though it is out of my way? would tioga Pass be better?
We've driven this often with our 40' motorhome towing the Jeep. No issues but it's an uphill from Sacramento. Hwy 395 is absolutely a gorgeous drive.


No, Tioga Pass would definitely not be better.
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Old 09-01-2015, 06:42 PM   #12
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I have driven all of them. My favorite is 880/80 from Santa Cruz to 680 in San Jose to 580 in Pleasnton to 205 to I 5 North to Ca 4 in Stockton to 99 North to Ca 88 Thru Jackson (Watch for a left turn in Jackson. 88 to Minden Nv then connect with US 50 to I 15 head North about 15 miles to I think Saline Ut exit which takes you to I 70 and East to the Moab turn off (about 30 miles). Diving distance is about 1100 miles. I stay at Portal RV park.
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