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Old 11-02-2012, 03:14 PM   #1
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San Diego to Sedona - What would you do?

Let's just say...if you were in San Diego and were planning travel for your next destination in Sedona in 2 weeks from now - not really looking for stops along the way to Sedona...would you:

Take the southern route; I-8 to AZ85 to I-10 to I-17?
Take the Northern Route; I-15 to I-40 to AZ89A?

The Southern route is just under 60 miles shorter, but we have never been on I-17. While it looks like it is a very scenic drive, it also looks like it could be a work-out for the RV(?)

And, since we can pick our directions of travel for the loop (there and back) - If I-17 is nice enough to make the drive...would you pick to drive it north bound or south bound?

Please consider the dear passenger with consideration for which route will place the dropoff on the passenger side

Equipment Specifics: We're in a lightly loaded 37' Class A on a W24 (8.1L V8 and Allison/2100/6sp with a small toad)...so, it's not really working too hard.

Thanks in advance

Kim and Steve, Mustang LCDR (USCG Ret), Outlaw #1193
"I have seen gross intolerance shown in support of tolerance", S.Coleridge 1797
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Old 11-02-2012, 03:50 PM   #2
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Welllll, having driven both ways in my 30' RV I prefer the northern route. All things considered, you'll be fine either way. Driving over the mountains isn't difficult if your RV works properly.

If you're returning to San Diego then drive one route to Sedona and the other route on the way back.

Have a safe trip! :-)

[B]BichonLover is a 100% California gal, driving a vintage Fleetwood in SoCal.
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Old 11-02-2012, 04:07 PM   #3
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Check with the locals about AZ89A between Flagstaff and Sedona ...

I have never driven it ... but some have mentioned it is rather challenging to drive a large rig on this section of highway ...

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Old 11-02-2012, 05:44 PM   #4
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I wouldn't drive 89 from Flagstaff to Sedona at this time of year...good chance of snow in the next couple of weeks. Even without the snow if you want to see Oak Creek Canyon on the 89 leave your RV in Sedona and take your car.
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:25 AM   #5
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I-17 "a workout for the W24"???? Nah!
Until you get to the upper reaches of I-17 approaching Flagstaff (and after the AZ179 cutoff to Sedona), there are no grades that are really outstanding in my mind. North of I-17 exit 298 (AZ179) is a considerable grade going up to the plateau, but we had no trouble with it.
89A is best enjoyed in a toad or on a motorcycle.

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Old 11-03-2012, 08:55 AM   #6
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If on I-17 northbound, north of I-10, as you roll no., there is a "trucks right lane only" section that is quite steep and the trucks do try to pass in spite of the signage. Be aware. This lower section especially can be very busy during commute hours and if there's an accident, it's often a long wait and there's no bypass. Once you're up and onto the mesa and approach the big rest stop the traffic (if any at the time) will spread out, then you come to some long term construction that is well regulated and well signed near exit 262. After that is smooth sailing with a long downgrade near Verde Valley (287). PHX is about 1000ft and Sedona is at 4500. Very doable in my old 454, so I know you'll be fine. Enjoy your trip.

As you pass exit 262 honk, maybe I'll hear you :-)
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:18 PM   #7
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If you take the I-8 to I-10 to I-17 route you can avoid getting in to the heart of Phoenix by taking the Loop 101 (Agua Fria Freeway) which will put you on I-17 on the North end of town. There's no way to avoid a couple of pretty long grades (one up and one down) as DonDee posted but they are very doable (I just made that drive in my '07 Outlaw a few weeks ago).

Although my personal preference would be for the more scenic route you probably don't want to drive your rig on Highway 89 between Wickenberg and Prescott or between Prescott and Cottonwood. Steep grades with multiple 20 mph hairpin turns through both of these sections. I love these roads on my motorcycle but you may be challenged with your Outlaw and a toad. The same goes for 89A through Oak Creek Canyon north of Sedona. All that being said these drives would be a dream in your toad or even better on your Buell.

Have a safe trip. Know that there is another '07 Outlaw about 40 miles further up the hill.
Dave and Kristie ~ Pair o' Medics plus Helen and Oliver~ Pair o' Boston Terrorists in our 2007 Damon Outlaw - 3611 ~ Live your life, this ain't no rehersal! Blog: The View From 7000'
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Old 11-19-2012, 05:53 PM   #8
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Thanks to all for the feedback...

We went I-40 to Flagstaff, then south on I-17 and backtracked to Sedona on AZ179 - avoided AZ89A after looking at the switchbacks north of Sedona. This only added about 20 miles to the route, but was much easier on the rig.

We will save the southern route for another day, since we decided to go home via the Grand Canyon (Williams) and Grand Canyon Caverns (Peach Springs).

Kim and Steve, Mustang LCDR (USCG Ret), Outlaw #1193
"I have seen gross intolerance shown in support of tolerance", S.Coleridge 1797
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