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Old 11-27-2012, 03:33 PM   #15
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From the CHP perspective "Retired FPD" is right on the money. I have posted MANY times that rest areas, especially in CA, are not safe only to get poo-pooed every single time. But what would I know, only 33 years of checking rest areas and constantly amazed at what crawls out from under the rocks therein. I'm glad to get some validation from another CA LEO.

Tioga will be closed until at least Memorial Day and usually several weeks later, but Yosemite is a must see. Lots less traffic during the week.
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Old 11-27-2012, 03:46 PM   #16
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Any perspectives on wine country and N of SF up to Oregon.

And, is there any advantage to traveling very early morning or after dark to get where you need to be to park, safely, and then Toad to Yosemite and some of the other sites inland between LA and SF.

Would assume wine country N of Lompoc is also OK???

Good info.
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:13 PM   #17
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WOW! Having left California only two years ago, I hardly recognize the state.
IMHO Hwy 99 is not as bad as the previous post makes it sound. I lived in Fresno too! Is it a busy road? Yup, it is by no means an I-90 or I-94 in the Dakotas.

Now there are a few places to stay along 99. One stop is very nice in Chowchilla called The Lakes http://www.thelakesrv.com/
We have stayed at Riverland in Kingsburg. We would never stay there again. Better yet would be Club Royal Oak just east of Kingsburg. http://www.clubroyaloak.com/ Summers can be a bit crazy at both, but you have no traffic noise and the grounds are, or were when were were there two years ago, nicer. Bakersfield has a few nice campgrounds. Our favorite is Bakersfield RV Resort: http://www.bakersfieldrvresort.com/. You can even have dinner delivered to the coach!:-)

Don't be afraid to traverse the valley.
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:40 AM   #18
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I would travel during the daylight hours for the scenery, if no other reason. I still strongly recommend AGAINST staying in rest areas north of the Mexican border to south of the Oregon state line. Regardless of what people will swear to, they are full of creeps, dirt bags, panhandlers, and low lifes. North of SF will be as bad or worse since that's getting into the heart of California's marijuana growing region. Lots of nice state parks in northern CA to use and some COE parks.
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:48 AM   #19
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Me back again. NORCAL is a completely different animal that Sac south. They have their problems yeah, but not near as bad as the SJV, the bay area or LA. Lots less popualtion thus less trouble. Much prettier also. As for traveling the length of CA, you don't need to be afraid, just be aware of your surroundings, and plan your stops well, and if you are armed, keep it handy. As you can see by CHP's response, those of us who've seen it, know what's going on in CA. Be smart, drive safe. I personally like driving at night, less traffic, etc. but then I worked nights for way too many years so the dark doesn't bother me. Some don't like driving at night. Just depends on your preference and how tired you get. Parking anywhere to boondock at night inb CA takes some research. One resource which people forget forget about (or don't fell comfortable calling for informatiion) is local police departments....or you can even walk up to a local cop. Be sure to introduce yourself right off the bat and tell him/them you're a traveling vistior/family to the state and ask about the area, and where to go and where to stay away from....really...we don't bite....well, most of the time. Just don't catch a day-shifter before he's had his coffee (and donut?) lol!. Enjoy the state's beauty, just use your head and don't become a victim.
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:44 PM   #20
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I did a check of more than 200 campgrounds around Yosemite and Sequoia national parks (using latest edition of Tom Steinstra's fantastic CA Campgrounds book) to see how many might be available for various length RV's. I say might as a campground may take up to 40' RV's but have fewer than 10 spaces of this size and as they are first come first serve other RV's including shorter ones may take all the spaces. Many campgrounds do not take reservations and with these it becomes more important to be able to fit your RV into the spaces still available when you arrive.

16' RV - 211 campgrounds 100% of RV campground
21' RV - 180 campgrounds 85%
25' RV - 150 campgrounds 71%
30' RV - 138 campgrounds 65%
35' RV - 88 campgrounds 42%
40' RV - 64 campgrounds 30%
45' RV - 32 campgrounds 15%


Getting across the sierras is possible to the north or south of Tioga so it depends upon your planned route. On the other hand from Yosemite to San Francisco is a very easy drive. Along the way you also have the option of visiting the wine country around Paso Robles and going over to the coast which is less than an hour's drive from Hwy 101. Nice state park along the ocean just north of San Simeon that will accommodate your 40' MH.
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Old 11-28-2012, 03:56 PM   #21
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As a long time resident of California, I'm feeling the need to defend the state a little. First of all , this state's crime rate is just about average when compared to others. Not bad, considering the huge population that is here. Where we are far from average is the state's natural beauty. Yosemite is perhaps the most beautiful place on the planet so come and enjoy. Now I'm not saying don't be careful, just that the need to be mindful extends to wherever we are.
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:40 PM   #22
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My son worked in Yosemite as a chef in 2010 so we had to go out there a couple times.

We were able to get into the park in April on a nice sunny day with our 40' MH and a toad. However it snowed while we were in the park and the exit roads required snow chains - not a pleasant thought for a MH! After a day, Rt. 120 removed the snow chain ban and we got out. In March, you will probably have worse weather. Only 12 campsites in the Valley will fit a 40-footer so you will need reservations if you plan to stay in the park.

On the way in, we stayed in Coarsegold at the KOA. While visiting SF, we stayed in Pacifica. You can walk into town for some great Fish & Chips!
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:04 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by VestaDave View Post
As a long time resident of California, I'm feeling the need to defend the state a little. First of all , this state's crime rate is just about average when compared to others. Not bad, considering the huge population that is here. Where we are far from average is the state's natural beauty. Yosemite is perhaps the most beautiful place on the planet so come and enjoy. Now I'm not saying don't be careful, just that the need to be mindful extends to wherever we are.
Stop that! The state's population is large enough Every year we get rain storms up until the day before the Rose Parade and then its sunny for national TV cameras. If you listen hard you can hear the car door slamming with people moving out of the bad weather elsewhere I lived in New Jersey for five years and once someone asked me if "a lot of people move out of California after an earthquake?" I replied "Only the weak ones."
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:20 PM   #24
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We are traveling to San Francisco this march and wonder if we can travel through Yosemite N.P. along route 120 (Tioga Pass) to route 395(Mono Lake) in a 40' pusher
Thank you
Did this in the late eighties (February) with a 19ft class B (lived near Frisco) Stayed right on the valley floor near the river - beautiful and not crowded. Went south on 99 to 58 (Lake Isabella area) - west to 395 then north to 80 east back to SF. Chains are needed just in case (its the Sierra's)
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:58 PM   #25
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I posted about going from San Francisco to Napa Valley wine growing area then planned South Lake Tahoe. Isn't hwy 50 an all weather highway with ski bus on a daily basis? I figure if the ski bus can drive it so can a Motorhome
Can I not drive this route with chains if necessary to Tahoe RV resort.
I'm talking 14 th of April which coincides with the official end of the ski season.
So weather permitting I could drive this route??
If weather is an issue isn't hwy 80 going to be as tough and I'd need to delay travel till the weather improved.
Just posing some questions. I drove Jackson Hole to Salt Lake City in near February a few years back
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:09 PM   #26
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I posted about going from San Francisco to Napa Valley wine growing area then planned South Lake Tahoe. Isn't hwy 50 an all weather highway with ski bus on a daily basis? I figure if the ski bus can drive it so can a Motorhome
Can I not drive this route with chains if necessary to Tahoe RV resort.
I'm talking 14 th of April which coincides with the official end of the ski season.
So weather permitting I could drive this route??
If weather is an issue isn't hwy 80 going to be as tough and I'd need to delay travel till the weather improved.
Just posing some questions. I drove Jackson Hole to Salt Lake City in near February a few years back
80 is a multilane freeway that is kept open very quickly in bad weather. 50 in many areas is a 2 lane highway that can and does get closed in bad weather.

Btw 120 through Yosemite is usually totally closed during the winter. They don't even try to keep it open.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:33 PM   #27
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So it s completely weather dependent and if I want to go to South Lake Tahoe the open route is via 80 and then down the east side of the lake on 295 I think it was??
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:35 AM   #28
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What about Rt 395 south to Rt 190 and thru to Nevada . Are these open in late March
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