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Old 05-01-2015, 02:06 PM   #1
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1st Long trip

RV - Check
Driving lessons - Check

Now to plan our first long trip, but need your advice. I realize that everyone has their own opinions and I appreciate all of your feedback.

We will be taking our first trip (first time looking for good stops, first time driving on mountain roads, etc) and want to limit our lessons learned the hardway.

Any advice regarding route from Tucson to Aberdeen Wa? Looking for advice on best roads and best/easiest mountain pass -

Rig = 40' Country Coach with 350 Cummins Diesel and Allison Transmission
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Old 05-01-2015, 02:25 PM   #2
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I use this for mountain travel Mountain Driving Guide for Truckers, RV and Motorhome Drivers

For campgrounds that can accommodate your long coach, call ahead and also use the measuring tool on Google Earth. With this, you can measure the sites as seen from the satellite.

Quote:
Originally Posted by winningteam View Post
RV - Check
Driving lessons - Check

Now to plan our first long trip, but need your advice. I realize that everyone has their own opinions and I appreciate all of your feedback.

We will be taking our first trip (first time looking for good stops, first time driving on mountain roads, etc) and want to limit our lessons learned the hardway.

Any advice regarding route from Tucson to Aberdeen Wa? Looking for advice on best roads and best/easiest mountain pass -

Rig = 40' Country Coach with 350 Cummins Diesel and Allison Transmission
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Old 05-01-2015, 02:30 PM   #3
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I don't have specific info about routes but want to recommend a couple of must haves for us: "Mountain Directory - West" and "The Next Exit".

Mountain Directory gives a description of stretches of road that larger vehicles need to be aware of. It's pretty handy. "Next Exit" is IMO, is vital! It lists what is with in a mile of every exit on every interstate.

Of course, iRV2 members can give you first hand info and advise on routes that you can't get from a book.
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Old 05-01-2015, 06:32 PM   #4
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No specific advice on the route but I will provide comments on driving a 40' RV. We had a 31' Class C as a starter coach, drove it all over the eastern USA.

We then upgraded to a 2002 Monaco Windsor 38PKD (~39' 8") in 2008 and in June of 2009 we headed to Alaska via Tetons, Yellowstone, Glacier and the Canadian Rockies. Our most interesting drive was from Yellowstone to Billings Mt. We went over Beartooth Pass, climbing up to ~11K elevation via a narrow road with numerous switch backs. After getting to the top a guy asked my what length my coach was a said he had one that long at home and that there was NO way he would drive it up those roads.

Point is if you take your time and think about what you are doing you will be fine. Make sure to maintain a slower speed as you start descending any grades. I assume you have some sort of exhaust brake, practice with it before you need it. I use mine all the time to help slow the coach down on off ramps and approaching red lights etc.

Have fun & good luck.
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Old 05-01-2015, 06:59 PM   #5
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My sister-in-law lives in Oro Valley and we spend a week or two at Catalina Sate Park each winter. Our S&B house is an hour drive from Aberdeen.
So: I-10 to I-8, I-8 to Gila Bend. North from there to I-10 (this way you avoid Phoenix). Continue west to I-215. North on I-215 to I-15. North on I-15 to US395. North on US395 to CA58. West on CA58 to Bakersfield. Pick up I-5 at Bakersfield and follow all the way to Portland. Use I-205 to bypass most of Portland, it reunites with I-5 north of Vancouver. North on I-5 to US101. Take 101 to where Hwy 8 starts. Hwy 8 will take you to Aberdeen.
Some of our favorite RV Parks: Two Springs RV Resort in North Palm Springs CA. Orange Grove RV Resort in Bakersfield CA. Durango RV Resort in Red Bluff CA. 7 Feathers RV Resort in Canyonville OR. Blue Ox RV Park in Albany OR.
Safe travels.
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Old 05-01-2015, 08:48 PM   #6
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We did a 19 day trip to Vegas/Grand Canyon/Moab areas from Seattle back in mid March and would highly recommend the route from Kingman, AZ (or Phoenix in your case) through Vegas on US-93 then north to Twin Falls, Idaho via 93 and 318 and then I-84 through SW Idaho and Eastern Oregon coming out at Portland.

Google maps shows it as about a 25 minute longer route than the "quickest" route using I-10 and I-5.

We didn't see a lot of RV's travelling in our direction (Southbound) but saw a tonne of snowbirds with Washington, Oregon or British Columbia plates heading back North. It literally seemed like every second vehicle we passed going in the opposite direction was a Motorhome so it is obviously a very popular and well travelled route for the RV crowd.

Pretty dramatic changes in scenery over the route. Nice roads (with decent speed limits) over the whole length with no real steep hills to speak of (longer and steeper hills going Southbound). Lot's of great campground and RV Parks enroute as well. We will definitely use this route again whenever we are heading towards the Nevada/Arizona/Utah/New Mexico areas.

We've driven I-5 between Los Angeles and Seattle a number of times and try to avoid it for the most part at all costs. It's a busy, boring road and the climb from Redding through to Ashland or Medford seems to go on forever (especially in an RV). It is often the "quickest" route choice but we'll happily tack on some extra time and take a more scenic and relaxing route in order to avoid it (I-5).
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Old 05-01-2015, 10:23 PM   #7
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We've driven this route often and we sure wouldn't take I-5 north through California.

A nice route would be I-17 north to Flagstaff and pick up 89 north to Page, AZ. By the time you get to Page you'll feel like a pro driving your new motorhome.

Continue north on 89 to Hwy 20 just beyond Panguitch, Utah. If you have time, stop at Ruby's RV at the entrance of Bryce Nat'l Park for a few days. It's on Hwy 12 just before Panguitch. Take I-15 north a short distance to Hwy 21 and follow it to Hwy 6/50 in Nevada to Ely.

At Ely, NV pick up Hwy 93 north into Idaho and I-84. You could then take I-84 to I-5 north in Portland and into Washington. If you're ready for a stop near Boise, ID, we really like Ambassador RV in Caldwell. It's great for an overnight. All sites are generous pull-throughs. The park is immaculate, has a nice clubhouse and pool/spa.

Just beyond Portland off I-5 pick up Hwy 4 at Longview which will take you to Washington 101. Take it north to Aberdeen.

They are all good roads for big rigs.

As mentioned by others, before you go purchase the 'Mountain Directory for Truckers and Rvers' - West Edition.

Have a great trip and drive on the top half of your fuel tank.
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Old 05-02-2015, 03:02 PM   #8
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thank you so much! Curious as to going through flagstaff instead of kingman -
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Old 05-02-2015, 03:21 PM   #9
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IMO I17 to Flagstaff is a great "training" ground for your first mountain type terrain.... not to mention it's a beautiful drive .... the rest of the mountain travel into CO (for us) was a piece of cake .... that was our first "full on" with our new to use rig ....
and I'm certain which ever route you take for there should be pretty easy as well ..... some beautiful country up where you're headed ....
Enjoy !!!
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Old 05-02-2015, 07:18 PM   #10
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Not sure why you'd want to go to Kingman unless you're planning on I-5 up through California. Flagstaff and north on 89 is a beautiful scenic drive and would give you a chance, if you have time, to stop as some major national parks such as the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef. Even if you don't stop at those, the drive is gorgeous. It's not what you envision of 'mountain driving'. You'll encounter no hairpin turns or steep drop-offs. 89 is a good two-lane road with plenty of places to pull over, if necessary.
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Old 05-02-2015, 09:47 PM   #11
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Drove 89 a year ago, the stretch between Flagstaff and Paige is bone jarring, it gets especially rough about 15 miles north of Flagstaff. After entering Utah, the road is good.
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Old 05-02-2015, 10:07 PM   #12
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Hwy 89 north of Flagstaff is very smooth. That's always a major route for us.
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Old 05-02-2015, 10:33 PM   #13
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Come up the Oregon Coast to aberdeen.
I will pm you my info, we live 10 miles eat of aberdeen. When will you be here?
Visiting or live here?
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Old 05-03-2015, 10:21 AM   #14
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Twogypsies - I plotted your recommendation last night, and thank you and others for the feedback on the road being a good mountain training ground ;-)

Thank you so so much
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