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Old 01-17-2022, 06:33 PM   #1
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Death Valley Route Options?

This is more of a discussion vs trying to get a problem solved. Were heading to Death Valley in a week and I am researching routes via Bakersfield using Google Maps, RVTripWizzard, RoadTrippers and TruckMap. Were towing a 36 foot 5th wheel.

Seems when you input “carrying propane” on some of the apps that have that option, your route sends you up Hwy 14 to Hwy 395 then to 190 to Death Valley. If you uncheck “carrying propane” then you get routed via Trona and Trona Wildrose Rd which is 14min shorter. I am planning on taking the 395 to 190 route, I don’t really care about cutting 14min off my drive time, but more out of curiosity if anyone has opted to take the 2nd shorter route through Trona or have experience taking both routes in a similar sized RV?

My guess is there must be a small town on the 2nd route where carrying “hazardous materials” is prohibited? That is just a guess on my part so correct me if you know something more accurate about that propane check box on nav apps.
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Old 01-17-2022, 07:29 PM   #2
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If you go through Trona there is 5 mile of dirt road before you hit the road that goes across to stovepipe wells. That is the only issue on that road that i know of and I have traveled on it twice, both times not towing.
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Old 01-18-2022, 01:40 PM   #3
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The reason you get routed through Trona if you uncheck 'carrying propane' is that if you stop for gas, diesel, or popcorn in Trona the software thinks you won't have LP tanks that could be stolen.
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Old 01-18-2022, 11:11 PM   #4
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Thanks Tom, I will double check the routing options and see if “dirt road” avoidance was on.

Gammel, great to know…stock up on popcorn/resuply NOT in Trona!
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Old 01-19-2022, 05:32 PM   #5
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Hwy 178 takes you through Ridgecrest and Trona. You can get fuel in Ridgecrest. Hwy 190 is a steep descent into Panamint Springs. The Trona route not so much. I use the Trona route whenever we head to Death Valley.
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Old 01-19-2022, 06:12 PM   #6
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Hwy 178 takes you through Ridgecrest and Trona. You can get fuel in Ridgecrest. Hwy 190 is a steep descent into Panamint Springs. The Trona route not so much. I use the Trona route whenever we head to Death Valley.

What are you towing/driving? Is there a dirt section along that route?

Thanks!
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Old 01-19-2022, 08:24 PM   #7
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I was last on that road in 2016. I looked at google maps a few minutes ago and it appears the road was paved since then. It is possible I was not remembering the correct section of the road but I was pretty sure. Maybe more research is necessary.
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Old 01-20-2022, 03:19 AM   #8
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I had a 36 foot Outback fifth wheel being towed behind an F350 crew cab dually, 460 gas engine. The Panamint - Wildrose road had a dirt section dirt for a while following flooding. It was pavement the last two times we traveled through there. We now have a 39 foot diesel pusher and tow our Ford Explorer. I find the Trona route to be much easier to travel. 190 offers many challenging curves and grades. We have stayed many times in Panamint Springs campground.
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Old 01-20-2022, 08:02 AM   #9
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I had a 36 foot Outback fifth wheel being towed behind an F350 crew cab dually, 460 gas engine. The Panamint - Wildrose road had a dirt section dirt for a while following flooding. It was pavement the last two times we traveled through there. We now have a 39 foot diesel pusher and tow our Ford Explorer. I find the Trona route to be much easier to travel. 190 offers many challenging curves and grades.
Very helpful KCFDCapt! Thanks for the detailed information!
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Old 01-20-2022, 09:29 AM   #10
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I am also in agreement with KCFDCapt about the Trona route. The section of 190 from Panamint Springs east is much better than the section of road west of Panamint Springs if you have a big rig. If we come from the west, that is the way we drive too.
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Old 01-20-2022, 09:40 AM   #11
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I was last on that road in 2016. I looked at google maps a few minutes ago and it appears the road was paved since then. It is possible I was not remembering the correct section of the road but I was pretty sure. Maybe more research is necessary.
We drove from Stovepipe to Barstow via 178 thru Trona to 395 South, there were no dirt sections at all. There were however hundreds of people with toy haulers for miles and miles raising huge clouds of dust with their ORVs. This was Thanksgiving weekend. Trona looks practically abandoned now, probably 4 out of 5 buildings boarded up along the main road thru town.
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Old 01-20-2022, 09:45 AM   #12
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Thank you Brian & UTTransplant, great to hear!
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