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Old 05-17-2022, 02:57 PM   #1
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101 and San Francisco

What's our best bet to deal with getting through San Fran on a Thursday in July from north to south? We need to get from Petaluma to Paso Robles towing a 30' toy hauler with my crew cab long bed Duramax. Last year we drove our 40' Winnie towing our Jeep across the Golden Gate then turned off on the 1 down to Costanoa for a night before continuing down to Salinas where we got back onto the 101. This year we do not plan to take the 1 so I'm guessing our route is going to be the 580 through Oakland and back onto the 101 in San Jose?

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Old 05-18-2022, 01:35 PM   #2
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Southbound on Golden Gate Bridge, stay in far right lane so you can take 19th Ave exit after toll booth. Follow 19th Ave to 280 south, which will connect you to 101 south to San Jose. Depending on where you are going, you can take the 101, or Hwy 85, reconnecting to 101 in south San Jose. Also, crossing GG bridge, you will be charged based on the number of axles you have.
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Old 05-18-2022, 02:25 PM   #3
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If avoding the GG is a must than from Petaluma I'd do the following. My wife and I took this exact route last weekend in our Anthem. We did leave very early though. Was on the Road by 4 am leaving Sebastopol, CA

101 from Petaluma to San Rafael.
get on 580 south towards the Richmond Bridge
from 580 you'll want to get to on 880 south
take 880 as far as Milpetas and then get back onto 101 south and head towards Gilroy

Once back onto 101 you'll end up in Salinas in no time. This trip for us had us in Pismo Beach by 10 am.

All depends one what time of day you leave. Either direction has its share of traffic.

hope this helps

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Old 05-18-2022, 02:54 PM   #4
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^^^^^that. No way would I take a toy hauler across the GG and down 19th. It wears me out doing it in our SUV
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Old 05-19-2022, 10:03 AM   #5
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Quote:
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^^^^^that. No way would I take a toy hauler across the GG and down 19th. It wears me out doing it in our SUV
Guess it depends on what you're used too. I lived in Gilroy for 30 years, and often did the 19th Ave deal in 31' 5th wheel heading north to Petaluma, etc. If you're not used to heavy traffic, then do the 580 route suggested above. Bottom line, no matter where you of in the Bay area, at almost any time of the day, traffic is a real issue until you're south of Morgan Hill / Gilroy area.
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Old 05-19-2022, 10:46 AM   #6
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Guess it depends on what you're used too. I lived in Gilroy for 30 years, and often did the 19th Ave deal in 31' 5th wheel heading north to Petaluma, etc. If you're not used to heavy traffic, then do the 580 route suggested above. Bottom line, no matter where you of in the Bay area, at almost any time of the day, traffic is a real issue until you're south of Morgan Hill / Gilroy area.
You have far more tolerance for risk than I do. No thanks.

Narrow lanes (that disappear) is not my idea of fun. YMMV. I would never recommend the GGB or 19th in anything but a passenger car. I ride the Airport Express from STS to SFO on a regular basis and have great respect for those drivers.

I pulled a 30" bumper-pull mobile kitchen with a Ram 2500 for years, even moving it from Palm Beach to NORCAL. I went the long way just to avoid SF. lol
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Old 05-19-2022, 11:01 AM   #7
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I have done that route many times both ways. Take the right most "wide lane" through the Golden Gate bridge toll booth southbound. Travel down 19th street then to 280 south to San Jose then connect highway 101 south.
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Old 05-19-2022, 11:11 AM   #8
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Thanks for the replies folks

I'm not uncomfortable dealing with traffic, I just want to make sure I end up on a route that doesn't turn into a surprise as I'm not at all familiar with the Bay area. Last year was my first and only time traveling through there. Once we turned off on the 1 / Veterans Blvd / Park Presidio Blvd, I just stayed in the middle lane and even with all the traffic, it was pretty uneventful. I was expecting to get hassled by all the San Fran folks for driving my big ol rig in with their Prius's and Teslas but didn't Bonus was they were doing maintenance on the toll system so we didn't get charged for the 4 axles when we crossed the GG bridge. I know we won't get lucky 2 years in a row and since we don't have a need to get on the 1, 580/880 seems like the obvious route.
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Old 05-19-2022, 01:56 PM   #9
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Allow me to offer a couple Bay Area driving tips.

1. Following distances are 1 inch for every 10 miles per hour of speed, to a maximum of 8 inches.
2. In town, where there's stoplights, when the light turns green, FLOOR IT! First person to the next red light wins!
3. If the person ahead of you doesn't floor it within' .05 second of the light turning green, lay on your horn because the driver is an idiot.
4. Enjoy the drive. ;^)

Oh, driving in the Bay Area was the first time I encountered angry, aggressive, Prius drivers. It just seemed so wrong.
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