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Old 03-11-2020, 05:48 PM   #1
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Getting around the San Francisco Bay Area

I need help choosing a route through or around the San Francisco Bay area. Iím currently in Las Vegas headed for Coos Bay, Oregon. Iím about to cancel several reservations and abandon my initial planned northbound route due to snowstorms forecasted between Susanville and Redding a few days from now. So instead Iím going to head west out of Vegas toward Bakersfield, and then pick up Hwy 101 north of San Francisco and take the coastal route into Oregon, avoiding Ashland and Grants Pass, which might also be impacted by the same snowstorm. Granted, weather-guessing isnít an exact science, especially a week out, but Iím simply not willing to take the risk.

I was stationed in the Bay area (more than 30 years ago) and know enough not to attempt to drive a 43-ft 5th wheel through the city and over the Golden Gate. That ainít happening. And Iím hesitant to take I-580 up the East Bay as well, although thatís what Google Maps and RV Trip Wizard want me to do. Copilot GPS and the RV LIFE app want me to take 880 vice 580 from Hayward through Alameda and Oakland before passing Berkley, Richmond, and across the bridge into San Rafael. Yikes! Alternately, I can avoid some of the East Bay congestion by taking I-680 through Concord, then 780 and 37 around Vallejo and work my way over to 101. Or I can take the long way around through Antioch, Rio Vista, Fairfield, Napa and Sonoma. Suddenly Iím craving a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon.

In any case, Iím getting conflicting information from various mapping apps. Iíd rather hear from someone who has been there, done that, so Iíd appreciate any advice you can offer. Iíd also love to hear your ideas and reasoning behind choosing either I-5 or Hwy 99 northbound out of Bakersfield.
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Old 03-11-2020, 05:58 PM   #2
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I-5 to Hwy 20 west to 101 north.
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Old 03-11-2020, 06:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio Flyer View Post
I need help choosing a route through or around the San Francisco Bay area. Iím currently in Las Vegas headed for Coos Bay, Oregon. Iím about to cancel several reservations and abandon my initial planned northbound route due to snowstorms forecasted between Susanville and Redding a few days from now. So instead Iím going to head west out of Vegas toward Bakersfield, and then pick up Hwy 101 north of San Francisco and take the coastal route into Oregon, avoiding Ashland and Grants Pass, which might also be impacted by the same snowstorm. Granted, weather-guessing isnít an exact science, especially a week out, but Iím simply not willing to take the risk.



I was stationed in the Bay area (more than 30 years ago) and know enough not to attempt to drive a 43-ft 5th wheel through the city and over the Golden Gate. That ainít happening. And Iím hesitant to take I-580 up the East Bay as well, although thatís what Google Maps and RV Trip Wizard want me to do. Copilot GPS and the RV LIFE app want me to take 880 vice 580 from Hayward through Alameda and Oakland before passing Berkley, Richmond, and across the bridge into San Rafael. Yikes! Alternately, I can avoid some of the East Bay congestion by taking I-680 through Concord, then 780 and 37 around Vallejo and work my way over to 101. Or I can take the long way around through Antioch, Rio Vista, Fairfield, Napa and Sonoma. Suddenly Iím craving a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon.



In any case, Iím getting conflicting information from various mapping apps. Iíd rather hear from someone who has been there, done that, so Iíd appreciate any advice you can offer. Iíd also love to hear your ideas and reasoning behind choosing either I-5 or Hwy 99 northbound out of Bakersfield.


My vote would be 680. Avoids big urban areas, freeways in decent shape for CA. Depending on time of day 37 can be slow.
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Old 03-11-2020, 09:07 PM   #4
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Hwy 20 is a viable option. A year or two ago I was researching the I-5 to Hwy 101 connection and was warned about Hwy 36 and Hwy 299 due to very tight turns, but if I recall correctly Hwy 20 was acceptable, even for a big truck and long trailer. Thanks for reminding me!
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Old 03-11-2020, 09:21 PM   #5
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There will be no snow on the Golden Gate....
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Old 03-11-2020, 10:16 PM   #6
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Hi I lived in the Bay Area for years and now live near Redding. Iíve pulled my fifth wheel all over many times. If you want to get over to 101N, the best road is 37. Take 580 - 680 - 780 - 37. The only sketchy part is 780. This route you bypass all the heavy traffic and you also bypass all the torn up roads closer to the city.
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