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Old 05-12-2021, 01:09 PM   #1
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Highway 1 and 101 Northern California Coast

Curious what input anyone could offer for a trip driving North from San Luis Obispo to Oregon, on highway 1 as long as it goes, then 101.

I did see the other post about 101 from Santa Rosa North (https://www.irv2.com/forums/f42/high...od-536402.html).

I am interested to know driving and road conditions, traffic, clearance issues, just any input. I have a 2005 35' Winnebago Adventurer and will be towing a 1995 Wrangler behind.

Thanks!
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Old 05-12-2021, 07:22 PM   #2
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There have been a number of posts about the CA #1 south of San Francisco .

I'd want to check the CA DOT site as there were several landslides in the area in the fall.

http://www.irv2.com/forums/f258/big-...st-256914.html

http://www.irv2.com/forums/f42/Pacif...ay-277787.html

http://www.irv2.com/forums/f278/trav...co-248097.html
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Old 05-12-2021, 08:20 PM   #3
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We're full timers that have summered several times in NORCAL and always pick up 101 in Petaluma. We pull a 35' 5th wheel and have had no issues all the way to the Oregon border and a little beyond. There is some slide remediation work going on between Klamath and Crescent City that takes you down to one lane but it's easily navigable.

I can't speak for highway 1 other than the known washout.
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Old 05-12-2021, 08:26 PM   #4
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Washout damage has been repaired, route open to Monterey CA from southern CA.

Glenn
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Old 05-12-2021, 08:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
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Washout damage has been repaired, route open to Monterey CA from southern CA.

Glenn
That's incredible and good news. I honestly expected it to take much longer than that. Thanks for the update!!!
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Old 05-12-2021, 08:36 PM   #6
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It's open and at 35 ft you're legal. But..... you won't have fun. Best to stay on the 101.
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Old 05-12-2021, 09:22 PM   #7
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Drove that part many years ago on 1 with 27' class C, twisty and slow going at times but what a view! Once was enough with an RV.
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Old 05-17-2021, 07:42 PM   #8
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In Manchester beach with my 40ft Dutch Star. Came south on cal#1 from Leggett. I would never recommend or do it again. Had to cross the center line many times to keep from hitting the embankment on the right. Several very steep grades with no shoulder or guard rail. I would take anything but a car on that road. Very pretty scenery my wife tells me, I never saw it, too busy driving!
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Old 05-20-2021, 02:10 PM   #9
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Highway 1 can get really narrow and windy between south of Big Sur and Monterey. I also recommend you skirt around the Bay Area. If you stay on 1 you’ll have to take city streets through San Francisco. With a rig that long I would hop on 101 in Monterey, hit 880N in San Jose, 580 over the Richmond San Rafael bridge then cut back over to 1 north of Petaluma.

If you do drive through SF, try to do it in the middle of the night. Good luck.
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Old 05-21-2021, 09:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyingsquirl View Post
...580 over the Richmond San Rafael bridge...
Be aware that you'll be paying a toll to cross the San Rafael Bridge - depending on how many axles you've got:

3 axles: $16
4 axles: $21
5 axles: $26
6 axles: $31
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Old 06-22-2021, 03:12 PM   #11
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TRIP REPORT - Completed trip!

Thanks to all the replies that were given. In the end, I did my own research, and decided to drive Highway 1 as much as possible. My 2005 Winnebago Adventurer 35A is 35'-10", towing my 1999 Wrangler at 12'-9" long, plus Roadmaster tow bar, so approx 51' overall rolling length.

We drove from Morro Bay to Monterey on the first leg. This leg was expected to be about 3 hours by Google maps. I always expect to take longer than Google maps when in our RV, usually at least 25% longer. In order to navigate the many tight turns and climb/descend all the hills, I took it as slow as was comfortable. This ended up being more like a 5 hour drive. But I enjoyed it thoroughly. The weather was great, the scenery unmatched. Going North though I had the shoulder in my favor. If I had been going South I would have been a little more leery about my starboard side. However as tight as it was a few times, I never felt unsafe. There were plenty of places to pull over and let backed up traffic pass, or go over the center line or shoulder line slightly in order to make the appropriate adjustments.

The one learning experience I had related to driving a road like this with a rig this big... Get fuel when you are in town and have some options. I put it off when I left Morro Bay, thinking that I would just find somewhere along the way. Well the few gas stations I found were all too small to get in/out without holding up traffic, or unhooking my tow vehicle. It got to the point that I had to get gas at the next place, no matter what. Not a good area to run out of fuel. This happened to be Lucia, CA, literally the worst possible place, farthest from any metro area, smallest gas pump, highest price. All of the gas prices during our trip in CA were bad (5/27/21-6/12/21), but this place was by far the absolute worst - $6.59/gal for regular. Learned my lesson.

We bypassed the bay area, visited some family near Modesto, then reconnected with the coastline a few days later near Petaluma/Tomales/Bodega Bay, and drove the 1 from there all the way up to where it reconnects with 101 at Leggett.

This was also a very enjoyable drive also. In contrast to the first leg from Morro Bay to Monterey, this leg did have some very tight spots and treacherous hills, but they were fewer and farther between. I would highly recommend Ocean Cove Campground, near Jenner, just West of Santa Rosa.
It is a primitive campground and its ALL ABOUT THE VIEW. Park the rv and stay as close to the surf as possible, any closer and you would be wet. Once you start heading inland after Rockport, the climb into the mountains was also pretty curvy with some super tight turns, but again, just take your time, watch your turns, don't overthink it.

We continued up 101 all the way to Newport, Oregon. Overall a beautiful drive and a great experience. Not the way you take just to get there, but if you want to see some of the most beautiful bits of God's creation, don't avoid this route just because you are in a big rig.
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Old 06-22-2021, 04:36 PM   #12
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Thanks for your trip report! Sounds like you had a good trip... except for the fuel issue!

You drove Hwy 1 from south to north which was probably good for your size RV. Even so, I'm sure you'd have to cross that center line on some curves.

Again, thanks.
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Old 06-23-2021, 12:28 PM   #13
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Big fire going in Big Sur right now. Have not heard that it is bothering Hwy 1 traffic in any way, but check Hwy reports before travelling there. dc73 good to hear your report on the drive up the coast, have done it several times in cars, but never thought it would be a no go in something larger.

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Old 07-02-2021, 12:30 PM   #14
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Hwy 1 overnight closures

This probably won't affect anyone here, but just in case. Caltrans will be starting overnight closure for repair on the Bixby creek bridge starting 7/12. That is near Big Sur between Morro Bay and Carmel. It will close 9pm to 5:30am Mon. thru Sat. and 10pm to 5:30am Sun. The closure will be in effect for 3 weeks.

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