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Old 11-19-2020, 08:20 PM   #1
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I-5 Sacramento North

I imagine I-5 from Sacramento south should be avoided at all cost in an RV, but how about Sacramento north?
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Old 11-19-2020, 08:27 PM   #2
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I-5 north isn't bad.
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Old 11-19-2020, 10:09 PM   #3
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Not bad at all. I've taken the trip many times. This time of year you need to pay attention to the weather to make sure the passes are clear at Siskiyou and Shasta. They work hard to keep the roads clear even after heavy snow due to the road being a main corridor for goods on the west coast. So if it is closed, it isn't for very long. Good luck!
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Old 11-19-2020, 10:21 PM   #4
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I run up that way every two years, pretty good road.

Auztone makes a good point. Those mountains can be pretty slippery.
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Old 11-20-2020, 07:36 AM   #5
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Beautiful scenic drive. He who sleeps in the mountains awaits you.

Do watch the weather and do NOT press it. There are steep passes.

In any case, use lower gears going down those long grades.
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Old 11-20-2020, 10:20 AM   #6
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Interstate 5 South isn't bad until the GrapeVine...then it's white knuckle. Only problem is the heavy trucking presence. They've resurfaced much of that stretch so the road is OK in most places. Just my humble opinion of course
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Old 11-21-2020, 04:10 PM   #7
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Thanks all. Our plan would be to travel from north (Washington - Oregon) to south during the first two weeks of October. I assume that would be a bit early for snow.
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Old 11-21-2020, 04:44 PM   #8
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i have no ideal why you would avoid it in october? we've been up and down that road hauling a 40 feet 5th wheel. are there grades? yes! just drive accordingly. what's you alternative route? i'll bet it has grades also.
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Old 11-21-2020, 07:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigchick View Post
i have no ideal why you would avoid it in october? we've been up and down that road hauling a 40 feet 5th wheel. are there grades? yes! just drive accordingly. what's you alternative route? i'll bet it has grades also.
Completely unfamiliar with I-5, just wanted to check if the section north of Sacramento was a good rood or a nightmare to avoid at all cost. I plan to use sections of I-5 down to and through Sacramento and then head east to Reno / Carson City then work my way down the east side of the Sierra's (I think) to the Mojavi desert then across on I-40 to Flagstaff. Spending the last 2 weeks of October in Arizona before heading back east.
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Old 11-21-2020, 08:16 PM   #10
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Just come south on I-5 and take I-80 east. Stay away from 50 east. Once you cross over the pass and down into Reno, 395 is good road. It is two lane south of Carson City area. Once in California you have 3 passes to go over before dropping down to the desert floor. Bishop, Big Pine, Independence and Lone Pine are all good stops. Boulder Creek Campground is another choice. Hwy 190 into Death Valley is steep and needs to be respected.
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Old 11-21-2020, 08:39 PM   #11
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Just checked my RV Trip Wizard path and it looks like I am only on I-5 from Redding to Red Bluff. Then follow Rt.36 east to Rt. 395 south. I don't really want to send time on an interstate any more that I have to.
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Old 11-22-2020, 07:00 AM   #12
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i would not hesitate for a moment for taking this trip in october. but that being said watch the weather. snow can come to many places in october but it generally melts fast. you'll be going through some higher elevations that my get snow. or they may be 60 degrees. flagstaff is over 7,000 feet. but october is a wonderful time of the year. the trees are turning color. 395 south from reno is a pretty drive. enjoy!
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Old 11-22-2020, 08:58 AM   #13
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I live in Carson City, NV, and travel to AZ every year. I would recommend Hwy 95 instead of Hwy 395 to Flagstaff as it's about 80 miles shorter. It's a good two lane highway with no major climbs.

I also travel to San Diego every spring/summer (except this year) to visit my grandson and use Hwy 395. While it's a bit more scenic than Hwy 95 it's nothing worth driving an extra 80 miles for.

In either case for fuel I would recommend routing through Carson City and stopping at the Maverik station on College Pkwy off of I-580. It is generally 15 to 20 per gallon less than the Reno/Sparks area and has truck lanes.
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Old 11-22-2020, 09:07 AM   #14
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I don't know why anyone would advise avoiding I-5 north or south of Sacramento, the exception being the Grapevine as mentioned by another poster. We live in the Sacramento and have been north and south during most months of the year. If I was traveling to OR or WA, I-5 would be my choice unless I wanted to wander up near the coast.

I-5 and any north/south route in CA can suffer from fog in the winter so you need to watch the weather reports and be prepared to hunker down for a day or so.

What are the specific concerns, traffic, road quality, weather, scenery...?

October is a great month to travel in CA, OR and WA.
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