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Old 03-17-2018, 06:50 PM   #15
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Good rule of thumb...if the highway has an "I" (interstate) it probably is ok to use. Flat way to the coast in northern Taxifornica is get over to highway 101 just north of San Francisco and use it all the way to northern Washington.
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Old 03-19-2018, 09:46 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by behing19 View Post
In addition, I would love to know how the mountain driving is going through northern California to the coast of Oregon and Washington.
LOL, let me qualify my advice before hand... Born on the coast of CA,started driving a semi truck in 94, moved to Oregon in 97, I've driven everywhere except the New England states.

When you get to Ca on I-40, continue to Hwy 101 using Ca-166 for your north/south adventures. Do not take a different road. No joke, our everyday hills are monster grades to the uninitiated. Seven miles of 7% grade with 35 mph corners is normal interstate in the Northwest. The big rigs up here don't think much about hitting a 10 mile, 6%, 2 lane road at 105,500 lbs.
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Old 03-20-2018, 09:53 AM   #17
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LOL, let me qualify my advice before hand... Born on the coast of CA,started driving a semi truck in 94, moved to Oregon in 97, I've driven everywhere except the New England states.

When you get to Ca on I-40, continue to Hwy 101 using Ca-166 for your north/south adventures. Do not take a different road. No joke, our everyday hills are monster grades to the uninitiated. Seven miles of 7% grade with 35 mph corners is normal interstate in the Northwest. The big rigs up here don't think much about hitting a 10 mile, 6%, 2 lane road at 105,500 lbs.
All true! 😎
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Old 03-21-2018, 11:12 AM   #18
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All good info so far, we live in B.C. Canada, on he dry side of the mountains, so as mentioned, every direction is up or down. We spend the winters in OR, CA, AZ etc. and move around a lot so you’re always either climbing or descending.

We also have an F-150, 3.5Eco, pulling a 25’ TT. No problem and just make sure you downshift and use the tranny to hold your speed, the grade will determine what gear that is. I never use my brakes descending. We can easily maintain the speed limit going up, but tend to sit in the slow lane with the big trucks going down due to no exhaust brake on the gas truck.

As far as wind, most of the major highways will post wind warning signs. Just heed them, they are serious. If the warnings out, just find a camp ground and enjoy the local area. We spent 2 days in Bakersfield, CA last year waiting for the wind before crossing over to the coast. Unloaded the bikes and found a few good rides and a couple good restaurants.
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Old 03-22-2018, 12:56 AM   #19
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I40 can get a little rough in Nevada I think. Somewhere called Mountain Pass was pretty steep. I10 is the best
Interstate 40 does not exist anywhere in Nevada. Starts in Barstow and heads east from there. Just follow the baloney wrappers all the way to the Mississippi River. And ANYWHERE west of the Mississippi- the wind ALWAYS blows.
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Old 03-22-2018, 08:05 PM   #20
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I think I'd have to agree, that wind makes for a longer days journey than a few mountain passes. A 35 mph headwind gusting to 50 mph makes the fuel gauge wither quickly.
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Old 03-22-2018, 09:50 PM   #21
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OP: Where/what do you want to see on your trip? How much time do you have to do it? If retired, don't scrimp on time. Two months would not be too much! Give us some ideas and we'll give you suggestion on how to get there. Your truck/trailer is fully capable of doing the roads of the West and yes, you're going to have to get off the interstates if you want to see the true beauty of the West.

One thing you mentioned was Oregon/Washington. If you plan to do the Oregon coastline - and you definitely should, the best direction to do so is from north to south. Then all the scenic pull-offs will be on the passenger side and you won't have to cross traffic to get to it and then it's an easy exit to continue onward. The state parks are awesome on the Oregon Coast. Oregon is unique in that the coastline was set aside for the public to enjoy. So if going to Washington/Oregon head north first and work south on your return.

As stated previously, if going up is slow don't worry about it. You won't be the only one and many ups have passing lanes. It's not like you'll be going 40 miles uphill. Going down, put it in low gear before you even start the downhill and you'll use your brakes very little. By the time you do one 'hill' you'll feel like a pro and wonder why you were apprehensive. Enjoy the trip!

As stated, purchase the 'Mountain Directory for Truckers and RVers' and it will give you a heads up on certain highway drives. What roads are listed in that book doesn't mean they are roads to stay off so don't try to avoid them. Some portions of interstates will also have steep grades of 6-7% just like the secondary roads. So it's not easy to avoid crossing the mountains.
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