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Old 01-23-2011, 10:18 PM   #1
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1975 31' Excella 500
undetermined , Washington
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Exclamation California cities...any way around?

Does anyone know of any good routes around all of those huge cities in CA??
I'm just outside of Medford Oregon now and will be heading out on I-5 in the AM.
I so do not want to go through Sacramento.
Any suggestions would be appreciated, (good roads and no snowy/giant passes).
Also and suggestions on how to get to Joshua Tree without going through LA? Ugg!
I would love to spend a few days in Joshua Tree and then head over to Arizona (I think Quartzite was on the agenda)
Bring on the suggestions!!
My AS is 31' long and this is my first trip hauling her (or anything) so good roads are really important, no curvy, windy, scary, narrow roads for me this time.
I can't get onto the forums on my phone, I'll check responses in the morning but if anyone has a tried route that they know is good if you could send me an e-mail I'd appreciate it!(I can check email on my phone)
disturbedxsilence (without the space)

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Old 01-23-2011, 10:48 PM   #2
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Stick to I-5. It will take you right past Sacramento. No problems. Straight and flat and very boring.

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Old 01-23-2011, 10:49 PM   #3
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Re: California cities...any way around?

You could go US-395 down the east side of CA, which has spectacular scenery. You can cut over on I-80 from Sacramento (though this is Donner Pass). Some passes on US-395, but everything should be clear -- there hasn't been a storm in a while. From US-395, you can head to Joshua Tree either via I-15 to I-10, or via CA-18/247 at Hesperia if you're allergic to Interstates.

Or, you can cruise down I-5 or CA-99 to CA-58 at Bakersfield and cut over Tehachapi Pass (low pass) to catch I-15 or CA-247 at Barstow. This approach avoids LA.

No reason to slog through I-5, particularly in Southern CA if you don't have to!
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Old 01-24-2011, 12:09 AM   #4
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No worries going through Sac. It is well marked and a kinky straight shot South. Minor madness only, don't panic. I-5 is the easiest route. Go I-5 South to CA-58 East then CA-247 South until it tee-bones into CA-62 go east toward 29 Palms. you will see the signs to the park. This will avoid L.A. and most of that traffic. From Sac. you could take CA-99 South. However there are more towns and cities to go through and that CA-99 seems to have more pot holes and big rigs to deal with. Good luck.
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Old 01-24-2011, 06:56 AM   #5
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I live in So Cal you can take the 5 south to the 210 east which is a big easy new frwy then take the 15 south to the 10east and continue to Joshua tree..this is the way I go when I go to Palm Desert
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:27 AM   #6
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I really like the drive on US395. It's a US highway through scenic terrain and a lot more enjoyable than the freeways though there are sections of it which are relatively remote so pay attention to your fuel levels.
"If you come to a fork in the road, take it."
Austin, TX "Rancho Deluxe"
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:38 AM   #7
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Sac is no problem if you go through in non rush hour times.

To avoid L.A. traffic take Hwy. 58 East to the 14 south. Exit on the Pearblossom Hwy 138 and head east. After the town of Pearblossom you'll hit a fork and head left to Victorville and follow the signs to Apple Valley. The Hwy. will end at Hwy 62 in Yucca Valley so turn left and you're in Joshua Tree in 30 min. Though you seem to stay on the same Hwy the number keep changing. So follow the town signs.

When you are ready to head to Q Town. Fuel up and head east on Hwy 62 and when it ends turn right and you'll end up in Desert Center on I 10. Turn east and you are on your way to AZ.
I'd rather be boon docking in the desert.

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Old 01-24-2011, 09:42 AM   #8
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Check your maps for scenic Hawthorne, Luning, Tonapah, Goldfield. Skip that CA word.
I admit to being powerless over housecleaning and social niceities
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Old 01-24-2011, 10:31 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Goin camping View Post
To avoid L.A. traffic take Hwy. 58 East to the 14 south. Exit on the Pearblossom Hwy 138 and head east.
That's about the only other option, but be careful that route too. You could be surrounded by big rigs all wanting to go 80, and they'll have less lanes to get around you. If you go through L.A. in the late evening or very early morning, the traffic will be a lot lighter and have lots of lanes for the traffic to spread out.
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Old 01-24-2011, 11:35 AM   #10
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I didn't find Sacramento to be any big deal. I went thru in rush hour so it was slow, you may want to time it better.

As for LA if you're nervous about it, go thru on Sat morning about daybreak. I've pulled past the skyscrapers downtown and it was a bit of a "thrill" so to speak, and would definitely go around it if you can. I recommend branching of on the 210 when the 5 dips into San Fernando Valley. Remaining on the 5 all the way south thru LA results in lots of awkward transitions, although on a Sat. morning it shouldn't be too bad.

Sometimes its good to find a truck thats going at your desired speed and looks like through traffic. Match their lane changes to avoid the exit only scenario.
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Old 01-24-2011, 11:45 AM   #11
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Watch for snow

Originally Posted by Crusty View Post
I really like the drive on US395. It's a US highway through scenic terrain and a lot more enjoyable than the freeways though there are sections of it which are relatively remote so pay attention to your fuel levels.
395 in California is a great route but not at this time of year with a trailer......sometimes there is snow and the road can be closed.....south of Mammoth Lakes it is about 8000 feet in elevation. Last July we traveled North on 395 to Susanville, then turned west by Lake Almanor to avoid 80....but the roads were clear of snow.....and it was a wonderful alternative to the I5.

Goin camping's suggestion is a great way to go around LA....happy travels...

Paula & Ed
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1968 28'Ambassador
2011 GMC Yukon Denali
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Old 01-24-2011, 01:48 PM   #12
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When we drove the I-5 around Sacramento last summer it was very washboardy. I had to slow down because of ridges in the road surface.

There were signs everywhere saying that the money Obama was sending would build a new retaining wall. I thought they should resurface the road first.
Mike Brumback
WBCCI #1200
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Old 01-24-2011, 03:35 PM   #13
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Medford to California

You didn't mention what you're going to be towing your 31FT'r with, so I'm assuming you have a full size diesel truck.

You'll want to check your road conditions first, but I'd head south on I5 with a short trip to the Seven Feathers RV Resort in Canyonville, OR. Then take I5 to Red Bluff (2 nice parks there) and get off on 99 south. This two lane route allows you to take your time through farms and orchards and the road is pretty good except for some bumpy sections between Sacramento and Stockton. You can take your time.

I grew up in the LA Area but am now in La Quinta, near Palm Springs in the winter and Bend, OR in summers. I like to avoid the LA area just for the sake of avoiding some of the worst drivers in the country. So, continue on 99 south and take 58 to 395 to 15 and come in the back door to Southern California. From 15 take 210 to 10 east to the Joshua Tree area.

Regarding winds. You can have decent winds on any of these highways, but if you have the right tow vehicle and hitch setup it will be a cake walk. We've done 50 MPH desert winds easily.

Hope this helps. Enjoy the back roads but use your iPad, Smart Phone or laptop (with a 3G wireless card) to check the weather and road conditions each day. They even have traffic programs which can save time and hassle.

Bill & Sheri Dettman
2010 Flying Cloud 30
2011 Ford F250 Diesel

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