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Old 01-08-2011, 02:59 PM   #1
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From Oregon on the I-5 to Tucson, AZ

I searched through various threads to see if this topic surfaced but it didn't, so...

We are due to leave Medford, Oregon the last week of January and are headed to Tucson. The I-5 is the best route and we'll need to stop for a few nights along the way.

If anyone has ideas about where to stop on the way down it would be very helpful. I'm thinking it might take us three days to get there so will need three places to stop.

Thanks in ADVANCE!!

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Old 01-08-2011, 03:49 PM   #2
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Camping or just a lay up spot?

We ran this in September, lots of campgrounds, most off the 99. There are plenty of truck stops if you are just looking to lay-up for the night on I-5 in the central valley. Are you looking to turn inland in LA or carry on south to San Diego? Once you make the turn east, Arizona has left a few rest areas open on the 10 and 8. This is a nice haul, but where you think you may stop and which route will give you some specific suggestions...

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Old 01-08-2011, 03:59 PM   #3
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If you are taking three days, it sounds like you are probably planning on staying on the Interstates. The easiest route is I-5 to LA, then I-10 straight to Tucson. Is that your intended route? If so, you can by-pass part of LA by taking the 210 Foothills Freeway. That will save a few miles and probably an hour or more, depending on the time of day. However, there are lots more scenic routes that by-pass LA entirely and only add a few hours. Please advise if you are open to suggestions, or prefer to stay on the Interstates.

Also, are you looking for hookups everynight, like a KOA; or are you more interested in national and state parks?
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:35 AM   #4
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Wow, thanks you guys.
Three days is kind of an arbitrary number but it's a guideline. I'm wondering it that isn't too far to go for just a couple of weeks but live and learn, right?
The 99 is pretty awful but if it offers more choices than we may have to consider it. We just want to 'bed down' for the night. The DH doesn't want to hook up anything except the electric so we'll be utilizing their shower facilities, etc.
There is a nice-looking camp ground in Sacramento but is more of a destination place which will cost $54 per night. That's MUCH more than we want to spend.
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:43 AM   #5
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Hi Kathleenh,

We did nearly the same trip, you can see some points of interest on our blog Route Map

Also, are you a Passport America member? It's saved us quite a bit with their 50% discount and if you camp a lot I would suggest you look into it. There are some others like Escapees and stuff too, but I don't have experience with them. Good Sam gives you 10-15% off and AAA will give you 10% off. Most every park we pick honors one of those but with the 50% we of course use PA as much as we can.

We left mid morning so the snow had some time to melt in the I-5 passes since there was a huge storm for 4-5 days right before we were to leave. Go figure.

I've linked all the names of the parks below to the official site, but if you want to see more what we thought of it and some pictures, you can check out our blog or just the rv park reviews category.

First night, we stopped at Rolling Hills Casino which was recommended to us as a free place to sleep that is clean and safe. They have an RV park also, but you can park in the truck area for free of course it's just a patch of blacktop but it was not bad at all. I've stayed in much worse truck parks, this one was about as nice as asphalt can be. There is a gas station with store, a building with showers, etc (didn't go in there, you probably have to pay) and a hotel right next door. Then there's the casino for food and entertainment if that's your thing. It's right off I-5 south of Redding and easy to find and get to, no busy roads and winding about off the highway.

We looked at probably the same place in Sacramento, but it was right in the city and seemed expensive for just an overnight.

We stayed in Bakersfield one night also, but I would recommend not staying there as Bakersfield isn't really a great town. The RV park was great, but you could go on past it and not miss much. (Sorry to any of you folks who like Bakersfield, maybe you found a part of it that I didn't see) but if you want to stay there, this place is really nice: Bakersfield RV Resort

After that we went to Ventura, CA which isn't on your route, but from there we came back through Indio, CA (next to palm springs) and stayed at Indian Wells RV Park which was really nice and reasonably priced, again with the PA discount.

From there we drove to Yuma and back to Phoenix. Where are you staying in Tucson and when do you get there? We'll be down in about a week and I'm trying to find recommendations on places to stay there.

Safe travels!
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:13 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Kathleenh View Post
The 99 is pretty awful but if it offers more choices than we may have to consider it.
We make the trip through the Central Valley several times a year and find that the 99 is far better than it used to be. Lots of new paving, many stretches that have been expanded to three lanes.

There has been little improvement on the 5. It is two lanes, and the trucks have kept it pretty beaten up. Very hard on the trailer. We just don't use it any more.

When you get to Stockton you can take the cross town freeway to the 99. That is the shortest place to cross from the 5.

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