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Old 10-06-2014, 01:52 PM   #15
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2007 23' Safari SE
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Fernandina Beach , Florida
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Originally Posted by Mikec1231 View Post
So looking at Google maps, if I head south from Oregon is Hwy99 a full blown highway through California? I have only traveled on I5 going to LA. Google says take it to Bakersfield and get on 58 to I40 to Amarillo. Get on 287 in Wichita Falls then to 114 outside of Dallas. Take 30 to 20 East of Dallas to Jackson MS. Then 49 to 98 to Mobile get on 10 to Jacksonville and then 95 S to destination. Only 3300 miles 48 hrs! Yikes!!
99 is not limited access all the way, but most of the way. No lights that I know of. But LOTS of truck traffic, and almost all 4 lane (two lanes each way.) It has a lower speed limit (65) than I-5 and you should heed it. Immensely more interesting than I-5 if you like local flavor.

Having just towed my 23 ft Safari from Florida to Sacramento, I researched many routes. Elevation was one of my considerations, as was temperature (heat) having driven it in August. I have driven just about every possible route from West Coast to East over the years. My first was in the 70s in a ford pinto station wagon when I left Georgia to work for the Forest Service in Gasquet, CA (Six Rivers National Forest.) My route there was via I-10 and up the 101 and PCH. My route back was south on I-5 to US 50, which I opted for to keep off the interstates... Got lost a couple of times, semi-intentionally, but that was before GPS.

Most recently I drove out via I-95 to I-16 to I-75 and north, eventually stopping for a week in Iowa and then on to Sac via I-80. Same trip I've made a dozen times. Its OK, but perhaps the most important thing is the CONSTRUCTION zones. Almost every state had at least one or two major zones. These are now done with diverting you off at least halfway onto the shoulder into a narrow single lane channel with concrete walls on both sides. Not all states bother to grade the rumble strips off, and if you end up on these for any time, it will rattle your trailer, and its content to hell. I really got tired of the construction zones.

I'd opt for whichever route has the least miles under construction!

I've driven I-80 East in the midst of a BLIZZARD leaving Sac the weekend after Thanksgiving, and it followed me all the way to my home in Wisconsin. Three days of 45 MPH in whiteout conditions and passing wrecked cars every quarter mile overturned and on their roofs. Fortunately I had a brand new XC90 with AWD and could continue when others could not. I-80 is a MAJOR truck route and passing those suckers in the snow is a white knuckle affair for sure.

I-10 is BORING, but it is fast and is likely to be snow free. I-70 is very interesting, but as others have said hard on the brakes and they are already heading into snow season in Colorado.

I-40, is OK but coming into winter has some elevation that may see snow as well esp around Albuquerque. You can always opt to drop down to I-10 if its a problem (take I-17 south from Flagstaff to Phoenix).

Taking the 99 through Bakersfield and then out through the desert toward Tehachapi, is a cool drive and lots of neat things to see. Going that route, you can opt for I-40 and a bit of the old Rt 66 attractions along the way, stop off in Joshua Tree for a diversion, and don't forget to stand on the corner in Winslow Arizona...

Thats probably the route I'd take (and yes, I've been there and done that too). And yes, I resemble this song:

I've been from Tucson to Tucumcari
Tehachapi to Tonopah
Driven every kind of rig that's ever been made
Now I've driven the back roads
So I wouldn't get weighed
And if you give me weed, whites, and wine
Then you show me a sign
I'll be willin' to be movin'

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Old 10-06-2014, 02:12 PM   #16
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98 in Mobile gets a little congested, stop and go, traffic lights. It cuts miles, but towing the trailer, I might go 49 all the way down to 10. I make the trip from Gainesville Fl to Oklahoma City fairly regularly, and I do take the 49/98 rout from I-20 down to I-10, been a couple years since I've done it, but it seems there's a little bit of confusion/lane swapping when you start getting close to I-10. Check out that end of it pretty close before you decide to do it.

Every time I've been through Dallas, it seems like rush hour. Lots of sitting still in three or four lanes of traffic. I think if I was going to come 297 out of Amarillo, I'd get on 380 in Decatur take that all the way over to Greenville, then 69 south to I-20... I usually take 69 all the way up to 82 then over to I-35, just to avoid that 635 traffic around Dallas. Usually by Dallas though, I've been driving for about 18 hours, and I'm a little twitchy anyways... I don't do that much anymore.

Is there a need to hurry, or is it just to beat the snow? Once you get as far south as I-40, the chances of snow this early in the year are practically zero, I would think...

Best to you on your trip!


Somebody ought to clean these windows. There is a tremendous buildup of gook all over them...
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Old 10-06-2014, 02:17 PM   #17
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It's better to drive Hwy49 south to I-10 then taking Hwy98 across to Mobile. I live here and know those routes well.
Michael & Tina with Layla and Preston BZ
The family has grown.
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Old 10-06-2014, 02:47 PM   #18
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I've crossed on 40 in December and January from Portland, OR to Greenville, SC. Going west to east we saw snow on the ground in Northern California near Mount Shasta and in Flagstaff, AZ, but the highways were clear. Coming back we hit a snow storm in Oklahoma City. We stayed one night in a motel and by the next morning the highways were clear.

But I'll never do it again. Not because of the snow, but high cross winds in New Mexico. We were in a Eurovan and everything else on the road were tractor trailers. Seeing them swaying in the wind and barely able to keep my own vehicle in the lane was an extremely unpleasant experience.

I think it's too early in the season for that. But it's something you want to check on. I approach driving cross country like a sailor. Always know the weather ahead and always have a contingency plan/alternate route.

If you do choose I-40, The Red Barn in Amarillo has the best country fried steak west of the Mississippi. And A&R Bar-B-Q in Memphis serves some of the best Memphis style dry ribs you'll ever eat.
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Old 10-06-2014, 03:38 PM   #19
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So I will re-route and see what you all think based on some of the earlier posts...
Eugene, Or to Sacramento 99 to Tehachapi Rt 138 to Rt 10 Palm Springs to Phoenix to El Paso to Houston to Jacksonville then South on I95 to Ormond Beach.
48 hrs 3360 miles!

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