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Old 01-12-2015, 10:21 AM   #1
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2012 25' FB Flying Cloud
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I5 or 99 in California

Hi All
In a few months we will be traveling from Sacramento to Bakersfield California
towing our FC 25FB. Which route is the best drive considering traffic, roughness etc, I5 or 99? The distances look almost the same.
Thanks for any comments.

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Old 01-12-2015, 01:01 PM   #2
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I would take I5. It's better road than 99 and has less traffic. Hwy 99 goes through all the cities in the Central Valley, while I5 bypasses them to the west. The only bad part currently is through Stockton where there is road construction. But, the construction is on 99 and I5 so you're going to experience it either way. Take I5 and plan 5 hours for the drive plus any stops along the way. If you make the drive in the spring, everything is still green and it's actually a pretty drive in a "desolate beauty" kind of way. But, there are plenty of places to stop for gas, food, and rest stops along the way.

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Old 01-12-2015, 01:32 PM   #3
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Agree... I-5 roadway is in much better condition than the 99 and has many smooth stretches that were resurfaced in the past couple of years. In contrast, the 99 still has many areas of galloping concrete.

The only drawback on I-5 is that patch of COWS! (As in, "Surprise -- gotcha again!)
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Old 01-12-2015, 01:48 PM   #4
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I have to disagree. 99 is at least three lanes most of the way, I5 is two lanes. More civilization down 99 and places to stop other than chain fast food restaurants.

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Old 01-12-2015, 03:10 PM   #5
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I5 or 99 in California

Plus that 5 is one if the most boring stretches of Interstate imaginable.
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Old 01-12-2015, 03:37 PM   #6
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I-5, has a better road surface right now. However it has fewer places to stop for fuel or food and service. It is a little further to downtown Bakersfield from I-5.

HWY-99, some tree lane sections, traffic moves well for the most part, many more places to stop for fuel, food and services. Right through the middle of Bakersfield.

Road Construction,
I-5 through Stockton.
HWY-99 is being worked on in several sections from Sac to Bakersfield.
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Old 01-12-2015, 03:52 PM   #7
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I had to drive Fresno to UCLA many times over the past 5 years along 99. The road is a mess and is in desperate need of repair. So much for our tax dollars at work. For me I-5 was not an option.
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Old 01-12-2015, 05:01 PM   #8
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I'm all about the most rural route. I would take I-5 because it is less congested once you get south of Stockton, although they both have a lot of truck traffic. You will have to cut over to Hwy 99 to get to Bakersfield at some point though. I would suggest taking Hwy 46 through Wasco and not Hwy 58 when you do, as it doesn't have the traffic lights and congestion that 58 West of Bakersfield has. So I-5 to 46 to 99.
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Old 01-12-2015, 11:49 PM   #9
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99 for the same reasons mentioned previously. 3 lanes, less traffic, more places to stop. 10 years ago a blew a tire on 5 south at Kamm Ave. exit and had to limp several miles to a tire shop. 99 is closer to civilization and the road condition is slowly improving.

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Old 01-13-2015, 09:06 AM   #10
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Thanks to all of you for your replies. Your information is appreciated.
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Old 01-13-2015, 10:35 AM   #11
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Many good suggestions. Since we live in Visalia we don't usually go all the way to Bako.

I would do 99 south of Sac until Stockton. Take 4W to get back to I5, this will avoid the construction on the elevated section in Stockton. Stay on I5 until 46. 46E to 99 north of Bakersfield, then 99S to your destination.

Yes, I5 is much more boring that 99 in scenery but it is also more boring in road condition. Much of 99 is three lanes, EXCEPT the portion going through OUR county!

FYI, when we take our trailer to Sac we do 99N to 180W to 33N to I5.
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Old 01-13-2015, 10:44 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
Plus that 5 is one if the most boring stretches of Interstate imaginable.
How can you ... from TX .... say that, with one of the largest piles of cow puckey in the USA - if not THE largest - in Coalinga!!??

I agree with many of the others -

I-5 mostly 2 lanes & more rural farmland & countryside, but more of the stops will be set-up for trucks & rigs with pull-thru access &/or bigger lots (than the urban spots in towns on 99).

99 mostly 3 lanes, older & rougher pavement in parts, more cities & traffic - so time your run accordingly.

Possibly more state & county parks closer to 5, if you prefer that over the urban RV Park scene.

If it's summer your doing this run, then expect heat in the 90's & 100's.

So it's more what you want to do & see along the way.

Have a Safe Trip!

Tom T (janabanana48's other half )
Orange CA
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Old 01-13-2015, 04:23 PM   #13
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When the construction on 99 is finished it will be 3 lanes from Bakersfield to Sacramento.Much better than 5.
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Old 01-13-2015, 06:16 PM   #14
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I5 is much smoother. 99 will beat your AS up. I know it's always 55 for us but I5 is 70mph the entire way and 99 is mostly 65 and sometimes 70 and not always 3 lanes.

It takes a big man to takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man.
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