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Old 01-18-2015, 04:21 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by pappy19 View Post
Even in March, I-80 can be a snowy death trap. If you see a week of no snow and no snow predicted for the week you plan on traveling, then and only then, would I try driving and towing an AS.

March IS the worst month for blizzards across Wyoming. January and February are close seconds.
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Old 01-18-2015, 06:35 PM   #16
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Have you ever done Rt. 66 ? : Somewhat longer, but probably better traveling that time of year. Go early, have some fun along the way.

I second that. Head south then west until you can cut across to I 5 north. That practically drops you right in Davis. Right now Donner pass is clear and the drought continues. I cross it every day. That could change rapidly with a good storm or two.


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Old 01-18-2015, 08:47 PM   #17
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Of course it's safe to travel I-80 in late January...that is if you pick the right days. The last few days it's been in the low 40's with wind. Here is a link to help you with the road conditions.
WYDOT Travel Information Service (Cheyenne)
Then put in 'By Route'
'I80'

Hope this helps.
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Old 01-19-2015, 04:51 PM   #18
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I-80 and Chains

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Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
I-80 between Kimbal, NE and Rock Springs, WY can be sunny and dry one minute. The next minute you could find yourself in a blizzard with winds of 50mph.
While the elevation is not much over 7K' feet to get over the continental divide. Much of it is wide open. No shelter from the wind.
Then there are the mountains in Utah and California.
It would be the luck of the draw to make the entire trip without in running into some weather problems in late January.
If you decide to go. Be prepared with plenty of food, drinking water and warm clothes. Keep your fuel tank topped off. You could be stuck in the middle of no where on the side of the road.
I have seen the stretch of I-80 closed for up to 3 days in Wyoming.
Also, chain laws will be in effect in WY, UT, NV and CA when the road conditions require. If you are not equipped, you will be held up.
There won't be many RV parks or campgrounds open. Truck stops will work, but no power will be available. The truck stops are a long way apart in this country.
Again. DO NOT let yourself get low on fuel.
Cell phone service will be limited or non existent in many areas along this route.


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If you travel in the mountains in CA in winter, you need to be prepared and carry chains/cables and all the other stuff (fuel, water, propane, food) that will keep you from a really terrible situation crossing the Sierra Nevada. If a snowstorm hits, I-80 could get really slow or stopped (which is OK if you have food, water, propane and fuel - just wait it out) and you will need to install traction devices (chains and cables). One set goes on your TV, and the other set goes on one axle of your travel trailer. There is no such thing as "if you have only one set..." for a rig with trailer brakes.

If you are nervous about it, you could try the I-10/40 route and come up the I-5 from LA which would carry less weather related risk. Flagstaff is still a snow risk, as is Tehachipi and the Grapevine if weather gets bad so you still need to be prepared.
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Old 01-19-2015, 08:17 PM   #19
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Just traveled I 40 (old Rt. 66) between Flagstaff, AZ and Raleigh, North Carolina without incident. Light traffic, zero road construction and good weather. Cheap gas in Oklahoma and New Mexico. Westbound December 16--20 and eastbound January 2--6. I avoided I 80 for the above mentioned reasons.
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Old 01-19-2015, 08:33 PM   #20
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Deccli is spot on. I find the states DOT (Dept of Transportation) website at home and most have a map with road information, cameras, weather and traffic. Put that on the iPad and can check conditions while on the road.
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Old 01-20-2015, 07:51 AM   #21
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much thanks

Thank u very much for all of thoughtful and experienced responses.We have positively decided to head S. via I 35 to old 66 (I 40) west to Bakersfield and then back north via I 5 to Davis. This way we avoid I 80 and add about 380 miles to the route. Hoping 4 moderate weather but will be prepared like a good boy scout.
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Old 01-20-2015, 12:10 PM   #22
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I've done I 80 in January twice, rig totally winterized, a "soup" (including a gallon of antifreeze) in the black tank, rinsed the toilet with a gallon jug of water.

Both times I ended up spending a couple of days in hotels waiting for the weather and the roads to clear (once in Wyoming, once in Wells, Nevada). I literally bent down and kissed the wet, green grass at the first Oregon rest stop.

These days I'd just head for a more southern route. The difference between I 80 and I 10 is the difference between white knuckles and a walk in the park. A sunny park at that.
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Old 01-20-2015, 08:45 PM   #23
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Wise decision Mr O. I can't imagine driving down a snow covered, slick I-80 grade with a 7000 pound trailer behind me. The hills in western Iowa are significant, the winds in western Nebraska and Wyoming are very significant, and the snow in the mountains is very unpredictable.

David
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Old 01-21-2015, 12:06 AM   #24
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Mr. O, this seems like a smart decision, although the southern Plains states in January still can have blizzards.

I lived in both Lincoln, NE and Salt Lake City, UT, just off I-80.

I was going to recommend for the I-80 route (and in case anyone else is considering it) that you winterize your trailer (blow out the pipes), and be seriously prepared to wait out blizzards in some cold and potentially lonely places.

Wyoming can have ground blizzard, where it is blue sky overhead, but the snow is blowing sideways over the road in a near-complete whiteout. It is entertaining, in summer, to see all those snow fences and gates that can close off I-80 in the middle of nowhere.

Parley's Canyon just east of SLC is in an area of the Wasatch Mountains with 6 major ski resorts. Why? Because it snows a lot there. Frequently. I used to drive to work through this stretch, and snow-covered lanes on I-80 were common in winter. The plows can't clear heavy snowfalls that last for a couple of days, instantaneously.

I-80 through Nevada has some long, lonely stretches. There just aren't a lot of towns with services until you hit the Sierras. Did I just say Sierras? Donner Pass?

The Nebraska panhandle is pretty isolated, as well.

Our feeling is, that if you really need chains, it is time to get off the road. Really beefy snow tires with studs are recommended.

Jeanne
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Old 01-21-2015, 01:29 AM   #25
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Take the southern route I 40 to Albuquerque then I-25 south to I-10 to AZ then head through Phoenix on I-10 to I-5 and check weather conditions over the grapevine and for Bakersfield - Fresno, January can have snow on the grapevine and dense fog in the southern valley. If the conditions are bad continue on to US 101 and then to San Jose and over 680 through Vacaville to Davis.

If conditions are good just head over the grapevine I-5 to Sacramento then west to Davis on I-80.

Have a great trip and stay safe
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Old 01-21-2015, 01:48 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenritas View Post
Take the southern route I 40 to Albuquerque then I-25 south to I-10 to AZ then head through Phoenix on I-10 to I-5 and check weather conditions over the grapevine and for Bakersfield - Fresno, January can have snow on the grapevine and dense fog in the southern valley. If the conditions are bad continue on to US 101 and then to San Jose and over 680 through Vacaville to Davis.

If conditions are good just head over the grapevine I-5 to Sacramento then west to Davis on I-80.

Have a great trip and stay safe
From San Jose, take the I-680 to I-580 to the I-5 and backtrack 20 minutes from Sacramento to Davis. Avoid the I-680 to I-80 interchange as you'll pay about 20 bucks in northbound tolls over the Martinez Bridge. Its only about 20 minutes longer.
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Old 01-22-2015, 12:16 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenritas View Post
Take the southern route I 40 to Albuquerque then I-25 south to I-10 to AZ then head through Phoenix on I-10 to I-5 and check weather conditions over the grapevine and for Bakersfield - Fresno, January can have snow on the grapevine and dense fog in the southern valley. If the conditions are bad continue on to US 101 and then to San Jose and over 680 through Vacaville to Davis.

If conditions are good just head over the grapevine I-5 to Sacramento then west to Davis on I-80.

Have a great trip and stay safe
Hi Mr O,

To answer your PM , Continuing west on I-40 from Albuquerque you will be heading into the the rocky mountains and a bunch of high passes . You will also be going through Flagstaff and Williams AZ which are near 7,000 ft elevation.
This route can have snow, ice and blizzard conditions.

Coming into California you'll be in the Mojave Desert until you have to climb over the Tehachapi pass to Bakersfield.
Again you will face high winds in the desert, and snow, ice and a steep mountain pass .
If the conditions are bad you will have to head south through Palmdale on Hwy 14 to Saugus then west on hwy 126 to hwy 101 then north to San Jose, I-680, I-80 to Davis.

So to recap I-40 west from Albuquerque not so good in winter.

Safe travels, G.
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