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Old 01-18-2013, 03:27 PM   #1
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Nearly Beat to a Pulp in Los Angeles

It was sad. One of the saddest days in our RV history. We left Indio at 8am and headed for Coalinga on I-5 as our next stop. We had to drive the I-10 through the Pomona/LA area to the 210 (Foothill Freeway) and then to the I-5 in Santa Clarita and over the Grapevine.

I thought our trailer was going to explode from the chuckholes and cracks and whatever else they call that road. For over 75 miles I thought my teeth were going to be knocked out. How the wheels stayed on the Suburban I'll never know. I figured for sure there would be 100 rivets inside the trailer.

I simply don't know how much worse a road can be, and still qualify as an Interstate highway. Never seen anything like it, with the exception of US101 south of Crescent City. But blessedly, that's only about 10 miles worth of punishment. This seemed endless.

What I can't understand (not a road engineer here) is how hundreds of miles of I-5 can be paved with smooth blacktop once you come down the north side of the Grapevine, but the 100 miles before that is some bizarre concrete quilt, which for all appearance seems as though it was laid in 5 square foot patches on soft soil. And how can this exist in the largest city in the US?

Of course, one issue is that California is functionally bankrupt if not legally so. And they probably have been robbing the road accounts to pay for all the SWAT teams they have (even in cities with 10,000 people), and other "security" measure against phantom enemies. Meanwhile.....

I am sure that 100 miles added like 5,000 miles to my car and trailer. We went from Cape Coral, Florida to Eureka, and that was by far and away, the worst segment of road.

You might want to try avoiding it.
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Old 01-18-2013, 03:52 PM   #2
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x2!
I live in L.A. and getting the trailer out of this area is always a challenge! The slow lane, which is used most heavily by big rigs, is the worst and it gets a bit better when traveling in the faster lanes. The Catch22 is that Calif. has a 55 mph speed limit for trailers, which means you almost have to stay in the slow lane and get beaten to a pulp!
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Old 01-18-2013, 03:55 PM   #3
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We usually take 99 north from LA, much nicer road, plenty of cities, mostly 3 lanes each way and more recently repaved.

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Old 01-18-2013, 04:09 PM   #4
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x2!
I live in L.A. and getting the trailer out of this area is always a challenge! The slow lane, which is used most heavily by big rigs, is the worst and it gets a bit better when traveling in the faster lanes. The Catch22 is that Calif. has a 55 mph speed limit for trailers, which means you almost have to stay in the slow lane and get beaten to a pulp!
Right - - the Catch 22. I tried moving to the left and yet keep it at 55 and it was impossibly dangerous. Cars were then swerving around me from both sides and it was going to create danger so I gave up on that after a couple miles.

US99. Right. We took that southbound when we were beginning our trip and I was like "so-so" about it. It had a LOT of cone zones when we went through. So going back, I figured maybe 10/5 would be better.

The real NASTY of NASTIES was the Foothill Freeway (210). It was just insane. My wife was almost crying worrying about the trailer. I was simply mad as HeII that it could be that bad.

We've been considering a move to Indio, and when the wife experienced that she was then dubious. Very unhappy experience!
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Old 01-18-2013, 04:09 PM   #5
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I am a long time California resident-- born on LA--so I've driven I5 many times. Off hand I think the culprit for the terrible cl diction of many freeways' slow lanes is overloaded big rigs. The lanes certainly didn't start out that way, but years of abuse take their tole. It's expensive, but the State is gradually repairing the lanes. I sply move to the left until I fine S smoother path and pick up speed so hat I'm going with the flow. Most of the time 60 to 65 mph doesn't cAtch the highway patrols attention.
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Old 01-18-2013, 04:15 PM   #6
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Wait just a minute! California has the highest personal income taxes in the country and recently put another quarter of a cent on their sales tax so it only makes sense that the roads should be in first class condition. Soon as the governor trailers his unicorn over that highway, I'll bet it gets fixed fast!
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:11 PM   #7
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Oh come on, the 405 is much worse in certain places.
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:38 PM   #8
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overloaded big rigs. The lanes certainly didn't start out that way, but years of abuse take their tole.
Question. Years ago, trucks all had to be weighed quite frequently. I rarely see an open weigh station anymore. Have we given up on weighing trucks?

I have a friend familiar with civil engineering and he says the trucks have been getting heavier all the time under new laws which keep extending legal weight. I must have passed 10 closed weight stations in California on the way home.

Next question: All of I-10 coming INTO LA is blacktop - pretty smooth. All of it after the Grapevine (I-5 now) is blacktop - pretty smooth. All of it IN LA is busted up chunks of concrete. Really now, is this just crazy, or designed on purpose?
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:47 PM   #9
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I have no recent experience in California. The interstate system near larger urban areas around the country, in my travels, is generally rough pavement. Concrete appears to be the pavement of choice as you get close to larger urban areas. I have seen urban interstates that have just been paved with concrete be very rough for pulling a trailer. I assume concrete is suppose to have a longer life but it sure is a rough life for those of us who pull a trailer across it.
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:00 PM   #10
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I agree it is awful. Donner Pass was even worse about 5 years ago, haven't been over it since so I can't say what it is like right now.

There has been some improvements in some sections of the freeways. No harm in writing to state representatives expressing your displeasure.
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:07 PM   #11
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Concrete last longer and is cheaper. Pavement tends to flex more under heavy weight. Ever see where the tire tracks are sunken in with some roads? That's due to weight. Concrete is much harder and less prone to flex. That also causes it to crack, so it's put done in 30 foot sections with seems such as a sidewalk. Large city's tend to use more concrete because of large amounts of traffic. LA has a ton ( no pun intended ) of truck traffic along with commuters and the like due to the two large shipping ports of LA and Long beach. We don't live in SoCal for the roads. We live here for the jobs and great weather. You learn to live with the roads and traffic. We also don't measure distance in miles. We measure it in time it takes to get there.
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:12 AM   #12
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We travel between Phoenix and San Francisco several times a year. Long ago, we used to use State Route 210 (the Foothills Freeway) to bypass LA. However, the bucking on I-10 between Indio and Redlands made us seek a different route. Besides, the traffic and smog in LA makes this an undesirable route for us.

We now take US-60 out of Phoenix to Wickenburg. Then, US-93 to I-40, near Kingman. I-40 west to Barstow. Then, State Route 58 to the I-5 west of Bakersfield, near Buttonwillow. (Send me a PM, if you would like more details.)

This route is a little more remote; but it's scenic, and it's all good highway. Even the two lane stretches have good shoulders, and one can maintain 55-60 mph, which is all you can do on the California Interstates, anyway.

Campgrounds that we use along this route include the following:

* Burrow Creek (BLM) Campground - US-93 south of I-40, near Wikieup, AZ

* Brite Lake (County Park) Campground - State Route 58, near Tehachapi, CA

* Basalt (State Park) Campground - State Route 52, near San Luis Reservoir (West of Los Banos, CA on the Gilroy cut-off). Note: There are several campgrounds near this recreation area, including a KOA.

We sometimes take I-10 west out of Phoenix to Joshua Tree National Park, where we stop overnight. (Be sure to top off your fuel tanks in Quartzsite, because gas is much higher in California.) Then, drive through the park and exit at the north end; and continue through Apple Valley, Victorville and Adelanto, up to Kramer Junction, where we continue west on State Route 58 to Buttonwillow and the I-5.

We used to dread going through LA. Now, this trip is a pleasant drive that bypasses all of the traffic and smog.
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:31 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Road Geezer View Post
I am a long time California resident-- born in LA--so I've driven I5 many times. Off hand I think the culprit for the terrible condition of many freeways' slow lanes is overloaded big rigs. The lanes certainly didn't start out that way, but years of abuse take their toll. It's expensive, but the State is gradually repairing the lanes. I simply move to the left until I find a smoother path and pick up speed so that I'm going with the flow. Most of the time 60 to 65 mph doesn't catch the highway patrols attention.
Hi, this is almost my same exact story. [above] They do use a quick patch and a grinder to make the freeways smoother, but this takes a long time with all of the freeways that we have. Weighing the trucks can't mean too much when all they need is a permit to to haul over sized or over weight loads. If California roads bother you too much, then stay away from the Yukon Territory while trying to get to Alaska. I have the rock chips and dings to prove it.
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:57 AM   #14
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We traveled that route on our way out with our new trailer in Dec. of 2008. The dealer in Oregon had agreed to deliver it in LA. We had the same experience. Rough roads plus high winds to deal with. Lucky for us it was an early Saturday morning and the traffic was not too bad. I also tried the quick lane and got the blast by and dirty looks. But we made it and the AS stayed together. I-10 through Louisiana also has it's share of bad sections. A lot of it has to do with the soil and building a road to last is just about impossible. Maybe that section in CA has the same issues.
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