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Old 12-20-2005, 11:50 PM   #1
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Question Route & RV Park Recomendations - Austin TX to San Jose CA

Howdy folks..

Its been a while, work is a grind and I gots to get out of here. I had planned to fly (even have the airline tickets already) to San Jose to visit my grandmother for her B-day/X-mas next week, but driving there with the A/S suddenly entered my mind...

I'm strongly considering driving from Austin TX to San Jose CA. If I decide to do this, I'd leave this coming Thursday.

My first concerns are weather, especially over any mountains and such. It'd be my first time towing over any mountains, and I'm afraid of any snow/ice that I might encounter on the route. Even though I have diesel Excursion 4x4, it doesn't mean that I'm better in snow than the next guy. Laws of Physics applies to all. Words of advice on crossing mountains with my setup (diesel Excursion, Equal-i-zer hitch, Prodigy)??

Secondly, my planned route would be from Austin on US 290W to hit I-10W, taking I-10 all the way thru New Mexico, Phoenix AZ, and into LA. Once in LA (I'm open to suggestions to avoid the big city) I'd jump to I-210 N to I-5 N to Northern CA onto SR-153 and finally US 101 into San Jose. Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions on this route? Alternative routes or routes/roads/areas to avoid?

Finally, Campground recomendations allong the way? Since I'm always learly of campsites I've not see or some seedy ones along the road, if I travel long haul on a schedule, I usually try to hit the KOAs along the way. I was looking at:
  • Thurs nite: KOA Van Horn TX on the way out of TX,
  • Friday nite: KOA Lost Hills CA (Not sure I could make that one in one day from the KOA in Van Horn)
  • Open for any suggestions between NM and LA cali that would be a good one nite stay
  • San Jose CA - Maple Leaf RV park
I'll stay in San Jose until the 27th or 28th, as I'd like to get back to Austin by the 1st of Jan, but I'd like to drive back in 4 days instead of 3 on the way out. So, taking a bit more time on the way back, anyone have any suggestions to say or route to take to see the sights?

Crazy idea?

Thanks

Kevin
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Old 12-21-2005, 02:31 AM   #2
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Phoenix is a big city with big city traffic. Not much you can do to avoid it. I-10 goes right through the city. This Friday things should be lighter then normal, but I would avoid the rush hour at all costs. Tucson to Phoenix is 2 hours and not much along the way. Once you get west of Phoenix, there is not much either. No major cities and two rest areas untill you get to the Colorado River (state line). You can stay in the rest area's overnight, but they fill up with truckers and can be a bit noisey. Sounds like you have a lot of miles to put in over a short period. Stay safe!
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Old 12-21-2005, 02:43 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bambi_Bandit
Howdy folks..

Its been a while, work is a grind and I gots to get out of here. I had planned to fly (even have the airline tickets already) to San Jose to visit my grandmother for her B-day/X-mas next week, but driving there with the A/S suddenly entered my mind...

I'm strongly considering driving from Austin TX to San Jose CA. If I decide to do this, I'd leave this coming Thursday.

My first concerns are weather, especially over any mountains and such. It'd be my first time towing over any mountains, and I'm afraid of any snow/ice that I might encounter on the route. Even though I have diesel Excursion 4x4, it doesn't mean that I'm better in snow than the next guy. Laws of Physics applies to all. Words of advice on crossing mountains with my setup (diesel Excursion, Equal-i-zer hitch, Prodigy)??
I drove from LA to Dallas many times in past years, and do not remember climbing any major mountains on the I10 leg of the trip. I can't vouch from there to Austin, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bambi_Bandit
Secondly, my planned route would be from Austin on US 290W to hit I-10W, taking I-10 all the way thru New Mexico, Phoenix AZ, and into LA. Once in LA (I'm open to suggestions to avoid the big city) I'd jump to I-210 N to I-5 N to Northern CA onto SR-153 and finally US 101 into San Jose. Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions on this route? Alternative routes or routes/roads/areas to avoid?
It looks like you did your homework. You have chosen the route that I choose all the time to get to Silicon Valley.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bambi_Bandit
Finally, Campground recomendations allong the way? Since I'm always learly of campsites I've not see or some seedy ones along the road, if I travel long haul on a schedule, I usually try to hit the KOAs along the way. I was looking at:
  • Thurs nite: KOA Van Horn TX on the way out of TX,
  • Friday nite: KOA Lost Hills CA (Not sure I could make that one in one day from the KOA in Van Horn)[/QUOTE]

    No way. You can't make it from Van Horn to Lost Hills, towing a trailer. It is way too much for one day.
    You can ge to Phoenix, and then from Phoenix to Van Horn the next day.
    Better leave Wednesday, and give yourself the time that is needed to travel safely.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bambi_Bandit
  • Open for any suggestions between NM and LA cali that would be a good one nite stay
  • San Jose CA - Maple Leaf RV park
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bambi_Bandit
I'll stay in San Jose until the 27th or 28th, as I'd like to get back to Austin by the 1st of Jan, but I'd like to drive back in 4 days instead of 3 on the way out. So, taking a bit more time on the way back, anyone have any suggestions to say or route to take to see the sights?

Crazy idea?

Thanks

Kevin
Kevin, not crazy at all. You just need the extra day.
The KOA in Lost Hills is ok. Not great, but ok. It's a mile off the freeway, which kills most of the noise. The view is of oil pumps.....
I would buy a Woodalls or Trailer life campground directory. I think the trailer life one is better. With it you can find many campgrounds that are conveniently located along your route.
A good alternative to 153/156 is taking hwy 46 to Paso Robles, and then take the 101 north. It's a nice drive. 5 North is boring. I like driving it, but only at night, when you can't see anything anyways. Remember that the Phoenix, Los Angeles and San Jose metropolitan areas all share a common denominator: nightmarish rush hours.....steer clear of that between 3:00pm and 7:00pm.
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Old 12-21-2005, 09:57 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bambi_Bandit
Howdy folks.. work is a grind ...

Crazy idea?

Thanks

Kevin
YUP, Crazy idea!

You are simply going to put miles under the Airstream and use up your 'Free' time driving & driving & driving. That is a grind too!

Why not fly up ... enjoy your friends & family and take advantage of your valuable time off. Let the Airstream follow you when you don't have such a demading schedule.

Bring lots of pictures of the Safari, you do have bragging rights!
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