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Old 04-27-2012, 10:42 AM   #1
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Scared!! Driving Ontario-San Jose California

Does anyone have any advice on getting from one side of the country to California without going through crazy mountain roads?

I am tempted to get hubby to sell the trailer and buy new out in California because I cannot fathom driving with our trailer through the mountains

We only have a VW Touareg (8 cylinder) towing it and we use a Henley hitch.

Is this even possible to do safely? Are there ways we could take to avoid dangerous roads and make this an enjoyable trip at all?

I know he wants to keep his "baby"...I just want to be safe while travelling
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:47 AM   #2
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You don't mention the length or model of your trailer, but considering your husband installed a great hitch, I would think he has an idea of what's ahead.

As a former owner of a VW T'Reg, I know it's a very capable towing machine for the shorter models.

My suggestion? Set back and enjoy the trip!

Good luck.
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:50 AM   #3
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Yes, I should have added more specifics LOL

It is a 1969 Overlander International, 26 or 27 feet....weighs less than more recent models if I recall correctly....
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:56 AM   #4
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Head South and take I-10 across TX, NM, AZ and into CA. Very little in the way of 'crazy mountain roads".
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:58 AM   #5
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Driving through the western mountains on the interstate highways is nothing to be concerned about. Actually it should be a very enjoyable trip. Just don't be in to big a hurry and enjoy
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:59 AM   #6
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Broad strokes, no. If you turn on the "Terrain" switch in Google maps, you will see that at some point, you have to go through the Great Divide, UNLESS you go all the way down south to, say, Las Cruces, NM, turn right, and come in to Bakersfield, CA.

But, as murreywalker says, you have a V8 in a great tow vehicle. By the time you get out of Ontario, you will feel like an old hand!

ps: I recommend you cross the border at Sarnia. Detroit is very hectic, and there is always something being torn up and rebuilt. Much easier crossing and trip out of Sarnia than Detroit.
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:01 AM   #7
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Take the scenic route and its downhill all the way. You just have to have good brakes.
That would be the TCH to Winnipeg, the Yellowhead via Edmonton, Tete Jaune Cache, Kamloops, Hope, and then Vancouver south to LA on I-5. No big hills to climb, just to look at.

More direct, would be from Kitchener, via I-80 thru, Reno to California.
There is nothing that you can't handle there.

Dave

This page has lots of info on BC passes if you decided to travel the Canadian route to the coast.
http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/popular-topics/faq.htm

This would be the biggest challenge between Kamloops and Hope going downhill.
http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/popular-topi...de-profile.pdf

It looks worse than it is as the graph is condensed.
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Yes, I should have added more specifics LOL

It is a 1969 Overlander International, 26 or 27 feet....weighs less than more recent models if I recall correctly....
Ah, updated info. So, your Overlander is a 27-footer, and weighs 4,525 lbs "dry" (with none of your stuff in it). You need have no fear of mountains.

If you feel like it, it might be fun to plan your route to take I75 south out of Detroit. That becomes a very nice road with lots to see. There's even a fascinating book written about it that has been updated regularly for many years.

If you take I75, you will have an opportunity to visit the Airstream "Mother Ship" in Jackson Center, OH. Great opportunity to have any work done, or just to take the free tour of the plant. You can also stay overnight for free or for as long as your repair takes.

Jackson Center is something like 6 hours from home for you, might make a nice first overnight...?

I am already jealous of your upcoming trip. You better load us up with photos!
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:32 PM   #9
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Scared!! Driving Ontario-San Jose California

Greetings jb1974!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Vintage Airstreams!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jb1974 View Post
Yes, I should have added more specifics LOL

It is a 1969 Overlander International, 26 or 27 feet....weighs less than more recent models if I recall correctly....
I believe that it was in 1969 when the Overlander Land Yacht International was classed as a 27' . . . if not, it was in 1970. Eiter way I don't think that the coach link changed that much, rather, Airstream changes its method of reporting trailer length. With the capabilities of the VW Toureg with the hitch involved, I don't think that you will have much to worry about on the proposed trip regarding towing, tow vehicle, or trailer . . . I believe that it is a combination that should prove workable. My suggestion would be to be very cautious about maintaining the balance of the coach while keeping at least 12% of the weight on the tongue. I have towed my '64 Overlander throughout the Rocky Mountains in the Western US using just about every route both Interstate and Secondary. While you may have to slow down and gear down on some of the more severe grades, it will allow you to see more scenery. If you are looking for the least mountainous route between the Eastern US and the Wester US, that route would most likely be Interstate 40.

Good luck with your deliberations!

Kevin

P.S.: I would suggest considering I-72/US 36 through Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, and into the Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. I have utilized this route three time now, and it is among my favorites . . . quite scenic and a relaxing drive . . . . campgrounds are sparse, but if you watch your route you can adjust and have a nice campground to stay in each night.
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:41 PM   #10
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Get a couple of books on Cd's from the library and just sit back and enjoy the ride. Take in the scenery and some great eats along the way. Of course, you'll cringe when you stop to fill up with gas but I suppose you know that before you even leave home.

If you could fit it in there's a great museum of pioneer culture in Minden, Nebraska. It's south of I80 around mid-state. Wonderful way to spend a day or a half-day. They have camping there ( nothing fancy but w/hookups) and free admission for 1 into the museum with camping. It's called Pioneer Village. Continuing west on I80 there's nothing you can't handle easily so enjoy the ride if you choose that route.
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:02 PM   #11
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As if you're not getting enough advice, here's another optional route.

The Lewis and Clark Trail on Google Maps

Once you get to Oregon, it's all downhill (figuratively speaking) to San Jose.

Have fun!
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:23 PM   #12
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A trip to looki foward to. Not to fear. Have been across the country several times. You will love it once you get into it. Sorta why we buy trailers. I 70 past Denver does have an extremly high pass, but a great road and no reason not to take it easy going up it. I have a lot of pulling power. But no reason not to take it easy on the long grades.
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:29 PM   #13
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Scared!! Driving Ontario-San Jose California

A few suggestions that may make the trip a less stressful than you fear.It seems like every destination/location has its share of unusual attractions. Some are bizarre, some are natural features, and some are just plain funny . . . but they can be the highlight of a day's travel. Your first extended trip with the RV will be a little daunting during the first few days, but before long, you will be enjoying the challenges along with the advantage of having your traveling home at your beck and call.

Good luck with your adventure!

Kevin
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:42 PM   #14
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Having lived in mountains for a very long time, I can tell you it just takes getting used to. Going downhill, make sure to downshift so the brakes aren't getting used too much. Also make sure the trailer brakes work well.

Millions of people live in the mountains and many of us have trailers. We are still alive. I-80 is probably the flatest highway north of New Mexico, but once you get to Salt Lake City you'll have to take I-15 to avoid the Sierra Nevada, and then take I-40 west, then go north to San Jose. Or take a plane from Denver or Cheyenne and let your husband drive the rest of the way. He'll see some incredible scenery. Or, get some heavy duty narcotics or tequila and be passed out through the mountains.

Gene
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