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Old 01-21-2010, 12:37 PM   #1
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1976 31' Sovereign
portland , Oregon
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Suggestions? Portland, OR to Santa Maria, CA

Hello all-

My husband and I are moving down to Santa Maria, CA. We're packing everything into our gutted Airstream and driving down.

Since it's winter, weather will be a factor. Any thoughts on I5 vs 1 and 101? Of course I5 is less scenic, but our main goal is to make it down to Cali with the least amount of weather issues (safety concerns?).

Thanks in advance for any feedback, ideas, or cautionary tales.

Cheers streamers!

-V.
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Old 01-21-2010, 12:49 PM   #2
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1967 20' Globetrotter
Campbell , California
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I would do I-5 from Portland down as far as you can and then hop over to 101 for the final leg (maybe on 152 or 46). It would be your fastest route and the only real mountain areas would be through the Sisque Mountain Pass & near Shasta.

Enjoy Santa Maria, the central coast is a pretty cool place. Also, in May you might want to pop up to Pismo Beach for Vintage Trailer Camp's "Trail Along to Pismo" Vintage Trailer Rally at Pismo Coast Village RV Resort http://www.vintagetrailercamp.com/
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Old 01-21-2010, 01:01 PM   #3
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1976 31' Sovereign
portland , Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toddster View Post
I would do I-5 from Portland down as far as you can and then hop over to 101 for the final leg (maybe on 152 or 46). It would be your fastest route and the only real mountain areas would be through the Sisque Mountain Pass & near Shasta.
That's a perfect combination, thanks for that idea!


Quote:
Originally Posted by toddster View Post
Enjoy Santa Maria, the central coast is a pretty cool place. Also, in May you might want to pop up to Pismo Beach for Vintage Trailer Camp's "Trail Along to Pismo" Vintage Trailer Rally at Pismo Coast Village RV Resort Vintage Trailer Camp - Main Page
We're SO there!! I'll make sure my husband knows we MUST have the AS done in time :-).

Researching Santa Maria I saw on Wikipedia that it was famous for its vinyards and BBQ. I turned to my husband and told him I was in, when do we leave :-).
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Old 01-21-2010, 01:11 PM   #4
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1963 16' Bambi
Yreka , California
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Hello, we have driven these routes many times. Clearly it depends on when the move is to occur. If "soon"... then your best bet is to stay on I-5 until you get to Northern California. Naturally the Hwy 1 or next to the ocean is the preferred view route... but heavy rains, very slow going would add at least a week to your trip. If your goal is to get to Santa Maria as quickly as possible... then the suggestion above from Toddster will likely be your best bet.

A few thoughts: Make a refueling stop in Medford, Oregon before you get to California. You can often find fuel anywhere from .30 to .60 a gallon less expensive. Medford has a Costco with fuel that we use frequently.

Once you travel past Redding and are over the Siskiyou's and the mountains you will be done with potential snow routes... however the central valley of California (unless it is raining or you happen to hit a good day) often has serious tule fog all along Interstate 5. Here is a link to California road conditions: Road Conditions they also have a phone number so you can access the conditions along the way if you don't have mobile internet access.

To get to Santa Maria with Interstate 5 turn off at Hwy 152 at San Luis Dam ~ Santa Nella is the area from the freeway ~ Los Banos a few miles to the east. Hwy 152 has a bit of a climb for towing, but unless you are generally under powered you should do fine. Just note it can be very windy at times through this area. From 152 you can bypass Hollister and get right to Hwy 101. You will drive through Salinas, but it is easy with the freeway. Then you will be on a little more "scenic" route. If you want to eliminate pulling any more hills you can continue your drive south on Interstate 5 from Los Banos to about Kettleman City (about 2 hours south ~ again you could have serious fog or winds in this area) and turn off and cross over to Paso Robles and hit Hwy 101 from there. From Paso Robles you will have one more pass at Cuesta Grade just before coming into San Luis Obispo. From the news at this writing San Luis Obispo has some local flooding on its streets, but I am sure you will wait for this current terrible storm to pass!

If you want to stop and make this a 2 or 3 day trip... let us know if you might need to stay in a Motel/Hotel and how far you want to travel each day. If you want to camp and stay in an RV Park... we can make suggestions as well.

From Portland to Santa Maria google maps tells me it is 880 miles. A very long drive for one day. With winter weather I wouldn't recommend it! Also remember when driving in California pulling a trailer is a 55 mph speed limit. California has been increasing their highway patrol presence I believe in an effort to generate revenue from tickets!

Good luck on your move, Santa Maria is a nice area and often along the coast winter has some of the best weather all year!
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Old 01-21-2010, 03:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsdinapoli View Post
... We're packing everything into our gutted Airstream and driving down..cautionary takes...
this is a gutted 70s 31 footer with NO flooring or sub floor?

lots of issues trying to do this.

1. ya need a floor.
2. ya need a floor ATTACHED to the frame/shell.
3. are the axles 30+ years old?
4. do the brakes actually WORK? how are the tires?
5. is the INNER skin intact or removed?
6. leaks, leaks, leaks, are there any leaks?
7. how much stuff is gonna be packed inside (the weight matters)
8. how is the STUFF gonna be secured?
9. stuff will ROLL/move/shift around and the walls/skin are NOT up to supporting that action.
10. pacting MUST account for tongue weight, which should be 10-15% of the total..
11. heavy stuff should ideally go over or just ahead of the axles and LOW LOW LOW to the floor.
12. keep stuff away from the windows, IF you want intact glass after the trip.

13. if the floor is rotted there may very well be structural RUST to the frame also,
14. so the floor/frame/shell channel integrity is important.
___________

has this been done before? sure. can it work out ok? sure.

but a lotta bad can happen too.

and where in socal are u gonna store the stream after UNloading it?

safe travels
2air'
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Old 01-21-2010, 03:48 PM   #6
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When are you planning to leave? That makes a huge difference about advise on road/weather conditions. We've been driving that route for forty years, by the way.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:52 PM   #7
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Sugar Land , Texas
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We are planning a trip from Houston to Portland mid-December then return early January 2013. Planning to go through Austin then head up to I-40 over to Cali 99 then I5. Any advice or potential problem areas? Will focus on 7 day forecast to adjust route if necessary due to weather. We are building in some extra days in case we need to wait for storms to clear, etc.
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