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Old 11-10-2011, 03:36 PM   #15
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Prewitt Ridge

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Originally Posted by tvoneicken View Post
Wow, you must have been at the same place we were the same day! We arrived ~11am at the slide. We ended up doing the big tour via Paso Robles, Fort Hunter Liggett and the Nacimiento Ferguson Road to get right into Kirk Campground, which had a slew of spots to choose from since only the really adventurous could get there! Driving the 1-1/2 lane wide hairpin turns with a 23FB was fun. We went both ways, westwards to get in and eastwards to head out.

This was our first trailer camping trip to Big Sur and we got one of the best spots in the nicest campground with no planning, reserving, or waiting. Probably a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. Next time will be tough, may have to drag the 23FB onto prewitt ridge :-O
Prewitt Ridge has to be the quintessential California-Airstream view and camping spot. Views and solitude could outweigh fear of heights. Problem is I've only been up there via internet.

I've also towed the rig to the top of Naciemento Fergusson road and back- I'm trying to make the judgement on the road to Prewitt Ridge campground.

All the photos I've seen on the web suggest that its smooth and doable with my 28' CCD. A friend who has been there suggested I not try it due to to sharp turns and narrow road - but he's not an Airstream owner. Wonder if Wally was up there?

I checked the turns on google maps and they seem benign. The AS can be remarkably agile but none of the turns or grades seem to be an obstacle. I've towed past Chews Ridge in the Las Padres NF as well, had narrow roads,some tight turns but no bad dips. And great views and solitude. Any dips in the road would spell doom.

So has anybody towed up to Prewitt Ridge?

Chris
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Old 11-10-2011, 06:27 PM   #16
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When we were at Kirk Campground we definitely checked-out Prewitt Ridge. With a 28' CCD I'd rate it close to impossible without heroic effort.

By memory, I'd divide the road into 3 sections. The first and longest section is dirt road primarily in the woods going up&down moderately. There are a couple of short steep sections where traction is marginal, and more importantly, where the incline starts abruptly and you'd bottom out on the rear end. The second section is quite steep downhill, ancient pavement, truly narrow single lane, with a very steep slope both up and down to your left and right. No guard rail or edging of any sort, some pot holes, and loose gravel. It looked doable to me but with zero margin for error and very final consequences if anything goes awry. The third section ascends to prewitt ridge, is dirt road, rather steep. Probably doable but marginal traction.
Overall, I saw zero turn-around options without unhooking and only a couple with unhooking due to the trees. I also had a couple of folks zoom by at quite high speed: there are people living at the end of the road.

My conclusion was that I could most likely make it if I had to or if I were in a rally with others to assist, but that the risk just wasn't worth it. You also have to consider that while you end up in a spectacular place, you're almost an hour from the coast or anywhere else, so unless you truly just sit in place for a couple of days it just doesn't sum up. My recommendation would be to pack a nice picnic basket and some chairs and make it a day trip from your base. Definitely worth it!
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Old 11-11-2011, 10:25 AM   #17
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Thanks! That's exactly the kind of feedback I was after.

My desire to go to the place is rooted in my other hobby - astronomy; I don't mind sitting put for a couple of days (family is another matter). Prewitt Ridge is darker than the inside of a cat! The bottoming out has me most concerned. I've been to awesome places on the east side of the Sierra Nevada on National Forest roads, and have been limited/prevented only by bottoming out, then traction/incline concerns. I won't even try snow. Maybe a 22FB Sport would be the perfect trailer to try Prewitt Ridge. My rig is obviously not the perfect unit!

FWIW, the year I bought my trailer, there was a picture in the brochure of my unit on a beautiful Big Sur or Lost Coast camp site, overlooking the ocean. It was every bit as beautiful as Prewitt Ridge seems to be. Does anybody know where that was?

Chris
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Old 03-24-2013, 12:11 PM   #18
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Just wanted to know what you thought. We have a f-350 long bed and a safari 25. is there any sections that would give us trouble. We will be driving from Aberdeen Wa all the the way to Anaheim Ca. Any help or advice would help thanks.
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:29 PM   #19
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Rver, there have been many threads over the years about the coast highways. I suggest to try to find the others by using the search function.

But, whether they give you trouble is partly about what bothers you. We have driven most of the way (not quite as far as Anaheim, we stay away from LA), several times, and made it through every time. The most trying part was the road south of Olema to the end of that stretch of 1. We have not driven through San Francisco either (we stay away from metro areas when we can).

If you are ok with narrow roads, switchbacks and dropoffs, then you will do fine. It is like driving mountain roads anywhere. It can be tedious and tiring, but to us it is worth it. We drove it again last fall from the Olympic Pen. to Bodega Bay. We love that drive. We usually go to the coast in the shoulder seasons to avoid traffic.

For a thread about our trip last fall, see the following link starting at post 264: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...ate-86845.html

There have been many members concerned with driving the coast highway, so check out the threads. We've seen longer trailers and motorhomes on it every time. It would be a lot more fun driving it in a sports car, but the place is somewhere worth visiting.

Gene
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:33 PM   #20
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When we bought our 23' International three years ago, our first trip was to the Washington Olympic Penninsula (101). I was new at towing a trailer this size and weight. The only thing I had towed was a 10' utitlity trailer.My tow vehicle is a 2010 Dodge Ram quad cab.

We enjoyed the trip so much, three months later we drove from Vacnouver BC, down WA and OR 101, connected to #1, drove right though San Fran to Monteray Bay.
Since then we have made the same trip four more times on our way to and from Mexico.

The pavement is fine, the scenery spectacular, RV campgrounds in abundance and road side diversions, historical and interesting stops everywhere.

Yes the road is quite curvey at times, big deal. We had no issues driving, no close calls, no headaches - and I was not a seasoned RVer.We just took it easy and enjoyed the drive.

That we have chosen this route a total of 6 times now, suggestes its pretty good!

Go for it!
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:19 PM   #21
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Maggie-

I've taken our Excella 25 down that road several times, including last summer. Road is actually straighter and less windy/hilly than Route 1 north of Golden Gate Bridge, which Dianne and I have vowed never again.. There will be issues with bumps and potholes, and the section where they are rebuilding the road will drop to 1 lane and be narrow, but it is easily do-able and not worth coming back to 101.. The bumps were enought to dislodge carbon bits from refrigerator flue and necessitate a trip to have burner unit cleaned out, but no serious harm...

You do need to be prepared to use the numerous turnouts southbound to let sporty cars whizz by and to take a few pictures...

On our run, we stayed at Big Sur Campground (private park - deli and restaurant and shops next door, and large angry trees all over campsites..), and then San Simeon State Park ( Ignore "Full" sign by highway, there are almost always "non-hookup" sites in upper campground, and single ranger doesn't have time to tend the sign..). Next stop was Morro Bay RV park, which is a little too neighborly, but close to repair shop and across street from beach, and finally San Luis Obispo County park in strip between Hwy 1 and RR Tracks, since other parks full. Coolest park if you can get into it (and don't want to just be on the beach..) is County Park at Oceano County Airport. Walk to beach and village next to driveway onto beach, and adjacent to runways and cute airport. Often have movie nights on Fridays and tent campers alongside planes..
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Old 03-25-2013, 06:18 PM   #22
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Marin/Golden Gate area

I've done Hwy 1 by car both directions north of the Golden Gate several times. Just so we're clear -- avoid towing on the Hwy 1 stretch either direction south of Stinson Beach! There are no pullouts when you'd need one. Sightseeing while towing? Not at all when the driver would be so white-knuckled; to say nothing of the comments from your navigator...

There are switchbacks up on the precipice that wouldn't be wise negotiating even with a 16' Bambi. You can't make the curves in one maneuver. Don't do this to the people behind you or those approaching. I couldn't imagine how a 40' tow vehicle-trailer combo could avoid calling in law enforcement to back people up -- except in the case of the most unusual nonexistent traffic. There are seasonal washouts of the oceanward (downhill) lane. And the road isn't much wider than your average city alley at that.

The following recommendations still have their challenges. I openly ask further input from people who actually have towed the roads mentioned (I haven't).

Southbound on Hwy 1: You can get into Stinson Beach if you have plans to stay there. But either return northward or head uphill on the Panoramic Highway toward Mt. Tam and Mill Creek rather than continue south on Hwy 1. Alternately - near Point Reyes, turn inland at Olema on the Sir Francis Drake Highway and make your way through Lagunitas toward San Rafael and 101 down to the Golden Gate.

Northbound: Reverse the Olema-San Rafael-Golden Gate route suggested above. Or if you have very good downhill gearing, go up Hwy 1 at Mill Creek and take a right (north) toward Mt. Tam on the Panoramic Highway. Descend the Panoramic Hwy into Stinson Beach and turn north on Hwy 1 -- this is a steadily very steep descent and shouldn't be attempted if you haven't experienced descents that are most dependent on gearing principally (and very little braking). It will give your transmission cooler a workout.

Stay somewhere in the region and drive this Hwy 1 stretch in your tow vehicle alone if you are fascinated by the idea. It is awe inspiring! And still a little freaky...
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:14 PM   #23
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There are generally three problems with towing on narrow mountain roads:

* narrow lane widths
* corners too tight for vehicle (rare) or trailer overhangs.
* steep grade transitions in curves causing problems with running
gear or tail dragging.

Obviously, a modern 34' x 8.5' trailer will present more difficulties on steep winding roads than a 16' x 8 ' vintage trailer.

Moderate size trailers can generally be taken on any road that the tow vehicle can navigate. Whether or not the driver is comfortable with this is another thing entirely, and experience is really the key here. One needs to know where the trailer will be in the corner, and how to control the vehicle's speed using gears rather than relying on the brakes, and above all, one needs to keep cool.

On our first trip with the Tin Pickle, I took a wrong turn on a winding dirt road and needed to turn around (backing up for a mile w/ traffic seemed worse). By the time I was done with seemed like a 100 point turn using a handy driveway, we had quite the audience - which applauded when we finally finished . Like they said in the movie - "Smile and wave, boys!".

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Old 03-26-2013, 10:05 AM   #24
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To make it clear, Cal. Highway 1 begins at Sausalito where it junctions with 101. We started north on 1 at that point.

After you travel a block or so there was a sign recommending that people with trailers longer than some length—ours was longer—do not take this route. There was no place to turn around, so the sign was a cruel joke.

So we kept going. The road is narrow and the embankment on the right can be very close to the road. The banking on curves throws the top of the trailer even closer to the embankment.

This is not an easy stretch of road. We made it, no damage except stress. It can be done with a 25' trailer. I have little desire to repeat the experience, at least going north, but maybe someday going south. A small maybe.

If you look around on the Cal. DOT website you should be able to find which roads have restrictions and which have recommendations about who can travel on them. They can change, so I don't know what that sign says now.

The next day, after spending the night at Olema, we had to make our way north amongst a billion bikes going the same way for about 20 miles. It wasn't easy to pass a few, slow down to a few miles an hour, wait for enough space to pass, then slow down to a few miles and hour—and do that over and over and over…. That was harder than the southern end of the road.

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Old 03-26-2013, 02:17 PM   #25
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While we were traveling in California we camped in Pacifica, and took the drive south on 1 to Carmel. I realized that my 34 footer would be difficult to navigate the narrow twists and turns. We opted to go over the Golden gate and follow the 101 north to Crescent City. The 101 was as adventurous as I needed and as pretty for us as Rt. 1

Regards,

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Old 03-26-2013, 03:12 PM   #26
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Here's a couple of pictures taken from Google Earth on Route 1 north of San Francisco. This is one of the narrow twisty parts. The first photo is the warning sign advising against vehicles over 35 feet. The second is a picture of the sharpest curve on that segment prior to arriving at Stinson Beach.

I'm assuming the 35 foot warning is in regards to those large bus like RV's, or large semi's. A travel trailer pivots at the hitch so is less of a problem in curves.

At any rate, I don't think 1 gets any worse than this, and is mostly better. To my mind, the best and prettiest drives on 1 (north of SF) between Bodega and Fort Bragg, and (south of SF) between Carmel and Morrow Bay.
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:05 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gene View Post
Rver, there have been many threads over the years about the coast highways. I suggest to try to find the others by using the search function.

But, whether they give you trouble is partly about what bothers you. We have driven most of the way (not quite as far as Anaheim, we stay away from LA), several times, and made it through every time. The most trying part was the road south of Olema to the end of that stretch of 1. We have not driven through San Francisco either (we stay away from metro areas when we can).

If you are ok with narrow roads, switchbacks and dropoffs, then you will do fine. It is like driving mountain roads anywhere. It can be tedious and tiring, but to us it is worth it. We drove it again last fall from the Olympic Pen. to Bodega Bay. We love that drive. We usually go to the coast in the shoulder seasons to avoid traffic.

For a thread about our trip last fall, see the following link starting at post 264: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...ate-86845.html

There have been many members concerned with driving the coast highway, so check out the threads. We've seen longer trailers and motorhomes on it every time. It would be a lot more fun driving it in a sports car, but the place is somewhere worth visiting.

Gene
Just read the part of Gene's trip from Pt. Arena south. We were assigned to a radar station above Pt. Arena in the late 60's. Highway 1 was so bad a set of tires lasted only 3000 miles. So we bought cheap retreads for the coast road and saved our nice Michelin tires for when we moved on.
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Old 03-30-2013, 11:39 PM   #28
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Watch "The Long, Long Trailer" with Lucile Ball. Nice preview of some of Hwy. 1 in Northern California.....south of Stinson Beach, Devil's Slide, portions of the Big Sur coast etc. Could be tough with a long AS......unless you (and your spouse) relish those challenges.
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