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Old 01-25-2016, 02:57 PM   #15
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We drive to SF multiple times per year to visit relatives along the way and our son in SF and always take 101 from Lincon City, OR. The scenery is well worth the extra time compared to the 18 wheelers on I-5. We towed our AS on the trip last summer staying in campgrounds for two days each on the way down at Jessie M. Honeyman State Park south of Florence, OR, Harris Beach State Park at Brookings, OR and Ancient Redwoods RV Park south of Ferndale, CA. Easy drive with only a few sections that are curvy but all beautiful. The speed limit is 55 in Oregon and 55 in all of California for towing a trailer. If you are visiting SF consider staying at Marin RV Park north of the City with a 15-minute drive to the Golden Gate. The RV park is just gravel, side by side but clean and convenient. When you leave, take the Richmond Bridge and head East to I-5 or freeways on the East Bay to San Jose if you are continuing South. If traveling from May - October, reserve now if you want to stay in state parks.

On the way down 101, don't be tempted to take the turnoff at Willets to drive Hyw 1, it is a beautiful drive but many switchbacks on cliff edges along the coast from Ft. Bragg down. We drove it with our AS but it can be a white-knuckle drive for the uninitiated!
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Old 01-25-2016, 04:14 PM   #16
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We so wanted to take that route , but our trailer is 2 ft longer than yours and we were worried about whether we'd wind up dragging the tail around one of the switchbacks. Someday!
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Old 01-25-2016, 04:20 PM   #17
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I live in Santa Rosa CA. I wouldn't relish driving through SF with a trailer. Any of the other suggested routes would work for me. Here's my favorite though, a scenic route that takes you through Sonoma and Napa wine country, the Sacramento delta area, and California Gold Country.
1. Take 101 south to 128 east at Geyserville
2. Continue south on hwy 29 past Calistoga, St Helena, and Napa.
3. South of Napa, take the left lanes on to 12 east toward Cordelia/Fairfield.
4. Hwy 12 will lead you onto I-80 east for a few miles
5. Exit the freeway at 12 east toward Rio Vista. (FYI, Bay Area Airstream dealer is nearby in Fairfield). This is the Sacramento Delta area.
6. After Rio Vista, stay on 12 east to get to I-5 or 99
7. If you have time, continue on 12 over to San Andreas on highway 49 (Gold Country). Going south on 49 will get you to 120 east which brings you into Yosemite. Otherwise, I would take 99 south to get to 120 east in Manteca.

Enjoy the ride !
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Old 01-25-2016, 05:27 PM   #18
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Some parts of US 101 are freeway, some are still two lanes, mostly where it goes through state and national parks. It is worth the time to take this route. The Golden Gate Bridge is now electronic tolling only, no cash, but you can register your license plate online at the website, and authorize them to charge a card. The cameras read the front plate, but I am sure they snap the back plate of the trailer, just in case a vehicle from a no front plate state or province rolls through. It costs $29 for our tv and two axle trailer, btw.


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Old 01-25-2016, 06:44 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Rocinante View Post
We so wanted to take that route , but our trailer is 2 ft longer than yours and we were worried about whether we'd wind up dragging the tail around one of the switchbacks. Someday!
There is only one (notorious) switchback that I was concerned we would drag by evidence of the rutted pavement from others that we have noted over the years, but we didn't. I think the ones that do drag are the 30'+ motorhomes. I think you would be fine with your 27'. The views are spectacular and worth the effort.
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Old 01-25-2016, 07:03 PM   #20
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101 is a nice drive ,did it 3 yrs ago, going back in latter march...
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Old 01-25-2016, 09:29 PM   #21
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Across the mountains

The drive along the coast in OR is spectacular. Not flat, but doable with a travel trailer.
But I think your concerns are about being on the grades and narrower roads cutting east over the mountains to get to Yosimite.
All I would you look at the grades on those highways carefully before you commit.
If you go S from Eureka it gets quite twisty and hilly. It is no longer on the coast. At Leggett the road splits and Hwy 1 desends and winds very sharply back to the coast. Not good for a big rig on 1.
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Old 01-25-2016, 11:16 PM   #22
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THANKS to all! 101 it is, but avoid San Fran. Can't wait.
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Old 01-26-2016, 06:05 AM   #23
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if you don't

take the PCH, calif 1...then you are missing the trip.......
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Old 01-26-2016, 08:59 AM   #24
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take the PCH, calif 1...then you are missing the trip.......
Agree, last September we joined Calif 1 at Bodega Bay, camped at Manchester and near Fort Bragg and rejoined 101 at Leggett. Beautiful drive and no problems with our 30 footer. Liked it so much we retraced our steps on our return for most of the way down to Bodega Bay before cutting inland to Calistoga.
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Old 02-17-2016, 12:54 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by phann View Post
I live in Santa Rosa CA. I wouldn't relish driving through SF with a trailer. Any of the other suggested routes would work for me. Here's my favorite though, a scenic route that takes you through Sonoma and Napa wine country, the Sacramento delta area, and California Gold Country.
1. Take 101 south to 128 east at Geyserville
2. Continue south on hwy 29 past Calistoga, St Helena, and Napa.
3. South of Napa, take the left lanes on to 12 east toward Cordelia/Fairfield.
4. Hwy 12 will lead you onto I-80 east for a few miles
5. Exit the freeway at 12 east toward Rio Vista. (FYI, Bay Area Airstream dealer is nearby in Fairfield). This is the Sacramento Delta area.
6. After Rio Vista, stay on 12 east to get to I-5 or 99
7. If you have time, continue on 12 over to San Andreas on highway 49 (Gold Country). Going south on 49 will get you to 120 east which brings you into Yosemite. Otherwise, I would take 99 south to get to 120 east in Manteca.

Enjoy the ride !
I totally agree with Phann. I grew up in Concord, lived at Sea Ranch on the Sonoma coast(hwy 1)...his route is the ticket. Access Yosemite via 120 to Big Oak Flat Road vs merced.. Heads up...Priest Grade (moccasin at the bottom of the hill to Groveland at the top) just short of Yosemite is a serious grade. I seen many a vehicle smoking brakes on the way down. Years ago...my 70 VW Westy would make it in 2nd gear ; )

However if you do opt for 101 thru SF (no need other that to see the city to go this way) go thru town via the downtown/marina green. It's the best views of the city/GG Bridge etc. Certainly no more traffic lights on Geary/Van Ness than 101 thru the western side...and much more beautiful

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Old 02-17-2016, 01:59 PM   #26
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Apologies for the typos. Typing and watching the Westminster obviously didn't work well.

Just a couple of afterthoughts as the traffic down 128 can be very heavy, weekends especially. Beauty aside and it is beautiful, an option would be to stay SB on 101 until Petaluma and exit at the South end at/to Lakeville Hwy (116) but following the signs to Hwy 37 past Sears Point to Vallejo. You can pick up 80 N bound there towards Cordelia/Fairfield and there to 12 towards Rio Vista and eventually 99 @ Lodi. Manteca and 120 to Yosemite is just a bit S from there.

Another option to Phann’s route down Napa Valey is to jump over to the Silverado Trail on the east side of the valley which starts in Calistoga.

Lastly…Check the schedule at Infineon Raceway (Old Sears Point/Sonoma Raceway) which is in hwy 121 just off hwy 37, especially if you opt for the Lakeville option.
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Old 02-17-2016, 02:39 PM   #27
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US 101 is a road which is freeway then two lanes, repeat.... Sections through redwood groves and parks are breathtaking, but slow traveling. CA 1, the PCH will have some switchbacks, and some of those will scrape a longer trailer, as we found out with our 30' Classic this past summer. Well worth the drive as long as you budget time.


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Old 02-17-2016, 03:03 PM   #28
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Hi,
We also travel to the Bay Area frequently, with and without the AS. I like the root PHANN suggests, we've been that way and it is fairly flat.
Several years ago we did 299 from Redding to Arcata towing our trailer. It is very curvy but a beautiful drive along the Trinity River west of Weaverville.
Have a great trip and enjoy Yosemite.
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