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Old 09-29-2019, 11:49 PM   #1
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Chilliwack to Los Angeles in March

We're picking up our 5.0 TA on March 4 next year (DV), and would like to head south to the Los Angeles area before generally following "Route 66" to Chicago and then further east to Ontario, Canada, returning home at the end of March.

Considering the time of year and the possibility of snow in higher latitudes and elevations, what advice can you give about the safest route south to Los Angeles, avoiding snow if possible? How far south would you go before slowing down and spending a few days here and there? Where would you camp on the way down and on the return leg of the trip heading north-east?

Thanks in advance!
Ron
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Old 09-30-2019, 12:37 AM   #2
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Ron,
I-5 is the route, generally, if you're basically wanting to get to the southern of California quickly.
US-101, generally following the Pacific coast, is slower but much more scenic, with plenty of camping and sightseeing possibilities.
In March, you can expect rain in WA and OR. Storms bring the possibility of snow at mountain passes, particularly in the Siskiyou Mts. of southern OR and northern CA. Siskiyou summit, on I-5, is 4310 ft. If a storm comes through with snow, you can wait a day, and the pass will reopen; it is a major truck route.

US-101 along the coast can have rain, but very rarely snow.
If you have the time on the way to L.A., we would suggest camping a night or two while close to ETI: E.G. KOA in Lynden; Larrabee SP (state park) south of Bellingham; or Bay View SP west of Burlington.
Bellingham is a good place to stock up on supplies/food.



Then, take the ferry over to the Olympic Peninsula on the west side of Puget Sound (you'll miss the tough Seattle traffic), then camp in the Olympic NP (national park), then camp at WA SP's along US-101 on or near the Pacific Ocean. (We like Bogachiel SP south of Forks, and exploring the Hoh Rain Forest)

Then cross the Columbia River, then down along the Oregon coast and camp at OR SP's. Stop at Tillamook and buy some cheeses and have fresh made ice cream.
Entering the NW corner of CA, you encounter several state and national redwood parks and forests.
North of San Francisco, we cross over to I-5 to continue down through CA.
The only mt. pass then is Tejon Pass (4144 ft.) a couple hours N of L.A.


As always, watch the weather and check road conditions:
NOAA (weather): https://forecast.weather.gov/MapClic...&lon=-122.4712
WA: https://www.wsdot.com/traffic/trafficalerts/
OR: tripcheck.com
CA: https://roads.dot.ca.gov/
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Old 09-30-2019, 02:50 AM   #3
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Hi from London

We have a 19 on order, completion in Jan. We're going to let it sit 3 or 4 months to off gas. The fumes from the caulking, glues and resin can be pretty strong in the first month. Most people aren't aware of this. Maybe a May Two Four pick up for us,
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Old 09-30-2019, 08:15 AM   #4
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Chilliwack to Los Angeles in March

I hope any Los Angleans will forgive me this but Ron, unless you have a mighty need to be in LA or it's environs, or if you urgently need to experience LA traffic while pulling your Escape, you might want to avoid the LA freeways.

Just my small towner advice.
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Old 09-30-2019, 08:47 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emjay View Post
I hope any Los Angleans will forgive me this but Ron, unless you have a mighty need to be in LA or it's environs, or if you urgently need to experience LA traffic while pulling your Escape, you might want to avoid the LA freeways.

Just my small towner advice.
And the potholes in the LA freeways will eat your Escape alive!
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Old 09-30-2019, 11:01 AM   #6
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You can avoid most LA traffic by judiciously timing your journey and bypassing by taking the 210 freeway which diverts near Santa Clarita. It goes along the base of the mts. You don't want to start through that section till about 10 am and be well through by 3-4 pm.

Potential camp spots heading south--Champoeg State Park south of Portland. Near Grants Pass OR either Schroeder County Park or even closer to I-5, Valley of the Rogue State Park. Castle Crags State Park near Castella CA (beware if you're staying more than overnight. It's a BIG park but the campground itself is right next to the freeway). There's a serviceable KOA near Visalia, CA or I favor the Bakersfield RV park for an overnight. Pricey, but always level, easy in/out, a good restaurant on site if you don't want to cook. Safe travels.
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Old 09-30-2019, 11:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emjay View Post
I hope any Los Angleans will forgive me this but, unless you have a mighty need to be in LA or it's environs, or if you urgently need to experience LA traffic while pulling your Escape, you might want to avoid the LA freeways.

Just my small towner advice.
Well I sort of agree that LA traffic can be congested and slow like any other large city. But I view it as a means to an end. If I want to get somewhere and it involves LA traffic, I go.

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Then, take the ferry over to the Olympic Peninsula on the west side of Puget Sound (you'll miss the tough Seattle traffic),
I go to the Olympic Peninsula when I want to go there, not to avoid Seattle traffic. And I've been bitten by the ferry shutting down due to rough weather. Yup, Everett to Olympia, heavy traffic is to be expected, but we still end up getting through it.

Quote:
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Hi from London

We have a 19 on order, completion in Jan. We're going to let it sit 3 or 4 months to off gas. The fumes from the caulking, glues and resin can be pretty strong in the first month. Most people aren't aware of this. Maybe a May Two Four pick up for us,
It seems that some folks are more sensitive than others. We picked up our 19 and headed for Moab. Tomorrow we take our never used 21 out for a couple of days of shakedown. Yup, smells like new. Better than stewed cabbage.

Ron
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Old 09-30-2019, 11:56 AM   #8
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Traveling to Los Angeles

In March, like others have suggested, take I-5 south all the way to LA for a March journey. Having lived on the Olympic Peninsula for many years, I would not plan to visit there in March unless I really liked rainstorms with high winds. The weather is very unsettled at that time of year. This comment also applies to travel south on Highway 101 through WA an OR.

Time you trip through the Everett-Olympia area so that you are transiting at 10:00am which will also get your through Portland OR metro before the evening rush hour traffic. Be prepared to layover in Medford or Ashland OR in the event that Siskiyou Summit is closed due to snow. It is very well maintained will be reopened fairly soon after closing. After getting over Siskiyou Summit, you can also encounter snow in the Weed-Shasta area so pay attention to the weather.

As for transiting the LA area, plan to do so on a Sunday morning taking the 210 to 10 freeways. If I was going through LA during the week, (assuming you want to follow Route 66 as you have said) I would probably bypass it by going through Tehachapi, Kramer Junction and get on I-40 in Barstow. This assuming you want to stick roughly to the Route 66 route of travel as you head East through AZ and NM.
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Old 09-30-2019, 12:12 PM   #9
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When we travel to California and north to Osoyoos, we stay on 99 thru central wine valley, California, there are several cg's along that route also.
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Old 09-30-2019, 02:11 PM   #10
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Lots of good info has been posted.!!


If you don't particularly need to actually go into L.A. metro area, an alternate bypass is, as you traverse I-5 south through to the south end of CA's Central Valley, at Bakersfield, take CA-58 east over Tehachapi pass (4000 ft.+) then across a portion of the Mohave Desert to Barstow (130 mi.). At Barstow you connect with I-15 and with the western end of I-40 (Route 66).
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Old 09-30-2019, 02:48 PM   #11
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Watch out for wind warnings on that tehachapi route. Needles, desert view rv ok, nice facilities but a bit snippy managers (delores was nice) $44 w good sam. Barstow, Shady Lane campground. it's next to a big KOA. it LOOKS a bit dicey but owner was really nice, facilities good, it's very small. I stopped there because of wind warnings as mentioned above, I was heading west.

edited to add that 511 on the phone is calif highway conditions. very helpful.

edited again. Mayflower County Park, a handful of miles north of Blythe, CA on the colorado river. quiet, excellent bathhouse, friendly.
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Old 09-30-2019, 04:20 PM   #12
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We picked up our 5.0 on May 9 and came down the whole coast 101 all the way. We drove up the I-5 to make time to pick up. Then took it slow all the way home. Oregon state campgrounds are wonderful Fort Stevens Campground near Astoria.
Sunset Bay State Park near Coos Bay. Harris Beach State Park near Brookings.
Do not let the L.A. Traffic scare you, it is HEAVY but not hard to deal with. As far as pot holes go not L.A. but San Jose.
Hit a huge pot hole on the 101, thought the truck and trailer were going to come apart we hit so hard. Made it home but had front end issues. Hitting the pot hole delaminated a front tire and threw out the alignment. Two new tires and a front end alignment and good as new. Luckily the new trailer tires made it through without a problem.
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Old 09-30-2019, 04:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
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..........
Do not let the L.A. Traffic scare you, it is HEAVY but not hard to deal with. As far as pot holes go not L.A. but San Jose.
.......

I concur: L.A. freeways are heavy, but not characterized by potholes. As BJ pointed out (post #6), I-210 is a good route along the edge of the LA basin.

San Jose is indeed bad. That's one reason we avoid San Francisco Bay area. Another is the quantity of traffic and construction.

Yet another thing to know is: Bridge tolls, especially towing (each extra axle), are generally implemented when in the counter-clockwise direction around the bay. So, US-101 northbound across the Golden Gate bridge is free; southbound is the toll.
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Old 09-30-2019, 04:49 PM   #14
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Thank you for the great information!

If we take the quick way down I-5 to warmer weather, do we need tire chains available in case of snow? We have a 4WD GMC Canyon but the WSDOT website indicates that there are times when all vehicles are required to put them on. Oregon's website says that chains may be required on the trailer too.

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Old 09-30-2019, 04:50 PM   #15
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Yes I was surprised by the toll to cross the golden gate. Towing the 5.0 T.A. I got a bill in the mail it cost me $37.50 to cross that bridge. I guess they bought some orange paint on me.
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Old 09-30-2019, 06:09 PM   #16
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Ron, if chains are required, I'd stop. As someone else said, every effort to clear the road and reopen is made....I-5 is a main San Diego to Seattle truck route. To me, it's not worth the risk. One caveat...if the road closes, find a place to stay RIGHT AWAY. There'll be a lot of folks doing the same and spots will fill FAST. If you are keeping up with the situation/road conditions, you likely could know an hour or so ahead of time.
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Old 09-30-2019, 10:15 PM   #17
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Okay, thanks for that good advice.

Ron
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