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  1. Default Is 120 a dangerous in a 31ft RV

    Planning a summer road trip in a 31ft RV which will take us over CA120 through Yosemite. My wife gets a little scared on some mountain roads. Is 120 a relatively save drive in a 31ft RV? If not, what's the best "mellow" alternate route?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default "Safe" ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Many, many RV's travel along CA 120 quite safely [myself included in a 30ft RV] and if you drive carefully there is no reason not to keep things "safe". However, it is a 2 lane mountainous highway that does get narrow and twisty in places and caution needs to be taken. There is a section of twisty road, called Priests grade, near Big oak flat if you are heading into Yosemite on 120 that is, shall we say, "interesting with great views down into the valley" and the section in Yosemite when you start to climb up from the valley across Tioga is narrow and twisty, but when on the pass it isn't that bad at all. To get from the West side of Yosemite to the East without crossing the Sierra's would mean a massive detour to go around them.

    The main thing is to take your time and be cautious, but most of all be courteous to other road users. If you are in a Class C RV you will have a large overhang behind the cab so slow for on coming traffic when needed and use the pull outs to let cars that are caught up behind you to pass, you will get a toot of the horn and a smile, and make every body's day a happier one !

    Of course, everything is relative, such as what type of mountain road your wife is used to, and how much experience you have/will have prior to driving the road, but generally speaking you should be fine.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    SF Bay Area

    Default Priest Grade vs. Old Priest Grade

    I agree with the above; however while I've driven 120 dozens of time I've never done it in an RV.

    One thing to note about Priest Grade. There are two roads that run up the canyon, a newer one on the north side, and Old Priest Grade on the south side.


    Very very windy. ("windy" as in it winds a lot, not that the wind blows).

    The good news; if you're heading east (toward Yosemite), it is almost impossible to inadvertently find yourself on OPG. If you're heading west (out of Yosemite), past Groveland, be very careful about taking the left road out of any forks.

    On the far side of Yosemite (down to 395 and Mono Lake) the road looks like this:

    Photo: Don Casey

    It's hard to tell from the picture, but it is fairly wide (although two lanes), and while it has some curves, they're not that tight.

    One final thought on that speed thing: do take your time and enjoy the journey, but please also be mindful of your other drivers. In California you are REQUIRED to use turnouts to let people pass anytime there are more than 4 vehicles stacked up behind you, but if you've been tooling along for several minutes with somebody on your rear bumper it is courteous to use a turnout to let them proceed anyway.

    I drive a fast car, but when I fell like cruising along within the speed limit (it does happen) I will pull over to let people pass. Yes, there are times when a Corvette driver will allow a Jetta to pass him.

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