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  1. Default I-5 California trip - Worried about mountain passes

    We are planning a trip in August to California from B.C. We plan on travelling the I-5 as it's the quickest route there and we only plan on stopping in San Francisco and then on to Hollywood and the beaches of LA. This will be our first long trip in a motorhome that we just bought; it's an 1987 28' Ford Class C Motorhome, with under 100,000 miles. We will be pulling our PT Cruiser behind us on a car dolly. My husband is saying now that he's worried about going through the mountain passes and maybe we should take the coast highway. I think he's worried about overheating or the performace of the older RV chuggin' it up the mountain passes. Can anyone offer any advice on what the mountain passes are like (are we talking a few hours of mountain driving or days worth?) and are they as bad as what he's thinking they will be? Living in B.C. we travel the Coquihalla Hwy quite often (although we haven't in the RV yet) so we are used to a section or two of steep inclines but then levelling out and just driving at a higher elevation. Not sure if that is what we should expect for the drive to California? Also, what sections of the I-5 will be going through the mountains and is it feasible to pull off the I-5 and divert our route for those sections? I'm just worried that if we take the Coast Highway the entire route, we will be travelling at a much slower speed and it will take alot longer to get there. We only have 2 weeks and with 2 teenagers, a ton of stuff to fit into the itinerary!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I'd put it this way, if your RV isn't capable of making the trip over the mountains on the Interstate system, which is designed for long haul truckers with limited curves and grades, then it probably isn't capable of making much any long distance trip - and I doubt the very curvy, slow, and scenic coast highway will be much better for you.

    I do feel compelled to ask why you are doing this trip in an RV at all? I'm guessing you feel compelled to take out your new toy, however, neither LA nor San Francisco (like most cities really) are very good choices for an RV trip, and then you probably do need to pull a car behind just so you have a reasonable way of manuvering through these cities. With your limited time frame, and since you aren't spending any time at all in natural environment (where RV travel can really shine), taking the RV is really just going to make your trip more difficult, much more time consuming, and more expensive.

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