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RE: Advice for a trip up the west coast

Again, I want to thank everyone for their advice. Everyone absolutely contributed to a successful trip. We did it in 8 days (played hookie one additional day) 2,352 miles in 8ish days. 1 truck stop, 5 campgrounds, 2 Harvest Hosts. 7 wineries, 3 museums, 1 tourist town, 1 National/State park, 1 aquarium, 1 wedding and countless scenic vistas/overlooks. Can't wait for another trip like this. Thanks to everyone again, for great advice. Brian
prepilot_3ck 06/28/19 05:15pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Advice for a trip up the west coast

prepilot…..We do a similar trip every other year, except from Los Angeles. Not to burst your bubble, but you're wasting your time. The routes you're talking about will have you driving in the coach, more than camping. Driving a major highway in an RV, most can average 50-55mph. Driving the coast in either California or Oregon, you'll average about 35-45 mph and it will be exhausting.....lots of on and off the throttle and turns. If you really want to do this trip, bonzai via the shortest route from Reno, via I-5 to northern Oregon and then come back south, crossing back to the I-5 at the California/Oregon border. I'm not being fecitiuos, but with your schedule, you'll have just enough time to park in a campsite, eat dinner and prep for travel the next day. The trip you're talking about is at least a 14-21 day trip if you want to sight see and enjoy yourself. Bubble not bursted. This is exactly the kind of information I was looking for so thank you. Yeah, we'd LOVE to spend more time doing this, but our schedule just won't allow it. We enjoy the ride in the RV and I enjoy driving the RV so I think for this trip we'll just have to make note of where we want to stop next time. :) Thanks!
prepilot_3ck 06/09/19 09:57am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Advice for a trip up the west coast

be sure you call and make reservations at the parks you want to stay at. this time of year it is almost impossible to get in to them. don't wait do it now x2 It may already be too late for the best parks. My own feelings is to do that round trip in 7.5 days is a very aggressive schedule. You'll save more time by staying on the I-5 even with the mountains. Some sections of the 101 have plenty of stop lights when you get near the towns. I live in Eugene/Springfield. Don't take the rig through Eugene. Go up the I-5 and take the 195 exit over the freeway west and just stay on it and it will intersect Hwy 126. Turn right and it takes you to Florence. Old Town Florence is nice with an RV parking lot on the east side of town. A real nice RV park in Florence is Harbor Vista just a mile or two north of town. There is also a casino(Three Rivers) in Florence that has an RV park with hookups, and you can also boondock at the Casino if you'd like. One tourist trap to skip is Sea Lion Caves. It stinks(literally) and if you pull over at the next north cutout you can see all the Sea lions you want for free. Don't come over to the coast from Corvalis. So many switchbacks my girls we're throwing up and I looked back and both cats we're throwing up also. Their trying to fix the road but it still sucks. When you get to Newport make sure you see Nye beach. Lots of nice little shops and eateries. A good seafood restaurant in Newport is the Sea Hag. Good luck. PS gas is about a buck more in California than Oregon. Gas up in Oregon if possible. Great! Thank you. We're going up for a cousin's wedding and my wife and I are only in our early 40's so we're both still working. 7.5 days isn't our choice, but it's kinda what we got. So we're considering this to be kinda of like and Alaskan or Hawaiian cruise. We're just going to be able to see the high points then target specific things on future trips to that area. This is great information though, thank you!
prepilot_3ck 06/09/19 09:53am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Advice for a trip up the west coast

Go south on 101 better access to view points and easier to get back on the highway turning right than left! You have a ambitious schedule. The route from Reno via Klamath falls and crossing to Eugene is the easy climb. Go as far north in Oregon on I- 5 as you have time then cut over most roads are fine but the further north the more you climb the “small “ coast range and back down to the sea All very doable but I’ve lived there my whole life and don’t know your comfort level Driving . Now come down 101 . I don’t know where all the switchbacks and close overhangs are but they aren’t on 101 ! ... it’s a major highway ... trucks use highway! 1 maybe in calif but that’s 1 not 101 . The north coast has lots to see and do different from the south coast but you know your timeline. Have a great visit ! Oregon State parks are fantastic and midweek availability can usually be had if you stop early I'm a pretty confident RV driver. Been doing it for a little over a decade now and have encountered lots of stuff. So far so good. With my gas motor pulling a car, I just hate working the engine that hard. I miss my DP in a lot of ways, this is one of them. It is a tight time line, but we like being on the road, so it's not a huge deal.
prepilot_3ck 06/07/19 04:45pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Advice for a trip up the west coast

We have done I5 North to Williams, CA. West on highway 20 which drops you out on the 101 near Willits, CA and then 101 North up the coast. Done it with the 40' FW and the 36' MH and trailer. Cool! THanks!
prepilot_3ck 06/07/19 03:01pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Advice for a trip up the west coast

E side of the sierras is nice and would be my choice. The greater LA area is a nightmare, and I drive it once a month from San Diego to Goleta. 101 does not get picturesque until you clear Ventura. Beware rush hours through Santa Barbara too. I hear that.. ok. Thanks.
prepilot_3ck 06/07/19 03:00pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Advice for a trip up the west coast

My suggestion would be to head west to Bakersfield then get on I-5 and head north to Salem, OR. Turn west at Salem to HWY 101 and travel southbound. The scenic viewpoints will all be on the right side so you would not have to deal with cross traffic when pulling in to see the fantastic views. We did that in a 40' motorhome and towing. There are a few tight turns, but I never had to get over the centerline to make the curve. Since you have more time heading north than south, you could reverse what I said, but cross traffic can be pretty hectic during the summer. Thanks!
prepilot_3ck 06/07/19 03:00pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Advice for a trip up the west coast

Did the PCH 2 years ago from LA to Oregon with our 37-0 motorhome and toad. Some of the switchbacks will make you real nervous. If you cut a little to tight the overhanging rocks will redesign your MH. The trip although beautiful wore my ass out. Get ready for some real expensive camp sites and fuel. Hmmm maybe I'll stay away from the PCH. Thanks
prepilot_3ck 06/07/19 02:58pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Advice for a trip up the west coast

Is it doable in a 40Ft gas class-A with a toad? my opinion, you will be a worn out nervous wreck i did it once with a PUP / fold out popup but i would never do it with a big class A , even without the toad I'm a pretty confident RV driver and don't get too stressed out even in the most dicey situations. What really freaks me out is strong wind when the road is under construction and the lane is made narrow by concrete barriers. THAT'S when I tend to pucker up.
prepilot_3ck 06/07/19 02:55pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Advice for a trip up the west coast

You are planning a 2000 mile round trip journey in 7 1/2 days? There is no logical route other than 95 all the way to Reno and across the great divide (big hill but you get over it quickly). It's then 395 N. and the logical route from there through Susanville and Klamath Falls. You could also detour after you cross the great divide through Grass Valley and Yuba City to get to I-5 to get yourself up OR. It's just about how many miles you like vs. how many hours you like. In any case it's going to be a grueling trip. Good luck! Great points there. 95 doesn't look too hilly. I'll have to re-eval that route. Getting out of the heat, and down to sea level seems like the idea thing, but....yeah, like you said, it's miles vs. time I guess. Thanks
prepilot_3ck 06/07/19 02:52pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Advice for a trip up the west coast

If possible go up to Ft Stevens State Park. Visit the Maritime Museum in Astoria which is very interesting. The line across the street at the Bowpicker is for excellent Fish and Chips. Take the $2 waterfront trolly trip. You won't regret the trip further north. The OR/CA border is the only higher elevation pass and not to bad. Several of the roads from 5 to 101 in OR are OK, not to limited. 20 in CA is OK or 37 to Vallejo on a non Sears Point race day. Outstanding. Thank you!
prepilot_3ck 06/07/19 02:45pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Advice for a trip up the west coast

Second the reservations. 101 is a great drive, but slow, with lots of bad road and construction. Well worth the time and drive. Thanks!
prepilot_3ck 06/07/19 02:43pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Advice for a trip up the west coast

be sure you call and make reservations at the parks you want to stay at. this time of year it is almost impossible to get in to them. don't wait do it now good call! Brian
prepilot_3ck 06/07/19 02:42pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Advice for a trip up the west coast

Awesome! Thank you, this gives me a little hope. We have more time to get there than we have coming home. So, we'll take our time and make a ton of stops on the way up, then push it on the way home. The no-hills thing I think works both ways. Vegas is 2200Ft and the mountains between here and bakersfield are only a couple thousand feet higher, and it's one maybe two passes before you get to the lower flatter stuff in CA. Heading up the east side of the mountains toward Reno is just pass after pass after pass, up and down up and down. Those passes are no joke either, 9K-10K+ feet in some cases. In a gas motorhome, it's just not fun. So, my plan is to hit the lower and less frequent passes between Vegas and Bakersfield and get to sea-level as soon as I can and then just stay there. On the way back, it's just the reverse. So, couple thousand ft passes and then we're at Vegas level. Brian 101 is a major truck route and you'll have no problems along with many other RVs. I've taken the rig with toad through SF many times mostly 280/19th Ave. Middle lane, mid day works well and again this July for us. No GG toll north bound. South bound you pre pay, post pay or have FasTrak, there are no toll collectors, don't stop and cannot pay anyone. How does going up the coast help with hills when returning? The entire OR coast is great so see the northern part if possible. The crossover at Eugene is good as are some of the other roads. Consider heading to Astoria/Columbia river and south down the entire coast or the reverse course. There is a slight south bound rig advantage. Most of the ocean view points are on curves and on the ocean side. Hence no cross traffic when you pull off/on south bound.
prepilot_3ck 06/06/19 02:59pm Class A Motorhomes
Advice for a trip up the west coast

Fellow Class A'ers, My wife and I have an RV trip planned that will take us from Las Vegas, NV to Newport,Or and back in the course of about 7 1/2 days. We've looked at a variety of different routes. One that takes us up the east side of the Sierra Nevada's into Reno/Tahoe then into Eugene then over to new port. Another route that takes us west-ish to Bakersfield then up to Sac, then Eugene and over. Then there is the route I actually WANT to take. I'd LIKE to get to sea-level as fast as I can to minimize the climbing I'd have to do on the other routes. Newport is on the coast, and the Hwy 1/hwy 101 look amazing in terms of scenery. I've researched a ton of RV parks, campgrounds and rest stops so I have a pretty good idea of where we can/should stay, but I just don't know how reasonable from a driving standpoint going up the coast is. Does anyone have experience driving the 1/101 up the coast? Is it doable in a 40Ft gas class-A with a toad? What's the best way to cut over to the coast? Should I get north of the bay area first? or is the drive on the 1 through San Fran not too bad? Being 2 lane roads is the traffic really bad? So many questions. Thanks! Brian
prepilot_3ck 06/06/19 01:49pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Solar Sanity check (SSC?)

Frig may warm up more than you plan on. Each time mine is turned back on it does a defrost. My resi uses about 75 AH per day. I was running on four GC2 with a gas fridge, LED bulbs, 42 in led television, fans etc and did fine on 520 watts tilted. When I went to the 10 cu ft resi I added 480 watts of panels and two more GC for six total. It can pretty much carry itself but we usually run the Genny in the am for coffee maker so some of the heavy amps are going back in. Your fridge warms up overnight or while it's in storage? Dang, yeah I'll have to check on the size of my fridge. It's the one that came with the RV but I don't know what size it is. 480W just for the fridge...that's something to make note of for sure. We do coffee with a press, and breakfast (my kind at least) is cooked outside typically so mornings are pretty low power for us. Probably not a bad idea to kick on the generator though.
prepilot_3ck 02/27/19 05:35am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Solar Sanity check (SSC?)

First thing I'd do is measure your power usage. You probably have 1 amp DC of parasitic loads (I have 3 24/7) and your 1-3 amps AC for a residential is hopefully only 1 and then only 40% of the time. The 21 CuFt Whirlpool I installed draws 8 amps DC (96W) measured before the inverter and 1.2KW/day or 16 cents. I agree you can turn the inverter off for 8 hours at night (temp will not rise to much in the refer) but I would run the generator for 30 minutes to make coffee and power the refer while it gets back up to temp. If you use your generator in the evening and morning, 100W of solar panel/battery is all you need... 400W of panels for 4 batteries. If you are a purest (solar only, no generator) then you need to double the number of panels. I recently installed 900W (9 100W panels) into a 60 amp mppt controller. Cost was $550 for the panels and $450 for the controller. Made my own tilting mounts so $250 in misc parts and cables...$1.40/watt. I have 9 batteries although the 9 panels was more what would fit on my roof and leave room to walk on one side. https://i.imgur.com/nGGTfoRl.jpg I love this set up too. For the last several years I've said this is the year I'm going to do it(Solar) but just have never pulled the trigger. The 12 Volt Panels would fit the profile (size wise) of my roof and running the panel similar to the above would work best. My place of choice for all Solar is Solar Blvd since I live close enough to go pick them up and on occasion the have 180 watt 12 volt panels that would fit well....maybe this year. PS.... Wow, so much for Solar Blvd... it appears they are NO LONGER in Business. Guess I waited too Long!!! Awww man.. yeah. That sucks. I had heard really good things about them as well. Renogy has been SUPER good to me on the phone and email. I'm probably going to be giving them my business.
prepilot_3ck 02/25/19 03:53pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Solar Sanity check (SSC?)

First thing I'd do is measure your power usage. You probably have 1 amp DC of parasitic loads (I have 3 24/7) and your 1-3 amps AC for a residential is hopefully only 1 and then only 40% of the time. The 21 CuFt Whirlpool I installed draws 8 amps DC (96W) measured before the inverter and 1.2KW/day or 16 cents. I agree you can turn the inverter off for 8 hours at night (temp will not rise to much in the refer) but I would run the generator for 30 minutes to make coffee and power the refer while it gets back up to temp. If you use your generator in the evening and morning, 100W of solar panel/battery is all you need... 400W of panels for 4 batteries. If you are a purest (solar only, no generator) then you need to double the number of panels. I recently installed 900W (9 100W panels) into a 60 amp mppt controller. Cost was $550 for the panels and $450 for the controller. Made my own tilting mounts so $250 in misc parts and cables...$1.40/watt. I have 9 batteries although the 9 panels was more what would fit on my roof and leave room to walk on one side. https://i.imgur.com/nGGTfoRl.jpg Nice! Yeah, I need to pick up a battery monitor to see what parasitic draw might be there from stuff. I wouldn't say I'm a purest, I just don't like the noise of the generator. Part of that might be a little paranoia too. I don't like people sneaking up on me, and with the generator I could be surprised pretty easily. I also like the idea of not using my gas. Although, if I need to run the generator, I'll let er' rip. I just try not too. Heck of a setup you got there. I think that would be my ultimate goal. 900 - 1000 or more if I have the space. Thanks!
prepilot_3ck 02/22/19 04:25pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Solar Sanity check (SSC?)

I there is enough solar, then running the fridge during the day is better as the it may draw the bank down for 20 minutes, and then the solar can recharge for 40 minutes. If 600 watts is used, then there may be little or no discharging of the bank for the shoulder hours from 2.5 hours before and after 'solar noon'. As azrving noted it might be better to leave the inverter on and run the fridge all night. With the cooler overnight temperatures the fridge shouldn't cycle as often or as long as during the day. Interesting thought. We did that once on a stop over in a rest stop after a good long day of driving. Batteries were dead by 4am I think. I don't remember if we had run the generator or not, but we had been driving (probably with the inverter on) for about 6 hours. Brian
prepilot_3ck 02/22/19 03:29pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Solar Sanity check (SSC?)

I would be aiming at 800+ watts. Clear space without shadows can get to be an issue when going big. Thanks. 800W+ is definitely a long term target. As much as possible, is really my goal, but I need to phase this in. Brian
prepilot_3ck 02/22/19 03:28pm Class A Motorhomes
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