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obgraham

TriCites WA

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Posted: 01/24/20 08:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

All I can say is I agree that it is always "different strokes for different folks".
As for me, I can't understand why folks head up to a part of the country they want to "see" and then stay on the freeways the whole time. To me, WA14 is by far a more pleasant road than the busier I-84 through the Gorge.

I cannot think of a lot of paved state or federal highways that aren't traversable with an RV. Heck, they're all full of 53' semis.

RedRollingRoadblock

Oregon

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Posted: 01/24/20 10:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

While there is tunnels on WA 14 unless you are over 13'6" or overwidth there is nothing to stop you. You don't need to hug the center line or straddle it. If you can keep your vehicle n your lane you will have no problems. If you can't, well take a remedial driving course. If you hit the tunnel you have already hit the curb.

paulj

Seattle

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Posted: 01/24/20 04:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

US 212 from Red Lodge into Yellowstone is one federal number road that most RV owners shouldn't take. Not a bad road, but just a lot of high altitude climbing. Teton Pass from Jackson to Idaho (22/32) is another pass you should avoid.

McKinzie HWy OR 242 is off limits to longer rigs because the summit area winds through a lava field with sharp turns. I haven't driven it myself because it hasn't been open when I've passed the area (late spring snow).

In the Columbia Gorge, I84 is freeway, allowing the driver some chance to rubberneck. US30 lets you get closer to the forest and waterfalls, but is an old, pre-RV, route. The mountains on the Washington side aren't as high, but WA14 lets you look at the Oregon side from across the river - just be sure to do that when stopped!.

You can drive on paved forest service roads from Carson to Randle, with a side trip to the east side of Mt St Helens. But you do need to be comfortable with grades and curves.

Learn to use online mapping tools like Google Maps. With terrain mode and Streetview, it is possible to 'drive' most paved routes (and some gravel) in the western USA. Practice on familiar roads to get a feel for how those map images reflect the real world. We have far more information roads across the USA than we did decades ago with paper maps and AAA routing guides.

USATraveler2

Kansas

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Posted: 01/26/20 06:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank you to all who gave advise - we will use it as we travel.

Travel safe and enjoy.

Dave5143

Arizona

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Posted: 01/26/20 07:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We did that trip this last summer. No problems with the roads. You are aware that the Seattle metropolitan area has world class traffic jams right?


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Durb

NW

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Posted: 01/26/20 11:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

RedRollingRoadblock wrote:

While there is tunnels on WA 14 unless you are over 13'6" or overwidth there is nothing to stop you. You don't need to hug the center line or straddle it. If you can keep your vehicle n your lane you will have no problems. If you can't, well take a remedial driving course. If you hit the tunnel you have already hit the curb.


Not hardly. The tunnel next to Drano Lake has a side clearance of 12'-3". The tunnel next to tunnel lake has a side clearance of 11'-9". The fourth tunnel down has a side clearance of 12'-7". If you have a fifth wheel, you won't be able to hit a curb without ripping the roof off your trailer. Maybe all the concrete scarring on the tunnels' faces are flukes.

Don't believe me? Go on google earth and take a street level view. You can read the signs for yourself.

bigjimcruising

Western Washington

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Posted: 01/27/20 05:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you're in Washington during the summer months I recommend the Loop around the Olympic Peninsula in Northwest Washington. Allow lots of time to make many stops!

If you're in decent shape take the walk to Neah bay.

If the weather is good drive up to Hurricane Ridge, the view is worth it.

There are so many more to list but those are a couple highlights. There are guides and websites to check out lots of things to see and do. Too many for me to even try to list. The drive alone is worth it!


2001 Dodge Ram 2500 4x4, 5.9 engine with winch and service body. Getting it ready for a new camper and then hit the trails!

RedRollingRoadblock

Oregon

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Posted: 01/28/20 08:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Durb wrote:

RedRollingRoadblock wrote:

While there is tunnels on WA 14 unless you are over 13'6" or overwidth there is nothing to stop you. You don't need to hug the center line or straddle it. If you can keep your vehicle n your lane you will have no problems. If you can't, well take a remedial driving course. If you hit the tunnel you have already hit the curb.


Not hardly. The tunnel next to Drano Lake has a side clearance of 12'-3". The tunnel next to tunnel lake has a side clearance of 11'-9". The fourth tunnel down has a side clearance of 12'-7". If you have a fifth wheel, you won't be able to hit a curb without ripping the roof off your trailer. Maybe all the concrete scarring on the tunnels' faces are flukes.

Don't believe me? Go on google earth and take a street level view. You can read the signs for yourself.


Oh I believe you okay. I have read those signs several times going east on the highway more than once and each time I was dragging a 45' trailer that was 13'6" tall, or thereabouts. East on 14 to avoid the Wyeth (Hood River) scale, now relocated to Cascade Locks. Used to come west every once in a while the same way for a different view. Never did hit the tunnels that you are so sure that you can't go through.

richardcoxid

Idaho Falls, ID

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Posted: 01/28/20 09:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You didn’t mention WY in your list of states to visit. However if you are also going to YNP, GTNP you will probably travel thru WY. This post is information about Hwy’s 14, 14A and 16 over the Big Horn Mountains in North central WY.

We have traveled WY Hwy’s 14, 14A and 16 both directions East and West over the Big Horns. 14 & 14A solo without the RV, 16 with/without the RV quite a few times.

WY #14- 47 miles between Greybull and Burgess Junction including 18 miles of 5-7% grade with a elevation change of 4600 feet.

WY #14A- 52 miles between Lovell and Burgess Junction including 10 miles of 10% grade with a elevation change of 3600 feet.

The above information was obtained from a road information sign at Burgess Junction going West (down hill) Also both routes have a few 20/25 MPH hairpin curves thrown in just to increase the pucker factor. BTW the elevation of the town of Burgess Junction is 8041 feet.

WY #16 In our estimation is overall generally a better road. Which ever way you look at it all three routes cross the Big Horn Mountains. #16 is the farthest south where the Big Horns gradually meet the high plains.


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PawPaw_n_Gram

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Posted: 01/29/20 07:11am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In general my experience in 2017 was that when traveling off the freeways through mountainous areas, increase your time of travel estimates. Averaging 40-45 mph on US highways and state highways is good. Averaging 35 is more common. some freeways - 40 mph average was all I could get, especially I-5 in the cities.

My rig is similar to yours. My Ram smaller gas Hemi mega cab is 22 ft long. with the 36 ft TT and a rack for the sewer tote on the back, I'm 62 ft total long and weigh a bit over 18,000 lbs. Never found any of the grades we took to be a problem, either up or down. But I planned my crossings of the major mountain ranges carefully.

From near May 1 when we left Eureka CA up into Oregon via US-199 to late August heading east on I-90 across Washington, we stayed close to the coast. Did the Olympic Peninsula Loop, including a stay at Sol Duc in the NP.

Made three trips through Portland, including a week stay right beside the river, three trips through Tacoma/Seattle nightmare.

Crossed the costal range on US-199, US-20, OR-22/130, OR-6 and US-12.

Crossed the Cascades on OR-140, OR-26, US-12, I-90, US-2 and WA-20.

In general, I'd rather follow a slow curvey relatively flat river valley than climb through higher passes. Ain't going to get anywhere fast once you leave the freeways.

In MT crossed the Continental Divide on I-90 outside Butte. Steep climb out of Butte. Got down to 45 going up the grade, but was passing 18 wheelers at the time.

My biggest issue was the metropolitan areas of Washington and Oregon.

Traveling I-5 through Portland or Tacoma/Seattle will make you long for the calm easy travel through St Louis, Atlanta or Dallas.

The freeways are simply inadequate for the volume of traffic. And it will never get better. The geography will not allow alternative routes to be built around Portland or Seattle. Kind of like finding a place to cross the Mississippi River.

US-2, one of only four possible routes across the Cascades to the coast may take six to eight hours on a weekend headed west from the Columbia River to the Sound.

The Columbia River from above Portland to the ocean has very few bridges. Congestion is heavy at times, especially the two bridges the cross in the Portland area.

US-101 up the coast is a must drive. There was construction in downtown Tillamook when we were there. Had to fold in my truck mirrors because the road was too narrow to get through without touching either the vehicle in the other lane or the signs beside the street.

Headed east just before Labor Day, we took US-95 -> ID/MT-200 -> MT-56 -> US-2 - > MT-37 -> US-93 from Couer d'Alene to Glacier NP. Simply because we wanted to see the mountains. And we planned to come out of Glacier headed to Yellowstone via Missoula.

It is a wonderful area to visit, especially for a boy raised in the flat piney woods of SW Arkansas, NW Louisiana and NE Texas. And a girl from St Louis.

We love our Ouachita/Ozarks, but the west coast mountains are something to see. Try to take your time and enjoy the little places in addition to the big bucket list spots. An unknown, unplanned almost two hour stop at Kootenai Falls on US-2 west of Libby, Mt was a very, very nice gem.


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