Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Absolute positively the worst road ever
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 > Absolute positively the worst road ever

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profdant139

Southern California

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Posted: 01/24/20 09:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hmmm. In my experience, the worst roads lead to the best campsites! For example, Sonora Pass in California has a 26 percent (yes!!) grade with hairpin turns. I talked to the Highway Patrol and they said that I would be ok with my small trailer on that road.

I did it. It led to some of the greatest boondocking sites ever. And no neighbors!

Or some of the forest roads we have taken, with huge rocks and deep potholes. (Forestdale Road near Carson Pass, for example.) Driving at 3 mph in order to avoid a broken axle. Once again, those terrible roads led us to some amazing campsites.

In terms of really bad paved roads, I would say that portions of Interstate 5 in Northern California are the roughest we've seen. The trucks have crumbled the right lane. The left lane is going too fast for me and my trailer. I have to go at least 55 in the right lane. And there is no safe way to avoid the damaged concrete pavement. Wham!

So far, no damage to the undercarriage of my trailer, but it is nerve-wracking.


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enblethen

Moses Lake, WA

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Posted: 01/24/20 09:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Most people do not know bad roads! Many of those listed by other posters have not been on bad roads.
My worst road was between La Paz, Bolivia and Viacho, Bolivia was driving 40 passenger bus! Thousand foot drop on one side and 5000 foot mountain on other side. One lane, and small turnouts.


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pigfarmer

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Posted: 01/24/20 10:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

enblethen - that road would have made Highway 104 like a straight flat interstate. I asked about the Fam Camp wondering if you've been to Widbey. Other than the sounds of freedom, we love that FamCamp/campground.





enblethen

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Posted: 01/24/20 10:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes, I have been to Whidbey many years ago. The main campground (Cliffside) on base was always full. We stayed at the "overflow" campground just south of base. No hook ups. I was told that they are now following regulations for length of stay.
Might give them a call!
Whidbey Cliffside

paulj

Seattle

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Posted: 01/24/20 03:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jamesu wrote:

OR-31 between Valley Falls and La Pine, OR. 120 miles. An absolute Washboard for a good 80-90 miles of that route.....


I've driven that about a dozen years ago and don't recall it being bad. OK,it was in cute-ute not a RV. And come to think of it, I didn't drive the whole way.

We spent the night at Summer Lake Hot Springs - nice rustic camping and soaking. And then back tracked to Paisley for breakfast, and then drove up into the mountains to the east. And didn't get back to 31 until Silver Lake. The forest service roads in the area were normal gravel. Even drove most of the way up to Hagar Mtn Lookout.

After Silver Lake I detoured to Fort Rock. On a gravel road near Hole in the Ground I got a flat from a broken piece of chain saw file (talk about a bumpy ride!). I was able to plug it, and drove on to La Pine.

One of the worse pieces of washboard that I recall was the Sun Pass road (623) between OR62 and US97, just east of Crater Lake. On the paper map it looked like a nice straight shortcut. It was a wide and straight, without much of a grade, but gravel that hadn't seen a grader in a long while. It was the kind of washboard that you either go slow, or fast, skimming the bumps, while still trying to maintain control. That too was in a cute-ute, a first gen RAV4.

Gravel with varying degrees of washboard is the norm in eastern Oregon - both in the mountains and the high desert.

On the subject of the Oregon outback, just last summer a back country bikepacker came upon a severely dehydrated man on a dirt track between OR140 and Hart Mtn Refuge. He had a Spot emergency beacon, and was able to signal for help. And in the mean time he provided a bit of water and shelter. Turns out the man had gotten his pickup stuck in one of the ruts/gullies near there, and tried to walk out. He had two small dogs as well. All three survived, largely thanks to the fortuitous encounter with a long distance bike rider.

1320Fastback

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Posted: 01/24/20 07:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The worst road I've ever driven on with the trailer was the 285 South out of Carlsbad, NM. Between the 50 miles of head on one lane, zero shoulder, constant construction and the 50,000 oil field workers fresh from a night of drinking and god knows what on the road I was ready for a break from driving, just after 50 miles!


2nd worst was the 90 south out of Lafayette, La.


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time2roll

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Posted: 01/24/20 08:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Never driven a bad road. I enjoy them all.


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suprz

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Posted: 01/25/20 05:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Worst one in the RV, Moki Dugway. On the motorcycle, the road to Chaco Canyon.


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Horsedoc

Dixie --- N. Georgia

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Posted: 01/25/20 07:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Black Rock Mountain Prkwy
Mountain City, Ga (US441 near Clayton, Ga)
terminates at Black Rock Mtn State Park

Not rough or pot holes. But, VERY steep with VERY narrow curves. Impossible in even a PU truck not to cross into the other lane headed up the mountain. road is restricted to small campers.

* This post was edited 01/25/20 08:04am by Horsedoc *

PawPaw_n_Gram

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Posted: 01/25/20 10:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Worst Road, or Most Towing Unfriendly?

The absolute worst road I've ever seen was I-10 in Texas.

About 7 1/2 miles from Orange to the Louisiana state line. In April 2018. The cracks in the asphalt were so bad that a 5er got a wheel stuck. Took 3 1/2 hours with the interstate shutdown for a crane to come in and pick it up to put on a lowboy. Trying to pull the wheel out of the crack detached the axle from the frame mount.

But by Oct 2018, it was passable as the construction had moved to the other side of the freeway.

Permanently bad road - In northwest New Mexico, the entrance road to Chaco Culture National Historical Park from US Hwy 550 to the park entrance is 21 miles. About 1/2 of that is badly washboarded, barely maintained dirt roads across what is posted as BIA land. The remaining 10 or so miles is just a bit of the dirt scraped off the rock by a grader. At least an hour for that part of the trip. Down and through the dry wash is scary because you cannot see around the stuff pushed off the road by the grader after flash flooding. Of course absolutely no cell service is you have a flat or other problem.

I've driven Hwy 104 from Las Vegas, NM, but wasn't towing. Didn't seem especially bad to me. However a person's comfort level varies from person to person and road to road.

I was raised towing 25' ski boats frequently along the tightest, curviest stretches of Arkansas Highway 7 before I got my driver's license at age 16.

The most RV Unfriendly Road I've towed since going full-time in 2014 was CA-36 out of Red Bluff, CA west to US-101 in Fortuna (rock slides had blocked US-101 completely north of Garberville, five on 298 were making it a 9-10 hour one way trip). Much like you described NM-104. Many CA residents on this forum have told me that is impossible to tow my 62' total length truck and trailer across that road. I didn't find it exceptionally challenging. But it was the only place where I've had to stop twice for 30-45 minutes each time to let my brakes cool down.

But there was very little traffic. When someone came up behind me. I would stop on a fairly straight section and wave the past. Had to get out a couple times and tell the folks it was okay to go around me. No shoulders so no way to pull over.

I know my right is big and slow. Frustrating for anyone driving a living, or just wanting to get some place. I got much more time than money, and always do the best I can to let them pass me.

However, I NEVER, EVER, trust a GPS to plan a route for me. I tell the GPS the waypoints I want to use, the route I want to take. If I had planned the normal route out of Las Vegas, I would have taken US-84, unless I wanted to stop at Conchas Lake. Then I would have taken NM-104, expecting a long slow drive.


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"You were supposed to turn back at the last street."

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