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Author Topic: Best route, Sacramento to San Bernardino  (Read 268 times)

RedT

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Best route, Sacramento to San Bernardino
« on: April 23, 2018, 07:46:03 AM »
Will be attending a reunion in Sacramento, and am planning my route home to Arizona via San Bernardino. Seeing 3 options, I-5, SR-99 or US-395. Which would be the better route traveling in a 36-foot motorhome with toad? Or, is there a preferred alternate route from Sacramento to Phoenix?
RedT, US Air Force Retired
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2003 Jeep Liberty
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Lou Schneider

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Re: Best route, Sacramento to San Bernardino
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2018, 10:33:14 AM »
I-5 and CA 99 are toss-ups.  I-5 is a direct through route, a somewhat boring drive with fewer on and off ramps.  CA 99 has more local traffic going from town to town.  99 is also an older route, it was originally US 99 before I-5 was built.

When you get to the bottom, take CA 58 over the Tehachapi Mtns. If you take I-5, CA 223 through Arvin is a good alternative to working your way over through Bakersfield.  The Tehachapi route is a moderate climb to about 4,000 ft., winding through the mountains to Mojave.  Beware of wind advisories, near the summit you'll pass through CA's largest wind farm and it's there for a reason.  Usually you'll have a tail wind going east, but there can be crosswind gusts east of Bakersfield as you head into the mountains.

If you have the time US 395 is a longer but very scenic drive, but you have to climb over the Sierra Nevadas to get to it.  I-80 is the most direct route, US 50 is slower but more scenic.  Just avoid Fridays and the weekends when there's lots of cars and tour buses going to South Lake Tahoe.  Along 395, be sure to stop in at Schat's Bakery in Bishop. Between Bishop and Lone Pine is the Manzanar WWII Japanese internment camp.   Lone Pine has the Alabama Hills where Hollywood filmed numerous westerns.

I'd continue east on 58 to Barstow no matter which way you get there.  There may be some delay at the 58/395 stoplight until they finish the bypass, other than that 58 is now 4 lane freeway the whole way.  From Barstow take I-40 to Needles, then US 95 on the CA side or AZ 95 on the Arizona side south to I-10.  If you use the CA side, turn east at CA 62 to Parker, then take AZ 95 south to I-10 at Quartzsite. 

Or take AZ 95 south. It's a better road than US 95 on the CA side, but slightly longer and you'll have some delay going through the half dozen or so stoplights in Lake Havasu City.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2018, 11:03:33 AM by Lou Schneider »

marcortez

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Re: Best route, Sacramento to San Bernardino
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2018, 11:09:07 AM »
Sacto I-80 east to Reno NV.
I-580 south out of Reno NV
580 turns into US Hwy 395
South bound.
US 395 all the way 4 corners CA.
Hwy 58 east to Barstow CA and hook up with I-40 eastbound.
Hwy 395 is stunning scenery along the east side of the Sierra Nevada mountains.
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RedT

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Re: Best route, Sacramento to San Bernardino
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2018, 05:59:54 PM »
Great information! Thank you. Can you comment on road conditions on I-5, also can I cross the river at Parker, AZ with a 36-foot motorhome?
RedT, US Air Force Retired
2004 Itasca Meridian 36G
2003 Jeep Liberty
M&G Brake System, VMSpc
Pressure Pro TPMS

ArdraF

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Re: Best route, Sacramento to San Bernardino
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2018, 06:06:27 PM »
Quote
can I cross the river at Parker, AZ with a 36-foot motorhome?

Absolutely!  We do in a 40 ft. DP motorhome towing a Jeep.  There's a lower speed limit in the area of the bridge and you just take it slow crossing.

ArdraF
ArdraF
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Lou Schneider

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Re: Best route, Sacramento to San Bernardino
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2018, 07:06:44 PM »
California has been actively repaving I-5 for several years now, it should be pretty much done.  However, they don't add fresh pavement underneath overpasses because the extra road height would diminish the posted clearance and the state would have to update their oversize load database, so expect to find brief stretches of rough, old pavement there.

You may also find cars tend to travel in packs on I-5.  With a 15 MPH difference between the truck and car speed limits, when a truck pulls into the left lane to pass, cars quickly back up behind him.  Then when the truck pulls back into the right lane drivers go crazy trying to claim the clear road in front of the pack leader.  Just back off a bit and let them go and you'll soon have clear road to yourself again.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2018, 07:16:13 PM by Lou Schneider »

Brokeass Boater

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Re: Best route, Sacramento to San Bernardino
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2018, 03:32:47 PM »
I live 50 miles south of Sac, if I was headed to south from Sac, I'd take 99 during non commute hours, mid morning or after 6-7pm. I-5 sucks bad all the way to the grapevine. 99 has a good stretches of 3 lanes hwy down to Merced, traffic flows better during those hours then I-5 with all the truck traffic. Plus if you wanted to cross over to 58 east, your already on the east side of Bakersfield. Not sure I would go thru Socal and risk getting stuck in that traffic unless it was late night. I worked on my last project in Parker for 4 mos before retiring, traveled all ways going back and forth on weekends,,,gregg
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RedT

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Re: Best route, Sacramento to San Bernardino
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2018, 04:12:40 PM »
Thanks, Gregg..... we did 99 last time in 2014 and thought it was pretty rough, so came back on US-395. Thought we might try I-5 this time. Agree with you on SR-58 through Tehachapi. Last time we were in western Arizona, the Parker bridge was closed to large vehicles. I guess they have a new road now.
RedT, US Air Force Retired
2004 Itasca Meridian 36G
2003 Jeep Liberty
M&G Brake System, VMSpc
Pressure Pro TPMS

 

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