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Author Topic: Route Suggestions? Quartzsite to Santa Monica  (Read 1148 times)


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Route Suggestions? Quartzsite to Santa Monica
« on: January 20, 2014, 07:57:42 PM »
We will be leaving Quartzsite on or about Feb 3rd and heading straight to Santa Monica for a couple week sit down -

looking for route suggestions that best avoid traffic and steep grades - adding time going around things or taking scenic routes doesn't bother as long as its fairly flat and as light traffic as possible.

Thanks for any input!


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Re: Route Suggestions? Quartzsite to Santa Monica
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2014, 09:52:46 PM »
I-10 goes straight from Quartzsite to Santa Monica at the ocean.  Easy.  But avoiding traffic in L.A. is darned near impossible.  Just prepare yourself mentally for more cars than you've ever seen in your life.  The freeways have six lanes each way and sometimes more and you don't want to be there during rush hour.  If anyone knows of a traffic-less route I'm sure they'll tell you but don't count on one!  There's CA-60 the Pomona Freeway, but I don't know if it would have any less traffic than I-10.

« Last Edit: January 20, 2014, 09:59:57 PM by ArdraF »
:D :D

Lou Schneider

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Re: Route Suggestions? Quartzsite to Santa Monica
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2014, 11:23:48 PM »
I do this trip 3-4 times a month, going from Santa Monica to Palm Springs and back.

I-10 is the most direct route, CA 60 has about 10 miles of 4 lane twisty road through some hills where it splits off from I-10 in Banning but has a simpler route through downtown L.A.  Choosing one or the other depends entirely on what the traffic is doing.

The secret to driving an RV in Los Angeles is to stay in the right hand lane with the trucks.  Keep a comfortable distance between yourself and the truck in front of you (no need to tailgate!) and you'll be fine.  Trucks and any vehicle towing a trailer (including RVs towing cars) are restricted to the two right-most through lanes on any multi-lane freeway, unless there's a sign saying otherwise or you're lining up for a left exit.  Usually these signs are on overpasses.  The right hand lane is the travel lane, the second lane from the right is the passing lane, so don't dawdle in it unless you like having trucks that want to pass breathing down your tail.

All of the L.A. freeways have speed and traffic sensors embedded in them, and you can get real time information on how the freeways are doing at:


I check this every time I head out onto the L.A. freeways.  With luck, all the freeways between where you are and where you're going will be green, and you can zip right through.

Time your trip so you go through downtown L.A. mid day (10 AM - 2 PM) and you should be fine.  This means leaving the Palm Springs area about 9 - 10 AM.  Or go after 8 PM at night.

Be aware if you use I-10 that you will have to exit to the right twice within a couple of miles as you approach downtown L.A. to stay on I-10 to Santa Monica.  If not, you'll end up either on US 101 heading northwest out of town or on I-5 going towards Orange County and Disneyland.  If you take CA 60 it's a straight shot through downtown to I-10 and Santa Monica.

There's a McDonalds just off of I-10 about 30 miles west of Palm Springs, at the 22nd St. exit in Banning.  This is just before you enter the L.A. basin and is a good place to pull off and use their wi-fi to check the traffic situation.  CA 60 is a Left exit about 5 miles further if you choose that route.

If you want to stay overnight in the Palm Springs area before hitting L.A., there are a couple of casinos that will let you boondock for free.  One is at the Dillon Rd. exit at the eastern edge of town.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2014, 12:16:27 AM by Lou Schneider »


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Re: Route Suggestions? Quartzsite to Santa Monica
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2014, 12:57:56 PM »
No significant grades but LOTS OF TRAFFIC.  If you have the time, you might want to consider taking the 101 toward Oxnard/Ventura and then heading South on the Coast Highway to Santa Monica.  There are two grades on the 101 which are moderate and can't be avoided.  I drive them pulling a trailer with no problem.  Start slower with a lower gear and watch your downhill speed.  Once you come to the Coast Highway, it's about 30 miles south to Santa Monica.  But it's a great ride that will take you by Malibu and all the beaches. 

From Q, take the I-10 West to Redlands.  From there, take I-210 North.  It joins and becomes CA 134 in the San Bernadino area.  Continue on the 134 West which will take you to 101 North.  Then stay on 101 North to Oxnard/Ventura.  Rather than negotiate traffic through Oxnard, exit at S Las Posas Road.  Head south about 10 miles and you will be on the Coast Highway.  I would do a serious search for RV parks before going.  It's quite pricy and even basic, no hookup state parks can cost $35 and up per night.  Good luck.               
Gary B1st

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2016 Jeep Wrangler

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