California route 1

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TonyL

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Has anyone on the forum ever traveled highway 1 southbound from Leggett to Santa Barbara towing a fifth wheel, and if so, how was it and would they do it again.
 

DonTom

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Has anyone on the forum ever traveled highway 1 southbound from Leggett to Santa Barbara towing a fifth wheel, and if so, how was it and would they do it again.
It's been a while since I have been down that way, but from what I remember, Hwy 1 isn't all that bad down that way. It's north of SF where Hwy 1 gets ridiculously windy.

-Don- Auburn, CA
 

Viajeros

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It's been a while since I have been down that way, but from what I remember, Hwy 1 isn't all that bad down that way. It's north of SF where Hwy 1 gets ridiculously windy.

-Don- Auburn, CA
I think there are length limitations on that route as well. Seems to me our motorhome combo was not allowed, but I maybe thinking of another route.

We are currently actively planning a tour from BC to Puerta penasco following that route. But we are towing a small 18 foot teardrop trailer behind a mid sized CUV.
 
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DonTom

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I think there are length limitations on that route as well.
I think it is just advisory, not CA law. For the CA laws on length and such, see here.

We are currently actively planning a tour from BC to Puerta penasco following that route.
I've always wondered why Canadian RVers prefer Mexico over the USA. Seems every Canadian RV'er I have ran into likes to stay in Baja for the winter.

-Don- Auburn, CA
 

Viajeros

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I think it is just advisory, not CA law. For the CA laws on length and such, see here.


I've always wondered why Canadian RVers prefer Mexico over the USA. Seems every Canadian RV'er I have ran into likes to stay in Baja for the winter.

-Don- Auburn, CA
We like both. We owned property in California until a few months ago. But we have also travelled by (little) motorhome through 25 of the 31 Mexican states. We speak fluent Spanish and really enjoy the culture. Our focus is changing a bit and we’ll be spending more time overseas and in Mexico for the next few years. Lots to see in the world.
 

DonTom

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Our focus is changing a bit and we’ll be spending more time overseas and in Mexico for the next few years. Lots to see in the world.
One of my neighbors here returned from Mexico with the "Mexican Covid". He just was able again to leave his house just a couple of weeks ago.

He already had the "normal" covid as well. He said the Mexican COVID was MUCH worse.

BTW, the very first death from Covid in CA was right here in this county. Placer County. Rocklin is just a few KM west of here.

(sorry for the thread hijack)

-Don- Auburn, CA
 

Lou Schneider

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TonyL said:
Has anyone on the forum ever traveled highway 1 southbound from Leggett to Santa Barbara towing a fifth wheel, and if so, how was it and would they do it again.
Highway 1 north of SF is basically still the same narrow, winding road that was carved out of the cliffs in the 1930s. There are two stretches I wouldn't take a large vehicle over, from Ft. Ross south to the Russian River and south of Stinson Beach to the Golden Gate Bridge.

You can drive Hwy 1 from Leggett through Ft. Bragg and past Mendocino to the KOA in Manchester, then I suggest backtracking to CA 128 and taking it to US 101 in Cloverdale. Leave the trailer at the KOA and make a day trip to visit Fort Ross, etc. Between Ft. Ross (no RV spaces there) and Jenner on the Russian River are some of the sharpest, narrowest switchbacks of any road in CA.

You can return to CA 1 via CA 116 along the Russian River, but an easier route is to follow Bodega Ave. and Tomales-Petaluma Rd. west from Petaluma. Lawson's Landing at Dillon Beach is a privately owned fishing and boating resort with boondock camping in a meadow on the shore of Tomales Bay. It's a good basecamp to explore Pt. Reyes National Seashore, etc. There's also a RV park in Olema but I've never stayed there. Sir Francis Drake Blvd. has about 5 miles of congested city driving between Fairfax and Greenbrae.

The other stretch to avoid with the trailer is south of Stinson Beach up and over the coastal mountains to Mill Valley. At one time CA had formal 35 ft. length restriction to discourage large tour busses from taking this route, they'd have to cross over into the opposing lane to negotiate the switchbacks. I don't know if it's still in effect.

South of San Francisco through Big Sur CA 1 is fine as long as there aren't mudslides blocking the way. Be aware there will be few opportunities to stop at scenic overlooks with the 5th wheel in tow and going southbound puts you on the ocean side of the cliffs.
 

TonyL

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Thanks Lou, that's exactly the type of information I was after.👍
 

Jeannine

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I have bicycled and RVed the entire length of CA 1. We drove it south of Leggett with a 40 foot 5W and would never do that section again with a large RV. The road is twisty, narrow, and mostly 2 lane. You have to cross into the opposite lane to stay on the road in some sections. It is much more difficult than the road between Ouray and Durango or Wolf Creek Pass in Colorado. We have no problems with the rest of CA 1.
 

DonTom

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Looks like my message didn't make a lot of sense. I had Liggett confused with the Hunter Liggett area of CA (way south of SF). Yeah, 4-get about much of Hwy 1 north of SF. I don't even like much of that road on a motorcycle.

-Don- Reno, NV
 

jackiemac

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This Truck Route section can be useful and shows the recommended routes for longer vehicles. There are several maps covering areas of California. The one you want is the first one Tony.


That said Steve has been looking at Google and there are campsites on the route and despite a few hairpins he thinks they may be doable until you get to Bodega Bay. He can chat to you about it and you can see what you think.....
 
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UTTransplant

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If it was me, I’d stay out of Ca because of the high gas prices
California is so beautiful that I think this is dreadful advice Rene. Much better just to plan your trip so you have the money needed. Yeah, it is expensive, but there is a reason so many people live there. There aren’t as many of the lovely mountain places open in the winter, but you still have the incredible desert areas that are awfully tough in the summer. Joshua Tree NP, Death Valley NP, Mohave National Preserve, plus all the cool gold mining history spots south of Sacramento plus so, so, so many more. And I didn’t even mention the coastal areas! I have spent a lot of time in CA for work and pleasure, and I love to visit.
 

Viajeros

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If it was me, I’d stay out of Ca because of the high gas prices
Meh. We are doing it in an EV so cheap cheap :).

Last time we did it was in a 21 foot class c. Still super twisty. Saw a bunch of wash outs.
 

garyb1st

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The only time we've driven Hwy 1 from Leggett to Fort Bragg was with our SUV. The wife was driving and freaking out more than a couple times.
 

aguablanco

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Canadians probably like Mexico better than the US for vacations for the reasons I like Mexico better as well. Cheaper prices, excellent food and great climate. Heading to Cozumel, happily flying, for 15 days of scuba diving on Nov 7. Got all inclusive for two for $94/day. Booked at the height of Covid and prices have risen since.
RichH
 

Ex-Calif

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I personally would not do HWY 1 in any larger Class A (especially with a toad) or 5W. I'd park up somewhere and drive the parts I wanna see.

I've done Half Moon Bay south a lot of times and it is a wonderful drive but, legal or not, you will be slow and you will be backing up a lot of unhappy folks, most likely. To me it's a courtesy thing.
 

DonTom

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To me it's a courtesy thing.
I noticed on some very windy roads in AZ, the speed limit is very low, such as 15 MPH for everybody. I kinda wish CA and NV would do the same on the very windy roads.

I think it was this road I was on, I was not in anybody's way because of that 15 MPH speed limit for all, in the more windy areas. I was going the same speed as the cars in my RV.

-Don- Reno, NV
 

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