How is I5 through Seattle for a large class A?

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DaleandKarla

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Jun 26, 2021
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Bloomington
We will be traveling south through Seattle this Saturday, September 10. How is I5 for a large class A pulling a car on a tow dolly? We understand there may be lots of construction and we're not crazy about luge-ing through narrow lanes and concrete barricades. Anyone travel this route lately? Any suggestions for an alternate route? Maybe 405 around the city is better?
Thank you!
Dale and Karla
 

cully

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pacific northwest
I live in South Seattle. The best way to travel through is...don't. Okay, I got that out of my mouth. I've found the best way deal with the traffic is just go for it. Check ( or i will for you) if Mariner's are in town or if there is a Sounders game that day. Best time of day for the drive on a weekend, is early or late...before 10am or after 6pm.

For closures you can check WDOT. Lanes are not spacious but good enough. Be aware that lanes come and go on a whim. Best not to travel in the far right lanes or far left lanes. Also, whomever drives that lane stripe machine has and has had a very shaky wheel when laying down paint. Lines seemingly straight will kink left or right and you have to be alert to follow the drunker'd painters eye.
 

Skookum

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Check out dot.wa.gov for any specific closures over your travel dates. From the main page, select I-5 as the road.

I haven't been through there with a large vehicle in a long time but it's freeway that goes right through the middle of the city and it's congested and everyone drives like their hair is on fire. 405 is not as straight of a shot if you're just passing through.

If you're continuing on farther South, you'll be happy to hear that 22 straight years of construction completed a few weeks ago through Tacoma. Lanes were very narrow and the whole stretch between Fife and South Tacoma was just a mess. All fixed up now and things flow wide-open and smoothly!
 

DonTom

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Auburn, CA or Reno, NV
We will be traveling south through Seattle this Saturday, September 10. How is I5 for a large class A pulling a car on a tow dolly?
It's looks exactly like this at this time:

005vc15315.jpg


These days, you can get live cameras just about anywhere on any busy freeway. For Seattle, see here.

-Don- Reno, NV
 

Skookum

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It's looks exactly like this at this time:

005vc15315.jpg


These days, you can get live cameras just about anywhere on any busy freeway. For Seattle, see here.

-Don- Reno, NV

Well, kind of. That's afternoon traffic today, on a Thursday. Traffic volume headed Southbound, south of the city on weekday afternoons is typically very heavy with commuter traffic.

Depending on what time on Saturday, it may be moving a bit better.
 

DonTom

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Well, kind of.
Nope. It was exact for the time I mentioned--live--notice the time in the camera is the same as the time of the message.

The point is it can be checked at any time at all on any day to see what you can expect. Not that it will always be the same, but it gives a good clue what to expect for the same time on the same day.

I use the cameras to go to Auburn form here if I am going to take a car. Not much need when on a motorcycle as CA allows lane-splitting. I may legally keep on going between the cars that are stopped (or going slow) in traffic. Often there is road construction in the summer.

Lane-splitting is NOT allowed here in NV. But in 14 miles west of here, I am in CA for the rest of the 85 miles to Auburn.

Lane-splitting is rarely needed in NV. But sure is handy in CA at times

Believe it or not, CA is the ONLY state in all 50 to legally allow lane-splitting.

-Don- Reno, NV
 

Jeff in Ferndale Wa

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Ferndale, Washington
I've pulled my 33' trailer through Seattle many times and it's doable. Trucks do it all the time.
Download the Waze app and set destination south of Seattle. The Waze app is very good about routing around heavy traffic, and it may route you on 405. Distance on I405 is not much different than I5.
As said above best not to stay in either the far right or the far left lanes, but watch when going through downtown and make sure you are in the through lanes, or you will find yourself suddenly on the surface streets, and that's no fun in an RV.
Where are you coming from? I'm about a hundred miles north of Seattle.
 
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Ex-Calif

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NorthCentral Florida
I've always avoided the route through downtown if possible. I like the option of being able to bail and reroute and you have more options on the Redmond side.

One good thing about Google maps is that you can do a predictive trip - Here is what 10am tomorrow (saturday) looks like (based on history). Note the red stoppages in the middle of the city. 405 isn't much better and because of that google even offers up 18.

You can adjust travel times to pick a predicted quicker time. I tend to try and do cities early in the morning but I wake up at like 5am every day so that's not a biggie for me.

As far as size of vehicle I don't think that's a problem.



1662722882387.png
 

Skookum

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The reason why I didn’t recommend 405 is because of having to route through downtown Bellevue and the major interchanges with 520 and 90, and then trying to re-join I5 at Southcenter and traffic going to the airport. The juice is rarely worth the squeeze.

South of Bellevue, the “S” curves are all 2 lane plus carpool. That means constantly tangling with on/off ramps in the right lane, getting shot if you’re occupying the left lane in a large vehicle, or illegally using the carpool lane. But yes, it is an option.

18 would be the LONG way to route around. Note that the grade starts increasing in Issaquah after exit 15 or so and you’ve got to pull all the way up to the exit for 18 (milepost 25? 27?).
18 itself involves yet another minor mountain pass and the road surface between I90 and Maple Valley is currently in very rough shape. It’s a full throttle pull on the way up and a full engine brake drag plus braking on the way down. The state is moving forward with plans to re-do it in the next few years.

I’d rather take I-5….
I’ve driven truck too, all over the area, and like Edd says, you’ll be fine.
 

steveblonde

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calgary alberta
Im late to the party on this one, but i had to jump in. I5 through Seatle is a cake walk you only do 2miles an hour. How much trouble can you get into? I did it twice pulling a 43 ft fifth wheel ( i guess i didnt learn the first time) Seattle and Tacoma suck traffic wise. I would rather drive Detroit or Chicago rush hour at least they move - till everyone hammers the brakes doing 75 lol
 

Skookum

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Well, how was it?

Having a massive, growing forest fire off of Highway 2 East of Everett wasn't on anyone's bingo card for this weekend so I wonder how that panned out for traffic North of Seattle.
 

cully

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Oct 19, 2021
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161
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pacific northwest
We will be traveling south through Seattle this Saturday, September 10. How is I5 for a large class A pulling a car on a tow dolly? We understand there may be lots of construction and we're not crazy about luge-ing through narrow lanes and concrete barricades. Anyone travel this route lately? Any suggestions for an alternate route? Maybe 405 around the city is better?
Thank you!
Dale and Karla
Tell us how you managed to get through the City...
 

Edd505

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Mar 22, 2021
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Elephant Butte, NM
I've always avoided the route through downtown if possible. I like the option of being able to bail and reroute and you have more options on the Redmond side.

One good thing about Google maps is that you can do a predictive trip - Here is what 10am tomorrow (saturday) looks like (based on history). Note the red stoppages in the middle of the city. 405 isn't much better and because of that google even offers up 18.

You can adjust travel times to pick a predicted quicker time. I tend to try and do cities early in the morning but I wake up at like 5am every day so that's not a biggie for me.

As far as size of vehicle I don't think that's a problem.



View attachment 157507
been through Redmond or Bellevue lately? I worked the area 25 years.
 

Ray-IN

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North America-somewhere
been through Redmond or Bellevue lately? I worked the area 25 years.
We lived in S. Tacoma for 2 years while I was stationed at Ft. Lewis. Then it was a nice quiet area. Driving I 5 was an easy drive at the speed limit any time of day, it was either busy or half empty of traffic.
 

Edd505

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Elephant Butte, NM
We lived in S. Tacoma for 2 years while I was stationed at Ft. Lewis. Then it was a nice quiet area. Driving I 5 was an easy drive at the speed limit any time of day, it was either busy or half empty of traffic.
How many years ago? I did police training at Ft Lewis and it wasn't good then. Officer on base didn't like one of our teams Micky Mouse Shirt under his cammies. Ever eat at Galloping Gertties, loved the place.
 

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