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View Full Version : I-5 Grapevine or 101 LA to SF?


royando
02-23-2013, 03:13 PM
Without an exhaust brake, what is the best route from LA to San Francisco? I-5 over the Grapevine or 101 up the coast (1/2 hour longer)?

HamRad
02-23-2013, 05:02 PM
Kandi and Dick,
We live in Bakersfield. We've hauled the rig up and down the Grapevine several times. We do not have an exhaust brake on our pickup. I always try to avoid that route if I can. No particular trouble going either direction. I just slow down. I always drop it out of overdrive. That is usually enough with some careful braking to get me down the mountain with minimal brake heating.

As to 101 vs I-5 out of L.A. well I think that pretty much depends on what you want to see. The only real grade on 101 is at San Luis Obispo and even it is not much of a problem. We go up and down 5 so much we like an alternative. I'd probably take the 101 but either way should be no problem for you. If you choose 5 drop us a line and maybe we can share a coffee break.

Good luck and safe travels. Dennis

Art-n-Marge
02-23-2013, 09:25 PM
The steeper hills on I-5 don't last as long as the numerous hills on 101. I tow without an exhaust brake and prefer I-5 over 101. Both roads will beat you up pretty good and it's not the exhaust brake that you'll wish you had. After the Grapevine I have been known to use Cruise control. 101 with all its hills and I rarely use Cruise control.

101 is more scenic and has more places to stop but if you are not careful things can be a tight squeeze. I-5 is designed to get you there with the most convenience and room for large rigs.

These are other considerations.

Mynabird
02-24-2013, 11:09 AM
quote:Originally posted by royando

Without an exhaust brake, what is the best route from LA to San Francisco? I-5 over the Grapevine or 101 up the coast (1/2 hour longer)?


We have an exhaust break now, but not 2 years ago when we came up HWY 101. As others have said....options.... Straight shot with "no small towns" to stop or slow down in, then I-5. If you have the time and want to see/drive past (on the edge) the small towns, then 101 is the answer. BTW, if going to SF then you will eventually have to go West somewhere and I do not see where that saves time. [:I]

I-5 is such a straight shot, that there is lots of drivers on there AND they are not necessarily willing to obey the speed limits or drive with caution. They like to speed and weave at the same time. Ask us how we know!;)

Gorgeguy
02-26-2013, 06:12 AM
On I 5 get ready for a rough ride going through the Grape vine. Just got back home from AZ and CA to Oregon yesterday. California overall has the roughest roads I have driven on. After the trip through the grave vine, things were strewn all over the inside of the Monty even though I thought it well secured.

Mynabird
02-26-2013, 07:40 AM
quote:Originally posted by Gorgeguy

On I 5 get ready for a rough ride going through the Grape vine. Just got back home from AZ and CA to Oregon yesterday. California overall has the roughest roads I have driven on. After the trip through the grave vine, things were strewn all over the inside of the Monty even though I thought it well secured.


That is why we stay on I-10 to either 215 or 210 and go north to northwest thru Palmdale and Lancaster up to hwy 58 to Bakersfield. Then because we are going to Lodi, we usually stay on Hwy 99. Some construction and re-paving going on, but doable and much more pleasant ride than just a couple years ago.[:I]

Gorgeguy
02-27-2013, 06:16 AM
Mynabird, you are right about 99 being more pleasant than in the past. We went down 99 from Sacramento to Bakersfield last year and it was pretty rough. We did it again in January and were pleasantly surprised that is was better.