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Old 04-26-2016, 11:06 AM   #1
Mark N.
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Long Distance Road Trip (Over-the-road advice?)

This will be my first ever long distance road trip in my Montana. I'm leaving northern Utah and going to Santa Rosa Ca and back. Perhaps even the coast at Bodega Bay, CA.
My concerns are the routing over unknown roads. When I use Google Maps, it shows me traveling over I-80 to the Bay area, then cutting over to the 101 and north to Santa Rosa. Has anyone taken their RVs that route? Any problems?

Is there a website or phone app that will let me plot my route as a RV'er or like a big-rig truck so as to avoid any clearance problems?

I have great Goodyear G 614 tires, new truck tires, tire pressure monitioring for both truck and trailer and I just did trailer bearings last fall and my truck only has 26K miles on it. I believe I'm as set as I can possibly be!

The one-way distance is a tad over 750 miles, so I'm giving myself 2 days each direction, probably sleeping in a Walmart lot halfway(ish)

Any long-distance advice for a first-timer? Thanks!
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Old 04-26-2016, 11:20 AM   #2
NCFischers
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A Garmin truckers GPS works great. Rand McNally also has one. Go to a truck stop and pick up a Motor Carriers Atlas. Plan on 50 miles an hour travelling. We travel about 62 to 65 MPH and with stops, it averages 50 MPH.
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Old 04-26-2016, 11:22 AM   #3
richfaa
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We use the Garman 465T trucker GPS. You dial in your specifications and it will pretty much keep you on the roads the big trucks use.It has kept us out of trouble for years.
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Old 04-26-2016, 11:22 AM   #4
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We use the All Stays Camp & RV app and a trucker road atlas to help with avoiding low bridges and staying on truck approved routes. The App also has features to help find overnight stops like the Walmart's (or my DW favorite feature - casinos)
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Old 04-26-2016, 12:57 PM   #5
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We drive from Sacrmento to Santa Rosa quite often and your route sounds like the best one to take. I think we take hwy 12 by Sears Point Raceway and then hwy 116 into Petaluma. It is a good road all the way. We have put 11,000 since Aug. and the best advice is to hookup and head down the road.. It sounds like you have the best tires out there and a new truck so you should be good to go.. Just go for it... We use Allstays also as we can scout camping spots and they also have low bridges shown on your route.
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Old 04-26-2016, 01:36 PM   #6
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Garmin RV has worked for us on two trips from VA to AZ and from VA to CA - Half Moon Bay & north across the bridge before coming back. Also a bunch of trips around the Mid-Atlantic area. Set the size of your truck + trailer in and it works well.
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Old 04-26-2016, 05:13 PM   #7
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We use both the Rand McNally RV GPS and the Rand McNally RV GPS app on our iPad. Both work well for us.
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Old 04-26-2016, 06:51 PM   #8
washley1
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I concur on your route. You should have no problem. My advise to you is avoid Walmart and other parking lots. Do your self a favor and stop in a real campground. You will rest better with less concern for safety, and you'll have more access to folks who know RVs if you run into problems. It's not a heck of a lot of money in the scheme of things and when we are on the road doing one nighters we are glad to have a proper stop. Others have the opposite opinion, but that's mine. Enjoy!
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Old 04-26-2016, 07:37 PM   #9
brenkco
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Mark,
I live in Santa Rosa and tow that route all the time. There are no issues whatever. Here are some specifics for you:

Take Hwy 37 from I80 in Vallejo (avoid Hwy 12 through Sonoma)
From Hwy 37, take Lakeville Hwy 116 to Petaluma (avoid 37 all the way to 101 - traffic and road construction)
From Hwy 116, take 101 north to Santa Rosa

We camp in Bodega Bay on occasion.

Just take River Road exit from Hwy 101 straight to Bodega Bay.

Any other questions, let me know.

Ken


BTW, Larry (drifty1) is close, it's Hwy37 through Sears Point....not Hwy12. 12 goes through Sonoma, and east Santa Rosa, lots of stop and go, lights and traffic. Hwy 37 is your best bet.
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Old 04-27-2016, 05:50 AM   #10
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Mark, I live on River Rd. in Santa Rosa area and Ken's directions are correct except the River Rd. exit to Bodega Bay. From 101 take the Hwy 12 exit to Sebastopol which will take you directly to Bodega Bay, the River Rd. exit is too far North.

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Old 04-27-2016, 06:12 AM   #11
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Good call Doug, Thanks for the correction!

Ken
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Old 04-27-2016, 09:14 AM   #12
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We took the cow trail from stewarts Point on Hwy 1 to Geyserville on motorcycles once..Holy cow what a day!! It was probably a better day than the guy with the 40 foot motorhome stuck in a switchback!

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Old 04-27-2016, 05:17 PM   #13
Drifty1
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Last fall we traveled down Hwy 128 from Geyserville and it is doable but I will not take the trailer down that road again. There is no shoulder and it is 10' wide with quite a drop off..
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Old 04-29-2016, 03:46 AM   #14
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Mark N.

This will be my first ever long distance road trip in my Montana. I'm leaving northern Utah and going to Santa Rosa Ca and back. Perhaps even the coast at Bodega Bay, CA.

I have great Goodyear G 614 tires, new truck tires, tire pressure monitioring for both truck and trailer and I just did trailer bearings last fall and my truck only has 26K miles on it. I believe I'm as set as I can possibly be!

Any long-distance advice for a first-timer? Thanks!
A lot of really good advise, especially on having a RV or Truckers GPS and a Trucker's Atlas.

Do you know the exact height of your rig when hooked up? If not, I would get out the step ladder and level and get the exact measurement before setting out.
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Old 04-30-2016, 07:48 PM   #15
Mark N.
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quote:Originally posted by brenkco

Mark,
I live in Santa Rosa and tow that route all the time. There are no issues whatever. Here are some specifics for you:

Take Hwy 37 from I80 in Vallejo (avoid Hwy 12 through Sonoma)
From Hwy 37, take Lakeville Hwy 116 to Petaluma (avoid 37 all the way to 101 - traffic and road construction)
From Hwy 116, take 101 north to Santa Rosa

We camp in Bodega Bay on occasion.

Just take River Road exit from Hwy 101 straight to Bodega Bay.

Any other questions, let me know.

Ken


BTW, Larry (drifty1) is close, it's Hwy37 through Sears Point....not Hwy12. 12 goes through Sonoma, and east Santa Rosa, lots of stop and go, lights and traffic. Hwy 37 is your best bet.
Thank you! I do have a question: My son lives in Kenwood, and said if I go to the 101 I will be hating life due to traffic. He said to take the 12 from south of Fairfield all the way to the campground. You said to avoid the 12. Can you give me some specifics about your advice? He hasn't lived there all that long, so I'm not real sure about his advice. He said he has done it in his motorhome, but it is smaller than my Montana
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Old 05-01-2016, 02:50 AM   #16
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Ken is correct on which road we take.. As for traffic on 101, yes it can get heavy in the afternoon in Santa Rosa but if that is the only traffic you run into on your trip I would consider your self lucky.. We are heading to Ukiah CA. today so if you hurry up and get to Sacrmento you can follow us up to Santa Rosa... Lol
PS it is sad that our friends know which roads we travel better then us.. Right Ken... Well at least they keep track of where we are...
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Old 05-01-2016, 05:44 AM   #17
brenkco
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Mark

Depending on the day/time you go, traffic can be a problem either route. Hwy 12 through Sonoma, Valley of the Moon, Kenwood and east Santa Rosa is a pain. Many signals, and stop and go. I never travel that route even when we are not towing. I find that road very frustrating. The only time I'd consider going Hwy 12 is race day at Infineon Race track. Even then, I time my travel to go 37 during the middle of the race so I can avoid Hwy 12.

The route I described comes in south of Petaluma. It can be slow (as can 37 by Mare Island) depending on the time of day. Mid-day to early afternoon you are fine.

Larry....if you see a Vantage on the road today......give us a wave!!!!

Mark....we are traveling that exact route today...traffic considerations...(weekend only, M-F is not an issue if you get to Petaluma before 3) get through the 50/80 merge in Sacramento before 11, the rest is heavy but not too bad. Wait 'till noon or later, a 2 hour trip becomes 3 or more.

Ken
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Old 05-01-2016, 01:36 PM   #18
Mark N.
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quote:Originally posted by brenkco

Mark

Depending on the day/time you go, traffic can be a problem either route. Hwy 12 through Sonoma, Valley of the Moon, Kenwood and east Santa Rosa is a pain. Many signals, and stop and go. I never travel that route even when we are not towing. I find that road very frustrating. The only time I'd consider going Hwy 12 is race day at Infineon Race track. Even then, I time my travel to go 37 during the middle of the race so I can avoid Hwy 12.

The route I described comes in south of Petaluma. It can be slow (as can 37 by Mare Island) depending on the time of day. Mid-day to early afternoon you are fine.

Larry....if you see a Vantage on the road today......give us a wave!!!!

Mark....we are traveling that exact route today...traffic considerations...(weekend only, M-F is not an issue if you get to Petaluma before 3) get through the 50/80 merge in Sacramento before 11, the rest is heavy but not too bad. Wait 'till noon or later, a 2 hour trip becomes 3 or more.

Ken
Thank you kindly Ken! I will, unfortunately, be hitting the 101 in the afternoon. I leave Winnemucca NV the morning , so it'll be a good 6-7 hours or so before we get there. Oh, well...
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Old 05-02-2016, 07:35 AM   #19
brenkco
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Mark,

Where are you camping? Just curious if I can help further with directions.

Ken
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Old 05-02-2016, 08:29 PM   #20
Mark N.
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quote:Originally posted by brenkco

Mark,

Where are you camping? Just curious if I can help further with directions.

Ken
Ken, I will be arriving at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds RV park on Wed. afternoon. I will probably be there for about 5 days, but might throw a night or 2 at Bodega Bay into the mix.
Right now, I'm most uncertain about getting to the RV park from the 101 in the smartest, most direct way. Thanks!
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