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Route 395 condition from December to January

Discussion in 'California' started by BayArea_David, Jul 8, 2017.

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  1. BayArea_David

    BayArea_David Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2016
    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    Hi,

    I plan to visit the Death Vally at the end of this year from San Jose. When I leave the DV, I plan to use
    395 all the way to Tahoe region and then visit Rocklin to return the camper. I never use 395 in the winter
    and would like to ask your opinion whether it is a good idea for doing so since I like to use different route back. I will tow a camper with MX90 during this trip. Thank you for your help in advance.

    Regards,
    David
     
  2. McManX

    McManX Member

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    Feb 23, 2016
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    444
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    Silicon Valley, CA
    I drove 395 from mammoth north through Tahoe back to SF many times this winter. If it is really windy and storming then I'd think twice about driving with a trailer. Other than that no problems with the MX. Snow tires/ all season with snow driving experience is a must.

    I haven't towed with the MX so can't comment on that.
     
    • Like x 1
  3. wdolson

    wdolson Supporting Member

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    Location:
    Clark Co, WA
    That time of year it may be easier to go down the Valley and over at Tehachapi.
     
  4. McManX

    McManX Member

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    Yes it can be easier. If it is stormy or you will encounter Tahoe traffic > then go south through Tehachapi. Otherwise I go through Tahoe, it is faster.
     
  5. cpa

    cpa Active Member

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    Location:
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    Just keep your eye on California road conditions. CalTrans has an app for your smart phone, and CalTrans updates their road conditions on their web site and telephone line each hour.

    Generally, the dicey spots on US395 are three miles north of Bridgeport to the Walker River Valley (usually only as far as the junction with SR108); south of Bridgeport up and over Conway Summit and down to the Lundy Lake-SR167 junction seven miles north of Lee Vining; Deadman Summit to somewhere south of Sherwin Summit, depending upon snow level.

    Usually south of Bishop snowfall is sparse and does not stick around long, and CalTrans does a good job of spreading salt or sand on the roadway. I recall there were two times this past winter when chains were required north of Lone Pine.

    Usually the chain restrictions are R1--snow tires on at least two wheels. Vehicles towing trailers must have snow tires on one drive axle, and trailers with brakes need chains on the trailer tires on one axle.

    R2--Chains are mandatory OR vehicles with four-wheel drive or all wheel drive must have snow tires on all four wheels.

    R3--Chains are required on all vehicles; no exceptions. (This condition is rarely available; usually the road is closed before it reaches this condition.)

    California law also requires that motorists carry chains at all times, regardless of the tires on their vehicles.
     
    • Like x 1
  6. dmode

    dmode Member

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    United States
    I took the route in other direction last fall. One thing I recall is that coming down Monitor Pass was a steep downgrade. So, I would be a little concerned about range issues and snow conditions while going up from 395. You could potentially drive all the way up to Reno and take 80 I guess to avoid stepped and windy passes
     
  7. cpa

    cpa Active Member

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    Monitor Pass closes for the winter after the first heavy snowstorm. It is possible that it will be closed by mid-to-late December in a normal winter, which of course, remains to be seen.

    Perhaps the best choice would be to take 395 north to just south of Carson City and then take US50 to Nevada SR28 and drive through Incline into California and on up to Truckee via SR267 at King's Beach. There are plenty of destination chargers at Incline if your Supercharger boost at Gardnerville/Topaz Lake is not enough. This route might also be shorter than going all the way into Reno and then hitting Interstate 80 as I80 meanders a bit between Reno and Truckee.
     

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