Flying J Plazas I-40W or I-10W, Rice to Bakersfield - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-14-2007, 02:18 PM   #1
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I'm picking up our new Casita in Rice TX and driving it back to California alone, in late October. As I need to take the fastest route home, I plan to drive back on either the I-40 or the I-10. I've read about Flying J Plazas as good places to eat (dinner and breakfast) and safe places for solo women travellers to overnight.

Have you had any experience stopping overnight at a Flying J? If you can comment, please do!

After Bakersfield, I'll be heading up the I-5, where there are no Flying J locations. Can anyone recommend a safe overnight stopping place about halfway between Bakersfield and San Francisco --- ideally, close to the I-5?
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Old 08-14-2007, 02:30 PM   #2
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I-10 will be your fastest route.

As for stopping about half way between Bakersfield and SF, my guess would be Santa Nella. There is a Petro Truck stop right off I-5 which is very much like Flying-Js. They also have an Iron Skillet Restaurant.<blockquote>CA, Santa Nella Petro:2
State Hwy 152 & State Hwy 33
28991 West Gonzaga
Santa Nella, CA 95322</blockquote>Frankly, I-5 is NOT known for being safe. Truck Stops are also very transient type people. We always park where there is good lighting and surveillance cameras.

I hope this helps.

PS: Bakersfield to SF is only about 4 or 5 hours. 200 miles @ 50 mph.
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Old 08-14-2007, 03:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
PS: Bakersfield to SF is only about 4 or 5 hours. 200 miles @ 50 mph.


DO NOT STAY AT LOST HILLS RV park... It's VERY creepy!

Unfortunately, it's exactly where you want it. And there isn't much else on that stretch.

Consider taking the 99 up THROUGH Bakersfield to Stockton. There are several RV parks in Bakersfield that are safe and, even if not scenic, they do what you need them to do. There are plenty on the way up the 99. Google is your friend.

Here is one I stayed at recently.. nothing but a "cute" huge parking lot, but it was clean, safe and it got the job done. Orange Grove RV Park It WILL be sweltering hot .. as you know, anywhere from San Diego North. Bakersfield .. burning hot.

Stay away from the Visalia and Shafter KOAs. There are also several county and State campgrounds between I-5 and the 99. Google for "highway 99 campgrounds, central valley"
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Old 08-14-2007, 04:46 PM   #4
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E., If you take I-10, you might consider staying at Balmorhea State Park in the trans-Pecos area of Texas. (It's a lonnnng way from Rice; I have no idea how far you like to drive in a day, but it's far enough out that it might be your second night!)

Texas State Parks charge enough to stay there that you probably won't have any trouble.
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Old 08-14-2007, 05:38 PM   #5
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Interesting, I guess I stand corrected. Google Maps recommends taking I-40.
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&hl=en&...mp;z=5&om=1

My GPS program recommended I-10. Also, when Casita delivers their trailers here to California they use I-10.

So pick the route you would like best.
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Old 08-14-2007, 08:37 PM   #6
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I-10 will be your fastest route.

As for stopping about half way between Bakersfield and SF, my guess would be Santa Nella. There is a Petro Truck stop right off I-5 which is very much like Flying-Js. They also have an Iron Skillet Restaurant.<blockquote>CA, Santa Nella Petro:2
State Hwy 152 & State Hwy 33
28991 West Gonzaga
Santa Nella, CA 95322</blockquote>Frankly, I-5 is NOT known for being safe. Truck Stops are also very transient type people. We always park where there is good lighting and surveillance cameras.

I hope this helps.

PS: Bakersfield to SF is only about 4 or 5 hours. 200 miles @ 50 mph.
Thanks, Mike. I've just google-mapped the stretch from Bakersfield to my home (301 miles) and should be able to make by end of day.

E.
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Old 08-14-2007, 10:41 PM   #7
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According to MS Streets and Trips Rice, TX to San Francisco, CA:

I-40 1,779.4 miles, 3 days, 2 hours, 2 minutes.

I-10 1,857.1 miles, 3 days, 3 hours, 55 minutes.
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Old 08-14-2007, 10:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
According to MS Streets and Trips Rice, TX to San Francisco, CA:

I-40 1,779.4 miles, 3 days, 2 hours, 2 minutes.

I-10 1,857.1 miles, 3 days, 3 hours, 55 minutes.
Those programs assume that you will be driving at the maximum speed limit to compute their times. Are you going to tow 75-80 mph to make that timetable?
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Old 08-15-2007, 07:50 AM   #9
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Your assumption about the MS Streets and Trips assumptions is incorrect.

The numbers I posted are for a driving day beginning at 9:00 AM and ending a 5:00 PM. The numbers were also for driving at average speeds. My experience has been that average speeds mean less than the posted speed limit. The program allows you to change these values if you wish.

A simple mathematic calculation shows that you would be driving 555 miles a day. Driving constantly at the speed limit would allow you to cover that distance in 8 hours. Most people don't drive that fast so lets say you average 55.5 MPH. This would take 10 hours.

Different people drive at different speeds. As an example, our son drives from Los Angeles to Dallas in less than 2 days. Joyce and took 5 days the last time we drove that some distance.

Besides, I didn't post the numbers as a challenge to anyone. I posted them to indicate that the I-40 route was shorter and took less time.
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Old 08-15-2007, 09:36 AM   #10
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To answer your questions on where to stay overnight.......... being a truck driver for 30 years i would recomend any of the large truck stops that are well lit (Petro, flying J, Union 76 etc) but here is the catch. DON'T PARK WHERE THE TRUCKS PARK....... When you enter the truck stop go to the side that says Cars Only and park there as they always have a spot for cars w/ small trailers...... If you park on the truck only side you would be inbetween two semi's it's dark and i don't think you want that........ stay on the car side only and stay out of the "truckers Loung and you will be fine.
Have a Fun Trip.
Also watch alot of those roadside "Rest Area's" while some are fairly good there are many filled with nightwalkers
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Old 08-15-2007, 10:56 AM   #11
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If you like, I can get you a spot in a very safe private campground in Bear Valley Springs outside of Tehachapi. This is off of Highway 58 and about an hour east of Bakersfield. Here is a map:
http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?formt...ca&zipcode=

Spots are $5 with no hook ups and $20 with water and electricity. There is a bathroom with shower and a dump station in the campground.

Best of luck.
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Old 08-16-2007, 10:23 AM   #12
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Thane,

I've learned that I will be able to make it from Bakersfield to home in a single day but I thank you for your response.

I've bookmarked the campground you recommend for future trips.

Regards,

E. Graham
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Old 08-16-2007, 10:36 AM   #13
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E Graham
To answer your questions on where to stay overnight.......... being a truck driver for 30 years i would recomend any of the large truck stops that are well lit (Petro, flying J, Union 76 etc) but here is the catch. DON'T PARK WHERE THE TRUCKS PARK....... When you enter the truck stop go to the side that says Cars Only and park there as they always have a spot for cars w/ small trailers...... If you park on the truck only side you would be inbetween two semi's it's dark and i don't think you want that........ stay on the car side only and stay out of the "truckers Loung and you will be fine.
Have a Fun Trip.
Also watch alot of those roadside "Rest Area's" while some are fairly good there are many filled with nightwalkers
Joe
Joe,

I appreciate your comments and guidelines.

Based on the comments I've read so far, I plan to map a return route using the Flying J Plazas on I-40 as my daily destinations. From my past experience, I believe that I can stay on the road for 10 hours in total: 8 to 8.5 hours of driving, broken up with 1.5 hours of stops for gas, rest, lunch. As I'll be driving at no more than 55 to 65 mph, I should be able to average 50 mph and cover 400 miles per day, give or take a few miles.

Regards,
E. Graham
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Old 08-16-2007, 11:18 AM   #14
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The 8 hours x 50 MPH = 400 miles is the rule-o-thumb I use when planning on covering the miles when towing.

If you end up near Santa Rosa, NM, it's a fairly nice little Route 66 town with a Love's and camping in the area. We stopped there recently going and coming from Oklahoma (alas, without a trailer) and discovered why Route 66 was shut down - the so-called "Route 66 Restaurants" aren't very good - so be wary!
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