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Old 06-02-2013, 07:52 PM
 
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Can anyone share their experience of driving through Donner Pass. We might be driving during the Fall or Spring time. We are also planning of driving a 16 ft rental truck towing a trailer with our car on it. We are driving from the Midwest. Thank you.
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Old 06-02-2013, 07:56 PM
 
Location: Southeast Idaho
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It's a pretty drive. Could snow if the conditions are right.
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:24 PM
 
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We just drove through there two days ago. It was fine. No snow whatsoever.

Just follow the speed limit regardless of weather conditions. At the rest stop, there are frame photos of trucks tipping over due to driving too fast for the curves.

Take chains if there is a remote chance of snow because chains are required and there is an area to pull off and put on chains.
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:17 PM
 
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Thank you. Was it very windy? Thanks Hopes. Cleosmom, a friend of mine said the same. Thanks.
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:27 PM
 
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I'm not sure if you're asking if it's windy as in the road is curvy or if it's windy as in the air was blowing hard. I'll answer both.

The road is curvy, mostly very large curves instead of short tight curves. But the large curves going downhill at high speeds can be very dangerous. That's why it's important to follow the speed limit for the type of vehicle you're driving. Trucks have to adhere to lower limit than cars. The risk of tipping over is greater when driving a vehicle that is tall like a truck. Add towing a car and you'll definitely want to watch your speed.

The weather was windy but not super windy. We didn't need our windbreakers when we were out in the rest stop. We didn't feel the wind blowing the car while driving, but weather changes every day.

Honestly, this was one of the least scary routes we drove. It's a nice wide highway with guardrails. Highways 20 and 1 are much more curvy and very narrow roads without guardrails. You should be fine on 80 as long as you follow the speed limit and drive appropriately for the weather conditions and towing a vehicle.
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:53 PM
 
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Yes. Windy overall I thought, because of its higher elevation. We'll have to adhere to the speed limit 55 driving a truck and a trailer in tow. We are pretty defensive drivers. Drove Hwy 1 and it wasn't bad I thought. Really appreciates your info Hopes.
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:59 PM
 
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Highway 1 north of Fort Bragg is a whole new ballgame compared to the rest of the California coast. Well, there's Big Surr which was quite terrifying for me. 80 wasn't anything like that. It's a wide multilane highway in that stretch with guardrails. It wasn't super windy at Donners Pass, but I suspect that could change at any moment.
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Old 06-02-2013, 10:18 PM
 
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Started out of SF and took Route 1 all the way to San Simeon. It was a nice drive. It will be different driving a truck and a trailer and shouldn't be bad with slow driving. I hope. Drove through TN few times with a tad elevation and wasn't bad at all. But then again with small vehicle. Thanks again.
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Old 06-02-2013, 10:25 PM
 
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Highway 1 at Big Sur would be a better comparison of the drops. North of Fort Bragg is more about the tight curves, which are very annoying because you can't go very fast at all. 80 isn't curvy like that. You shouldn't have a problem. My point is that 80 is very wide and has guardrails. If those other roads didn't bother you, Donners Pass should be a piece of cake for you. My experience as been that the wind was much stronger at the coast than it was at Donners Pass.

The elevation doesn't make a difference if the drop is the same distance. It's not like there's a 3,000 foot drop just because you're at a higher elevation. The drops are about the same was what you experience in Yosemite and Big Sur. It's much windier at the coast than at Donners Pass. It should be easy for you. Your biggest problem will be when you get to narrow two lane roads with short curvs in a big truck, but if you're just going to Sacramento, you won't encounter that. 80 is multilane with plenty of room and big huge wide curves, not tight short curves, and guardrails.

I'd go slower than 55 if you're not a pro at driving a larger truck while towing a vehicle.

Last edited by Hopes; 06-02-2013 at 10:42 PM.. Reason: added last line.
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Old 06-02-2013, 10:30 PM
 
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Here, this will give you an idea of the type of highway it is:


Fatality rollover on Donner Pass Sept 8, 2008 - YouTube
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