2020 4th of July Weekend

My sister's 70th birthday is 6/24/2020. That weekend they went to North Lake Tahoe to celebrate. All campgrounds in the North Lake Tahoe area are all state owned and are closed due to COVID-19 pandemic. Also my work was keeping me busy that weekend. So we decided to use the following weekend, the 4th of July weekend to visit my sister for her birthday. My work has Friday, 7/3, as the 4th of July holiday. But due to being a leap year, they decided to tag the extra day of non-working day to the 4th of July weekend. So I have Monday, 7/6, off as well. I then took 2 more days off and got 7/1 to 7/6 for this trip. My sister lives in Sacramento, CA, area. it's a great time for Voyager to go further south than it's been.

Leg 1 - Renton, WA to Creswell, OR

7/1/2020 6:00 PM Renton, WA Home
7/1/2020 11:30 PM Creswell, OR Gettings Creek Rest Area (Southbound)


On Wednesday, 7/1/2020, I got Voyager from storage and proceed to finish a few mods in the bathroom. Added 2 shelves, added an expandable towel rack, a toothbrush/cups/misc caddy, and got a bidet put in. We then started to load Voyager with food and beddings for the overhead cab. I convinced my son to come along to get away from the house for a bit since we've been couped up in the house since March for the COVID-19 pandemic, and he hasn't seen my sister for a long time. He's not an RV fan. But he was willing to give the new larger rig a try.


We had a slight late start, but we left at a decent hour. Drove non-stop all the way to the Gettings Creek Rest Area in Creswell, OR, which is just 4 miles north of Cottage Grove, OR. I used the data from the last trip to figure out the optimal refueling points. My first refueling point will be at Cottage Grove, OR. I did sweat a little as I have no clue how much fuel reserve was in the new rig and the fuel light on the dashboard started to flash. In the old Voyager, I had 5 gallons of reserve when the fule light starts flashing in the dashboard. Even going 10 MPG, 5 gallons will mean I can still go 50 miles minimum. I'm' hoping that it's the same in the new rig.


I've been to this rest area before. But never to stay overnight in. I didn't realize how close to the freeway it was. Most rest areas pull a bit inland with some trees between the freeway and the rest area. This one didn't have much trees and it's right next to the freeway. All night long we can hear and feel the freeway traffic even with ear plugs. But we survived. I took a mental note to not stay there overnight again. The rest area before Eugene about 20 miles north would've been a better rest area to stay overnight.



Leg 2 - Creswell, OR to Roseville, CA

7/2/2020 9:15 AM Creswell, OR Gettings Creek Rest Area (Southbound)
7/2/2020 9:20 AM Cottage Grove, OR Safeway Fuel Center
7/2/2020 12:16 PM Ashland, OR 76
7/2/2020 1:15 PM Hornbrook, CA Randolph E. Collier Rest Area
7/2/2020 6:00 PM Roseville, CA My sister's home


After getting up at 8:15 AM, we quickly cleaned up and had a quick breakfast. Then we headed into Cottage Grove, OR, to refuel. A big sigh of relief when we pulled into Safeway Fuel Center. The new Voyager had the same size fuel tank as the old Voyager, 25 gallons. Fueling took 24 gallons to fill up. So my calculations were pretty spot on. The new rig, however, has a smaller reserve. So when the fule light starts flashing, it only has about 3 gallons left.


We continued on southbound I-5. I stopped at the Ashland, OR, 76 to refuel, not because I needed to, but to make sure we refueled before the huge climb over Siskiyou Pass into California. California fuels are expensive! I've added a fuel table below. You can see the prices of California fuel.


The new rig definitely is a lot heavier than the old Voyager. It was slow climbing the Siskiyou Pass. But it handled it like a champ. I had to use down shifting to slow us down on the downward side into California.


Just before the California border check point, I asked Michael what fruits we had on board. He mentioned oranges, apples, cantaloupe, and bananas. I told him that we're only going to tell them about the cantelope and bananas, because I've had oranges confescated before. So as we pulled up to the check point, the lady officer asked "Are you carrying any fruits, fireworks, and/or plants?" I responded, "Yes. Just fruits. Cantaloupe and bananas." She nodded her head and said, "Those are allowed." And waved us through.


We then stopped at the Randolph E. Collier Rest Area to have a quick lunch. It was pre-made sandwiches and chips. Got back on the road and drove non-stop to my sister's home as she was expecting us for dinner.

Leg 3 - Roseville, CA to Vallejo, CA

7/4/2020 5:30 PM Roseville, CA My sister's home
7/4/2020 5:35 PM Roseville, CA Safeway Fuel Center
7/4/2020 6:17 PM Sacramento, CA Sacramento 49er Travel Plaza
7/4/2020 8:00 PM Vellejo, CA Tradewinds RV Park


We originally was going to head to San Jose, CA, on Sunday, 7/5, morning and do the long marathon run back home via I-5. It's a 15 hour long trip. We were going to rush back on 7/5 partly because my son had to go back to work on Monday, 7/6, and partly I had an appointment to install the satillite dish on 7/6. My son originally was ok with the 15 hours marathon run. But after being in the RV driving down, he didn't like that idea anymore and decided to book a flight home instead. With my son decided to fly back and I had the non-work day on 7/6, we decided to reschedule the appointment and take our time to go home via the coast on 101 instead. We also decided that we'd go to San Jose, CA, on Saturday evening instead. So we said our goodbyes with my sister and family and headed out to the Bay Area.


Since we've been using the on board bathroom for 4 days now, I wanted to dump the waste tanks. The Sacramento 49er Travel Plaza is a truck stop and has a dump station. So we stopped there to do the waste dump. It took almost an hour as there were others before us in line to use the 1 dump station. While waiting, I was trying to figure out where to spend the night. Originally I was thinking about staying at the old San Jose house where I grew up. There is a park a block away that is away from main roads and has parking lots. I've done stealth camp there many times with my old rig without any problem. But the new rig require the slide out to put down the murphy bed. So it's not very stealthy at all. I've also have read about cities in the Bay Area having regulations not allowing RV to park on the streets. I was a bit concerned about staying at the park. I started looking for a RV park as close to the Bay Area as possible and still on the route to San Jose. The one I found was Tradewinds RV Park in Vallejo, CA. After the waste dump, we headed over to the RV park.


The RV park office was closed for the holiday. It has a self-service counter. We read all the instructions but they were out of payment envelops. So we found an empty spot and left a note with the office to contact us for payment. Of course, being the 4th of July, there were a lot of fireworks that night. But we got to sleep fairly quickly and got a decent night of rest.

Leg 4 - Vallejo, CA to San Jose, CA

7/5/2020 11:30 AM Vallejo, CA Tradewinds RV Park
7/5/2020 12:45 PM San Jose, CA Oak Hill Memorial Park


In the morning, the alarm went off at 8:30 AM. We got up, cleaned up, ate breakfast, and undid the hookups. Then it's time to slide the slide out back in and retract the landing gears (levelers). But that requires the engine to be on.... AND WE CAN'T FIND THE KEY! What do you mean we can't find the key... There really isn't much space for the key to hide in an RV. Well, I was wrong with that statement. It took us over an hour scouring every crevices there is in that RV and finally found it in the dinette back rest crevice. That was so frustrating and time consuming. Mental note, always keep the key at the same spot when inside the RV from now on.


We stopped by the RV park office just to see if anyone was there. There wasn't. So we continued on. They still have not contacted us for payment. We got a night at the RV park for free. Will definitely go back there one day and pay for extra day.


The drive into San Jose is just as busy as always. It seems like this COVID-19 pandemic doesn't even exist. We got to my parents' resting place shortly before 1 PM. Michael helped out with sweeping and cleaning the tomb and it looked sparkling clean. I did my prayers and bid my parents goodbye, promising them to visit again soon.



Leg 5 - San Jose, CA to Crescent City, CA

7/5/2020 1:45 PM San Jose, CA Oak Hill Memorial Park
7/5/2020 2:00 PM Campbell, CA Whole Foods Market
7/5/2020 3:30 PM Mill Valley, CA Michael's childhood home
7/5/2020 6:00 PM Ukiah, CA Quick Stop Fuel Station
7/5/2020 9:15 PM Eureka, CA Carson Mansion
7/5/2020 11:00 PM Crescent City, CA Walmart Supercenter


Since we have an additional day of travel, we decided to stop at the Whole Foods Market in Campbell, CA, to restock some groceries. Knowing how much traffic in the Bay Area, instead of taking 101 to San Francisco, I took 280 instead. It has much less traffic and was more scenic as well. I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly we went through south San Francisco on the surface street and through Golden Gate Park. It was fun driving through Golden Gate Bridge in the new rig.


We made a quick stop in Mill Valley/Marin City, CA, to take a quick peek at Michael's childhood home. He was thrilled that it's still there. He took some pictures and we got on the road again heading north on 101.


Since I didn't get a chance to pre-calculate the route for fueling stops, I was hoping that I can get to the Safeway at Willits, CA, for refueling. But the fuel light started to flash and I asked Michael to check how far we are from Willits. Knowing I only had 3 gallons left, there was no way to get to Willits, CA. So I decided to stop in Ukiah to refuel. It was a good thing as it took 24.21 gallons to fill up. I only had 0.79 gallon left in the tank. It was a close call. However, the penalty was very high priced fuel. Ouch.


Michael wanted to see Carson Mansion in Eureka, CA. I tried to get there before the sunset, but was only able to get there late. Fortunately, it was well lit by flood lights. So you can see the mansion nicely even at night. Michael took some pictures while I try to figure out where to spend the night. Since we had a very late start trying to find the key, I wanted to at least be at the Oregon border for the night. Or at least be close to the border. I decided to stay overnight at the Walmart Supercenter in Crescent City, CA.

Leg 6 - Crescent City, CA to Renton, WA

7/6/2020 9:30 AM Crescent City, CA Walmart Supercenter
7/6/2020 10:30 AM Gold Beach, OR Shell Station
7/6/2020 1:00 PM Winchester Bay, OR Vista Point
7/6/2020 7:00 PM Warrenton, OR Fred Meyer Fuel Center
7/6/2020 10:30 PM Federal Way, WA Sea-Tac Rest Area
7/6/2020 11:00 PM Renton, WA Home


Have a long day of driving. We had a quick breakfast and then on the road. Enjoying the coast going along 101. We first stopped at Gold Beach, OR, to refuel. Then on to Winchester Bay look out to have lunch. Then stopped in Newport, OR, to take a quick picture of a diner that Michael used to know. Then onward to Warrenton, OR, which is just south of Astoria for last change to refuel before heading into Washington. We normally shop groceries at QFC. So we got $1 off at the pump and the attandant was so shocked to see our fuel price. He said he has never seen such low fuel price in his life. We were a bit giddy about it too. See the fuel consumption chart below to see what the fuel price was. Once in Washington, we did the quickest route back home. We did stop at the Sea-Tac Rest Area in Federal Way, WA, to do a finaly emptying of the waste tanks. It's only about 17 miles from home. Got home and went to bed. We unloaded Voyager the next day.











Fuel Consumption Chart
Fuel Station Location Date Time Price Volume Total Cost Miles Used Miles Mileage
QFC Renton, WA 7/1/2020 10:00 AM $ 2.869 19.873 $ 57.02   3157  
Safeway Cottage Grove, OR 7/2/2020 9:20 AM $ 2.499 24.060 $ 60.13 303 3460 12.60
76 Union Ashland, OR 7/2/2020 12:16 AM $ 2.499 11.592 $ 28.97 162 3622 13.98
Safeway Roseville, CA 7/4/2020 5:34 PM $ 3.159 22.168 $ 70.03 309 3931 13.94
Quick Stop Ukiah, CA 7/5/2020 5:57 PM $ 3.699 24.210 $ 89.56 325 4256 13.43
Shell Station Gold Beach, OR 7/6/2020 10:28 AM $ 2.659 20.683 $ 55.00 300 4556 14.51
Fred Meyer Warrenton, OR 7/6/2020 6:54 PM $ 1.549 18.732 $ 29.02 307 4863 16.40
          Total: $ 389.73   AVG: 14.14


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