Southbound Interstate 15 – Bad Roads for RVs – Sunday afternoon between Primm Nevada and Glen Helen California is a bad road for RVs. Since this is an Interstate Highway, there are at least two lanes and a slow lane on all the steep sections there are two steep sections. Typically the temperature is either mild or hot. The reason this is a bad road for RVs is that on Sunday afternoons this road is jam-packed with travelers.
Refer to our blog for separate discussions on the steep sections of Interstate 15 at Halloran Summit and Cajon Pass. These bad roads are steep, however, on any given Sunday afternoon you are unlikely to have a problem due to the steep sections, except when going uphill due to the real likelihood of overheating. There is so much traffic on Sunday afternoon that runaway downhill speeds are unlikely.
This section of the road can turn into a 147-mile-long traffic jam.
Elevation: Between 2000 and 4700 feet
Length: 147 miles
Terrain: Rolling high desert with very few cities.
Turns: Turns are not the problem, indeed the road is nearly straight. The problem is that on Sunday afternoon everyone wants to travel southbound from Las Vegas to Los Angles after spending their time at the Casinos in Las Vegas. In the fall and winter, the desert on both sides of this road turns into an RV desert camping destination. It seems that the desert empties on Sunday afternoon, all westbound.
Rest Stops & Turnouts: California’s rest areas are now open after many years of non-operation. This helps in the comfort department, southbound rest areas are overrun by people needing a break from the road.
Traffic: This road is typically busy every day of the week. On Sunday afternoon, the traffic grinds to a halt.
Interstate 15 – Bad Roads for RVs — Our experience
We have traveled Interstate 15 numerous times on our travels. It is the primary north-south route from the Los Angles Basin to Las Vegas and points further north.
We have never traveled southbound Interstate 15, Mojave desert section on Sunday afternoon in our RV. After being stuck in the middle of the desert one time we learned not to do that ever again.
We made the mistake of scheduling our travel westbound on Sunday afternoon only one time. This stretch of the road turned into a nightmare. It should take between two and three hours. This one time it took more than five hours. If you need to travel from Vegas to Los Angles on Sunday start early in the morning. The earlier the better. We did it more than once successfully without delay starting at 9 am numerous times. Starting at 11 am is too late.
Last Sunday we traveled this section of Interstate 15 northbound and observed the southbound traffic jam. This was the motivation to add it to our section on Bad Roads for RVs. I even reflected that I got lucky with the name because indeed this is a bad road — even if it is not a dangerous road.
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Here is the link to our interactive map. Bad Roads for RVs