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Old 07-14-2016, 03:53 PM   #1
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Cross Country in the Shortest Time Feasible

Ok ... I am coming up on needing to help move one of my offspring basically totally across the continent (W. Va to southern Ca). Me, my DP, a UHaul trailer being towed. The objective is pretty much to take the least time feasible (and safe). I am thinking the best way to approach this is to stay away from campgrounds when feasible, and rely on Walmart, Truck Stop parking, and Flying J RV parking because of the faster in/out timing.

Who has executed such a trip, and do you concur with my thoughts or would you recommend a different approach?

Regarding Flying J, do they universally offer the RV only parking, or is this hit-or-miss? (used that once overnight last Nov outside of Kansas City, and it was really nice to have).

Thank you for your input!

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Old 07-14-2016, 04:36 PM   #2
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Boondocking is not any faster, unless you want to arrive late and depart early. What kind of driving hours do you want? If you have more than one driver you could drive straight thru.
I have driven across country form Ft Dix NJ to San Diego by my self in a little over 72 hours. Much younger and foolish then. My wife and I drove from Spokane to Macon in 3 days when my Mom was ill.

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Old 07-14-2016, 04:46 PM   #3
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Hmm... I'd take the different approach of writing a check to a professional mover. Can't cost much, if you can stuff the goods in a U-Haul trailer. That and a plane ticket for your "offspring" and you have a low-stress, no fuel-required, zero-time-on-the-road solution.

I recalled that U-Haul recommends trailer speed be kept at 55 miles per hour or less. Here's a link to their Web page with that recommendation ("Slow Down When Towing").

But, if you're looking to spend the most time on the road, then Wal-Marts, Flying Js, truck stops and highway rest areas are the ticket. Will you be able to share the driving in either direction?
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Old 07-14-2016, 04:52 PM   #4
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Compare the cost of driving your DP down there, then to CA then home. Add in the cost of the trailer. You may well be better off paying for a rental truck without the speed hassles of the trailer and a night or two in a motel.
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Old 07-14-2016, 05:05 PM   #5
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Fast cross-country trip with a U-haul one way

Here's some free advice and it's worth every penny you pay for it! :-)

I'm guessing that your trip runs 2,500 miles or so to get to Southern California from West Virginia. That makes for a 5,000 mile round trip in your diesel pusher. You state that you will be pulling a U-Haul on the outbound trip. I assume that you will not be bringing a U-Haul back to WV on the return trip.

It is expensive to take the DP 5,000 miles just to pull a utility trailer 2,500 miles. I suggest that you take a truck or a car capable of towing the U-Haul instead. The ride will be better, quieter, and the cost of fuel will be substantially less. I expect you can do just as many miles a day in a car/truck towing scenario as you can in the DP despite not having an on-board bathroom and kitchen.

Since you are contemplating “crashing” in a Wal-Mart or similar free campsite along the way, you won't have the benefit of electric, water, or sewer hookups for 2,500 miles on the outbound trip. That diminishes the benefit of taking the RV on such an excursion. I expect with the use of coupons in the hotel promotions found at welcome centers and at places such as Denny's, you can find reasonably priced hotel accommodations at major intersections. I would bet that the cost of fuel driving the DP 5,000 miles vs. taking a car/truck (towing 2,500 miles one way) for 5,000 miles would offset a whole lot of the cost of hotels/motels along the way, even accounting for food costs. (Bring a cooler with cold cuts and such and avoid a lot of restaurant stops).

Unless you are planning an RV camping trip, taking your time on the way back from So Cal, I would forgo the DP and look at car/truck alternatives. When we moved my mother-in-law back north from Florida to New York we towed a small U-Haul behind our Honda Element and averaged about 21 mpg. Granted, the trailer wasn't stuffed to the gills for that trip, but we were pleased with the ride and the costs. Using coupons in the green-colored coupon books along the way. we found rooms for as low as $45.00 mid-week and $75 to $79 or so weekends. If you are planning on hauling a$$ many miles a day to make the trip as fast as possible, you won't be spending too many overnights in motels anyway.

Good luck with your trip and your decision. Hey, you may want to take the DP anyway, and enjoy a three-month country-wide sightseeing return trip!
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Old 07-14-2016, 05:06 PM   #6
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I did it...Northern VA to SoCal in under 4 days...Google map says WV to Los Angeles is 35 hours driving time.

Assuming your RV is reliable and properly self-contained, an RV is what makes the trip SO MUCH BETTER than using movers and airports (i.e TSA and airlines that think you are cattle) or driving a car/truck with the U-Haul.

~Use truckstops as much as you can because some rest-stops will be full or too often do not allow "overnighting", despite truckers sleeping there.
~Drive as long as safely possible (team drive?)
~Drive at night (if safe) as much as possible to reduce traffic impact on your passage.

Best luck

P.S. The trip home (probably in September after school starts?) could be an amazing opportunity to see our beautiful country...start with Yosemite - just beautiful!
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Old 07-14-2016, 06:17 PM   #7
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If you have multiple drivers, your trip can be done rapidly and safely. Even without multiple drivers, your technique of staying at rest areas, truck stops, and Walmarts works. We run from Delaware to Alaska every 2 years...5500 miles one way. The last trip we were late due to a grandchild's high school graduation so we pushed. One day over 850 miles and multiple 750+ days. No problem and we do not ever stay at an RV park or campground. THe Flying J's don't have dedicated RV spots and spots in the truck area will fill up early, so stop by late afternoon and plan on leaving in very early morning hours. Same for highway rest areas. A few night hours driving, a break for breakfast and day driving from there works great. Since you'll probably never be spending an entire night at a rest area or FJ, and NO OVERNIGHT CAMPING rules won't apply as you will never be there over the whole night. We do this all the time and have never been questioned. Good luck and enjoy the trip, busy as you'll be.
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Old 07-14-2016, 06:24 PM   #8
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I am one of those that use truck stops as I can arrive late and leave early without worrying about waking my neighbors. Your generator will supply all the power you need and you can always dump your tanks along the way. Having your own food, bed, bathroom without having to pay for restaurants and hotels may make paying for the fuel worth it. Good luck
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Old 07-14-2016, 09:19 PM   #9
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We recently drove our RV from Fort Worth Texas to San Diego area. We stayed over night at Rest Areas and Walmart. We would have stayed in Truck Stops if we needed.
We used Truck Master Fuel Finder as a planning tool for Truck Stops and places to over night. Our Route I-20 to I-10 to I-8.
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Old 07-15-2016, 04:36 AM   #10
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Weigh the costs before going forward. Depending on your stamina and age, this could take a big toll on you. It isn't just the driving time to consider. We made a cross country trip in 2011. We had to "race" home due to a holiday. We made it in 4 days and I was totally exhausted mentally and physically. This was only one way, took our time driving out and were rested before zooming back. We took turns driving but neither of us were up to driving all night. I will never do that again.
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Old 07-15-2016, 05:03 AM   #11
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While I agree with others that you should utilize a mover and plane ticket, that wasn't your question, now, was it?

I have made the trip you're asking about. Needed to get from Virginia to LA as quickly as possible. I made it in about 40 hours, total. I'd drive pretty much continuously until I couldn't go any further (safely). My stops were walmarts, churches, rest areas and even a Flying J or two... but they are very hit and miss for RVs. I slept for an hour or two and off again. It can be done but you'll be worn out.

Think about the mover and plane ticket. Probably even cheaper, too.
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Old 07-15-2016, 05:05 AM   #12
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I've made 3 such trips for work in my MH. Shortest was 3.5 days longest was 4 days.

I stopped at rest areas along the way, no exiting the freeway except for fuel.

Didn't campgrounds, used the generator for electricity and my tanks with just me in the rig had more than enough capacity for 4 days

I don't recommend it though. Ohio to SoCal in 4 days is rough. WVA to SoCal should be very similar.
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Old 07-15-2016, 05:25 AM   #13
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I agree with the hire a moving company. One idiot move by another driver and you have messed up your MH, or heaven forbid driver error on your part from trying to push it to get there. Look into getting the Pod to move it for you.
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Old 07-15-2016, 05:37 AM   #14
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with diesel in the $2.50 range, I believe your fuel costs for a 5000 trip would be about $2000 (rough est, based on my mpg with a 40 ft Monaco DP)....................not to mention the wear and tear on you and other drivers...............unless you are going to spend some sightseeing time on the way back, movers and airlines might be your best bet......we are getting ready to do the same for our daughter, however it is only 1100 mile one way trip to florida....................my fuel costs will be about $700 round trip.................then factor another $1000 for campgrounds and eats.....best of luck on your move...............

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