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Old 03-09-2017, 08:58 PM   #1
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Smile From Boise to Atlanta

Hi, I am new to this forum.

I have a Northwood, 2016 Wolf Creek on a 2015 F350, SW, 4x4. i have been across the country and back twice with this rig, but only in the summer and fall. Now I have to be in Atlanta, GA about the first week in Apr from Boise, Idaho. Not interested in 80 or 70 because of the possible snow and wind. I've been on 40, but, they say it is also windy. I've been on 10 before, but, got stuck in New Orleans once when it rained so much the water was almost up to the bridges. I guess that's going to be my route, though.

The truck is raised slightly (made more for towing, although rated for slide-ins also) The camper is also high. When coming through the canyons around Vegas, in November, can't remember if it was Utah or Arizona or that little piece of CA, I got a gust so strong it practically wrenched the wheel out of my hands. The camper is a basement model with huge holding tanks. Would keeping them full help stabilize even if it is somewhat overloaded?

Also, I was wondering the best route for avoiding snow and ice laden passes, and monstrous winds and then there seem to be tons of tornadoes everywhere these days and not just in Apr and May! Should I bring chains? Don't have them and don't know how to put them on, but, can learn. I usually do 84/15 to 80 because I have friends in Salt Lake, but, was wondering if going through Nevada to Vegas would be better? Weather? inclines? mountains? Diesel?

I have various apps to use for planning, but just wondered about anyone else's experience with the weather and terrain. Any info will be most welcome. I only have 3 weeks to load the camper, de-winterize and pack. And although I still think I'm 35, my body knows different and seems to want to move more slowly...very frustrating.

I travel alone..being recently widowed.. 120 lb German shepherd is my companion now. Nobody bothers me at truck stops I am only 5 feet, 70 years old and have driven across country 4 times before this rig, with my husband and an older truck and camper. I did all the driving, then, too. Please help. I have to do this trip, unfortunately. But, spring in Atlanta and my family will be most welcome after this horrendous winter we had, breaking all records in Boise. Thanks.
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Old 03-09-2017, 11:12 PM   #2
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If I were going to make the trip I would look at the weather along all the proposed routes at different points during the time I would be there and pick the one with the best weather. There was another similar thread here that provided a link to software that would do that for the whole route. Logic would indicate that there should be better weather farther south, but if you want to visit SLC I would check the weather. It may not be that bad. I can't think you would need to go as far south as 10.

IMHO, you have the best possible RV for the trip. We have been going back and forth between OR and WV for years with a 3/4 ton 4X4 truck and 11.5 camper. Our most direct route is 80 to Cheyenne, 25 to Denver, and 70 the rest of the way. A few of our trips were during winter using either 80, 70, or 40 depending on weather. There were a few times when we had to wait, and a few times when we had to use 4WD, but we were always able to proceed to our destination without mishap. We never needed chains, but if you have them you could carry them in case there is a law that requires that somewhere.

The worst wind I can remember over all our trips was in the midwest during a summer thunderstorm. We were on a two lane road and I found the entrance to a field that allowed me to turn the rear of the camper into the wind and wait it out. I believe that wind from the side could have turned us over. That was the worst, and we've been going back and forth, mostly during summer, with a TC since the late '70s. Just check the weather and I don't think you'll have a problem with wind.

Both our trucks were diesel with a 55-60 gallon capacity and we never had a problem with fuel. If yours is significantly less you may have to plan fuel stops more closely.

Just remember to always drive according to road conditions.

Best of luck, and have a great trip.

Steve
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Old 03-09-2017, 11:34 PM   #3
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If you are getting that much sway, try adding Helwig stabilizer bars to the front and rear axles. Travel with the tires at maximum pressure to reduce tire squish. If your truck uses air bags, try reducing the amount of pressure in them so the overload springs can do their job.

I've only driven US2, I94, I90 and I80 cross country, so I'm no help for a southern route. I5 south may still be an issue crossing from OR to CA, so you may want to head south through UT or NV before heading east.
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Old 03-10-2017, 10:30 AM   #4
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I don't know about newer trucks/campers, but ours placed all the weight of the camper on the rear tires. I always ran with full pressure (80+) in the rear and less (45-50) in the front. I'm not saying that is the pressure you should run, it probably isn't, only that you may need less in the front depending on how the load is distributed. When empty I reduced rear tire pressure to about what was in the front for a better ride.

IMHO, there are two sides to the tire pressure issue during winter. Full pressure would probably reduce wind sway, but it could also reduce traction.

Steve
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Old 04-05-2017, 01:28 PM   #5
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We came from Blackfoot ID to San Antonio the week of March 20. There was no snow on I70, in fact they have very little snow. That road should still be good for your trip.
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