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Old 09-24-2016, 05:32 PM   #1
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Cross country in January

We will travel from Indiana to Phoenix in January. WE have decided that unless there is perfect weather, not to take I 40. THe question is, Do we take I 20 or add another day driving to take I 10. ANyone with experience on I 20 or I 10 would be helpful. IS there significant difference with mountainous terrain? SNowfall, etc. Thanks everyone!
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Old 09-24-2016, 05:47 PM   #2
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IlliniKathy, Traveling any where in January is/can be treacherous. We have two different friends that have attempted it, and neither had very good experiences. One couple came from MI. got to Midland, TX. and were stuck there for 3-4 days waiting until they could continue on to Apache Junction. We used to take that route every Christmas until we retired, now, we go in late Oct. If you have to wait that long, I wish you the very best of luck.
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Old 09-24-2016, 06:08 PM   #3
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Went from VA to Scottsdale, AZ Jan 2014 and ran into bad weather around Kerrville, TX. We held up about 4 days and continued west. On our return trip snowed in El Paso, so we held up in Benson,AZ for a few days before heading east to Florida. I-10 was very driveable after storms passed and we enjoyed the time in both Kerrville and Benson.
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Old 09-24-2016, 06:29 PM   #4
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The weather can be +/- of expectations at any time. In such cases, I check the weather channel ap before we leave, and swing away from where the weather is uncertain. Hasn't failed yet!
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Old 09-24-2016, 07:15 PM   #5
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I'd eliminate I-40 right now. Storms can come up at any moment. I-40 closed completely down for us the end of April one year just west of Albuquerque because of a blizzard. We spent the night parked right on the interstate along with the semis!! The Flagstaff area gets a LOT of snow - it has a ski area and I-17 going down to Phoenix can be treacherous if it snows. RV parks are closed in winter, too.

I-20 you'll be going though areas that can get ice storms so if rain is in the forecast move on down to I-10. You still have a chance of occasionally bad weather on I-10 but it doesn't last as long as the other interstates.

There are so many great things to see off I-10 if you allow some time for siteseeing. The state parks are great, Fredericksburg, TX is a neat town for a night or two and tour Lukenbach, and the LBJ ranch. You could also do Big Bend Nat'l Park. Las Cruces, NM is a good stop for some great Mexican food and further east, Benson, AZ is near Tombstone, Bisbee and Kartchner Caverns State Park. The cave tour is awesome and it has a very nice campground with electric. 50 miles further east is Tucson and again, many things to check out there. Allow extra time for this long trip and it won't seem so long.

Have a great trip!
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Old 09-25-2016, 06:58 AM   #6
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This thread is very timely. I'll be headed to Phoenix from VA in Jan. Looks like I-10 is the way to go.
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Old 09-25-2016, 07:31 AM   #7
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IlliniCathy-

We traveled NH to Phoenix. AZ in January 2015, the westbound portion (FL to AZ) on I-10. We didn't even consider I-20 starting as far south as that. We stayed in these towns along the way:

Schulenburg, TX
Ingram, TX
Toyahvale, TX
Deming, NM
Tucson, AZ

As a lot of trucks and other vehicles are also trying to avoid the weather, you'll have company on I-10.

On our eastbound return leg we found I-10 in west TX had some of the roughest stretches of road we encountered on our entire trip (hard to imagine it was worse than I-10 in east Louisiana, but it was).
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Old 09-25-2016, 08:16 AM   #8
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I have ran into ice crossing the mountains in west Texas. One time passing through the state police were setting up to close I-10 down because of freezing rain. They let me through but told me I would be the last one. They figured I would be through the mountains before dark, I did have ice on my mirrors. Guess the roads were worse the further north you went.
Drove from San Antonio to Columbus Texas on 10 on time and never went over 10 MPH due to ice and snow on the road.A train of cars all the way.
Guess you never know for sure what the weather is going to be in the winter.
Be careful of the deer in west Texas. I had to stop one time early morning and wait for daylight to continue, Bet I saw 40 to 50 deer feeding along the road around Comfort, and several dead ones that had been hit by trucks. Pulled off and took a nap for an hour to let them get there morning feeding over rather than take a chance of hitting one.
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Old 09-25-2016, 08:34 AM   #9
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We will be going south from North Carolina in January also. We will drop down to I-10 for our trip to AZ. If we have to stay a few days to ride out some snow or ice, it's no big deal.
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Old 09-25-2016, 08:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IlliniCathy View Post
We will travel from Indiana to Phoenix in January. WE have decided that unless there is perfect weather, not to take I 40. THe question is, Do we take I 20 or add another day driving to take I 10. ANyone with experience on I 20 or I 10 would be helpful. IS there significant difference with mountainous terrain? SNowfall, etc. Thanks everyone!
IlliniCathy
We've traveled from Louisiana to California in either late Dec or early Jan via either I 20 or I 10 for the last 12 years.
Neither has ever been problematic.
Mel
'96 Safari, 148k miles
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Old 09-25-2016, 08:40 AM   #11
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thanks everyone! Sounds like I 10 is the way to go despite extra mileage. With so many people headed that way, maybe we should caravan and use any bad weather as excuse to stop and party!!
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Old 09-25-2016, 08:48 AM   #12
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Dave and Kathy,

We used to travel that time of year regularly. We can afford to not do it now.

But, what we learned early on was that we should always be ready to spend at least two days sitting still and waiting for the ones that feel they have to be out there have their accident and go home.

Always Remember that you are traveling in a Motorhome. You don't Have to Be anywhere else. I someone might worry that you have not arrived, that is what a phone is for.

From sailing, flying and driving, I learned early that trying to push the weather is an easy way to die.

Frank
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Old 09-25-2016, 09:08 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mel s View Post
IlliniCathy
We've traveled from Louisiana to California in either late Dec or early Jan via either I 20 or I 10 for the last 12 years.
Neither has ever been problematic.
Mel
'96 Safari, 148k miles
We as well have travelled Phoenix, Louisville, Richmond, VA and Atlanta return at Christmas for the last 10+ years. We have avoided I-40. Normally use I-20 but ocassionally drop down to I-10 for weather. Can honestly say we have never had to hold up for weather.
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