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Old 12-16-2016, 09:36 AM   #29
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A lot of advice offered, much of it good, but all of it relates to the individual giving it. Why rush? Depends on your circumstances. I did Calgary to Fresno (1,400 miles) in three days a few years ago, took 5 to get home. I'm mostly retired so why the hurry? Weather. When you travel in the north in winter the weather gives you windows.

How opportunistic you can be (i.e. stop when you are tired) depends on where you are and how big your rig is. We are 42 feet plus a Suburban or a Ford Flex on the bumper, so nearly 60 feet long. I can't stop as easily as I did when I pulled a trailer.

I'm going to Palm Springs between Christmas and the New Year (watching the weather forecast with a wary eye) and am aiming for 6 hours of driving a day. That assumes another hour in stops to walk dogs, so about 7-7.5 hours start to stop.

Spend a lot of time on Google Maps looking at what is in your path, where you want to set down, use the earth (satellite view) mode to look closely at any place you have tricky maneuvers, and hope the weather and RV gods aren't laughing at you.
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Old 12-16-2016, 10:38 AM   #30
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I concur with the vast majority on here in regards to 300 miles a day (give or take) and stopping about every 2 hours to let the dog out, for us to stretch our legs a little, and to let the eyes and brain take a break as well from concentrating so hard.

But being the way I am, I tend to take it a step further in spending an hour or so on the laptop each evening, planning the next day out. Before we leave each morning, I already know what exits/mile markers have easy in/easy out fuel stops (google earth), favorite food stops, rest areas (next exit), and even have reservations made at that night's campground (good sam).

It's stressful enough sometimes just getting down the road and so the less I have to think/stress about while driving, the better. It also keeps me from constantly having to interrupt the DW from playing her online games on her tablet to figure out where we are going to stop next!
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Old 12-16-2016, 03:05 PM   #31
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Final night of our 3 week trip. That's long for us.

Getting down to Florida we pretty much stuck with our plan that I posted above. We did leave Alabama sooner than planned because of those storms.

We stayed one step ahead. We did change our plan to store the rv while we stayed with freinds in Florida. We found a very nice resort where we stayed for a couple weeks just a couple minutes from them.

Coming home is a different story. I'm watching the weather every night and choosing spots to avoid freezing weather at night. We ended up at Norris Dam and then driving 8 - 9 hours on Saturday to beat the weather. I really wanted to split that up but because of the weather I have to winterize tonight or in the morning.

Thursday because of the weather we only drove an hour and a half but today we drove 7 hours. It's really nice not having a schedule and just go where and when we wanted to.

Now back to the several inches of snow and freezing weather of Michigan.

Two side notes.

Anyone been to Norris Dam? I was not prepared for the drive up the mountain. I lost count how many times my said "Oh My God".

And it was nice to call my storage yard and tell them when I would be back, they plowed out my spot so it would be ready when we got there.
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Old 12-16-2016, 04:45 PM   #32
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[QUOTE=tcg;3376383]Final night of our 3 week trip. That's long for us. /QUOTE]

Since you now know what it's like to return to Michigan in bad snowy, cold weather, plan to spend the winter in warmer climate.
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Old 12-16-2016, 05:25 PM   #33
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Final night of our 3 week trip. That's long for us.
Since you now know what it's like to return to Michigan in bad snowy, cold weather, plan to spend the winter in warmer climate.
I wanted to stay but the wife said we have to be home for Christmas.

We seriously considered leaving it down there and flying home for the holiday and going back for a while.

Problem is we can only ask freinds and family to watch our 5 cats for so long.

All winterized, just cooking dinner and then early bedtime and hit the final leg around 5 am to miss the crappy weather.
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Old 12-17-2016, 12:10 AM   #34
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Ugh, I had just been planning looking at average temperature and forgot actual may make us drive different lengths due to winterize and de-winterize.

Ah well worst case is a long first day. (If too bad we will leave earlier or later.)

It really helps what all has been shared here!

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Old 12-18-2016, 06:01 AM   #35
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FWIW - average is good for a clue about clothes. Watch the 30 day and national for a clue about driving conditions. That is why a lot of us advise not to have a fixed schedule. Most rigs can stand some freezing or rain so it's a lot easier and safer to sit out a storm front than to drive through it. It just takes some flexibility to do that.
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Old 12-18-2016, 07:16 AM   #36
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We ended up driving about 4 hours in freezing rain. I was confident in my class c and my driving ability but the idiots driving around me were downright terrifying.

I saw numerous spin outs and one that nearly took me out.

It takes a level of concentration that really tires you out. Even driving in the rain takes extra concentration. We managed the entire trip without driving after dark which was really nice. Also, planning the trip around rush hour times to avoid traffic is really nice. On the way down we avoided major freeways, on the way back we were on 75 but it was Saturday so traffic was not bad. (until we hit Michigan's crappy weather)

Watch the weather and get your forecasts from several sources. This link allows you to get a forecast along a route. It's experimental but it does the job. Click on the little car in the upper right corner and start your planning.

NWS EDD

Oh, and Michigan? Seriously? Get some salt.

The really hard part about this is putting our baby away with a dirty exterior. I washed and waxed it before we left. The first nice day and it's going to a car wash.
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Old 12-19-2016, 04:24 AM   #37
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Hope you'll take more time for your dogs sake. We stop at rest areas at least every two - three hours to walk our dogs. This is the first trip with your dogs so they'll likely be nervous/uneasy so I'd try to make this a positive and good experience for them so they don't dread future trips. On our first trip with our dogs they were quite nervous, especially the Golden who is so scared of all big trucks, so I had both wearing those velcro Thunder Shirts made for anxiety.
We will be traveling later this month from ME to FL which I dread, isn't easy with very few if any campgrounds open. To avoid heavy traffic in the cities Sunday seems like the best time to hit congested areas. Best of luck and safe travels to you and your pups!
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Old 12-19-2016, 07:13 AM   #38
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In freezing rain you would find us parked somewhere convenient. Walmart or a rest area would do. It's not that I can't drive in those conditions. I just don't see a reason to be a moving target for the folks who have to get there before I do. Much easier to just slide into someplace safer and let the mess blow over. Much faster than getting involved in some kind of traffic accident. ;-)
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Old 12-20-2016, 12:03 AM   #39
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Well on the dogs, they are American Hairless terriers so in cold weather they get minimum time out side even wearing clothes. However, stopping to reassure them is a good idea.

If weather is bad we will be stopped someplace. Sliding in a car is bad enough and I don't plan on taking any risks. We are going to take 65 instead of 75 in part to avoid some of the mountain passes on 75. While not flat 65 is a bit better if I recall correctly.

Really starting to wonder just how far south we will need to get to de-winterize but that may just be nerves and this unusual cold.

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Old 12-21-2016, 06:37 AM   #40
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Theoretically you can de winterize in your yard before you leave. The issue is how much you plan on worrying about letting the unit sit and cool off. If you are thinking motel for a night or two then you have to stay protected. If you are going to warm the unit up a day or two before leaving and keep it warm going south then just try not to load the waste tanks early. Watch the weather forecast for areas on the way down. We don't travel in freezing daytime weather. Nights are manageable. Most of that is timing.
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Old 12-22-2016, 11:11 AM   #41
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Theoretically you can de winterize in your yard before you leave. The issue is how much you plan on worrying about letting the unit sit and cool off. If you are thinking motel for a night or two then you have to stay protected. If you are going to warm the unit up a day or two before leaving and keep it warm going south then just try not to load the waste tanks early. Watch the weather forecast for areas on the way down. We don't travel in freezing daytime weather. Nights are manageable. Most of that is timing.
Well, we have to store coach away from our home. So de-winterize is going to be at our first camp stop. What I was worrying about was if we hit very cold temps. While I know there is some heat in the bays I was not sure how well it keeps above freezing if cold (below 25 or so) and driving.

Helps to know not a lot to worry about at least on the coach.

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Old 12-22-2016, 03:01 PM   #42
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Since you're planning on de-winterizing as you travel then definitely wait until you're in warmer temps - 30 deg during the days. One night without de-winterizing isn't going to harm anything but you don't want continuous days below freezing.


Just carry jugs of water and use water minimally. You can certainly do without showering for a couple days..... rough it!
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