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Old 06-30-2010, 05:23 PM   #1
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First Timer Needs Help

Wife and I flying to Phoenix in a week to pick up new (to us) '03 39 Winnebago DP and drive it to Birmingham, AL then home to south FL. Since we are brand new at this we want to take our time, and follow the easiest, safest route. We plan on ten days but can take more. We will not be towing. Our concern is the Phoenix to Birmingham route...should we take 40 east to Memphis then 78 south, or 10 east to 20, or 10 all the way to New Orleans, then north on 59/20? We think we want to drive 400 miles or less each day (8 hours max) and have a day or two here or there for layovers...make sense? Any place we really should see? Any help is really appreciated. BTW...all new tires and tire monitoring system, new oil and filters, Camping World Roadcare and members of Good Sam...have we forgotten anything? Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-30-2010, 05:33 PM   #2
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How about a PDI list to check out your new motor home, wouldn't want you to brake down miles from your dealer.
Congrats and many safe miles for you.
Welcome to irv2.
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Old 06-30-2010, 05:35 PM   #3
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If you want quick and easy then you will want to take I-10 E all the way to FL. I suspect you can find your way home from there.
400 miles is A LOT of driving! I would recommend that you consider limiting it to something closer to 300 miles. This will allow you to start around 9am and finish by 5pm or so with a stop for lunch along the way. You are going to need a couple of fuel stops as well along your 2500 mile trip.
If you are looking for some sightseeing along the way that can change things as well. It will be a 9 day trip at 300/miles per day so you could do 400 and 200 if you wanted to make specific stops along the way.
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Old 06-30-2010, 05:43 PM   #4
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- Spend a night in the MH and test everything before embarking out on your first adventure with it.
- Make sure you have basic: Drinking Water hose, Power adapters, Sewer hose (plus extender), flashlight, map, Phone numbers, etc etc
- Avoid major city rush hour traffic
- Make campground reservations?
- All fluids good?
- Not all Wal*Mart stores permit parking (Most do )
- Get weighed, check tire pressure
- RV toilet paper, paper towels, etc
- Basic tool kit, duct tape, tie wraps, bungie cords, gloves
- Cool night clothing (just in case)
- Pre-Trip checklist: Slides in before jacks up;;;; Jacks down before slides out
- Lock and check cabinets, doors, etc
- Storage compartment doors secure?
- No obstacles in front of the slide path?
- Test vehicle driving lights: Turn signal, brake lights, headlights, etc

- Just buying? Very important: Check very closely on all walls, corners and roof for DELAMINATION (water leaks) RV Death
- All slides should move freely and smoothly
- Insurance? Temp tag?

All secure? Jacks up? Slides in? TV antenna down? Awnings secure?

Happy RV'ing Have a safe and enjoyable trip
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Old 07-04-2010, 04:40 PM   #5
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Each of these routes has at least one "difficulty" in my opinion.
  1. Going north from Phoenix to Flagstaff is a steady uphill climb ... you gain 5000 feet of elevation before you hit I-40 ... and driving through Memphis is a little challenging because the road is rough and the lanes are narrow ... there are often many trucks since this is a crossroads ..
  2. If you take I-20 you have to deal with the Dallas traffic
  3. If you take I-10 you have to deal with Tucson (much better than it used to be) and Houston (ditto) ... you can avoid New Orleans by taking I-12 east of Baton Rouge
In summary ... there is no "perfect" route ... pick one ... you will do fine ... and take your time ...

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Old 07-04-2010, 07:33 PM   #6
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This a great chance to see a lot of country since you are already out there. Just make sure both of you go through the coach and understand how everything turns on and lights. After the first night you will have a list of what you need for the rest of the trip. Stop as the first Wally and stock up on food and what ever else you need. Don't forget the paper products!! Take your time and enjoy the trip...Happy Trails.
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skigramp View Post
If you take I-10 you have to deal with Tucson
I don't like driving through metropolitan areas, but Tucson is a snap. There is, or was, construction on I-10 through Tucson...don't know the current situation.
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Old 07-05-2010, 12:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Adams View Post
If you want quick and easy then you will want to take I-10 E all the way to FL. I suspect you can find your way home from there.
400 miles is A LOT of driving! I would recommend that you consider limiting it to something closer to 300 miles. This will allow you to start around 9am and finish by 5pm or so with a stop for lunch along the way. You are going to need a couple of fuel stops as well along your 2500 mile trip.
If you are looking for some sightseeing along the way that can change things as well. It will be a 9 day trip at 300/miles per day so you could do 400 and 200 if you wanted to make specific stops along the way.
I don't often agree with Bill but this time I have to admit that he is right about "to much driving".

10 days from Phoenix, AZ to south of Florida is not enough in my humble opinion. Forget about places to see - you will not have time to make a stop to enjoy anything and that is a crying shame. There are so much to see and you are going to miss it all (or at least most of it) on a 10 day schedule. We have taken that route a couple of times and in September we will make a trip from Orlando to San Antonio (although via Nashville and Memphis) but we will spend close to 3 month making this journey. That gives you time to make a stop and go exploring.

Do yourself a favor - take all the extra days you can get because you will need them once you realise that your trip will be nothing but driving and driving and driving.

Congrats on you RV and all the best on your maiden voyage. Get an IRV2 sticker on your new toy and we will come and knock on your door when we meet you on the campgrounds. See you out there.
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