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Old 09-06-2014, 04:39 AM   #1
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Michigan to San Diego in November

We are leaving Nov. 1 for a 2 week trip from W. Bloomfield, MI to San Diego, CA and back for my son's wedding Nov. 8th. Any suggestions, helpful hints, advice on the route, traveling that time of year, areas to avoid, etc. would be greatly appreciated.

I am already stressing on potential weather issues as they are predicting another early, bad winter. Last year there were already some blizzards during that time. We normally do not travel that late in the year but have no choice.

We are traveling in a 2014 Fleetwood Bounder 35K with my adult handicapped son and our Labradoodle.

Thanks for any input you can provide.

Suzi & Dave

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Old 09-06-2014, 05:41 AM   #2
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Welcome to iRV2.
To avoid bad weather (snow/freezing) I would head south taking I-69 to Indianapolis. Then I-65 to I-20. Then I-10 to I-8. This will give you the safest route for that time of year. I have taken this route in December and January.
If you watch the weather close. Then you could take a more northern route using I-70 to I-44 to I-40 to I-25 to I-10 to I-8.
I use a Trip Weather APP on my iPhone. Shows good info.
There are several PC trip weather maps that help with planning a trip around weather. One is Road Trip Planner.
Be flexible on route while watching weather should make for a safe trip.

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Old 09-06-2014, 06:49 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forums at IRV2.

It must be the year for sons in CA to get married ... we will be going to San Diego for a late October wedding for our son, too. We have left the Midwest headed for the southwest for about 15 years during the winter.

FLEXIBILITY is my word of advice. Plan several routes. Check the weather for a couple of days ahead. There are no absolutes. Last year, in fact, we were planning to head south from Oklahoma City to travel on west on I-20. But there was a winter storm passing through Texas ... so we continued on west on I-40 to Albuquerque ... the roads were completely clear. Remember flexibility.

You mentioned snow ... but wind is also a major player as you travel across the western plains and mountains. I-8 in California and I-80 in Wyoming have been closed to motorhomes (and all high profile vehicles) when we were travelling. We waited out the wind in Yuma for one day ... and in Cheyenne for 3 days.

Many RV parks will be closed along northern routes by November 1. But you will have no trouble finding open RV parks after you are south of Indianapolis or Kansas City.

Make sure you allow enough time ... most likely your route will be at least 2600 miles to San Diego ... that is 6.5 days travelling 400 miles a day and more than 5 days travelling 500 miles a day.
2004 Winnebago Journey 39W - 2012 Buick Enclave
Present @home Home: Oshkosh, WI
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Old 09-06-2014, 08:48 AM   #4
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Quickly calculation the travel and TIME costs I would fly. I do like RVing but two weeks of possible white knuckle driving and cost involved Nope not me. Even with the extra person. Long days driving and even longer days in snow and ice nope. Your going to be spending $2200-$2600 on fuel alone plus night overs. Think it would be cheaper and a much more enjoyable time to cut the trip a little shorter anddo the flight. Otherwise head south for weather before turning west or snatch the weather closely.

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Old 09-06-2014, 11:23 AM   #5
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Being from Michigan in our past, we would highly recommend that you head immediately south to I-10 and take that across. That's your safest bet and November is early for snow/ice along the southern route. Even returning, you probably will not have bad weather the first weeks of November.

All RV parks will be open along this route so don't worry about that. It's a typical 'snowbirder's' route so there will be lots of RVs along with you.

The only thing you should be concerned about is your planned timing. Two weeks is a very short period of time with a wedding in the midst. It can be done and if that's all the time you have you'll have to make the best of it but it will entail long driving days and you should always plan a couple extra days in case of mechanical problems. I hope you both can drive, that would help.

If you're retired and have extra time, I'd recommended at least a month. Take your time and work in some local sites along the way. How often are you going to be able to make this long trip? Make it count and have a good one!
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Old 09-06-2014, 03:05 PM   #6
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I have made two trips to Las Vegas. one leaving thanksgiving the other new years.

First time (New year, well Jan 2) I headed south till it warmed enough did the de-winterize bit somewhere SOUTH of the Mason/Dixon line, and had no problems save for electrical (and that was minor).

Second time we went the north route via Nebraska, froze solid in Wyoming, thawed again in Utah, and fixed the damage (minor, less than 10 bucks) in Las Vegas.
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Old 09-06-2014, 03:21 PM   #7
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November should be fine, just plan on a delay because of winds on I-8. The mountain is a 6.8% grade and one scary high bridge. Make sure you have plenty of fuel, fill up in Yuma. Did this trip every year in Nov from NH to San Diego.

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