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Old 11-25-2014, 10:30 AM   #1
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Minneapolis to Tampa

Wife and I are leaving for Tampa Florida area from Minneapolis in mid December. This is our first long trip. Any ideas on the best route to take ?
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Old 11-25-2014, 01:48 PM   #2
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JimBonnie ... leaving the upper Midwest in mid December requires attention to WEATHER systems that are moving across the mid section of the country.


I suggest you pre-plan a south then east route, an east then south route, and a straight line route ... and then the day before you leave look at the forecasts along each of these routes


I used to leave Wisconsin in late December or early January ... I have changed the route before I started ... as well as in the middle because of weather ... driving an extra 100 miles is a lot easier than driving through winter storms ...


Remember that the southern states do not have salt trucks and snow plows ......
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Old 11-25-2014, 05:25 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info. Any ideas about stopovers for on the way down. Seems all the rv parks are closed in the northern part of the United States. We have to stay in the motorhome because we will have 3 dogs with us.
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Old 11-25-2014, 05:40 PM   #4
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If you go south through ILL all the way to I 10 you should avoid the mountains of TN and N GA. Atlanta can be miserable if the weather is lousy especially if it is ice or snow--they just aren't equipped for snow removal. If the weather report is for good weather Chicago to Tampa is the fastest and shortest route (but tolls around Chicago and lots of traffic during rush hours (lots of traffic around Atlanta in rush hour too). If you are in Western MN it might be faster to go south through IL and go east south of Chicago...weather is the biggest factor.
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Old 11-25-2014, 06:04 PM   #5
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Always keep checking the weather and maybe you should check your route, Interstates have been known to temporary shut down.
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Old 11-25-2014, 07:21 PM   #6
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We go to Orlando every March. We stay first night in Salem, IL in Walmart parking lot. It is below freezing sometimes, but generator and furnace keep everything warm. Second night we usually stay at Deer Run campground in Troy, AL. We go thru Alabama from Nashville to avoid Atlanta. Driving an RV thru Atlanta is no fun.
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Old 11-25-2014, 07:21 PM   #7
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I have stayed in 3 RV parks in winter.

ILLINOIS ....
Tincup RV Park in Mahomet ... near Champaign / Urbana they have a few full hookup spots ...

IOWA ...
Griff's RV park near Altoona ... near the intersection of I-35 & I-80 ... handy to get there from either ... call ahead to make sure they have a site

Kellog RV park Kellog ... east of Des Moines on I-80 ... they have nice pull through sites ...

When you get as far south as Kansas City or St. Louis you will find more parks that are open.
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Old 11-26-2014, 04:40 PM   #8
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Go to distancesonline.com put in your points and check it out. you can drag the route around anywhere you want to avoid. Also gives time and fuel cost. Every time I have used it has been very close.
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Old 11-27-2014, 10:47 AM   #9
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Thanks for the info. Is Salem Illinois a safe place to spend the night ?
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Old 11-27-2014, 11:46 PM   #10
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There's always been 4-5 other RVs there when we stop. Seems safe enough for us. The Walmart has always been clean. I usually drop in for something we forgot once we stop. I like to stretch the legs after a long drive and I'm usually a little to keyed up to go right to sleep.
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Old 12-01-2014, 10:18 AM   #11
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Your first night south will find most campgrounds closed. May have to stay in Wal mart, or rest area, or motel. Then angle eastward to I 74, to I 57, to I 24, Nashville area second night. Take I. 65 to Montgomery, Al. Then 231 to I 10. This misses all tolls in Il. And that dreaded Atlanta.. We stayed at thevWoods in Montgomery, and then at intersection of I10/I 75. There are a lot of nice places in between, no shortage of campgrounds, but there will be those snowbirds competing for the same places, so stop early.
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Old 12-01-2014, 10:30 AM   #12
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I avoid Chicago at all costs, for me Salem would be a very only first day about 650 miles
Take I 39 as far as you can and shoot straight south
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Old 12-01-2014, 12:45 PM   #13
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I know the KOA at Paducah/KY Lake was open in March once when we came thru. That's more like 750 miles from MSP.
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Old 12-09-2014, 10:01 AM   #14
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Thanks for all the info. One more question . Can we stay overnight at a rest stop. Seems easier than a Walmart.
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