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Old 08-10-2015, 05:17 AM   #1
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Nov trip from Asheville, NC to Naches, WA

We are taking our first rv trip ever. We are leaving around Nov 1. Did MAPS on the computer and came up with a route that takes 40 to Nashville, then 24 to 57, then to 64 to 70, 29-where we will pick up 80 to 84 to 82 to take us in to Yakima.
Any travel suggestions? Or route changes? Trying to avoid major mountain passes and bad weather as we are newbies to rv travel. Planning about 6-7 hrs travel daily.
We are traveling in a 2005 Winnebago 30B Sightseer with NO TOAD.
We are very excited to take this journey but would appreciate any advice. I have an EZ Pass account, would I need to contact them to get an ez pass for the rv for the route above?

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Old 08-14-2015, 11:49 PM   #2
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Hi Ruthie197. That route actually sounds pretty good to me especially the more west you progress as you'll miss some of the more congested areas.

As far as mountain passes, you will be at very high elevations going through Wyoming on I-80 but it shouldn't be too much of a problem that early in the season. You will be going through several "snow zones" (they are what Oregon calls areas of roadway subject to chain laws where you are required to carry chains from November through March) in northeast Oregon on I-84 but again, it's usually not too bad that early in the season. If you do encounter snow in November, it's usually short-lived and not an event that will close the roadway for long periods of time or where "chains required" will be posted for any length of time. All states that have mountainous regions will have on their websites tools to help you navigate including up-to-date road and weather conditions. Here is a link to Oregon's "TripCheck" and it will give you exact and up-to-date road and weather conditions: CLICK

My experience is that on I-80 through Wyoming, it's seldom to have snow deep enough for a long enough period of time for "chains required" conditions. The same for northeastern Oregon through the Blue Mountains going over the Cabbage Hill/Deadman Pass area and other "snow zone" areas of I-84. Yes, it could snow in November but it's not like an everyday event even during the winter. Will it snow during the winter? Yes, of course, but interstate highways are plowed and serviced intensively so it's unusual to have a closure or even "chains required" conditions. Interstate highways accommodate commercial truck traffic and it's a high priority for each state to keep them open and in good condition. You may or may not have to drive when snow is falling but to encounter "chains required" will be unusual especially that early in the season. "Chains required" conditions are typically only temporary when a large storm moves in and until they can get the roads cleared by plows, etc.

As for buying chains, here is my recommendation:

1) If you do not like or want to install and take-off chains, buy a set of the most inexpensive chains or cables you can find which will state on the package that they will fit your tires knowing that you'll never use them. Again, they will just be for "legal" purposes as you are required in Washington and Oregon to carry chains on a vehicle of 10,000 pounds GVWR whether you need them or not. The package is just for "show" purposes should an LEO happen to request to see them (unlikely but possible). Otherwise, in this scenario, just park it if you know you will possibly will be going through a snow storm where "chains required" may be a possibility.

2) If you don't mind installing and removing chains, my recommendation would be to purchase a set of commercial-grade cables (click here for an example). These are easier to install and will do less damage if they lose a link cross-member or become loose. You'll only need to install the chains on the outer dual. Practice installing and removing them before you leave or before getting to regions where there's a chance for snow deep enough to install chains. Believe me, it's no fun fumbling around on the side of the road in the cold and heavy snow trying to figure out how to put the chains on and if they fit or not. I gave you toad requirements in the other thread but I now see you will not have a toad. That's good as it's always easier to drive just the motorhome in the snow. Chains on a motorhome more or less will be the same as those on a car ...stop and re-tighten or check the tightness after a few miles of installation, do not exceed 25 MPH, stop IMMEDIATELY if you hear or see that the chains have come loose and/or a link has broken as if you continue to drive with a broken link, you can do thousands of dollars worth of damage to your motorhome.

Again, unless you are under a severe time constraint, my personal recommendation is to just park it if you encounter compact snow on the road or if the road reports or weather conditions point to heavy snow on the roadway or a major snow storm on the way.

As for EZ pass, I'm not that familiar with it but to my knowledge, once leaving North Carolina, I don't think you'll have much use for it. It only covers 16-states so is probably useless in those states you plan to travel through. Once you get out west, I don't believe you will encounter toll roads at all on the routing you have chosen ...or at least in Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

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Old 08-19-2015, 10:03 PM   #3
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Hi Ruthie....
1). Good route. I wouldn't change anything. Weather: we did a crossing from Boston to Seattle 2 years ago on the I-90 route in Oct-Nov. no problems, great trip. I did some research before that. The statistical likelihood of snow in the NW starts to elevate in Nov, but it's really the last third of Nov where the graph starts to tail up. Earlier Nov is more like Oct. of course, no guarantees.

How long are you planning to travel? Are you on a time schedule? You said 6-7 hrs per day, so are you just driving straight through, or will you be playing tourist along the way? My advice? Try to do a little poking around. Fact is, if you drive 7 hrs per day continuously you'll be exhausted quickly. Continuous long distance driving is very tiring, particularly if you're not accustomed to it. Drive for 2-3 days, then spend 2 nights. Pick a nice little town or campground, and give yourself a break. It will do wonders for you, and there's always something interesting-- even in the smallest town. Twin Falls, Idaho-- visit Shoshone Falls Park. 'Nuff said.

2). EZ Pass: EZPass is centered in the northeast. Spreads south down the I-95 corridor as far as NC, and west along the I-80/90 corridor to Illinois, and that's about it (for now). On your route you probably won't use it.

You've got a great time of year to travel. Enjoy!

John & Diane, fulltiming since '12
'02 DS 40, FL, 3126, '04 Element
John & Diane, Fulltimers. RVM103 NHSO
On the road since June '12 with Lincoln, the guard cat.
2002 Dutch Star 40, Freightliner, Cat 3126, 2004 Element
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