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Old 11-14-2019, 06:39 PM   #1
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Traveling I-10 in December .....

I live in Jacksonville Florida where all the winter storms vector northeast at the Georgia border. I've decided to spend the winter in southern California with some friends but haven't even thought about making this trip before. I'm thinking snow is unlikely, but I might be running the heat pumps full time off the genset. Looking for suggestions from members who have made this trip east to west this time of the year. Thanks!
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Old 11-14-2019, 07:26 PM   #2
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I-10 through Louisiana is terrible. I don't know what they spend their money on in that state but it certainly isn't highway maintenance. I used to take I-20 from central TX east to Shreveport and then I-49 down to I-10. That was about 5 years ago and I haven't traveled it since. I-10 is OK from Mobile to Defuniak Springs, FL (haven't been east of there). I-20 is OK from Vicksburg, MS to Lousiana except for portions in Shreveport and Monroe. If you have to take I-10, slow down when the going gets rough. I've heard I-10 is not very good east of Houston but I have not traveled it.
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Old 11-14-2019, 07:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterFTH View Post
I live in Jacksonville Florida where all the winter storms vector northeast at the Georgia border. I've decided to spend the winter in southern California with some friends but haven't even thought about making this trip before. I'm thinking snow is unlikely, but I might be running the heat pumps full time off the genset. Looking for suggestions from members who have made this trip east to west this time of the year. Thanks!
I doubt you will encounter any really frigid nights along I-10 in December, but you can expect some LONG boring drives across Texas. We did get stuck in west Texas by an ice storm a few years ago, but I think that was in late January and only lasted 3 days. Be sure you take I-12 around NOLA unless you want to see the city. Going straight thru Houston on I-10 is doable except at rush hour, the bypasses are much longer than going thru on I-10. Once you get just west of Tucson, you need to decide if you want to take I-8 or I-10 depending on where in SOCAL is your destination.
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Old 11-14-2019, 07:31 PM   #4
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I-10 through Louisiana is terrible. I don't know what they spend their money on in that state but it certainly isn't highway maintenance. I used to take I-20 from central TX east to Shreveport and then I-49 down to I-10. That was about 5 years ago and I haven't traveled it since. I-10 is OK from Mobile to Defuniak Springs, FL (haven't been east of there). I-20 is OK from Vicksburg, MS to Lousiana except for portions in Shreveport and Monroe. If you have to take I-10, slow down when the going gets rough. I've heard I-10 is not very good east of Houston but I have not traveled it.
You may want to rephrase that because as stated is only about 1 mile. If you meant Vicksburg to TX, I agree with you, but I suggest using the ByPass around Bossier City/Shreveport
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Old 11-14-2019, 07:33 PM   #5
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i just drove I-10 today from baton rouge to houston, in La. the road is bad but not much traffic during the day.
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Old 11-14-2019, 07:36 PM   #6
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Several years ago we had snow in December at Van Horn. Just watch weather forecasts daily. Also, found that traveling as early as possible and stopping early avoids high winds.
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Old 11-14-2019, 08:21 PM   #7
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I10 from El Paso to just east of Tucson can get some really gnarly winter weather. Sometimes closes the road. If you keep an eye on weather forecasts and plan around predicted bad weather you should be fine.
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Old 11-14-2019, 08:43 PM   #8
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I haven't made that exact trip, but I do have a good deal of experience with I-10. It's phenomenally boring from San Antonio to California. There just isn't anything there but desert and the interstate. The road is fine, but so looooong. I-10 from about Louisiana/Mississippi state line over to Beaumont Texas is terrible. It's getting better, but that's like saying it's better to get the flu than pneumonia. Yea, it's "better", but it's definitely not good. Since you're headed west, plan things out so that you're not going through the Lake Charles, Louisiana area in the morning. It gets really slow in the mornings west bound. (As in, it could take you an hour to get 10 miles over either bridge) East bound gets the same traffic, but in the evenings. East of about El Paso is a desert, so it can get pretty cold overnight. I don't think you'll have big issues in December, but check the weather forecast before heading through.
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Old 11-14-2019, 09:23 PM   #9
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I drove Jacksonville to Phoenix a few years ago during January. Everyone is correct about the Louisiana roads being rough but you can avoid that stretch. Across Texas is a long drive but 100% better than most Northern routes like I -90 through the East. We spent the night in Junction City Tx and woke to 24 degrees and freezing rain the next morning but the roads were fine.
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Old 11-15-2019, 08:58 AM   #10
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You may want to rephrase that because as stated is only about 1 mile. If you meant Vicksburg to TX, I agree with you, but I suggest using the ByPass around Bossier City/Shreveport
Yeah, you're right. I meant I-20 is good from Jackson, MS to Shreveport.
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Old 11-15-2019, 12:08 PM   #11
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I drove I-10 from SoCal to San Antonio and back this past May. I-10 in and around San Antonio is a bit of a mess and being worked on. Not terrible but not the best.

I-10 through ElPaso (10 miles or so) was closed due to construction. The loop around ElPaso works good. 8-9% grade but its fairly short.

1-10 through most of New Mexico was in pretty bad shape. Right lane is full of ruts and broken pavement. Worst part of the entire trip was I-10 through New Mexico

I-10 through Arizona and SoCal was decent. Lots of traffic but that par for I-10 everywhere.

I wouldnt be too worried about a little bit of cold weather. You wont see snow or ice on the road. Maybe a few cooler temps at night but nothing to worry about as far as Im concerned.
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Old 11-15-2019, 12:40 PM   #12
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Peter --

I-10 (and I-12) between Beaumont, TX and the Louisiana/Misssissipi state line is very rough with a lot of construction (some day in some decade it will be nice). I-10 from Beaumont through the Katy area (west side of Houston) is in good condition. West of Katy for about 20 miles there is a lot of construction and narrow lanes. After that construction, the remainder of I-10 through San Antonio and on to Kerrville, TX, is generally in good shape. I haven't ventured west of Kerrville nor east of Slidell, LA as my motorhome outings are limited to long weekends.

With regards to weather, the San Antonio and Houston area had several days this past week with nighttime lows in the upper 20's which is a tad earlier than normal but not unusually cold. This time of year night time lows are typically are in the low 40's with day time highs in the mid-60's. So yes, for overnight stays in Texas you'd be running your heat pumps or furnace. While driving, your dash heater should be enough to keep you warm.
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Old 11-16-2019, 09:04 AM   #13
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I would like to give you a more update review from El Paso to at least Tucson. El Paso is undergoing major highway construction that can, depending on the time and day of the week, cause some real congestion. TXDOT is expanding I-10 on the West side of I-10 in El Paso and has also announced construction on TX375 which is the main bypass around El Paso.

New Mexico has repaved/recoated I-10 and the drive from the TX border to the AZ border is pretty much OK and relatively smooth.

Arizona has a major road construction project West of Tucson to Casa Grande. I would also suggest you avoid Phoenix by taking I-8.

And yes, I-10, like much of the Southwest, is pretty much treeless but not without some real scenic beauty of rocks, mountains, blue skies, and great sunsets.

Weather wise, you are more likely to encounter weather in TX from Houston to Fort Stockton then you are the rest of the way. From El Paso to California, you are unlikely to get anything more than an occasional rain shower. Winter is dry and it will get cold at night. Other than it is a really long drive, enjoy it.
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Old 11-16-2019, 06:27 PM   #14
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I can't tell you about the current road conditions but I was stationed in El Paso and drove home to FL a couple times - 14-16 hours from El Paso to the border of LA (at 70-80) and then the state borders fly by. Across Tx is desert for the most part - long and boring and if you're into bare rock formations, they are there.
I was then transferred to Sierra Vista, AZ. Off we go through NM and then AZ. Now we were getting into some hills and desert hill scenery. I turned south toward Sierra Vista before Tucson and 28 miles later land in Sierra Vista - I probably wouldn't recognize it now.

When I exited the service I drove from Sierra Vista all the way back thru AZ, NM and TX (again), staying at my sister's home in Dallas for a day or 2. While there, we were sleeping on an air mattress in their LR and a tornado came through around midnight. We were sleeping about 15 ft from the rear sliding glass doors and the Tornado ripped their back porch off the house and deposited it all over the street in front of their home. Wow
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