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Old 09-14-2019, 07:22 PM   #1
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Vancouver Wa to Florida in January

We are planning on our first extended trip. Just did a preliminary google maps route and it takes us down 84/80 thru Idaho and Wyoming. The Mountain Directory shows several long deserts and has warning about bad weather travel. Should I plan another longer route? My Garmin 770 is 1200 miles away and I canít seem to figure out trip routing on rvtripwizard. Any advice from those that have traveled this way would be appreciated.
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Old 09-14-2019, 07:44 PM   #2
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January, yes storms are likely. If you get a storm you just pull off and wait a few days for the road to be cleared. That's part of high country winter travel. I would not call the country in Idaho and Wyoming that I-84 passes thru desert in the sense that you would see in AZ. High dry plateau is more like it.



And that isn't the routing I'd pick to get to Florida. Maybe drop down via I-15 to I-40 and east from there. We were actually in Bonner's Mill this July from FL.
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Old 09-14-2019, 07:45 PM   #3
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The weather in January is not something you can play guessing games with. First thought would be to head south and hook onto highway on a southern route and take it across.

My preference would be I5 south to Bakersfield, over to Barstow (to avoid LA) then zig zag to Palm Springs to Phoenix, round to El Paso and from there, depending on weather, take I20 or I10 across the south.
We traveled on I20 in January and hit ice on the bridges. The overturned big rigs looked like beached whales. Apparently, the cab looses traction and skids off the road and the rest follows and flips. Stopped counting when we realized how bad it was and we too had wheel slip.

Safe travels.
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Old 09-14-2019, 07:55 PM   #4
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South, then east. If you're looking for the shortest route, don't go in January.
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Old 09-14-2019, 08:04 PM   #5
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I wouldn't make the drive in January on any route north of I40 and taking I40 can be questionable. 84/80 would be a nice summer diver but not January.
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Old 09-14-2019, 08:06 PM   #6
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NO, NO, NO. I have made this trip from just up the Colulmbia from you every year for the lasts 10 years. You are really asking for problems on that route in January. Snow, ice, and very cold temps, plus (probably) problems finding open RV parks. The only reasonable route in January is I-5 south as fast as you can (granted, only 55 mph in CA if you are towing). I take I-5 S and cut across to Bakersfield, then hwy 58 (?) over the Tahachapi pass to Barstow, jog down to I-10, then head East. I did this in November last year and still hit snow over the Tahachapi pass, and it is always iffy over the Siskiyou pass in southern oregon, but at least you have some good options for lay-over rv parks. Can give you many more details on the whole trip if you would like. We go all the way to the keys. Dick

ps...as long as the doctor gives me the OK, we will be leaving in mid-november just to avoid the cold and snow. Would be fun to talk to you about the route.
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Old 09-14-2019, 09:35 PM   #7
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Also, hope you have your reservations in Florida.
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Old 09-14-2019, 10:31 PM   #8
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.... here's another one for heading directly south and taking I-10 across.

We left Arizona too early one year the beginning of May and got in a snowstorm at Pocatello, Idaho. . . would never wish that on anyone in a RV!

At the end of April another year we left Arizona and I-40 was completely closed both directions because of a snowstorm west of Albuquerque. Everyone was just parked on the interstate. We couldn't even get off until the snow was cleared.
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Old 09-14-2019, 10:36 PM   #9
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I would do the I5 to I10 route. Once you get over the Grapevine in California no other worries!
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Old 09-14-2019, 11:02 PM   #10
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January is a coin toss.....I live in West Texas, just off I-20. I can tell you one thing, If it snows a lot, you will be stuck like Chuck!!! I have seen them shut down I-20 from Abilene, TX to Ranger, TX. They do not have the equipment to deal with large snow storms. Ice storms will be your number one concern, even on I-10 or I-20. They try to treat the roads with a chemical compound. It helps some, but if the storm is really bad, it becomes to dangerous to travel. As someone said earlier, I have seen large semi trucks off in a ditch all the time. They get over confident that they can just fly down the road, then hit a bridge with lots of ice, then it is all over.



With all that said, I have seen it in the 80's in January around here. I remember one year, riding my motorcycle to see friends for Christmas and New Year. Here in Texas, the weather is like rolling the dice. The key around here is watch the weather, it will change rapidly!!! I believe the average temp around Abilene is around 55 degrees in January. But, like I said it changes quickly. Safe travels
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Old 09-15-2019, 03:42 AM   #11
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Besides weather, campgrounds will be closed. Go south.
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Old 09-15-2019, 05:57 AM   #12
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On I 80 in Wyoming you'll cross the cont divide at 9000 ft......and a long hard pull out of Laramie.......there are several overhead reader boards and gates that could be closed shutting down the freeway..........just came thru there a week ago on way to Georgia....I winter every winter in southern Arizona and also would cast a vote for the southern route....I 40 around Flagstaff also gets snow...
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Old 09-15-2019, 09:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arctickats View Post
We are planning on our first extended trip. Just did a preliminary google maps route and it takes us down 84/80 thru Idaho and Wyoming. The Mountain Directory shows several long deserts and has warning about bad weather travel. Should I plan another longer route? My Garmin 770 is 1200 miles away and I canít seem to figure out trip routing on rvtripwizard. Any advice from those that have traveled this way would be appreciated.
I'll ask a few stupid questions - Mission? - Likes and Dislikes - Time allotted - Did I ask MISSION.

Driving anything across the Rockies in the Winter is likely to be a challenge.

If you have enough time you can sit and wait it out - sometimes just a day or two but - Sometimes might be a week.

In January there is a strong likely hood for weather on most Roads from I- 40 up (north).

If you must get to Florida then there is a suggested route - Head South along the Coast - Beautiful Drive then when you are sure there is clear sailing head diagonally to I- 10.

There are a number of great options to just get away that are not Florida so the South to I- 10 will avail you to some/many opportunities as you travel.

Unless you are experienced as a snow plow operator, I would avoid crossing the Rockies in the Winter. (This is from a guy who cleared snow often in the Winter, and likes to think he knows Driving in the Snow).

Give us more info and we can surely be more specific in the info and we can Help.

Let us Know,
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Old 09-15-2019, 10:52 AM   #14
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We made several trips across 80 ,70, and 40 from OR to WV or WV to OR during mid-winter with either a 4wd TC or 2wd automobile. With all these trips I would play the weather game before deciding on a route and leaving. Most of this was before smart phones and the like. I would sit at the computer and get forecasts for the time we expected to be in a certain area during the trip. I did this for the most direct route (70, 80) working toward less direct until finding one with the best weather. Now with all the electronic devices available that would be much easier. Ours was a mission at the time and we haven't done it for many years. Now we travel during summer.,

If I were going to try it with a large MH I would do as most have suggested, go south then east. It's usually warmer down there, but not always, back to the weather game. I can remember one snowy evening and icy next day going across NM on 40 during winter, but the rest of the trip was good.

Best of luck on the trip.

Steve
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