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Old 05-24-2014, 10:03 AM   #1
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Newby towing from FL to MT

Hey all,

Just getting nervous...I've just retired from the military after 22 years and am towing my 5th wheel from Navarre, FL to my hoe of record in Great Falls, Montana.

Tow vehicle: 1995 F-250, 7.3L Diesel 4x4, with B&W 5th wheel adapter towing a 27 ft Coachman Chapparral Lite 5th wheel (7,000 lbs dry).

Truck is in great shape and has 195,000 miles on the clock. I've never towed anything that big that far.

So far, most everything underneath the truck has been replaced (steering, brakes, tires, u-joints, coolant & hoses, serpentine belt, A/C re-serviced, etc).

Will be lubing up front end and u-joints and oil change this weekend, for a Wednesday departure.

Front GAWR- 4600 lbs @ 55 PSI COLD
Rear GAWR- 6084 lbs @ 80 PSI COLD
Tires: LT235/85R16E

Do I have to inflate them according to schedule above? Recommendations?


Route:
Day 1: Navarre, FL to Memphis TN- 468 miles-7 hrs 31 mins
Day 2: Memphis to Offutt AFB, NE- 626 miles-10 hrs
Day 3: Offutt AFB to Spearfish, SD- 581 miles- 8 hrs 17 mins
Day 4: Spearfish SD to Sand Coulee MT- 479 miles- 7 hrs 30 mins

Thinking I'll get 10 mpg (I usually get 15 city & 17 highway without towing anything). Both tanks hold 25 gallons. Will plan to bring 2x 5 gallon jugs of diesel fuel, which should give me bonus range of about 100 miles.

Planning on using Truck stops to refuel.

Any advice or caution you can give to a newbie?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-24-2014, 10:27 AM   #2
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usually I never drive more then 300 -350 milles a day, then I start looking for a Walmart to spend the night, don't make it to complicated, take the time to enjoy the drive and the scenery.
Mike
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Old 05-24-2014, 06:53 PM   #3
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^^ x2


Quote:
Originally Posted by slepe67 View Post
I've never towed anything that big that far.

Any advice or caution you can give to a newbie?

Thanks in advance!
Hello slepe67,

I don't know anything about the route, just assuming there might be some hills or mountain grades in your path.

Hopefully your tranny is good to go. Do you have a transmission temp gauge? Don't want the tranny to overheat heading uphill. Take it slow heading downhill and don't ride the brakes.

Rich
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Old 05-24-2014, 07:48 PM   #4
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With stops for gas, rest and food stop every now and then, I can average about 50mph. I think you are going to have some long days driving that many miles. Remember, ST trailer tires are speed rated at 65mph. Have fun!
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Old 05-24-2014, 07:55 PM   #5
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Any one of those legs is drivable in one day. Trying to do it in succesive days will take it's toll on you. Plan to spend some time resting along the way or shortening the legs. Best of luck on your trip!!

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Old 05-24-2014, 07:55 PM   #6
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Did your drive times come from a trip planner? They don't seem to allow for most stops. I think your driving days will be really long. For a more realistic idea of what they will be add 1 1/2 or 2 hours to each of those times for food fuel and break stops..
I find that we really average about fifty mi. per hour for the day.
Have a good safe trip.
Milt
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Old 05-25-2014, 05:16 AM   #7
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You'll find it much easier to go north through Montgomery to B'ham, Nashville, Paducah and on through Southern Illinois to St. Louis. Then west to Kansas City.

You have the rest of the trip planned well.
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Old 05-25-2014, 05:35 AM   #8
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Old 05-25-2014, 07:40 AM   #9
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As others have mentioned, the drive time listed for each leg is not realistic for towing a fifth wheel.

Yes, inflate your tires to the recommended schedule you listed.
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Old 05-25-2014, 08:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROMANICHEL View Post
usually I never drive more then 300 -350 milles a day, then I start looking for a Walmart to spend the night, don't make it to complicated, take the time to enjoy the drive and the scenery.
Mike
After some thinking since I posted this, I feel you are 100% correct. I'd made the drive in the past a couple times. With no tow vehicle. Or 5 year old!

...and the USAF does have a policy stating I cannot drive more than 350 miles per day.

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Originally Posted by r___r View Post
^^ x2
...Hopefully your tranny is good to go. Do you have a transmission temp gauge? Don't want the tranny to overheat heading uphill. Take it slow heading downhill and don't ride the brakes.

Rich
Plenty of hills once I get to the Dakotas. Trans was rebuilt about 45,000 mikes ago. Don't have a guage. Been on my list of things to do...just might put one in this week. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texastbird View Post
With stops for gas, rest and food stop every now and then, I can average about 50mph. I think you are going to have some long days driving that many miles. Remember, ST trailer tires are speed rated at 65mph. Have fun!
Thansk for that info, really helps!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyDi View Post
Any one of those legs is drivable in one day. Trying to do it in succesive days will take it's toll on you. Plan to spend some time resting along the way or shortening the legs. Best of luck on your trip!!

Agreed. And my 5 yr old may not be too keen on sitting in a truck for 8 hrs a day. I have plenty of military friends on the route home. I Plan to stop and say hello!

Quote:
Originally Posted by milt View Post
Did your drive times come from a trip planner? They don't seem to allow for most stops. I think your driving days will be really long. For a more realistic idea of what they will be add 1 1/2 or 2 hours to each of those times for food fuel and break stops..
I find that we really average about fifty mi. per hour for the day.
Have a good safe trip.
Milt
I planned them off of past experience. I have driven the route in 2 days, usually takes 3. I figured adding another day in would make up he difference between having an RV and simply driving single-ship.

50mph per day is a great tool!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bamaman View Post
You'll find it much easier to go north through Montgomery to B'ham, Nashville, Paducah and on through Southern Illinois to St. Louis. Then west to Kansas City.

You have the rest of the trip planned well.
Thanks for the route. I was thinking about how much I hate driving in big cities WITHOUT a 27' trailer. These cities above have bypass routes?

Is it "quicker" just because it's interstate?

My route: 2152 mi
Bamaman's route: 2227 mi

Guess it's only 75 miles. Bamaman's route looks sound. I just never though that far outsdie the box...

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howdy
haha, howdy back!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oakman View Post
As others have mentioned, the drive time listed for each leg is not realistic for towing a fifth wheel.

Yes, inflate your tires to the recommended schedule you listed.
Great to know. I'll be checking back in before I ship out.

Thanks again for all the advice above!
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Old 05-25-2014, 09:50 AM   #11
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This is more for my planning purposes, but for your review (just for a sanity check)! Some days are a bit long, but I'm trying to link up with some old Air Force buddies while enroute!

Trying to park on Air Force Bases due to security concerns. Beware the unknown!

Day 1: Navarre, FL to Decatur AL- 327 miles-5 hrs 27 mins
http://www.rvparkreviews.com/regions...a/Decatur.html

Day 2: Decatur to Marion, IL- 403.7 miles-5 hrs 51 mins (Friends here)
Marion Campground and RV Park 119 N 7th St, Marion, IL (618) 997-3484
http://www.rvparkreviews.com/regions...is/Marion.html

Day 3: Marion, IL to Whiteman AFB, MO- 332 miles- 5 hrs
There isn't an RV Park on Whiteman, but there is one called
Knob Noster" just to the west of base. It is a DoD facility: http://www.rvparkreviews.com/regions...ob_Noster.html

Day 4: Knob Noster, MO to Offutt AFB, NE- 246 miles- 4 hrs (Friends here)
http://rvparkreviews.com/regions/Neb...ffutt_AFB.html (It's got a LAKE!)

Day 5: Offutt AFB to RV Park in Chamberlain, SD- 330 miles- 4 hrs 45 mins
http://rvparkreviews.com/regions/Sou...amberlain.html

Day 6: Chamberlain, SD to Broadus, MT- 355 miles- 5 hrs 14 mins
http://rvparkreviews.com/regions/Montana/Broadus.html

Day 7: Broadus, MT to Great Falls MT- 383 miles- 5 hrs 49 mins

Realizing times above will likely be DOUBLE of what Bing Maps states!
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Old 05-25-2014, 10:02 AM   #12
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ex navy here daughter lives in great falls will be there next year have a great trip drive safe THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE
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Old 05-25-2014, 10:17 AM   #13
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ex navy here daughter lives in great falls will be there next year have a great trip drive safe THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE
Thanks for YOUR service and support!
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Old 05-25-2014, 10:18 AM   #14
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The times are not realistic. You can not drive 403 miles in 6 hours pulling the 5th wheel. Someone mentioned above that they average 50mph with fuel stops, etc. I find this is a realistic number as well. The 400 mile trip will likely be 8 hours. Same for the rest of your time. I think you need to adjust your times to be about 25% more, i.e. 6 hours becomes 8 and 4 hours becomes 5.

Enjoy your trip and most of all be safe.

Tom

Quote:
Originally Posted by slepe67 View Post
This is more for my planning purposes, but for your review (just for a sanity check)! Some days are a bit long, but I'm trying to link up with some old Air Force buddies while enroute!

Trying to park on Air Force Bases due to security concerns. Beware the unknown!

Day 1: Navarre, FL to Decatur AL- 327 miles-5 hrs 27 mins
Day 2: Decatur to Marion, IL- 403.7 miles-5 hrs 51 mins (Friends here)
Marion Campground and RV Park 119 N 7th St, Marion, IL (618) 997-3484
Day 3: Marion, IL to Whiteman AFB, MO- 332 miles- 5 hrs
Day 4: Whiteman AFB to Offutt AFB, NE- 246 miles- 4 hrs (Friends here)
Day 5: Offutt AFB to RV Park in Chamberlain, SD- 330 miles- 4 hrs 45 mins
Day 6: Chamberlain, SD to Broadus, MT- 355 miles- 5 hrs 14 mins
Day 7: Broadus, MT to Great Falls MT- 383 miles- 5 hrs 49 mins

Realizing times above will likely be DOUBLE of what Bing Maps states!
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