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Old 07-11-2011, 08:48 PM   #15
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I like the diagonal from Austin to Texarkana, then I20. Pretty drive if you just take it easy. I always try and avoid I35 to Dallas. And just a reminder for a new motorhome driver, these things have a very large overhang behind the rear tires and the rear makes a very large "swing" when turning. When leaving a fuel stop, make sure to stay straight until you clear the pumps.......enjoy..........ronspradley
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Old 07-12-2011, 08:02 AM   #16
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Thank you for all the input.
I will be driving a 2006 27ft Lazy Daze Class C with a VW Golf Toad.
While we have never RV'd before we have been boaters for years and have towed boats all over the place. I know it is not the same but I am used to paying attention while driving and watching the turns.

From the posts it seems I should take I-20 to I-85.
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:44 AM   #17
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I concur, I-35 to TX 31 east to I-20 the I-85 and come in on Rt 58. Pretty straight forward. I always try to stop every 2-3 hours to stretch my back, legs and whatever else is tightening up..(there's more every day as I get older). I'm a right hand lane guy too....rarely go over 60mph. There's plenty to enjoy on the trip that way and a lot less stress too.
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Old 07-12-2011, 12:15 PM   #18
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Just as a suggestion. Take US Hwy 79 from Round Rock (just n of Austin) to Palestine, continue on 79 to Henderson where you pick up state hwy 43 to Marshall (I 20). I travel this area frequently in a Class A.

If you choose to go this route, let me know and I can recommend some very good state parks to stay-if you like state parks. You will get to see some of the Piney Woods of east Texas going this way.
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Old 07-12-2011, 12:48 PM   #19
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For a first timer take is in small chunks, maybe only go 100 - 200 miles the first day. Take breaks, get out and stretch. We have been doing this for a few years and leave the campground between 8 - 9 that way rush hour traffic is mostly over. We stay on the out bound side of a city so we are going against the traffic in the AM. We also try to stop around 3 -4 PM, that way we are settled in and relaxing when the evening rush hour traffic starts, it also gives you a chance to relax before your next days drive (use that time to review your route for the next day).

If you use a GPS be sure to review the route BEFORE you start following it, many GPS's are made for cars, and although you have a class C, you are NOT a 4 wheeler. As a newie bee you will be worried about over pass clearance (if you stick to the interstates you will be fine). You also need to watch for people pulling on the highway, they do NOT want to drive behind a RV so they will speed up to get ahead of you. If possiable I pull into the center lane when I see someone coming down the on ramp.

Until you get familiar with your RV, check the gas mileage, check the size of the tank and multiply by the worst gas mileage you think you will get, then at 3/4 of that fill up and see what you really got for MPG. You will then be able to determine when you should fill up (fuel gauges are not always accurate). If you are driving from Austin to VA Beach in the next few weeks you may be wanting to run the generator so you have coach AC, that will change you MPG and you need to adjust your calculations accordingly.

Until you are familiar with your new rig, be sure to check the oil and coolant levels and tire pressure DAILY and if this is not a "new" RV (even if it is) look at the date code on the tires, they should be less than 7 years old, otherwise you run the risk of a blow out and that is NOT fun. Look at the tires daily checking for cracks and splits in the sidewalls (your tires are what keeps your butt off the pavement so you want to be sure there are no issues developing).

Defensive driving is your friend, keep the extra distance from the vehicle in front of you (a class C does not stop the same as a car or pick up truck), the time gained following close and running fast will NOT make a significant difference at the end of the day or to the total trip.
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Old 07-12-2011, 01:02 PM   #20
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I think the first post needs to be read before posting. They are asking for routes to take from Austin to Virginia not how to drive a Class C motorhome. Some of you are making it sound as if they are driving a piggy back 18 wheeler loaded with TNT for the first time. I know we are all trying to be helpful but scaring them to death about low bridges, rotten tires, etc when all they asked is should we take this highway or that highway...just sayin.
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Old 07-12-2011, 01:26 PM   #21
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I went from San Antonio to IL earlier this year. Going through texarkana to memphis roads were smooth for the most part. Be ready for some hills and try to avoid the major cities between 7-9 am and 4-6pm. Almost forgot LOTS of construction from texarkana to South of Dallas make sure to check out some of the 4-5 story tall over passes. Make sure you have a good GPS and go over the route to make sure it knows about the new roads. We got stuck in a loop in texarkana because GPS thought we were on the highway when we were running next to it on a temp road. The sign to get back on was only like the size of a sheet of paper. Took two passes to finally see it to get back on highway.
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Old 07-12-2011, 03:26 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elkhartjim View Post
I think the first post needs to be read before posting. They are asking for routes to take from Austin to Virginia not how to drive a Class C motorhome. Some of you are making it sound as if they are driving a piggy back 18 wheeler loaded with TNT for the first time. I know we are all trying to be helpful but scaring them to death about low bridges, rotten tires, etc when all they asked is should we take this highway or that highway...just sayin.
You had me laughing when I read your post. I really do value all the feedback. My palms were sweating a bit reading a few of these posts.
My father-in-law is making the trip with me so it should be a good bonding experience.......
I think I am more stressed about the route and trying to plan where to stop. I am really trying to not drive more than 6 hours a day.
I was thinking of stopping at Shreveport, Tuscaloosa and Spartansburg.
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Old 07-12-2011, 04:23 PM   #23
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Diamond Jacks Casino in Shreveport/Bosier City is easy on/off with full hook ups. If you want to dry camp, you can stay in their parking lot.
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Old 07-12-2011, 05:17 PM   #24
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I agree about the Texas highways. They're better than our interstates here in Florida. I get over into the right lane, set the cruise at 57mph, and let the lead foots have at it. Don't let the truckers intimidate you. Take your time and enjoy the ride home. Gatordude
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Old 07-12-2011, 05:30 PM   #25
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We have found that some trucker's companies have put a governor on their trucks to hold speed down to 60 or 62 for fuel economy. This complicates the situation. With electronics in the trucks now records can also be kept of speed and time.
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Old 07-12-2011, 06:26 PM   #26
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I've got to say that there really isn't a good way to get where you are going. Given the routes that you suggested, here are the problem areas.

- I-20/I-85 takes you through Atlanta. Of all the places that we've driven, that has got to be the worst traffic and not where I would want to be as a newer RV driver. Staying off the bypass is the only way I would consider it but I-85 through the city, depending on the time of day is not for the faint of heart. We did it fairly early Sunday morning and it was tolerable.
- I-30/I-40 isn't too bad until NC. The hills East of Nashville will give you a taste of mountain driving and if your unit doesn't have a lot of power, it is going to be slow going up hill. Knoxville is the truck capital of the world but if you are careful and stay in your lane, its OK. From just West of the NC State Line, I-40 goes through Pigeon Forge Gorge. It is beautiful but it is wall to wall trucks, no place to pull out, you are stuck in the right lane for 30 miles and it is up and down like a yo-yo. It is downright scary to drive. East of there is Black Mountain. East bound, it is a long, twisty downhill 6-7% grade. You have to gear down and know how to sparingly use your brakes. Again, not a place I'd prefer to be with limited MH experience. After that, I-40 isn't bad. We've driven all of it except for the stretch between I-77 and Greensboro. We haven't been on I-85 East of Durham.

The time estimate on using I-20 is probably pretty good, barring problems at Atlanta. The driving estimate for I-40 is low - it will take you longer between Nashville and Knoxville because of the hills. It is pretty much all hills between those two and takes us about 4 hours by itself. Street Atlas suggests the I-20/I-85 route. As much as I hate Atlanta, I think that is what I'd do. As you can probably tell, we've driven all of those roads more than once.
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