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Old 06-04-2013, 03:59 PM   #1
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First big trip

Hey guys. It's been about 2 months since I became a first time rv owner. The wife and I have since taken small weekend getaways but in 3 weeks we will be heading out with the family out to San Diego. We will be out there for a week then head home only to stay for a few days and to get ready to head out to Panama City for the 4th of July.

Is there any thing I might need to know for my first time on the road on a longer drive?
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Old 06-04-2013, 07:16 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hospitaldog View Post
Hey guys. It's been about 2 months since I became a first time rv owner. The wife and I have since taken small weekend getaways but in 3 weeks we will be heading out with the family out to San Diego. We will be out there for a week then head home only to stay for a few days and to get ready to head out to Panama City for the 4th of July.

Is there any thing I might need to know for my first time on the road on a longer drive?
So, you're leaving on the 25th of June, for San Diego from Pearland, Texas, staying for a week, and then returning to Pearland, staying for a few day and then going to Panama City, FL?

If that is right, my first advice would be to fly out to SD and leave the Class C at home, it might be cheaper. That's a 2,900 mile round trip! You're most likely spend +/-$1200 bucks on fuel alone. Do you plan any stops?

You'll be going through hot, dry weather, on the way to SD, and hot humid weather going to Florida!

IMHO, you are planning on too much driving, in too short a time.

But, if you go, I wish you a safe fun trip!
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Old 06-04-2013, 07:54 PM   #3
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Eh. It's a lot of driving. We're going TX to MI this year.. I've done it in a motorhome, I've done it in a private plane, and I've done it commercial. It's about what you want to get out of the trip. June is reasonable, but July and August can be miserable south of Arkansas/Oklahoma.. Are you in a motorhome or TT?
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Old 06-05-2013, 07:57 AM   #4
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I guess I should have mentioned that it will be 5 of us going. Wife, Brother-in-law, and his 2 kids. We did think about flying but that would have easily put us at around 3400 bucks.

I'm splitting driving with the wife and brother in law. Also splitting the expense of gas with the brother in law.

This just seemed like a good way for the family to spend quality time together. I also want the kids to see the small towns and experience a road trip. The only experience they have is a 3 hour drive to San Antonio. I remember the road trips as a child and how fun they were. Granted we didn't have ipods, tv's or smartphones. So I enjoyed the scenery.

I'm in a motorhome.

Also the Panama City trip is going to be with my brother and his wife. So fuel will be split there too. I'm thinking of towing my wrangler so we'll have a way of moving around down there. I'm not too worried about the weather on either trip too much. Hot and humid is basically Houston weather. Now the dry heat...that will be fun.
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Old 06-06-2013, 11:38 PM   #5
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Traveling via RV, especially a motorhome for a trip like that is awesome! We did Yellowstone last year and saw many things along the way that we would have not otherwise experienced even in a car due to where we stopped to spend the night that had no lodging otherwise. Planned the stops on the way out and purposely did not plan them on the return. The family time along the road was special.

Google maps is great for figuring out your route and places to see. I like how it allows you to add stops and save the trip. RV park reviews is also a useful site, but consider state and county parks for character and less of a "parking lot" feel. Try a night dry camping at a federal campground or the like if you have not yet. Keep 1/4 tank of freshwater on board for bathroom breaks. Crack open the bathroom vent to improve the dash A/C efficiency on the road on hot days. Take lots of pictures, stop at cheesy tourist traps, small towns, and enjoy the open road. You may run across local festivals on your trip. Many memories will be made that are missed on air travel's "entertainment" of reading the instructions on the barf bag, perusing the Sky mall catalog and the demeaning experience of the security line. (With all apologies to my family that works at Boeing and my many air miles traveled).
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Old 06-07-2013, 12:09 AM   #6
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My advice:
1) Get some road time in that motorhome... Does it handle OK on the highway, being passed by large trucks? Driving it also helps work out the kinks... My first big trip I thought I had the bugs worked out, but that wasn't the case and things got pretty stressful.

2) Texas heat can easily overwhelm even "good" RV ac systems. Plan on running the generator and make sure your AC system is in good working condition. We pull the covers, clean both coils, make sure we've got 20 degree ambient temp drop.

3) Carry spare oil for the generator. Coach up on maintenance? Belt look OK?

4) I carry a CB on long trips. You'd be surprised how many times that thing has saved my rear. If you have young kids, it's probably not great for them to listen to the typical language, but truckers will give you the what's-up warning on what is coming up ahead of you in terms of traffic and other road problems. If your RV doesn't have one, you can buy a hand-held.

5) Got kids? We make sure the entertainment systems work while driving and we're stocked on video entertainment.

6) On the road I try not to keep too tight a schedule in the RV, so my wife usually gets to help us figure out which RV park we're going to stop in about an hour in advance. That means we need good on-the-road internet.

7) We plan most stops around the kid/dog combination. Dogs and kids both like the water, but that may not be an option the way you're going.

8) I dunno what motorhome you've got, but you'll be towing over the mountains. I'd want to make sure that all my tow equipment and braking systems were 100%. If you've got a gas rig, altitude can really hurt your power. Turbo rigs don't suffer as badly as the turbo helps compensate for a lack of air pressure.
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Old 06-07-2013, 01:58 AM   #7
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We seldom ever make reservations EXCEPT for the 4th of July.

If you don't have reservations by now you may not have a place to stay.
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Old 07-10-2013, 02:32 PM   #8
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I'm back. Made it alive. The trips were great, minus the bad weather in FL.

The SD trip was just like I imagined it would be. Great! We enjoyed the sights and the stops. My wife enjoyed driving as much as I did. I think she drove a bit more than me on our way up there. We got around 10 mpg and around 7/8 when the brother in law drove. We stayed at Campland on the Bay and everyone had a blast.

The PCB trip was more of a drag. It was rainy all weekend. I tried to talk my brother out of going but he was very insistent that we go. I should have said no, but I figured I could use the experience driving the rig in rain. It was our first time towing the Jeep too. Every thing work out okay. We got around 9 mpg and my brother got around 6 mpg(heavy foot).

Made some good memories and learned some lessons. Wife and I are already wondering where our next trip will be.
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:29 PM   #9
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That was quite a bit of driving for sure, glad you had fun!
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