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Old 01-07-2021, 02:20 AM   #1
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Reasons For The RV 330/3:30 Mantra

Ok, Iím a slow learner and it has taken me 10 months to figure out why so many RVers like to get in by either 330 miles or 3:30 (15:00), whichever comes first. It seems that the underlying reasons are:

1. RVs get better MPG by going slower, so folks go 60 to 65 MPH as this saves fuel. (This may become more important in the coming to years if energy policies change and drive up fuel prices.)

2. RVs are easier to drive at slower speeds, i.e., 60-65 MPH than at faster speeds. This puts less wear and tear on the driver, but also limits the daily range. (This may be less of an issue with newer coaches and Prevosts, but that is not what we have.)

In my light vehicle, travel days of 700-800 miles are not out of the question, but the pace is not limited by the above factors and wear and tear on the driver is substantially lower. This results in fewer rest stops which are range killers.

In our first 10 months of RV ownership, we have driven more than 330 miles on at least 5 days and gotten in after 3:30 at least as many times and after dark at least 4 times.

Reflecting back on the year, I am beginning to see why folks limit travel days. We may change our pattern to allow extra travel days to get to destinations rather than busting it to get there. Almost certainly, when we transition to FT at retirement, we will plan this way as there will be fewer limitations on our time and more on our resources.
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Old 01-07-2021, 08:33 AM   #2
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I typically plan for 600 miles or 9 hours max per day. I do stop every 2-3 hours just to rest my eyes, but also like to arrive at destination (campground) before 6-7pm so we have time to rest before the next day. We usually eat meals on the fly, and some times the driver (me) needs to take a restroom break. Overall it depends on how far you need to travel (in total) and how interested you are in stopping/exploring things along the way. After you have seen some things (for instance Mt Rushmore) you don't need to stop every time you pass it, so we just keep moving. It also depends on the road type that you will be traversing. Interstates vs. side roads .vs single lane state highways has an impact on the distance planning.
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Old 01-07-2021, 08:45 AM   #3
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100% personal preference.

Some refuse to drive at night. In some circumstances, I prefer to drive at night.

I have no schedule.

As I get older, my sleep patterns have changed and are not consistant. Some days I want a nap, some days Im ready for bed at 9pm, some days Im wide awake at 1am.

When we travel I drive when I feel like it and get off the road when I feel like it.

It means that I need to plan 4 or 5 days for a 3 day travel time, but Im ok with that.
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Old 01-07-2021, 09:09 AM   #4
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Some rigs are easier to drive than others. I worked on mine until it was not stressful to drive, and could probably go 12 hours straight if needed but havenít yet, and may never. I still work full time so trips to far off destinations are sometimes on a tighter schedule than optimum.
I prefer to drive at night, sometimes until the wee hours of the morning, but Iím acutely aware of my alertness and never try to stretch it past my limits. I love that I can easily pull off and boondock. That being said, I intend to be at our ultimate destination at least an hour before dark.

I donít think there is a generic answer to your question.
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Old 01-07-2021, 10:27 AM   #5
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I get up early, I leave early, I go to bed early. I'm tired by mid afternoon. More traffic in afternoon.
If you get in early you get a choice sometimes of parking spaces or even availability.
I just dont understand getting in late, after driving 100s of miles, especially after dark. The office most times are closed. Can find your site. Potential in hitting obsicals you can't see.
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Old 01-07-2021, 10:34 AM   #6
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Unless you have an agenda...Get up when you want .. Leave when you want .. Stop and rest or sleep when you want... You have an RV. Thats the beauty of it. You can sleep anywhere you want.
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Old 01-07-2021, 10:34 AM   #7
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For me it just depends on what Iím doing. I drove from N. Ca to Richmond Va to pick up a car, and did the whole thing in about 10 days (aside from an unplanned 3 day visit with Freightliner in N Las Vegas over a Thanksgiving). It was a bit work, a lot of 600 mile days, but I got it done.

My preference is to get in and set up while itís still light because my night vision is going and RV headlights are marginal at best. Also if the weather is good and Iím stopping somewhere nice, I like to enjoy the afternoon, watch the sunset, have an undisturbed cocktail hour, cook outside while itís light, etc. If itís just a rest stop for a few hours of sleep I might drive til mid-night depending on road, traffic, and weather conditions.

I donít have any rule, 330 or otherwise, itís just situational. But I will say life on the road is more enjoyable with plenty of rest, no schedule, no deadlines, home cooking (which takes more time), the option to stop anywhere you want, and to choose whatever speed feels good at the time, whether itís 55 or 70mph. Also I travel with dogs and they like to walk their humans in the afternoon...
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Old 01-07-2021, 10:40 AM   #8
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Well ,
1.- I'm retired and I'm not in a hurry but generally drive the speed limit/ 65ish Its what's comfortable for me and the MH I drive ,2 -worked driving trucks 12 hour work days for the last 30 years on a tight schedule and hated the exhaustion it caused in the end. 3- Happy hour starts at 4pm .. not good to be driving with a bourbon in my hand. 4 The weekend warrior arrival "show"begins about 5-6. I like to be feed and watered in time to watch the antics

BTW , I get it ...While I was working those 12 hour days I took many Vacations / long weekends that I drove till 9pm( or later)" to get there" ...No More, I refuse to do it.
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Old 01-07-2021, 10:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillJinOR View Post
Well ,
1.- I'm retired and I'm not in a hurry ,2 -worked driving trucks 12 hours a day for the last 30 years on a tight schedule and hated the exhaustion it caused in the end. 3- Happy hour starts at 4pm .. not good to be driving with a bourbon in my hand.

BTW , I get it ...While I was working those 12 hour days I took many Vacations / long weekends that I drove till 9pm( or later)" to get there" ...No More!
Thatís another thing - Iíve done my 3-day cross country runs, and as Iíve aged, Iíve found that it takes a lot longer to recover from those round the clock runs. Between fatigue and night vision, my driving preferences and changed considerably. At this point I donít think Iíll see even 800 mile days anymore. Much less 1000. Probably more like 600 max, with 300-400 being preferable.

Maybe I need to adopt some kind of 330 mantra.....
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Old 01-07-2021, 10:48 AM   #10
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When we FTd Mondays were our travel days
Break camp/pack up and hit the road by 10AM
Set up and sitting under the awning with adult beverage by 3PM

WHY....cause we are retired, don't need to travel long distances (250 MAX), we travel secondary/back roads and spend 1-2 weeks then move again

After coming back off the road.......
Long trips are broke up into 250 mile segments cause we are retired, don't need to travel long distance in one shot, travel secondary/back roads and like to enjoy the drive


We I was a working man we would take off Friday Night when I got home....RV was ready to go
Then we would drive.drive, drive like everyone else to get there
But due to my work schedule we could go for 4 full days every month so we didn't leave to come back home until Tuesday evenings

Long vacations -----slow and easy cause I would take 3 weeks off (vacation time plus days off combined) twice a year.

Then it was back to 12Hr rotating shifts........FUN
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Old 01-07-2021, 11:06 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Mr Ted View Post
Unless you have an agenda...Get up when you want .. Leave when you want .. Stop and rest or sleep when you want... You have an RV. Thats the beauty of it. You can sleep anywhere you want.
Operative word being “recreational”. Good point!

This one caught my eye because in a past life, the 330 rule had an entirely different meaning:

“Self-taped turnout gear with SCBA provides sufficient protection in an unknown nerve agent environment for a three-minute reconnaissance to search for living victims; standard turnout gear with self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) provides sufficient protection from nerve agent vapor hazards inside interior or downwind areas of the hot zone to allow 30 minutes of rescue time for known live victims.”

In this case it was directed at expediency, not leisure. I think I like this new one better....
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Old 01-07-2021, 01:07 PM   #12
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Too many variables for a one size fits all......from your age to your employment status.

When we were young and still working, a family boating trip meant driving 550 miles to the lake in one shot, enjoying a full week and driving back home in shot. In those days, I worked 11:00pm to 7:00am, so I enjoyed driving all night while the family slept.

As we got older and no kids, we still had a few long driving days, but only if we needed to get there in a hurry. Now that we're retired, we take our time. We've done a couple of coast to coast trips and find that if you have several long driving day, it will soon wear you out. We typically limit our drives to 250 - 300, depending on where the campgrounds are located.

Driving at night is something we rarely do, maybe once every two years. Getting into a campground between 2-3 pm does help in getting a better spot and gives you time to visit and enjoy a cocktail.
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Old 01-07-2021, 01:39 PM   #13
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I am an early riser so like to be on the road at oh dark thirty in the AM. I don't mind driving in the dark but prefer to do it at the beginning of the day while still fresh. We usually stop for a nice breakfast mid morning and like to be off the road between 2:30 and 4:00. Sometimes earlier but very seldom later & really prefer 2:00 - 3:00. That gives us time to set up, look around & walk the dog in the daylight. Usually make between 300 & 400 miles / day.
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Old 01-07-2021, 02:09 PM   #14
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Obviously it's different for everyone. My girlfriend and I still work and bought the Class A so we could both work while moving and take shifts of driving/sleeping. Not uncommon for us to drive 1000-1400 miles straight through. Try to do 4 hour stints and switching off while refueling or grabbing a coffee. Any stopping totally kills the momentum and it's nice to not waste our limited days on the road rather than enjoying our vacation.

If we were retired we would make a big push to get out of the Midwest winter bubble (roughly 10 hours) and then limit ourselves to 4-6 hours/day. I could see the 3:30/330 rule making sense then.

The only rule I try to follow is once we are parked: 1 before 9 and 9 before 1
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