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Old 11-12-2017, 06:43 AM   #1
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Best route from Michigan to Arizona mid January?

We're in the process of planning our FIRST big trip AFTER retirement where we won't have to worry about hurrying back for work! We'll be leaving Michigan in mid-January, 2019, and traveling down to the Mesa, Arizona, area to start......then making a nice, slow, journey across to the pan-handle of Florida before meeting up with our children and grandchildren in Fort Wilderness, Disney, the very end of March. I know we'll have to wait, of course, to de-winterize when we leave Michigan (as we've done in the past).....but what would be the best route south? Any areas we should avoid that are usually bad during that time of year? We've never traveled south with our motorhome that early.......only late March or early April. I look forward to your advice!!
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Old 11-12-2017, 06:55 AM   #2
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Me I would go straight south until I hit Gulf of Mexico then take a right.
Yet going left you'd miss all the cold weather and possible snow and set on a warm beach in FL.

Safe travels
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Old 11-12-2017, 06:57 AM   #3
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Winter weather is hard to predict. We live in northern Illinois and will be going down to South Padre Texas after Christmas. I like to take as straight a line south to warm weather before cutting west.
For you your fastest route would be through Chicago and St. Louis. I think that I would opt on taking the southern route through Louisville and Nashville. It's a couple of hundred miles further but you get to warmer weather a day or two earlier.
If it's a warm winter there might not be much difference, but I'm already getting tired of the cold.
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Old 11-12-2017, 08:03 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Born2RV View Post
Any areas we should avoid that are usually bad during that time of year? We've never traveled south with our motorhome that early.......only late March or early April. I look forward to your advice!!
Agree with CWJK55! I recommend I 65 to Birmingham, I 20-I 59 to I 12, Slidell,LA. Then West via I 10 to Mesa. Not the shortest route, of course, but usually the least amount of Winter road hazards. Avoid Northern Texas, (Dallas/Ft Worth) as Winter conditions there usually consist of very little snow but treachorus ice storms are common. Bad Winter weather is usually not likely once you enter Alabama. Last year here in Huntsville, AL we had just one snowfall of about 1 or 2 inches. It was gone within 36 hours.

BTW, we're originally from Okemos, Mi...been living here in AL for the last 19 years.

Congrats on your retirement and wishing you folks safe travels!
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Old 11-12-2017, 08:47 AM   #5
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Last year we left Ann Arbor and headed to Las Vegas, went 75 South through Toledo where we got on US 24. We took that all the way to 70, completely avoiding the Chicago mess. We were in a 36í DP with toad. No problems, 24 is four lane all the way through Ohio. Hook up with I-55 to 12 and west on I-10. You could even hop on to the Natches Trace which is a wonderful route if youíre not in a hurry. Good travels, have fun, enjoy retirement and be safe!
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Old 11-13-2017, 06:24 AM   #6
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We do this a couple times a year from NW Ohio (Toledo area) to Phoenix. We usually mix it up to and take slightly different routes, but generally, this is the path we take, depends how much time you want too spend in below freezing weather.

we usually do small side trips, so our routing isn't always on the interstate.

Quickest route:

I-75 > US-24 (Toledo) > I-69 (Ft Wayne) > I-70 (Indy) > I-44 (St Louis) > I-40 (OK City) > I-17 (Flagstaff) > Phoenix. (take the southern loop around St Louis (I-55 > I-255 > I-270)

This route is quickest, but may have some winter storm closures in New Mexico and AZ. If weather looks bad through New Mexico, we'll get off of I-40 in Santa Rosa, NM. and take US-54 south to Alamogordo, then US-70 through Las Cruces to I-10.

I-44 through Oklahoma is a toll road.

Get South Quick route:

I-75 > I-71 (Cinc) > I-65 (Nashville) > I-40 (Little Rock) > I-30 (Dallas) > I-20 > I-10 > Phoenix.

When the weather looks cold and crappy in the north, we'll take this route (or variations of it). The goal is to get out of freezing weather by the end of the second day of travel.

Couple good side trips.

During summer - Get off I-40 in Santa Rosa, US-54 to US-60 (Vaughn). Take US-60 all the way to Phoenix. We really love this route.. very desolate..

During winter - Get off I-10 at Lordsburg, NM, Take US-70 to US-60 (Globe) to Phoenix.

Anytime - Get off of I-20 just west of Dallas and pick up US-180 west. Just west of Hobbs, take NM-529 to US-82. Take US-82 to Alamogordo. Note there is a very steep descent into Alamogordo.
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Old 11-14-2017, 05:59 AM   #7
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Thank you so much, everyone, for your knowledgeable advice!! Now that I'm planning the route, I have to plan how long to stay in each location. Obviously, the longer we stay in one spot, the cheaper it I'm trying to find a central location each time to do some sight seeing and check out locations for another winter stay. We want to spend 2-4 weeks in Arizona, one week in Texas, 2-4 weeks in the pan-handle of Florida/Gulf Shores area of Alabama, then meet up with the children and grandchildren in Fort Wilderness, Disney, the end of March. We're open to any and ALL suggestions!
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