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Old 11-29-2020, 06:31 PM   #1
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Chicago to Arizona advice please

Hello all,

Greetings to everyone who's reading this.

We are driving from Chicago, IL to Prescott, AZ leaving December 12th this year driving a 30ft class A pulling a 27ft enclosed trailer, we are looking for some advice regarding the route and any preferred travel and weather planning apps.

We are looking for answers to the following questions:

1) Re; the weather, How bad would the roads be from Chicago? I imagine it could be bad sometimes in mid December. Is heading south before turning west a great idea? Do you think going to Dallas via Memphis before turning west towards ElPaso and then Phoenix is better?

2) We plan to complete this in 6 days at about 350-400 miles a day, is that doable?

3) If it's doable, could someone suggest us good places to break our journey and get some good sleep?

And of course any other suggestions are welcome too.

Thank you all in advance!
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Old 11-29-2020, 06:35 PM   #2
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For weather: https://www.ventusky.com/?p=25.7;-94.8;4&l=temperature
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Old 11-29-2020, 07:13 PM   #3
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When you get to Arizona, write your family and tell them you’re not coming back.

400 miles a day is possible, folks on this forum do it all the time. For planning purposes we use 50 mph as a way to calculate hours of driving to include refueling stops, pee breaks, and a lunch. Makes for a long boring day. We kinda lose interest at about the 5 hour mark.
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Old 11-29-2020, 07:33 PM   #4
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Old 11-29-2020, 08:06 PM   #5
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we snowbird from the chgo western suburbs to mesa, az, usually leaving in early january. we head south on I-355/80/57/55 to I-12/10 and then boogie west from there. our desire is to get out of the cold ASAP. our first night is spent at a hotel in south-central illinois as the MH is still winterized and we dislike overnighting in below freezing temps with no water. our second night is just south of Memphis and by then the overnight temps are usually well above freezing allowing us to de-winterize and fill the fresh water tank.

from that point on south to I-10 and west to Mesa the roads, weather-wise, are usually fine. sometimes rain and on rare occasion, some snow. we encountered an actual snowstorm in las cruces last february and since we were told that NM has no snow clearing equipment in that part of the state we waited an extra day for mother nature to clear the roads. we also spent an extra couple of days in San Antonio because of ice. it does happen.

through Dallas from Memphis via 40/30 is likely to be colder with a somewhat better chance of snow/ice than headimg straight south but a check of climate data will help you decide.

https://www.usclimatedata.com/climate/united-states/us

we run an average of 4-5 hrs per day spending a few 1-2 day stops and 4-1 week stays (Baton Rouge, Houston area, San Antonio and Las Cruses) before getting to Mesa. best advice if you want campgrounds/RV parks rather than Wally or truck stops then plan your stops and make reservations. snowbird traffic may be lighter than usual this year because of Covid...but maybe not.

using an avg speed of 50-mph is excellent advice. 400-mi per day would be ~8-hrs of actual driving. warning: I-10 thru Louisiana can be a rough road. can't speak to I-40/30 to Dallas.

good luck and safe trip.
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Old 11-29-2020, 08:38 PM   #6
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If you are going to stop in Memphis I would recommend a RV park called Tom Sawyer RV Park. It is in West Memphis Ark., right across the state line from Memphis, Tn. We stayed there for 3 nights on our way south from Cincinnati. There you are sitting about 20 yards off the Mississippi River and can watch tugs & barges going up and down the river.

On I-40 you will see lot of truck traffic. Some rest stops in Tenn. were closed down, I think for repairs.
After we left Tom Sawyer we went to Texarkana to a Corps of Engineers park on the south side. We then stayed at Lake Conroe for 11 days, now we are at Medina Lakes outside of San Antonio. We will be leaving here on Dec 4th to head toward Goodyear, Arizona. From San Antonio to El Paso on I-10 is close to 600 miles, so plan accordingly for your stops and fuel stops.
We only do around 300 miles a day, so we will stop in Fort Stockton, Texas on the way across for 1 night.
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Old 11-29-2020, 09:26 PM   #7
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Head South First

We usually head south on I-57 and try and get as far as West Memphis the first night. Either Tom Sawyer or the West Memphis KOA. Then west on I-40 and down towards Dallas on I-30. Itís about 4 hrs from Memphis to Texarkana, so usually stop just past that. Finally west on I-20 and I-10 towards your destination.

Dallas and El Paso can be a little unpredictable from a traffic perspective.

But I always feel better when I hit Texas as far as the weather goes. Itís much more predictable and you donít have to worry as much about elevation.
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Old 11-29-2020, 10:30 PM   #8
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RK911 said it all. Driven this before and wouldnít change anything he advised. Pick your weather window cautiously to get South the first a second day. Have fun !
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Old 11-30-2020, 12:13 AM   #9
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Is there a specific reason for going to Prescott in December? It's going to be cold there. You need to stay from Phoenix and south for warmer weather.
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Old 11-30-2020, 12:32 AM   #10
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Route 66!!! (where it still exists)
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Old 11-30-2020, 10:17 AM   #11
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Is there a specific reason for going to Prescott in December? It's going to be cold there. You need to stay from Phoenix and south for warmer weather.
Visiting family in Prescott for Christmas and new years celebrations, Covid is of concern so this year we are driving and not flying, every one is staying in a small bubble 2 weeks prior and all are getting tested 1 week prior so we have results in time.

The consensus seems to be unanimous, head South as fast as possible and then enjoy the drive West. Many great suggestions have already been supplied within this thread, THANK YOU ALL and please keep them coming.

Regarding the Ventusky and us-climate weather websites, I really appreciate that and I will use them.

I think were gonna do the Flying J-loves truck stop thing for fuel and parking at night. Based on the suggestions of going South as fast as possible and then West I think we are going to take route 55, 40, 30, 20, 10, 17 with stops in Matthews MO, Sulphur Springs TX, Midland TX, Las Cruces NM, Eloy AZ, Prescott AZ
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Old 11-30-2020, 10:40 AM   #12
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We've made the trip from frozen Minnesota in Feb. several times. Our first night is spent in the cold usually and we carry water in jugs. Our second night we push to be out of the frozen zone. Usually OKC. Then we de-winterize.
Last year we drove I10 from just west of Baton Rouge. It was awful! Never again.
If I were you I would take I55 to St. Louis and then I44 to OKC. You can drive that in two long days with a in St Louis, and a stop near Branson, Mo. Then I35 to I10. That way you miss a lot of traffic and rough highway.


In St. Louis (we have relatives there so sometimes we go that way), we go across the river to St. Charles and stay at Sundermeirs RV Park. In OKC we always stay at Twin Fountains RV Park.


The rest of your route looks pretty good. Los Cruces is a fun place to spend a day or two if you can.


Later in the year I40 would be a good route, but at that time of year it can be pretty cold.
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Old 11-30-2020, 12:48 PM   #13
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We've made the trip from frozen Minnesota in Feb. several times. Our first night is spent in the cold usually and we carry water in jugs. Our second night we push to be out of the frozen zone. Usually OKC. Then we de-winterize.
Last year we drove I10 from just west of Baton Rouge. It was awful! Never again.
If I were you I would take I55 to St. Louis and then I44 to OKC. You can drive that in two long days with a in St Louis, and a stop near Branson, Mo. Then I35 to I10. That way you miss a lot of traffic and rough highway.


In St. Louis (we have relatives there so sometimes we go that way), we go across the river to St. Charles and stay at Sundermeirs RV Park. In OKC we always stay at Twin Fountains RV Park.


The rest of your route looks pretty good. Los Cruces is a fun place to spend a day or two if you can.


Later in the year I40 would be a good route, but at that time of year it can be pretty cold.
Thanks for the suggestion going across Missouri on I44 to OKC and a stop near Branson, Mo. Then I35 to I10
It looks like the route across Missouri and Oklahoma saves me a day and almost 400 hundred miles, I will take I55 to Saint Louis and then make a final decision.
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Old 12-03-2020, 10:04 PM   #14
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Keep an eye on the weather. I have traveled many time for KC to Prescott. If the roads are clear, I-35 to OK city , then I-40 to Flagstaff, I-17 to Highway 169, just S of Camp Verde. Then 69 to Prescott.

If the weather is bad or forecast to be, drop S as quick as you can. You might consider moving your leave date to adjust for the weather. I-35 or other interstate to OK city, Fort Worth, I-20 towards New Mexico. I-10 through El Paso ( there is a bypass around the east side of El Paso, that is at least 6% up and down. I prefer it over going through El Paso). Then I-10 to Phx then I-17 to Cordes Junction & 69 to Prescott.



The southern route is much longer.

Re:Northern route: Amarillo, Albuquerque - Flagstaff roads can get ice, snow and wind.



I rely on a NOAA radio. Weather 24/7 for surround area of your location. There are some dead areas.



Good Luck !!
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