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Old 08-09-2022, 04:15 PM   #1
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First Long Road Trip

Hello Everyone,
I started as a full time RVíer in March of this year. Pretty much a rookie to RVís as well.
To date Iíve stayed along the Washington and Oregon Coast. Starting Thursday Iím taking my first long road trip from Florence, Oregon to Clarksville, Tennessee. 2,500 miles and some change. I thought some advise from the pros would be helpful.
Depending on which map I use with ďRV SafeĒ settings I get different routes. I have the Garmin RV 780 GPS that gives me the shortest route of the group. Any suggestions / words of advice for a rookie?
Towing and driving isnít an issue.
I have a 2020 Montana High Country 376fl towed by a 2020 GMC Sierra 3500HD long-bed Denali. Im at 61í overall length and right at 13í-4Ē high. Seems a bit long sometimes you definitely have to pay attention where your going to. Iíve already experienced the RV park ďYes we have spot you can fit intoĒ NOT
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Old 08-09-2022, 04:22 PM   #2
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Do you mostly stay on Interstates or prefer the secondary roads?


Do you want to mostly stay at RV parks with full services or boondock some?


Are you trying to mostly drive straight through or do some site seeing in route?



How much time are you planning for the travel stage of this trip?
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Old 08-09-2022, 05:07 PM   #3
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Assuming you want the shortest, fastest route and just want to get there, Google Maps gives this route. We've driven chunks of it with our 40' motorhome towing the Jeep. No issues. One we've driven is from Florence to Caldwell, ID. You'll have a climb to Sisters, OR.

2385 miles Many RVers figure an average of 50mph while driving taking into account rest stops, potty breaks, dining out and perhaps even a 1/2 hr nap. I'd allow 6-7 days to get there if driving straight thru at 400 mi/day (which would be a very long day for us) and it also depends how many hours a day you'll drive. I hope you have another driver to give you a break.

Hwy 20 to Eugene and to Sisters, OR and continue to Caldwell, OR

I-84 to I-80 at Salt Lake City

I-29 at Lincoln, Nebraska to

I-70 at Kansas City

I-64 at St. Louis to I-57/I-24 to Clarksville, TN
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Old 08-10-2022, 11:33 PM   #4
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[QUOTE=rarebear.nm;6271981]Do you mostly stay on Interstates or prefer the secondary roads?
Iíve mostly been on 2 lane roads along the coast. I think Interstates are easier to drive because of my overall rig length.

Do you want to mostly stay at RV parks with full services or boondock some?
Iíve only boon-docked once and it was a very pleasant experience. Going into the heat will be a different story. So full hook ups along the way if I can.


Are you trying to mostly drive straight through or do some site seeing in route?
Im going to take a few extra days to get there. I had planned on about 4 1/2 to five days driving to get there but Iím going to take a few extra days and see some sights.



How much time are you planning for the travel stage of this trip? Answered above,
I donít like to drive more than about 5 hours with my dogs even with stops.
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Old 08-10-2022, 11:59 PM   #5
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Definitely take the few extra days. When we do long days day after day wears you out so we always throw in a down day. Makes the trip much easier. Also works well if you need something repaired along the way. Things break or a flat can ruin a travel day, then you need to change all those reservations or make up time, not a good thing.
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Old 08-11-2022, 05:17 AM   #6
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This math is not adding up 5 hours per day at 50 mph =250 miles per day (yes you will average about 50 mph 55 if you are lucky, everything goes slower with an RV, driving, fuel stops, parking, etc)


2,500 miles / 250 miles per day = 10 days of nonstop driving.
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Old 08-11-2022, 03:14 PM   #7
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As for a route I would just second the proposal from Twogypsies.



Your timeline simply does not work. 2500 miles total, five days, that's 500 miles per day in an RV. Say if you cruise at 65 mph, that's pretty common, you'll really do maybe 60 mph average with stops. That's like 8.3 hours per day. Doable but very hard.



My advise, slow it down some and enjoy the journey, it's not just about the destination.
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Old 08-11-2022, 10:39 PM   #8
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We are retired and can take our time and do not drive very far each day and don't usually drive more than 300 miles a day. On a recent 2,200 mile trip we used 9 driving days and spent a total of 28 days including stops. Our longest driving day was 340 miles and the shortest was 100 miles.

Our next trip will be 900 miles and is planned to take 6 driving days and we will be gone for two months. Our longest driving day will be 285 miles and the shortest driving day will be 30 miles.

I can drive 5 hours a day if needed, but I can't drive 500 miles a day (that would probably be a 9 hour drive for me). I'm not saying the OP should be as slow and easy as myself, but he may be in for a very tiring and weary trip to make it in 5 days. Two Gypsies suggestion for 400 miles a day would stretch me, but is okay for some.
Hope you enjoy your first long trip. You will settle in to your own mode of travel after a few trips.
Thanks,
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Old 08-11-2022, 10:44 PM   #9
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Thank you everyone for the input. Very much appreciated. I’m taking Twogypsies advise and following that route. And for sure I’m slowing down for the journey. It was a tough drive today thru the mountains.
I saw some beautiful country though and the after affects of a major forest fire. I did stop a few times and yep this is going to take longer than I thought. Rookie… LOL
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Old 08-12-2022, 12:05 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Eagle78524 View Post
Thank you everyone for the input. Very much appreciated. Iím taking Twogypsies advise and following that route. And for sure Iím slowing down for the journey. It was a tough drive today thru the mountains.
I saw some beautiful country though and the after affects of a major forest fire. I did stop a few times and yep this is going to take longer than I thought. RookieÖ LOL
I hope you got lots of enjoyment in the mountains because soon it will be a lot less beautiful scenery. Have fun!
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Old 08-12-2022, 07:41 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Eagle78524 View Post
Thank you everyone for the input. Very much appreciated. I’m taking Twogypsies advise and following that route. And for sure I’m slowing down for the journey. It was a tough drive today thru the mountains.
I saw some beautiful country though and the after affects of a major forest fire. I did stop a few times and yep this is going to take longer than I thought. Rookie… LOL

Actually I 80 meets I 29 in Council Bluffs/Omaha. Significant backtrack. Get off I 80 at the west end of Lincoln and take Neb 77/2 around town and down to Nebraska City. Then across the river pick up I 29. Pretty decent road. Then I 435 east loop around KC and connect with I 70 east.
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Old 08-14-2022, 06:10 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle78524 View Post
Hello Everyone,
I started as a full time RVíer in March of this year. Pretty much a rookie to RVís as well.
To date Iíve stayed along the Washington and Oregon Coast. Starting Thursday Iím taking my first long road trip from Florence, Oregon to Clarksville, Tennessee. 2,500 miles and some change. I thought some advise from the pros would be helpful.
Since you are going to be in Clarksville, go on over to Gatlinburg, Tenn. It is in the heart of the Smokies, you will like it. We are heading there in September to ride the Tail of the Dragon on our Spyder.
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