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Old 11-19-2020, 12:58 PM   #1
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Sacramento, CA to Louisville, KY in February

I'm fairly new to RV travel. We have a 37' Pioneer 5th wheel.
I'm thinking of a trip from Sacramento to Louisville in Feb 2021.

What route would be recommended?
Google is showing similar drive time of 35hrs w/either I80/40. What would be a typical drive time for the trip? # of hrs per day, etc.

thanks for your input and suggestions.

GaryJ
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Old 11-19-2020, 01:24 PM   #2
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Weather is your problem in February. You do not want to pull or drive an RV thru a snowstorm. So consider I-10 which is out of the direct route but usually snow free
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Old 11-19-2020, 01:24 PM   #3
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My son lives in Placerville and is an officer with SACPD so we make most of that trip at least once per year.

We have done the trip as early as March and as late as October and dodged snow so you HAVE to keep diligent watch on the weather. Even last June we had to pull over in Wyoming because of snow!

1. Donner Pass - do not attempt unless the road and weather are absolutely clear
2. Salt Lake City - big climb going east out from the city so again be careful of the weather
3. Snowy Range WY - Laramie to Cheyenne can get dicey any time of year
4. Cross winds of Nebraska
5. Snow anywhere in the trip as it is February
6. If it does snow, be prepared to hunker down in one spot for a few days while the roads and even the parking lot you're in get cleared.
7. Bring a shovel

Be prudent and safe travels!
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Old 11-19-2020, 01:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jillsogw View Post
I'm fairly new to RV travel. We have a 37' Pioneer 5th wheel.
I'm thinking of a trip from Sacramento to Louisville in Feb 2021.

What route would be recommended?
Google is showing similar drive time of 35hrs w/either I80/40. What would be a typical drive time for the trip? # of hrs per day, etc.

thanks for your input and suggestions.

GaryJ
assume an average overall speed of 50-mph and do the math. 50 will take into account daily gas, food and rest stops.
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Old 11-19-2020, 01:31 PM   #5
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My son lives in Placerville and is an officer with SACPD so we make most of that trip at least once per year.

We have done the trip as early as March and as late as October and dodged snow so you HAVE to keep diligent watch on the weather. Even last June we had to pull over in Wyoming because of snow!

1. Donner Pass - do not attempt unless the road and weather are absolutely clear
2. Salt Lake City - big climb going east out from the city so again be careful of the weather
3. Snowy Range WY - Laramie to Cheyenne can get dicey any time of year
4. Cross winds of Nebraska
5. Snow anywhere in the trip as it is February
6. If it does snow, be prepared to hunker down in one spot for a few days while the roads and even the parking lot you're in get cleared.
7. Bring a shovel

Be prudent and safe travels!
Barring the weather, problematic this time of year, what is a reasonable time to make this trip. I have done it a couple time, not towing th 5th wheel.
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Old 11-19-2020, 01:48 PM   #6
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You can do in three days, even on 40 or 10. Four would be a lot easier. 35-40 hours of diving time plus stops.

I’d stay off I-80 entirely. Having driven the route in Fed 2019 (Michigan to Sac) and slid my Bay Star sideways for a while on I-80 in Wyoming, after 2 days of snow and single digits temps, I can say with authority that it isn’t fun. I bailed from 80 on that run at SLC and while the Tehachapis had some snow, it was a lot better than what I’d been experiencing and Donner wasn’t even an option.

So I’d take the Southern route and cut up to Louisville from Nashville. No question about it. Not worth the risk.
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Old 11-19-2020, 02:52 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Jillsogw View Post
Barring the weather, problematic this time of year, what is a reasonable time to make this trip. I have done it a couple time, not towing th 5th wheel.

Day 1: Sac to Wendover, NV
Day 2: NV to WY/NE border
Day 3: WY/NE to just east of KC
Day 4: to Louisville
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Old 11-19-2020, 06:01 PM   #8
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We can all say numbers but until you start driving you won't know what yur comfort range is. Driving an RV is not like driving a car. It is tiring.


Besides weather, you need to be concerned about campgrounds being open.



I would just start driving and stop when you feel like it. Make sure you stop in daylight. Going into a campground and setting up in the dark is no joy.
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Old 11-19-2020, 08:39 PM   #9
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Don't go thru Amarillo, Tx. One of the worst snow storm I've ever experienced where Semi's were turned over both sides of the highway. I was hunkered down for three days in a hotel.
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Old 11-19-2020, 10:55 PM   #10
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From Nashville to Louisville on I-65 can be sketchy in February, too. You climb a big hill out of Cumberland River valley and you are at higher elevation until past Elizabethtown, KY. From there it's downhill thru the winding "mountain" pass to just before Louisville city limits. I've seen ice and snow on that stretch at various times thru the winter.

Also, it seems to snow/sleet more on this stretch of I-65 in KY. In TN, we usually just get sleet/freezing rain. Check the weather for I-40 and I-65.
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Old 11-22-2020, 08:05 PM   #11
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As Mr. Goodbar said. Weather in both Louisville and Nashville in February can be problems. Keep an eye on the forecasts and consider how close the temperatures are to freezing; sometimes precipitation changes before the forecast does. We're between Louisville & Nashville and usually keep an eye on both areas.

Shelia
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Old 11-25-2020, 11:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jillsogw View Post
I'm fairly new to RV travel. We have a 37' Pioneer 5th wheel.
I'm thinking of a trip from Sacramento to Louisville in Feb 2021.

What route would be recommended?
Google is showing similar drive time of 35hrs w/either I80/40. What would be a typical drive time for the trip? # of hrs per day, etc.

thanks for your input and suggestions.

GaryJ
I know you asked about the route, but one question: Where do you plan on staying once you get there? Most campgrounds in that area are closed until around April 1st or mid-April. We had a campground just north of Cincinnati and it will not open until at least middle of April every year. So consider where you are going to park during your travels as well as the route.
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