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Old 10-24-2021, 07:24 PM   #1
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Travel in February from Rochester, NY to Savannah, Georgia

Does anyone have experience/advice on the safest route for a 31 ft. motorhome to travel to Savannah in February from Rochester, NY. The GPS says Rt. I 90 W, I 79S towards Pittsburg, I 70/79S New Stanton/Morgantown, I 79S, US 19 etc. Is that the best way in winter conditions or is I 81 south out of Syracuse better?

Second question, do you have advice on good spots to stay on the route that are opened in the winter? We would like to keep travel time under 4 hours each day.
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Old 10-24-2021, 09:28 PM   #2
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Travel in February from Rochester, NY to Savannah, Georgia

Yuck - from ROCH south on 390 to 86 at Binghamton 81 south to 77 then 26 to 95. But it’s hugely weather dependent. Lots of hills which could be scary thrills with a MH in February. Personally I wouldn’t. 4 hours travel time is unrealistic unless you like arctic conditions. You need at 8 to get below Harrisburg where you’ll start to see climate changes from WNY / NW. PA. I doubt you’ll find any parks north of VA. open. Maybe Shenandoah Valley CG. @ Mt Jackson, VA. Nice facility for overnight stop.

Good luck!
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Old 10-25-2021, 07:41 AM   #3
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I think Jonestown /Hershey KOA in Lickdale PA is open year round.Also candy Hill campground in Winchester VA. both are just off 81. But both are a lot more than 4 hours from you. more like 8+
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Old 10-25-2021, 08:01 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speters View Post
Does anyone have experience/advice on the safest route for a 31 ft. motorhome to travel to Savannah in February from Rochester, NY. The GPS says Rt. I 90 W, I 79S towards Pittsburg, I 70/79S New Stanton/Morgantown, I 79S, US 19 etc. Is that the best way in winter conditions or is I 81 south out of Syracuse better?
Inland routes are more likely to be snowy than coastal routes, with the operative word being "likely". If the weather for the first day or two looks like snow, then go east on I-90 (watch for lake effect squalls in the Syracuse area), drop down I-87. The NYS Thruway is also maintained better than I-81. Use I-95 south for the rest of the trip. I would normally avoid that route like the plague (NYC, DC, etc.) unless I was only going to CT, but you're more likely to see rain than snow along the coast.

I have to make a similar trip in January (Roch to TX), and I'm not looking forward to it, but DW wants to get to warmer weather and see the grandkids (OK, so do I ), and I've done the trip in February battling snow storms all the way down in TX, but it was no fun. Had to pull into a hotel one night it was snowing so hard.

Just keep a careful eye on the forecast for each leg, and stay put if heavy weather or squalls are likely. Use Walmarts or Cracker Barrels if you have to. Anything is better than driving in snow if you don't have to.
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Old 10-25-2021, 08:15 AM   #5
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I hate I95 usually, but in winter you should probably get to I95 as soon as you can and just follow it south. Get info for Pilot/Flying J stations in case weather is bad and you need to get off the hwy. NY service centers are ok on I95 too. Be careful and be sure to see the 8th Air Force Museum in Savannah.
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Old 10-25-2021, 08:57 AM   #6
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I do a lot of winter travel between NJ and FL. It's all about picking your weather window and driving south like ya stole it.

For you, I'd got 390 to 99 to 15 all south and staying away from any lake effect snow. Stick to 15 due south all the way to Warrenton, VA where you'll pick up VA-17 and that will take you into Fredereicksburg, VA where you'll pick up 95 south to GA.

At that time of year, campgrounds are not always an option. I stay at rest areas, Cracker Barrels, Walmarts - just to sleep and keep moving before the weather window closes. Make sure your generator is working and don't be shy about using it. Batteries don't last as long in the cold weather.

Load Google Maps onto your smartphone to see real time traffic which may indicate bad weather ahead. Fill your propane and keep your fuel topped off. Keep your coach heat on to warm your water tanks.
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Old 10-25-2021, 09:19 AM   #7
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If possible avoid I-95 until south of Richmond. Traffic can be horrendous and the tolls are outrageous ($82 S.B. and $96 N.B. for 4 axles).
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Old 10-25-2021, 10:44 AM   #8
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We are near Corning and travel south in Jan & Feb many times.
Attached PDF are our preferred routes... have given this to many folks so just put together a file of options. Roch I 390S to I86E to I99S gets your started.
We like I 180 from Williamsport but Rt 15 from W'Port is another option. I 180 has a short section of 2 lane 147 that should be avoided when the new bridge & road opens connecting I 180 back to Rt 15. For now we do as outlined.
Our first night is always Candy Hill in Winchester, VA as they are open yr round.
From there there are 3-4 options all good ways to avoid I95 mess up N and get further S. Whether we take I77 thru Charlotte depends a lot on what day we're traveling as week day traffic can be messy N of Charlotte on I77.

I do check Wx fcst not only at home but below WInchester to decide if we are OK W of mtns on I 81 or E side of Mtns using Rt 29

Hope it helps - PM me if any questions about these.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Route Info South.pdf (459.0 KB, 5 views)
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Old 10-25-2021, 10:50 AM   #9
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Thanks. Saved for later study.
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Old 10-25-2021, 10:58 AM   #10
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I would watch the weather reports for Buffalo, Pittsburgh and WV and compare to Syracuse, Scranton-Wilkes Barre, etc... Either option could be pounded by snow.
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Old 10-25-2021, 12:01 PM   #11
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Thank you everyone for your suggestions! I appreciate the advice.
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Old 10-26-2021, 10:31 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skipbly View Post
I think Jonestown /Hershey KOA in Lickdale PA is open year round.Also candy Hill campground in Winchester VA. both are just off 81. But both are a lot more than 4 hours from you. more like 8+
We live near Elmira, NY

Jonestown/Hershey KOA is a good stop, they have pullthrus that can handle a 43 ft with a car, no need to unhook overnight. We stay there depending what time we leave home. Open yr round.
Candy Hill is good too, open yr round.

Lately we have been heading to Florida from Northeast PA going down 81 to 15 to 271 to 495 (beltway) we usually go on a Sunday in winter, it’s not that busy on Sundays. Then just hit 95 and do our first stop at the Kings Dominion KOA. We can make in 7-8 hours. Then the next stop is near Savanna. Then we can make it to East Coast of North Florida from there on 95.

Diesel stops in Ashland VA, usually the lowest in VA
Last stop in Georgia before we hit Florida, depends on what Gas Buddy tells us. Usually the best price is near Brunswick.
We only need 2 stops, I top off before I hit Florida.

If I do 81 I make my first stop at Harrisburg KOA, open all yr
Second stop at the Cleveland/North Chattanooga KOA. Open all yr
Then Florida if it’s the Panhandle or West Coast.

Kings Dominion KOA video
https://youtu.be/AJCXwnp0l5w

Chattanooga North KOA video
https://youtu.be/dXGC6bSIKco
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Old 10-26-2021, 11:03 AM   #13
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Definitely watch the weather, even after you're in Savannah. Many years ago, we went from Pittsburgh to southern Florida, in late December. We spent a night in a campground outside of Savannah.



When we packed up to leave in the morning, I found that our hose was frozen solid. Getting it into the RV was more difficult than I expected.


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Old 10-26-2021, 06:52 PM   #14
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We go down through Delaware and spend the night at the north end of the Chesapeake Bridge Tunnel in the welcome center parking lot. The weather there is moderated by the salt water and the police are directly across the street and watch the lot all night. We then cross to the Norfolk side and go west to 95 just north of the North Carolina border.
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