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Old 11-28-2020, 09:52 PM   #1
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Washington State-Florida

Wife and I (2 kids) looking to drive the RV down to Florida (from Renton, Wa.) I was thinking of shooting down the 5 to the 99 then across from Bakersfield, Ca. over the high desert then down 15 (Barstow) to I-10 then east. Good route? Or is going across the 40 better?

Taking 1 month off from work.
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Old 11-28-2020, 10:09 PM   #2
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When will you be traveling ?

Next month or sometime next year?

Barstow on the I-15 down to the I-10 is backtracking , into a HIGH traffic area .
With some UGLY climbing out of Palm Springs area.
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Old 11-28-2020, 10:45 PM   #3
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I-5/99 to Bakersfield then east to Barstow then south on 247 to Yucca Valley and 62 to I-10 (or you could drive through Joshua Tree Nat'l Park from Twentynine Palms to I-10. Nice camping stop there.

Don't use I-40 if driving in the winter.
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Old 11-29-2020, 12:15 AM   #4
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I'm on the 10 for the next few days out of Palm Springs. It is straight and mostly flat - but the pavement is REALLY beat up from the trucks. Traffic is also pretty heavy for a Saturday.

The right lane is almost unusable, with things falling out of my cabinets from the potholes. It really beat up my rig, and even created a leak in one of the leveler hose connections.

The view is desert for hundreds of miles, a bit boring.

I wouldn't want to use the 10 again, but I don't know if the 40 is any better.

Happy Trails!
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Old 11-29-2020, 12:32 AM   #5
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When will you be traveling ?

Next month or sometime next year?

Barstow on the I-15 down to the I-10 is backtracking , into a HIGH traffic area .
With some UGLY climbing out of Palm Springs area.
Likely mid-late December
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Old 11-29-2020, 01:03 AM   #6
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Likely mid-late December
Take I-5 south to I-210, I-210 east to I-10, follow I-10 all the way to Florida. There are only two passes to the south of you that may have snow in December, Grants Pass and Siskiyou Summit. Did that route as far as Quartzsite AZ three times and got caught on Siskiyou Summit every time. We stayed at Friendly RV Park in Weed. Some day we plan to go there in good weather just to see what it looks like without a foot or two of snow.
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Old 11-29-2020, 07:22 AM   #7
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Take I-5 south to I-210, I-210 east to I-10, follow I-10 all the way to Florida. There are only two passes to the south of you that may have snow in December, Grants Pass and Siskiyou Summit. Did that route as far as Quartzsite AZ three times and got caught on Siskiyou Summit every time. We stayed at Friendly RV Park in Weed. Some day we plan to go there in good weather just to see what it looks like without a foot or two of snow.
I usually turn off at Eugene on the Willamette highway (58) out to the 97 then south to Weed. The climb (to Willamette Pass) from Eugene is very gradual (almost unnoticeable). It is also roughly ~10 miles shorter than continuing down the 5 to Weed.
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Old 11-29-2020, 12:34 PM   #8
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I usually turn off at Eugene on the Willamette highway (58) out to the 97 then south to Weed. The climb (to Willamette Pass) from Eugene is very gradual (almost unnoticeable). It is also roughly ~10 miles shorter than continuing down the 5 to Weed.
I will bear that in mind the next time we get to travel south.

One of my favorite play areas in the world is a few miles south of Chiloquin, Or. Largest outdoor riding model railroad on the west side of the highway. Last I heard there was roughly 50 miles of main line to play on.
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Old 11-29-2020, 01:47 PM   #9
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Likely mid-late December
Be ready for weather delays , have three days of supplies on board , keep your fuel and propane topped up.
Read up on OR DOT, chain requirements .

My worst trip on the route , was second week in Dec. had to come back to Canada for family medical issues , from Parker AZ.
Day 1; Tehachapi pass was closed . CA. 58 freezing rain and wind.
Grapevine was closed . I-5 north of LA 6" of slush on the road .
Day 2; Grants Pass OR had 6" of ice on the I-5 with a 3 mile line up of trucks waiting to chain up for the Siskiyou, southbound.
Luckily that trip was in my van, with good winter tires ; one month later I returned south to retrieve the coach and didn't see a flake of snow.
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Old 11-29-2020, 01:49 PM   #10
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Just east of El Paso & Van Horne, TX you could take I-20 east. I drove it last December between Christmas and New Years. Road conditions were fine (pertaining to ice / snow), but it could force you further south to I-10 anywhere along the route. It was below freezing at night along the way in some places, but was above freezing in the day so all was good. I think I'd rather drive through Dallas than Houston and I-10 through Louisiana is reportedly the worst stretch of interstate in the country. I didn't find I-20 bad. Somewhere around Mississippi or Alabama you could drop back down to I-10 on one of the north / south interstates. I would not follow I-20 into Atlanta.

P.S. My December I-20 trip was from west Alabama to where it runs into I-10
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Old 11-29-2020, 05:59 PM   #11
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I drove from Olympia, WA to Key West solo back in 2015 (after driving from NJ to Olympia - did 8,000+ miles in 13 days!).

Like others have said, it's all about the weather. With kids, you're not go to run the gauntlet and chance it through the shortest route via MT and SD.

Head south and head west via I-10 is good advice but still keep an eye on the weather. While the weather is good, put in your long days. Be safe!
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Old 11-29-2020, 06:19 PM   #12
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Just a thought, Buy a good set of chains just in case. Test fit them before you leave. Living in Montana you have to be ready for anything, and we travel south after Christmas. It sucks to have to use the chains but much safer.
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Old 11-29-2020, 09:20 PM   #13
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I drove from Olympia, WA to Key West solo back in 2015 (after driving from NJ to Olympia - did 8,000+ miles in 13 days!).

Like others have said, it's all about the weather. With kids, you're not go to run the gauntlet and chance it through the shortest route via MT and SD.

Head south and head west via I-10 is good advice but still keep an eye on the weather. While the weather is good, put in your long days. Be safe!
How long did it take you from Olympia to the Keys?
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Old 11-30-2020, 12:35 AM   #14
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From Olympia, WA to Tampa, FL via the route I suggested above is approx. 3700 miles.

With the children I'd plan on 10-11 days. That's a huge trip for only a month's time. 300-400 mi/day would be our limit.

You didn't state the reason you're going but if it's only for warmth why not the San Diego area and on to Arizona?
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