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Author Topic: Questions for those with lots of experience...  (Read 13510 times)

tsar72

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Questions for those with lots of experience...
« on: June 17, 2012, 01:10:18 PM »
Greetings,

My wife and I are going to make our maiden voyage in our 2011 Vesta 32PBS to the Florida Keys.  The trip will require 1,500 miles one way .  We plan to drive approximately 430-470 miles per day for three days.  On the fourth day we will have a short three hour drive from Miami to Sugarloaf Key.  In order to save cost on our food bill, we have prepurchased somewhere around 10 pounds of meat. 

Is it best to leave the meat in the freezer of the RV and run the generator every few hours?  Best to repackage the meat in the container it was shipped and add more dry ice?  Or use a traditional cooler with either dry ice?  If you have a suggestion, please be specific.

Should an RV be parked directly on conrete or should our leveling blocks be used to protect the tires from direct contact with concrete?  The spot in Florida looks like they have gravel for parking.   

How important are tire covers?  Any suggestions?

Lastly, is there anything wrong with carrying additional propane tanks in the cargo area below?  Obviously, we know they could explode on impact in a collision.  However, we don't want to be constantly moving the RV to refill our primary tank.  No experience with how long it will last over 21 days.  Also, we are not wanting to break any state laws we are unaware of at this time.

Thanks for any help...We are not stupid, just very naive in the Art of RVing the smart way.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2012, 01:30:53 PM by tsar72 »
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SeilerBird

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Re: Questions for those with lots of experience...
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2012, 01:17:18 PM »
My wife and I are going to make our maiden voyage in our 2011 Vesta 32PBS to the Florida Keys.  The trip will require 1,500 miles one way .  We plan to drive approximately 800 miles per day for three days.  On the fourth day we will have a short three hour drive from Miami to Sugarloaf Key.  In order to save cost on our food bill, we have prepurchased somewhere around 10 pounds of meat.

Oh noooo. 800 miles a day is totally obscene. Doing it for three days in a row is off the scale. Most of us here limit ourselves to under 300 miles per day. My limit is usually 200. It is not like driving a car at all.
Quote
Is it best to leave the meat in the freezer of the RV and run the generator every few hours?  Best to repackage the meat in the container it was shipped and add more dry ice?  Or use a traditional cooler with either dry ice?  If you have a suggestion, please be specific.
Many people run their refer while driving. I don't, I turn it off when I start and turn it back on when I am done driving for the day. The freezer won't thaw out in a few hours.
Quote
Should an RV be parked directly on conrete or should our leveling blocks be used to protect the tires from direct contact with concrete?  The spot in Florida looks like they have gravel for parking.
I park directly on concrete, gravel or dirt and never have had any problems.   
Quote
How important are tire covers?  Any suggestions?
That has been debated endlessly around here with the members divided on the answer. I think they are a waste of time and money.
Quote
Lastly, is there anything wrong with carrying additional propane tanks in the cargo area below?  Obviously, we know they could explode on impact in a collision.  However, we don't want to be constantly moving the RV to refill our primary tank.  No experience with how long it will last over 21 days.  Also, we are not wanting to break any state laws we are unaware of at this time.
Most people have no problem going one month on a tank of propane. Being single I can usually go a few months. But you can carry propane tanks in the cargo area.
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Kim (skyking4ar2) Bertram

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Re: Questions for those with lots of experience...
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2012, 01:27:52 PM »
Pretty much what Tom says...

I have done two 500 mile runs out of necessity and even with two drivers, would never do it on purpose. Besides killing yourself, you miss the fun of the journey. Five hours wrestling anything is our limit.

Our old rig ran the refer on propane or electric and we just let it run. Never had an issue with food defrosting.

We have parked on everything and as long as you don't have moisture collecting under the rig, it matters little. We have never used tire covers and the group seems to be divided on that. You are not going to be in the blazing sun that long, anyway. The desert, maybe, the Keys, maybe not so much.

I am trying, however, to figure why you need so much propane, unless your tank is tiny. You have to remember your on board tank is underneath, too. Don't think I would be overly concerned about carrying an extra bottle, as many do.

Have fun and try to enjoy the journey as much as the destination.

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Ned

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Re: Questions for those with lots of experience...
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2012, 01:36:49 PM »
Slow down and take 5 or 6 days to go that 1500 miles.  If you do it in 3 days, you'll spend the next couple of days recovering.

Run the refrigerator on propane while on the road and it will stay cold.  If all you're using the propane for is the refrigerator and cooking, your on board tank should last for months.  We have a 30 gal. tank and fill at most once a year, even using it in the winter for some heating.  Carrying free standing bottles is much more hazardous than leaving your on board tank on.  If you do transit any tunnels, you may have to turn the propane off before entering, there will be signs telling you of the procedure.

Parking on gravel is fine, no need to block the tires.  As for covers, I'm in the "waste of money" camp.
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Tombstonejim

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Re: Questions for those with lots of experience...
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2012, 03:05:01 PM »
Run the refig on auto or gas.     Park on anything.  The tires don't care,

I buy propane about once a year can't emagine how you plan to use that much propane in the keys.

Covers, only when I park here in the desert for long perods of time.
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ArdraF

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Re: Questions for those with lots of experience...
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2012, 08:06:56 PM »
1)  You'll be exhausted when you arrive.
2)  Use your refrigerator and freezer on either propane or electric, depending on what's available.  That's why they've been put into your RV.  I repackage meat into smaller packets.  Never have carried a cooler and dry ice in 35 years and 5 RVs.  There will be grocery stores most places!
3)  Park anywhere you'll be level.  It's not like you'll be storing it for a long time.  Simply not an issue!
4)  Tire covers are a ripoff.  Never used them either and it hasn't made one iota of difference.
5)  You probably won't begin to use the propane in your regular tank.  The refrigerator uses very little.  You sure won't be needing heat in the middle of Florida's summer.  Your only use will be hot water and cooking.
6)  You're worrying too much about things that really aren't all that important.  Relax, take your time, and enjoy your trip.

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Wendy

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Re: Questions for those with lots of experience...
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2012, 08:21:01 PM »
Double ditto on Ardra's #6 !
 
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skyking1

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Re: Questions for those with lots of experience...
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2012, 08:30:43 PM »
What they all said. you'll make this trip, look at the concerns listed here and laugh little. And make a new list of what you REALLY need next time. We found that we can buy anything we need along the way, don't sweat the small stuff.
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Steve N Dee

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Re: Questions for those with lots of experience...
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2012, 08:57:47 PM »
Did I miss something?  ???  I thought the OP said he would be driving  only 430 to 470 mile per day.  While that is still ambitious, it is not 800 miles?  I think you will be fine doing the miles you stated.  As far as the other comments above, they are all correct.  Especially about the propane lasting.  We've had ours a year as of last week and still haven't refilled.  Have a great trip!

Steve
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skyking1

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Re: Questions for those with lots of experience...
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2012, 09:01:32 PM »
They edited the post. I think that is still moving too quickly, unless it is ground you are completely bored with.
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Wendy

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Re: Questions for those with lots of experience...
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2012, 09:02:48 PM »
Did I miss something?  ???  I thought the OP said he would be driving  only 430 to 470 mile per day.  While that is still ambitious, it is not 800 miles? 

Steve

Initially, the OP said 800 miles per day then edited the message to 430 to 470. Guess he saw the light :)
 
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SeilerBird

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Re: Questions for those with lots of experience...
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2012, 09:03:51 PM »
Yep, it was edited. It definitely said 800 miles before the edit and now it is at 430-470, which is still obscene but way better than 800. This is their first trip and probably the last time they will attempt that many miles in a day.
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taoshum

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Re: Questions for those with lots of experience...
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2012, 09:24:26 PM »


 
Quote
We plan to drive approximately 430-470 miles per day for three days.


Here's a perspective of folks that are part-timers, and not that many years either... The experts have suggested that you plan on shorter days... maybe you have limits that dictate a faster pace?  You can make that distance/day, especially if you both drive... it's hard to average more than 50 mph so you're talking about 9 hours, maybe more?  On the interstates, you can make this if you need to do so.  Remember, if you push the speed higher to make time, your fuel bill will skyrocket over 60mph...

 
Quote
In order to save cost on our food bill, we have prepurchased somewhere around 10 pounds of meat. Is it best to leave the meat in the freezer of the RV and run the generator every few hours?  Best to repackage the meat in the container it was shipped and add more dry ice?  Or use a traditional cooler with either dry ice?  If you have a suggestion, please be specific.

How much can you save?  $3/lb... that's $30... about 7-8 gallons of fuel.  In the overall picture of  cost for the trip, this is small... sometimes it helps to put it in perspective...?

Quote
Should an RV be parked directly on concrete or should our leveling blocks be used to protect the tires from direct contact with concrete?  The spot in Florida looks like they have gravel for parking.

When you get there, ask other RV folks what they suggest?  Maybe there is a local issue?  Or, just look around and use similar parking protocol to the other RV's.   

Quote
How important are tire covers?  Any suggestions?

If you have some, take 'em... they are light and don't take much space.  They keep UV off the tires and maybe you like the appearance?  If you don't have any, probably don't need to spend the $$ just for this trip.

Quote
Thanks for any help...We are not stupid, just very naive in the Art of RVing the smart way.

I can testify, there are no stupid questions when you are just getting started, none... AND... there are many ways to do almost anything... some may be better than others but maybe not... that seems to be part of the "journey"... find something that works for you... it's your trip.
07 Itasca Meridian 34SH.  '08 Jeep Sahara.
Taos, NM.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Questions for those with lots of experience...
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2012, 10:17:45 PM »
You will be pleasantly surprised to find that there are grocery stores in Florida - real honest-to-goodness supermarkets!  Even in the Keys. You can buy meat when you arrive and prices are about the same as anywhere else in the USA.

400-470 miles/day is a tiring day buy quite do-able when traveling the interstates.  It's not much fun, but then you get to spend longer at the destination.
Gary
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Jeff Brown

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Re: Questions for those with lots of experience...
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2012, 10:43:28 PM »
I just drove 785 miles in 2 days and it sucked.  It was around 500 yesterday and the rest today.  Im exhausted and the drive was no fun.  Given more time it would have been 300 miles and 2 days longer but I needed to get home for work in the morning.  You can do it but for your own sake not that often.

Jeff
« Last Edit: June 17, 2012, 10:45:29 PM by jeffbrown »
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Ken & Sheila

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Re: Questions for those with lots of experience...
« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2012, 11:25:01 PM »
I see nothing wrong with OP, tsar72, plan to drive 1500 miles in 3 1/2 days.

When we lived in Vermont and would take a winter break (from work and winter weather) to Florida we usually made the trip (1,500 miles) in 2 1/2 days. First days drive was slow due to the roads and weather so we rarely made more than 500 miles. The second day I would usually drive 700 to 800 miles and then have a shorter drive on day 3 allowing me to recover on that day and be ready to enjoy the next couple of weeks.

Years later we moved to Arizona and did pretty much the same, taking a summer break in Oregon. While not ideal, when working and taking a 3 week trip it was the best way to maximize the time in the destination.

For the long days its best to start early. That's why day 2 is usually my longest day. We typically overnight at truckstops when driving long distances therefore it is easy to start real early.

Ken

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SeilerBird

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Re: Questions for those with lots of experience...
« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2012, 11:35:18 PM »
My motto has always been that getting there is half the fun.
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tsar72

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Re: Questions for those with lots of experience...
« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2012, 12:52:00 AM »
I apologize...My original post did have a typo of 800 miles.  Of course, 800 miles a day for three days with a drive from Miami to SugarLoaf Key would be greater than my total of 1,500 miles which was originally posted.   

I realize that I am asking extremely basic questions.  However, I have absolutely zero experience with RV's.  Therefore, I thought that I would ask you fulltimers who probably know most.  Definitely not looking to reinvent any wheels.
   
So, we are going to skip the tire covers.  Also, we are going to try the propane while driving and use electric once we hit the RV Parks en route to Florida.  Lastly, we are going to be there for (21) days...so reducing our food/alcohol costs is important.  Sure, we could buy all our food in Florida.  However, we need the money to travel to Yellowstone later in the summer.

Thanks again for your opinions and advice,

Nicholas


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skyking1

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Re: Questions for those with lots of experience...
« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2012, 12:57:20 AM »
I discovered gasbuddy.com here
You will save significant money planning your fuel stops.
Go to the link in my signature, and checkout boondocker's welcome as well. Stay with some friendly folks on the way.
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ruthandken CDN

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Re: Questions for those with lots of experience...
« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2012, 05:18:58 AM »
The name 'RV' should say it all.  Recreational stands for 'take your time' 'you're in no hurry' 'it's a holiday' !!! etc. etc.  That amount of miles even 400 or so per day is way, way too much.  Driving a rig really drains you and of course you can't or shouldn't be going as fast as you would in a car.  Slow down, take your time, and decrease your mileage per day.  We try to do NO MORE than 250 miles per day and that way we arrive relaxed and we can enjoy the trip which is what RVing is really all about.
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Re: Questions for those with lots of experience...
« Reply #20 on: June 18, 2012, 05:43:12 AM »
I'm 70 years old, and often start a vacation with 1000+ miles in two days. I don't see any reason the OP should have a problem with it. There are indeed plenty of grocery stores in the Keys, but what there are not, is places to fill propane tanks. For some reason, several counties in southern Florida have such onerous regulations, that few want to bother with it. Couple of years ago, we ran out while in the Everglades. We called around all over, even down to the Keys. Ended up driving over 100 miles round trip to get a refill.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Questions for those with lots of experience...
« Reply #21 on: June 18, 2012, 08:28:21 AM »
Quote
Lastly, we are going to be there for (21) days...so reducing our food/alcohol costs is important.  Sure, we could buy all our food in Florida.  However, we need the money to travel to Yellowstone later in the summer.

I was just joshing with you about grocery stores in Florida, but it seems obvious that somebody has convinced you that food is expensive there. While there are undoubtedly some items that will be more expensive than at home, there will also be items that are cheaper. We travel all over the USA and that has been the rule everywhere - there are local variations in individual items but not much difference overall. Alaska and Hawaii may be somewhat of an exception, but even then the difference isn't great.

Most of us have to watch expenses, but the major budget items to manage are fuel, campgrounds and entertainment. Food costs, assuming you dine-in rather than at restaurants, simply don't vary enough to make much, if any, difference. Campsite costs in the Keys are a particularly big expense, so shop around in advance and plan those carefully.

Alcohol prices in Florida are pretty good compared to many states, but if you are coming from New England a stop in New Hampshire can reduce your overall alcohol expense.

I doubt very seriously if you will need to refill your propane tanks on a 21 day trip.
 
« Last Edit: June 18, 2012, 08:31:31 AM by Gary RV Roamer »
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Ernie n Tara

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Re: Questions for those with lots of experience...
« Reply #22 on: June 18, 2012, 10:55:53 AM »
What they said; but I sometimes travel 500 miles in a day and I'm pushing 70. It takes it out of you and the next day is resting. I did do 1,100 straight at one point last year (an emergency) and that'll really take it out of you. OTOH, it wasn't that big a problem when I was in my 20's.

Once you get to the Keys, $ for park rental overcome all other cost including gas.

Propane lasts for months unless you're running the furnace.

Wheel covers are not necessary.

Ernie
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bertnspike

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Re: Questions for those with lots of experience...
« Reply #23 on: June 19, 2012, 02:26:34 PM »
A lot of "newbies" don't seem to get it that driving a self-contained RV is work.  You can't just set the cruise control and relax for hours and miles on end.  It takes active, attentive driving all the way, even on the most elegant and efficient highways.  The biggest problem is that there are lots of people out there driving little cars and no matter how good the road, the RV, the tires, the suspension, and the driver are, those little cars will make you stand on the brakes in the strangest places!

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Jeff

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Re: Questions for those with lots of experience...
« Reply #24 on: June 19, 2012, 02:32:30 PM »
I don't know of many days of relaxing driving out east like we get in the western plains, mountain states ans the west (except for the west coast). Out west the traffic is usually light and it is easy to maintain your distance while in the more populous areas cars are always pulling in front of you or on your bumper.

Our mileage is usually directly related to the amount of traffic we encounter.

taoshum

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Re: Questions for those with lots of experience...
« Reply #25 on: June 19, 2012, 03:35:03 PM »
I don't know of many days of relaxing driving out east like we get in the western plains, mountain states ans the west (except for the west coast). Out west the traffic is usually light and it is easy to maintain your distance while in the more populous areas cars are always pulling in front of you or on your bumper.

Our mileage is usually directly related to the amount of traffic we encounter.

Soooooo True!  That's the main reason we rarely go east...(or to the left coast) and, certainly not east of the Miss River.  Phx had more than enough traffic for me! 
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John From Detroit

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Re: Questions for those with lots of experience...
« Reply #26 on: June 19, 2012, 05:55:33 PM »
I don't know.. I usually keep right and 55-60 MPH which means I'm not passing too many folks (But often get passed).  and I do not, normally, find it all that stressful.

'cept when the blang GPS routs me down mountain roads,, Then the stress level .. Peaks.

I do try to avoid rush hours as well.

Rush hour:  That hour when traffic is so bad you'd make better time walking.
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Re: Questions for those with lots of experience...
« Reply #27 on: November 02, 2013, 10:55:59 PM »
Everybody has their own pace; I just drive to where I want to stop and see something.  It might be 200, or it might be more like I drove big trucks for a living for 5 years, where it would be 600-700 miles per day, with several trailer swaps along the way.  My time in the Keys taught me to be prepared, but that locals down there are so laid back that you are going to have to adjust to life at a Mayberry pace.  Might as well start on the trip down.
  If anybody else is reading these exchanges for their educational value (as I am) I believe in firmly anchoring things like extra propane bottles with stout and robust hardware.  There is no 'overdoing' it when it comes to securing fuel tanks.  Ya'll be safe.

FastEagle

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Re: Questions for those with lots of experience...
« Reply #28 on: November 03, 2013, 01:48:33 PM »
OSHA regulations state that propane tanks are not allowed to be stored in any confined space. Propane is heavier than air and any suitable storage space must be vented to the outside air via a vent in the bottom of the compartment.

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JiminDenver

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Re: Questions for those with lots of experience...
« Reply #29 on: November 03, 2013, 07:48:17 PM »
I'm usually the long haul driver and always insist Honey takes pictures on the way. Most of what I remember is the road and the gas stations.

 

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