Travel expectations

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OldSoldier

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May 17, 2006
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63
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Sierra Vista, Arizona
What is a safe comfortable realistic daily travel distance.  I know terraine will affect it but I am planning a long trip to the northwest, will wander around a couple/3 weeks and head home.

I am towing a new 25ft 5'er with 2005 Chevy 2500HD gasser.

I'd appreciate any and experienced ideas on the subject so that I can plan stops and layovers.

Thank you all so much.
 

Carl L

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Mar 14, 2005
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7,239
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west Los Angeles
300 miles.

How is that for a no quibbling or footshuffling answer.? ;D

Things that will affect that include long up grades which knock you down to 30 mph;? pretty scenry; Seattle; two lane roads in the Cascades; the California 55 mph trailer speed limit; ferries; and head winds.? ? Siskyou Pass in Southern Oregon, and Lookout Pass in northern Idaho will slow you.  The traffic pattern in Seattle is a nightmare.  Avoid towing in town if you can at all.

300 may seem a bit low, but remember towing a trailer is not exactly driving a sedan, you do a bit more work and that begins to pile up.?
 

Karl

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Elkhart Lake, WI for the summer. Work at Road Amer
Couldn't have said it better than Carl  but... it pretty much depends on your love (or hate) of driving, how soon you have to be somewhere (shouldn't be an RV'er if you're a clock watcher) or how tolerant your passengers are to long hours of travel. Personally, Hercule, the Attack Cat, has his own bathroom facilities and doesn't much care how long we travel between stops. Humans may be a bit less tolerant.

All kidding aside, there are some days when 500-600 hundred miles are just about right, while other days 200 (or less) is a chore. When you feel like stopping, stop. Want to continue for another 50-100 miles, go for it - but not when you're tired or can't enjoy the scenery. Driving through beautiful and unknown lands should be a pleasure, not a task.
 

Ron

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Jan 29, 2005
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Home is where we park it
We don't really plan how many miles we drive a day.  We figure if we are on the road by ten and off by three or four then that is good.  If we want to stop earlier we do it. If we wake up early and get on the road a bit earlier that's OK too.  If we make 50 miles in one day that is fine if we do 300 - 350 that is OK too.  Main thing is to enjoy the trip.
 

ianmarg

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Jun 22, 2006
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13
Location
Phoenix in winter, who knows? in summer
We tend to plan our destination and then backtrack to see whether we've got a day that's too long. 300+/- seems to be about the maximum, but I'd rather leave it at no more than 5 hours.  We drive 60 where we can, but average less, so 5 hours is usually significantly less than 300 miles.  However we've been known to drive 9 hours (which I don't want to do again unless it's an emergency).  I agree about the sightseeing factor -- part of this journey is seeing new and beautiful places and I don't want the driver to miss out on them.

My question would be how many people make campground reservations way in advance or do you wait until you get somewhere (or close)?  We have friends who plan every stop for a six-month trip in advance; we tend to work 1-2 weeks in advance; I know some who don't decide until they get ready to stop.  We're not too tolerant of dry camping (we'd like at least electricity), which affects our outlook somewhat.
 

Ron

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Home is where we park it
ianmarg said:
My question would be how many people make campground reservations way in advance or do you wait until you get somewhere (or close)?? We have friends who plan every stop for a six-month trip in advance; we tend to work 1-2 weeks in advance; I know some who don't decide until they get ready to stop.? We're not too tolerant of dry camping (we'd like at least electricity), which affects our outlook somewhat.

We seldom make campground reservations except for events like the Moab Rally.  When traveling we don't ususally start looking for campgrounds until about 14:00 or so then we start looking for campgrounds  in the area we expect to be when we want to stop.  Which ever is not driving, most the time me, will look in the Passport America book for a campground that has Passport America rates, then if nothing found I look in the Trailer life directory.  They know we are coming when we arrive.  Many times we have traveled the route before and already know where the campgrounds are.

We tend to avoid KOA unless there is no other choice.
 

Carl L

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west Los Angeles
My question would be how many people make campground reservations way in advance or do you wait until you get somewhere (or close)?  We have friends who plan every stop for a six-month trip in advance; we tend to work 1-2 weeks in advance; I know some who don't decide until they get ready to stop.  We're not too tolerant of dry camping (we'd like at least electricity), which affects our outlook somewhat.

I tend to lay out the trip well ahead on travel software.  I do get reservations at destination sites -- places like Moab, Yellowstone, or the park I have as a goal.    I am familiar enough with my rig and driving to even do the overnighters that way.

However, I also find that I am able to make and change things on the road with the cell phone, even stops for the night.  Phoning ahead a few miles saves a lot of wandering around looking for a campground with space in a strange area.

I regard the cell phone and Trailer Life Campground Directory as being RVing essentials.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
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At our Silver Springs FL home
We rarely travel over 225-250 miles in a day, but we seldom have any time pressure on us either. 300 miles is a long day and done only when we have a destination and a deadline in mind (SOMETHING WE TRY TO AVOID!).  Like Ron & Sam, 10 am to 3 pm is our travel day,  allowing us time to enjoy our surroundings at the beginning and end of each day.
 

Carl L

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west Los Angeles
Well yeah, 300 is long.  But as a planning number it seems to work.  For instance if one CG is at 240 miles and the next is at 320 miles, I will usually go for the 240 without any other consideration than travel time.  Tolerable arrival time varies too.  An overnighter requires minimal set up -- minor leveling, back jacks only, power only, and no unhitching -- arriving at 5:30 pm is OK.  A full set up with unhitching, all jacks, leveling, water, power, and sewer hookups wants to arrive no later than 4pm.
 

OldSoldier

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Joined
May 17, 2006
Posts
63
Location
Sierra Vista, Arizona
Thanks gang.  I appreciate all your insight.  Your answers kinda tracked with my expectations, but conflicted with mama's.  She expected more.  After reading these responses to her, and discussing it in depth with her, she has reset her attitude and is more committed to a more leisurely travel schedule.

Appreciate all your help.
:)
 

N Smock

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Mar 9, 2005
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246
Location
Long Branch, NJ
I agree with the previous answers, Gary and Ron  have it right 200 - 250 a day is about right. Push longer and the two of you get edgy and detract from the drive. Since being retired what's the rush? If you plan trips that require much more driving hours you just need to leave earlier. I know sometimes the schedule will not allow that.

Nelson
 

Gasser

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Feb 21, 2006
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173
Location
Ada, Oklahoma
From a non retired perspective, I drive until I get there.  Depending on where I am going it may be an hour or may be 14.  I don't have the luxury of lots of spare time.  Its also a good Idea to have a couple of Co drivers that can split up a long drive.  Much safer.  The most I like to drive in one stent is 300 miles and then its time for a break.  I do occasionally take a two day drive on the way out to a distant destination but on the way home I am ready to get home and thus are more likely to drive straight through.  I still restrict myself to the 300 mile stent and a 14 houir max in a day. 

If I was retired I would love to drive no more than 5 hours in a day max and take my time and see all the sights along the way.  One of these days.....

Jeff.
 

dawn52627

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Joined
Oct 3, 2006
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3
I have a 90 31ft Itasca. my first trip was about 200 miles, just me and 3 kids. Of course it was raining, back airbag went out, had to drive through St Louis. It was a lot of fun. This October we have one trip in a couple weeks to Ft Leonard Wood for daughter's graduation from basic training. That is probably about 300 miles. Then two weeks later, much longer trip to Ft Benning Georgia for my son's graduation from basic training. I think that one will be cut into two days. Leave after work, see how far we can get, then the rest of the way the next day. There will be at least 2 of us, possibly 3, who can drive. We have done 900 miles in a day though. When time is short and you want to get to someplace in particular, that is what happens.

Glad I found this site...lots of useful info.

Dawn52627
 
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