Glad I found this thread. Am still new to RVing and next month we are going on our first long trip. San Diego to Three Rivers, CA and it is approx 350 miles and mostly freeway driving. The most direct route for us is to take Interstate 5 through LA and I HAD LA traffic! There is another route we could take and that is 15 to the 210 and cut across to the 5 but still lots of traffic so thought about leaving at 3 and would certainly be the other side of LA by day break but then again the eyes aren't like they use to be. Haven't figured how many hours it will take us to drive since I am going to try to keep it about 65 and stop now and then to rest the old back. I know I will have some hills to contend with, which will slow us down.
It depends upon where and what time of year we are going through an area. In areas where the logging trucks are running at high speeds on country roads during the summer months I much prefer driving at night.
In areas of heavy traffic I find it much easier to have a good sense of what other cars may be approaching from behind as I can see their headlights and this includes cars coming onto the highway. Even with oncoming cars on hills I can see their headlights long before I can see the car.
I have learned over the years of driving at night, which has been my preference, that around 11-12 PM my body wants to shut down and I need to pull into a roadside cafe and have a cup of coffee. Once I get past that interval I am good for another 36-48 hours but that initial time period is when I am most likely to be inattentive and at risk.
But there is enough stress with a large vehicle on the highway so I believe people who are more comfortable driving at a certain time of the day should keep on doing as they have been doing.
If leaving Monday through Friday-I would leave no later than 3AM, and would seriously consider 2 or 2:30. On the weekends, I've noticed that a lot of the time, you can leave somewhat later, as most people are trying to sleep in, spend time with family, etc. One thing to consider, is that there are often road repairs going on at night on this stretch of highway. Another option that I've figured out, is that from 9am-10am, and again from 130 to 230 or 3 pm, traffic is also fairly light M-F.
As for my opinion on the day/night driving- it depends on where, and what my requirements are. I prefer doing night driving with just a car or truck, but when towing, i prefer daylight, so I can see what the trailer is doing, and making sure I'm all the way in my lane.
I'd prefer driving early in the morning rather than in the evening. Lesser chances of falling asleep on the wheel and getting into an accident. I tried driving at night when we went camping with some friends (who prefer night driving than the day time). By the time that we got to the campground, I pretty much wasted one whole day sleeping. Never again.
After looking at the map, I think we will leave San Diego around 3AM and surely will be the other side of LA by 5:30 to beat the rush hour traffic. Driving in LA is bad enough in a car and driving in a 31' motor home would be worse. If I have to take a short nap after going through LA, so be it. As fas as I can see, that is going to be the worse part of the trip.
When we leave from home we start out during the day, but when we are going from place to place we usually drive at night - which gives us the ability to sight see or go to an attraction during the day and travel on to the next location that night. We usually tell the campground that we have reservations at that it is likely we will be arriving after the office closes. It never has been a problem and they either tell us our site number in advance or leave a map and a site number for us at the office door.