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Open Roads Forum  >  Class A Motorhomes  >  General Topics

 > 1st time long distance trip need advice

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RetiredRealtorRick

St. Augustine Beach, FL

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Posted: 02/01/22 06:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wa8yxm wrote:

Get the Pilot/Flying app for your phone.. I used to pull one of two cars and managed to find a Flying-J to stop at most nights on the road (one night) most have Dedicated RV parking, sometimes a tad small for my rig. I looked for Stores with a Denny's restaurant as I'm an AARP member (DISCOUNT)

Cracker Barrell usually has RV parking behind the store.

Many "Wal-Doc" (Stay at wall marks over night) I prefer not to but have done it.

ALWAYS look about you if you do not feel comfortable. park elsewhere.

Also Flying-J's will be noisy It does not bother me. does some.

Finally FUEL up before you park for the night (NOT good when Generator is out of fuel (1/4 tank point) and you need electricity)

Plan your day based on 50 MPH average speed... The math is easier. and so is the drive.


Good advice, but let me add/revise a few points:

1. Add the Love's app. We have recently found them to be far superior to Pilot/Flying J locations.

2. It seems as though a number of Cracker Barrel's have done away with their RV parking. Check ahead.

3. The rule to plan on a 50-mph average speed is good, but PLEEEEEEASE do not plan to drive 50 on 70-mph interstates. It may be 'legal' in some places, but it's a hazard in all places.


. . . never confuse education with intelligence

mleekamp

Washington, IL

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Posted: 02/01/22 06:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'll echo what Dutch said. My first big trip with a TT, I found myself caught in some odd set ups for fuel. We were out East. From that point on, and even now with our motorhome, we try to plan fuel stops not to E, but usually at 100 / 150 / 200 mile legs. We need to get out and walk anyway! Also, towing a dinghy behind a motorhome, you can't back up...so very important! Lastly, I have noticed the farther west we go, the less I worry about fuel stops from the standpoint of space. But there are times I have to worry about distance! Usually they are spaced farther apart in large areas out west.

Dutch_12078 wrote:

The key thing to remember for fuel stops is to always plan your exit before you enter. Stations with pump islands parallel to the road are ideal, but relatively rare. Travel centers like Pilot/Flying J, Loves, etc, often have more room to maneuver around the gas pumps. End islands are usually the most accessible. As far as your travel route goes, I'll leave it up to others that are more familiar with the current conditions on I-95 to advise you on stops and the best way to bypass Washington D.C. We avoid I-95 for the most part on our trips from upstate NY to Florida, not using it until we hit South Carolina. I-88 to I-81 to I-77 to I-26 to I-95 is our preferred route.


FLHTCI

east coast

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Posted: 02/01/22 07:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Rick Jay wrote:

Hi!

When are you planning to take the trip?

If it's after the threat of snow, I'd recommend the "in land" route staying west of 95 until you hit South Carolina. Basically, something like 84>81>77>26>95. There are a few variations, but that's the general idea. It's a bit longer, but generally less stressful as the traffic is usually lighter. But the biggest advantage is that you can make the trip all the way down without paying a single toll west of CT. Travelling down 95 the tolls will be at least $100, and probably more by now. Depending upon where you are in New England, you might get tagged for a few in MA, NH or ME. Coming back, you'll have to pay one toll over the Hudson River east bound in New York.

If you decide to do 95, know that you can't take the tunnel under Baltimore Harbor on 95. You have to take the beltway around the city. The part of the beltway which heads towards the ocean (east bound) has another toll on it, the westward bound part does not have a toll, but it is a bit longer.

The advantage of 95 is that it is on flatter ground and closer to the ocean, so snow isn't likely to be as much of a problem. But traffic is bad any time of the day. The last time we headed down in the winter, we took the inland route. We didn't see any snow from Massachusetts, until we got to the hills in North Carolina. Nothing major, though. Fortunately.

We generally overnighted at Walmarts. There didn't seem to be much problem finding stations with access for larger rigs. At most major highway exits/entrances you'll usually have a couple of choices. A smartphone which can allow the co-pilot to "scope out" station layout could be helpful, though we didn't have that luxury when we've made the trips. We will next time, though! [emoticon]

Good Luck,

~Rick


Great advice, we have driven those routes before and are a much nicer ride.


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FLHTCI

east coast

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Posted: 02/01/22 07:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank you all, great advice. I’ve learned a lot from your comments.

larry cad

ohio

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Posted: 02/01/22 07:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You need to practice a skill that airplane pilots have to master to keep track of the many gauges. When in close quarters such as refuel, or in a campground, keep your eyes moving all the time. You have side mirrors, a backup camera,and front and side windows. Keep your eyes moving around to all those areas, and drive in those areas very SLOWLY. Be twice as careful when backing up without the toad.

SLOOOOW


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Matt_Colie

Southeast Michigan

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Posted: 02/01/22 10:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

FLHTCI,

You do have a lot of good advice here best to study it carefully.

You are from New England, so you know what the megopolis is all about. I-95 works if you have the patience, but plan to divert around the Bronx and GW Bridge. Avoiding I-95 isn't stupid either.

Will you be traveling with a laptop or a tablet?? If yes, plan to be using Google Earth to look at fuel stops before you get there. This can save you a lot of grief.

Our A is also a gasser, and the truck stop apps are good, but I find I can do better on fuel with GasBuddy. With that and the navigation that the tablet/laptop can do, you can save a lot on gas.

Matt


Matt & Mary Colie
A sailor, his bride and their black dog (one is waiting for us at the bridge) going to see some dry places that have Geocaches in a coach made the year we married.


Sjm9911

New Jersey

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Posted: 02/01/22 01:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Definitely take a few smaller trips towing the jku before heading out. This will work out any problems you may have with both the tow and your rv. I usally just pay for campgrounds off 95 when I went. Easier for me , and i didnt want to push the ride, so maybe set up some goals, how long/ far you want to drive for, where to stop etc. It helps.


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ferndaleflyer

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Posted: 02/01/22 01:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gas buddy will save you a fortune. I once paid $1.00 more per gal at truckstop near I-95 than 1 block away at an independent station. South Carolina is a slo go but opens up in GA + toad is in awful shape. I-81 is the way to go as suggested above. Remember which side your fuel fills from.

valhalla360

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Posted: 02/01/22 07:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you aren't trying to make the whole 1500 miles in 1-2 days driving, just plan to fill up after unhooking for the night.


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Yankee Clipper

Cairo, GA

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Posted: 02/01/22 07:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

1) Weigh your coach
2) check tire pressure, invest in a TPMS (I use TireMinder)
3) Tires are always the weak link, so have your tire shop look at the condition of your tire...the DOT codes should not be more than 7-8 years old.
4) Create and use checklists for setting up and getting underway. There are a lot of systems to keep up.
HTH,


Yankee Clipper
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2014 Honda CRV 4 down toad/Roadmaster Falcon2 with EvenBrake
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