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Old 02-20-2004, 04:25 PM   #15
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How far can you drive in a day?

I learned a valuable lesson as a result of my first excursion to a WBCCI International Rally (1998). Growing up, my family didn't consider a day with fewer than 500 miles acceptable during a vacation (we only took two vacations with an RV that were more than 350 miles - - the rest of the time, we were "Moteling-it") so I proceeded at such a pace. During that trip I had daily drives of from 575 miles to as much as 690 miles (at this time, my self-imposed maximum speed was 62 MPH <where permitted>) - - I arrived at the Rally so tired that I missed much of what went on the first two days. On the return trip home, I slowed the pace a bit to no more than 425 miles per day. I found that I was still nearly ready to collapse into bed by the time that I got the trailer leveled, stabilized, and the tow vehicle unhitched.

In 1999, when I departed on my excursion to the Wagon Wheels Caravan to the International Rally my pace was at a much more leisurely 300 miles per day rate. At my self-imposed speed limit of 55 MPH, this represented about six-hours of driving time. With this pace, I arrive at my evening's destination with some energy reserve - - I usually have enough time for a more leisurely set-up for the coach, and then have the opportunity to explore the local community for a good place to eat.

In addition to arriving at my destination with a lower stress level, the slower pace has allowed me to realize several other benefits including:

1. My tow Suburban rarely needs a fill-up during the day's travel if I fill-it-up during my restaurant exploration (with no trailer attached, I have a much greater selection of fuel stops). The Suburban has a maximum cruising range with the Overlander of about 390 miles. The Cadillac, on the other hand, requires at least one fill-up-during the day's travel as its cruising range with either trailer is at most 190 miles. The fuel economy with either vehicle is some 2% to 5% greater at the more leisurely pace.

2. It is usually possible to see the tourist information signs with ample time to exit and enjoy the attractions that might be missed with a more hurried pace. With the reduced daily mileage expectations, it is also possible to more thoroughly enjoy those tourist attractions that become part of my itninerary.

3. Another pleasant surprise has been that I have been doing far less back-tracking due to missed route markers and informational signs.

Today, I still maintain my self-imposed maximum speed of 55 MPH when towing either trailer with either tow vehicle. A typical travel day includes from 250 to 325 miles - - in a pinch, I have streched this to as much as 375 miles. While I am not retired, my profession allows me the freedom to travel during the summers at least four of every five years for as much as 10 weeks. Even if my travel time were more limited, I don't believe that I would want to push for much faster pacing as there was little joy for me when I was arriving at my destination so tired that I was ready to collapse into bed by the time the trailer was properly parked and readied for the evening.


Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 02-20-2004, 04:54 PM   #16
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I'm with Porky on the 250 miles per day. No hurry hooking up and leaving (meaning lower probability of mistakes), 55-60mph on the road, no reason to get upset at traffic tie-ups, time for a relaxed sit-down lunch, and get in and set up before dark. 6 hours driving including about an hour for lunch, and about an hour of hookup/setup on each end. That's an eight hour day. Why should we work harder when on vacation than when not?

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Old 02-20-2004, 05:18 PM   #17
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I believe strongly that if you are in a hurry, leave earlier!

I can, and have driven 1000 mi. at a stretch on many occasions. But with the trailer in tow, about 600 mi. is my maximum, and that only with the most optimal conditions (including reservations at known destinations), and no more than two days of that in a row. Otherwise, 400 miles is plenty, and frankly I don't want to do that many times in a single week.

Driving long hours day after day takes the "recreation" out of "recreation vehicles".

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Old 02-20-2004, 06:47 PM   #18
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It varies

I start out very early the first day and even have been known to drive across town to a WalMart or truck stop to spend the night and leave from there rather than fighting work traffic through the city in the morning. The first day out is usally 500 to 550 miles, sometimes 600. I cruise at 60 to 65 mph.

After that, I plan on about 450 miles a day if I am on interstates; somewhat less if all or part is on secondary roads.

This spring, I am heading for PA, 1535 miles, and planning on 3 full days plus a short morning to get there.
John W. Irwin
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Old 02-20-2004, 06:54 PM   #19
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I can already tell this trip's going to be a learning experience! I guess we'll find out pretty quick if we can stick to our schedule, or if we'll be pitching it three days out and winging the rest of the trip

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Old 02-20-2004, 07:14 PM   #20
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Thumbs up Secondary roads!!

We all have our different needs and different time available to travel, but I usually travel 150 to 200max miles per day.

I love to get on the road after 9am when most are at work and then pull into camp around 2pm. Getting in at this time allows for a nice easy pace and plenty of time to set-up, cook, shower and take a nice walk.

If I'm heading out west, say WY, I'll travel for 2 to 3 days and then spend a couple of days either relaxing or checking out the local community.

Prior to retirement, I'd travel(non-TT pulling) 800 miles per day, but I'm sure happy those days are behind me.

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Old 02-20-2004, 07:41 PM   #21
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While in college, I drove from Dallas to Tucson in one day. This was a 1,000 mile drive and was absolutely exhausting.

With my Airstream, the longest drive that I have made was about 10 hours. The one thing that I have learned to do is to try and avoid driving at night.

I think everyone would agree that it's a lot easier to drive during the day and also pull into a campground when you can see all of your surroundings. My rule is to always stop 2 hours before I know the sun is going to go down when I am on the road.
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Old 02-20-2004, 08:47 PM   #22
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If we're gonna add our higher speed runs, in 1999, I went all the way from Dayton, OH to Biloxi, MS, running 100-120 mph (5,000-6,000 rpm out of a 8100 rpm redline, 8500 rpm rev limiter) any time outside of 55 mph city limits, where 85 mph was the rule. Return trip was the same. Mostly 6,000 rpm both ways.

No CB radio, no tickets, credit goes to the Valentine One radar/laser electronic warfare detection system. I don't even remember how few hours I did that in, but it was definitely in one day with lots of time to spare. That car was my divorce present to myself (in addition to my first Harley, a Sportster).

Remarried a cute little gal a few years later and traded her the 8,000+ rpm Acura for her 4 cylinder Ford Ranger, ROTFL! God, she was cute in that little red car! She bought me my second Harley (a Road King) and I bought her her first Harley (a Sportster Hugger) a year later. We sold my then 85 hp Harley Sportster and traded both the 4-wheelers for a diesel truck pulling a 34 Airstream a few years later! LOL! Now we use a CB AND the Valentine One while I drive 55 mph pulling it (ROTFLMAO), or 65 mph pulling a 15' Boston Whaler boat we bought this past summer.

You just gotta put speed in perspective! ... and even Glenlivet 12 year old isn't bad! LOL!
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Old 02-20-2004, 09:30 PM   #23
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Looooonnnng Drives

I haven't towed an Airstream trailer yet but have pulled UHaul trailers 600 and 750 miles on two occasions.

We have had several lengthy car trips. Alternating with my wife we made a couple of 24 hour drives with three children to visit my parents in Florida so we could do it in two days drive. One was from Minneapolis to Macon, GA and one was from Cherokee, NC to Minneapolis. They were killers.

Another long drive was from Glacier National Park all the way back to Minneapolis. It was 8 hours crossing Montana alone. We thought we were going to stop in Bismarck, ND (about half way) but discovered a National Indian PowWow was underway and just about every room in ND was booked.

My most enduring and memorable trip was when I was in Navy OCS in Newport, RI and my wife was in Bay Village, OH. When our first daughter was born I had to wait until the weekend to see her. I got leave at noon Saturday and drove nearly 800 miles non-stop to see her. Then I took a short nap, got up at about 3:00 AM and drove back in order to be safely on base and not AWOL by 5:00 PM Sunday. Otherwise I would have had to wait another two months.

Long drives never bothered me in my younger days. I enjoyed them. They are starting to get a little tedious despite the vehicles being a lot more comfortable than the 60's and 70's era.
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Old 02-20-2004, 09:57 PM   #24
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long time ago . . . . .

My parents used to take us kids 'camping' every summer. Cincinnati to Miami, 1150 miles, sleeping in a tent that folded around the back of a station wagon. In the late 50s and early 60s, before interstate highways, it was a three day trip, camping at Norris Dam TN, and some state park in southern Georgia.

Our last trip, in 1967, when we kids could share driving, was straight through in 20 hours with no stops.

Forty years later, I can remember it like yesterday. Be careful what you teach your kids.
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Old 02-20-2004, 10:42 PM   #25
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just can't wait to get on the road again


Depends on if it is "the journey" or the "destination".
Coming back from Vancouver WA last fall we were in a hurry to get back. It took us a week. So that must have been around 400 miles daily. We weren't sightseeing, we never unhooked. We were so tired it was just dinner and sleep.
When we head west this spring it will be more planned and leisurely. Drive a couple hundred miles and stop and stay a couple of three days. We plan on sight-seeing, and hopefully having no worries.

It should be what ever makes you feel comfortable.

If you are on the road too long in one day the nerves tend to get a bit frayed and well you know someone might just get a wee bit cross.
Have a great trip.

Tom & betsy
WBCCI #6978

There are two ways to die in the desert.
One is by thirst and the other is drowning.
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Old 02-20-2004, 11:27 PM   #26
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Long Drives

These days around 400 Mi. is enough for any day, but I have done Boulder to around Cleveland Oh. 2 drivers but still a long one. The Black Hills to Gassaway W.V. solo was a really long day of drivetime. These trips were 20 yr. ago.
Bay Village, Ohio is where I found my 64 Safari. At a really cute cottage amongst other larger homes, right on the shore of Lake Erie.
I still do love to drive, I just do'nt like doing it all day long anymore.
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Old 02-21-2004, 07:18 AM   #27
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Towing Airstream: max 500mls. safely
No Tow, no friend to talk to: max 600mls. safely
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Old 02-21-2004, 10:40 AM   #28
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"Depends on if it is "the journey" or the "destination"."

Our big trip this year is 500 miles first day to an "on the journey" destination, goof off day, 500 miles next day to another "on the journey" destination , goof off day, then 200-300 miles max the rest. We usually put in a long day geting home. Once you get within a few hours, you hate to stop. This type of travel takes planning, but the new computer trip planners are wonderful. They put in fuel stops, ect!

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