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Old 02-20-2004, 12:25 PM   #1
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How far can you drive in a day?

How far can you comfortably drive in a day? Our longest trips have been about 6 hours driving. We're planning this massive roadtrip in May which will take us to AZ, OK, IL, and finally home, and it's looking like it will take about three weeks to get it all in. I'm wondering how far we should be planning to get on the days when we're just driving? Any advice?

So far we are planning by starting out at the Vintage Trailer Rally in Calistoga, CA May 15, and just pushing on from there, spending a day or three in Pheonix, OKC, and St Louis, where we will be visiting friends and family. But we have to leave the pets home, so we're paying for petsitters everyday we're gone (which costs more than camping for the night). It's going to be a fun trip, I'm just trying to figure out approximately where we'll be so we can make reservations if we need to for where we might be over Memorial Day weekend. Rightnow it's looking like we might be heading back home and stopping by Mt Rushmore that weekend - probably not a great idea!
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Old 02-20-2004, 12:32 PM   #2
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On larger trips we'd often put about 8 hours on the road. This turned out to about 450miles with pit stops for gas (never ending when towing) and breaks.
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Old 02-20-2004, 12:40 PM   #3
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I have driven from the Cleveland, Ohio area all the way down to Gainesville, Florida in a day. This was just driving the truck, pulling nothing. Left at 6 AM and got down there just after 9 PM, with 2 stops, one in Wytheville, VA and Brunswick, GA.

When I pulled the Airstream down here, I took my time, sort of. I left Ohio at 4 PM on a Friday, in one heck of a snowstorm. Seldom got above 50 MPH. Pulled in to Wytheville at 2 AM and got a room at Holiday Inn. Left at 9 AM and pulled into High Springs, FL at around 7:30 PM. I stopped more frequently, too many to count, because I stopped for potty breaks for the dog.

A few years ago the wife and I double teamed and drove from Cleveland to Marco Island, FL in a little over 24 hours.
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Old 02-20-2004, 01:00 PM   #4
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Back in '73 I drove a Datsun PU with a homemade camper and a pregnant wife from Richmond, VA to Long Beach, CA in 3.5 days ... I was not quite 23 then ... wouldn't want to do it now.

I think my comfort level today would be about 250 miles max ... and no pregnant wife.
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Old 02-20-2004, 01:18 PM   #5
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Thumbs up safety and fun

Some years back , I used to make 24 hours marathon drives and then sleep for a day upon arrival. No more.

After 18 years on the road as a salesman traveling 5 states and going big city to big city, a couple of those years in motorhomes and the rest in burbs, I would suggest you take a realistic look at your health and medications...their effects on you, and then remember that for enjoyment and fun a couple hundred miles a day isn't too bad day after day with some breaks.

Interstates and such allow for more miles but more boredom, good for long mileage days, also boondocking in gas plazas and rest stops.....Regular roads are the scenic and memorable routes for me but when you see something you owe it to yourself to check it out.

Upon starting you will have more gogo in you, it will fade...then come rushing back as you turn toward home. A fun trip is a safe trip...lol...jem
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Old 02-20-2004, 01:19 PM   #6
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It is all dependant upon the passengers. I know that my wife and daughter get a bit testy after around 6 hours. I could go 10. I remember while growing up we did Las Vegas to Albuquerque, about 560miles.
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Old 02-20-2004, 01:22 PM   #7
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I seem to do most of the driving and am comfortable going 250 miles/6 hours a day. Three hundred miles and I start getting foggy. Last trip we did a 400 mile/8 hour day by trading off driving. worked out well. I usually figure on 50 mph and arriving at our destination 1 hour before dark.
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Old 02-20-2004, 01:30 PM   #8
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We generally feel that when we travel about 400 miles a day we have a full day of travel in. This will allow us to make a few stops along the way as well. It will also give us plenty of time to find a place to stay and set up where we can relax and enjoy the surrounding area once we get there!

Sometimes we will locate a place while on the road. Nice thing having a campground directory and cell phone handy!

Some of our most memorable trips have been when they were un-planed. We have just loaded up and took off!
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Old 02-20-2004, 01:44 PM   #9
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The first day of a trip, we can usually do about 600 miles comfortably. (That's with plenty of Southern Gospel music and coffee to keep us mentally fresh.) After the first day, about 400 miles a day is all we plan on if we're on a steady diet of travel days to get to a far away place.
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Old 02-20-2004, 01:44 PM   #10
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Our favorite trips have always been the unplanned ones as well, but since this trip is so long, and since we have several folks we will be visiting along the way, we thought some planning was probably in order.

Sounds like about what we have planned, around 350 mi a day with a couple days off when we get where we're going. We only end up with a few consecutive days of driving, with days to explore in between. Unfortunately we'll be using the interstates for expediency, else I would rather meander and explore more. Maybe next trip!
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Old 02-20-2004, 03:01 PM   #11
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trip or destination?

For us it makes a difference if our purpose is to "get somewhere" or to "take a trip." To us, there is a difference! If we have to get somewhere because of a date to keep or limited vacation time, we'll push hard, share the driving in order to eat up the miles in good time. We hate that kind of drive, but we've done it. What we like is "the trip" where the drive itself and sights along the way are what it's all about. On this kind of trip, we meander, stop when we choose, have very little preplanned, but do like to end the day's travel soon enough before nightfall to set up camp, relax with a cool one, and put on a pot of chili or a steak. Enjoy your trip, drive safely, and please report back the highlights. We visited Rushmore last summer at the peak of travel time, found crowds, but hd no trouble finding a spot to stay (ended up in a KOA.) We were awed--so worth the visit!
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Old 02-20-2004, 04:22 PM   #12
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(That's with plenty of Southern Gospel music and coffee to keep us mentally fresh.)
Good to see others with an interest in "Southern Gospel Music."

My favorite and most listened to....style of music!
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Old 02-20-2004, 04:41 PM   #13
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a run i make with some frequency is madison wi to spearfish sd.

about 850 miles, two gas stops.

drive drive drive sleep. presto! you are on vacation!

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Old 02-20-2004, 04:54 PM   #14
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My family (wife, 4 & 8 year old and Golden Retriever) just completed a round trip from Naples, FL to Spartanburgh to pick up our Airstream. The trip went kind of like this: we left Naples at 7:30PM on a Thursday, stopping in Savanah GA at 2:30AM Friday, back on the road at 7:00AM to arrive in Spartanburgh by 11:00AM, spend an hour going through the Airstream before going to Camping World to purchase multiple items, back on the road by 3:00PM on Friday, arriving back to the Peace River Camp Grounds (Arcadia Florida) at 3:00AM Saturday morning to meet up with several other families that were also camping that weekend. Up at 7:30AM Saturday morning to show off our new toy. Round trip 1,400 miles. Why did I do it? Answer: Airstream, need I say more? Sunday afternoon 100 additional miles to get back to Naples.
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