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Old 09-14-2017, 09:23 PM   #1
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Newbie on Highway Interstates - how fast?

Hey all..

So congratulate me, I'm almost a week on the road, no dents or deaths yet .

Right now I'm heading east on I-90, currently in Montana.

I find I am driving at or under the posted speed limit for trucks, like 60 or 65. And with some of these mountains and the road construction, it's even less. Problem is, I can't really go much faster than that without feeling out of control.

I'm staying in the right lane, but even so, with some of those hills... should I just drive with whatever I'm comfortable with? Or do I try gunning the engine to keep up with the posted speeds?

I thought on one hand, it's better and safer to drive within my limit, and right now that might be 5-10 mph less than posted, but staying in the right lane. Then I'm hearing how dangerous it is to go under the speed limit.

Thoughts? Advice? I feel if I drive faster (65-70mph) I'm out of control. Is this just newbie paranoia driving? Or am I missing something? Or am I doing it right?
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Old 09-14-2017, 09:29 PM   #2
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Probably depends on what you are towing and what you are towing it with. Wrong set up can be very scary!
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Old 09-14-2017, 09:40 PM   #3
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towing 28' Safari (2008) with a Nissan Armada via Blue Ox SwayPro hitch

Armada's rated to tow 9,000, GVWR of the Safari is 7300 and I don't believe I have that much to max out. I've already had to adjust the hitch once, to take care of a lot of "porpoising" (vertical sway).
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:00 PM   #4
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In California, the speed limit 55mph when towing. I probably go around 60mph at the max and that's also the extent of my comfort level. I just remind myself that it's not about being in a hurry and I don't notice it. I'm fine with others passing me.
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:19 PM   #5
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Just remember that trailer tires are only rated for max 65 mph.

Stay with the trucks in the right lane .

If your not comfortable with higher speeds don't do them.

Stay safe and enjoy the journey .
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:32 PM   #6
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I always stay at around 65, maybe occasionally up to 70 max on the interstate. Here in Utah the speed limit is 70, and 80 once out of town. That's way past my comfort zone, so I just stay in the slow(er) lane.
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Old 09-14-2017, 11:09 PM   #7
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See what your AS tires are rated for. 60 or 65 mph? There are also highway safety figures on your stopping distances at various speeds-- which probably have to be slowed down considerably for towing a trailer.
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Old 09-15-2017, 12:06 AM   #8
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Don't ever feel obliged to drive faster than what you think is reasonable, prudent, and safe.
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Old 09-15-2017, 02:58 AM   #9
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Stay within lower and upper limits. Upper has NOTHING to do with (let's call it) a "default speed". That's for the stupid people.

East-West routes are the vast majority of traffic on this continent. And, as most live east of the Mississippi, expect that traffic will substantially increase once over that line and nearing any metro area.

Most truck traffic is governed at 65-mph. Most cars want to travel the upper limit. A combined rig RV isn't going to handle or brake well much above 55-mph (since too many choose pickups as TV), thus 58-62/mph is a speed, where:

1) With virtually no lane changes, one is remains at a constant speed which is good for FE and reduced driver fatigue;

2) As the average of all traffic isn't that far above the governed truck speed, the "slower" travel speed is actually closer to the overall average than imagined (test by recording engine run time). Travel speed and average speed aren't the same. The latter is lower. It's the difference between them that's minimized by not having to brake or accelerate or pass; and better fuel burn rate.

3) Peripheral vision is excellent at these speeds. Vehicle components last longer. Etc. On a 300-mile day, the time difference is almost nil, and the job was easier.

4) It's far easier to manage separation space from other vehicles.

Great mirrors are essential to managing space. Clip-ons almost worthless. Something like the venerable McKesh line is a good minimum.

Now, confidence is a different matter. IMO, it's based on acquired numbers. From a certified scale. Both tire pressure and WD hitch settings. Things are good via those, or they are not (after testing). See Three Pass Scale Method, and weighing TV when hitched to get Load for TV tires.

TT proper brake adjustment, brake controller setting and testing emergency stopping distance are the others.

One wants predictable vehicle responses. This allays anxiety. Which in turn dials down adrenaline.

The other part to highway distances is trip-planning. Set out the day as a series of legs to accomplish. From departure to first mandated 15" rest break about 100-miles out. Then on to the one hour break plus fuel stop and/or lunch at the four hour mark (drive time, not clock time). The final two hours are to destination. Mentally, stay inside the leg one is traveling.

Distance for Interstate should be 300-miles (or 3 o'clock; the voice of a half-century plus of thousands of RV'ers); under no circumstances exceed 600-miles as fatigue will get you killed (to be short and to the point).

Use 50-mph as the clock time for planning. This accounts for breaks, etc. Experience may tell you it's 45-mph. Or 52-mph. So keep records. Find what works well.

How soon one arrives at the days destination is not a race (the permanent amateurs). There are always problems of road, load, traffic, weather, construction, etc. Understanding the average mph in a given region is the reason for records. Future planning. (Trip planning drills down much more deeply than this sketch).

To sum up, prepare vehicle and driver with objective (numerical) criteria; cover the leg at a speed which keeps other traffic away; trip-plan to avoid last minute decision-making; and keep vigil over mirrors to predict the the immediate future thereby.

It's all about reserves of time, energy, and space.

.
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Old 09-15-2017, 03:01 AM   #10
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In each of the above I've posted, there are more details:

How to set mirrors? First comes seat posture. There is a right way to do this.

Etc.

See those other threads.
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Old 09-15-2017, 04:20 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bliss View Post
I'm staying in the right lane, but even so, with some of those hills... should I just drive with whatever I'm comfortable with? Or do I try gunning the engine to keep up with the posted speeds?
Never drive faster than you're comfortable with. Exceeding your personal limitations is very stressful and tiring, and makes driving an ordeal. When you're Airstreaming, you should enjoy the journey as much as you enjoy the destination.

To adapt the famous quote by Sean Connery in "The Untouchables": 'The first rule of driving is, always reach your destination alive at the end of the day.'

And remember, you always have the option to get off the major highways and plan a "blue line" route if trying to keep up with the traffic on the red-line highways gets to be too much. As Charles Kuralt once said, "Thanks to the Interstate highway system, it is now possible to travel safely from coast to coast without seeing anything."
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Old 09-15-2017, 05:16 AM   #12
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I go between 55-60 unless the speed limit is 80 and then I go 62.
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Old 09-15-2017, 05:54 AM   #13
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2000rpm, Burb 8.1>> efficiency sweet spot=58-60mph

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Old 09-15-2017, 06:15 AM   #14
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I drive 63 most of the time. Stay with a speed you are comfortable with. I do not see the need of going the full speed limit. You will become more comfortable with more experience.
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