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Old 10-20-2013, 04:54 PM   #1
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Towing from R.I. to Disney for Christmas?

Hello all!

We live in Rhode Island and have reservations at Disney's Fort Wilderness for six nights over Christmas. We haven't camped there since Christmas of 2001, and the temps hovered around 25 all that week, and we were in tents! Hoping for a warmer experience this time.

Does anyone have any experience towing his or her Airstream down to Florida in the winter? (i.e. winterizing on the way back, winter towing tips, etc.)

Any advice would be helpful!
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Old 10-20-2013, 06:10 PM   #2
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Hi,
We live in Jamestown and use our Airstream to escape the drudgery of February. We should talk!
It can be cold in Florida that time of year but it is better in an Airstream than in a tent!
We drive the western route down. West across PA, into Tennessee and into central northern Florida. It is a much nicer drive than 95!!!!!
We de-winterize on the way out the driveway (last year just a day after a blizzard in early February) Everything works fine when we stop the first night.
You will have a blast!
Bruce
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Old 10-20-2013, 06:41 PM   #3
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Hello Eliset123,

I have traveled to Fort Lauderdale every Christmas for the past ten years from Burlington, On., and have not had any issues with freezing. We fill up with water upon leaving and make sure we have lots of propane for running the furnace on the first night out. The biggest concern is snow and we arrange our route to avoid it, again on the first day and night. Sometimes we go over the hills in WV and V, and other times through flatter Ohio, depending on the forecast. You may have similar issues, with snow being more scary than cold. It is best on planning to be flexible with your travelling schedule, and not force yourself into a nasty predicament. Coming back is a little trickier with the same snow worry and the added complication of when to dump and winterize. We wait until the last day and then pay $10 to dump at a Pilot when we are getting fuel. We have also never stayed in a camp ground on the trip since Walmart appears to be the daily destination for most. We also have Solar so power is never a concern when it comes to running the furnace. In general, it's an easy trip, and in your case, I think the traffic will be your biggest headache. Jim
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Old 10-21-2013, 12:58 PM   #4
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We've been going annually from PA (Philly area) to FL each year for the winter. We tend to avoid I-95 - and go through West VA and VA - someone else mentioned this, too. We go in November - and "winterize" by leaving our trailer in storage in FL. We'll go back and forth throughout the winter, and bring the trailer back up for good in late March/early April.
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Old 10-21-2013, 03:16 PM   #5
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We did a similar trip in January of last year. Fortunately for us, it was warm enough that we didn't need the furnace on the road, but it is an option. You get a little extra protection from freezing in the tanks by the motion of the trailer, and pressurized water lines will take longer to freeze than unpressurized - but I can't tell you how much extra time.
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Old 10-21-2013, 08:18 PM   #6
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Disney is beautiful all the time and especially at Christmas. We go over to camp over there we can have freezes in central Florida. If I were traveling winterized, I would de-winterize just prior to departure and travel with water on board and if I were going through freezing areas, I would turn the furnace on lowest setting to get some heat to the tanks. We've traveled into freezing areas from Florida and did as I described last year and it worked for us. Biggest problem for us was going through mountains of Tennessee it started snowing and we(meaning me with my wife describing how beautiful it was) were more concerned about bridges and potential build up of snow. eliset123 enjoy your trip and we hope your visit to the Sunshine State is enjoyable.
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Old 10-21-2013, 08:51 PM   #7
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We've done the trip 4 times and I can't agree that you should winterize up here.
Here are my recommendations:
- avoid the George Washington Bridge like the plague during traffic times
- we leave VERY early and blast through the GWB, then go 78 to 81
- depending on weather, we overnight at a hotel or a Walmart
- bring water in the tow vehicle for drinking and extra for flushing
- once you're beyond freezing, you are good to go

Last year, temps were freezing, so we had a great time at the Microtel for 50 bucks on New Years Eve in Christiansburg, VA. We had a great dinner at the nearby Japanese restaurant.

Bottom line -- be flexible and avoid the bad traffic.

Just beyond that area, you can take 77S and rejoin 95 south of the DC to Boston disaster that is I-95.

Have fun!
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Old 10-25-2013, 09:11 PM   #8
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[QUOTE="65CV;1370175"]We've done the trip 4 times and I can't agree that you should winterize up here.
Here are my recommendations:
- avoid the George Washington Bridge like the plague during traffic times
- we leave VERY early and blast through the GWB, then go 78 to 81QUOTE]







That's how we try to do it as well. Over the bridge by 6 a.m. Cruising through Harrisburg by 9. It's the only way.
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Old 10-25-2013, 10:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcdowellc View Post
We've been going annually from PA (Philly area) to FL each year for the winter. We tend to avoid I-95 - and go through West VA and VA - someone else mentioned this, too. We go in November - and "winterize" by leaving our trailer in storage in FL. We'll go back and forth throughout the winter, and bring the trailer back up for good in late March/early April.
We go in the fall and winterize when we get back. We will be going down in a couple of weeks. We will have to watch the temps close until then. We will go down I-95 , but will leave around 4:00AM to avoid DC traffic.

If we went in December I would winterize before and after the trip.

Tom
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Old 10-26-2013, 07:10 AM   #10
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One thought: don't de-winterize / fill water tank too early. A couple of years ago, I was on my way to Fla. when I got caught in a freak winter storm in the mts. in Kentucky ... it went down to 5 that night and we got nearly a foot of snow. Stopped overnight in a Ky. state park and used their toilet / wash facilities, which worked out fine. (So far as I could tell, I was the ONLY person camping there!) I was comfortable enough in the Airstream, running the furnace a little as a supplement to a small electric (Pelonis) heater. But if the water system had been full, I'm pretty sure I'd have had big trouble.
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Old 10-26-2013, 09:19 AM   #11
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I don't see a problem if you put some water in your fresh tank. Do Not pump it through the system, however, until well south. I did that one year and after staying the night in Roanoke, Va we woke up to a 27 deg. morning and found our water faucets frozen. The heat would have prevented it but our batteries were weak ( a Walmart stop). No damage and all thawed out quickly after things warmed up. The fresh tank will not freeze up unless you are in a really deep cold spell but the small plumbing lines are more sensitive.
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Old 11-29-2013, 03:55 PM   #12
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Howdy, thanks for all the advice and tips. We are now making this a two week trip with stops in Orlando, savannah, and charleston. I will report with photos along the way.
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Old 11-29-2013, 04:18 PM   #13
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The tip about being careful with small copper or PEX water lines is a good one.. One additional risk if trailer gets cold inside with no heat on is that the flush valve in back of the toilet can also freeze and crack, leading to interesting "Rain Bird" sound and sprinkles when water pump turned on.. <Ask me how I know...>
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Old 12-23-2013, 07:39 PM   #14
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Season's Greetings from the land of Mickey!

Thank you all for your words of wisdom! We made it to Ft. Wilderness safe and sound. (We chose the 95 south route.) Pulled out of Newport @ 9:15 Thursday morning. Excellent weather and zero traffic until we were just south of DC. Then Boom! Eight lanes of south-bound traffic just parked. So we pulled off at a Cracker Barrel and called it a night.

Left CB @ 8:30. Stopped in Dillon, SC @ Bass Lake Campground. Will save my commentary on that for another night. (Bleh!)

Then we went straight to Ft. Wilderness. If not for the bogus "construction" in South Carolina, we would have arrived four hours earlier! (Has anyone else noticed that there are no new road advancements, machinery, or anything besides sings in the construction zones of SC? Interesting!) We did add an hour at a truck wash...but that was a necessary evil!

Anyhoo...we arrived on Saturday night! All set up and life is good! In the 80s yesterday & today. Excellent!

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas



Attached a few pics of truck wash & set up!
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