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Old 04-30-2016, 12:42 PM   #1
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Travel or Towing Time Standards

Hopefully throwing this out to the correct forum; what is a good standard of measure for driving/towing times? Realizing that stopping before you're tired would be the gold standard.
If planning a trip to theSouthwest from Midwest I would be looking at 2000 miles to the central location.
As a new person to Airstream towing I'm unsure for planning purposes what I should use as a benchmark?
You all are a wealth of information. We have ordered our 2017 FC 28FB...looking forward to the new adventures.
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Old 04-30-2016, 12:58 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Cispook View Post
Hopefully throwing this out to the correct forum; what is a good standard of measure for driving/towing times? Realizing that stopping before you're tired would be the gold standard.
If planning a trip to theSouthwest from Midwest I would be looking at 2000 miles to the central location.
As a new person to Airstream towing I'm unsure for planning purposes what I should use as a benchmark?
You all are a wealth of information. We have ordered our 2017 FC 28FB...looking forward to the new adventures.
I find it hard to average more than 50 mph. I drive 60 or 65 depending on traffic and road conditions, but we stop often for bathroom breaks for us and dogs. That makes it hard to cover much more than 350 miles per day. After 6 or 7 hours of driving I am pretty tired unless there is very little traffic. I have driven more than that, occasionally significantly more, but I am really worn out afterwards. 350 miles is also a convenient number for fuel. It leaves me with a safe reserve of about 50-100 miles of fuel left, so I pick up fuel before stopping for the night. That way we can get underway clean the next morning.

I found that Google Maps drive time predictions assume close to 70 mph. I was never able to arrive anywhere near the time predicted by them. If you are a Good Sam member, their trip planner assumes 50 and is much closer for me.

I can drive 8-10 hours or more when I am not towing, but towing requires a higher level of concentration, at least for me.

Al
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Old 04-30-2016, 01:11 PM   #3
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I've said this before on other threads, but it bears repeating. The Department of Defense "Joint Travel Regulations" call for a maximum travel distance of 350 miles per day— no matter how many people share the driving duties— except on the last travel day in a row, where they allow up to 425 miles. Studies by the DoD have shown that the chance of an accident goes way up as soon as you pass 350 miles in a day. And it doesn't matter if you're on the Interstate or local roads, the distance is the same. Driving faster takes more concentration, so you're just as tired if you do 350 miles in 5 hours as if you do it in 8 hours.

I used to work for the Corps of Engineers, and when I was working for a living I followed the JTR on the clock, but routinely ignored it off the clock. I only had limited time off, and wanted to reach my destination as soon as possible. Now that I'm retired I'm back to following the JTR guidance even though there's no regulation telling me that I have to anymore. It just makes sense to me.

So when I'm planning a trip, I take the total one-way distance, divide by 350 to find out how many days, and if the remainder is more than 75 miles, I add another day to figure out how many days to get to where I'm going.
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Old 04-30-2016, 03:00 PM   #4
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Thanks, I've always stayed in the 400 miles a day mode myself. The 350 sounds more reasonable with towing the TT.
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Old 04-30-2016, 04:13 PM   #5
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Another one of this impossible to answer questions. Everyone has different limits and abilities. Personally I aim for at least 6 or 7 hours or 4PM. Give me time to find a spo for the night. I am getting tired and the back is starting remind me I broke it a few years ago. At 60 MPH I can usually get around 300 miles. Never in a hurry and rarely make advanced reservations. A couple of times I have exceded 500 and felt like crap and hurt all over the next day. Back in the day I did several none stop cross country trips, not anymore.
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Old 04-30-2016, 04:22 PM   #6
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If your only purpose is the reach the destination, figure 50 mph average 8 to 10 hours driving in good weather, road and traffic conditions.

A lot of this depends on your own physical condition at the time, and the quality of your tow vehicle/hitch setup. Poor setup can and probably will wear you down, especially day-after-day driving.
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Old 05-01-2016, 01:02 AM   #7
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Just for comparative purposes.... we try to keep our speed around 60 mph for gas mileage purposes. We're not super at crack-of-dawn starts. On a highway with rest areas we will probably stop, fix lunch, and rest briefly. We prefer to pull into a campsite by 5:00 and certainly before dark, so we can set up easily and relax a bit around the dinner hour. If this looks like 60 mph x 8 hours driving max, then 500 miles per day would really be pushing it in terms of speed or time, and many days will be more like 400 miles.

Factoring in gas/restroom/coffee stops, restaurant meals, or dog-walking will cut down on some of your miles.

BTW, for long trips, we've found satellite radio in the truck to be well worth it.
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Old 05-01-2016, 02:15 AM   #8
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The problem with the 54 gallon fuel tank, is that the truck can run for a long time before the tank gets empty and my personal tank lacks the storage capacity for that much time.

I have made the trip from Phoenix to Paradise, TX for the speciality work on the trailers many times and the distance is around 980 miles. That is two full days of driving for me in the truck where I feel comfortable at 65mph maximum or posted lower speed limits. Three days is easier as the initial climb out of the Valley through the Salt River Canyon takes about 3.5 hours for 130 miles and the fuel mpg is lower due to many significant elevation changes. So that requires a top up fuel stop with non-bio diesel and a leg stretch before proceeding on the two lane roads for the rest of the trip.

Once into Texas, they have 75 to 80 mph speeds limits on the two lane Hwy 380 and the traffic blows past faster than that. Nothing to look at except oil rigs and smelling the gas and oil gets old after the first 15 minutes.

The drive from Phoenix to the West side of Albuquerque for the Ballon Festival at a staging campground is about 400 miles and that is a long towing day. In the car only, the drive to Santa Fe is 460 miles and can be done in 7.5 hours with one pee break. Towing is another two or three hours.

I also can drive longer and farther alone than with someone else in the vehicle.
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Old 05-01-2016, 03:53 AM   #9
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I always seem to average 50 mph and 6 hours is enough for me. I am tired and losing concentration by then. I could go further but I do not want to take a chance.

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Old 05-01-2016, 05:47 AM   #10
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Old 05-01-2016, 07:03 AM   #11
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I've said this before on other threads, but it bears repeating. The Department of Defense "Joint Travel Regulations" call for a maximum travel distance of 350 miles per day....
Couldn't agree more. I've been in the military for 12 years and this is always my planning number. My wife and I have certainly done more but it's brutal and not worth the added risk. For comparison we're 34 and 36 years old...
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Old 05-01-2016, 07:15 AM   #12
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. . .
...looking forward to the new adventures.
Welcome to the forum!

Ditto on 350 being a good benchmark. If more is needed to get to or from a destination, we aim to leave the trailer hitched up overnight (with elec. disconnected as needed), in order not to make/break camp, in which case we (2 drivers) can do a day or two @ 500 miles each. This final "push" takes a toll however, and a couple days of rest are needed after we land at the destination. Sometimes we overnight at a convenient motel to bump the 500 daily run up a bit. It depends on one's priorities, comfort levels, and safety first and foremost.

Having worked most of our lives, we also find that "taking the weekend off" is usually part of our routine, but obviously there are plenty of exceptions to this rule. Sunday in particular is good to have as a day of rest, we find. An intentional designated day or two of rest is important IMO.

Good luck with the trip!

Peter
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Old 05-01-2016, 07:28 AM   #13
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we are slow too

We also plan on covering 50 miles per hour, maybe a little less. Never more. I drive about 60 mph, if conditions allow, and with rest stops and lunch, the average just ends up less. It requires a re-wiring of the mind compared to car driving. At first my husband would ask pesky questions on “why is this taking so long”, and that thought had crossed my mind too. Over the years we’ve become more comfortable with the slower pace, recognizing that if we see a cute little farmer’s market, we might stop for an hour if we want and not focus on covering the most distance. Some days we leave late in the morning, make a bunch of stops, and stop by 6 pm. And if we only cover 200 miles, that is OK.

Once we covered 1,100 miles in 2 days. It was not a lot of fun. Our average of 50 miles per hour stayed the same – we just drove more hours. I hope never to put myself in the position of “having” to do that again.

For our style of travel, we don’t make reservations for stops en route to our final destination because we found that sometimes the place with our reservations is 90 miles further when we want to stop. Or other times we take our slower pace into account, make reservations, and then find that we’re driving by that spot at 3 pm and would like to keep driving for a couple more hours before stopping for the day. We haven’t been caught without a campsite (yet).

I have cars whizzing by all the time, but all of that speed can be illusory. Even with my tortoise like driving speed, and frequent stops, there are some cars that drive by me really fast, and they do this 3, 4, or 5 times in a single day. Given how many stops we make, I have no idea where these cars are stopping, or for how long. But somehow they end up behind me over and over again.
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Old 05-01-2016, 07:45 AM   #14
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A while back someone posted on one of the threads the 2-2-2 rule. We have not followed it as we normally do about 350 miles per day. But, I've thought about it, so last year on our way back from the Badlands in SD we tried the 2-2-2 rule and actually having no time schedule we enjoyed it. 2 days in each site - stop by 2:00Pm OR 200 miles whichever comes first.

We are going to do part of our trip out west this year from Western PA using the same time frame. It was relaxing, gave us plenty of time to scout out the area we were stopped at, prepare a nice dinner or find a nice place to eat out at.
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