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Old 06-10-2015, 06:16 PM   #15
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If that F150 has the 26-gl tank and one is averaging 11-mpg towing, then the 80% range is 230-miles. If the 36-gl tank, then 500-miles.

Where departure to arrival also includes 15" rest at the two hour mark plus one hour out of vehicle at the four hour mark, a 47-mph average speed (not travel speed) is a distance of 190-210 miles from departure and puts one at the location for a one hour break. Quite convenient to also fuel at that juncture as well as eat.

Thus, where the U.S. Highways intersect each other or an Interstate (or closely parallel one) are the places to locate fuel stops.

Another worthwhile addition to the Mountain Directory is the Rand McNally Motor Carriers Road Atlas. Any chain truck stop. Shows truck routes in all states. These are highways with HD construction, wider lanes, genuine shoulders, and are better marked and lit than other roads. And truck services, including fuel. All the chains plus the Ambest independents.

Short of alternatives seen underway, I'd make them my default daily fuel stop for planning.

It is more likely the truck routes have places wide enough to pull over an RV rig. Weather and just need to pee. Etc.

Making fuel decisions on the fly is almost a guarantee of a longer day. One loses control of a steady pace. An hour here or a half hour there really adds up in total time on such a long trip. Adds unneeded stress.
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Old 06-10-2015, 06:47 PM   #16
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Virginia Beach to Sacramento - fewest interstates?

A breakdown is another concern on a back road. I carry (4) warning triangles and a small pair of sandbags. Three behind the rig with farthest according to instructions next to grass, and the last or nearest one on the edge of the lane stripe, weighed down. The fourth out in front of the rig at the same distance and in the same location also weighed down. Right on the stripe. Keeps the morons away.

Traffic cones -- a pair for the trailer rear bumper and TV front bumper -- another good idea, as is an amber flasher that can go on roof of TV. Can be hours to wait for service , thus going into night. On back roads there are usually no mile markers, so an awareness of distance to a known point is important.

Hi viz rain suit plus Class II safety vest. Goatskin gloves. Mud boots with knee high socks.

Another tip is to use a Blue Beacon truck wash at the outset of the journey. Wash both vehicles (with usual cautions) and afterwards pull out and off to side to apply two coats of Rain-X to all exterior glass per directions. BB will get that glass clean and prepped like no other. And a good way to clean up at trip end. I've usually gotten in and out in under two hours every time. An hour minimum. Locator online. Threads on this, too.

Use Rain-X aerosol glass cleaner afterwards on exterior only, and Stoner aerosol Invisible Glass for interior glass. About 2x daily. Plenty of dedicated microfiber towels. Sides and mirrors count for most. At any big auto parts chain except maybe NAPA.

New wiper blades (Bosch Icon) and Rain-X All Season fluid.

I carry my own squeegee as its hit and miss at fuel retailers. A short small bottle of Dawn dishwashing detergent also. A few drops on pad plus that Rain-X coating takes bugs right off. Clean all exterior lamps at same time while fuel pumping.

I use www.myradarpro.com for moving weather maps and alerts. I usually have both phone and 7" Garmin GPS on dedicated mounts. The Garmin I run on a thirty mile scale for the most part. Big picture. It also allows me to change routes pretty easily.

If you've wanted to run an amp and antenna for the phone, the cradle types are adequate with ATT or Verizon cross country.

A CB is generally more useful on the roads you propose to travel versus the Interstates as the locals are usually on 19. Threads on that, also.
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Old 06-10-2015, 10:40 PM   #17
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SlowMover - thanks for all the great ideas. EB needs a bath right now anyway.
Getting state inspection and new wiper blades tomorrow.

I've decided to pick up Rt. 50 westbound in Winchester VA - after getting there via Rt. 17...
Question is - Any major construction on it, and how FAR west do I want to go on that road? It looks pretty decent - 4 lane right through W.V.

I've heard horror stories about Indiana & Illinois roads, but then how is Kentucky? Would I be better getting back on I-64 at some point?
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Old 06-11-2015, 06:41 AM   #18
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I'm gonna try to get all of slowmovers hints together to review before and during each trip. What a source of info. Experience trumps theory on this subject. Thanks, Jim
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Old 06-11-2015, 08:12 AM   #19
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Thanks for all the feedback:
Slowmover - great info on interstates vs the backroads, driving time and many hints I have not seen before (giving the EB a bath!). Once we get to St Louis its time to get on I-70. Have driven it a few times but never pulling the AS.
Foiled Again, yes I agree about I-64 and the HRBT - Williamsburg, we have lived here for 35 years (VaBeach is a great place to live as long as you do not have to deal with the tunnel very often) and only try to hit that stretch on off peak hours. Thanks for all the info.
Looking at about 300 miles a day, anyone have suggestions on places on I-64 as we get into WV, KT and IL? I think our plan now will be to try the interstates 64 & 70 and get to the mountains as soon as possible.
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Old 06-11-2015, 08:36 AM   #20
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I don't think Illinois roads are all that bad, personally, as long as you avoid that crazy I-80 stuff up north.

We have regularly traveled 24 thru Indiana, Illinois, and on into Iowa. Gives you a good look at small town Midwest, our beautiful corn and soybean fields, and perhaps some wind farms.

Travel safe, Paula.


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Old 06-11-2015, 08:56 AM   #21
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Virginia Beach to Sacramento - fewest interstates?

All of you are welcome. Experience is that things don't always go well, so, while being prepared for a breakdown seems common sense, it is, for example, the confidence of being out and moving around in the rain while staying dry that relegates the story to past experience far sooner than when one is soaked. Being alone only heightens this.

Driving is a physical feat strongly affected by morale. Truck drivers speak of the phenomenon where the truck slows to cover nearly no miles at all over a given day; not explained by usual restraints. It's emotional & spiritual.

Glass prep via BB (who've mastered the chemical composition of the water/fluids applied) and use of RainX plus dedicated cleaners is strongly indicated for driving west as it means driving into the sun as the day progresses. Road film hazes perception of smaller objects at a distance. Why side mirrors and side glass matter more than windshield.

Also as to vision, DOT requires CDL drivers to have at least two pairs prescription eyeglasses. And I'm very happy to recommend www.DRIVEWEARlens.com

Etc

If it hasn't been mentioned here, then USDOT has a page on its website listing State links for road closures and construction. These may not be perfectly up to date, but should be a good way to eliminate some routes if needed. The concern should be more WHAT route is being used for a detour.

My son and ex weren't as enamored with road trips as I. I learned to spend my trip planning time combining the mid day break with locating the fuel stop and use of the Sterns' website, www.roadfood.com to please us all. That, rather than the nights lodging, became the focus of the day. Believe me that truck drivers do much the same even if the choice is Subway versus McDonalds.

Finally, truck drivers are limited to no more than 70-hours or eight days without a break. Even though this proposed routing calls for short mile days, it is more challenging on a mile by mile basis. Thus I'd like to recommend as Plan B the following:

Once at about the 98th Parallel (fifty miles west of IH35; a line from Dallas to Minneapolis), population density all but disappears until one is on the other side of the Sierras. Driving becomes easier.

But the need for extended rest has grown. Travel takes "it" out of us. Thus, a day off the road to do a few chores, but mainly nap on and off all day is what many CDL drivers do during their 34-hr "restart ".

The Rockies, the Intermountain West and then the steep California mountains are a challenge of their own. It's a literal different country than east of The River. Prior to the Interstates, it was not so easily traversed.

I don't have to be in the mountains to enjoy them. Just have them in view. Thus I'd choose based on traveler amenities, not just campground scenic qualities for a restart. I already know I can likely increase my daily average miles on total energy expenditure basis once out West.

Look forward to pics and commentary, OP, should you choose to share any.

Good luck.
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