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Old 02-18-2015, 09:21 PM   #1
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Alumaflamingo

I was planning to tow our new to us 86 Excella to Alumaflamingo from the mid Atlantic starting Friday. I wasn't going to unwinterize until I got to acceptable temps, but it looks like acceptable temps are not in my near future. How far is a reasonable distance to drive in a day? I was planing about 5 hours a day, but that won't get us out of the arctic freeze we have been enjoying here. It will be my first experience towing this Airstream so I want to build in time for unplanned situations.

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Old 02-18-2015, 09:45 PM   #2
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For me, six hours a day is comfortable. I have gone 9 hours at a time but that is pushing it. I would plan on three days to be safe from Delaware. Jacksonville to Sarasota is about five hours alone.
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Old 02-18-2015, 10:26 PM   #3
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Since 2011, the Department of Defense "Joint Travel Regulations" have allowed 350 miles of driving per day, except that the last day is allowed to be up to 400 miles because stopping for the night less than 50 miles from your destination is not worthwhile. These limits are the result of extensive case studies regarding accidents; the chance of having an accident goes way up as soon as the 350-mile threshold has been exceeded— but if you're within 50 miles of your final destination, anticipation increases alertness, thus the longer last-day limit.

One should note that the distance limit is the same no matter how many drivers are in the car; four drivers can't go any farther than one, because case studies have shown that being a passenger in a moving vehicle is as fatiguing as is driving, so the second and subsequent drivers start off just as fatigued as the driver they're replacing.

Prior to 2011, the limit was 350 miles per day except the last day was allowed to be up to 425 miles. The last-day limit was reduced in 2011 as the result of new driving safety data; the chances of getting in an accident go way up again once you cross the 400-mile threshold.

So in answer to your question, take the total distance and divide by 350 to find the minimum number of days for the journey, and if the remainder is greater than 50 miles, add an extra day. I say minimum because you won't always be fortunate enough to find stopping points at 350-mile intervals, and it's better (safer) to stop short than to push on.
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Old 02-19-2015, 06:33 AM   #4
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Your first experience towing the trailer is going to be towing it from Delaware, to Florida, in the winter? That's going to be quite a learning experience (hopefully all good, though).

When I first started towing the trailer - despite years of driving the B190 while towing a car - I got much more tired than I do now and couldn't go as far in one day. On the first day of our first longer trip, we got about 200 miles and I was just beat. Now, I can do 300-350 miles without a problem. As I got more experience I was able to relax just a bit and not be as worn out.

I agree with Protag's comment about multiple people not really helping - it makes total sense to me. But my wife and I have switched off on longer trips. We may only cover an extra 100-200 miles, so we're not on the road THAT much longer, but it still gives me a break from the concentration of driving.
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Old 02-19-2015, 06:55 AM   #5
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There are so many variables in this equation that its really a matter of your own setup and stamina as well as road and weather conditions. My wife and I relocated our AS from NE FL to Sacramento last summer via Des Moines driving 700 miles each day to the midpoint and then at least 700-800 miles the next several days after a 5 day rest. It can be done and it can be done safely. We actually took it easy with a top speed usually in the 60-65 MPH range. We stayed in hotels which ensured getting to bed early and getting a good night's sleep as well as a good breakfast. We drove a Cadillac Escalade EXT (pickup) and had new tires all around (truck and trailer). Each had been full inspected and brakes were good. And we had Sirius radio and lots of good healthy snacks in a cooler in the truck. There were frequent construction zones and that made things a bit tense from time to time, and thats when switching off drivers helps a lot. My wife actually learned to drive the truck trailer on this trip!

Now your mileage will vary. I assume you are going I-95. Expect unusually high volumes of traffic, and judging by the local traffic here in Jax, half of the left lane will be drivers from NY state in a real hurry. Take your time and mimic what the long haul truck drivers are doing. Stop when fatigued and don't cheap out on springing for a hotel. A good bed is worth every penny.

I would not de-winterize until you get there... We are expecting a HARD freeze Friday morning and cold into Saturday here in NE FL. Stay in a hotel and book ahead.
And as always, we thank-you for spending your tourist dollars here in FL.
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Old 02-19-2015, 07:30 AM   #6
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From Delaware, two nights in hotels (three days of driving) should be fine. I would not de-winterize until you get to Sarasota. And look for someone with an air compressor to help you re-winterize at the end of the event before you head home.
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Old 02-19-2015, 11:12 AM   #7
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One other bit of advice if hotelling along the way. Try to call ahead and get pre-approval for parking a large rig. And then try to get to the hotel early to claim a space. Google earth is your friend when picking out a suitable Motel and eyeing up a parking space.

Just remember that early in and early out puts you on the road with the truckers who have been driving all night. Most of the wrecks I have witnessed are in the hours just before dawn when a trucker nods off... Tracy Morgan comes to mind.

I am more of a serendipitous traveler, while my wife is a ducks in a row person. She usually wins when we have a multiple day trip in mind.
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Old 02-19-2015, 11:49 AM   #8
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I agree with the 3 day, 2 night. We are hoping for the warmth to return and stay a week or more thru the Rally. Sounds like a good time. My unit the Florida Suncoast Unit, has a small contingency that will be present. Stop by and say hello!
I used to make the trip from CT, some good, some not so good. Happy traveling!
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Old 02-21-2015, 05:49 PM   #9
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66 degrees in Savannah tonight. All is good. No stress driving. Had some bad traffic near Baltimore and again near Richmond but no worries at all today. First night in the Excella. I hope I can figure out how to work everything.

Thanks for all the advice.

Dave
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Old 02-21-2015, 05:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chatooga11 View Post
66 degrees in Savannah tonight. All is good. No stress driving. Had some bad traffic near Baltimore and again near Richmond but no worries at all today. First night in the Excella. I hope I can figure out how to work everything.

Thanks for all the advice.

Dave
You are past the worst traffic. Relax and enjoy the ride down.

Our "trip" to the Alumaflamingo venue will be about 22 miles long so we are a bit less stressed!
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