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Old 02-20-2004, 12:25 PM   #1
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How far can you drive in a day?

How far can you comfortably drive in a day? Our longest trips have been about 6 hours driving. We're planning this massive roadtrip in May which will take us to AZ, OK, IL, and finally home, and it's looking like it will take about three weeks to get it all in. I'm wondering how far we should be planning to get on the days when we're just driving? Any advice?

So far we are planning by starting out at the Vintage Trailer Rally in Calistoga, CA May 15, and just pushing on from there, spending a day or three in Pheonix, OKC, and St Louis, where we will be visiting friends and family. But we have to leave the pets home, so we're paying for petsitters everyday we're gone (which costs more than camping for the night). It's going to be a fun trip, I'm just trying to figure out approximately where we'll be so we can make reservations if we need to for where we might be over Memorial Day weekend. Rightnow it's looking like we might be heading back home and stopping by Mt Rushmore that weekend - probably not a great idea!


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Old 02-20-2004, 12:32 PM   #2
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On larger trips we'd often put about 8 hours on the road. This turned out to about 450miles with pit stops for gas (never ending when towing) and breaks.

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Old 02-20-2004, 12:40 PM   #3
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Ex Truck Driver...........

I have driven from the Cleveland, Ohio area all the way down to Gainesville, Florida in a day. This was just driving the truck, pulling nothing. Left at 6 AM and got down there just after 9 PM, with 2 stops, one in Wytheville, VA and Brunswick, GA.

When I pulled the Airstream down here, I took my time, sort of. I left Ohio at 4 PM on a Friday, in one heck of a snowstorm. Seldom got above 50 MPH. Pulled in to Wytheville at 2 AM and got a room at Holiday Inn. Left at 9 AM and pulled into High Springs, FL at around 7:30 PM. I stopped more frequently, too many to count, because I stopped for potty breaks for the dog.

A few years ago the wife and I double teamed and drove from Cleveland to Marco Island, FL in a little over 24 hours.
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Old 02-20-2004, 01:00 PM   #4
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Back in '73 I drove a Datsun PU with a homemade camper and a pregnant wife from Richmond, VA to Long Beach, CA in 3.5 days ... I was not quite 23 then ... wouldn't want to do it now.

I think my comfort level today would be about 250 miles max ... and no pregnant wife.
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Old 02-20-2004, 01:18 PM   #5
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Thumbs up safety and fun

Some years back , I used to make 24 hours marathon drives and then sleep for a day upon arrival. No more.

After 18 years on the road as a salesman traveling 5 states and going big city to big city, a couple of those years in motorhomes and the rest in burbs, I would suggest you take a realistic look at your health and medications...their effects on you, and then remember that for enjoyment and fun a couple hundred miles a day isn't too bad day after day with some breaks.

Interstates and such allow for more miles but more boredom, good for long mileage days, also boondocking in gas plazas and rest stops.....Regular roads are the scenic and memorable routes for me but when you see something you owe it to yourself to check it out.

Upon starting you will have more gogo in you, it will fade...then come rushing back as you turn toward home. A fun trip is a safe
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Old 02-20-2004, 01:19 PM   #6
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It is all dependant upon the passengers. I know that my wife and daughter get a bit testy after around 6 hours. I could go 10. I remember while growing up we did Las Vegas to Albuquerque, about 560miles.
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Old 02-20-2004, 01:22 PM   #7
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I seem to do most of the driving and am comfortable going 250 miles/6 hours a day. Three hundred miles and I start getting foggy. Last trip we did a 400 mile/8 hour day by trading off driving. worked out well. I usually figure on 50 mph and arriving at our destination 1 hour before dark.
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Old 02-20-2004, 01:30 PM   #8
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We generally feel that when we travel about 400 miles a day we have a full day of travel in. This will allow us to make a few stops along the way as well. It will also give us plenty of time to find a place to stay and set up where we can relax and enjoy the surrounding area once we get there!

Sometimes we will locate a place while on the road. Nice thing having a campground directory and cell phone handy!

Some of our most memorable trips have been when they were un-planed. We have just loaded up and took off!
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Old 02-20-2004, 01:44 PM   #9
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The first day of a trip, we can usually do about 600 miles comfortably. (That's with plenty of Southern Gospel music and coffee to keep us mentally fresh.) After the first day, about 400 miles a day is all we plan on if we're on a steady diet of travel days to get to a far away place.
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Old 02-20-2004, 01:44 PM   #10
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Our favorite trips have always been the unplanned ones as well, but since this trip is so long, and since we have several folks we will be visiting along the way, we thought some planning was probably in order.

Sounds like about what we have planned, around 350 mi a day with a couple days off when we get where we're going. We only end up with a few consecutive days of driving, with days to explore in between. Unfortunately we'll be using the interstates for expediency, else I would rather meander and explore more. Maybe next trip!

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Old 02-20-2004, 03:01 PM   #11
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trip or destination?

For us it makes a difference if our purpose is to "get somewhere" or to "take a trip." To us, there is a difference! If we have to get somewhere because of a date to keep or limited vacation time, we'll push hard, share the driving in order to eat up the miles in good time. We hate that kind of drive, but we've done it. What we like is "the trip" where the drive itself and sights along the way are what it's all about. On this kind of trip, we meander, stop when we choose, have very little preplanned, but do like to end the day's travel soon enough before nightfall to set up camp, relax with a cool one, and put on a pot of chili or a steak. Enjoy your trip, drive safely, and please report back the highlights. We visited Rushmore last summer at the peak of travel time, found crowds, but hd no trouble finding a spot to stay (ended up in a KOA.) We were awed--so worth the visit!
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Old 02-20-2004, 04:22 PM   #12
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(That's with plenty of Southern Gospel music and coffee to keep us mentally fresh.)
Good to see others with an interest in "Southern Gospel Music."

My favorite and most listened of music!
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Old 02-20-2004, 04:41 PM   #13
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a run i make with some frequency is madison wi to spearfish sd.

about 850 miles, two gas stops.

drive drive drive sleep. presto! you are on vacation!

you call them ferrets, i call them weasels.
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Old 02-20-2004, 04:54 PM   #14
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My family (wife, 4 & 8 year old and Golden Retriever) just completed a round trip from Naples, FL to Spartanburgh to pick up our Airstream. The trip went kind of like this: we left Naples at 7:30PM on a Thursday, stopping in Savanah GA at 2:30AM Friday, back on the road at 7:00AM to arrive in Spartanburgh by 11:00AM, spend an hour going through the Airstream before going to Camping World to purchase multiple items, back on the road by 3:00PM on Friday, arriving back to the Peace River Camp Grounds (Arcadia Florida) at 3:00AM Saturday morning to meet up with several other families that were also camping that weekend. Up at 7:30AM Saturday morning to show off our new toy. Round trip 1,400 miles. Why did I do it? Answer: Airstream, need I say more? Sunday afternoon 100 additional miles to get back to Naples.
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Old 02-20-2004, 05:25 PM   #15
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How far can you drive in a day?

I learned a valuable lesson as a result of my first excursion to a WBCCI International Rally (1998). Growing up, my family didn't consider a day with fewer than 500 miles acceptable during a vacation (we only took two vacations with an RV that were more than 350 miles - - the rest of the time, we were "Moteling-it") so I proceeded at such a pace. During that trip I had daily drives of from 575 miles to as much as 690 miles (at this time, my self-imposed maximum speed was 62 MPH <where permitted>) - - I arrived at the Rally so tired that I missed much of what went on the first two days. On the return trip home, I slowed the pace a bit to no more than 425 miles per day. I found that I was still nearly ready to collapse into bed by the time that I got the trailer leveled, stabilized, and the tow vehicle unhitched.

In 1999, when I departed on my excursion to the Wagon Wheels Caravan to the International Rally my pace was at a much more leisurely 300 miles per day rate. At my self-imposed speed limit of 55 MPH, this represented about six-hours of driving time. With this pace, I arrive at my evening's destination with some energy reserve - - I usually have enough time for a more leisurely set-up for the coach, and then have the opportunity to explore the local community for a good place to eat.

In addition to arriving at my destination with a lower stress level, the slower pace has allowed me to realize several other benefits including:

1. My tow Suburban rarely needs a fill-up during the day's travel if I fill-it-up during my restaurant exploration (with no trailer attached, I have a much greater selection of fuel stops). The Suburban has a maximum cruising range with the Overlander of about 390 miles. The Cadillac, on the other hand, requires at least one fill-up-during the day's travel as its cruising range with either trailer is at most 190 miles. The fuel economy with either vehicle is some 2% to 5% greater at the more leisurely pace.

2. It is usually possible to see the tourist information signs with ample time to exit and enjoy the attractions that might be missed with a more hurried pace. With the reduced daily mileage expectations, it is also possible to more thoroughly enjoy those tourist attractions that become part of my itninerary.

3. Another pleasant surprise has been that I have been doing far less back-tracking due to missed route markers and informational signs.

Today, I still maintain my self-imposed maximum speed of 55 MPH when towing either trailer with either tow vehicle. A typical travel day includes from 250 to 325 miles - - in a pinch, I have streched this to as much as 375 miles. While I am not retired, my profession allows me the freedom to travel during the summers at least four of every five years for as much as 10 weeks. Even if my travel time were more limited, I don't believe that I would want to push for much faster pacing as there was little joy for me when I was arriving at my destination so tired that I was ready to collapse into bed by the time the trailer was properly parked and readied for the evening.

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Old 02-20-2004, 05:54 PM   #16
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I'm with Porky on the 250 miles per day. No hurry hooking up and leaving (meaning lower probability of mistakes), 55-60mph on the road, no reason to get upset at traffic tie-ups, time for a relaxed sit-down lunch, and get in and set up before dark. 6 hours driving including about an hour for lunch, and about an hour of hookup/setup on each end. That's an eight hour day. Why should we work harder when on vacation than when not?
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Old 02-20-2004, 06:18 PM   #17
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I believe strongly that if you are in a hurry, leave earlier!

I can, and have driven 1000 mi. at a stretch on many occasions. But with the trailer in tow, about 600 mi. is my maximum, and that only with the most optimal conditions (including reservations at known destinations), and no more than two days of that in a row. Otherwise, 400 miles is plenty, and frankly I don't want to do that many times in a single week.

Driving long hours day after day takes the "recreation" out of "recreation vehicles".

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Old 02-20-2004, 07:47 PM   #18
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It varies

I start out very early the first day and even have been known to drive across town to a WalMart or truck stop to spend the night and leave from there rather than fighting work traffic through the city in the morning. The first day out is usally 500 to 550 miles, sometimes 600. I cruise at 60 to 65 mph.

After that, I plan on about 450 miles a day if I am on interstates; somewhat less if all or part is on secondary roads.

This spring, I am heading for PA, 1535 miles, and planning on 3 full days plus a short morning to get there.
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Old 02-20-2004, 07:54 PM   #19
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I can already tell this trip's going to be a learning experience! I guess we'll find out pretty quick if we can stick to our schedule, or if we'll be pitching it three days out and winging the rest of the trip

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Old 02-20-2004, 08:14 PM   #20
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Thumbs up Secondary roads!!

We all have our different needs and different time available to travel, but I usually travel 150 to 200max miles per day.

I love to get on the road after 9am when most are at work and then pull into camp around 2pm. Getting in at this time allows for a nice easy pace and plenty of time to set-up, cook, shower and take a nice walk.

If I'm heading out west, say WY, I'll travel for 2 to 3 days and then spend a couple of days either relaxing or checking out the local community.

Prior to retirement, I'd travel(non-TT pulling) 800 miles per day, but I'm sure happy those days are behind me.


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