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Old 06-17-2024, 07:28 PM   #1
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Is 8 hours pushing it?

Hi, friends. Prior to owning a new AS, I would need to travel back and forth a few times a year to help take care of my folks. The typical drive is 1200 mile and would take about 18 hours, stopping for the night after being on the road for 11 hours. Sometimes I would be hauling a U-Haul trailer or car carrier, so Iím accustomed to pulling.

Now that I own an AS, lím planning a two week trip for the family. Iíve decided that 450-500 miles a day is a good slice. According to RVlife trip planner, thatís an easy 8 hour day. Does that sound right?

Question: what do you folk push in mileage/time for each leg on your AS journeys?

Thanks bunch.

Navychief01
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Old 06-17-2024, 07:51 PM   #2
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RE: Is 8 hours pushing it?

Greetings navychier01!
Quote:
Originally Posted by navychief01 View Post
Hi, friends. Prior to owning a new AS, I would need to travel back and forth a few times a year to help take care of my folks. The typical drive is 1200 mile and would take about 18 hours, stopping for the night after being on the road for 11 hours. Sometimes I would be hauling a U-Haul trailer or car carrier, so Iím accustomed to pulling.

Now that I own an AS, lím planning a two week trip for the family. Iíve decided that 450-500 miles a day is a good slice. According to RVlife trip planner, thatís an easy 8 hour day. Does that sound right?

Question: what do you folk push in mileage/time for each leg on your AS journeys?

Thanks bunch.

Navychief01
I have owned my Airstream for nearly 29 years, and my Argosy for nearly 22 -- even in my early years of ownership, I tried to avoid more than 400 miles in a day. While in those early years, speed limits were lower so my usual towing speed was 55 MPH. Today, I am retired and do not care to tow either my Airstream or Argosy at more than 55 MPH, so needless to say I do avoid Interstates if at all possible. My typical route now encompasses about 250 to 275 miles which allows me to depart at my leisure in the morning and arrive at my destination by around 4:00 PM in the afternoon.

One of my big reasons for purchasing my Airstream in the first place was to get away from the pressure to make 500 plus miles each travel day. I grew up with that rule of thumb in my family and remember feeling cheated when we were budgeted such short times at the attractions that we visited because we had to meet that daily mileage goal and keep the number of motel/hotel nights as low as possible. That first three week Western trip with the Airstream was such a revelation in what a vacation could be -- a leisurely pace crossing the country stopping to enjoy the beauty of country and the culture of its various regions.

My suggestion would be to slow your pace down a bit, and enjoy the experience of traveling and exploring.

Kevin
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Old 06-17-2024, 07:59 PM   #3
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we limit travel to less than 4 hours/day ie less than 400km/day
no need to rush, being tired and rushing causes accidents
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Old 06-17-2024, 08:03 PM   #4
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Experience Speaks

Younger owners who have limited vacation times are more forced into longer (like 300+ miles/day), however many who have the ability to spread things out seem to prefer less than - say 325 miles per day. YMMV...

Now that I'm 80+ and have traveled the USA several times, 250 average or less is perfectly fine. Using RV Trip Wizard trip radius circles, you can find suitable sites in your preferred daily range.

The Goals you set are obviously important. Remember Life is a Journey. Enjoy it!!
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Old 06-17-2024, 08:16 PM   #5
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Hey navy chief. Thank you for your service.

Define “traveling with family”. If you mean kids, then 400+ miles a day is too much.

Here are a few elements to calibrate for your consideration.

1. If you are staying at Cracker Barrel’s and/or free truck stops, then pulling in too late in the day is exhausting. On the other hand, you need the sun to set and the temp to drop a bit unless you intend to run generators for A/C.

2. You can, of course, drive a day or two at that pace. Doesn’t sound like fun so maybe calibrate with your fellow travelers around what is the goal.

3. You do what you got to do but hopefully your rig will save you time from checking into hotels and the like and that time can be rolled over into something enjoyable.
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Old 06-17-2024, 08:17 PM   #6
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If you had asked me that 20 or 30 years ago I would have said "No Problem". Today I say "No Way".
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Old 06-17-2024, 08:24 PM   #7
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How far you can drive and do so safely is probably unique to the individual. It's really about being honest with yourself and knowing your limits.

The 4 years prior to buying our Interstate I was driving 500 miles from Southern CA to Northern CA several times a month and it was all about speed and efficiency. Now that phase of my life is over, I have to remind myself that I don't need to rush. I've driven our motor home 500+ miles in a single day and it wasn't a problem but it's not something I would want to do consistently.
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Old 06-17-2024, 08:27 PM   #8
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When traveling with an Airstream, all miles are not created equal.

250 miles on I70 in Western KS is different than 250 miles between St Louis and Kansas City, even though it's the same number of miles and the same I70.

Easy as can be from Colby KS to Junction City.
White knuckle Nascar experience with 110% attention required between KC and St Louis.

Due to speed of traffic, how much of it is semi-truck traffic, how congested the lanes are, how much faster the "fast" drivers are over the pack, how frequently there are exits/merging traffic, number of bridges, hills, curves, and other things that can narrow the road or your line of sight. All of this adds to the attention you will need to expend.

We live in the smack-daddy-center of the US in Kanas City and we typically are traveling on long trips on good roads, with in good weather, in mostly non-urban areas on Interstate or US highways. We prefer to go 350-450 on a long day. We will do longer but only if we must to hit the right stops, and only if we have a short day or day off the next.

The incorrect assumption on your math is that you can't tow safely at the google maps posted speed limit with a trailer. We have been towing for 10 years now. First with a Tundra and 22 then 25. We felt safe towing/stopping up to 60-63-63 MPG with that set up. Yes we were getting passed all day long. But we were not playing a game of Frogger tying to keep up our slot in traffic. If you want to drive longer you need to drive slower to not get tired. Sounds crazy but it's true.

We now have a better set up with a SuperDuty diesel and our 27 AS. We will tow closer to 65-67 with this rig, but not 75, not 80. No way.

Allowing for gas breaks, meals eaten in the trailer, etc. you can assume you will "average" 55 mph + add 45 mins for smaller cities (Kansas City) and add 1.5 hours for larger metros (Denver). We have found this to be extremely accurate.

I would also add that it's best to always get fuel when you get off the road so you can just get up and get rolling in the morning. Gas stations are a hot mess in the mornings.

And better to leave as early in the day if you have a long day. Better temperament of drivers in the morning dark than the evening dark.

So no, 8 hours is not pushing it. But you won't get 500 miles in 8 hours
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Old 06-17-2024, 08:30 PM   #9
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Driving 450-500 miles a day is pushing what commercial truck drivers do - they drive all day and do nothing else. Makes them decent money but it's no way to live. I did it for a while and have no interest in doing it again.

But, there are times when it's necessary to push towards that and drive a long day once in a while. My rule is that if it's necessary to be driving more than 6 hours in a day then I'll plan the next day to have zero time driving, or maybe only an hour or so to reach our destination. Usually this happens when we're on the way to a campsite where we'll be staying for at least a few nights and there just is no other way other than sneaking in a long driving day.

On longer trips though, like our trip from Wisconsin to New Hampshire by way of Virginia, any long driving days were separated by at least a two-night stay somewhere so we had time to enjoy and relax. One night somewhere only leaves a few hours to do anything at that location, usually resulting in not much relaxing going on.

If you are traveling with family and that means kids, then plan for even shorter driving days. You could do it, but spending 8 or 10 hours in a car or truck is not most kids idea of a vacation.
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Old 06-17-2024, 08:37 PM   #10
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Lots of good responses so far. I’ll add a couple of points: whether you have one or two (or more) drivers makes a big difference, and forget averaging over 60 mph (expect 50-55).

Our numbers on days where the goal was to cover ground: when we were younger we typically would do 400 per day, now 300 (6 hours) is all we want to do.
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Old 06-17-2024, 08:42 PM   #11
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Having crossed the US several dozen times with and without a towed item a formula developed. First is it varies depending on the time of year.... here is the formula variables:
1: I will be off the road before last light at night.
2: I will be off the road so that I can be set up and have a decent and relaxed dinner.
3: I will get up early to get out of dodge and when heading east see some amazing sunrises (especially in Nebraska).
4: I travel differently when solo versus with a partner....they may not see things the way I do, but number 2 above a relaxed dinner smooths the jerky and cheese sticks for lunch along the way.
5: As I said daylight dictates my time schedule, I don't have great night vision so no will work hard to avoid it.
6: What is your goal? Having to hit a Jackson Center appointment with a breakdown last fall meant tow 10 hour days. The wife understood and told me not again when we got home.
7: What is the objective of your trip? Leisure or get from here to there?
8: Last is do what works for you. It is a personal thing.
9: Oops last - Mother nature and the weather will totally control and screw your plans up. I have been parked at least 10 times due to weather. Don't mess with it. Better to hunker down if snotty and not safe, lots of interesting stories being parked due to weather. Like when my son learned he didn't want the truck stop waitress recommendation of him getting the large chicken fried steak again.....


Good luck in your planning.
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Old 06-17-2024, 09:08 PM   #12
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When towing with children I would expect to average 50 miles an hour so 400 miles would be 8 hours, plus lunch(if you average more you wont get there as late=good news at end of day). While that is doable for a day, 2 days gets ruff if you're the only driver. Also depends on your tow vehicle and how well it's setup. Struggling with a TV that isn't well setup or is marginal is a lot more tiring then one that is easier to handle.

Bad weather also makes it more tiring.
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Old 06-17-2024, 09:17 PM   #13
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Also, if not traveling in summer-look up online what time sunrise and sunset is, so you can know what time to arrive before dark.

One more thing is don't forget crossing time zones.

Again, with the 55 mph Average, we do the math. Plan to be off the road by 4 or so, to allow time for errands, walk, relax/cocktail hour, dinner, shower, a little TV/reading/games, and off to bed. Then for the next day, what time should you leave?

Know the miles for the day's drive. Start at 4 pm and work back, using the 55 + city + time zone and you know for sure how early you need to get rolling.

For long days that do on occasion become necessary we try to add the extra driving by leaving earlier in the am. Less traffic, you are rested, and by not arriving really late you have a cushion of time in case something does go wrong or needs to be dealt with.
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Old 06-17-2024, 10:26 PM   #14
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Good evening. I feel in my short time of RV ownership this year all points above are spot on.

In a car, can I do Seattle to the Bay Area on one day no problem

in an RV no way we end up being able to get 6 to 8 hours of driving time, things move slower at the gas station, move slower when parking, move slower when Stopping, move slower in regards to picking out your spots to stop / stay night. so that’s one of the trade-off

Granted I’m not worried about where I’m stopping at and if I need I can pull over and use my restroom or I can pull over get a sandwich and food or a cold drink so there is that benefit.

We’re trying multiple days we start 6 / 630 but since we’re motorhome, the family stays asleep and I get in the first hour and a half to two hours alone. When we’re leaving on our first day after work and trying to put in 4 hours, before a late dinner. So as far as planning on where to stay for dinner at 8 o’clock and then pull into the Elks Lodge or an overnight spot just to get moving again the next day at 6:30.

Hope this helps.
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Old 06-18-2024, 12:39 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by navychief01 View Post
...I’ve decided that 450-500 miles a day is a good slice. According to RVlife trip planner, that’s an easy 8 hour day. Does that sound right?

Question: what do you folk push in mileage/time for each leg on your AS journeys?... Navychief01
Nada, keep expectation at 400 miles achieved in an eight hour driving day if seeking repeatable/consecutive days; even if you have a partner driver. Pulling 28' of aluminum is more stressful than little U-haul trailers and your 'family' will appreciate a civilian rather than military style travel timetable. Pounding miles isn't fun for the passengers.

I have on occasion driven further when running from an approaching storm or winter weather front but that isn't a norm. Longer sunlight hours in the summer make a 550 day possible but there is an energy, attentiveness price to be paid the next day.

Just sharing 'my' 25+ years of RV life added to a decade of youthful commercial, over-the-road driving insights.
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Old 06-18-2024, 03:42 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by navychief01 View Post
Hi, friends. Prior to owning a new AS, I would need to travel back and forth a few times a year to help take care of my folks. The typical drive is 1200 mile and would take about 18 hours, stopping for the night after being on the road for 11 hours. Sometimes I would be hauling a U-Haul trailer or car carrier, so Iím accustomed to pulling.

Now that I own an AS, lím planning a two week trip for the family. Iíve decided that 450-500 miles a day is a good slice. According to RVlife trip planner, thatís an easy 8 hour day. Does that sound right?

Question: what do you folk push in mileage/time for each leg on your AS journeys?

Thanks bunch.

Navychief01
Brother,

For me the mark is no more than 400 miles a dayÖIt sounds crazy but if we go past 400 miles its seems to be more exhaustiing than if we stay under 400 miles a day. For us traveling with 2 Shelties to get more than 400 miles a day in you have to run a little faster and leave earlier in the AM or arrive later in the evening.
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Old 06-18-2024, 04:27 AM   #17
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Like most, we feel 300 a day is all we want. Gone are the days we arrive without reservations
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Old 06-18-2024, 04:47 AM   #18
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Here's a rundown of our trip west last year, the mileages and the number of nights we stayed. Our first couple days out we hit it pretty hard heading west, but you'll see I quickly backed off on the mileage, and extended the downtime with extra nights at numerous locations.

I do two nights to get to Florida, which for us is 1,050 miles. But once we get there, it's setup and stay for a couple of months.

So, 450 miles a day every day for two weeks for us is a definite no. Three days in a row to get to a destination then yeah, I'll do that if necessary.

Take the total mileage and divide it by 50 mph to get a decent estimate of the number of hours you'll be on the road.

Miles Nights

395 1
408 1
297 1
232 2
305 3
318 4
311 3
254 4
139 3
190 3
105 9
309 5
287 8
344 1
266 1
109 7
314 1
285 1
369 1
269 1
217 1
256 1
174
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Old 06-18-2024, 05:05 AM   #19
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ďIs 8 hours pushing it?Ē

Yes, if you are towing a travel trailer and your goal is enjoyment. For a family vacation, shorter legs with days off between them is a better recipe.

Sometimes longer days are necessary at the beginning or end of a trip. But donít make that the norm. Target 200-300 miles and plan to stay put two nights minimum between those drives.
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Old 06-18-2024, 05:13 AM   #20
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We tow our smaller rig (20FB) comfortably at 65-70, so 6 hours is a normal day, with one stop for fuel/food.
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