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Old 02-08-2017, 08:57 PM   #1
2016 25' International
Deerfield , Massachusetts
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Posts: 926
Length of Days

So... half the time I seem to hear people saying they don't drive more than four hours in a day, or never past 2pm or whatnot..... and the other half the time I hear people talking about making miles, "driving days," and sleeping overnight in Wal-mart parking lots so they have more time to drive.

As someone who's new to all this ... can folks comment on that contrast? When it seems like I should be putting in big mileage days, when not? (Not just in terms of "where in the trip" but "where in the lifecycle of RV ownership" type comments...)


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Old 02-08-2017, 09:06 PM   #2
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To some, it's about the destination. To others, it's about the journey. No right or wrong answer. Different strokes for different folks. Whatever floats your boat.

I won't drive past 4pm, and drive in 2hr increments before I have to stop and stretch my legs. I won't back my AS into a spot at night if I can help it. But that's me. YMMV.
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Old 02-08-2017, 09:53 PM   #3
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Whether someone's retired with lots of free time or still working and trying to squeeze the most out of a short vacation can have a lot to do with it.
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Old 02-08-2017, 11:17 PM   #4
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From growing up until I retired we always were destination oriented mainly because of the limits of our vacation time. So on trips that would take more than 8-10 hours we broke the trip up into preplanned campgrounds along the way and on return. The intent was always to get to that destination as quickly as possible. I always relished the thoughts of retirement and taking more time to get to the destination or come home, exploring the locales that we usually bypassed.

Unfortunately my work department got outsourced, and I lost my job about 3 months before my 65 birthday. After looking for a year, I decided to retire just prior to my 66th birthday. Shortly there after my wife became ill and at this point in our lives, I'm not sure whether we will ever be able to take a trip again that is more than 5-6 hours from home. The limitations of her illness pretty much dictates that we stay within a days drive or so from home and medical treatment. So we really probably will never do those long slow trips that we had thought about.

Nevertheless we live in a great part of the country with an abundance of attractions, and public and private campgrounds. Now what retirement has brought us is the ability to go whenever we want and stay as long as we want. Somewhat similar to exploring along the journey, only just with a much shorter leash.

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Old 02-08-2017, 11:51 PM   #5
Len and Jeanne
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Creston Valley , British Columbia
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Agreed-- however you like to travel, based on destination, driving style, road conditions, time limits, &c.

We think crack-of-dawn getaways are more virtuous, but even waking up early, we're lucky if we're off and running by 9:00 a.m. Then we think 8 hours on the road is plenty, especially if it gets dark early. We like to set up while it's still light. On a long multi-day drive, we try to break up the day with a quick afternoon nap for Him at a rest area.
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Old 02-09-2017, 05:06 AM   #6
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Jacksonville , Florida
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Yes to all of the above. We usually leave on our 2-3 day short trips after work, so are used to driving in the dark, but would much rather drive when it is light outside. Don't think we will ever full-time, but look forward to longer stretches of relaxation
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Old 02-09-2017, 05:13 AM   #7
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I find the experience of towing more tiring than just driving my car and I want my reaction times to be at their best. So, I try not to drive more than 5-6 hours per day, including periodic rest stops. I also like being setup early enough to kick back before dinner. Real early departures just do not cut it with my wife.
When I drive the car, I would never stop at 250-300 miles per day on a long trip, but with the AS, it does not seem to matter. It is about the journey as much as the ultimate destination. Having said that, here in NC, there is a whole lot to enjoy within 300 miles of home.

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Old 02-09-2017, 05:27 AM   #8
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time of travel

It's the same for me, if I have the time I love to meander and take back roads and stop at sites. BUT when I go to Maine in Sept I do a 12 hour drive to get there will as little stopping as possible.
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Old 02-09-2017, 07:06 AM   #9
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Time spent behind the wheel often comes down to whether one is still working or retired. Traveling when I was young it was all destination trips - driving through the night. If I have the time (still working), I would much rather break the trip up for the journey.
That said we took our daughter for the Disney experience this past fall. We had 10 days to get from Northern KY to Orlando and back (drove ~ 2200 miles round trip). We ended up making doing the trip in segments to keep the long distances within reason. My wife and daughter seem tire easily when on the road. I can go 12 hours without blinking an eye but I compromised for peace and less crabbiness in the truck.
Our stops included an Airsteam rally, a visit to the inlaws, Georgia state parks, Top of Georgia Airstream park and of course Disney.
The multiple stops worked out well and no one seemed overly tired and we got to see and experience many things along the way. The longest travel day was 9 hours due to traffic jams in Atlanta (of course. extra 1.5 hours). the traffic jam zapped my energy very quickly and i was ready to be off the road.
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Old 02-09-2017, 07:27 AM   #10
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We have done both, but prefer to keep travel days down to about 4-5 hours of driving. I find after that time I am getting pretty tired and probably less attentive. We are retired so the only time we push it is if, for some reason, we are unable to leave on the planned departure day and have a definite need to be at the destination on time.

That said, I wonder if we will stick to that schedule on a long trip, say out west. It seems to work for Brian and Sue Ellen, "Moosetags". They just head out with no specific plans and stop when they see something interesting. According to their posts they seldom have a problem finding a place to stop. I'm more of a reservations-making type. Living in Florida, if you don't have a reservation in the late fall, winter, and early spring you are going to be stopping at a Wal-Mart.

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Old 02-09-2017, 08:19 AM   #11
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As Dirty Harry said, "A man has got to know his limitations." Mine are that I need to be set up in my new camp no later than 4:00 PM, otherwise I get grumpy. Also, no early morning starts. The air conditioning works fine in my F-250, and I can travel when it's hot outside, unlike my motorcycling days when I would often leave a motel at 3-4 AM, stop at 7 somewhere for breakfast, and stop for the day by noon in order to avoid riding in the heat of the day.
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Old 02-09-2017, 08:48 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by crispyboy View Post
Time spent behind the wheel often comes down to whether one is still working or retired.
I'm semi-retired with a flexible schedule. My wife and daughter are not. Here's how we're going to maximize a week long trip for them.

For spring break, the two of them are going to fly to Tucson. I'll leave home a few days before them and be there with the Airstream all set up at Kartchner Caves State Park. We'll spend the week exploring the Sonoran desert in bloom, work our way up for two days at the Grand Canyon, and end up in Las Vegas the night before they fly home. I'll spend the next few days driving home alone.

I like burning up miles on travel days. They - not so much - and they don't have the time for it. It would be nice spending weeks/months on a trip like this but it's not an option right now.
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Old 02-09-2017, 10:17 AM   #13
2016 25' International
Deerfield , Massachusetts
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This is helpful. I'm interested to hear the distinction between "destination" trips and "travel" trips... and the emphasis on retired vs. working.

For me, the issue around planning distances has not been fatigue but around how long my kids will tolerate being cooped up in the truck.

My rule so far has been:

-- four hours max per day
-- add an hour for each day we've camped without travel, up to 8 hours

... but when I look at some of the places we want to go, I see a need for a couple 10 hours days stacked back to back.

We are in New England, so basically I have to spend some time getting "away" before I get to new places. Making it out west in a reasonable timeline (I still work) would require a few long days of driving...

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Old 02-09-2017, 11:50 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Skooter View Post
Whether someone's retired with lots of free time or still working and trying to squeeze the most out of a short vacation can have a lot to do with it.
This is it! I live in the Pacific Northwest and really want to head back east. This is going to take me a long time since I don't like to drive for long stretches. Everyone has a different outlook and to each his own. Travel like you want to and get out and go.
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Old 02-09-2017, 12:08 PM   #15
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Danielle and I are retired early and some people would ask why we ever need to travel more than a few hours or a few hundred miles in a day. But life has a way of dictating schedules for us and that sometimes means we travel many hundreds of miles in a day and sleep overnight in a Cracker Barrel parking lot.

Some of those pesky life details are volunteering commitments, family matters, doctor appointments and the list goes on. I guess I could plan to never drive more than a few hours in a day but it would take 10+ days to get across the United States and that wouldn't include any sightseeing.

As others have said, there is no right or wrong answer - whatever works for you. We have both short travel days and long travel days in a given trip depending on the situation.

I heard somebody say recently that for every hour they drive they stay in a location one day and they never travel more than three hours. That sounds fine but then it would take quite some time to go any appreciable distance. We don't mind combining short travel days and long travel days to achieve whatever goal we have in mind.

Think of traveling across Nebraska... it's a lovely place to visit and we've been there several times as we criss-cross the U.S. But do I really want to take several days to travel east/west across that state if I'm going from Iowa to Wyoming?
Lucius and Danielle
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Old 02-09-2017, 02:53 PM   #16
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We try to limit driving to no more than 250 miles in one day, and usually try to not travel more than two days in a row. We're retired, full-timers, but do some work for Habitat For Humanity Care-A-Vanners and our church. We also do campground hosting. So far we always have plenty of notice of where we need to be when, so that we can plan our travel to suit ourselves.

A couple of times we've had to travel for 3-4 days straight, but in both cases there were specific events that were dictating the schedule. Otherwise, we want to see the country and we can't do that by pounding out the miles.

We usually have reservations for the night, but sometimes those reservations are made on the road. When we went from Oklahoma to Wyoming for our daughter's wedding we made reservations for each night because there weren't all that many places to go. If we want to stay for a week or so we'll make reservations in advance. We always make reservations for over holidays.
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