Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-20-2021, 05:53 AM   #1
New Member
2010 28' International
Herndon , Virginia
Join Date: Nov 2020
Posts: 3
Smile Planning for trip across the country to take our daughter to college

Hi Fellow AS,

In August, my wife and I our taking our last child, daughter, to College to University of Victoria, BC, Canada. We live in Virginia and will be pulling our International Signature 28 along with us and the two dogs. We are newbies to the AS family and this will be by far our longest trip. I am asking for any advice or tools I may need along the way in case something breaks down. To anyone who has taken a trip across the country, what should I expect? I have mapped out our travel and plan to drive about 500 - 700 miles a day. We have stops planned in SD, to see the Badlands, MT, to see Yellowstone, and upper WA, to see Mt. Olympia.

On our return trip we will be going down to OR, NV, CA, and then across the southern states home. In all, it will be a 5 week trip. I appreciate any thoughts, advice, or troubleshooting, as we take on this adventure of a lifetime to see our daughter off to college .
cmoymmm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2021, 06:07 AM   #2
Rivet Master
Hans627's Avatar

2009 25' FB International
2018 27' Globetrotter
Hanover , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 2,524
Sounds like a great trip.

One of the first things I would consider is a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). You want to minimize the changes of damaging a tire by have it develop a leak and not know it. The second would be a tire changing kit. The Airstream Life Store offers a kit as shown below but of course the tools can be bought separately elsewhere.

I'm sure there will be lots of suggestions from other forum members!
Hans627 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2021, 08:04 AM   #3
2 Rivet Member
2021 27' Globetrotter
San Francisco , California
Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 79
Originally Posted by cmoymmm View Post
I have mapped out our travel and plan to drive about 500 - 700 miles a day.
You may be over estimating how far you can (enjoyably) go in a day.

We just finished a 7 week cross country trip (2 weeks each direction), and one of our take aways is we did too many long travel days. Our longest leg was 570 miles and it was really long, enough that we said we wouldn’t do legs that long again in the future.
XCountry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2021, 08:36 AM   #4
2 Rivet Member
2013 27' Flying Cloud
Calgary , Alberta
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 75
I agree about the TPMS system. My concerns would be finding a reservation near Victoria. There are a lot of campgrounds but August might be busy.

I would also try and reserve a ferry spot once you got closer to Vancouver. Note I have not made the crossing with my trailer but my wife is wanting to go and I did do a bit of poking around. I think that this is the site where you can reserve if you are taking the ferry from Vancouver:
I have only taken the ferry to Seattle from Victoria once a long time ago. It was very scenic.

There are hourly departures from Vancouver... not sure about Seattle.

Good luck U of Vic is a good school. Hope your daughter enjoys it.
Peter C is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2021, 08:38 AM   #5
Rivet Master
Dan and Liz's Avatar
1987 25' Sovereign
Fort Collins , Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 540
What tow vehicle?

“We are confronted with insurmountable opportunities.”
Dan and Liz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2021, 08:52 AM   #6
Half a Rivet Short
2017 30' Classic
Currently Looking...
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 11,863

Will you have multiple drivers? Some groups do, some don't. <300 miles a day is a pretty good target if solo. Yes that's silly if you are used to doing this with a car. RV's are very different.

Even with multiple drivers, I would target a 9AM departure and < 5 PM arrival. You want to get there when the sun is out. 7 hours (8 hours with an hour of breaks) at an average of 60 Mph gets you 420 miles max. With the inevitable construction zones and other traffic issues, 60 Mph average is doing very well.

If you are parking every night at Walmart then there is not a lot of "off route" miles. We like to get a bit away from the road noise, that tends to add about 30 to 60 miles a day of "non-progress" miles. Harvest Hosts is one of our favorite ways to go.

Next up is the inevitable "Interstate or something else" debate. Heading up to the UP and running the length of Route 2 is not a bad way to go. It certainly is *not* the fastest way to get there. There are a lot of similar alternate routes all across the country.

I would suggest that a schedule of "drive 5 days, rest 2 days" makes a lot of sense. You really will not be resting on those two days. There will be a lot of "in camp" sort of chores to do.

Best approach: Leave today

You will need Covid vaccination cards and some online stuff to get into Canada when you get there. There may well be testing required as well. Not a big deal, but it needs to be worked out in advance.

uncle_bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2021, 09:04 AM   #7
Rivet Master
2020 23' Flying Cloud
Sebastian , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 802
I totally agree about adjusting your mileage expectations. About the most we did when I was (very much) younger was 600 miles, two days in a row, with a week of destination during which to recover.
After the first year of that (Illinois to Colorado, then Illinois to Florida in the winter) we made the family decision to consider a flying trip if the distances were eating up all our time (say, 200 miles per day averaged over the entire trip). Of course, that was then…
Now that we are retired, we average 50 mph on the road. It wasn’t that much faster before.
Enjoy your trip, which probably entails spending less than 10 to 14 hours behind the wheel.
(That man in that tiny can)
(Same man, Bigger can)
GetawA-S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2021, 09:29 AM   #8
4 Rivet Member
2016 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Brookhaven , Georgia
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 292
Blog Entries: 1
500-700 miles per day...


How about driving 300 miles in a day and then seeing something for a day?

Get off the Interstates and slow down.

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Ferris Bueller
Instagram @coasttocoastphotoatl
coasttocoast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2021, 09:34 AM   #9
Tom R
2015 22' FB Sport
Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 10
Blog Entries: 1
I would agree that 500-700 miles is too many per day. We just did a 6400 ole trip across the Western Us from Texas and we preferred to drive about 300-350 which gave us time to set up and enjoy the sights along the way. I took a lot of stuff that was unnecessary but had comfort in the fact I had it. To name a few: tools, bearing repack kit. Water container, chairs, small table, extra battery, extra water filter, electrical cord and hose. A wise guy responded to my inquiry in April who said you really only need 2 items: a sense of humor and a credit card for Ace and Tru-Value Hardware stores in most towns you will travel. Best advice. Safe travels.
tomreid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2021, 09:37 AM   #10
Rivet Master

2015 27' Flying Cloud
Portland , Oregon
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 619
Send a message via AIM to hhendrix Send a message via Yahoo to hhendrix
We are doing again our Portland, OR to Portland, ME. We tend to stay off the interstates and use other highways. We like Route 2 across the northern US. Two recommendations. We generally like to average about 250 miles a day but can more or less as needed. Plan to be pulling into your site no later 4 pm for enough time to set up and have a happy hour. Every now and then stay 2 or 3 days at one place to relax and enjoy your spot.

Book your reservations NOW. We are leaving ME here on our way back to OR and it's challenging to find available locations. We made reservations for the trip to ME almost a year in advance. Remember RV's have been selling in the tens of thousands now but how many new campgrounds and RV parks have opened. Not very many I guess. Planning and patience is key. There are many websites that can help. We use about 5 or 6 different ones to find the best spots and availability. Get a US map to help you visualize your route and distances.
The ability to follow instructions is highly underrated.
Always be wary of stupid people in large numbers.
hhendrix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2021, 09:43 AM   #11
2 Rivet Member
2018 26' Flying Cloud
Oriental , North Carolina
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 65
I was concerned when I first read your expectations of miles per day. I suppose if you have multiple drivers who can handle towing, then it might work. I do all of the driving by myself and try to limit myself to 250 miles per day. Driving can wear you out and then you can't enjoy the trip fully. As for tools, I carry a torque wrench and sockets for the wheels and my hitch bolts. A tire monitor system is very useful, as is a good air compressor. Yes, it will be an adventure of a lifetime. Hopefully you can enjoy it to the fullest.
Captn.Ken is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2021, 09:51 AM   #12
New Member
2019 25' Flying Cloud
Montgomery , New York
Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 2
Have you planned stops along the way. A lot of places are booked.

We are taking our son to grad school in KC from NY and extending to Colorado

I have made several reservations along the way
HankA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2021, 10:22 AM   #13
2 Rivet Member
​201​9 Atlas​
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 77
Having just completing a similar trip, Planning is essential. I would recommend a trip planning app to help with your itinerary. I used RV trip wizard and was very pleased with the app. I think 700 miles a day is a little on the high side. We averaged a travel speed of around 55 MPH. This takes fuel stops, food stops, traffic and construction delays into account. Reservations are a must for overnights.

Crossing the border requires some planning. You will need to download the Arrivcan app to submit your info for customs before you arrive at the border, you will need to have proof of full vaccinations. You will need a quarantine plan for 14 days incase you test positive at the border. You will need a negative PCR test( Needs to me a molecular test, not a rapid test) no more than 72 hours before arriving at the border , which you will need to have booked along your travels.

All this is very doable, but you need to make your plans before you depart or you may have unexpected delays.

Here are some links for more Border info.
2019 Atlas
Zach05855 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2021, 10:54 AM   #14
1 Rivet Member
Currently Looking...
Stevens Point , Wisconsin
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 17
Your daughter might hate you after that trip! 700 miles a day? Perhaps you are pressed for time. Even if you stay at Walmart’s along the interstates you will be driving 12+ hours a day and then camping in a Walmart parking lot in August with no power or AC (unless you have a very robust solar/lithium setup). Not the stuff 18 year old girls dream of.

If you must make time, use hotels along the way so you can drive farther and then get some R&R at the end of the day. One option would be for you to do the grunt work of driving most of the way and then have your wife and daughter fly out to meet you. That way they could have a little mother/daughter time, you could become an AS veteran, and then have more relaxed family time out west.
psy1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2021, 11:28 AM   #15
3 Rivet Member
2021 28' International
Knoxville , Tennessee
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 177
Being a newbie (like I) you're attempting too many miles per day. 4 hrs. driving time per day is perfect, and far more enjoyable than what you've described. 6-7 hrs. towing is not like the same time behind the wheel of a passenger car.

That trip, if I were doing it would be 4 weeks minimum.
Gibson3798 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2021, 11:57 AM   #16
Rivet Master
turk123's Avatar

2019 30' Classic
Canfield , Ohio
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 2,492
Images: 1
What a wonderful way to send your daughter off! But 700 miles per day?

Also something that we've found important is the two and three-night stops to give yourself a break on setting up and tearing down. When we set up it averages about an hour. That's why they say to try to get to your campsite no later than 3:00 pm. All that setting up and tearing down can wear on you after a week of travel. Plan on traveling for 3-4 days then stop at a nice campground to smell the roses.

I know I wouldn't want to travel with you with that schedule!
Tom & Doty
2019 Airstream Classic 30 Twin

Link to our shared album:
turk123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2021, 12:30 PM   #17
4 Rivet Member
Napa , California
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 300
Double and triple check what you need to drive into Canada. Dogs require current shot records (they didn't like our dog's rabies tags), you might need passports and proof of vaccination as well.

When traveling on the ground, there are a lot of things that can delay your trip. Weather -we've been stopped by a tornado (Wyoming-it was just a warning), a snow storm (Colorado in August), a sand storm (Texas) and mud slides in California (impassable for 2 days). Fires in both Oregon and California that simply closed down the highways. Add accidents-ugly fatalities can close down the roads for hours. There is also road work that can take your speed down to a crawl even on route that is usually relatively fast. That's it? Nope, you can have mechanical issues, flat tires, or other things that slow you down (say...stitches that need to be removed because you ran into an open Airstream Window and dented your head?).

So, give yourself a break. Either plan a day or two to just rest in the middle of your trip or shorten your estimated daily mileage. When you get a nail stuck in your tire in Who Knows Where, Wyoming and can't find another one at least you won't throw the rest of your reservations out of the window.
Atwebs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2021, 12:52 PM   #18
2 Rivet Member
1974 31' Sovereign
Mission , British Columbia
Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 23
What an exciting time for your family and a great school too. My eldest daughter went there, and loved Victoria so much she's made it her home after grad.

As others have suggested, reservations for the campsite as well as ferry is a necessity. You will not be happy missing a sailing and waiting for another one. If for some reason there are high winds on that day, sailings can be cancelled and then you could have a whole lot of people waiting with you!

Victoria and Vancouver Island in general always have lots of tourists, there is hardly an off-season to speak of. I would highly recommend getting your AS to the campground and exploring Victoria in your tow vehicle. Lots of hills, small roads and one-way streets to contend with in the city. It is charming and beautiful, but still challenging to find parking, especially when towing.

Enjoy your trip!
RivetId is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2021, 01:00 PM   #19
2 Rivet Member
2021 22' Caravel
Bozeman , Montana
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 36
+1 to what everyone here has said. 700 miles per day towing would be insane IMHO. I think that the furthest I've ever towed is 400 in one day--that was a long day.

Ensure that you're fully informed about what you need to get into Canada. While the border is opening on Aug. 7, that's just a soft opening. It doesn't fully open until September. You'll need the app, proof of vaccination, etc.

I hope that you have reservations. You won't find anything in the west that you can just show up for. Everything is booked solid out here. My brother has a trip planned to Vancouver Island in early August and he booked back in the spring.

Seriously, you might want to reconsider this as an RV trip given your limited time and just fly her out there.

Congratulations on your daughter attending U. Vic! Great school in a beautiful location!
Brian R. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2021, 01:05 PM   #20
1 Rivet Member
Birmingham , Alabama
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 6
We just completed a 5 1/2 week trip. From Alabama all the way to Washington and surrounding everything. Followed the Oregon Trail.

Advice…..make the trip about your daughter. And be willing to scrap your plans because you are gonna be very tired. It was harder than we thought. Got tired of constantly traveling and it was SO HOT in the Pacific Northwest it was not pleasant.

Good luck but giver yourself grace to change your plans.
Fletchet is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cross country trip planning PatLee On The Road... 28 05-06-2018 06:04 PM
our daughter and our full time rigs. catsmith Full-Timing 1 07-14-2014 07:24 PM
Great Tow Across Country - Once Again... JFScheck On The Road... 7 10-13-2010 10:19 AM
Ever pull a vintage AS across country? Safari Tim On The Road... 29 07-30-2003 04:23 PM

Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:42 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.