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Help planning winter driving route for start of our RV adventure

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Sep 16th, 2013, 08:20 PM
  #1
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Help planning winter driving route for start of our RV adventure

Hello,
We are considering a 6-12 month full-time RV adventure with two kids. One of my concerns right now is that we will be leaving Montana in January - I know, not the best time to be travelling, especially in a motorhome, but sometimes you take what you can get. We aren't able to leave work until then so that's the deal.

We are heading for Florida as our first long-term destination and will work our way back up the Eastern Coast. Our first thought was to head straight south and then east to Florida. Google maps routes the trip in a southeastern direction through the plains. My question is posed to those of you that are familiar with winter weather and general winter driving conditions for the two possible routes:

Option 1: Straight South (either through Salt Lake or Denver) and then East
(Utah/Wyoming/Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama

Option 2: SouthEasterly
(South Dakota, Nebraska/Iowa, Kansas/Missouri, Tennessee, Georgia)

Now I know this is not a simple question - winter weather is very unpredictable (as I am familiar with living in Montana and travelling to Oregon frequently over several mountain passes). I'm hoping to just get a general feeling/thoughts/observations about either route. We will watch the weather and be flexible in our plans as the time get closer. I'd just like to get a starting point to work from.

Thanks in advance! I look forward to asking many, many questions as we get started on this journey.

Take care,
JulieH
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Sep 17th, 2013, 04:00 AM
  #2
 
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Option 1 with the proviso that I would go all the way to I 40 as directly as I could depending on weather reports.

At I 40 I would decide whether to go south to I 10 and take that all the way across. The danger in OK, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Georgia is ice.
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Sep 17th, 2013, 04:28 AM
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You will be in an RV. If the weather gets too bad, stop and wait.
I have driven from NC to Denver often so the SLC-Denver-St. Louis-Nashville and on south is a fine way.
I assume you might even like to see things en route? The Arch?
Just have internet capability to check weather.com the entire trip.
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Sep 18th, 2013, 01:24 PM
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Good advice so far. There are some RV specific sites where you might want to pose these same questions on their forums. We bought our first RV 3 years ago and I've gotten very good info from the friendly, helpful people at these 3 places.

www.irv2.com www.rv.net www.rvforum.net

Have fun and safe travels.
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Sep 18th, 2013, 02:03 PM
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Depending on which part of Montana your start is, I'd say someplace just south of SLC the first day (Nephi?).
End of the second day in Sedona, AZ. Go through Phoenix, Tucson, El Paso, San Antonio, Houston, New Orleans and Mobile on the way to Florida.
See if you can get a friend who wants a short vacation between Christmas and New Years to drive it to Arizona for you. You can easily fly to Phoenix to pick up the RV for the trip on the southern route.
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Sep 18th, 2013, 02:06 PM
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Out of curiosity, why would they not just drive--what's with the friend and driving it to Arizona? ;o)
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Sep 18th, 2013, 04:43 PM
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Option 1. I would get head south as quickly as possible on interstates because they are going to be the safest route in winter.

Once you get far enough south, get off the interstates and start exploring on the way to Florida. With 6-12 months you certainly don't have to rush to get there.
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Sep 18th, 2013, 04:55 PM
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>>Out of curiosity, why would they not just drive--what's with the friend and driving it to Arizona? ;o<<

I don't get it either. Why would it be any safer/better for this 'friend' than for the OP? At least he isn't saying to take Amtrak

I'd do option 1 -- but play it entirely by ear depending on what the weather is doing. If it is too awful you can wait a week or more (after all you are talking about being on the road for up to a year)
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Sep 18th, 2013, 05:09 PM
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I would guess the reasoning behind the friend driving it to Phoenix is: 1) OP can't leave until January and will have to deal with snowy/wintry conditions before getting to the good stuff and since 2) many people have vacation time between Christmas and New Years then perhaps 3) a friend might be willing to give the OP a jumpstart on their vacation by driving RV to a sunny/warm destination. The friend gets a brief respite from winter, the OP gets a jumpstart on their vacation and avoids driving the RV in the wintry conditions, and maybe everyone would be happier that way then if the OP simply waited until January to drive on their own.

Personally I wouldn't do it because you'd have to pay to fly 3-4 people to Phoenix, plus pay for the friend to fly back to Montana. That's way too much just to get a few days headstart on vacation for me.
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Sep 18th, 2013, 06:22 PM
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They said they could not start until after January 1 2014.
If the weather is better in late December, it would be better to have the RV available in Arizona in January.
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Sep 19th, 2013, 04:37 AM
  #11
 
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If the weather is bad one day they are leaving, leave the next or next or next!!
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Sep 19th, 2013, 05:12 PM
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Tom, they have a YEAR. Think about it.
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Sep 19th, 2013, 07:13 PM
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3 months and 12 days?
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Sep 20th, 2013, 04:58 AM
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What?
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Sep 20th, 2013, 06:42 AM
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Give it up already. Please. Tom is entitled to give his advice, the OP is entitled to listen or ignore if she wants. I personally wouldn't do what he's suggesting but there's nothing wrong with giving options.

What's far worse is bogging down threads just to complain about Tom and his advice. Stop already.
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Sep 20th, 2013, 08:23 AM
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OK WhereWeAre . . . since you are trying to help . . . please tell us what >>3 months and 12 days?<< means.

Which is what Gretchen asked.
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Sep 20th, 2013, 06:33 PM
  #17
 
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Gave my opinion for what it is worth. Probably nothing.
It is less than 3.5 months until January 2014 when the OP wants to start from Montana (which end?) on the way to Florida.
The weather could be horrible in some parts of Montana next January. If you sent a person or family ahead in December with the RV when the weather is better, the RV could be waiting safely in Arizona. The OP could drive the advance person's car to Arizona in January to send back with the advance person to Montana.
As I have said before, I don't care if I ever drive across Kansas or Nebraska again especially in winter (January) weather. My 2 cents (about what it is worth).
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