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Old 04-09-2019, 04:11 PM   #1
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Default First road trip advise

I am flying in to Kansas City this Thursday 4/11/19 to pick up a (new to us) 2011 Pleasure Way Lexor, after checking the coach out (all ready had a complete mechanical inspection done) pick up temporary plates I plan on driving back home to Sonoma Ca, Looking at the weather forecast Friday is not looking so good so any advise you may have as to the safest/best route I should take would be appreciated, I plan 8-10 hrs driving a day and staying in campgrounds at night, also will have rv antifreeze on board if the temps drop, I-80 over the mountains from Denver scares me a little if there is a chance of snow etc.
Thanks in advance for any advise you can give me.
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Old 04-09-2019, 05:13 PM   #2
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Take I-70 across and then go up to I-80 on I-15 in Utah. You would probably skirt the snow storm and by Friday the storm will be further north and east. With the sun so high now I suspect the Interstates will be plowed and dry by then. That route is more scenic, IMO.

We were coming home from the southwest to Minnesota in March and had a similar diversion to avoid a storm and also flooding.
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Old 04-09-2019, 05:15 PM   #3
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If you're not used to driving a tall van for many hours, I think you will be physically worn out driving 8-10 hours per day (especially the 1st day). You may want to rethink your schedule. Are the campgrounds, you're planning on staying at, open? You can use the app RVParky to plan your route. It also includes Walmart, Crackle Barrel and truck stop overnight parking. Since I'm in Florida right now, where the temperature is 85F, I don't know what the weather conditions will be out west. If there is predictable snow in the forecast over the mountains, you may need snow chains to proceed.
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Old 04-09-2019, 05:41 PM   #4
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If you're not used to driving a tall van for many hours, I think you will be physically worn out driving 8-10 hours per day (especially the 1st day). You may want to rethink your schedule. Are the campgrounds, you're planning on staying at, open? You can use the app RVParky to plan your route. It also includes Walmart, Crackle Barrel and truck stop overnight parking. Since I'm in Florida right now, where the temperature is 85F, I don't know what the weather conditions will be out west. If there is predictable snow in the forecast over the mountains, you may need snow chains to proceed.

Would kind of agree with this, although some people have a much more tolerant personality and body for long driving days.



I think the road style and conditions might be even more of a consideration as to how long to plan driving. The Chevy should drive quite well, but it is used so there may be some issues that are unseen but show up in windy conditions in particular, which you will likely hit in those area. Speed is also a big determiner of how much work driving is in a big van and the stock Chevies are often said to be best at 65 and under for many people


It would be advisable I think to make sure the dealer or you get the tire pressures to 65 psi front and 80 psi rear. Most of us would choose those pressures for the Chevy but the dealer would likely use 50 psi which is on the door sticker. At 50 psi these vans don't handle all that well.


We have a Roadtrek 190 Chevy and have done as much as 850 miles in a day, but I would not have been able to do that when it was in stock configuration and would limit to about 650-700 miles in 10+ hours.
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Old 04-09-2019, 08:51 PM   #5
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We recently drove Portland <> Key West, total 8600 miles. We averaged 400-450 miles per driving day and up to 65 MPH. If you plan to stay in State or National parks it is better to call for reservation and arrive during daylight hours. To skip the cold vortex, we took the southern route in both directions, more miles but good weather. Coming back, we had to bypass Siskiyou Summit and took Hwy 101.

We have converted passenger van based 144Ē WB 2500 Sprinter so driving is good.

I second previous recommendation to keep tires pressure high.
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Old 04-09-2019, 10:21 PM   #6
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Default Southern Route

I would go south through Wichita to I40 and across. Its a bit longer, but you avoid elevation, cold and likely snow. Almost every campground will be open and you probably won't need reservations unless you stop at high interest tourist attractions.

If you go north, you might want to carry tire chains. You also may want to winterize before heading out.

Over-inflating tires makes handling a vehicle easier because you have less road surface in contact with the tires. You can consider the downside of that for yourself.
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Old 04-09-2019, 10:43 PM   #7
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Nobody said to overinflate tires in this discussion, only that the Chevies like 65psi in the front compared to 50. 50 is on the post and would be appropriate for an unloaded or lightly loaded van, but 65 psi is more appropriate for our near capacity vans and many have found that to be the sweet spot for pressure. The tires are rated for 80 psi. Truly overinflated tires on a vehicle handle horribly in my experience not better.



A very good way to tell if your tire pressures are reasonable is to get the tires warm by driving at highway speed a while and then drive through a damp spot or one that has light dust on it. The tires will pick up a thin coat of water or dust and all you have to do is look at the tread of the tire and see if the full width is coated to just onto the curve of the tread shoulder. If there is a gap to the curve of the shoulder, your pressure is likely too high to be optimum and if the whole radius of the curve is coated you are likely too low in pressure for optimum. You roll through the water or dust in a straight line and would expect the front tires to show slightly less coverage than the rear, as they pick up more on the shoulders during turning and need to be a bit higher in pressure to lay down well when turning and to even out the wear pattern.
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Old 04-10-2019, 01:46 AM   #8
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I would go south through Wichita to I40 and across. Its a bit longer, but you avoid elevation, cold and likely snow. Almost every campground will be open and you probably won't need reservations unless you stop at high interest tourist attractions.

If you go north, you might want to carry tire chains. You also may want to winterize before heading out.

Over-inflating tires makes handling a vehicle easier because you have less road surface in contact with the tires. You can consider the downside of that for yourself.
That's a good way too as it will be warmer and I know the campgrounds will be open as I traveled that route in March and you won't have any mountain passes requiring chains. The reasons I didn't suggest it is because I think the winter storm will be north of I-70 and I-70 will get you back to I-80 as the easiest way to Sonoma. I-40 is not so easy as it dumps into Southern California. I-40 tracks old US Route 66. Hey, but a Class B is for seeing the country and unless you have a schedule to maintain, why not?
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Old 04-10-2019, 01:26 PM   #9
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That's a good way too as it will be warmer and I know the campgrounds will be open as I traveled that route in March and you won't have any mountain passes requiring chains. The reasons I didn't suggest it is because I think the winter storm will be north of I-70 and I-70 will get you back to I-80 as the easiest way to Sonoma. I-40 is not so easy as it dumps into Southern California. I-40 tracks old US Route 66. Hey, but a Class B is for seeing the country and unless you have a schedule to maintain, why not?
If you choose the southern route, leave I-40 at Barstow, cut across to Bakersfield (itís a good road, just not interstate), then to I-5 north and home. Avoids SoCal altogether.. Weíve done this route a number of times from our home in eastern AZ to visit family in the Bay Area.
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Old 04-10-2019, 05:44 PM   #10
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To everyone who responded to my post with good advice and tips, Thank you so much. Looks like I-40 is the route I will be taking with a little extra air in the tires. we have family in San Jose so we can visit before our last leg back to Sonoma, now I just want to get to Kansas city this evening to start this trip,hope the weather doesn't get worse.
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Old 04-19-2019, 02:27 AM   #11
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In colorado dial 511 for current road conditions!
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Old 09-12-2019, 11:21 PM   #12
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This is the only thread that I found multiple occurrences of the mentioning of chains for snow conditions. So, has anyone had experience with this product instead of those heavy chains?


https://autosock.us/


I am not really interested in taking the Sprinter on the salted roads, but just in case.


Thanks,
Pat
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Old 09-19-2019, 07:28 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by rpns51 View Post
I am flying in to Kansas City this Thursday 4/11/19 to pick up a (new to us) 2011 Pleasure Way Lexor, after checking the coach out (all ready had a complete mechanical inspection done) pick up temporary plates I plan on driving back home to Sonoma Ca, Looking at the weather forecast Friday is not looking so good so any advise you may have as to the safest/best route I should take would be appreciated, I plan 8-10 hrs driving a day and staying in campgrounds at night, also will have rv antifreeze on board if the temps drop, I-80 over the mountains from Denver scares me a little if there is a chance of snow etc.
Thanks in advance for any advise you can give me.
Here's some advice for you
1-Safety first. ...
2-Prepare healthy snacks and drink lots of water. ...
3-Stop every couple hours. ...
4-Exercise or stretch during breaks. ...
5-Gas up often. ...
6-Entertain yourself to pass the time! ...
7-Try not to drive past dark. ...
8-Give yourself an extra day or two.
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Old 09-19-2019, 02:01 PM   #14
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Here's some advice for you
1-Safety first. ...
2-Prepare healthy snacks and drink lots of water. ...
3-Stop every couple hours. ...
4-Exercise or stretch during breaks. ...
5-Gas up often. ...
6-Entertain yourself to pass the time! ...
7-Try not to drive past dark. ...
8-Give yourself an extra day or two.
Excellent advice. I particularly support #5 and would like to add two things:

Top up your gas tank late in the day. That way, if you wind up in camping in a remote area that night you have a full tank for exploring or just to get you back to "civilization". Plus, those of us with gasoline generators need greater than 1/3 tank in order to run it should the need arise.

Also, don't obsess about shopping for gas by "price". I used to be guilty of this to a fault, only to realize it was adding unnecessary stress to driving. Now I buy gas when I need it or when I need to stop (see #3 above). I no long let the search for a "few cents" per gallon savings factor into my driving.

Best bad habit I've broken lately.
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Old 09-19-2019, 02:38 PM   #15
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Excellent advice. I particularly support #5 and would like to add two things:

Top up your gas tank late in the day. That way, if you wind up in camping in a remote area that night you have a full tank for exploring or just to get you back to "civilization". Plus, those of us with gasoline generators need greater than 1/3 tank in order to run it should the need arise.

Also, don't obsess about shopping for gas by "price". I used to be guilty of this to a fault, only to realize it was adding unnecessary stress to driving. Now I buy gas when I need it or when I need to stop (see #3 above). I no long let the search for a "few cents" per gallon savings factor into my driving.

Best bad habit I've broken lately.
I use the Gas Buddy app or Google maps for locating gas stops, usually well in advance. It's easy to click on directions and I have a directions laid out for me, easy and less stress. Two blocks off the interstate can be a 20 cent or more spread. That's can be enough to buy a pint at a brew pub.

On TDY at TWoS in Suches, GA.
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Old 09-19-2019, 10:40 PM   #16
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I use the Gas Buddy app or Google maps for locating gas stops, usually well in advance. It's easy to click on directions and I have a directions laid out for me, easy and less stress. Two blocks off the interstate can be a 20 cent or more spread. That's can be enough to buy a pint at a brew pub.

On TDY at TWoS in Suches, GA.
Good suggestion Steve. I've heard of Gas Buddy, but I don't do apps. Yes, I'm a technology Neanderthal.
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