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  1. Default Realistic RV Travel

    Hello! I'm new to the forum and am trying to plan a big trip we have coming up this summer. As I'm a "planner" I like to start early! We (my family and I) are taking a trip from Anchorage, Alaska to Omaha, Nebraska in our RV this summer. We've done the trip by car several times, but this will be the first time in our class C motorhome. We have taken short trips in our RV but never a trip this long and involved - and never really in the mountains. I have LOTS of questions and would like some input for our route I've found that fellow "roadtrippers" and truck drivers have been the most helpful. In fact, there was a truck driver who saved me a lot of headache by suggesting an alternate route from Great Falls to Bozeman one time! Let me lay out some details first:

    1. We are traveling by Alaska Marine Highway from Haines, Alaska to Bellingham - therefore won't be driving the Alcan (although it would've been our 7th time driving it - 2nd time on the AMH).
    2. We are traveling with pets.
    3. We would like to travel the "flatest" and quickest route possible. I know mountain driving is inevitable, but would like the least amount of the big passes. We aren't really on a fast and hard schedule, but would like to get to Omaha in roughly a week to 10 days.

    Ok, well, now that I have a few of the details out there - here are my questions.

    1. Realistically, in a motorhome, how many driving miles a day is reasonable? I don't want to drive really more than 7 hours a day. What is the average safe speed for a motorhome in the mountains? On the highway?
    2. What is the drive like from Sheridan, WY down to Cheyenne, WY? Is it extremely mountainous or more like the drive from Billings to Rapid City? I'm trying to avoid "Bike Week" in Sturgis and thought I'd try I-80 rather than I-90.
    3. Any route suggestions, comments, recommendations?
    4. Campground suggestions? Ones to stay away from? Reservations?

    If there is anyone out there who has done extensive driving in the west/midwest and would like to share - I would really appreciate it! Thank you and happy driving!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
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    Default

    If you stick to the Interstate highways, there won't be any grades or curves you can't handle. They are designed for 18 wheelers and your motorhome isn't THAT big. Interstates would be the quickest. Motorhome speed limits vary from 55 to 75.

    Bellingham to Omaha is about 1800 miles, and driving 7 hours a day you can make it in 5 days, that's just over 350 miles a day. If you want to avoid Sturgis, take I-5/I-90/I-82/I/84/I-80. This is essentially the same distance and time that it would be taking I-90 all the way to I-29.

  3. Default Thank YOu

    Thank you, that helps. I didn't realize you could make such good time in an RV!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Joplin MO
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    Default

    Well, if you can average 50 mph, you can drive 350 miles in 7 hours!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
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    10,749

    Default The Maths

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    As you want the quickest route and that is by using Interstate then there is no reason why you wouldn't be able to average 50 mph including time for short breaks for food, gas and to stretch the legs, but any sight seeing detours on mountain roads and that average will drop quite a lot during such time. I have no idea what the road is like from Anchorage to Bellingham or whether you could keep that average speed but if you can you still won't be able to cover the overall distance of 4125 miles in 7 to 10 days travelling 7 hours a day, you would be looking at more like 12 days and with pets, an RV and a multi day road trip you would be wise to keep it to around 7 or 8 hours a day if possible.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Joplin MO
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    Dave, the Alaska Marine Highway is a ferry. They are only looking at 1800 miles of actual driving, plus whatever it takes from Anchorage to Haines. We probably should get some clarification here - how many days they have from Bellingham to Omaha. I don't know if the "week to 10 days" is from Anchorage or from Bellingham.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
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    Default I told you...........

    ......I knew nothing about the Alaska marine highway, Lol ! [wheres that red face symbol]

    I guess they won't be averaging 50 mph for that part then although the miles will be a lot less, but I think you are right that the 7 to 10 days must be for Bellingham onward leaving a fairly leisurely drive ahead.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
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    Default

    If they were driving the overland Alaska Highway, they wouldn't be able to average 50 mph anyway - because that's the speed limit.

  9. Default Realistic RV Travel

    Yes, I've done the Alcan seven times - been there, done that, and while it's a fantastic trip, I wanted a change so we're taking the ferry. I just really wanted to know what (realistically speaking) a long trip in an RV was like. I'm also really wondering what the road from Sheridan to Cheyenne is like - that's a new route for us. Thanks for the advice everyone! ;0)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
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    My suggested route wouldn't take you anywhere near Sheridan - it takes you through Salt Lake City. It's about 40 miles shorter.

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