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  1. Default February trip from Michigan to Florida Panhandle pulling 5th wheel camping trailer

    Any advice from experience of pulling good size trailer down I75 in winter, other than the obvious about watching weather forecasts carefully and frequently to avoid driving in snow or icy conditions? I've heard I75 is better than I65 due to less hills/mountains (other than the long up and down hill grade in Northern Tenn.) I've driven I75 several times with a travel trailer but that was 15 years ago and always in warmer weather. Thanks for any good advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Tucson, AZ
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    Default Two Things in I-65's Favor

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    While "hills/mountains" are generally not a concern on Interstates which are built to specifications which limit grades to 6% as well as keeping curves long and sweeping, there are a couple of factors that indicate that I-65 should be your preferred route. First of all, I-65 stays away from the southern Appalachians whereas I-75 gets hard up against their southwestern piedmont. Grades and curves may not be a show-stopper (Eighteen wheelers use these roads with impunity.) but those mountains are going to cause orographic lifting of any moist air masses. That's just a fancy way of saying that you're more likely to see snow on I-75.

    The second, and to my mind convincing, argument in favor of I-65 is that I075 goes through Atlanta. I would look for a way to avoid that city even if I were driving an AWD sedan. Trying to pull a trailer through that city's traffic is just something that would worry me a whole lot more than bad weather.

    Depending on exactly where in Michigan you're starting and where in the panhandle of Florida you're ending, there might be a hundred mile difference in the two routes. For me, it would have to be a lot more than that to force me onto I-75

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
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    13,067

    Default

    I would tend to agree with Buck. Having driven both, you're quite a bit less hilly terrain by continuing south from Nashville. I-65 would generally be shorter too, I would think, but with a target as big as the panhandle, it will depend upon your exact destination.

    The biggest downside of I-65 is that unless you are heading to the far west end of the panhandle, you will need to deal with some two lane roads and city traffic. It shouldn't be anything too bad, but it won't be quite as easy as sticking to the interstates.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Joplin MO
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    Default

    The key is exactly where in the Panhandle you are going. If you are going to Pensacola you might as well stay on I-65 to Mobile and hop on I-10. If you are going to Panama City or Tallahassee, you will want to take US-231 out of Montgomery. 231 is 4 lanes from Montgomery to at least the FL state line and there is a circle bypass route around Dothan.

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    The key is exactly where in the Panhandle you are going. If you are going to Pensacola you might as well stay on I-65 to Mobile and hop on I-10. If you are going to Panama City or Tallahassee, you will want to take US-231 out of Montgomery. 231 is 4 lanes from Montgomery to at least the FL state line and there is a circle bypass route around Dothan.
    Sorry, should have said. Going to Grayton Beach State Park, just a little west of Panama City Beach. Sounds like you all think I-65 would be better because I'd avoid Atlanta. However, if I use the Atlanta Bypass to avoid most of the Atlanta traffic (and time it so that I'm on that Bypass at about 6 am) and to get on I-85 to 231, would that be pretty good?

  6. #6
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    May 2003
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    Green County, Wisconsin
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    Default

    Considering you're going that far west, the Atlanta really doesn't make sense, you'd just be adding needless miles. There are other issues with that plan, but that's the biggest one.

    You still didn't say where in Michigan you are starting from, but even if you're starting from the eastern part of the state, it is going to be a fair bit shorter by going down through Nashville and staying south on I-65 into Alabama.

    There isn't a great option to go directly south once you get to Montgomery. You're either looking at 2 lane roads or adding quite a few miles, since the main highway options run at a diagonal. I'd probably lean towards using AL-55 to cut from I-65 to I-10, going through Andalusia.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Joplin MO
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    I don't know how good the road is, but my software suggests US-331 from Montgomery to Grayton. It's definitely the shortest, almost a straight line.

    Towing, I-65 is a much better bet than I-75 and as Michael indicated, may even be shorter depending on where in Michigan you are. From Detroit area, I-75 to Cincy, then I-71 to Louisville. From Lansing, I-69 to Indy. From Benton Harbor, US-33 to Indy. You have various other expressways to get to one of those 3 main options.

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