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  1. Default Tampa to Seattle in Winter

    Hello, Next week we are purchasing a RV in Tampa to drive back to Seattle. I have experience driving RV's and most weather conditions. In fact we primarily use are rv for skiing, so I get the snow and ice!
    So my reason for writing this is I am starting to second guess my route. I planned on taking the recommended RTA direction's, but after looking at the National Weather forecast (NOAA) for next week they are calling for a artic blast east of the Rockies, like last years winter vortex. We are still about 7 days out from travel knowing that weather can change, I am thinking of changing my travel route. I plan on picking up a set of snow chains, this rv is a little bigger then our last one.
    After we leave Tampa the plan is to drive to Georgia for a few days to visit friends, then we have 6-7 days to get home.
    Any recommendations would be helpful.
    Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    First thing you are going to need to do is winterize the RV - no liquids.

    You are going to have to check on weather and road conditions closer to the actual date. Things can and will change.

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

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I'd actually say you should still follow RTA's standard advice for winter travel - which is take the most direct route possible unless specific weather forecasts show an upcoming storm on your route that you can avoid by taking another route.

    So at this point, I'd still recommend you plan for the most direct route - which would be to go up through Nashville, St. Louis, KC, to Sioux Falls, South Dakota and then take I-90 all the way west. However, while you are in Georgia, take another look at what the forecasts look like, and see where you might actually see bad weather. For example, if it looks like you could hit a storm in the Dakotas, then you might stay on I-70 to Denver before heading north to I-80 or I-90. It would take a pretty massive storm system before I'd consider I-40, as going that way would add at least a full extra day on the road, and it would be very rare to see a storm that is so bad that you couldn't better use that time simply waiting for conditions to improve (and if the storm is that big and bad, it's quite possible it would cause problems on I-40 too.)

    But really, any forecasts up until you are in Georgia are just not going to be accurate enough to even really worry about, and also keep in mind that an "arctic blast" isn't necessarily a bad thing for travel as you can get conditions where it is "too cold to snow," as very cold air just can't hold as much moisture - temperatures in the 20's are often, but not always, when you see the biggest snowfalls.

  4. Default

    Thanks for the reassurance. I have driven both I90 and I40 and was not wanting to spend the time on I40. I am a little concern with I70 only because of the Pass, and what a steep grade it has (never driven i70), but then again we will have a diesel not a gas V10 like our last one, and nothing to weigh us down.
    I have download all weather apps, making sure to check 24-48hrs.
    Thanks again.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default

    I was talking about using I-70 as far as Denver and then cutting up I-25. Going past Denver would involve going over the highest pass on the interstate system, and then would force you onto 2 lane roads to get back up to the SLC area - so it's pretty unlikely that is a route that would be a good choice (although it is incredibly scenic and a very enjoyable drive in good weather).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Make sure you have a good US atlas with you, too, in the event that you have to route yourself around something at the last minute. It's really difficult to see "the big picture" on a small screen like smart phone, tablet, or GPS.

    Stick to the Interstates as much as possible, my husband suggests, because they are usually the last to shut down for weather and the first to reopen. "The cargo must go through". :-)


    Donna

  7. Default

    Will do, thanks for the tip!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, CO.
    Posts
    307

    Default

    I just posted a report about this Christmas' run from N. Colo to Seattle and back.

    http://www.roadtripamerica.com/forum...attle-and-back

    I'm still in favor of the I-90 route vs I-80. But unless you run all the way to I-5 then cut north you risk the super cold any way you go. Then again, it might be past when it's time for you to make the trip.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, CO.
    Posts
    307

    Default

    If picking up in Tampa I'd be especially concerned to ensure the rig is properly winterized. The shop employees might be uncomprehending of MINUS 20F temperatures.
    (coolant strength, washer fluid freeze point, onboard piping dried or treated with anti-freeze, etc)

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