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  1. Default WI to AZ winter road trip in an RV

    We will be leaving NE WI on December 23 and heading to Lake Havasu City. We will be traveling for the first time in an RV. (I know, what are we thinking. It's winter, right?) we will be traveling with our daughters, ages 21, 19, and 17 as well as our three dogs (all labs, a black, a yellow, and a chocolate). Any words of advice? Our daughters, in addition to being older, are seasoned road trippers. Our dogs, while never having travelled quite this far, have all been on car trips up to six hours or more. They are all crate trained and we will be bringing their crates to use when we are not in the RV with them. All three dogs are well trained or in training (the chocolate is a new rescue from SD. She's in school and learning!) Any advice you have for me would be very much appreciated! Anything from traveling in an RV, to entertainment while on the road, to traveling with dogs, to stops or must-see attractions, to food ideas, or anything else you want to offer. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Is this your own RV that you're using, or is it a rental? How long do you have for your trip, and will it be 1 way or round trip?

    I'd say the biggest thing you'll have to worry about is the challenges of RV travel in winter. I suspect you'll need to keep the RV winterized all the way until you get to Havasu. That means no using any of the water features of the RV.

    There is also going to be a limited number of campgrounds that are even open and available during much of your trip, so you should probably preplan all of your stopping points. Having places with electric hookups will likely be extra important, as RVs are generally not well insulated, and with temperatures likely to be below freezing throughout most of your trip, you'll need to be running the heat full blast to keep things comfortable through the night.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Words of Advice(?)

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Well, what kind of advice were you looking for? As far as traveling by RV in the winter, you'll need to leave NE Wisconsin (Green Bay?, Antigo?, Rhinelander, other?) with the RV in 'winterized' mode. That means no water in the freshwater tanks and no use of the bathroom facilities until you get far enough south and have weather reports that indicate you are no longer going to see overnight freezing temperatures. On the other hand, you really shouldn't plan on leaving the dogs unattended in the RV, especially in cages, as during the day in bright sunlight the RV will be subject to interior temperatures that could harm or even kill them.

    Also, past experience with summer RoadTrips in the family car can be pretty misleading if you try to apply it to this trip. Days will be shorter; your vehicle will be slower, you will need to make longer and more frequent stops; and you will need extra time both in the morning and evening to set up or take down 'camp'. Whereas we normally recommend planning on 500-550 miles per day on a 'normal' sustained RoadTrip, you might be lucky to make 400 on a regular basis. Among the more frequent stops, you should schedule at least two or three R&R breaks at parks, forests, etc along your route so that the dogs can get some real exercise and fresh air during the day.

    Routing should be as straight-forward and as much as possible should stick to the Interstates, especially in the northern reaches of your trip where winter weather is likely. The Interstates are the most 'RV friendly' roads and receive first attention with regards to plowing/salting/sanding. Even so, you should build a day or two into your schedule to allow for days when you just shouldn't be trying to push your rig through the weather. Depending on where in Wisconsin you're starting from, you should head for either I-39 or US-151 as soon as possible to get to Madison. Between there and Iowa City stick with I-39/I-88/I-80 if the weather looks iffy, or if there are clear skies forecast you can continue on US-151. I-80/I-35/(I-335) will get you to Wichita where you should be able to take a 'shortcut' using US-400/US-54 to Tucumcari NM and I-40 most of the rest of the way.

    Beyond that, if you were looking for more specific advice, such as things to see or do on the way, letting us your interests and timeline would go a long way towards getting useful information.


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