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  1. Default Best route for an RV

    Hey there!
    We have a two month round trip adventure coming up, and I am feeling a little bit nervous about the route in our '91 RV.
    First leg is travelling from Lincoln, NE to Tacoma, WA.
    The second leg is from Los Angeles, CA to Minneapolis, MN.
    Knowing that our RV only handles so-so on big hills, what are the flattest/most rv friendly routes you would recommend?
    Also, we will be doing the first leg in a week (early September), and the second leg in mid October, in case weather might play a hand in route choices.
    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    If you have concerns about hills and curves, then you should stick to the most direct interstate routes - which have limited grades so that RVs and Trucks can travel them at high speeds.

    For your first leg, the straightforward route is I-80 to I-84 to I-82. It's about 1700 miles, so it will be a very full 3 days on the road.

    Your second leg (actually, isn't it your 3rd, since you'll have to get from Tacoma to LA?), you'll have to make a bit of a choice. The direct route would be I-15 to I-70 to I-76 to I-80 to I-35. While this route is still an interstate and if your vehicle is in good condition, you should be able to make it without many issues, it is a route that goes through the heart of the Colorado Rockies. While it makes it one of the most scenic in the freeways in the world, it also deals with more elevation than any other interstate. An Alternative would be to take I-15 through Salt Lake City, to I-84, back to I-80 and across Wyoming as above. I-80 east of SLC has a rather steep grade that can be avoided by using I-84. In any case, for the LA to MSP drive, you should plan for at least 4 days.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default What are your concerns ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Interstates are built to handle the biggest and heaviest of rigs and have gradual gradients and curves, but that doesn't mean to say you should limit yourselves to just those if you want to visit places along the way. The weather is totally unpredictable this far in advance so that will be a case of wait and see. You don't tell us anything of your travel plans such as how long and whether or not you wish to do sight seeing along the way, or if it's anything in particular that is making you nervous. All I can say is that there are thousands of RV's travelling Highways and By ways every day without problem and any routes that might not suit your rig are usually well signed long before you enter that section of road.

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

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    One route that was just suggested ... 1-15 to I-70 to I-76 etc....is not without its problems for an RV. As a former RV'er, our rig did not handle the long climb from Glenwood Springs to Eisenhower Tunnel, Vail, etc., very well. We were not only in the right hand lane, a lot of time we were in the extreme right hand lane and had trucks going around us. We vowed and declared, that as much as we loved that drive (and still do!), it was not something we particularly enjoyed driving with that rig. I should add that several trucking companies would only route their most experienced truckers on I-70 between Grand Junction and Denver, for that very reason -- that, and the long downgrade into Denver. (There are signs along that route that say something like, "Truckers, you're not down yet...." with instructions.)

    I think you're better off with MWMichael's alternative, I-15 to I-84 to 80, etc.


    Donna

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    I-80 across Wyoming can be very windy and does climb to almost 9000 feet - alternates to consider are either I-29 to I-90, or I-80 to I-25 to I-90.

    On the return leg, I think I'd take I-15 to I-40 to I-25 to I-76 to I-80 to I-35.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, CO.
    Posts
    304

    Default

    One little gotcha to think about the I-90 route with an RV is that it goes thru Livingston, MT. One of the windiest spots in the US and it has high-wind detours off the interstate and down onto US highway sometimes. If going that way it would be something to plan for by getting weather and weather forecast for that spot and considering laying up for a day or two to let it blow out a bit.

  7. Default

    Thanks for all of your replies!
    We are going for my husband's work, and have about 2 1/2 days to get from Nebraska to Washington, so obviously not a whole lot of leisure time! That is my main concern, is finding the best route to fit our tight schedule, especially since if we are having to go up a lot of steep grades or through high wind areas, we might have to make a few more stops to let the engine rest.
    Getting some replies has put me a lot more at rest, and now we just have to decide which route we will take!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Two and a half days to make it 1700 miles from Lincoln to Tacoma??? Ouch, that's not going to be possible. You need a full three days, and even that's pushing it a *lot*. My husband and I had a 450-500 mile/day self-limit when we were towing with our old truck. You are looking at three 10-12 hour days on the road. Hopefully you can find that extra 1/2 day somewhere, and possibly another one.


    Donna

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    As Donna indicated, if you've only got 2.5 days to get from Lincoln to Tacoma, then route is not your biggest problem. It's just not possible to safely cover that distance in 2.5 days, even if you didn't have the additional issues of driving an RV.

    You need a bare minimum of 3 full days, and in an RV where you've got concerns enough about it's fitness that you think that the "engine will need to rest" (that really shouldn't be a concern if the RV is in good running condition), then even 3 days could be too much.

  10. Default

    Yeah, his work does not allow for much time between set ups at all. We can push it to a full 3 days on the road to make it safely. With 2 drivers, we usually try to spilt the drive time between us and go in shifts.

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