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  1. Default Florida to California

    we are driving a class A RV for the first time and towing a car from Ft. Walton Beach, Fl to Santa Rosa, CA starting 09/14/16. We need to be in California by 09/19/16 or 09/20/16 at the latest. Two of us will be sharing the driving so we can make better time. Is it better to take I-10 or I-40? Does I-40 have more mountains and two lane roads? It's fewer miles on I-40 but same drive time as I-10? We are a little nervous because this will be our first RV trip. We are helping our friend move from Fl back to Northern Ca. I think we can just pull into rest stops for a few hours sleep instead of looking for RV camps. Any opinions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Making it more enjoyable than work.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    With your set up I would allow 6 days to travel and that will give you time to be able to park up for the night and get a good and proper nights sleep so that you are fit and ready to get on the road again next morning. Trying to do to much early on in your trip and plan on "pulling over for a few hours sleep" is not the way to start out, this will be a marathon and not a sprint and you won't want fatigue to set in half way through the trip. It really doesn't help having 2 drivers either, as neither will be able to get proper rest in a moving vehicle where you need to be seated and belted in, it's more tiring being the passenger sometimes and when they take over the driving who is going to keep an eye on them when the other is nodding off ? As I say, you have time for the trip, just work your stops out at around 425-450 miles per day and you can make it an enjoyable trip without exhausting yourselves. Another thing is you can't just pull up in a rest area as in many cases [most] it would be illegal. Truck stops would be OK but I think it would be nice to find at least a couple of campgrounds where you can sit down and relax at night to have a break from the road.

    Interstates are built with gradual gradients and curves for the largest of rigs so you should have no problem taking the most direct route, in this case I40. If you used that extra day, or half of it perhaps you could detour to the Grand canyon for a night just to make it a little more interesting ? You don't say when this trip is starting but the further into winter you go you should allow some 'wiggle' room in case of weather disruption.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Drive, Sleep, Repeat

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Since you have never driven long distances (or at all) in an RV before, you are basing some of your planning on your experiences in the family car which are not necessarily transferable, and falling prey to some fairly typical misconceptions about RV travel. The first thing that you have to realize is that RV travel is significantly slower than you might be used to. Think of all the lumbering RVs you usually pass as you drive down the Interstates. Five days is the absolute minimum amount of time that it will take you to complete this trip. Period. If you want to see anything along the way, other than through the windshield, you will need to schedule that sixth day. Note that having another body in the RV will not let you "make better time", in fact just the opposite. You will have to make more frequent stops since your bodies will not always be in sync, and every stop you make will be longer, governed not only by the enormous size of the fuel tank you'll need to fill but by whichever of you is slower.

    You also cannot "just pull into rest stops for a few hours sleep". Not only is that illegal in most states, but such short naps are not nearly what you need to be sharp enough to handle several thousand pounds of unwieldy and wind-tossed vehicle at highway speeds. Nor is sleeping in the moving vehicle a safe or legal option as all occupants of every vehicle on the road are required by law to be seat-belted in to a crash-worthy chair while in motion. And again, that's neither the quality nor quantity of sleep that you'll need. You will have the option, with their permission, of spending the night in the parking lots of major truck plazas along the way. The typical courtesy in such a case is to do some business with them (fuel, food, even a shower), let them know that you plan to stay the night in your rig, and park where they tell you.

    It really won't make much of a difference to your travel time whether you choose I-40 or I-10. I-40 is nominally shorter and maybe a shade more scenic, but it also requires a bit of non-Interstate driving (US-98/US-49) between Mobile AL and Jackson MS. Both routes will put you through (or around) several large cities where your rig will require all the skill and alertness you can muster. This can be an enjoyable drive if you take your time and treat it like the major undertaking that it is. But if you just try to rush through it, particularly if you try to skimp on sleep, you're just asking for trouble,

    Last edited by AZBuck; 09-08-2016 at 04:07 PM.

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