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  1. #1

    Default Traveling from California to Florida in March

    Planning our first cross-country trip from Northern California to Florida in March in our Winnebago Vista (31' gas MH). The RoadTrip America application mapped the I10 route. We plan on taking 10-15 days, at the minimum, each direction depending on research.

    - Any suggestions on great places to stay or visit along the way?
    - Should we be worried about snow/ice on I10 in March?
    - Is there another scenic route that we can take back to California in April to see more places? (thinking about going north to North Carolina before heading west)

    We like nature, but we are not extreme hikers, but like to see mountains, canyons, lakes, rivers, beaches. New to desert other than trip to Grand Canyon and Vegas. We have a choc lab that loves cold water and beaches. We like to explore small towns, cafes and see local flavor. Even though we want to explore National and State parks, we try to avoid large crowds and tourist hot spots. We are willing to dry camp or boondock for a few consecutive days then pamper ourselves in a RV park with full hook-ups. Our goal is to visit the lower 48 and lower Canada within the next couple of years.

    Part of the reason we bought the RV is to find our next home or base camp for future travels. We are retired and we don't know where our two boys will live after college. So, we want to experience America, find out how much cold and hot temps we are willing to live in, and meet local people while we're visiting.

    New to RVing and excited and meet the USA on the road.

    Many thanks for any advice,

    John

    Note: New members may not post links to outside sites. - Mod
    Last edited by AZBuck; 10-31-2017 at 10:00 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,053

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    One thing you need to remember about online mapping programs, including RTA's, is that they are always going to default to the shortest/fastest route between two points. That doesn't mean it's the best route, or the route you should take, especially when your goal is something other than shortest/fastest.

    Really, that is the biggest danger of using any computer software/GPS/etc, it's easy to just do what it tells you to do, go where it tells you to go. The purpose of such products should be just the opposite - helping give you information to help you determine where it is you want to go.

    For that, you may find that paper maps are actually a bit more helpful in giving you a better big picture look at all of your options - such maps are also invaluable for when you are actually on the road. Then, once you have a better idea of where it is you want to go - then computer programs can help you get there and find things along the way.

    For example, with RTA's map center, here are the instructions for adding stops along the way.

    So having said all that, I certainly don't think you should limit yourself to only looking at I-10 for your trip out - although if that ends up being what you decide, that's ok too.

    As far as snow, there is no cross country route that is immune from seeing snow or ice in winter - I-10 certainly sees its share. By March your chance of seeing winter weather is reducing, but you'd still have a chance. At the very least, you should be prepared to see cold - quite possibly below freezing temperatures - especially through Eastern AZ, NM, and West Texas, and take appropriate steps you will be able to be comfortable in such cold conditions, and make sure your RV isn't damaged by having water lines freeze.

  3. #3

    Default

    Thanks for the information. Will explore other routes than I10.

    Did I do something wrong? Not sure what this means... Saw this comment in my first post -

    Note: New members may not post links to outside sites. - Mod

    Thanks,

    John

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,053

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jschmelzer View Post
    Did I do something wrong? Not sure what this means... Saw this comment in my first post -

    Note: New members may not post links to outside sites. - Mod
    Your original post included a link to another website - specifically it was some other RV related forum. As part of RTA's anti-spam and anti-advertising rules, we do not allow new members to include such links in their posts.

  5. #5

    Default

    Sorry. I must have cut-n-paste from a Face Book post and didn't realize it contained a link. I will make sure I do not do it again. Thank you for the quick lesson!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,537

    Default

    An RV is a lot of fun, but it does have its issues in March and April. If you are in an area that is going to be below 32F for any length of time, you're going to have to make sure that your holding tanks (water and sewer) are completely empty as well as all of your pipes. The last thing you'll want is to replace a tank or pipe, as they can be almost impossible to replace since often they are put in before anything else is, when the RV is built.

    I'd start collecting maps or get out a good atlas, and flag places that you really want to see that are between your home and your destination in FL. Once you have things flagged, you may begin to see a route that will veer off from I-10 or even I-40.

    Van Horn and Ft Stockton TX have both been snowed upon in March and April. One of my folks' favorite RV stories was getting holed up in an RV park in Van Horn during a spring break one year, getting off the freeway during a rather unexpected blow. I-40 in NM and AZ gets up to 5200-7000 ft elevation, which also causes some weather issues. But I will say, they're more prepared for it up there, than along I-10 in SoAZ, NM and TX!


    Donna

  7. #7

    Default Interstates vs. Regional/Local Roads

    Planning a couple of regional and cross-country trips (one to three month long trips). We have time to visit along the routes. We also feel that the way points are just as important as the destinations. So, do you travel on the Interstates only? Mostly Interstates with local Highways/Roads for side trips to local points of interests? Regional and local Hwys only? I certainly understand that each part of the country is different - so regional preferences makes sense.

    Pros (Interstates): Faster speeds, better roads, less hazards for RVs, closer to bigger cities, better access to service/repairs, ...

    Cons (Interstates): Not as scenic, congested roads through big cities, more trucks, farther away from interesting places such as parks, beaches, small towns, ...

    For those of you who know California, here are three very different routes between Northern and Southern California: I5, Hwy 101 and Hwy 1 (PCH). For people new to Cali, Hwy 101 is a good compromise. I love Hwy 1 but it is often closed a major rock/mud slides, can be treacherous for RVs, takes a long time to travel, not much in terms of Infrastructure if you need it.

    Is the convenience of the Interstates more important than the journey of the regional and local roads? What are your preferences and why?

    Thanks,

    John

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,741

    Default Highways and Byways

    Is the convenience of the Interstates more important than the journey of the regional and local roads? What are your preferences and why?
    As with road trips, each journey takes on it's own identity and therefor even on the same trip, what works best on each given day can be different for planning purposes. If for example, getting from 'A' to 'B' is 500 miles apart and you only have one day to cover the ground then you really have no choice other than to take Interstate for the majority of the day. When I am planning I try to keep driving to under 300 miles so that I don't have to use Interstate and I have enough time for some unexpected stops, a pretty town or lake or great view. An option that Interstate does not offer you. More often than not, some of the best highlights of our trips are those that we stumble upon by chance, or people we meet in a small town. For me a Roadtrip is all about those things mentioned while taking Highways and Byways, any time spent on Interstate is just a journey. That's probably why I have only travelled about 5% of my mileage on Interstate when we visit the US, and the majority of those have been in an RV.

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