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  1. Default New Jersey to San Francisco in an RV in FEBRUARY help!!

    So my boyfriend and I are moving to the San Francisco area from Hopatcong, New Jersey in an RV. We need to drive the RV while towing a car. There will be 3 people making the trip, myself included. Apparently there are a lot of factors to consider when driving across the country in an RV during the winter!! I was not aware of this and am now getting so worried!! We've never driven coast to coast before. We will have 9 days to make the drive and we are planning to leave this Friday. Please lend me your expertise and let me know what route you think would be best. Thank you, surely do appreciate your time!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Welcome to RTA!

    There really is no "best" route, but with 9 days, you have time to get off the road if the weather gets bad. I'd suggest the following route to avoid some really high tolls and the Chicago area:

    I-80 west to Youngstown, Ohio, then I-76 west through Akron to I-71 south to Columbus, I-270 bypass west and south to I-70 west to Indy. I-465 bypass north and west to I-865 to I-65 north to Lebanon, IN-32 west to I-74 west to Moline, then I-80 west all the way to SF.

    Note - the safest way to tow a car is with a full trailer, NOT a dolly. You can't back the tow vehicle up with a dolly connected.

    The long range weather forecast is NOT looking good for this trip, I suspect you will need every bit of the 9 days, if not more. The RV will have to remain winterized. You also may encounter areas where chains are required, if this is the case you have no choice, get off the road and wait the storm out. Even with chains I wouldn't drive in those conditions, especially when towing.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    When GLC says "winterized", he means it. That means no water, no dishes, no shower, no potty. You might be able to use it to sleep in but you will have to do so in a place that will have a potty that you can walk to use. You can find an open RV park (good luck with that) or a truck stop. Both would have facilities. Or just stay in a motel. It would probably be warmer anyway, as RV's are notorious for being "drafty". (Ours was.)


  4. Default

    Thanks for the reply! yes we are considering this and we are also considering heading south via I-95 and then taking the 10 west. To me it seems like the best way to avoid weather, albeit adding 1000 miles to our trip.. what do you think about us doing that?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Than you for explaining what winterized meant because I had no idea! and yes ours is very very drafty

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    "Going south" is generally a very lousy way to "avoid weather" - in fact, it's every bit as likely to cause you more problems than it is to solve them.

    First, you can't go far enough south to avoid the chance of bad weather - portions of I-10, particularly in Texas and New Mexico see snow and ice every year, but I've had to deal with ice storms on I-10 in Florida.
    Second, if there is bad weather in the south, road crews are much less able to deal with it and thus their plan often is to wait for it to melt - that means a much smaller amount of snow or ice can create much bigger and longer lasting problems.
    Third, and perhaps most important, if you do see weather problems on a southern route, you now have that much less time to deal with it. 1000 extra miles means a minimum of 2 extra days in good conditions, and could be more if there is any of the aforementioned bad weather. If you instead use those 2 days to simply stop and wait out any storm you see on a more direct route, you'll avoid driving problems in all but the very worst of winter storms.

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