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Thread: First Big Trip

  1. #1

    Default First Big Trip

    Making our first big trip in our 19 foot pull behind. Going from NC to WA and not sure which route to take. This is not really a pleasure/sight seeing trip so we are not worried about any of that. I was thinking - and I know it will add a few hundred miles - From central NC down to Atlanta, up through Memphis, up to I-70 and across to WA.

    I would really like to not hit any grades over 5% - like not I-40 through Western NC.

    This may be asking a lot but we want to stay away from Big cities during rush hour and two lane roads.

    We used to have a Class C so I am used to the width and have driven from NC to NV and back, but not pulling.

    I have a Dodge Ram 1500 5.7 l Hemi with a towing package.

    These may be some weird things to ask but we on an urgent family matter and have not had a lot of time to plan.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Welcome to RTA!

    Where in NC and where in WA?

    If you don't want to tackle grades, I-70 is a highway you definitely do not want to take. It climbs to over 11000 feet west of Denver. Regardless of what route you take, you will have to climb grades over 5%.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Some Spots to Avoid

    The steepest grades on the Interstate System are:

    I-70 between the Eisenhower Tunnel and Silverthorne: 7%
    I-84 east of Pendleton OR: 6%
    I-24/I-64 over Monteagle Mtn TN: 8%

    Otherwise, as long as you stick to the Interstate Highway System most grades should be 5% or less, but a 5% grade is not considered noteworthy, so you'll have trouble finding a listing of all the places where you would encounter such a grade.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    What's your rig like? Tow vehicle? 19 ft travel trailer, I assume?

    There's a reason I ask. Your tow vehicle, and how you pack both vehicles, is the key to making it up and down grades. If you're going to WA, you're going to have to go over the mountains. To paraphrase an old song, you can't go under them, you can't go around them (without adding a whole lotta miles), you gotta go over/through them.


  5. #5


    Thanks all. It gives me something to gnaw on.

    - - - Updated - - -

    It's a Sonic.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If you would like specific route advice, please tell us where in NC and where in WA.

  7. #7

    Default Assistance please

    1. Will I have to stop at weigh stations pulling a 19 ft Sonic?

    2. Can I run the propane - just for the fridge - while driving? I believe I can because there are only mountain tunnels.

    Moderator Note: Please keep all questions about this trip in this thread.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 05-13-2019 at 08:32 AM. Reason: Merged Threads

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Weigh station rules vary from state to state. If you're under 10,000 lbs total weight, you're usually exempt - but that's not a hard and fast rule. Pay attention to the signage, and if you have any doubt, it doesn't hurt to stop - worst thing that could happen is they wave you through.

    Running the propane while driving is not recommended - people do it, but it is not particularly safe, and would be an explosion risk if you were in an accident. It's also really not necessary - food should stay cold in your fridge for 8 hours without running, as long as the door remains closed. Turn your fridge the the coldest setting before departure if you are particularly concerned about it.

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