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  1. Default Newbie Needs Directions

    Hello!
    My hubby and I are moving from Frankford DE. to Clarkdale AZ.We are renting an RV for the first time,because we don't want our 20 year old cat to fly.Can you seasoned travelers give advice on the best routes to take and where to stop for the nights in the RV? Of course we've checked out Google Maps and wondering if it's the best and safest way.We plan on leaving 9-16,and need to get there hopefully before 9-22.Any suggestions on ANYTHING will be most helpful!! Thank you in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    10,113

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    Best route for a RV is the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to the north beltway to I-66 to I-81 to I-40 to I-17 to AZ-260. We have a forum for camping along Interstate highways:

    https://www.roadtripamerica.com/foru...-Camping-Guide

    This is a 2400 mile drive, 6 days would be 400 miles a day.

    If you do not want to use a campground, you can usually park overnight in a truck stop with permission, park where directed. Do not "set up camp" or open slides, it's only for sleeping in the RV. Be sure to give the establishment some business - buy fuel, buy food, etc. It will NOT be quiet, you will hear trucks running all night.

  3. Default

    Omg..THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I knew I came to the right place! All this info is so very helpful...I'm sure I'll be back with more questions before we leave...again,thank you so much!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    10,113

    Default

    Debbie - You may have been replying while I was editing my post, I just want to make sure you see my latest info.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    10,117

    Default Shortest and Most Direct

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    With only five days total for your drive, including the first and last days you listed, you're not going to have time for much, if any, sight-seeing on this drive. That's especially true if you plan on picking up the RV on the 16th. If you've never driven one before the check-out procedure can be quite involved and time consuming. Remember, you're renting both a car and a house with all the utilities of both. So the only way you're going to make this trip in any sort of relaxed manner is to be at the rental location as soon as they open, hit the road as soon as you can, and take the most direct, shortest (in time) route you can find.

    That shortest route is to head for the Chesapeake Bay Bridge using US-113, DE/MD-404 and US-50. Then once across the bridge take I-97 up to the Baltimore Beltway (I-695) around the southwestern side of that city to I-70 west. Then just stay on I-70 to St. Louis (using appropriate beltways around Columbus (I-270 around the south) and Indianapolis (I-465 again on the south side of the city). At St. Louis use I-255, again to the south, but leave it on I-44 to Oklahoma City and I-40 to Flagstaff AZ. The temptation at Flag will be to use I-17 south and then cut over to Clarkdale, but there simply are no good roads between I-17 and Clarkdale for a lumbering RV. Instead head down AZ-89A. This is a gorgeous road through Oak Creek Canyon, There is one portion with a set of switchbacks and grades, but everyone will be going slow through there. This is a gawking road. AZ-89A will get you to the Clarkdale area.

    As for where to spend each night, that will depend greatly on what time you really get started down the road on Day 1. I'm going to assume to start that you either get the RV the night before or get an early enough start so that you can split the trip up into five relatively equal driving days. In that case You'd need to make good about 460 miles a day which is relaxing and allows for a few R&R breaks during each day's drive. Your overnight stops would be roughly: Zanesville OH, St. Louis MO (a bit farther, but try to get through St. Louis in the evening of Day 2 and camp on the west side of town so you miss any morning rush hour), Stroud OK (same caveat about Oklahoma City), and Santa Rosa NM.

    If you have a sixth day, and you just want to use it driving, then 400 miles per day will work. But as I said, 460 miles per day is still a fairly relaxed pace and lets you spend a day 'off' if there's somewhere you'd like to visit along the way.

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 08-18-2020 at 06:55 PM. Reason: typos

  6. Default

    Thank you both sooo much! Yes,we will be picking up the RV the day before,and heading out at dawn on the 16th.All of this info in so valuable.We are familiar with the AZ roads,and know how tricky 89a can be...especially with all the roundabouts...YIKES!We have always flown until now.I know I'll be back with many more questions.I am so lucky to have found you guys! I already feel better about the trip!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    10,113

    Default

    If you are picking up the RV on the 15th, 6 days on the road will get you there on the 21st.

    3 reasons I prefer my route to Buck's route with a RV are:

    1. No tolls.
    2. Slightly less mountainous.
    3. Fewer large cities to get around/through.

    One disadvantage:

    Getting around DC on the beltway, although morning rush should be pretty much over when you get that far if you wait till somewhat after dawn. It's 2 hours from your starting point to Annapolis. You may want to use a real-time traffic app on your phone, it may be faster taking the south beltway.

    Before I edited my post, I originally suggested Buck's route, except I suggested I-68 and I-79 to avoid the PA Turnpike.

    Buck's route is only 35 miles shorter than mine.

  8. #8

    Default

    My 2 cents as a Marylander... be sure to leave late enough to minimize traffic jams on the DC beltway and I-66. The cluster of DC beltway and the I-66 corridor can be awful with traffic but especially confusing for unfamiliar drivers with all the toll roads, toll lanes, and continuing construction on I-66. So by all means, don't leave before 7am from Delaware. Depart an hour later if there is rain that day. And then cross your fingers, grab a rosary, etc. ... You may not want to plan driving as far on Day #1.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    10,113

    Default

    Landmariner - what would you think about using Buck's route as far as Hagerstown, then picking up I-81? It adds about 35 miles, but do you think morning traffic would be any better instead of fighting DC?

    I also see another possibility - US-340 and VA-7 from Frederick to Winchester?

  10. Default

    Wow...so much to consider,and all very helpful.Today hubby and I are sitting down and actually going to map it out.He will have the last word since he'll be doing most of the driving.Thankfully he has driven a large utility truck for years.I will be back with more questions.Again,all these tips are so helpful!!!

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