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  1. Default Need serious Advice Safety not fun

    I have a 1966 F250 motor home with drum brakes no AC and no power steering- Single rear wheels so it gets blown all over the roar when a big rig passes- 60 MPH tops- 50-55 is stable 45 is even better- .
    im going from orange county CA to Tampa FL about 2600 miles- no interest in sight seeing.

    I've just made a successful trip to sacrament and back --that's 1000 miles. But it was not hot-

    Map quest has me going south... hugging Mexico... El Paso.. San antonio

    Given the temperatures i think ill need to drive like from 3 AM or 4 AM to noon-- Thats a problem as
    I need to be alert-- very alert and driving early in the morning tired in the dark can be an issue.

    The truck just made the Grape Vine at 25MPH emergency flashers on-- but thats a big consideration for the
    FL trip -- hills and mountains are hard on an old truck

    So im asking what my best route would be and any advice--except buy anther home or ship it- thats not helpful-- unless i could get it shipped for 2 grand-

    As it stands- @ 10 miles per gallon it will cost me 1000 plus i cant sleep in it as it will be too hot- 10 days on the road is another 500 in hotel rooms-

    i know there is no good answer but the idea is to minimize risk-- getting thru LA was a white knuckle ride as cars going 75 clime up my right side merging in traffic-- hitting big cities at busy times is really tough

    So all comments welcomed- i definitely need trip advice


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Central Missouri


    I'm not sure why this was sent to moderation, but I'll respond anyway.

    I "get" what you're saying. You know you have to go slow and mountains, which you will have to get over somehow, make you even slower. When you are presented with a "truck lane", you should take it.

    That said, how about taking a somewhat "northern" route where it will cool off at night so that you can sleep? Going up Cajon Pass on I-15 might be a little slow, but once you are in Barstow, you could take I-40 across. At Nashville, drop down on I-24 as far as Chattanooga, and then pick up US-27 south. Take that for awhile to avoid Atlanta - if you were white-knuckling Orange County, Atlanta will also be "no fun". You could, perhaps, take US-80 eastbound over to I-75 south, which could get you home.

    As for overnights, it will cool off a lot faster at night in many areas along I-40, such as in Northern Arizona. Staying on the I-10 is, as you put it, very HOT. Public campgrounds could cost you around $20 per night instead of $50. Save the motels for those nights when you have to head south again.


  3. Default

    Maybe it would be possible to mount a small air conditioner in a window? There are 5000btu 50lb units. Of course, you’d have to have the proper wiring for it. Safety first.

  4. Default

    Donna that route sounds better and if i plan Cajon pass should be doable-- do you know how i can get this route displayed on an on line map? That way i can check total mileage and also temperature ranges- i checked out a few cities and definitely cooler!-- I also dont like going near Mexico with this border Crisis.

    Traveling man-- i have a 900watt generator that will go for 4- 5 hours--i will check out the AC unit
    power ratings that you suggest-

    thanks to you both!! I have time to plan as im busy with details for the next 5-10 days
    Comments welcomed and appreciated

  5. Default traffic

    I need to emphasize the risks in Big aggressive cities. I'm doing a top safe speed in Sacramento of 55 --lanes merge- and im getting passed on the right by people doing 80 with my directional on attempting to get in a more right lane so-- yes Atlanta is nasty-- any others on the more northern route?

    With a speed differential of 25 MPH i just cant gauge a safe lane change so i move over slowly and that just seems to piss people off more.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Try using Google Maps. Once you set the start and end points you can drag the intermediate route anywhere you want.

    Taking I-40, you are going to have one big issue - the I-40 bridge over the Mississippi at Memphis is closed. Detour is I-55 to I-240, expect traffic delays. If you time it right, you can go through Atlanta without too many issues, the western bypass would be the best bet. US-27 really isn't that great a road.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default The Cold Hard Truth

    There's no sugar coating this. You have several significant problems:

    1) You've got a 55 year-old under-powered motor home
    2) It has no air conditioning
    3) Its brakes are questionable
    4) It starts to get unstable at speeds greater than 45 mph
    5) Its top speed is 60 mph
    6) It slows to 25 mph climbing grades

    The fact of the matter is that I don't think your vehicle is safe for Interstate Highway travel. Period. Full stop.

    Study after study by federal (FHWA, NTSB), state, and academic researchers have shown that speed differential is at least as important as speed per se in determining highway safety. You yourself note how scary it is to be traveling 30-40 mph slower than the rest of traffic. It is not everybody else on the road causing safety problems. It's you. No one can tell you how to make this trip safely because your vehicle itself makes every moment that you're on a road with a greater than 55 mph speed limit an accident waiting to happen. It's up to you to keep out of everyone else's way, not vice versa.

    If I were you and I had to get that vehicle cross country, I'd allow an absolute minimum of 10 days for the task and stick to surface roads rather than Interstates. I wish you luck. You're going to need it.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 05-28-2021 at 10:12 AM. Reason: Typos

  8. Default

    AZBuck has a good point! I’ve had several “close calls” with slow trucks. The problem is twofold. First of all, you’re not expecting someone to be driving slow on the expressway. Second, you get surprisingly close to a slow truck before you realize just how slow it’s really going!

    It might be a good idea to run your emergency flashers continuously. It might also be a good idea to somehow hang a large SLOW VEHICLE sign across the back, up high. Your flashers will only be obvious to the car directly behind you.

    It may be illegal, but I might consider posting an orange triangle too.

    The scariest situation is a couple of tailgaters coming upon a slow vehicle. The first driver zooms up behind the slow driver and quickly changes lanes at the last moment. The tailgating driver might not have the time or clearance to change lanes and might be traveling too fast to brake in time.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Ft. Collins, CO.


    An alternative would be to engage a flatbed company to transport it. Vehicle transporting company would be what I'd search for.

    I had a Mercedes Unimog that was that slow or worse. It was delivered to me in California and I live in Colo. I thought long and hard about it but decided to get it shipped.

    There was a story in the Unimog groups about a group of trucks that were wiped out from behind as they were convoying someplace when a big truck ran into them. It only takes one mistake like that to cause mayhem.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Central Missouri


    There's one issue that I see with surface roads, and that's the unpredictability of climbing (and down) grades. Surface roads, such as those on US and state highways, are allowed far more leeway with grades than an interstate.

    For instance, US-60 might be a nice alternative to I-40. However, it has some of those problems I just mentioned: grading issues. In Eastern Arizona, for instance, it has some 8% grades (if memory serves), while I-40 is limited to 6% (and usually stays under that).


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