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  1. Default

    Another thing about surface roads is speed traps! On one vacation in the northwest, there were many times when I would notice a police car right at the city limits as I came into town. Invariably, it was after an abrupt speed limit change and often at the bottom of a hill.

    This was over the Labor Day holiday, but still.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Also, a lot of surface roads are only single lane with limited passing ability. You will have angry motorists stacking up behind you if you are driving slow.

  3. #13


    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    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.

    The question is, how much of the fault is really due to this vehicle? If it is going 45 or 50, the only way for a 30-40MPH difference is for someone else to be going 75-90. While there may be a few places that those speeds are posted, most are not that high. Thus the speed differential would be much lower if everyone was following the rules (thus some of the blame goes to those speeding, possibly well above the limits to get to 90).

    Same would be the issue on most of the surface roads (where speeds above 55 aren't terribly common) - the motor home going 45-50 wouldn't be as much issue holding up traffic as those behind it who want to go 60+ but shouldn't.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    65 on surface roads is becoming very common in a large portion of the country. A few states even allow 70.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default The Fault is not in Our Stars but in Ourselves

    The Original Poster (OP) said his vehicle's speed dropped to as low as 25 mph on the shallowest of grades. On an Interstate, with 70 mph speed limits being common, that's a 45 mph difference. Normal traffic will be going three times as fast as his 55 year old motor home is capable of on those grades. Bicycles and mopeds are banned on some Interstate Highways for precisely this reason. Then there's the fact that the OP stated that his vehicle started to get unstable above 50 mph or so. That in and of itself is VERY not good. If he can't control his vehicle at highway speeds, that vehicle has no place on the highway. The OP claimed it was a 'white knuckle ride' negotiating the flat terrain of LA, also not very good.

    Finally, there is the fact that the OP apparently knows that all this is unsafe and asked for 'serious advice' and stated that he 'definitely needed trip advice.' I gave him my best advice. That advice was NOT based solely on his comfort or just for his benefit, but on the safety of the thousands and thousands of innocent people who would be forced to share the roads with no knowledge of how unsafe someone else's actions have made those roads. I stand by my comments that his vehicle has NO PLACE on the Interstate Highway System.


  6. Default

    my sincere thanks to all of you i will consider everything that was said -- i thought at 55 i was not the problem-- perhaps i am...

  7. Default

    with some adjustments- weight distribution and wagner brakes shoes and a power vacuum unit the vehicle is more road worthy-- 25MPH referred to the grape vine- 55 is stable on a decent road- it is not under powered-- it is just not smart to force the vehicle up a 6% grade that is old- i could go 70 and have-- but the box on back is not suited for that speed- due to windage

    i have been thinking of some sign for the back-- slow vehicle is good- i was thinking of a big caution sign with an arrow pointing to the right hand directional

    unfortunately there are realities... like me doing 55 and nut jobs passing on the right at 80--

    suggestions welcomed-

  8. Default shipping

    i have gotten a couple of transport quoted-
    my experience is that they low ball you and then as you get tired of waiting--paying hotel and car rental bills-- up the price as much as 30%

    Also the rules say you cant have stuff inside- i have stuff inside-- some car parts etc- thats another reason for them to raise the price on pick up --then there was something about fines if they (authorities) catch the stuff in the back after they take possession--

    Anyone with more experience than i have with these issues ???

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Band-Aids and Saying Good-Bye to an Old Friend

    First, the people you are forcing to pass you on the right are not 'nut jobs'. They are simply trying to make the best of the no-win situation you have placed them in by insisting on traveling at well below highway speeds in a passing lane.

    Second, your vehicle IS under-powered. The 1966 Ford F250 came with at least a 150 hp in-line 6 engine and could have as big as a 200 hp V8. Either one of those in good working order could push your motor home at well past 25 mph up the Grapevine, which at 5% grade is not as steep as is allowed on the Interstate System. That alone indicates that your engine is not in good working order.

    Third, the 1965 and 1966 models introduced a new frame and far more complicated suspension system. While this new system allowed for a smoother ride, it did so at the expense of controllability if any component of that system degraded significantly. Your suspension has clearly degraded.

    What I see in your posts is something that I experienced myself with my faithful old 1957 split-window SAAB 93. That is a vehicle that degraded so slowly over time that I never noticed how unsafe it had become little by little, year after year. Your motor home is now clearly (to an outside observer anyway) well past retirement age. It is probably not worth the cost of repairing/replacing the engine and suspension. I doubt that it is even worth the price of shipping it to Florida. I know it's hard, but I think it's time to say good-bye to this old friend and treat yourself to something newer and, more importantly, SAFER.


  10. Default

    AZ-- i appreciate your concerns- i share them-- but you are making the picture bleaker than it is- the motor and trans are not under powered- 352 Cu inch with lots of torque-in perfect working order- on the grapevine 6 % grade i was in the truck lane with dozens of Semis- there was no safety issue there- my concern is for the truck and if there were many grades like this on any route it would put strain on the vehicle- Cajon pass going north seems to be 3% grade-
    does anyone have different information on this-??

    I do think someone passing on the right at 80MPH is a nut job-- if they want to go 80 at least pass on the left- this only happens in aggressive cities-
    Also posted speed limits for vehicles with trailers is 55-- i can do 55-- i am a realist however and realize few vehicles with trailers go under 60

    i noticed something interesting- i put an American flag in the back window and seemed to get more respect- i will stencil the "slow vehicle" message across the back-- if i make this trip-- i will only drive 300-400 miles a day

    ultimately the plan is to get rid of the motor home back in FL-- the truck itself is in great shape-

    The Saab sounds like a nice car- i hope you still have it

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