How far do you usually drive in a day

Discussion in 'Campground / Trip Planning & Suggestions ?' started by Spawndn72, Aug 30, 2016.

  1. Spawndn72

    Spawndn72 Member

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    We are planning a trip to Custer state park in South Dakota which according to google maps is 18 hours and 35 minutes from my front door. I am thinking I can make it halfway one day and the rest of the way the next. Basically 10 hours of driving each day. Does that sound reasonable? I have driven 13 hours to Florida multiple times, but never pulling a camper.

    I have a 2015 Ford F150 pulling a 3200 lb popup. My parents will be going with us and will be in a Class C pulling a Honda CRV.
     
  2. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    Not to sound nasty but why does it matter what other people can drive in a day?
    What's important is what you can you do in a day.
     
  3. Spawndn72

    Spawndn72 Member

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    Because I am new to camping and towing and don't know what is reasonable and what is not. Generally things like this follow a bell curve, if my expectations fall significantly outside the curve, then I will know to adjust my expectations.
     
  4. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    I thought I read somewhere where you don't want to put much more than 8 hours on the popup tires. As they can overheat or something like that. I can't remember where I read that, but it made since thinking the popup tires would make more rotations vrs your TV. I personally think breaking up the trip they way you plan should work. If you give the tires a bit of a cool down period. When hauling the trailer I have not taken it on longer than 8 hour trips yet.
     
  5. JustRelax

    JustRelax Active Member

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    I would personally plan on one overnight stay around halfway. Are you planning to camp or hotel for the overnight? If you plan to camp you may need to hit a scheduled stop and need time to "setup". If it's a hotel you can drive on over half way if you still feel fine to shorten the drive on the day you set up at the end destination.

    Things move a little slower while towing but as far as getting on the interstate and going there's not much more stress. Assuming you are getting up and leaving and not trying this after working a full day then it's not unreasonable to make the same 13 hr drive time you know you can handle.

    Things get a little tricky when you are tired so I wouldn't push it too late into the evening - the oh no I'm out of my lane swerve backs never end well with a trailer that you can get away with in a car to some extent.
     
  6. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    It might be do-able, but I take the driving times from google maps or mapquest with a huge chunk of salt. I also double-check routes on actual maps, more than once the "best way" calculated by the mapping programs have proved to be not the best way for my purposes. There seems to be little allowance for traffic, road construction, gas stops, food stops, potty stops, weather, etc. Don't forget that pup tires (with extremely rare exceptions) have a 65 mph limit.
    When we began to pull the pup, we discovered it added a bit to the driving times we were used to, for the same destinations. An extra gas stop or so adds more than you'd think, on top of the slower driving speed. When we switched to the TT, it added an hour to our routine trip to visit friends, so our 8 hour ,~450 mile trip is now about 9 hours with the TT.

    I am planning my trip from NM to SE Ohio for the end of next month. Once upon a time, camping in the tent or using hotels, we did it with 2-3 nights on the road. I did it solo with the pup in 3, though it wasn't great fun. Two years ago I did it in 3 with the TT; the trip east it was so challenging that I had my husband drive the return trip with me, instead of flying home. Even though it was a route I've driven for over 25 years, on that particular trip, I encountered very bad weather (high wind, rain, fog), miles of road construction (the type where you make forward progress by taking your foot off of the brake), on top of learning a new traveling routine (we'd had the TT a week before I left home). The delays from the weather and road construction also put me in the middle of city rush hours, where we'd calculated for me to miss them' not fun even on the interstate, particularly when towing. I'm going to take 4 nights on the road this time, though one of the days will be a relatively short driving day.
    Anymore, at 61, I can drive 8 hours a day, without getting too stressed. It doesn't matter how many miles that results in covering, at about the 8 hour mark, I'm ready to stop. If I'm heading somewhere on a route that I'm used to, and will be there for at least 2-3 nights, I can push that to 9-10 hours. Day after day driving that many hours, especially on my solo trips, I keep it as close to 8 as I can.
     
  7. JustRelax

    JustRelax Active Member

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    Good advice. Obviously if there are equipment concerns such as hot tires this will need to be evaluated. If they are packed and greased properly I don't see a tire getting much hotter at hour 8 vs hour 12.
     
  8. idler

    idler Member

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    It really depends on how you feel about 10 hour days of driving. If you'll wnd up exhausted on day three then it won't have been worth it. If you have books on tape, podcasts, or good conversation to sustain and energize you then go for it.

    I've only done 5 hours of driving for 4 days of camping so far. I have to experiment with longer distances.
     
  9. shuang2

    shuang2 Well-Known Member

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    With a camper behind the longest driving I did have 13-14 hours in one day, but I prefer not over 400 miles or more than 6 hours.
     
  10. f5moab

    f5moab Retired from the Federal Government

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    I think how far you can drive is dependent upon the person driving and the other people in the vehicle who are getting antsy or driving the driver crazy. Everyone is different. Personally, I can go 8 hours even towing through the western states, but if I was in the midwest or further east, I would guess six might be the limit just due to the increase in traffic.
     
  11. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    OK, but nobody knows what is reasonable for you.
    If I followed the camping bell curve I would have A/C, microwave, television, showers, and toilet.
    I don't camp that way.
     
  12. Fixitup

    Fixitup Active Member

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    I think he was just asking for sound advice, not to be ridiculed. And yes it does sound nasty.
     
  13. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't ridiculing and there was no intent to be nasty.
    I'm always amazed when people ask what other people would do when the decision lies totally with them.
    Yes, there are times when a consensus may help but how far should I drive, what should I eat, should I put curtains in my pup, aren't among those.
    Apologies if my comments sounded nasty.
     
  14. phoodieman

    phoodieman Active Member

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    I have done four long trips. North Carolina, Grand Canyon, Tennessee, and the grand daddy of all to Maine. (All originated out of Austin Texas). North Carolina and Grand Canyon were solo trips. Google assumes you are traveling non stop. I have never gone over three hours without having to stop. (You have to gas up which google doesn't factor in). Even with two drivers, attempting over twelve hours of drive time without an extended rest stop is not something you want to do. Ideally what I would like to do is stop and camp en route But you had better have some vacation days stored up unless you are retired. You will have to stop, set up, tear down the next day. That will seriously eat into your driving time. Especially if you stay more than an overnighter. Motels are an option for saving time on overnighters. No set up or tear down time. Rest areas are an option...(Don't know why they call them that. With the noise of big rigs, car alarms going off, people milling around, it's hard to get any real rest). My latest 4900 mile round trip was a challenge. I did the journey up in 60 hours. That was with two drivers. We made one motel stop and one (so called) rest area stop. We had a long stay. About ten days. Because of work we had to get back asap. We did that in about 50 hours. (Two so called "rest stop" stops). Do the math. That is two days and two hours of driving. Towing a trailer the whole time. Serioulsy...it is a challenge. Personally my back is what gave me problems. After six to eight hours of driving it would really start to hurt. Plus your digestive routine gets screwed up. We did some night driving. There are advantages to that. A whole lot less traffic to deal with. But you have to watch out for driver fatigue. Would I do a 4900 mile round trip again without at least 20 days of vacation? Hell no!!!

    Phoodieman
     
  15. dion

    dion Member

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    We've done a number of cross-country trips. The hardest departure to do on-time is the first one from home. Once we're traveling, we can shower, have breakfast, break camp and be driving by 8:30 or 9:00am or so. We can then drive until 5:00 - 8:00 pm or so, depending on the time of year (we like to arrive at least a half hour before sunset, so we can set up before dark). In theory, that could be up to 11.5 hours of driving, but after stopping for food, gas, a bit of sightseeing, etc., it never works out that long. And we never do two brutal long days back-to-back. Realistically, if we have to average more than 300 miles/day for more than a day or so, it stops being fun. We have young kids, and we've got to keep them sane in order for the adults to stay sane.

    Regarding the tires, they'll heat up most during the hottest part of the day, usually 1:00 - 3:30 pm or so. As the sun gets lower in the sky, the tires will start to run cooler, simply because the pavement is cooler and the sun isn't beating on the tires. If they're properly inflated and maintained, not overloaded, and not driven in excess of their speed rating (probably 65 mph) they should go all day and all night.
     
  16. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    I generally take what google maps says the drive time is (without towing something behind you) and add 1 hour to every two hours (cause you are now towing, with slow speeds) so a 2hr trip according to google will be 3hrs, and 6 hours by google becomes 9hours.. So far this theory has proved pretty accurate.. Myself, I try to stay within an 8 hour towing day, this can't always happen, but I try to limit it too that..
     
  17. tzmartin

    tzmartin Well-Known Member

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    My furthest is only a 7 hour long trip to Disney. It all depends on my mood. My wife and I switch off every 3-4 hours just to break up the monotony. If your tires and bearings are in good shape, i don't think you'll have a problem.
     
  18. Rob-N-Kat

    Rob-N-Kat Member

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    We go from the Tampa area to Abrams Creek in the Smokies every year which is about 650 miles and takes us about 11.5 to twelve hours with minimal stops. We have never had a problem with the camper but can't say the same with our former tow vehicle (thanks again Nissan). We are planning on running up to Algonquin in Ontario in a couple of weeks and that is approximately 1500 miles and we are planning on 2.5 days going up and three days coming back. I just bought two new spare tires just in case and repacked the bearings in June and they looked great. Keeping fingers crossed we have no major issues.
     
  19. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

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    I usually try to keep my travel to about 300 miles per day, no use being dead tired or nod off at the wheel. I try to plan my trips so I have plenty of time. No use being so tired when we arrive at our destination that we cannot enjoy the trip it is better on this old body to take the time to relax, have a shower and eat a good meal. We usually stay at a CG, and attempt to reserve a site ahead of time and with the TT it is not much of a problem to set up or break down
     
  20. jumpoff

    jumpoff I'm in a camping state of mind

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    Phoodieman...that was an interesting story...you are definitely a road warrior.
     

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