The last day of our RV trip west was a long driving day of over 400 miles and mostly on I-40 across TN. I didn’t realize how nice it was to drive the light traffic roads of the West until we got on the very crowded I-40, making the drive long and tense. But we got home safe and sound around 5:30pm on Sep. 28, for a 29 day trip.
Here’s a few of the things we learned.
1. Roads and traffic are generally much better in the less populated western states. South Dakota’s roads were the best and Iowa’s were the worst (but still not as bad as we found in Arkansas last year) – going thru Missouri and Kansas will be our preferred route.
2. Avoid large cities like the plague as the road surfaces are terrible, there is always construction going on, and there are lots of drivers in a big hurry.
3. Make a long driving day 300 miles and the normal more like 200-250 miles, so a nice evening and afternoon can be spent exploring the area – especially for one night stays. We did a 75 - 100 miles/day longer on this trip.
4. Rather than trying to see so much area, with only 2-3 days allotted per stop, go less places and spend 4-5 days, or more, to be able to really see an area.
5. Try not to be on the road on Sundays and holidays as road service is much less available.
6. September is a good time to travel where we did as the weather had cooled and there were no crowds - we had some places nearly to ourselves.
7. If we plan to continue RVing, we must get a car that can easily be towed without the dolly as it is a pain to fool with.
8. Get the RV in as good a condition as possible before hitting the road.
9. It’s hard to imagine the vast mid west’s food producing ability until you’ve seen some of it.
10. Over 3826 miles, the RV got 8.5 MPG or about 47.7 cents/mile in fuel cost.
11. Thoroughly research the area to be visited to maximize our time there.
12. Get a Truck Route Atlas and know where the fuel stops are on the non-interstate roads.
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9/28/12 event date