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Old 06-24-2009, 09:26 AM   #1
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Default Drive Time Per Day

I'm curious to hear from you more experienced TMer's on your average miles per day driving/towing on a cross country type of trip.
We've always tried to take a nice vacation every few years. For many of these years we used my car, and now use my van.
My wife and I usually try to make good time when traveling...not by going 90mph, but by trying to make few stops, eating in the car, etc. This was usually due to the fact that the ending destination was were the fun was.
In the days of the car, we have been known to do 1000 miles in a day (the car is very comfortable), and now in the van we just did 800, but it was rough, as the van is a bit more tedious to drive.

With the TM I understand that the mentality would change since the traveling becomes part of the adventure... and that towing would mean slower speeds, more stops, etc. I would also assume the "tedious" level would go way up when towing so the hours per day would need to be less than normal trip via car.

On average, when planning say a 2000 mile trip towing a TM, how many miles per day do you shoot for? Just thinking out loud, I would say that you would average 60mph for say 8hrs for about 450 miles per day. Sounds about right, or am I assuming too much?
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Old 06-24-2009, 09:56 AM   #2
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For us it isn't so much a matter of miles as it is hours. 8 hours would be max for us.

That said, we typically try to plot out things to see on the way rather than just focusing on the end destination.

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Old 06-24-2009, 10:25 AM   #3
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We've found that the twins don't like more than 4 hours. 3-3.5 is much better for us.

So, for now we're sticking closer to home. Maybe when they're a little older we can venture farther afield.

When I used to drive for a teen backpacking group, a caravan of 3 vans with trailers for backpacks, gear, etc. between backcountry areas, we figured 500 miles as about the max limit for a driving day, and we tried to limit the number of those long days because they were very tiring on everyone.
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Old 06-24-2009, 10:29 AM   #4
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We have to schedule everything with our company so we really try not to be on a strict schedule while vacationing. We sometimes even extend our vacations while we are still there. We also like the idea of seeing more things so our future camping trips will most likely be planned out with stop overs along the way to be more adventures. If finance get better than they are now we may plan a long trip to a Vegas convention for our industry this year if not this year we will go next year.

As for drive time we have driven straight thru to most destinations in past by taking turns driving & only stopping for fuel which makes us very tired once we get there.

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Old 06-24-2009, 10:45 AM   #5
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We find that tolerance for time behind the wheel gets shorter as we get older.

When we were younger, 1000 miles per day was normal and 1500 miles was doable (one driving, one sleeping 24, hours a day driving).

We did a 1100 miles from Richland, Wa to LA, Ca in one day when we bought our TM about 2 years ago. It was far from fun or vacation like and it was 24 hours, non-stop (except meals and potty stops).

Last weekend, we drove 350 to visit our kids. It was a 6 hour drive (without the TM) and we were done-in when we arrived. We determined then, that 6 hours was the max that we would want to tow the TM in any one day (keeping in mind tear down and set-up at the end of the drive). The # of miles traveled will depend largely on terrain and speed limits.

Were are in our mid 60's now. We are planning on towing our TM to Alaska in 2013. I'm wondering if that 6 hours will still hold when we get closer to 70 .
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Old 06-24-2009, 01:47 PM   #6
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We typically average 350 to 450 miles per day and we're ready to stop at that time. Usually, driving that distance, we put in 6-7 hours time. That includes potty breaks for us and the dogs, and a stop at lunch.

We can leave here (northeast TN) and be most places we want to go in 3-1/2 to 4 days traveling as stated above. We usually go to the southwest when on vacation.


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Old 06-24-2009, 03:26 PM   #7
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My main criterion is that I don't like to arrive after dark. Trying to back in, set up, etc, in a strange place in the dark is not cool to me. So, I try to get an early start and drive till dusk. This means how far I can go varies with the seasons. I will also drive after dark if I'm heading home, since I am familiar with that destination
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Old 06-24-2009, 04:08 PM   #8
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Default 500 a day give or take . . .

We usually shoot for about 500 miles a day... but it is not etched in stone...
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Old 06-24-2009, 04:13 PM   #9
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Most people would not like to ride with me.

DW and I never stop until it is time to get gas. That is approximately 300 miels when towing.

I have never towed that far.

Our longest trip was Fall 2002. After working all day we go in the Dodge Dakota truck, not towing and only limited luggage.

I drove from San Jose at 4:00 pm to Mojave where we got gas and a burger.
Then I drove to Flagstaff where we got gas.
Then I drove to Albuquerque, where we got gas. It was now 6:30 AM.

DW drove the rest of the way to Angelfire.

Coming home we left at noon. I drove to the AZ state line. DW drove across AZ. I drove from the CA line home, slept for 2 hours and then worked a full day.

7 years older now, I think I have finally left those days behind me. I think I would stop for the day after emptying the second tank of gas, however far that is. Probably 600 miles or so.

btw. I really enjoy long distance driving. I even enjoy the scenery across I80 in the Nevada desert or I5 between the bay area and Los Angeles.
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Old 06-24-2009, 04:38 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ED-n-KEL View Post
. . .On average, when planning say a 2000 mile trip towing a TM, how many miles per day do you shoot for? Just thinking out loud, I would say that you would average 60mph for say 8hrs for about 450 miles per day. Sounds about right, or am I assuming too much?

Shortly after Christmas we head for Tucson, AZ and stay in the area through early to mid March. The trip is close to 2700 miles and takes us 6 days, traveling at 60 to 65 mph. Generally we spend 7 to 8 hours on the road and drive 400 to 450 miles per day. Your estimates of travel times and distances are quite accurate.

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