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Routing for cross country trip


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I am going to be traveling from Portland to Florida.   I would like to hear from someone who has done both routes to compare for me the elevations and grades on these two. 

First question.  One route would be from Portland, via 84 thru Boise thru Ogden via 80 thru Laramie and Cheyenne on and on from there. 
The other route would be from Portland down I5 thru Death Valley, then via I40 Kingman, Albuqurque and Oklahoma City.
I would like to compare which may be a better route for motorhome based on grades and elevations. Don't care about distance variance.  Now the weather seems to be a consideration as well - everywhere - HOT HOT HOT.   Guess we will be traveling at night.

Second question, I just saw on Pilot two types of diesel shown - diesel #2 and auto diesel. Can someone explain the difference??  I still have the original lift pump.  Am I going to have other kinds of diesel in other states??  I have only put in diesel here in CA.

Thanks for any help.
--
Diane
2004 DP

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All I can say is…. Having been traveling from Memphis, TN area a to SLC….. yes it is hot, but as for traveling at night…… I can not keep track of all the freshly dead deer I’m seeing on the side of the highways….  One deer can (will) destroy your whole trip…. 

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If going in the summer - stay North…

If going in the Winter - stay South…

I would think that heat beats out elevation in the summer.  Maybe I-90 across. 
 

When you find a mountain in front of you - just get behind a fully loaded semi. He will be going slow and if you match his speed you won’t overly tax you engine- or pass him. When going down use the same gear you went up. 

On the fuel - that’s a state tax thing…

Ask in the state if you qualify for the cheaper fuel. The fines are not worth the mistake. 

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When traveling in hot weather I run the generator and use the roof A/C. At Pilot and other diesel stations the truck lanes have larger fuel nozzles, the auto nozzles are much smaller and take longer to refuel. I agree about the deer at night, only takes one to ruin the whole trip.

Bill B 07 Dynasty

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You might consider I90 through Montana and then heading south to I-10 across the Midwest. I-10 is in pretty good shape in Louisiana now and great shape in FL. 
 

I-80 through Wyoming has long grades and last year had many sections of 2-way traffic through many miles of construction zones, and lots of wind. 

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Auto fuel most often has a percentage of Bio-Diesel included in the blend, which could be cheaper.   Whereas #2 diesel is non bio blended.   
just returned from trip that included the I40 corridor you mentioned and yes temps were hot, but manageable.   Grade is up and down until the Texas line, but not bad 

Kevin 

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I want to thank everyone for all your responses.  Some very good advice given on routes, running a/c, night driving, Trip WIzard etc.

Thank you one and all.

Diane

 

 

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Thinking of alternate, has anyone gone the route from Portland, Boise, Salt lake and then Provo down to Green River, UT, Moab and then to Gallup.

Just wondering how that route is.

Diane

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In April of this year, I made the trip from Portland down I5 to Sacramento and then via I80 through Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa and then down I74 and I70 through Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, then I79 to West Virginia and I68 East to a short leg on I70 then to I81 South and home to Virginia.  In Virginia I would take I66 to US 17 South (take the Warrenton, Virginia Exit) down to Fredericksburg, Virginia for I95 South all the way to Florida. Most times, I take the Interstate bypasses. Elevations were sometimes difficult but when a semi in front of me slowed down with his blinkers on, I slowed down and stayed behind him with my blinkers on. The I80 Interstate through Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska and Iowa was terrible. I thought that the rough roads were going to shake my 2004 Signature apart. The high winds in the open Plain's states were alarming but the computer-controlled air ride suspension system worked well and kept me safe. I would never take that route again due to the rough Interstate roads. I have no knowledge of the southern route through Oklahoma, but I would certainly try it.

I always get Diesel #2 at the truck sections. Truckers are polite as long as you conform to their way of queuing up which is not hard to figure out after one stop. I only tried to make 300 to 400 miles a day and filled up every morning. I used the RV Life trip wizard to plan my campground stops and the RV Garmin to route my trips. RV Garming does a great job of tracking rest stops and truck stops. As to rest stops, I had a bad experience with riffraff in a non-staffed Oregon stop so I tried to make all of my stops at staffed areas after that. Sometimes I would get off at a rest stop but if it looked unstaffed, I just kept going.

I never traveled at night. It was unnecessary as I usually left a campground by 8 in the morning and stopped at the next campground by 4 or 5 in the afternoon. The RV Life Trip Wizard was essential in planning campground stops. That way I could stay in my self-imposed 300 to 400 miles a day. I tried to plan a couple of days out and make my reservations accordingly. Even in April I had some booking problems. Next trip, I will plan and book my stops before leaving on the trip. I also used "Drive Weather" daily on my cell phone to work around weather problems. That was a great asset in order to time my travels around bad weather.

Good luck and have a safe trip.

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Thanks Lee, 

All of that is very helpful information for sure.  Won't travel I80 for the reasons you listed.

Just a question on diesel, are there different types of diesel that are dispensed on the truckers lanes compared to the vehicle lanes?

Diane

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No, usually only #2 Diesel.
Sometimes, depending on the state, biodiesel is sold.
If needed, you can get DEF.
Fortunately, I do not use DEF.
Each fueling lane allows you to fill up from either side.
My manual says to fill up from only one side.
When you first pull into the selected gas lane, note your lane number and head to the cashier to pay for your estimated fuel amount.
After fueling, pull forward far enough to allow the next vehicle in the lane and then go back to the cashier and get your receipt for the actual amount pumped.  Before pulling up, you can air your tires and clean your windshield.
Tires should be aired cold, but you will need to adjust if you have already driven more than a mile.
My manual has a section on how to do the adjustment.
 

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We have traveled all the routes mentioned over the past 20 years.

I 84 is scenic and only has a few big grades between Portland and Boise.  Pendleton grade is a good one but not too long.  Boise to Salt Lake City is easy with only one grade from Idaho into Utah.  Have done this route ~8-9 times.

I 80 has the highest elevation of any.  Get to 8500+/-.  If you take I 84 east of SLC you will miss Parley's summit at Park City.  

South out of Provo to Green River after you get past Helper.  Between Provo and Helper there are a lot of curves and grades, but very doable.  Moab area is very scenic.  Then make your way to Farmington, NM and Albuquerque.  I 40 can be somewhat rough in Arkansas.  Did some of it last year.  You can get done to I 10 several places.  Make sure you use I 12 instead of I 10 through New Orleans.

When we travel in the summer, we run the house A/C's on the generator.  Small cost for comfort.

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Thanks Larry, all very good information to know beforehand.  Someone else warned about not going thru Arkansas.  And good to know about I12 instead of I10.

Thank you for your input.  This group is great with such knowledgeable people on board willing to share.

 

Diane

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