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Old 02-03-2023, 09:53 AM   #1
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Winter drive from New England

We are planning a winter trip and Iím interested in any advice from others. We will be traveling from New England, south, in late February. Our plan is to drive to South Carolina. Then we will slowly travel north as the weather warms up. We are looking forward to being in shirtsleeves.

My concern is the trip south. Our motorhome (Sunstar 29VE) is winterized and would stay that way until we land in warm weather. I thought we would drive each day and stay overnight where we can plug in the electrical, so we donít have to run the generator all night for the space heater. We would also run the propane furnace. I didnít find many campgrounds that are open in February. Iím not sure about boondocking.

Any suggestions on where to stay each night? How to search for overnight locations? Any tips for winter driving, other than donít drive when itís snowing?
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Old 02-03-2023, 06:52 PM   #2
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If you can provide a bit more information, you will probably get some helpful information here. Where are you leaving from and where in SC are you headed? A trip South from Maine could be greatly different than leaving Connecticut for example. If you want to go to coastal SC vs western SC, that can also make a real difference.
The winter weather in SC can also be finicky.
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Old 02-03-2023, 07:16 PM   #3
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Rather that running the generator for elec heat do you have a propane furnace onboard? We were in 25 deg nights last spring in CO and without electrical. First night I set the heat for 60 and it ran frequently. Second night we used HD sleeping bags and set the heat much lower. I'm normally a 6 AM wake up so I just set the heat up before the wife gets up. All in all it worked out better for us, not hearing the heat running and I sleep better when cooler.
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Old 02-04-2023, 06:46 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by 202235f View Post
If you can provide a bit more information, you will probably get some helpful information here. Where are you leaving from and where in SC are you headed? A trip South from Maine could be greatly different than leaving Connecticut for example. If you want to go to coastal SC vs western SC, that can also make a real difference.
The winter weather in SC can also be finicky.
Sure thing. We are leaving from Rhode Island and traveling to 70 degrees. Not trying to sound flip. Our goal is to get to warm weather, so it will either be coastal SC or GA, depending on the weather and when we leave. We have the luxury of not having a schedule. I figure it will take 4-5 driving days to get there. We donít want to drive at night and expect ~200-300 miles per day.

There arenít many places to stop overnight between New Haven, CT and NJ, so the first night is dependent on getting an early start and driving a full day. I think by the third night it will be warm enough that we wonít have to worry about really cold overnight temperatures. We have camped when the nights have gotten into the 40s, but not below freezing.
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Old 02-04-2023, 06:53 AM   #5
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Rather that running the generator for elec heat do you have a propane furnace onboard?
Yes, we have a propane furnace. I was concerned about the amount of propane needed to keep warm in winter weather. The propane is currently reading 3/4 full. Based on your experience, do you think that will be enough to heat the RV to ~58 at night for several nights?

We have used the space heater in the past at campgrounds to reduce the need for running the propane. However, I donít think it will be able to keep up in winter weather. So, I thought that using both would work.
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Old 02-04-2023, 08:42 AM   #6
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Insulate your windshield and cab windows. Put insulating pillows into roof vents. Your motorhome doesn’t have a huge volume to heat. A ceramic heater together with furnace will keep you warm when you have hookups. When no hookups, you won’t run out of propane for the furnace if you leave with a full tank. Check propane level every 3 days and refill as needed. Use Siri to find tractor supply locations along your route. We travel with two 7gal water jugs inside when we are winterized. Then, dewinterize when you reach warmer ambients. 3 day drive from Rhodesia Island to South Carolina, so you should be just peachy.
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Old 02-04-2023, 11:05 AM   #7
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Insulate your windshield and cab windows. Put insulating pillows into roof vents. Your motorhome doesnít have a huge volume to heat. A ceramic heater together with furnace will keep you warm when you have hookups. When no hookups, you wonít run out of propane for the furnace if you leave with a full tank.
I have already cut some Reflectix for our windshield and windows, so we can put those in for the drive down. I need to cut some Reflectix for the vents as well. Good to hear your comment that the full tank of propane will get us down to SC.

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We travel with two 7gal water jugs inside when we are winterized. Then, dewinterize when you reach warmer ambients.
Curious how you handle the water in the winter. Obviously for drinking. Do you cook inside the RV? Cleanup? Does the water go into the grey tank? I wasnít sure how to handle this and whether letting some water go down the drain was OK.

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3 day drive from Rhodesia Island to South Carolina, so you should be just peachy.
Sorry, I was amused by the obvious spelling correction of Rhode Island. I was in Rhodesia in the 70ís. Beautiful country, at least then. A drive from Rhodesia to South Carolina would likely take longer than 3 days, including the boat ride!

Thanks for all your good comments!
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Old 02-04-2023, 11:21 AM   #8
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Sorry I didn’t check the spell checker. Isn’t it called Zimbabwe now?

When we are traveling winterized, we use water from the jugs to flush toilet, and wash things, but don’t it let go down drains. Capture wash water in a basin and empty into toilet. Some water in the black and gray tanks won’t hurt anything. If it freezes, so what. Not likely to freeze the dump valves because they’re closed and unused. Mostly, we don’t cook, except making coffee, until we are south of cold weather. Keep a few prepared single serve salads and boiled eggs in the fridge, along with fruit, avocados, charcuterie and crackers. We also carry some bottles of spring water to drink and brush teeth, as the jugs are heavy. We use whiskey extensively for body warming, so we can keep the thermostat below 65F.
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Old 02-04-2023, 01:04 PM   #9
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Sorry I didnít check the spell checker. Isnít it called Zimbabwe now?
Yes, Zimbabwe. When I was there it was Rhodesia.

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We use whiskey extensively for body warming, so we can keep the thermostat below 65F.
I hadnít thought of that. A good medicinal use!

Thanks.
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Old 02-13-2023, 08:17 AM   #10
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As far a stopping, the last time I headed south I stopped overnight at Bass Pro Shop n Harrisburg Pa. It is about 6 hours from north of Boston. No hook ups but plenty of parking and open area I realize it’s not along the coast .
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Old 02-13-2023, 08:28 PM   #11
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As far a stopping, the last time I headed south I stopped overnight at Bass Pro Shop n Harrisburg Pa. It is about 6 hours from north of Boston. No hook ups but plenty of parking and open area I realize itís not along the coast .
Thanks. Weíve been to Harrisburg. Itís a bit out of our way on this trip. Weíre going to try for mid-Jersey the first night. There is a Boondockers Welcome spot that can work for us.
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Old 02-14-2023, 04:26 AM   #12
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marudnick-

For some route suggestions and places to stay, see my detailed post at this link on iRV2.com:

Best Route Maine to Florida

Here is the list of some places to stay, from that post:

Quote:
Black Bear Campground in Florida, NY (farthest north park that is open year-round)
Tri-State RV Park in Matamoras, PA
Philadelphia South KOA in Clarksboro, NJ
Cherry Hill RV Park in College Park, MD
Kings Dominion KOA in Doswell, VA
Fayetteville RV Resort in Wade, NC
I find it wise to plan on a short-distance leg for the first day out- too many unknowns. From my house it is over 400 miles to Clarksboro, NJ. So I stay at a motel the first night (West Coxsackie, NY), or at one of the first two listed RV parks.

Running the propane furnace is enough to keep the coach warm. I use a small electric heater only when on shore power.

I carry a half-dozen one-gallon bottles of water and one of anti-freeze to use in the toilet until I get to a place where I can safely de-winterize. Experience says that would be Virginia or south of there. The water also serves for dishwashing and toothbrushing, or you can use commercially-bottled water.

Note that an advantage of short travel days is that you have time to do things like de-winterize before it gets dark.

Don't drive if it's sloppy out. If you do drive over salted roads, plan on rinsing the undersides of coach and toad after you reach your long-term destination.
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Old 02-15-2023, 03:55 PM   #13
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marudnick-

For some route suggestions and places to stay, see my detailed post at this link on iRV2.com:

Best Route Maine to Florida

Here is the list of some places to stay, from that post:

I find it wise to plan on a short-distance leg for the first day out- too many unknowns. From my house it is over 400 miles to Clarksboro, NJ. So I stay at a motel the first night (West Coxsackie, NY), or at one of the first two listed RV parks.

Running the propane furnace is enough to keep the coach warm. I use a small electric heater only when on shore power.

I carry a half-dozen one-gallon bottles of water and one of anti-freeze to use in the toilet until I get to a place where I can safely de-winterize. Experience says that would be Virginia or south of there. The water also serves for dishwashing and toothbrushing, or you can use commercially-bottled water.

Note that an advantage of short travel days is that you have time to do things like de-winterize before it gets dark.

Don't drive if it's sloppy out. If you do drive over salted roads, plan on rinsing the undersides of coach and toad after you reach your long-term destination.
Thanks for your post. Iím going to review your notes on roads. Iíve been thru NJ many times but rarely in an RV, so your suggestions will help.

Understood about driving when itís sloppy. We have the luxury of not having a timetable. We wonít leave if there is any significant precipitation for the next few days where we are going and definitely not if there is any snow.
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