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Old 04-19-2022, 10:53 PM   #1
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I-10 "business as usual"???

My wife and I are planning to tow our Puma travel trailer from Orlando to Escondido, CA in August, returning in October. We are wondering just how normal/safe is travel though areas of I-10 that run close to the border with Mexico or are in more remote areas. Would love to hear from folks that live in those areas or have traveled through them recently. We travel a max of 300 miles a day and like to stop every fourth day for a day of rest, so we would be spending a spell in those areas as we travel through. I am hoping not to get into the political piece of this. I just want to know about safety/unintended "drama", etc. Last year we made a similar trip, but gradually made our way north to I-20 and then on to I-40 because of friends we want to see along the way. This year we imagine a more "express" trip out and back. thoughts/experiences?
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Old 04-19-2022, 11:02 PM   #2
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Anything north of the actual border is fine. I10 corridor and adjacent towns with RV parks are perfectly safe.
'Drama' reported around the border crossings is way over blown, especially in TX.
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Old 04-20-2022, 12:07 AM   #3
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My wife and I are planning to tow our Puma travel trailer from Orlando to Escondido, CA in August, returning in October. We are wondering just how normal/safe is travel though areas of I-10 that run close to the border with Mexico or are in more remote areas. Would love to hear from folks that live in those areas or have traveled through them recently. We travel a max of 300 miles a day and like to stop every fourth day for a day of rest, so we would be spending a spell in those areas as we travel through. I am hoping not to get into the political piece of this. I just want to know about safety/unintended "drama", etc. Last year we made a similar trip, but gradually made our way north to I-20 and then on to I-40 because of friends we want to see along the way. This year we imagine a more "express" trip out and back. thoughts/experiences?
You are roughly 2450 miles I10 to I8 to I5 on your way out. Roughly 2600 miles using other northerly routes and coming into CA on I10. About a 2 hour difference. You have lots of choices.

Living in AZ we've been to CA countless times and we much prefer I8 over I10 with the exception of the permanent immigration check point in the mountains. It's a nice drive with less big rigs. Check point is fine, just irritating. About as irritating as the boarder (CA) stopping you to ask about your fruits and plants, Ha ha ha. So, you get stopped twice.

I8 better than I10 as you completely bypass Phoenix and have one less metropolitan freeway mess to navigate.
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Old 04-20-2022, 04:09 AM   #4
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I-10 is as safe to travel as any interstate. We've done it many times to west to CA and AZ and east to FL. There is a permanent immigration check station near El Paso which is sometimes backed up for a few minutes, but it's an easy drive thru.
When you get west of San Antonio, things get flat and boring til you get to El Paso so don't get low on gas between towns. It's better than it used to be, but there are still spots where it's a gas desert.

We detour north on I-12 to avoid New Orleans. It's a shorter route. And, of course, try to avoid the big cities during rush hour.
Just take the normal precautions as on any trip. The campgrounds along I-10 are safe and the state park campgrounds in Texas along I-10 are beautiful.
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Old 04-20-2022, 05:16 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Puma26RLSS View Post
My wife and I are planning to tow our Puma travel trailer from Orlando to Escondido, CA in August, returning in October. We are wondering just how normal/safe is travel though areas of I-10 that run close to the border with Mexico or are in more remote areas. Would love to hear from folks that live in those areas or have traveled through them recently. We travel a max of 300 miles a day and like to stop every fourth day for a day of rest, so we would be spending a spell in those areas as we travel through. I am hoping not to get into the political piece of this. I just want to know about safety/unintended "drama", etc. Last year we made a similar trip, but gradually made our way north to I-20 and then on to I-40 because of friends we want to see along the way. This year we imagine a more "express" trip out and back. thoughts/experiences?
Since you live in Escondido, I'm surprised as to your safety concerns on I10.
We stayed 7 months in El Centro, which is WAY closer to the Mexican border, than I10.
We had no concerns traveling on I8 or I10, between the Pacific coast and east Phoenix.
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Old 04-20-2022, 05:35 AM   #6
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A friend letís me hunt on his property 18 miles north of the border. I was there Saturday I-10 is the road I spend most my time. More DPS than normal for the past year. After leaving the property I took the daughter to Del Rio then followed 90 ( basically follows the Rio Grande).
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Old 04-20-2022, 12:39 PM   #7
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Since you live in Escondido, I'm surprised as to your safety concerns on I10.
No, we live in Orlando, hence the lack of local knowledge. appreciate the reassurance. I did take I-10 (with I-12) and, finally, I-8 back in 2018 when pulling with my 2007 Ram 1500/5.7 Hemi. Was caught off guard by the 4,000 ft rise, I think west of El Centro. Pulled it, but it made me nervous. Hence, considering the I-10 into I-15 this time. Now pulling my 7.900-lbs Puma with 2020 F-150 with 3.5 Ecoboost and max tow package. Ought to be able to do it, I know. Just a tad too much drama for my old (77) brain after the long drive out from Florida. Looking for "easy" and minimum drama where I can find it, obviously. Reason for trip is to support family member in Escondido with significant health issues. That adds to wanting smooth sailing, as well.
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Old 04-20-2022, 12:43 PM   #8
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As stated above I-10 is no more dangerous than any other interstate, I personally worry more about the wild animals on the roads in the evenings and at night
Also stated above DONT try and stretch your fuel levels. Fuel can be far between west of Ozona Texas.
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Old 04-20-2022, 12:55 PM   #9
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I live about 50 miles north of the border in Arizona and about 10 miles south of I-10. The only place I've ever felt uncomfortable is in El Paso at night. Even then that was almost 20 years ago. Our local county Sheriff's office works closely with Border Patrol and they stop several cars daily that have load drivers hired mostly from the Phoenix area to carry anywhere from 2 to 20 undocumented migrants. I'm sure many more make it through, but that just adds to the number of other bad drivers on the road. Just don't pickup hitchhikers.
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Old 04-20-2022, 02:41 PM   #10
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There's work in Louisiana both ways on I-10 from the Atchafalaya Basin bridge to Lafayette, and again about the last 10 to 15 miles near the Texas border. Additionally, there is supposed to be work starting on the Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge that will last a couple of years.

The Lafayette area work is close to being completed. Not sure about the Texas boarder work, but the lanes get pretty narrow, but are passable.
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Old 04-20-2022, 03:02 PM   #11
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From Texas on west you will be fine. We tow it twice a year. It's been awhile since I traveled east on I-10.
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Old 04-20-2022, 03:04 PM   #12
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Keep in mind how hot and dry it is in August in the deserts of TX to CA. It will challenge your cooling system.
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Old 04-20-2022, 08:01 PM   #13
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Go to Google Maps


Click in Ala/Fla State line on I-10

Click on Van Horn Texas on I-10



I-10 all the way is 1142 Miles/16 hrs, 46 Min
The route from Mobile to Jackson, MS to get on I-20 and from there on I-20 to I-10 just east of Van Horn is 1155 Miles/17 hrs, 33 min


13 miles more and 47 Min more, but no large cities and no empty spaces looking for gas and RV parks in West Texas on I-10. And you can find gas and stuff in the many mid-sized towns on I-20.
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Old 04-20-2022, 09:00 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Puma26RLSS View Post
My wife and I are planning to tow our Puma travel trailer from Orlando to Escondido, CA in August, returning in October. We are wondering just how normal/safe is travel though areas of I-10 that run close to the border with Mexico or are in more remote areas. Would love to hear from folks that live in those areas or have traveled through them recently. We travel a max of 300 miles a day and like to stop every fourth day for a day of rest, so we would be spending a spell in those areas as we travel through. I am hoping not to get into the political piece of this. I just want to know about safety/unintended "drama", etc. Last year we made a similar trip, but gradually made our way north to I-20 and then on to I-40 because of friends we want to see along the way. This year we imagine a more "express" trip out and back. thoughts/experiences?
Biggest danger is road construction (or DEstruction). Recently drove from Austin to Tucson and was Ssooo disappointed with the state of I10. Detours beside expanding highways were so rough plus you can’t really slow down without fear of getting run over! So much for “infrastructure” if all our rigs are in need of repair after a trip. Our return trip was thru Birmingham, much better!! But we had no issues traveling near the border !!
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Old 04-20-2022, 09:38 PM   #15
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Go to Google Maps


Click in Ala/Fla State line on I-10

Click on Van Horn Texas on I-10



I-10 all the way is 1142 Miles/16 hrs, 46 Min
The route from Mobile to Jackson, MS to get on I-20 and from there on I-20 to I-10 just east of Van Horn is 1155 Miles/17 hrs, 33 min


13 miles more and 47 Min more, but no large cities and no empty spaces looking for gas and RV parks in West Texas on I-10. And you can find gas and stuff in the many mid-sized towns on I-20.


I 10 is not as desolate as is being made out to be. After leaving Ozona you have Bakersfield it has two gas stations and yes they are the only two structures there. Then about 30 to 40 miles Ft Stockton then say another 50-60 to Balmarea then Van Horn. Once you leave Pecos itís about the same distance to Van Horn. I do agree no San Antonio or Houston. If you take I 10. Now I have been stuck on 20 just south of Dallas and not until you get west of Weatherford does it really clear up. Abilene is t a big deal Odessa and Midland have construction and extra oil field traffic. You option is probably the one of my choosing but both are good
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Old 04-21-2022, 04:00 AM   #16
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There's work in Louisiana both ways on I-10 from the Atchafalaya Basin bridge to Lafayette, and again about the last 10 to 15 miles near the Texas border. Additionally, there is supposed to be work starting on the Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge that will last a couple of years.

The Lafayette area work is close to being completed. Not sure about the Texas boarder work, but the lanes get pretty narrow, but are passable.

There is also work on I-10 west of Houston. In places the road is a washboard so just take it slow and easy. It only lasts about 50 miles or so off and on.
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Old 04-21-2022, 10:55 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Chuckinca View Post
Go to Google Maps

Click in Ala/Fla State line on I-10

Click on Van Horn Texas on I-10

I-10 all the way is 1142 Miles/16 hrs, 46 Min
The route from Mobile to Jackson, MS to get on I-20 and from there on I-20 to I-10 just east of Van Horn is 1155 Miles/17 hrs, 33 min

13 miles more and 47 Min more, but no large cities and no empty spaces looking for gas and RV parks in West Texas on I-10. And you can find gas and stuff in the many mid-sized towns on I-20.
So, you are suggesting that slipping up to I-20 and following it out to I-10 just east of Van Horn helps avoid the Houston and San Antonio traffic and several areas of rough road. I know the area of I-20 we took last year between Atlanta and Abilene, TX went pretty smoothly even the part south of Dallas/Ft. Worth. Campgrounds were plentiful and the road was good. Since we have family near Atlanta and friends in Abilene, plus, the National Vietnam War Museum is in Weatherford, I am drawn to that plan. Appreciate the "elbow jiggle"!
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Old 04-21-2022, 11:17 AM   #18
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If you're going to visit friends in Abilene and visit Weatherford, then the I -20 route from Mobile to I - 10 route makes more sense. Either way, you've got to go through El Paso. Just watch out for oil field traffic around Midland/Odessa.
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Old 04-21-2022, 11:34 AM   #19
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If you're going to visit friends in Abilene and visit Weatherford, then the I -20 route from Mobile to I - 10 route makes more sense. Either way, you've got to go through El Paso. Just watch out for oil field traffic around Midland/Odessa.
2 good ways around El Paso (or El Pisso as we call it).
I10 to 375(North side of I10) to 54 to 213 to 404 and back onto I10. This is the way we always go.
They have also completed the southern section of loop 375 (turn leftoff of I10 westbound) that allows you to miss the majority of El Paso and has less navigation between roads. They call it the Border Highway and there are toll signs but they will not (and won't) be activated.
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Old 04-21-2022, 11:48 AM   #20
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I lived not too far off of I-10 in Southern Arizona, near Benson. My information is about a decade old, but in my experience, I'd worry more more about the meth-heads. Even they were more a nuisance than anything else. My parents and sisters have done the I-10 Tucson to Tallahassee leg more than a few times and the only complaint I've heard from them was "it's a long and boring drive."
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