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Old 06-23-2015, 03:55 PM   #1
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Winter Driving to Florida from Illinois

I'm pretty new at this RV stuff.. Due to family considerations we need to stay in Illinois until after Christmas. I will have my 5er winterized in November as I did last year.

We want to take off right after Christmas to go to Florida. We plan to stay there until the end of March then do some traveling in April and get bact to Illinois in May.

I'm concerned about driving down. I'm thinking that I'll leave the rig winterized until I get to Florida. We have the option of staying at a motel or a RV park on the way down. I've checked and there are enough parks open all the way to Florida to give us options.

I'm planning to take my time on the road of course. If we stop at RV parks we could use their facilities but we'd still need to use the furnace and keep some things in the fridge. Using motels would be the other option. If the temp is below freezing we'd have to put the furnace on I think regardless where we stay.

Having never done this before I'd sure like some tips about what works best.

Thanks,
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Old 06-23-2015, 04:13 PM   #2
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Depending how far south you make it the first night you maybe fine for temp. If not you could stay at a camp ground and use there facilities so as not to have to de winterize. I would say by the 2nd night you should be into warm enough temp. I remember a few year back we where camping at Perry GA and it got to 28 degrees and had no problems but we had a drip from the city water hose which kept us from freezing up. We have the heated tanks in this camper but have never tried them.

I'm sure there are a lot of winter time campers here that will join in and give you more ideas. Later RJD
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Old 06-23-2015, 04:22 PM   #3
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We head to Texas for the winters now and the last couple of years we have left Illinois around Dec 10th. The weather this time of year can be very iffy so we also watch and plan our trip around the weather. By the way you have to exit Illinois before you try and camp, most if not all campgrounds in Illinois are closed by then. Two years ago the travel south around Christmas time was terrible, and many folks had a hard time and interesting problems. I normally leave ill with the unit winterized and after the first or second day if it is really cold I de-winterize on the road at a campground. PM me if you would like to discuss more.
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Old 06-23-2015, 05:10 PM   #4
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Winter driving to Fl.

We drive a class c motor home from Maryland to Florida during the winter. We stop at South of the Border in SC & de-winterize. On the way back we stop there again & winterize. This year I almost waited to get home to winterize but decided against it. Good thing I did because we broke down in VA and had to be towed. Motor home was at dealer for ten days and lines would have frozen.
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Old 06-24-2015, 11:41 AM   #5
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Hi,

We take our fifth wheel from the west suburbs of Chicago to Gulf Shores every year -- sometimes before Christmas, sometimes in January.

Our route is through southern Illinois to Paducah. First night is at a KOA there, and most years I can dewinterize then. Once we get past Nashville, it's a straight shot south on I-65. The second night is usually in northern Alabama, where I can always do it if Paducah wasn't warm enough. And the third night we're on the Gulf, just a few miles from the Florida line, in Gulf State Park.

Coming back is the reverse. I winterize in Paducah, and get home the next day.

Hope this helps.

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Old 06-24-2015, 12:01 PM   #6
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I live in Ottawa ON and leave at about the same time. I look for a weather window of about three days with no snow going across the Appalachians and then leave early in the am and go like hell and make it on the first day to north of Washington at Frederick and stay in a Days Inn off the turnpike. The temperature has generally moved form -20c+ to +2C in that period. I make it the next day to the SC/GA border and stay at a KOA off the I95 and de-winterize. Two days hard driving but you have beaten the weather. The next day its an easy drive to the Gainsville area or where ever you fancy and and can start to relax with having being caught in a classic east coast snowstorm that start at about that time of the year.
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Old 06-24-2015, 01:10 PM   #7
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I've seen posts about folks leaving their RV in Myrtle Beach in Oct or so. I would like to do the same. Pick it up in January and haul it to Florida. Do I have to winterize?
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Old 06-24-2015, 01:29 PM   #8
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I've seen posts about folks leaving their RV in Myrtle Beach in Oct or so. I would like to do the same. Pick it up in January and haul it to Florida. Do I have to winterize?
If you can't keep it heated you should winterize. I live in North Florida and we do get freezes occasionally.
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Old 06-24-2015, 02:42 PM   #9
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Good advice Mike. This being my first TT, I was hoping to not winterize, especially when I plan to winter someplace warm.
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Old 06-24-2015, 02:48 PM   #10
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Good advice Mike. This being my first TT, I was hoping to not winterize, especially when I plan to winter someplace warm.
With an air compressor, it's really quick and easy to blow out the lines. Doesn't take much more than a few minutes of work- especially if you have 2 people or a locking air chuck.
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Old 06-24-2015, 03:26 PM   #11
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Thanks everyone for the tips, I'm still thinking that staying in a motel would be less trouble than a park, but would it be prudent to use the tank heaters and fhe furnace if the temp gets to say, 35 or so? I imagine I'd have to wash the trailer when I get to Florida to get any salt or other road grime off it? Roughly 1,200 miles to travel and it I could expect to make 200 to 300 miles a day depending if the weather and roads co-operate it would be about 4-5 days on the road. Any adverse effect on the tires in the cold?
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Old 06-24-2015, 03:30 PM   #12
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I winterize and leave Nova Scotia, Canada----Watch Boston for a two day clear window---first stop Portland,Me,-----second stop Fredricksburg Va,----Third day SC/GA area------Fourth day Sarasota......de winterize!!!!!! We stop at motels all the way down.....10 - 12 hour days require a good nights sleep.shower and b'fast in am....arrive rested!!!!..................J
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Old 06-24-2015, 03:46 PM   #13
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Thanks everyone for the tips, I'm still thinking that staying in a motel would be less trouble than a park, but would it be prudent to use the tank heaters and fhe furnace if the temp gets to say, 35 or so? I imagine I'd have to wash the trailer when I get to Florida to get any salt or other road grime off it? Roughly 1,200 miles to travel and it I could expect to make 200 to 300 miles a day depending if the weather and roads co-operate it would be about 4-5 days on the road. Any adverse effect on the tires in the cold?
Where do you plan on staying in FL? We will be @ either Fawn Ridge in Davenport, FL or just up US Hwy 27 13 miles @ Thousand Trails Orlando (Kissimmee).
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Old 06-24-2015, 04:44 PM   #14
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I always stop at a truck stop to wash my truck and 5'er....Dade just north of Tampa off I-75 Around $60.00 for all
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Old 06-24-2015, 05:20 PM   #15
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we go to fl from Chicago and stop at the casinos on the way not the most direct routh but have a good time first stop St. Louis or souther il then past dolled the miss river to Vicksburg or go to New Orleans or bilosky what ever we like we use bottled water and dry camp until weather permits electric is available so we have heat when needed
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Old 06-24-2015, 05:39 PM   #16
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Illinois to Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldCoot View Post
Where do you plan on staying in FL? We will be @ either Fawn Ridge in Davenport, FL or just up US Hwy 27 13 miles @ Thousand Trails Orlando (Kissimmee).
OC, we are going to go to a place between Ocala and Gainesville.

Grand Lake RV & Golf Resort
18545 NW 45TH AVENUE RD
CITRA, FL32681

It would be fun to catch up with you at some point. Not too far apart.
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Old 06-24-2015, 07:10 PM   #17
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We left Chicago last Dec 26th for Phoenix and here are some suggestions: using an iPad, I get road conditions for all Dot's along my route that may have snow covered road conditions, I watch the weather via weather apps on the iPad, we pick RV parks south of Illinois in MO, or further. We have comfortably stayed in mid 20 degrees at night so I make sure my propane tanks are topped off, I run with the holding tank heaters on and leave them on over night, draw water from the on board holding tanks cuz one night in Oklahoma the evening was in t he mid sixties & next morning all the campground faucets
Were frozen. Cross my fingers we have yet to have a problem in 2 winters of driving south.
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Old 06-24-2015, 08:10 PM   #18
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Not Till Florida!

In 2013 we drove our class C from northern Minnesota to Tampa around Thanksgiving. I winterized the unit in Minnesota in October before the first freeze came. I drained the system as best I could and then pumped in RV antifreeze until I could see it come out of every hot and cold fawcet plus the toilet. We dumped the same antifreeze in both holding tanks so we could still use the toilet and sink and set a whole bunch of gallon jugs in the shower for flushing the toilet and sinks - enough that I was sure the tanks wouldn't freeze since they were exposed under the unit. We took out time and did the trip in six days. We found it easy to find RV parks open once we hit Indiana. We used the park showers the whole trip. The lowest temps we experienced were in Minneapolis where the overnight low went to 9 above one night. We ran the heat in the roof AC, plus the gas furnace when we stopped and the coach stayed about 70 the coldest night. While driving, the dash heat from the engine kept the coach comfortable, but as soon as we stopped we had to turn on the gas furnace even during the day. We had below freezing temps all the way to southern Georgia. Couldn't take on water and flush the system until the last morning shortly before we hit the Florida line. I can't speak to how someone towing a trailer would keep the unit warm during the day while driving. The first two or three days the outside temp was running in the teens during the day and I would think a trailer would cool quickly.
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Old 06-24-2015, 10:40 PM   #19
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Made similar trips several times from MN to FL. IMO, the biggest factor is highway conditions. Not much fun driving in snow and forget it with snow packed or icy roads. We usually leave earlier than your plan (early December) and can have freezing conditions down to GA / AL. We don't de-winterize until we reach a spot where we plan to stay for a while and can check local weather forecast. Last year came north too early and had -4F in Champaign, IL in early March. Must have electric and use small electric heater in addition to furnace.
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Old 08-05-2015, 12:52 AM   #20
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Consider first night at Kentucky Horse Park It is probably a good 1 day drive from you and is open all year. Many we know can de-winterize there before head to SE.
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