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Old 09-16-2015, 05:49 PM   #1
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Cool Headed north during winter, what should we expect

We are planning our first long trip for the week after Christmas. We are headed from Chattanooga, Tennessee to Seabrook, New Hampshire, we want to go see our son who is serving in the USCG. We would like to know if we are setting ourselves up for disappointment? What can we expect from the Interstates? We lived in Alaska for four winters, but it was a dry snow and they kept the roads clear. Should we get snow chains? Do they still make them? We will be going threw Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, New York and New Hampshire.

Thank you all for any and all input.
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Old 09-16-2015, 06:01 PM   #2
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Don't think snow chains are legal anymore
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Old 09-16-2015, 06:28 PM   #3
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Toddupton, Thanks
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Old 09-16-2015, 06:41 PM   #4
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Hmm, not sure if you mean towing? New Hampshire winter can,be surprising as well as MA.
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Old 09-16-2015, 06:55 PM   #5
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Don't think snow chains are legal anymore
In Colorado and many western states, not only are chains legal, they are required at times.
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Old 09-16-2015, 06:56 PM   #6
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What months are you traveling to the north Dec, Jan and Feb? Most camp grounds are closed in the late fall to early spring. Usually closing around Oct 15 or so right after Columbus weekend and opening again in mid March or early April. Check ahead before you go and make sure that they will be open.

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Old 09-16-2015, 07:18 PM   #7
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you will have a very hard time finding an open campground. Expect frozen pipes unless you do lots of insulating and prep. Research/plan this well
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Old 09-17-2015, 07:13 AM   #8
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A lot of good information thanks. Jim we are planning to go December 28-January2. I have checked to make sure that I know were open campsites are at all along our way. CTGREG we will not be towing, we are going in our A Class Motor Home with out a car behind it. Our daughter who will be with us lived in Boston for school for 5 years, but she did come home for most Christmas holidays. I know that the weather can change, but does it change quickly? davel1971 "frozen pipes" are you saying that the Motorhome pipes may freeze, or the pipes of the camp?
Our Motor home has an Arctic Pack, I am not sure but I think this is to keep our tanks from freezing. Has anyone used theirs and did it work?
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Old 09-17-2015, 07:57 AM   #9
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Weather during this time period is a Crap Shoot! This will effect C/G being Open? Very Cold could help you find the Weak Spot in your Plumbing system! Good Luck! And like you posted I dont think you will be Disappointed to visit your Son who is in the USCG! Youroo!!
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Old 09-17-2015, 08:10 AM   #10
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What should you expect? Some "closed for the season" camp grounds, lots of traffic headed south, beautiful scenery, friendly folks, smaller crowds and peaceful times. We love winter travel. Easier to heat the rv than to cool it in 100+ heat.
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Old 09-17-2015, 08:48 AM   #11
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A few simple rules driving in winter in the "true" N.E. USA. Pick your times, by that I mean if a snow storm is classified by the weather service as an advisory, snow covered roads may not materialize. If the storm is elevated to a warning in the area you will be, or are driving into, that means snow is eminent. So, in that case you need to stay put till it clears. I'll assume your not climbing steep grades, where the road class is anything less than most improved on your trip. Remember, we all still go to school, work, ski, etc. so you southern softies will get a chance to see a true NH winter wonderland.

Seriously, I would call the perspective campgrounds you plan on staying at, and talk to a body, knowledgeable if possible, to make sure they will be open. All public campgrounds would be closed in winter in the north, so you must mean private sites. Just sayin'
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Old 09-17-2015, 08:51 AM   #12
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Even many of the private sights will be closed. Many up here close by October, maybe November

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Old 09-17-2015, 08:55 AM   #13
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Like others have stated. Weather is hit or miss and can change daily. I guess plan for just above temps to freezing temps especially in Jan. and Feb. with possible snow white outs. Like others have stated, most CG's close mid October and don't reopen till April-May timeframe. Call ahead and verify if your CG's are open regardless of weather conditions just so you aren't pulling in and no-one is there.

You should get familiar with your water system to see how long and what it takes to winterize if weather conditions should change from semi-temps to freezing for several days.

Would also make sure all propane tanks are topped off and heater is functioning properly in Motor Home before leaving. Nothing like traveling and find out mid-way the system doesn't work or you ran out of propane. Just about any flying j I think has propane available but I rather leave when everying is topped off and ready.

Just my 2 cents. Wishing you safe travels and good time visiting family...
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Old 09-17-2015, 08:59 AM   #14
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In Ontario we have several Provincial Parks open. Fully Heated washrooms and showers. They plow the sites at Pinery for trailers. You can fill up with water at the washroom and have electric. We plan on going this year between Christmas and New Years ourselves.

We have tank heaters. Important is not to be miser and actually use the furnace, this heats the underbelly and storage areas. If you use electric heaters and no air flow you are looking for trouble with frozen pipes.
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Old 09-17-2015, 09:04 AM   #15
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What can we expect from the Interstates?

Salt - and plenty of it. The chances of getting all the way to NH without encountering any snowy, sloppy roads is pretty slim that time of year. Plan on washing a ton of dirty slush off your rig, and the salt won't do the underside any favors either...

And I would consider winterizing the plumbing. The handful of campgrounds I know off in northern NY that are open (for snowmobilers mostly) turn off their water systems. Bathhouses have water, but no water to the sites or dump station availability. Its liable to be well below freezing that time of year. An "artic package" is fine when its 20 degrees. I wouldn't trust it not to freeze at zero for extended periods, which is a possibility in January.

Personally, I would get a hotel - or when we camp in January, its at a campground, but in a heated cabin with running water. Much easier and way more comfortable.
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Old 09-17-2015, 09:36 AM   #16
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Until the Great Lakes freeze, early February, you can expect lots of snow blowing down through NE Ohio through PA and into Virginia periodically. Water is picked up from the open lake water, freezes then dumps further South. Though the DOT does a great job with the interstates, when I had to commute in NE Ohio, there were times when a storm came in overnight, and snow was up to my hub caps trying to get home in the morn. It is probably the worst time of year to get through those states you mentioned.
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Old 09-17-2015, 10:16 AM   #17
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I've lived in the western lake erie rust belt my whole life,and you will never get the salt out of all the joints and seams of your rig.It will stay there no matter how much you wash it and every time it gets wet it will rust and corrode more.You wont see it untill its done its work.If you are planning to sell the class a next summer,go for it,otherwise,use a different mode of transport to get up there.
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Old 09-17-2015, 10:26 AM   #18
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Lots of good advice. But I think the best question to ask yourselves is who in their right mind goes North in the Winter?
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Old 09-17-2015, 10:34 AM   #19
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In Ontario we have several Provincial Parks open. Fully Heated washrooms and showers. They plow the sites at Pinery for trailers. You can fill up with water at the washroom and have electric. We plan on going this year between Christmas and New Years ourselves.
But, he is going to New Hampshire.
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Old 09-17-2015, 12:42 PM   #20
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Like other's have said it is winter and this is different than a winter in AK. Also when a Nor'easter is forecasted leave immediately, this is like a hurricane but it is a winter storm. Wind's and blowing snow can accumulate quite quickly mainly in the Massachusetts and Maine area.

If your rig has tank heaters use them but make sure fluid like water is them first. When pulling into a campground make sure your rig is full of fuel, so this way if you have to start the motorhome you will have fuel to run the engine.

Good luck!
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