RV Travel – 3000 Miles, 7 States, 6 Weeks

by | Dec 1, 2019

We just completed 3 months of RV travel. But, the beginning was not our best planning effort. And to top it off, we had more travel issues with truck problems, bad roads, hurricanes, wreck delays and damage to our 5th wheel. Regardless of how well you can plan a trip and the preventative maintenance performed on your RV, challenges can happen. Even with these unplanned issues, we still had a great time traveling, seeing the sites and meeting fellow RV travelers along the way.

Bad Roads

To say we ran into some bad roads is an understatement. I-95 in South Carolina is a mess. I’m amazed at the condition of this major stretch of Interstate. It’s riddled with large pot holes, uneven concrete and giant cracks. We discovered that it doesn’t matter if traveling north or south, I-95 in South Carolina needs some serious repairs. Fortunately, the State roads off I-95 to our Huntington Beach destination we well maintained and gave some relief.

I wish I could report this was the only area with poor roads. We took US-65 from Gulf Port, MS on our route to Vicksburg. This highway is one giant stretch of uneven concrete. Speaking with others RV’ers once we arrived in Vicksburg, everyone asked why we didn’t take one of the state roads. We just didn’t know. Goes to prove it’s always good to ask about a route if you’re not familiar with a new area of travel.
The last bad leg was the I-440 bypass around the southeastern area of Little Rock. Simply one word – Aweful.

We’ve faced bad roads before, but this was stretch after stretch. The 5th wheel suffered too. A number of broken light fixtures, bent the electric fireplace bracket and somewhere along the route, we fractured one of the axle leaf spring hangers and it snapped in two on the way home.

Truck Problems

We are very particular when it comes to the maintenance of our F-350 dually and the 5th wheel. But, there are somethings that you can’t see or plan for. Between Vicksburg, MS and Hot Springs, AR the engine light came on. Our diesel exhaust fluid heaters shorted out. Fortunately, the fine folks at Sparks Ford in Malvern, AR was able to make a quick repair and get us back on the road. And to top it off, the repairs were covered by a recall and it didn’t cost a penny.

That wasn’t the end of our truck issues. Ninety miles from Nashville, TN, we blew our turbo hose. We had no idea what happen. We first thought the engine was blown, but no smoke, fluid leaking, not even an engine light, all we experience was a huge loss of power. Making it to Nashville was quite the task and the following morning I’m at Town and Country Ford. Excellent customer service again. They discovered and replaced a blown turbo hose. A couple hours later and a swipe of the credit card we were back on the road.

Trip Planning and Our Time

I don’t know what I was thinking. 3,000 miles to cover these destinations, not including the touring miles, 7 states and all this in 6 weeks was a whirlwind of RV travel. For most of the trip, we set up, toured, and repacked several times a week. This may be a reasonable way to travel in a Class A, B or C, but for a 5th wheel or travel trailer, we found it to be physically draining. Plus with all of the video recorded, it took weeks to edit and air.

What We Learned

Even with our very busy RV travel and miles covered, we still had a great time. Even with the bad roads we managed. And even with the vehicle problems, each was quickly resolved and travel continued. Going forward we’re returning to our preferred mode of RV travel – 10 days to 2 weeks per campground. We’re going to plan better to provide a balance of play, tour, work and rest time.

RV AccessoriesNot sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel? Check out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.
 

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