Distance = (Rate x Time) – Mental Fatigue

Chris here. Creating this blog was Michelle’s idea and she has done such a nice job capturing the spirit of our travel so far. I thought it might be an interesting change of pace to share a series of logistics info and some of what we’ve learned from being on the road full time in our 275 square foot house. First up is the distance we log on travel days. Here’s a map of our journey to date. Click to see an interactive version:

wct

We’ve been on the road nearing three months now and there have been several adjustments I’ve had to make based on prior road experience versus newfound RV road experience. First among them, driving distances.

Years ago, I drove from LA to Chicago in 46 hours alternating driving with my friend Mark. Many other times I’ve done 600+ miles per day consecutively. I was younger then, but I figured 300-400 miles average on our moving days would be fine once I factored in getting the rig travel-ready at the start of the day and setting up camp at day’s end.  Seemed reasonable, didn’t want to overdo it.

I quickly learned that driving a 55 foot/15 ton/swaying/swerving rig and tow car on slim state highways and windy mountain roads (the kids call these “the twisties”) can be stressful and slow! Quite a bit more than pushing a smooth, quiet car at 80+ mph on nice wide interstates. After a couple of 4-5 hour days, I was mentally exhausted, humbled, and ready to scale down the distance between each stop. Driving a class A motorhome is a continuous series of micro-steering corrections, like driving a boat. The rig will never just go straight. Adding on a tow car doubles the concentration factor. Gliding into and through curves like a car doesn’t really exist in a rig. You’re not exactly top-heavy, but you’re so tall that everything leans left when you’re turning right. That is a sickening feeling at first, but you get used to it. There is a wide amount of play in the steering wheel and every half-second, you’re ever so slightly guiding the rig to center while factoring in highway width and a white line threatening to disappear on your right.

We now comfortably aim to drive 75-125 miles on travel days and stay anywhere from 2-5 nights at each spot. There have been a few instances where we felt like we lucked out with the campground/area so much that we extended our stay to a week or longer (Bend, Seattle, and recently Jackson among others. We originally planned to stay at Jackson for five nights, but it quickly became one of our favorite stops, so we pushed it out to nine.)

We’ve been pleasantly surprised by the number of readers so far and I hope everyone is enjoying our family adventure.  More to come.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Karen Danzer says:

    I am really enjoying your adventure. I think all of us has had the same dream at one point in our lives. bravo to you and Michelle for doing it!

    Like

    1. michelleneale says:

      Thank you, Karen!

      Like

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