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Old 01-11-2021, 01:08 PM   #1
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newbie help with travel from NE to FL

Hello everyone! Happy New Year!

Our 21NE is finally ready and since it is now the middle of January we've changed direction and now we're getting our trailer deliver here in NE instead of driving to Sumas.

We have plans to drive down to the Keys after the 1st week in February.

My questions are these:

1) is 350 miles a day realistic for newbies hauling the trailer down to FL?
2) bearing in mind that the trailer is only 3+ seasons, are we going to have problems the 1st stops in trip down say in NJ?
3) is the main problem the water in the system freezing? or is there something else we'd have to worry about in 1-2 days of below freezing temps? We don't have a toilet that uses water nor are we dependent on a black tank.

Thank you!
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Old 01-11-2021, 02:55 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by TravelMama View Post
Hello everyone! Happy New Year!

My questions are these:

1) is 350 miles a day realistic for newbies hauling the trailer down to FL?
2) bearing in mind that the trailer is only 3+ seasons, are we going to have problems the 1st stops in trip down say in NJ?
3) is the main problem the water in the system freezing? or is there something else we'd have to worry about in 1-2 days of below freezing temps? We don't have a toilet that uses water nor are we dependent on a black tank.

Thank you!
I'll take a shot at answering your questions:

1) We towed our Casita out the Mass Turnpike and up I-495 to New England several times a year. About 375 miles each way for us. As long as road conditions are good you should be fine. I would recommend to do some practice towing locally to get a little more comfortable with the trailer before setting out on a long trip.

2) I would check out your propane and 12 volt systems to verify they are working properly before setting out. You don't want to discover a propane leak or a loose ground connection while boondocking in winter conditions.

3) Freezing water system would certainly be a major concern when travelling in freezing conditions. Sounds like you've already resolved that one.
Did you get the composting toilet?

Since you are having the trailer delivered have you considered having it delivered to Florida and picking it up while you are there? Just a thought.

Are you getting your trailer the last week of Jan? We may be getting our 5.0ta delivered on the 26th-27th (after over 9 weeks of delays). Possibly the same shipment?
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Old 01-11-2021, 03:09 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TravelMama View Post
Hello everyone! Happy New Year!

Our 21NE is finally ready and since it is now the middle of January we've changed direction and now we're getting our trailer deliver here in NE instead of driving to Sumas.

We have plans to drive down to the Keys after the 1st week in February.

My questions are these:

1) is 350 miles a day realistic for newbies hauling the trailer down to FL?
2) bearing in mind that the trailer is only 3+ seasons, are we going to have problems the 1st stops in trip down say in NJ?
3) is the main problem the water in the system freezing? or is there something else we'd have to worry about in 1-2 days of below freezing temps? We don't have a toilet that uses water nor are we dependent on a black tank.

Thank you!
Hi, we just drove our Escape 19 from Ohio to Florida the first week of January.

350 miles a day is more than reasonable provided the weather is good. If the weather isn't good just delay your trip if possible.

Your trailer should be winterized, so you shouldn't have to worry about your pipes or tanks. Buy a few gallons of RV antifreeze to use for flushing your toilet. Leave your water pump OFF.

Bring several gallons of water to use for drinking and cooking. Buy paperplates so you don't need to do dishes. We have a Camco 43517 White Sink Kit with Dish Pan that fits in the sink for washing pots and pans (heat the water on the stove). We also carry a FloTool 42003MI Drain Container, 16 quart
that we use as a temporary gray water tank. We dump the Camco dishpan in the drain container, and then dump it at a restroom when full.

When we got to Georgia we stayed at a Georgia State Park. There we had water and electric so we went ahead and dewinterized at that point, filling our freshwater tank and dumping our tanks when we left.

Buy a little portable electric heater for when you do have electric. Though the propane furnace works fine if you don't have one.

We stayed in Rest Area the first night, the Georgia State Park the second night, and a Bass Pro parking lot the third. Florida is one of the few states that is a stickler for overnight RV parking in their rest areas.

There are a couple who have an Escape up in Alaska who have a video that covers most of this.



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Old 01-11-2021, 03:37 PM   #4
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Nepaweb--I wanted to go with a composting toilet, didn't think my husband would be on board with it. He's a bit of a cynic when it comes to diverting from tradition. So instead we went with a Dryflush toilet system.

We'll be towing it back to our house 1st from a drop off location in central Ma so will get a little experience then. We also plan on sleeping in it for a few days while we make some modifications and wait for the registration paperwork to come in. I'm guessing it will be the same shipment as they told us they had to coordinate with other deliveries.

I'm from PA but outside Philly.
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Old 01-11-2021, 03:43 PM   #5
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TTMartin--Thanks! We don't use water to flush our toilet so that's not a problem. The Drain Container is an excellent idea! Thanks!

Potentially, we'd have only one day/night we'd have to worry about. 2 at the most.

I LOVE Adventures in NoMadness but didn't realize they were still doing Escape videos since they moved back up to Alaska and were fixing up a cabin! Thanks for that!
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Old 01-11-2021, 03:52 PM   #6
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Before you put water in the fresh water tank that you intend to drink, be sure to sanitize the tank per the owners manual.

As you head south on I-95 at the Fort Pierce, FL exit there is a Flying J with a dump station, water fill and overnight parking. The Flying J is actually about a mile north after you exit but Google or Waze can lead you there. This would be a good place to sanitize your water tank. No more freezing weather.

https://locations.pilotflyingj.com/u...orth-kings-hwy

As you continue south past Fort Pierce the traffic gets worse and worse. From Jupiter south it’s insane. Gas stations that are easy when towing can be tough to find. Gas up in Fort Pierce and you will be OK all the way to the Keys.

I trust you have reservations made in the Keys.


We have driven I-95 many many times. Never been chased out of any rest area in any state. Just park with the trucks and not the cars. They may have 8 hour parking limits, but that’s plenty of sleep when driving.

Enjoy your trip.

I went to high school in Key West and was later stationed at the sub base for a few years. The drive on the overseas highway is among the most scenic in the world.
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Old 01-11-2021, 04:52 PM   #7
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One more idea to make your trip more enjoyable. Avoid I-95 through south FL.

The Florida Turnpike and I-95 meet up at the Fort Pierce exit.

The Turnpike is a toll road, but in our mind, worth every cent.

Take the Turnpike south to where it ends in Florida City. That's where it connects to US-1 going into the Keys. The gas in Florida City is much cheaper than in the Keys.

Enjoy the Keys drive. Lots of pull-offs that work with a trailer.

Ed
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Old 01-11-2021, 07:10 PM   #8
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I'm outside Springfield and get to about Harrisonburg VA in a day. We go 84W to Scranton PA, then 81S. Either dry camp at a KOA or Walmart, or motel it for the night then head S to 77E. We can make it to about Charleston SC in 2 500 mile days. This is more then the 300-350 we normally drive in a day but want to get as far south as we can as quick as we can. FWIW, I average about 50 miles an hour so it's a couple 10 hour days. The 2nd night we can fill the tank and start using water. We also drive with the furnace on about 50, saves worrying about food and such freezing and doesn't take an hour to warm things up when you stop.

Keep your leaving day flexible in case the weather is bad.

Going down 81 is about 100 miles longer but avoids all the 95 traffic.
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Old 01-12-2021, 12:50 AM   #9
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You'll enjoy the trailer for sure.
Hope you have reservations in the Keys for when you get there, or anywhere South of Orlando. February in South FL is booked out 11months in advance.
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Old 01-12-2021, 11:14 AM   #10
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We live nearby in Bristol RI and have a few years experience driving to Florida in January from southern NE with our Casita Freedom. We are picking up our new 5.0 in Sumas, WA this spring and sold the Casita last fall. The previous 5 winters we spent down South from Florida to Texas. We typically stick to I95 except bypassing NY City across the Tappen Zee bridge on I287 then the Garden State and connect back to I95 - much less hectic than driving in the city and only about 20 min. longer. Our trailer would have been winterized and 350 miles would get us to about Aberdeen, MD where we would stay at a motel, but that was pre-Covid19. The next night would be around Fayetteville, NC and after that camping in a Georgia St. Park. This all depends on budget and how quickly you want to escape winter. After a short day to northern FL (frequently Anastasia St. Park in St. Augustine) where we would spend a few days after dewinterizing, and then continuing our travels in a more leisurely manner. Lately, we've skipped southern FL and camped in state parks in the panhandle - St. George Island (our favorite), Grayton Beach , Topsail, etc. and Fort Pickens and Davis Bayou in Gulf Islands Nat'l Seashore. It isn't high season on the panhandle and not as crowded as southern FL. Its not summer but more like what we would think of as late spring. Hope this helps and good luck in your adventures.
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Old 01-12-2021, 12:00 PM   #11
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we drive to and from new england and fla often. sometimes with our 19 escape, sometimes with the sportsmobile class b. other time for work in our van. we ALWAYS, ALWAYS, take I84 west to Scranton, then I81 so to va, then over to I95 via va route 17. towing or not towing there are no tolls, and no nyc to wash dc traffic. do get on the fla turnpike as previously stated in ft pierce as the turnpike will take you right to rt 1 and the keys w/o any hassle at all (we just did this route to key largo sunday). make sure you have reservations in key west.
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Old 01-12-2021, 12:50 PM   #12
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I do not follow your route but travel in a similar climate. All good suggestions from the prior postings. Something we have discovered during February travels in the Midwest is, we can start using water much sooner that we thought. OK, there are exceptions with infrequent cold spells. Kentucky/Tennessee is our first stop and we plan for carrying our own bottled water. However, by the second day we will not get freezing temps and we fill our fresh water. Since we do not use antifreeze in the water lines there is no cleanout.

But where to get water enroute? We have found that Pilot gas stations frequently have potable water on each and every island. Usually with a four season faucet. It is an easy process to grab my stored white hose and fill the fresh water.

This makes the second night at Cabela's in Northern Georgia an opportunity to shower and freshen up. I might add we do not drink water from our tank, unless we are connected to city water. So a second gallon of bottled water is necessary.

Covid precautions has turned our travels into no contact. We found it silly to look for a campground, drive out of our way, and then not use any of the facilities. Our favorite stop is a Cabela's, it was interesting to read above that Bass Pro Shops may allow RV Parking. Finally, I would add that the app Allstays is our bible for overnight stops.
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Old 01-12-2021, 01:25 PM   #13
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Our favorite stop is a Cabela's, it was interesting to read above that Bass Pro Shops may allow RV Parking.
Bass Pro Shops bought Cabela's in 2017.
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Old 01-12-2021, 03:54 PM   #14
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I was aware of the purchase. Checking a Cabela store website will show RV Parking as an offering. A Bass Pro Shop does not seem to offer that amenity. I have never asked for that reason. Perhaps the OP was stealth camping ⛺️
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Old 01-12-2021, 05:19 PM   #15
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I was aware of the purchase. Checking a Cabela store website will show RV Parking as an offering. A Bass Pro Shop does not seem to offer that amenity. I have never asked for that reason. Perhaps the OP was stealth camping ⛺️
Yes, very stealth. I was pretty well hidden by the 4 Class A's, large Class C, and another travel trailer parked around me.
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Old 01-12-2021, 07:08 PM   #16
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That stay at Bass Pro Shops was the ultimate in stealth camping- hide in plain sight!
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Old 01-14-2021, 02:35 PM   #17
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I lived in Philly area so long ago that I actually surveyed the route that I-95 used while going through South Philly.
Anyway, we do get up that way a lot and I try to avoid some of the busier highways.
Although we now live in GA, we have an EZ-Pass from MA, and at the time we got it they required one EZ-Pass for the tow vehicle while not towing, and then swap that out with a separate EZ-Pass that includes the tow vehicle and the 2 axle trailer (most states up there don't require a dedicated trailer pass and add the axles automatically). You might want to check with the EZ-Pass office to be sure, and add your trailer license plate number when you get it.
We also use an app on our phone called "Toll Guru" that plots several routes for you and lets you compare them for tolls, no tolls, time, and fuel use.
Good luck and safe travels, maybe we'll cross paths in FL next month.
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Old 01-14-2021, 03:24 PM   #18
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congrats on your new trailer...if you have solar and propane you are all set to stop at any Bass Pro and will be comfortable...i would be more worried about getting your trailer winterized after your trip...coming back, if you used the water, the trailer is going to have to be winterized...it is easy...take your time and have fun!
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