Thursday, March 23, 2023


RVers and experts weigh in: What are the best days to travel?

A friend recently asked me which days we prefer to travel on. He said that they like to travel on Wednesdays because they avoid folks going out of town for the weekend and avoid those returning from the weekend or a long trip. That got me to thinking, “What days do RVers like to travel?”

I found that travel days are a popular area of discussion among RVers. Some prefer to travel Sunday mornings with less traffic, particularly in bigger cities. We have actually driven the Chicago loop in the motorhome towing a car and made great time on a Sunday morning when we wouldn’t consider it any other time. Atlanta, Albuquerque, Houston, on early Sunday mornings have been okay too. Some folks do not want to budge on Sundays and prefer to enjoy the peace and quiet of a campground after the weekenders leave. They generally like to travel Mondays or Tuesdays and make all their reservations around that time frame.

According to USA Today, “The safest day to be on the road: Tuesday. The most dangerous? Saturday.” noted that, “The NHTSA reports that most accidents occur during ‘rush hour,’ between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. And according to the NHTSA, Saturday is the most dangerous day of the week to drive, primarily because there are more cars – and more drunk drivers – on the road than any other day.”

Almost all RVers say to forget Sunday afternoons when driving through a big city, if possible, as so many vacationers are making their way home. Most agree that they plan to drive after morning rush hour and want to be parked and set-up during evening rush hour. Starting by 10 a.m. and parked by 3 p.m. was a popular time frame. A lot of folks, including us, prefer to be at their site, enjoying dinner or sitting around a campfire while the worker bees are still battling road congestion.

A few said they like to stop at a rest area during evening rush hour, wait it out, and then continue. Others, bucking the trend to start after rush hour, like to start well before rush hour. There are times we have needed to outrun upcoming winds by leaving very early but we always want to have everything packed up, water and sewer disconnected the night before and only need to unplug, pull in the slides, and leave as quickly and quietly as possible.

Now that we have more freedom and are not in the crowd of weekend warriors we try not to RV on Fridays. It is a luxury to sit back in our folding rockers and watch the weekenders rush to their site and rush to set up – sometimes in the dark. Sundays they rush home, unpack the RV, do the laundry and get the kids and themselves ready for the week.

As grateful as I was back then to get out and go camping on the weekends, I am glad to leave those travel days to the warriors and move when we want and how we want and on the days we want.

Of course, even the best travel days can be blown away in a moment by heavy winds, rain, tornado warnings and even the rare forecast of snow.

Do you have favorite days to travel? Let us know below in the comments.



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Jim Johnson
2 months ago

Lots of variation here, but also a whole lot of consensus.

Our variation is to avoid Interstate highways as much as possible, and keep the distance short if not. Avoid all major cities at any time of the day or week, which is easier to do when using federal or state highways rather than Interstate highways. And to the extent possible, travel during daylight hours.

Abiding to those goals for the most part negates most of the travel day issues. The biggest exception in memory was arriving at a small town whose local high school won a state championship. The parade snarled up traffic something awful. LOL

Bob p
2 months ago

The only sane time to drive through Atlanta is between 2AM-5AM, that’s the time all the locals are refueling for the next mad house drive. Lol

1 year ago

While you may want to avoid weekend warriors, I believe any day is the best day for me to travel. Daylight hours of course.

1 year ago

I drive many miles AROUND cities. Most cities have old, narrow, poorly maintained, winding throughways that were laid out a hundred years ago.
The two times I’ve been stranded at the side of the road was thankfully during working hours, easier access to help. We travel 9-3 during the week.

1 year ago

We are full time and have found that traveling on weekends severely limits access to roadside assistance or repairs if needed. And makes us miss games during football season. We prefer Monday to Monday stays traveling between 10 am and 3 pm.

Neal Davis
1 year ago

While we still have our 43′ motorhome, our travel pattern for shorter trips is to leave home Monday morning and return Friday afternoon. It has been very hard to find openings for sites large enough to accommodate our rig that includes a weekend. However, we are ordering a 36′ motorhome that we expect will greatly increase the number of campsites that can accommodate the new rig. However, given how crowded campgrounds are on weekends and relatively empty and quiet otherwise, we may continue this pattern with the next RV.

Ron T.
1 year ago

Any travel day is a good day! Any trip south or east requires going through Chicago and the Class C is high enough to give me a view over most of the traffic. Just keep up with the flow or lack thereof and signal well before changing lanes. Drivers will yield. Made it through Atlanta one Monday morning in an hour. Couldn’t believe it.

1 year ago

We move every 3-5 days usually, depending on the quality and quanity of sights around us. We try to adhere to this rule of thumb in such a manner as to sit still over the weekends. Reservations govern our efforts.

Karen Bates
1 year ago

We have been weekend warriors but always try to go on Thursday. We also leave after rush hour and plan to arrive before 3 pm. Starting this spring, we will be free to travel whenever and look forward to sitting back and watching everyone else leave on Sunday!

Sherry Shay
1 year ago

I always plan on NOT driving during rush “hours” in any big city. If I have to start a little later than I would like—then so be it. Stress is not what I’m after. Lol. Sunday mornings are a truly awesome time to get through the really big cities—virtually no other traffic. Mondays and Fridays seem to be the busiest—Mondays for truckers, and Fridays for weekenders. I always avoid Saturdays if at all possible. I, too, prefer to stop by four if at all possible. Anything later than that makes it all work and no play.

Retired Firefighter Tom
1 year ago

I avoid driving on Fridays and Sundays as much as I can, staying an extra day or leaving a day early. Speed limits are ignored by 60% or more so I’m extra-vigilant.

Jean Painter
1 year ago

If you’re leaving a “snow bird” location, there’s no special day of the week to avoid, but definitely avoid the last few days and the first two days of the month. These days are when the snowbirds are leaving their rental lots for the season and traffic can be horrendous!

John R. Wilkins
1 year ago

We like to travel on weekdays, Tuesday through Thursday’s. We always avoid morning and evening rush hours, unless we are in large remote or rural areas. We avoid Friday’s whenever we can. And, we always check out the mapping systems for construction, accidents, and other types of delays.

1 year ago

We prefer traveling Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday when possible. Always prefer boondocking but when we do have to stay at a campground we stay Monday thru Thursday because they are generally empty. Traveling hours are usually 9am to 3pm. Stay away from rush hours and enjoy breakfast and dinner.

Bob p
1 year ago

If we are traveling to a campground we like to leave in time to arrive by Thursday PM as this eliminates the Friday traffic of the weekenders. If we are leaving we’ll wait until Monday mid morning after the weekend crowd has left Sunday PM and the Monday rush hour is over.

Mike Hancock
1 year ago

We do our best to avoid any place that has a “rush hour.” If possible I will plan a route that bypasses cities. We are full-time, and spend most of our time in the west and northwest, making city avoidance easier.

1 year ago

Do not have a favorite day to drive but never drive Nevada to California on a Sunday. Never leave California on a friday afternoon headed to Nevada. I use to drive truck and when possible I preferred to drive nights until about 2am or later then sleep my then required time then go again. After 10pm you did not have to put up with them RVs, LOL

RV Staff
1 year ago
Reply to  Terry

Oh, you’re cruisin’ for a bruisin’, Terry. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. 😉 Have a good night. 😀 —Diane

Bob P
1 year ago

Depends on whether we are going to be traveling through Atlanta, best time to hit Atlanta, 2 AM, otherwise Sunday morning before church let’s out. Most of the time Sunday AM is the time to go through a big city, the drunks from Saturday night are passed out and the church goers are in church.

David Scheeler
1 year ago

If going for a weekend, I like to arrive on Thursday and leave Monday avoiding the stream of RV’s arriving on Friday and leaving on Sunday. Try to time my travel to avoid metropolitan areas during rush hours.

John Massengale
1 year ago

Normally we like to leave on Monday and come home on Thursday and miss the weekend mess, Or stay put some where over the weekend and watch everyone else pack up on Sunday. Traffic doesn’t always cooperate but that is a way of life.

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