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How far do you travel in a day? One man’s perspective

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By Gary Jefferson
I have three modes when it comes to traveling in our Sprinter. When we traveled in our SUV, I didn’t do it like I do today in the van. In our SUV, the location of a good motel usually determined how far we were going that day. I knew we’d be stopping for photographs, meals, and before dark, so I’d factor all that in when I looked on the map for a probable destination. It was usually between 125 and 250 miles; more often closer to the 125 number.

In the Sprinter we don’t think about motels anymore. We already have one with us. So, when we are in travel mode, I’m moseying down the highway looking for good things to photograph. My wife is usually on her phone looking for interesting things nearby.

We stop, we look around, I take a photo or two and we continue on. However, if a location warrants it, we will sleep nearby and visit again the next day. Regardless, sometime early in the afternoon we start to think about where our traveling motel is going to stop. By late in the afternoon, we’re parked and relaxing at the end of our driving day. The interesting thing is that it’s usually after 125 to 250 miles. Our daily distance hasn’t changed much.

When we stayed in motels, it was expensive to stay in one place for more than one night. I know, you’re thinking, “You’d be in a motel anyway,” but we were not enjoying any new places as those dollars were spent.

Multi-night motel stays were for bad weather and a change of pace for a day or two. Now we can just park and enjoy one place for a while and we’re saving money on fuel. With the van we can enjoy a location for as long as we want. Our tendency is to enjoy sunsets (not sunrises, they are way too early for me) and beautiful views with the van. We didn’t do that as much in the SUV. The van allows us a much more leisurely travel experience.

At some point, maybe after a week, a month, or longer, we decide it’s time to be back in our fifth-wheel in Southern California. We usually have an idea of approximately how long we will be gone when we leave home. Since both of us are seniors, there are medications and vitamins that keep us alive — we are sure to take the right number of pills to keep us going during the trip. I know, many of you know nothing about that, but getting old isn’t for sissies (or people who can’t plan ahead).

Before the meds are gone, we head home. Our longest travel days have been coming home — sometimes 700 miles or more. I’m even driving the speed limit (maybe faster) on that part of our trip. It’s great to leave on a trip, enjoy the journey, and it’s great to head for home. That’s how we know it was a good trip.

From “The Story of RVing”

Gary Jefferson is the author of The Story of RVing, Van Living Explained, available at Amazon. When he’s not on the road, he lives in a fifth wheel trailer in Redlands, Calif., where he has photographed the downtown residents for five years, which he posts to a delightful Facebook page called Redlands People.

##RVT1072

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18 Comments
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KellyR
2 months ago

Now that we are older our max is 600 miles a day. Back in the day my wife and I would drive 1200 miles straight on thru, Da*n, being young and foolish was such fun.

Admin
RV Staff(@rvstaff)
2 months ago
Reply to  KellyR

Sorry, Kelly. You were bleeped by our picky filter (not me). So I edited your word slightly and folks can figure it out. 😉 Have a good night. 😀 –Diane

KellyR
2 months ago
Reply to  RV Staff

Darn filters!

Admin
RV Staff(@rvstaff)
2 months ago
Reply to  KellyR

Yep. Part of my job, apparently, is to filter the sometimes overly zealous filters. 😆 Take care. 😀 -Diane

Bill Forbes
2 months ago

My wife and I used to drive 3 hours on and 3 hours off for 24 hours, which would get us about 1200 miles. Then we’d stop for 12 hours, usually at a friend’s house, and do it again. That would get us coast to coast in 60 hours elapsed time. Ah, youth! These days it six hours max, maybe eight if we really want to get somewhere quickly., and only three if the schedule permits.

Jeff
2 months ago

I live in Wisconsin and my one daughter lives in republic Missouri. Get up and drive it in one day. On the return trip I drive home in one day. 12 hours on the road. Stop for gas and bathroom breaks.

Impavid
2 months ago

If we were travelling by car, I would often think it was a wasted day if I didn’t do 1000 miles. If I stopped at 5 PM then by 6 PM I would think “Gee I could be another 60 miles down the road”. Ah it was nice to be young and foolish. Now we really try to do the 3 and 3 – stop after 300 miles or by 3:00 PM. Actually doesn’t matter how far you drive, you only need to drive one safe mile at a time.

Bob p
2 months ago

We’d never get where we’re going driving 125 miles a day. Our limit is 300.

Charlie Sullivan
2 months ago

We use the 3 and 3 method: 300 miles or 3 PM, which ever comes first…then it’s time to stop for the day.

Tommy Molnar
2 months ago

That’s pretty much how WE do it. 3pm is, after all, cocktail hour.

Sandi Pearson
2 months ago

We do the 2/2/2 method give or take a few miles and maybe only one night stay if it is only an “in route ” stop. Shortest move ever…this week between two camp grounds 2 miles apart…

Jim Prideaux
2 months ago

I measure by hours. 4-6 hours on the road is good.

Ron
2 months ago

200 – 300.

Tommy Molnar
2 months ago

“Our longest travel days have been coming home — sometimes 700 miles or more.”
Even OTR truckers don’t drive this long! Or are you just saying the last part of your trip is 700 miles? That’s 12-14 hours of driving (figuring an average of 50 mph with stops for ‘whatever’ along the way).

david
2 months ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

Think, “Our” maybe TWO people driving the rig, no big deal.

Wayne C
2 months ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

I’ve driven 700 miles in a day a few times and 500 miles often with just me driving. I like to drive and I have a 5er hitched to a diesel pickup and that combination is very stable and easy to drive. Where I travel those long distances (Nevada hinterlands) it is easy to average more than 50 mph, closer to 60 – 65. There are only two or three fuel stops and we carry snacks to eat while underway. It’s not for everyone but that’s the way my wife and I like to travel for two days when escaping cold NW weather. Then we park for a couple weeks.

MevetS
2 months ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

Driving 700 miles a day used to be typical for us, before retirement. We drove back from Whistler, B.C. to our home base in SW Michigan, in 3 days. That was pulling a 5th wheel and only 1 driver comfortable with pulling the trailer. Not all that unusual, for us, back when we had to be back at work and wanted to see North America during a 2 week vacation.

Now when retired, it’s all a matter of what we want to take the time to do. We may drive less then 250 miles but 400, or more, are not out of the question. We also share the driving in a Motorhome, pulling a toad, these days.

Karen Grace
2 months ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

My reaction too!

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