Maine to Florida in Winter: Crazy? - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 10-14-2019, 03:33 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Name: Douglas
Trailer: Casita
Maine
Posts: 1
Maine to Florida in Winter: Crazy?

Hello, we have a Casita SD 16 which we are considering towing from Downeast Maine to Florida some time after January. Issues of trailer freezing aside which we will attend to, is this a crazy idea due to the difficulties determining favorable weather and road conditions needed to make the 2-3 day journey safely? The chances of pitting/dinging/damaging the SD seems pretty high.
We would appreciate everyone's experience, preparation and opinions on towing travel trailers in deep winter. Thanks.
__________________

macbethdt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2019, 03:37 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Byron Kinnaman's Avatar
 
Name: Byron
Trailer: 2006 Scamp 13' towed with a 2005 Dodge Dakota 4.7l Magnum W/full tow package (over kill)
Oregon
Posts: 6,943
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by macbethdt View Post
Hello, we have a Casita SD 16 which we are considering towing from Downeast Maine to Florida some time after January. Issues of trailer freezing aside which we will attend to, is this a crazy idea due to the difficulties determining favorable weather and road conditions needed to make the 2-3 day journey safely? The chances of pitting/dinging/damaging the SD seems pretty high.
We would appreciate everyone's experience, preparation and opinions on towing travel trailers in deep winter. Thanks.

Deep winter traveling. I simply hook on and go. I usually set an earliest departure date then watch for weather window. Unless you get into a real snow storm the roads will be clear.
On the West Coast we stay in rest areas for a night when travel is 2 or more days. You'll need to check on the East coast states.


I don't use reservations for one night I stay in rest areas, truck stops, or Walmart parking lots.
__________________

__________________
Byron & Anne enjoying the everyday Saturday thing.
Byron Kinnaman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2019, 03:59 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
AC0GV's Avatar
 
Name: Kenneth
Trailer: Scamp
Wisconsin
Posts: 102
Registry
Plan ahead

I have found the east coast to be a no parking zone.
Attached Thumbnails
04_earls.jpg  
AC0GV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2019, 04:04 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Name: Sandra
Trailer: 2006 EggCamper #35
Florida
Posts: 128
Registry
Hi Douglas,

I had a serious crash in VA on a trip from NC to MI in January '94 - with my pickup - had I been towing my injury crash would have been fatal. Just the weight of what I had in my bed was enough to accordion the cab and require getting pried out. I got caught in freezing rain but was following a salt truck with great conditions. When the truck got to the top of the hill the load must have shifted and NO SALT. People were wiped out everywhere. I nearly went under the semi next to me - but instead drifted into the interstate median and hit the concrete drainage facing of a crossover at about 40 mph. OUCH. I was ok after concussion and bruises healed - but still traumatized for driving. So... After I finished school in MI we moved back to FL
If you have the time and resources to be very flexible and lay over whenever weather is iffy I think it is still possible. Just don't mess with precipitation at that time of year. I grew up in PA and can drive in snow - but I don't recommend trying to drive on ice!

Best, Sandy
__________________
The Egg-centric Argonauts are sailing soon...
SandyNorthFL is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2019, 04:45 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
theresa p's Avatar
 
Name: theresa
Trailer: Outback (by Trillium) 2004
New Brunswick
Posts: 1,469
Registry
We have done this trip over a dozen times. For us, the secret is timing and weather watching. If you place yourself in a "have to go today" situation, you could really be in trouble. However, if you watch the forecasts and can be ready to go when the weather shows clear for at least until you get south of PA, you should be good to go.

It is necessary to stop when there is any weather....regardless of time of day. You can always start up again but you will find it hard to progress in bad weather...it's not worth it.



We have overnighted at truck stops and never had an issue. We use bottled water and usually purchase our nightly meal where we stay.....easier for us plus a way to pay for our overnight stay.


Don't stay home afraid of the trip----go! Just heed to Mother Nature's warnings.
theresa p is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2019, 05:10 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
Posts: 2,453
Registry
+10 pick your window carefully. Head south not west. Major higheways typically clear daylight hours. Stop early/start late.

Our last winter trip west we had to go straight south all the way to I-10 then head west. And we were starting in NC.
thrifty bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2019, 05:26 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Name: Steve
Trailer: Casita 17 ft DLX SD & 21 ft SOB
NW Wisconsin
Posts: 3,644
After retiring we went south for several winters ( Northern Wisconsin to Florida- Georgia ) We finally decided that it just wasn’t worth the hassle.
Where we live they have the equipment and ability to deal with winter roads (snow & ice ), not so in a lot of the US .
Driving a vehicle in winter and towing in winter are two different things IMHO
steve dunham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2019, 05:48 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
Posts: 4,891
We have a Casita 17, and have gone south for 7 winters, starting near Albany NY and ending up in either southern Georgia or Florida. We would leave home late November, head to Scranton PA, then down I 81 to I 77 and down into South Carolina. Only twice did we get a few hour late start waiting for the roads to clear, and those times after an hour there was no snow at all. We always did some research ahead to find what campgrounds on our route were open, and made a list of them. An hour or two before we wanted to stop for the day we would look at the list and call ahead to check availability. We liked to stay in campgrounds so we could plug in, use an electric heater and electric blanket and maybe watch a little TV. Stayed at a truck stop only once and one time stayed in a motel one night. Did not use any water in the trailer until we got to South Carolina. When returning home in early March I would winterize the trailer by the time I got to Virginia.
mary and bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2019, 09:48 AM   #9
Junior Member
 
Name: Lee
Trailer: Scamp
Montana
Posts: 16
Plus 2 to the comments posted by Byron. Check the weather, bottled water, a few freeze dried meals just in case and warm bedding. With the reduced daylight start looking for a spot to overnight early. Rest Areas, Walmart and Cabela's are great options, be sure to ask permission in store first. And remember, you have your home behind you, so if the weather is bad, wait. You certainly have plenty of experience driving in both ice and snow, and once you clear RI the weather picture improves greatly, enjoy!

There are old sailors, and bold sailors, but no old, bold sailors.

As Warren Miller said, "If you don't do it now, it will be one more year before you do".

Frosty
LCH in Montana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2019, 10:02 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
AC0GV's Avatar
 
Name: Kenneth
Trailer: Scamp
Wisconsin
Posts: 102
Registry
East coast parking

I was just in the south east US; all the rest areas were marked no overnight car parking. (big trucks have federal law requiring them to stop) and Walmart was a rare site along the interstate, I have a Walmart directory, but they were always a mile or two off the highway. There was a Cracker barrel around every corner and yes, I do have a Scamp picture for every Scamp occasion.

Attached Thumbnails
05_cracker2.jpg  
AC0GV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2019, 11:02 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
Name: Steve
Trailer: Casita 17 ft DLX SD & 21 ft SOB
NW Wisconsin
Posts: 3,644
Quote:
Originally Posted by LCH in Montana View Post
Plus 2 to the comments posted by Byron. Check the weather, bottled water, a few freeze dried meals just in case and warm bedding. With the reduced daylight start looking for a spot to overnight early. Rest Areas, Walmart and Cabela's are great options, be sure to ask permission in store first. And remember, you have your home behind you, so if the weather is bad, wait. You certainly have plenty of experience driving in both ice and snow, and once you clear RI the weather picture improves greatly, enjoy!

There are old sailors, and bold sailors, but no old, bold sailors.

As Warren Miller said, "If you don't do it now, it will be one more year before you do".

Frosty
On our last trip south in the winter , we encountered snow covered roads as far south as Montgomery Alabama .
steve dunham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2019, 12:15 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
CindyL's Avatar
 
Name: Cindy
Trailer: 1988 Bigfoot Silver Cloud
Illinois
Posts: 2,660
Registry
We did this for years, spending our Xmas vacation in Naples (Last year, we tried South Padre Island. Eventually, I think we will spend one month in FL, one in TX, and one in the SW. I retire in May.) We have gone from Chicago to Naples.

Recommendations:

Have a backup plan for traveling dates. One time, we left a day ahead of what we planned, missing Xmas with our daughter, due to a snowstorm. We were just ahead of it but greatly relieved to miss the 7 inches of snow.

Be aware that hotels are an option while traveling, due to the weather. We have spent some nights in hotels on the way to and from FL, due to weather and also, closed campgrounds.

Probably MOST important! Check your camping site early. FL fills up! We camped with lots of Canadians looking for warmer weather when we stayed there.


CindyL

PS: If going to Disney, good luck! We have vowed not to go there during Xmas again. The first time, I had just had elbow surgery and thought it was an option to Naples. Wrong! So crowded that I was constantly trying to protect my elbow. The second time was with grandkids. Once is enough of that at Xmas too.

PPS: Don't put winter clothes in a place where you can't find them if a short trip. You will need to find those gloves on the way home .
__________________
1988 Bigfoot Silver Cloud, "The Egg Carton"
CindyL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2019, 05:13 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Name: Kevin
Trailer: 28' Bigfoot Silver Cloud
Woodstock, IL
Posts: 1,222
Send a message via Yahoo to Kevin A
As my wonderful wife CindyL said above, we watch the storm forecasts many days in advance. One trip back to Chicago from Naples, we routed west through Alabama to Memphis to miss a big snowstorm. However, it slowed down just a bit and we caught the tail end in the boot heel of Missouri. It was only for 50 miles, but it was truly a white knuckle drive with low visibility and drifting snow. Being stubborn, I kept going but that won't happen again. Worried about being late back to a job is not worth it!
Kevin A is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2019, 06:13 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
CindyL's Avatar
 
Name: Cindy
Trailer: 1988 Bigfoot Silver Cloud
Illinois
Posts: 2,660
Registry
Oh, Lord, I forgot that one. Definitely not again! Happily, we are not tied to that schedule any more
__________________
1988 Bigfoot Silver Cloud, "The Egg Carton"
CindyL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2019, 07:53 PM   #15
Junior Member
 
Name: Steven and Paula
Trailer: Bigfoot
Ontario
Posts: 14
Thumbs up Heading south in January

We live in Ontario and last year we went to Edisto Island SC and then Ormond Beach FL in January. Dry roads are imperative. The salt damage is what I try to avoid. If you do get wet and messy, stop at a truck wash and give your baby a bath.
__________________
Steven Potter
swip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2019, 11:41 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Name: Jann
Trailer: Casita
Colorado
Posts: 702
Quote:
Originally Posted by macbethdt View Post
Hello, we have a Casita SD 16 which we are considering towing from Downeast Maine to Florida some time after January. Issues of trailer freezing aside which we will attend to, is this a crazy idea due to the difficulties determining favorable weather and road conditions needed to make the 2-3 day journey safely? The chances of pitting/dinging/damaging the SD seems pretty high.
We would appreciate everyone's experience, preparation and opinions on towing travel trailers in deep winter. Thanks.
Don't put in water. Carry a couple of jugs to use until you get to warm weather. Make sure the grey tank is empty. Put a little rock salt or anti-freeze in the black tank. Fridge should be able to be used since you'd stay in it at night and keep the trailer warm. I don't think the trailer will be damaged any more in winter than in summer. Plan a date and watch for the weather forecast. Be prepared to change you dates a little if need be to avoid any storms by beating them or waiting until they pass for a few days. Take a route with the best roads and least snowy areas. Then enjoy the trip. If it is real cold then stay in a campground and run a small electric heater along with the furnace or heat strip on the A/C if you have one. That way you can warm the trailer up real good all night and be comfortable. Then have a great time.
Jann Todd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2019, 07:37 AM   #17
Senior Member
 
Joe MacDonald's Avatar
 
Trailer: Trillium
Ontario
Posts: 850
Most of us up here in the great white north pull trailers year round, might be a cargo rather than a camper, same principals apply, biggest factor- drive safely, second- prepare- lots of time, good all season tires, well thought out route with rest stops, pull over if weather heads towards snow or freezing rain.

joe
Joe MacDonald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2019, 09:52 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
Glenn Baglo's Avatar
 
Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
British Columbia
Posts: 6,383
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe MacDonald View Post
good all season tires, well thought out route with rest stops, pull over if weather heads towards snow or freezing rain.

joe

All season tires are not adequate for mountain passes in BC. You will get a ticket. You must have snow tires on the tow vehicle ( or All Weather tires, which are not the same as All Season ).
__________________
What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
Glenn Baglo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2019, 10:29 AM   #19
Junior Member
 
Name: chris
Trailer: Scamp
New Jersey
Posts: 19
We do this every year from NJ. We watch the weather carefully and usually stay in a hotel the first night. Been doing this for at least 10 years with minimal trouble. Once we got caught in an ice storm and just pulled off into a motel for the night. Be flexible! I95 is more predictable than the mountains on 81 but less pleasant. We try to avoid the Baltimore/DC area on weekdays.
Nelliebelle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2019, 10:38 AM   #20
Junior Member
 
Name: Kevin
Trailer: Scamp 13'
WA
Posts: 2
Weather planning is essential to your success no matter where you go. I picked up my Scamp 13 on September 29th this year. I was headed home west of Seattle WA. I knew Montana was going to get an early snow a week before, Missoula and Helina got 18-24 inches and I would have driven right into it if I didn't plan properly. Pay particular attention to wind speed and direction as well, sometimes an early launch time will allow you to drive a few hours before the winds pick up.
__________________

MSGKGB is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
South Texas Travel Trailer Owner Inquiry – Winter Weather, Winter Roads, and Freezing ridergw2001 Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers 14 02-03-2018 08:32 PM
Florida Egg Rally in Florida! Sherritini General Chat 13 12-22-2017 07:14 PM
Florida this winter rgrugg General Chat 14 11-09-2014 09:50 AM
NW Winter Camping - tell me I'm crazy! Penney H. & Mike E. General Chat 28 11-06-2010 09:43 AM
Help- It's making me crazy! Legacy Posts General Chat 26 07-04-2003 08:22 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:57 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
×