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Florida to Grand Canyon


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#1 QuiGonJohn

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 08:48 AM

We are planning our first big trip with our recently purchased 2006 Winnebago Aspect 26A to the Grand Canyon this coming September.

For the drive there and back, I want to stay mostly on interstates, make the best time, face the least traffic and be as fuel efficient as possible. I can't decide between these 2 routes.

1.) Fla Turnpike, I75, I10, I49, I20, I635, I35E, I35, I240, I44, I40 to Flagstaff

or

2.) Fla Turnpike, I75, I10, I17 up to Flagstaff

Also, from Flagstaff, is it better to continue W on I40 to Williams and go up Route 64 or to go through Flagstaff and take Route 180 over and up to the canyon.

Any feedback on these routes or even a good alternative would be appreciated.

Thanks,
John
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#2 Guest_BillAdams_*

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 09:34 AM

I would take (and have taken) the I-10 to I49 to I-20 into Dallas. I am not sure of your plan from there but I have taken the diagonal from Dallas to Amarillo through Wichata Falls. It's not an interstate but it is good road and saves a lot of time. From Flagstaff the road N 64/180 is a good drive in an RV and no reason to go the long way unless you were going to stay in Williams and take the train to the Canyon (not as good as being at the Canyon).

#3 QuiGonJohn

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 10:43 AM

Thanks Bill, I had thought of the route thru Wichita Falls, (drove it many many years ago). But I'm afraid having to slow down in all the little towns along the way would kill my gas mileage. Also that whole route has a plus and a minus. The plus, I have a brother in Shreveport that we could visit, maybe stay over one night. The minus I thought might be the bit of mountains across NM, although it's not much, but east of Albq going thru Tijeras Canyon is a bit hilly at times. At least on the trip to the canyon, we will probably drive overnight most nights. We have a little more time on the return, so we may take it a bit easier.

Whereas the I10 all the way to Phoenix ought to be mostly flat, but I've never gone that way across Texas nor southern AZ.
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#4 Guest_BillAdams_*

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 11:43 AM

Miles driven vs. MPG must be considered. Losing a few MPG but driving and extra 50 miles usually does not make much sense.
I have done the long and exceedingly boring drive all the way along I-10 as well and there is nothing wrong with that version if miles driven is not a concern.

From Orlando it would be:
2179 "my way"
2286 10-25-35-40
2310 10-25-40
2363 10-17

#5 hermanmullins

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 12:45 PM

Bill, Thanks for the mention of TEXAS. And US 287 from DFW to Amarillo it a very good Highway. However when you pass Wichita Falls to Amarillo (I-40) the scenery leaves something to be desired. This is from a Texan. Take books on tape or some CDs to listen to.

QuiGonJohn, be prepared for some heat. We went to Colorado late August last year. The temp. was 105 degrees. Our dash air would not keep up even with the curtain behind the driver & passengers seats. We had to run the gen and turn on both A/Cs. When we stopped for the night in Vega ($22.00) we didn't have to use the hot water to bathe, it was warm enough out of the cold side. The next night in Pagoso Springs we had the windows open during the day and cover to sleep.

While in Amarillo take a side trip to Canyon, Texas, South on I-27 16 miles, and see Palo Dura Canyon. Not as big as The Grand Canyon, but still awesome.

Have a great trip from Florida.

Herman
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#6 QuiGonJohn

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 12:51 PM

Thanks Bill, we are traveling from Ft Laud. Here are mileages as per Google Maps.

2388 mi - I10 up to I40 via US 287 (Dallas, Wichita Falls, Amarillo)
2488 mi - I10 up to I40 via I35 (Dallas, OKC, Amarillo)
2568 mi - I10 to I17 up to Flagstaff, via Phoenix

I have often done routes, in a car, that use some US Routes vs. Interstates, but usually only small distances, for example US15 from Frederick, MD to Harrisburg, PA, a distance of 63 miles. But the Wichita Falls route is 274 miles from Interstate to Interstate. Seems like a long way on smaller roads in an RV. But I'm not ruling it out. That's why I'm asking about it here and hoping to get some idea of what kind of a drive it would be, if we do it. One thing, if we go that way, I will probably try to time it so that is during the overnight.
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#7 hermanmullins

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 01:09 PM

QuiGonJohn,

US 287 is four lane all the way from DFW to Amarillo. However you do go through some towns that have traffic lights but are still four lanes. Very good roads. Several really nice rest areas, one south of Childress and one north of Childress. They are also storm shelters in case of bad weather. By the way Childress has a WalMart on the west side of town that has a parking area for RVs. Northwest of Childress there is a small town that has a RV Park called The Cotton Gin RV Park. I have never stayed there but many of our friends have and say it is nice.

As I said before US 287 is a good road but like any thing west of a line running north of Wichita Falls its going to be a boring trip.

Herman
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#8 QuiGonJohn

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 01:15 PM

How is the part from DFW to Wichita Falls?
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#9 wolfe10

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 01:26 PM

How is the part from DFW to Wichita Falls?


No problem. Good 4 lane with a few towns along the way.
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#10 Guest_BillAdams_*

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 03:22 PM

I had taken all other routes previously until I found that diagonal and now it's the only way for us to make that trip. The time and mileage savings are quite large and the roads are excellent. Nothing you might consider as "back roads".

#11 bizsmith@yahoo.com

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 06:48 AM

I agree with hermanmullins. Stop at Palo Duro Canyon south of Amarillo for a preview of the Grand Canyon. You won't be able to drive to the bottom of the Grand with your RV or camp at the bottom in a very nice campground like you can at Palo Duro.
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#12 QuiGonJohn

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 06:22 AM

Thanks all for the feedback. I have a pretty good idea of the route I will take and where I will be making stops along the way. I'll probably review it all in late August and actual make a trip plan with the necessary info.
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#13 CBLAIR

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 10:14 AM

If you are going to the North Rim check if it will be open. It closes early as it is higher and has snow usually early. It's beautiful and not to be missed, if at all possible. It didn't open until the middle of June when we went and had closed early in the fall. Also need reservations most of the time as it fills up fast. We (2 motor-homes) were there the first day it opened at 8 am and we got the last two spots (without reservations). Have a great trip and look around as you go or you'll miss a lot of this beautiful country.
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#14 matmin4341

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 02:21 PM

We have been to AZ and the GC several times...

Just before Amarillo, TX is the largest cross in North America. Just off I-40; you can spend the night free with 110 hookup.

In Flagstaff, I would take 89 north and see Wupaki NM and the east side of the GC...In the GC, you can park and take a shuttle bus to different locations. Better than trying to find a parking space.

Next, on the way out of the GC go south into Sedona, AZ and Cottowood...Several things to see.

Head down to Tuscon and i-10 home...you might as well see Tombstone, AZ...

Good traveling.
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#15 ivykrewe

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 08:59 PM

Don't let the hills worry you. I normally get 7.7 mpg . On a trip from New Orleans to South Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho Utah, Arizona and back home i averaged 7.7. If you go up you come down.The down will cancel the up. Enjoy the trip.
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#16 bizsmith@yahoo.com

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 06:28 AM

In my opinion, fuel efficiency vs other considerations such as scenery should have the least priority. The amount saved with one route over the other will be minimal even at today's prices. For example for every 1000 miles you save about $4 on a route that gets you 10 mpg instead of 9 mpg. The difference in mileage on one route over another won't even be that much.
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#17 Habu978

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 09:46 AM

I drive to Seattle, WA every year from FL. and return. I have driven both of the routes you are talking about, and the the US highways in Texas. The biggest factor is you time limit and what do you want see and to do along the way. Check the computer and see what and where road work is being do on your route. The reason I like to drive the freeways is I use the right lane at 62 MPH. Now I try to pick things to do and see along the way. Park the motorhome and use your tow to sightsee. Something I tried last year and that was NOT to use the truck stops for fuel but to use the local gas stations, get away from the freeway. I saved about 10-25 cents a gallon, when you use 800 -1000 gallons in a trip it adds up. Plus you give the locals something to talk about when you pull into the station at sixty feet long.
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#18 akadeadeye

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 10:00 AM

Consider staying at Grand Canyon Trailer Village. It is inside the Grand Canyon National Park. Older but the convenience is worth it. There are shuttle buses that take you from the RV park entrance to the rim of the canyon which is about 1/4 mile away.

We prefer the IH-10 route to IH-17. We avoid IH-40 whenever we can. Way too many rude and dangerous truck drivers. IH-10 has its share too but not nearly as many. Stress level is better on the southern route. And, there are hundreds of wind turbines to occupy your viewing time in West Texas!

One advantage to the IH-40 route is stopping at the Petrified Forest/Painted Desert between Gallup, NM and Albuquerque. I saw these as a child but really enjoyed seeing them again a year or so ago.

Don
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#19 travelingsages

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 01:33 PM

Remember that mileage is dramatically affected by speed. You will get measurably better mileage at 45 mph or even 55 mph than you will at 65 mph. Secondly, I have actually had instances where I got better mileage while climbing passes than while driving on flat ground. The air resistance at higher speeds is tremendous. Driving slower will oftentimes give better mileage regardless of the terrain. So don't worry about a route that will slow you down going through small communities.
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#20 PanJH

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 08:45 PM

In my opinion, fuel efficiency vs other considerations such as scenery should have the least priority. The amount saved with one route over the other will be minimal even at today's prices. For example for every 1000 miles you save about $4 on a route that gets you 10 mpg instead of 9 mpg. The difference in mileage on one route over another won't even be that much.

More like $40 difference ---- 100 gal vs 111 gal in your example.
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