Trip Planning – How Far Can You Travel in a Day?

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Guy on scooter loaded with bags and gear
This guy was loaded to the hilt; wish I knew his story!

Fortunately we have a few more travel comforts than this guy but when planning a trip, you still need to have a realistic plan for how far you can go in a day. Some retirees have the luxury of not being on a schedule a flimsy their driving to as few as 200 miles per day. They leave early, arrive early, and have a nice leisurely drive. Others are working schleps and are slaves to schedules and have to push on in order to maximize time at the destination.

When RVing (either in a driveable motorhome or towing a camper), speed is your enemy. First and foremost, your fuel cost increase dramatically the faster that you go. Reaction times are slower and you’re generally dealing with vehicles in the many tons range and most other drivers don’t understand (or care?) the physics in our ability to stop or otherwise emergency maneuver. Finally for towables, most tires are only rated/tested up to 65mph. And truthfully, unless you’re traveling a significant distance- the extra 5-10mph won’t actually save you a tremendous amount of time.

We use our camper at rest stops to maximize our dollars and time (it’s cheaper and usually quicker to grab a ready-made lunch from the fridge than standing in line, waiting for food, etc.).

Picnic Lunch at Truck Stop
Picnic Lunch at Truck Stop

When planning our trips and drive times, I expect my overall travel to average out to be about 50mph. This includes fuel, potty, stretching, and food stops. Truth be told after keeping track of a few trips, I have found that our family actually travel at around 46mph but that mental math isn’t nearly as easy!

So, if we want to go 300 miles- that will be a 6-hour day in the truck. On the rate occasion that we bust out 600 miles, we’re looking at 12-13 hours.

How far can you go in a day? It all depends on how you feel, how the kids (furry and not) are doing, and what you want to see along the way. But, for straight through driving, you can usually count on about 50mph.

Now where are you going next? Please comment!

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