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Need Advice - newbie driving older RV from NJ to NC


raye

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Hi, I have volunteered to pick up an 2002 25' Class C (gas) from Trenton NJ & drive it back to Western North Carolina. I haven't driven an RV before (but have driven full size vans and a few large UHauls over the years). I would prefer to avoid DC & hit I-81 further north. Does anyone have experience with that route? It looks like I-76 to I-81 or maybe cut thru on US 30. The RV seems to be in good shape & I will be checking tires, brakes and fluids before leaving, but it is still an unknown vehicle & I want to take the easiest route possible. I know there is a steep grade once I get to NC, but I'm not familiar with the northern part of that route.

 

If we pass our "first date" - I will hopefully buy it later this summer. I have already started downsizing & have been looking for an affordable RV to travel in. The floorplan seems really good, but I'm sure it will need some upgrades.

 

Thanks for any advice

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Welcome!

I81 is a good road done it many times from Baltimore I70 and I81 south Just watch your gas gauge and turn off in larger population centers to keep the costs down.

When driving use your mirrors to figure out where you are in the lane, you'll soon get used to it. Take it easy no need to be going 80mph. Just watch the rear tires on tight corners in the towns, you have to go way past before swinging into the corner or you'll catch the curbs.

BnB

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Welcome to the Escapee forums! Feel free to join in and offer comments or questions in any forum at any time. Sharing information is what makes the group work.

 

Based upon what you tell us, there is really no reason to expect that you will have any difficulties with the RV. Tires are the issue that I'd be most cautious about as a low mileage RV could easily still have the original tires on it and if it does they are a very high risk of blowouts. Tires that are 13 years old are likely to be unsafe, no matter how the look on the outside. Here is an example of the date code that can be found on every tire, somewhere.

image-DOT-Full-label.jpg

 

In this example, the tire was manufactured in the 13th week of the year 2009, sometime between March 30 and April 5 and so the tire is now just over 6 years, 2 months old. Most tire manufacturers recommend that RV owners replace tires at some point between 5 years and 10 years of age, with many believing that 7 years old is a good figure. With each succeeding year of age after that point the risk of a catastrophic failure increases dramatically.

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with many believing that 7 years old is a good figure. With each succeeding year of age after that point the risk of a catastrophic failure increases dramatically.

 

X2. I might add that it also depends on how long the rig has been sitting. Stationary tires tend to break down more quickly than ones that see regular use; even if the distance travelled is low. I generally consider parked tired at a half life or less. Ie., Sitting stationary for 3 years I would consider them to have exceeded the 7 year rule of thumb and would replace them before making any kind of lengthy trip.

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Thanks so much for that tire code - I knew I was suppose to check the date, but didn't know how. I will be prepared to replace them before driving home. I appreciate the warm welcome, I'm sure I will have alot more questions.

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I was mearly trying to point out a route that does not go through the tunnels.

 

If one takes US-340 from I-70 in Frederick to WV-7 to I-81, it saves about 45 miles over the PA turnpike to I-81 route. US-340 is limited access until Harpers Ferry. From there US-340 is mostly 4 lane, but does go through some towns and has cross streets. WV-7 is four lane with cross streets. Tolls are probably a wash between the turnpike and the DE/MD I-95 tolls.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks everyone - I made it back yesterday. I drove a one way rental up on Tuesday & picked up the RV Wednesday. Ended up using a route similar to trailertravelers. I went up the long way, but there was lots of construction & congestion in PA & NJ - so I downloaded the Copilot app & used the RV settings. I think Google is faster to reroute because of traffic/construction problems, but I liked Copilot other than that.

 

The RV seems to be in great mechanical condition. I was a little leary of the mountains, but no problems & the engine stayed cool the whole trip. I didn't need the AC, so that probably helped my mileage (around 10 mpg) & temperature. I did not check out any of the house systems. She's not officially mine yet - but so far it's looking good.

 

Thanks again for all the advice, I will be asking more questions as I go.

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We are glad you had a good trip. For others that may read this thread, I offer my route. The PA turnpike is scarey. Rt 30 is poor until Lancaster. 301 will take you to I-95, I drove 301 with a 28', not that bad. A few narrow bridges. I would get to Gettysburg and make a left. Del-Mem-Bridge to 41 to 30 west to Chambersburg, south on I-81. 41 is narrow at places, but I did not have problems the many times I drove that road. Stop for lunch in Gap, Pa.

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She's not officially mine yet - but so far it's looking good.

 

Thanks again for all the advice, I will be asking more questions as I go.

Good to hear that the trip went well. We had been wondering how things were going. As you get into this more, here is a downloadable check sheet that may help you to go through and check the RV out.

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