How far do you drive per day when towing?

rideswithchrist

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 7, 2014
With us planning a Disney trip in 13 months, plus wanting to get some other trips between now and then, I should think about how long we can actually travel in a day. We push 8-10 hours when we are just in a car and we were able to get 8 hours in pulling a popup, but I think the travel trailer is going to slow us down.

I am estimating 20 hours from Central Texas (by Austin) to the Fort...as a straight drive averaging 55mph.
That means at 8 hours per day, there is a 2.5 day drive time, then we have to add on sleep time. I hope we are ok going that slowly. This trip we are planning on finding campgrounds along the way and checking in around 4-5pm, but the plan is to get to Disney as early Sunday morning as possible-not at 2 pm like last time, we want lots of Fort time.
For an 1150 mile trip, with kids, how long will that take us? Are we able to leave early Friday morning and pull in early Sunday morning?
 

Teamubr

Formerly racing around the country.
Joined
Nov 7, 2010
You are going to get a lot of variety to the answers on this.

A lot is based on how many drivers are there that will tow. DW will drive a car, but not the truck with the camper, so that means just one driver. It also depends on how comfortable the driver(s) is towing. We have friends that don't drive more than 4-5 hours per day towing. It makes them too stressed out. Others of us have many years and 10s of thousands of miles towing, so much longer days in the seat aren't too bad.

I am the anomaly (years towing big race trailers around the country), but I am fine towing 12 hours/day. We typically drive straight through home from the Fort (1,000 miles and about 16 hours with stops).

If you are fine towing the pup 8 hours, I don't think a TT will be too much different. If I had a 20 hour tow, I would do the 2 1/2 days. Two 8-9 hour days to get you close to the Fort and then roll in before noon on the last day to have a nice time setting up and enjoying the Fort in the evening or heading to a park for the night time show. Heading home, it would be a 2 day run.

j
 


loves to dive

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 21, 2011
We pull a 5th wheel with a one ton dually. We never go longer than 5 hours a day. Hubby would be perfectly happy driving longer than that but the truck beats me up bad. I normally drive down to WDW in 7 1/2 hours in a car and am fine and ready to go to a park when we get there. We pulled Hannah (our 5th wheel is a Montana) down in Oct. and we stopped overnight mid-way. Even 5 hours is pushing for me and we normally have to stop at least once for me to get out and walk around (and the dog needs to as well).
 
  • tiggerdad

    I don't always get distracted but whe...SQUIRREL!
    Joined
    Jul 8, 2009
    10 hours, or 600 miles is about where I draw the line.
     

    cmrdgrs

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 1, 2007
    With us planning a Disney trip in 13 months, plus wanting to get some other trips between now and then, I should think about how long we can actually travel in a day. We push 8-10 hours when we are just in a car and we were able to get 8 hours in pulling a popup, but I think the travel trailer is going to slow us down.

    I am estimating 20 hours from Central Texas (by Austin) to the Fort...as a straight drive averaging 55mph.
    That means at 8 hours per day, there is a 2.5 day drive time, then we have to add on sleep time. I hope we are ok going that slowly. This trip we are planning on finding campgrounds along the way and checking in around 4-5pm, but the plan is to get to Disney as early Sunday morning as possible-not at 2 pm like last time, we want lots of Fort time.
    For an 1150 mile trip, with kids, how long will that take us? Are we able to leave early Friday morning and pull in early Sunday morning?
    If you are already used to an 8 - 10 hour day, I think you will be able to do the same with your TT. I like your plan, and I like the idea too of checking in to a campground between 4 & 5. I hate arriving for the night at a campground after dark and setting up.

    If you are feeling the spirit and can drive further, you can decide that on the road.

    We have a 30' Airstream and often tow it l-o-n-g hours. DH and I switch off driving while the other sleeps. Our kids prefer to just drive as far as possible and get that part over with as quickly as possible, so that's often what we do.
     
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    Sjm9911

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2019
    Thats exactly what we did. First day went as long as possable. In a koa for the easy of it to the hyway and pull through site. Second day get withing 3 hour drive to the fort. It is a bit diffrent with the TT. You need to watch your height at gas stations etc. And its a bit slower going. We only had one driver. Lunch and bathroom breaks made the trip longer. I booked my sites before i left. Have fun you got this! The best part is by taking it in more days, and relaxing the first day a bit, you are rested and ready for the parks the next day
     
  • PaHunter

    Jundland Waste Traveler
    Joined
    Oct 15, 2014
    Well let's see, I have done 16 hours in one day when we had our dually. That tired me out quite a bit. With the new truck, air ride cab, air ride seats, more comfortable, I can do a 12 hour day and still feel good. The last straight shot I did was TN to PA about just over 600 miles, in 12 hours. We ran in to some traffic, google maps says the trip should take 9. We also stopped for 20 mins for lunch and bathroom breaks, just stop and get rollin, with time to walk the dog. We also stopped to fuel up before getting back to PA.
    We try to plan our stopping points and have campgrounds booked, we pull in but usually do not unhitch for the night. Minimal setup and ready to roll in the morning after sleeping.
    Weather also plays a big part. 1 hour of driving in rain and fog is the same physically on your body as 8 hours of sunny day driving.
     

    rajak73

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 1, 2002
    Just DW and I, we will try around 400-500 miles a day, hours depends on how many times we have to stop. 2018, we went with the DS and family who was a little on time restraints so first day was 675 miles, second day was 640 miles and then last day was just over 200 to the fort. DW and I won't do that again for a while, too much driving for a old man. LOL
     

    bjschil

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 8, 2013
    We are about a 21 hour drive. We have made the trip in two long days, but are now making better decisions. This year, leaving Christmas Eve Day around noon, and will drive into southern Illinois. Stay in a hotel, then Christmas Day, somewhere south of Atlanta, . Will camp and unwinterize camper, and take one more leisurely day to get to the Fort on the 27th. No need to get to the Fort too early, as recollections of people being very, very slow to leave sites.
     

    rideswithchrist

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 7, 2014
    Lots to think about! We are going to plan 1-2 6-8 hour from home camping trips this year to see how we feel about that long of a tow. I am perfectly fine towing, but my husband doesn't "passenge" well. The only times he will let me drive is if he is DOG tired and can't stay awake or he is working and needs to be on the laptop. I am thinking we will need to swap every 2 hours so the 8 hour trips is not so terrible. With our 4 kids, we HAVE to stop every 2 hours, so we might as well plan for a long road trip. We will try and get as far as possible the first day at least, but we know for sure we will not be driving at night.
    We are fine with dropping the camper in overflow and playing at the pool and picking up the golf cart, so we really want to get there before 12 on check in day.
     
  • jbrostek

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 16, 2011
    It really depends on the driver. I can deal with a big push day and go 12-14 hours on the road (that includes stops) before I need to get out of the driver seat. We drove just shy of 850 miles and pull about 500 miles the first day and finish out the rest the next day. We are not yet at the age where we have the luxury of taking our time to get there and back. Though nowdays time off is getting more abundant I may be able to start taking the scenic route.
     

    Stratman50th

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 17, 2019
    As Denise said, younger me in a car not towing anything would do 14hrs.
    So this is a little reversed from towing a trailer but probably still applies. We're in a MH pulling a car. I try and plan for 6 hour days. Doesn't happen much as traffic and leaving late has pushed that up to 8 and 9 hours. I don't like pushing, especially for multiple days. I feel pretty trashed after two to three 6-8 hour days. Must be getting old.
     

    sirenia88

    You are a Toy car!
    Joined
    May 25, 2004
    It depended on the trip for us. My new combo is easier for long haul towing.

    The first time to Disney (2012) we took 3 days and the 78/81/77/26/95/4 route. Never again. It was longer and felt much further away. We stopped twice. Once in Virginia and once in Georgia. Even the stop in GA still made it a 5 hour travel day since it was towards the top of the state. However, it was probably better in hindsight since the TV we had at the time, was a bit older and didn't like to be pushed. One of my wife's tasks was to keep an eye on the scan gauge. If the trans was running hot, I would back off for several miles to let it cool down a bit. The F150 handled the short trip stuff. The long haul was a different story. Hence we got a F250 when I got a job. Homeward bound. We stopped at South of the Border the first night. The second day we pushed all the way through to home. Probably from 8AM to midnight.

    Myrtle Beach 2013. Night mare trip with my parent's motor home breaking down. Horrendous DC traffic. Almost getting jacked in NC. Started 6AM on Friday morning. Pulled into the campground at 2 AM Saturday morning. 4 hours of traffic. 3.5 hours of dealing with the motor home issues. Luckily, we had just gotten the F250 Crew Cab so we were able to accommodate everyone in the truck plus my wife was able to assist my mom with travel arrangements, rental RV, motor home insurance stuff all in nice cold AC. Homeward bound should have been smooth sailing. We got back up to where the motor home had it's problem. We got into NJ, the motor in the motor home expired. Spent another 3 hours on the side of the road. We left at 830 AM on Saturday morning. We got back to my parent's at 2 AM Sunday Morning. This trip was probably the most tired I have been towing

    Disney 2014 Same F250. My parents and I took off at 6 AM Sunday Morning. We shut down around 10 PM that night 3 hours out. No traffic. Smooth driving. This included fuel stops and rest breaks for lunch. Each rest break for food was at least 30 minutes. After dinner in SC, my parents asked me how I felt. I said fine. We agreed on Savannah South KOA as a check point. We got there and I was like lets keep going. We went from NW NJ to the FL/GA line St Mary KOA. Out of those 16 hours, probably 2.5 hours was getting fuel for the truck, food breaks for lunch and dinner. It put us 3 hours out from the Fort. The next morning. By the time we were in the Orlando area, the morning rush was over. Homeward bound smooth sailing. We pulled over for the night below DC around 10 PM probably leaving around 830-900 AM. No issues getting up to DC. Stayed the night. Left the next morning around 9 AM for home. Got there around 4 PM with a couple of stops for food and fuel.

    Disney 2015. Same F250. No problems getting down. We stopped just below DC the first night. Left early in the morning for Disney. Pulled in around 9PM at the Fort. There were 95 detours and closures due to washed out roadways. The biggest headache. Annoying spot in loop 700. Least favorite spot at Disney. Homeward bound. We got up to Richmond, VA around midnight. I was to the point of shutting down. We did in a Flying J parking lot. the next morning it was about another 6-7 hours of drive time. We got home around 2 in the afternoon with breaks.

    2016- No long trips with the camper. Flew to Disney. Enjoyed ME to and from the airport.

    2017- No long trips with the camper. All trips within 3 hours. Drove to Spring Break FL with wife's new car. We did it one overnight outside of Fredricksburg, VA the first night. The second night was Cocoa Beach , FL. Trip#2 was a fly to Disney and drive to Port Charlotte FL for relatives. Fly out of Tampa.

    2018- No long trips planned. Everything within 3 hours of us. Purchased a Replacement truck F350. F250 was wrecked in January. Eagles won Superbowl. Purchased new trailer. Had delusions of making a quickie fort trip.

    2019- Return of the long trips with the trailer. We camped the outer banks, NC. Left our campground at 12:45 PM on a Sunday. Made it to the next one at 10:30 PM Just over 10 hours of drive time including 2 fuel stops and 3 rest breaks. The drive had some traffic outside of Philly. Otherwise smooth driving. No issues. The return trip took place on a Sunday. We left around 8 AM and got back to storage around 600 PM. No issues overall. Smooth driving. We also took a trip to the Delaware shore area for an RV rally in October. Nice and easy going trip there. In November, latest we have camped this far north that late in the year not considered Disney. This was Washington DC. Maryland camping. No issues. We left at 2 in the afternoon and hit traffic pretty much right at the Baltimore and DC areas. Pulled in around 7 I think.

    Now I drove a bunch when I was working. I have made NW NJ to Buffalo, NY and back in a day. That's about 700 miles or so. If in tow, that is usually an over night trip. So to me I am able to drive long distances without much issue. If we are going on a family trip, I generally like to run at least 12 hours but will push 14 as needed. My biggest thing is traffic conditions and weather. Those will wear my tow limits. If I can get into a groove, I will drive as far as the fuel tank will let me or a bathroom break. Disney is our long trip for us. With the new rig, I have contemplated trips within 9 days total to the Fort. The truck and the new trailer are easier in towing for me. I am not as fatigued even in traffic. I figure 2 "travel" days (1.5 days really )down and same thing back up. This leaves 6 days at Disney and that is a short trip for us there.

    My personal tip with long distance travel. Get a radar app for the phone. Keep an eye out for wet weather conditions. Check for wind conditions. Traffic apps are all over the place. Road construction or traffic stops are pretty important. I generally have a small snack on my console and a bottle of water in the cup holder. Having a tool like a scan gauge or bluetooth ELM327 device paired with a something like Torque App interacting with the truck computer, can help with making sure the systems are running correctly. Different things will help make the drive easier. I am different than the next disboarder so my experience is different. Also if you can switch off from time to time, it might make the drive easier and you will cover more miles on a given day.
     
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    rideswithchrist

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 7, 2014
    As Denise said, younger me in a car not towing anything would do 14hrs.
    ...I don't like pushing, especially for multiple days. I feel pretty trashed after two to three 6-8 hour days. Must be getting old.
    I think it was the addition of kids that made the longer trips harder. We used to go to Houston and back (3hr drive each way) every weekend and it was not a biggie. Now with the kids, sometimes the trip takes 4-5 hours with poop stops, so I am sure we will need to add a few hours, especially since potty breaks take 30 whole minutes.
     

    Sjm9911

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2019
    I think it was the addition of kids that made the longer trips harder. We used to go to Houston and back (3hr drive each way) every weekend and it was not a biggie. Now with the kids, sometimes the trip takes 4-5 hours with poop stops, so I am sure we will need to add a few hours, especially since potty breaks take 30 whole minutes.
    I think the non potty breaks are worse, you get i have to go to the bathroom, then you stop and the bathroom is too messy so i can't go. Now you need to find another spot.........
     

    Stratman50th

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 17, 2019
    I think it was the addition of kids that made the longer trips harder. We used to go to Houston and back (3hr drive each way) every weekend and it was not a biggie. Now with the kids, sometimes the trip takes 4-5 hours with poop stops, so I am sure we will need to add a few hours, especially since potty breaks take 30 whole minutes.
    I only have the one daughter, but she was a road runner/traveler since she was 7 months old. Trips in the car to Disney every year, sometimes twice a year. Flew from MD to AZ at 7 months and again at 3 1/2. I don't know how the dynamics of adding more kids to the mix works, but I'm guessing everybody doesn't have to make potty stops at the same time? Anyway, she was a trooper in those 14 hour trips as long as we did them together. Then, later when she would bring a friend, we still did the Disney trip in two days. Once we bought the coach, the trip turned into two overnight stops, and it was only my wife and I. Like I said.... getting old! ;)
     

    sirenia88

    You are a Toy car!
    Joined
    May 25, 2004
    I think it was the addition of kids that made the longer trips harder. We used to go to Houston and back (3hr drive each way) every weekend and it was not a biggie. Now with the kids, sometimes the trip takes 4-5 hours with poop stops, so I am sure we will need to add a few hours, especially since potty breaks take 30 whole minutes.

    OK let me add some more factoids. In 2012 my daughter was 4 on her first trip to Disney. She hung out with my parents in their vehicle which was a minivan at the time. So she had the whole back set up to her and my parent's dog. My F150 I was using for towing at the time had a 25 gallon tank. We found ourselves stopping once every 180-200 miles. We were averaging around 8.5 miles to the gallon. This also made a fuel stop once every 3 hours or so. When we got close to a fueling stop, everyone was in the go mode for bathroom breaks. Dad and I would fuel up the vehicles and use the trailer bathroom. The girls would run in to the store or whatever we stopped. We were back on the road within 15 minutes in most cases.

    Depending on what you are towing with, you range is going to dictate your stop points. Even with the F-250 with the 35 gallon fuel tank, I am running about an hour longer between fuel stops. I still estimate 8 MPG towing. Knowing what I have done in the past, I plan my range to be around 225-250 miles before needing fuel. Many times I am short stopping if I know where my fuel range and availability of easy access fuel is involved. That is more of the stopping points for me when it comes to rest stops. With this trailer, I keep about 20 gallons of water on board for rest breaks. It has worked out well on our trip to the Outer Banks, NC last year. There was no place for us to park at a rest area. So I found a parking lot to pull into and everyone had a rest break. So if you have a smaller fuel tank, those stops will be pretty quick for them.

    Also remember you can set the trailer up for bathroom breaks. That should speed things up....maybe...
     

    morrik5

    1336 miles from our favorite campground
    Joined
    Jan 27, 2017
    DH drives the MH about 8-8.5 hours PLUS time taken for gas and food breaks the first two days and then the day of arrival at our favourite campground is about a 4.5 hours drive.
     





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