Trip Planning: Pacing Your Distance

Mike & Marcia Neundorfer

 Mike & Marcia Neundorfer, Founders

Here’s an excellent piece from Advanced-RV’s own Mike Neundorfer with tips & strategies on how to pace your self while traveling.  Many of our rental clients are brand new to Class Bs and some to RV-ing, altogether. As Mike points out, how you pace yourself can make or break the whole trip.  We strive to encourage our rental clients to plan well and enjoy an optimal experience their first time out:

Whenever we’re planning a trip in our Advanced RV, we return to the same dilemma: We want to see as much as possible, but we don’t want to spend too much time driving. Striking the right balance between “not enough variety” and “too much driving” plays a huge role in our overall enjoyment of the journey. Here are a few trip-planning rules of thumb we’ve settled on over years of venturing far and near in Class B motor homes.

Cover 150 to 350 miles per day. Without guidelines, it’s easy to “just keep going.” Experienced Class B travelers generally agree that 150 to 350 miles per day is a good range for mindful travel. By creating modest mileage goals, we enable ourselves to be in the present while driving, rather than semi-consciously pressing on toward the final destination. Plus, we free ourselves to explore, exercise, and relax. Some like to drive in the morning and leave the afternoons open for exploring parks and wilderness or cities and museums.

Plan the overall trip distance so that you don’t have to exceed your daily mileage goals. Marcia and I nearly always plan trips that are too long for the time we have available. As a result, we end up doing a sprint the last day or two. On a recent trip back from Florida, we drove 15 hours and almost 900 miles in a day. Although our “B” is fun and comfortable to drive, long mileage on freeways is not joyful travel.

Stop every two hours. During their wellness workshop at last year’s Advanced Fest, Stefany and James Adinaro from The Fit RV recommend that we stop every two hours for a few minutes of simple stretching and exercise. Driving too long between stops isn’t just dangerous, it’s also horrible for our health. By planning short stops every few yours, we can take advantage of walking trails, bike paths, museums, and other surprises along the way. On a recent trip on back roads through central Ohio, Marcia and I passed a farm where an Amish farmer was harness breaking a young Belgian workhorse. We pulled to the side of the road and did a little stretching while we watched the young horse run, buck, and bite its more seasoned harness mate. It’s an image from the trip that will always stay with me.  (Remember, if you’re not stopping in a designated parking area, be sure to pull well off the road and use flashers.)

Take back roads whenever possible. When we set modest goals for daily mileage and plan for regular rest intervals, all of a sudden those scenic back roads we used to forgo for the highway become a viable option. On our last trip across the country, we took state roads across Utah, Colorado, and Kansas. There was little traffic and much to discover. Every town has a history, and most have at least one good restaurant, interesting museum, inviting park or classic courthouse.

Take one piece of advice as you’re planning your next Class B trip: Be rigid about daily miles and rest intervals and nothing else. You’ll thank yourself for it!

51 RVR