One of the advantages of traveling in an RV is the opportunity to take a long distance road trip that lasts a few weeks, or even longer. That kind of a trip is hard to do any other way – hotels get expensive when you are gone that long, and sleeping on the ground in a tent gets old pretty quick. RV’s were practically designed with the long road trip in mind, which is why so many RV owners have used their rigs to embark on a cross-country adventure.
If you have considered using your RV to travel across the entire country, one question has surely popped into your mind – how long would it take? Even if you are retired and have no specific schedule to keep, you will still want to know just what you are getting into when you pack up the RV to head across the entire country. The answer, of course, depends on exactly where you are leaving from, and where you want to go.
Some Estimated Travel Times
To get a better understanding of how much time you would need to plan for a cross-country road trip, it will be helpful to review some point-to-point driving times around the country. Starting in the north, it is approximately 44 hours of driving to get from Seattle to Boston along I-90. Obviously, you can’t drive non-stop for 44 hours, so you are looking at probably 4-5 days of driving to cross the entire country (without stopping to see any sights). If you are driving across the bottom of the country, you can take I-10 from Los Angeles, CA to Jacksonville, FL in about 35 hours of drive time. Instead of 4-5 days, you are looking at 3-4 days to go from coast to coast.
Don’t Forget About North and South
Those times will get you from coast to coast, but not up and down those coasts. So how long does that take? A trip from Seattle to Los Angeles along I-5 will require around 18 hours. On the other side of the country, you can make your way from Boston to Jacksonville in the same 18-or-so hours. Therefore, going north or south along either coast is basically a two day proposition.
Doing Some Basic Math
With all of those drive times in hand, we can do a little bit of basic math to outline a road trip that would make a complete circle around this great country. Using Seattle, Boston, Jacksonville, and Los Angeles as our ‘four corners’, we find that the total drive time is around 115 hours. Assuming a drive time of around 10 or so hours per day, you are going to need 11 days of just driving to make the complete trip.
Obviously, your trip isn’t going to be much fun if all you are doing is driving the freeways around the country, so you will need to next account for how much time you want to be stopped at various destinations. As a basic rule of thumb, you should try to plan at least two days of staying put for each day that you spend out on the road. In this case, that means roughly 22 days of being stopped at various destinations to go along with your 11 days of driving.
In the end, you will want to plan for at least a month to make this kind of trip – but probably more. After all, this is most likely going to be a once-in-a-lifetime kind of vacation, so you might as well take as much time as possible to see everything you can. Ideally you will be able to set aside a minimum of six weeks to allow yourself to soak up as much of America as you can on this epic road trip adventure.