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Old 11-19-2017, 03:05 AM   #1
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Dealing with traffic problems

Just wondering if there is something we could or should have done differently:

We are traveling from Ca to Austin, Tx for Thanksgiving. We left Joshua Tree NP this AM, heading east on I-10. We stopped in Quartzite for fuel. As we were leaving, I glanced at Google maps and saw a 1 hour traffic delay about 50 miles ahead. It had been reported FOUR HOURS ago - but updated just a few minutes before. I was somewhat skeptical of a delay lasting 5 hours (it would take us an hour to get there) - and a quick look showed any alternate route being an hour longer anyway... I found a write-up on the AZ traffic web site about construction in that area with only one lane open - but we decided to continue on - and is was BRUTAL. About an hour of VERY slow stop-and-go as we approached the one-lane area, and then maybe 20 minutes @ 5 or 10 miles per hour.

Looking back, I'm not sure what we should or could have done differently. My wife was driving, and she did great, but I could tell she was worn out. We camped about 100 miles further back than planned.

Anyway, any feedback on this situation would be appreciated! We are still learning about RV travel...
Dan
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Old 11-19-2017, 04:06 AM   #2
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Sometimes you just have to pick your poison. I would rather be moving even if it means going a few miles off course than to be stuck in traffic or moving as slow as you described. No need to second guess your decision. At the time, you did what you figured was the best option.

Hope you have a safe trip on to Texas and your return and enjoy your Thanksgiving.
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Old 11-19-2017, 04:22 AM   #3
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This is a good example of why I'm glad we downsized to a smaller Class C that is only 11' tall. We have little fear getting off the highway and taking alternate routes now. Before it was a risk taking the back roads as we were way long and 13 1/2 feet tall. We can also choose to stop and wait it out if need be.
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Old 11-19-2017, 04:29 AM   #4
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Thanks for the comments. I also would rather be moving over a longer distance, rather than sitting in traffic. I just didn't believe it would really be bad so many hours later - I just did not connect the Google traffic delay with the Az traffic report - I thought they were working nights!

We ended up at a very nice primitive campground - Buckeye Hills Regional Park, in Buckeye, Az, west of Phoenix. Highly recommend it after a tough day of driving.

You have a great Thanksgiving, too!
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Old 11-19-2017, 12:49 PM   #5
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Just our 2 cents. We have traveled over 35K miles in the last 30 months and truly enjoy our class a coach. In that time, we've hit only 2 of those sort backups and have done only a couple of reroutes. So we'd come down on the side of picking your poison with Larry. Over all of those miles, I've planned very closely the routes we've used looking for any sort of restrictions - construction, low bridges, tight curves, propane, low/no shoulders, fuel stops, weather, etc. At the beginning of each day, I double check the routes for changes and possible alternate routes. Making a change on the fly gives me a VERY bad feeling - I have visions of running into some serious route issues (low bridges, dead ends, etc). As a result, I almost always pick the poison I know from preparation. Worst time we've every faced - 3 1/2 hours to go 3 miles over the George Washington Bridge in NYC. UUGGHH.

Just the method we use.
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Old 11-19-2017, 01:01 PM   #6
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Nobody has control over the traffic: just their choice of roads...
There was no harm, so there was no foul...
Consider it as another one of "Life's Little Lessons".
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Old 11-19-2017, 01:10 PM   #7
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I took what the gps said was the quickest route on a 400 mile trip. About 200-225 miles in to the trip my gps said there was a delay ahead and suggested an alternate route, I took it, big mistake! About another 100 miles or so down the road I pulled in to a rest stop to stretch, there was a truck driver walking back to his truck from the bathroom area. This truck had been next to me in the traffic earlier, I know it was the same one because I had noticed it because of it’s unusual paint job that really stood out.

Bottom line, it’s a crap shoot! You may save time making a detour, you may not! Wish I had a crystal ball for traffic!!!
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Old 11-19-2017, 01:15 PM   #8
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The very first thing I begin to consider if Waze or another app makes me aware of a major traffic delay is will the alternate route handle my rig?

If your RV is over 12' tall and/or you are towing something you should always attempt to stick to interstates and U.S. highways, unless you are doing some serious pre-planning. I'm not saying we have never taken an alternate route off the interstate to get around a long delay but it has involved pulling over and getting out the Trucker's Atlas to confirm the detour. I'm not about to exit the interstate and go by some GPS or smartphone app when driving my RV and trust it not to lead me right up to some 10'11" overpass.

These things seem to happen more and more. This is another reason we never let our fuel tank drop below 1/4 tank.
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Old 11-19-2017, 01:21 PM   #9
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Did you ever think that computers have developed a sense of humor, and enjoy doing this to us?
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Old 11-19-2017, 01:27 PM   #10
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Joe is right about sticking to the interstates when possible, especially in a “big rig”. Just a couple of weeks ago I noticed the campground manager on top of a new DP with a big roll of duct tape and some plastic sheeting. The owner of the DP had driven under a low overpass and took the satellite dome and two AC units off the top of his coach, OUCH!!! EXPENNNNSIVE!!!

Good argument for having an RV or trucker gps that allows you to enter the height. You NEED to know the height of your vehicle and pay attention to signs, guess the owner above didn’t do either.
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Old 11-19-2017, 01:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Denman View Post
Did you ever think that computers have developed a sense of humor, and enjoy doing this to us?
Sometimes I really wonder who’s smarter!!!
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Old 11-19-2017, 01:37 PM   #12
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I lose that battle: EVERY time!
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Old 11-19-2017, 01:40 PM   #13
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Yep - the best way to win is to do your homework. Like many on this forum, I might be considered a bit anal retentive when it comes to planning. Then again (knock on wood), we've not lost a receiver or an AC unit. Really Really - knock on wood.
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Old 11-19-2017, 01:54 PM   #14
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I agree... If they can land o plane on it: I can get my rig over it! (Thank you; President Eisenhower! )
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Old 11-19-2017, 03:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Denman View Post
I lose that battle: EVERY time!
Me too!!!
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Old 11-19-2017, 03:48 PM   #16
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We must have gone to different High Schools together!
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Old 11-20-2017, 02:44 AM   #17
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Joe made a great point (#8 above) about keeping the gas above 1/4. We've been delayed on highways with accidents and even a President. When this happens, I want to be able to run the generator, especially if the temps are high and we need the house A/C.

It was summer 2016 when my cell phone gps routed me to a railroad trestle with a 10'3" clearance. Our Vegas is 11'3" high and fortunately I saw the sign before taking that road.

Our Garmin 760 LMT finds routes that allow our height, width and weight. I usually agree with the route it chooses.
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Old 11-20-2017, 01:13 PM   #18
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in our recent journey to and thru Alaska, we encountered this very aggravating 'traffic' issue south of Anchorage. We had left the city and traveled down the Seward Highway to the port of Whittier, thru the Whittier Tunnel(you must try this 2 1/2 mile r/r track tunnel!), and then back out to the Byron Glacier, where we climbed and walked on top of it(beautiful!).... BUT

when heading back that day to Anchorage(this is the ONLY road between the main body of Alaska and the lower section), we encountered the dreaded 'stoppage' traffic jam. This two lane road was RED the majority of the route. Supposedly an accident had happened somewhere ahead.

As we had already had a full day, though fun, I didn't relish 'sitting' in traffic, moving only a few feet at the time, in a 13 ton vehicle, for several hours - so we pulled off on one of the many areas along the road for viewing, and took a several hour 'nap'.

Even when we got ready to leave several hours later, the traffic was still heavy, but I wanted us to get back to Anchorage's Cabelas for the overnight. While the traffic was still slow, it at least moved along enough that it was bearable. We finally made it back before dark(there's no 'dark' in summer in Alaska!), around 9pm. This was a long day.

Even though we had seen no 'signs' of an accident, I was interested to find out what happened. I turned on the TV and watched the local late news, and there it WAS... an article on what had happened today on the Seward Highway.
Someone had parked on the southbound side of the road and had taken some jugs across the highway to a locally known natural 'fresh water' outlet. Must be some 'good' water. On the way back across the busy highway, someone coming south, who had not seen the fellow running back across, had suddenly tried to avoid him, and collided with HIS parked vehicle, unfortunately loosing their life in the process.

Ambulances, fire trucks, and a life flight had been dispatched and arrived at the seen for several hours, backing up Northbound traffic. This is the ONLY road between the lower part of Alaska into the main interior(did I already say that?!).

Aggravating, for sure. Sad, also. But something that sears into your memory, maybe not for a good reason, but something and somewhere I'll never forget.
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Old 11-20-2017, 06:09 PM   #19
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Being from Southern California, traffic is a way of life. That being said, I hate traffic, but it often becomes the price we pay to go someplace we want to go to. Around here, I know many alternate routes if the freeways are a mess, but in strange territory it can be risky. There is a place in Buckeye AZ, outside of Phoenix called Augies, that we have stayed at several times. Its a decent campground, just in Buckeye!
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Old 11-21-2017, 08:28 PM   #20
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Traffic is easy... if you have the proper horn for the task!



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