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Old 11-27-2019, 05:25 AM   #1
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Ma to tampa

This will be our first camping adventure to Florida..any suggestions for routes to take..would like to avoid traffic as much as possible..no hurry to get there..just don't want to be white knuckling on the drive down...and any other advice appreciated..
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Old 11-27-2019, 06:16 AM   #2
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I'm assuming you are starting in Massachusetts. If you want a more leisurely trip to avoid the hectic traffic and tolls, go down I-81 as far south as you can to avoid the entire area from NY trough DC and northern VA. I-95 is an unpleasant ride towing a camper unless you are really comfortable towing in traffic. There are also several restrictions on trailers and propane; for instance, you cannot go through the Baltimore tunnels with any propane on board, even if the valves are turned off. You have to take the by-pass over the Scott-Key Bridge.
You can take I-81 to I-64 in VA and then take I-95 from Richmond the rest of the way to FL. If you are heading to the FL panhandle you can continue further on I-81. It really depends on your final destination.
Tolls on I-95 can add up quickly, there are none on I-81.
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Old 11-27-2019, 06:51 AM   #3
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Two years ago we took 81 back from Florida to New York. It really was a nice trip however you go up over the mountains and if you’re thinking about going down now beware of ice and snow. Every year we go down I take 95. I usually travel 5 mph under the speed limit which lets everybody passed me and I basically go down the whole way on cruise control. I leave early Saturday morning. I stop at a casino on the Delaware Maryland border for the night on Saturday leave real early Sunday morning get past Baltimore And Washington DC. When I get to Baltimore I take 695 W. to Towson to avoid the Francis Scott Key Bridge. That bridge is so high it scares the hell out of me. We are in no hurry and usually take four days to get to Florida. Our Destiination is Dade city just above Tampa. If you’re not in a hurry the trip really isn’t that bad the only problem could be traffic, sometimes It could really back up but I guess that’s part of the game. we just except it and enjoy the trip And think about our warm destination. Which ever way you go have a safe trip. I also have a list of campgrounds along 95 that we usually stay at. The price is reasonable and the access is easy in and out usually pull throughs.
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Old 11-27-2019, 07:09 AM   #4
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I 84 to Scranton I 81 to I 77, I 77 40 I 26. Join 95 near St George SC go down to I 295 around Jacksonville. I 10 to US 301 near Maclenny FL and down 301 ( lots of fruit stands) through Starke get on i75 at Zuber south of Gainesville. then to Tampa

We have done this for 20 years each winter coming from Maine and never had problems. The last four with a travel trailer. If the weather is bad there are open campgrounds along the way or truck friendly hotels. For us it is a three day trip to Tampa but of course more days is more relaxing.

One of the very worst interstates I have had the misery of going on is I 4 through Orlando which is one reason I avoid 95 as much as possible ( and going through NYC and Washington is no picnic either)
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Old 11-27-2019, 07:21 AM   #5
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As an after though if you do not have an easy pass I suggest you get one, and when you get to Florida get a Sunpass. I have a gas pickup and the rig is 60 feet long. The difficult part is getting gas. I mostly use the truck stop places but some of them can be a challenge so pre planning is a must. I fill up every 150 - 175 miles so that is important. If you burn diesel it’s a lot easier.
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Old 11-27-2019, 10:21 AM   #6
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I live about half way on your trip, Annapolis, MD. If going to MA or eastern Canada I plan my trip using the Garden State and cross the Hudson at Fishkill. For Florida I plan on US 301 from Delaware to I-95 to near Bowling Green, VA. I put Stevensville, MD in as a waypoint to get me to the Bay Bridge, then Bowling Green, VA to get to 95. At Richmond use I-295 to bypass.



That said with the construction on the Bay Bridge right now I would use 95 to Baltimore, then the Key Bridge, then I-97 to MD-3 and 301.


Considering the possibility of snow I probably wouldn't use I-81.
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Old 11-27-2019, 01:28 PM   #7
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What part of Fl? If the panhandle, get on I81 until it ends, pick up I75. It will take you to Atlanta and then on into north Fl. Atlanta is the only major city on that route that I remember. At the I10 junction swing west for the panhandle. We've been going from the Nashville area to Pensacola area so long my truck runs on auto-pilot once we get on I65!
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Old 11-27-2019, 02:08 PM   #8
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Sorry forgot to edit my post in a timely manner. The route we take goes through no major cities at all. Goes around Scranton and Jacksonville and the Outer loop avoids Charlotte.

I am always amazed at how avoiding metro NY and DC is so easy and the ride quite relaxing.

For us in the winter the challenge of bad weather is impatient people and the less people we are with on the highway the safer we feel. We do get off the highway before dark when the truck traffic really escalates.
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Old 11-28-2019, 07:35 AM   #9
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Pickup ny thruway take it to i 287 to i 78 thru allen town pa. To i 81 south. This route bypasses i 84 and i 81 in ny and pa. Both are washboards...we have taken this route when going to charlotte n.c.
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Old 11-28-2019, 07:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cherv View Post
Pickup ny thruway take it to i 287 to i 78 thru allen town pa. To i 81 south. This route bypasses i 84 and i 81 in ny and pa. Both are washboards...we have taken this route when going to charlotte n.c.
funny not my experience last Feb . Things could change. I hate I 78 though with its Jersey barriers. and it is as I recall rough. 287 is a nice ride though

All our opines can be worth naught if there is new construction anywhere . Worth it to have options in case last minute research shows new construction nightmares.
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