Monday, March 2, 2015

Heading South in the RV during Winter Storm Sparta

Well, we finally did it - tried to outrun a snowstorm. We have been dying to do this all winter, and it finally happened.  We are heading south to Virginia because my dad has some work.  We have had very little work this winter, and trying to survey in snow this deep is very exhausting. So, we jumped at the opportunity to head south.

Where the front RV tire was buried in ice
Our icy walkway to the RV. We kept putting salt down, but the ice just kept growing. 
Checking the tire pressure before we left  It was 13 degrees F.

Chad with a very long icicle
We left Saturday morning. There was only a couple of days in between storms. So, this was our window. Our plan was to drive halfway & spend the night. There was snow coming in NY on Sunday from winter storm Sparta, and the weather report was all clear on Sunday in VA. 

Before we left, Chad checked everything over really good and added air to the tires as needed.  We stopped about a mile after we left to add brake fluid.  You may remember back in October that we had noticed some problems with the brakes.  Apparently the fluid leaked out gradually over time.  He says there is more maintenance required on the brakes.  He actually has a long list of things maintenance to do for the RV.  It's just been too icy and cold to do it.  He has hopes of getting everything done much easier in VA.

On Saturday evening, we stopped at a rest area to stay the night in Harrisburg, PA.  It was going to be a nice relaxing evening....until we checked the weather report.  We realized that the winter storm was actually going to hit PA & VA on Sunday.  Yikes!!  So, we decided to drive a little farther and we spent the night in a shopping center parking lot.  We asked permission and they said it would be fine.  It actually worked out good because the rest area would have been really noisy from highway traffic.  The parking lot was very quiet all night.  
Sunset in Harrisburg, PA

Sunday, we got up early to leave right at daybreak.  Just as we were leaving we noticed a few flurries starting.  That was a little scary.  As we continued down the highway, it started snowing harder, but we made it through that fine.  Then, there was no precipitation for a while as we drove through Maryland.  As we hit Washington, D.C., the freezing rain started.  That's when it got really scary - the worst thing in the world is to drive in ice!  Fortunately, they had trucks out on the roads salting everything.  We drove slow while everyone around us was driving like the weather was fine.  Sure enough, two miles before our exit, there was a 5 car pile up.  And, just before that, someone had run off the road and hit a guardrail.  We were so relieved to arrive safely at my parents' house. 

Parked in VA
The temperature was around 20 degrees F for most of our trip.  We actually noticed a benefit of driving in really cold weather.  The RV had a lot more power.  Why is that?  It's because the air has more density, which allows the engine to burn more fuel.  This is true for any carbureted engine.  

Related posts
Today's RV location 
Walden, NY 
Goodbye to Groton 
Our First Tire Blowout 
Our RV Life Takes us on the Road - With Work 
Our maiden "voyage"


  1. It sounds like a scary trip - I'm glad you arrived safely.

  2. It sounds like a scary trip - I'm glad you arrived safely.

  3. Had you made it safely, enjoy your visit with your folks, tell them and yor sister hi for me.😊

  4. Replies
    1. Thank you. My folks send their greetings.

  5. Glad you made with all things where they belong, but at 20 degrees did not leave winter, hope your time there is good

    1. Thank you. No, it's true that we did not leave winter - this was the best we could do since we have to go where we can find work. It's just a much milder winter here. And, we can work in these conditions - there's not 2 1/2 ft of snow on the ground with more coming. Monday it was 50 degrees and sunny - felt like summertime! Today it is currently 47 degrees.