The downside of heading south in late December or January is the need to drive hard toward warmer weather. While our Excel is very well insulated, we can’t completely dewinterize until we’re far enough south that high temps are above freezing, and there is always the concern of snow and ice as well.
Our first year, in late January, we had decent weather by Memphis and fully dewinterized at that point. Last year, in late December, we had beautiful weather (high of 60) by the time we hit Arkansas. We figured in early December, we’d have warmish weather all the way south. The reality turned out to be temperatures that did not go above freezing the first two days and left us dodging snow in Alabama.
Our first stay was at a great Cracker Barrel in Lafayette, IN that had four bus/RV parking spaces. It was a fantastic overnight (highly recommended), and while eating out at Cracker Barrel isn’t something we do a lot of, I appreciated escaping the trailer (interior temperature 40 degrees when we arrived) for a warm meal inside the restaurant.
Night two was still bitterly cold. We stopped in Nashville, north of the snow that was further south. Though we’re not big country music fans, we’ve talked about visiting Nashville for a few days just for the history. This year, Nashville will just be an overnight, but the RV park had free (except tip) live music that was decent (bar band level, IMO), and the band played a mix of old rock and roll and old country. It was nice to get a taste of Nashville after driving all day without leaving the RV park.
The next day we drove through snow-covered Alabama. The roads were clear, but the ground was snow-covered most of the day. We finally had high temperatures above freezing (high of 42), although that wasn’t quite the level of warmth that I was hoping for. Despite heading south in late fall this year, we’re having the coldest weather we’ve experienced on our trips south.
The good news is that tomorrow we reach the Gulf of Mexico. I’m sure it will be warm there.