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Central Florida Trailering Advice (nr Orlando to Ocala)

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  • Central Florida Trailering Advice (nr Orlando to Ocala)

    Hi All,

    I'm a nervous wreck about an upcoming drive from Cocoa to a show slightly north west of Ocala).

    The most direct route is 40 miles on 528, 55 miles on the Florida turnpike, and 30 miles on I-75. The actual speed limit on those roads is (I believe all of them) 70 mph.

    I'm borrowing a friend's older 1500 Chevy Silverado (circa "heartbeat of america" stickers). I've used it to pull my horse trailer (recently inspected and G2G) with my horse and it tows just fine ... I'm just not comfortable going fast (say over 60 mph). So, I will be below speed limit and Florida drivers go faaaast on freeways. Way over the 70 mph limit.

    Anyone familiar with this area/these roads have some advice on strategies or more friendly/relaxed routes? Besides buy myself a spankin new 3/4 ton truck like I used to have in California?
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  • #2
    You can get there on back roads - up 1 and over on 40 or over on 46 from Mims and then weave your way over to 441. Or, compromise by going up 95 and then over on 40. A little interstate and a little 2 lane.

    But, I just drive on the interstate. Stay in the slow lane and go whatever speed you're comfortable with. You won't be any worse than some of the snowbirds putting down I-75 in their monstrous RVs.
    "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
    that's even remotely true."

    Homer Simpson

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by NoSuchPerson View Post
      Stay in the slow lane and go whatever speed you're comfortable with. You won't be any worse than some of the snowbirds putting down I-75 in their monstrous RVs.
      I respectfully disagree. I don't think it is safe for any vehicle, especially one pulling a horse trailer, to be on the interstate (especially in FL!!!) if you aren't comfortable going the speed limit.
      Adversity is the stone on which I sharpen my blade.

      Comment


      • #4
        I would go up to 46 in Mims, cut across Geneva and Sanford. Take 46a to 44. You can take that straight to 19 in Eustis or zigzag your way further up near Rocking Horse ( I can do it blindfolded, just don't ask me the names of the roads...since they all begin with 4, I can never keep them straight...but I think it is left at 44, right at the next light, which is 437 til it deadends, left at 44b?, go to next light, which is a few miles, take a right and go until it deadends at 42 and hang a left. Take that to 19 in Umatilla).
        Take 19 through the Ocala Nat'l Forest about 10 miles. Turn left on 40. Take that into Ocala.
        When I was a real weenie (now just plain weenie) about trailering and hated to drive the interstate, that is how I would go.
        Lori T
        www.calypsofarmeventers.blogspot.com
        www.facebook.com/LoriTankelPhotography
        www.facebook.com/LTEquine for product updates on the lines I rep

        Comment


        • #5
          Spend some time with Google Maps and LoriT's advice. You don't need to be stressed out *before* you get to the show.

          I probably wouldn't take a half-ton truck on the freeway with a horse trailer either. That's not meant to be snarky -- I've pulled a 3-horse aluminum stock BP trailer with that same model truck, in Florida even, and it just got shoved around too much by the big rigs for me to feel safe.

          The back roads will be pretty this time of year, too.
          --
          Wendy
          ... and Patrick

          Comment


          • #6
            I drive the turnpike and I-75 with my truck and trailer on a regular basis...I keep the speed 60-65 (to conserve fuel and because trailer tires arent really rated above 65mph so i figure I'm safer from blow-outs if I stay under 65) and I stay in the right lane...it's not as scary as you might think. Most everyone goes on by and you have the road to yourself until the next pack catches up.

            That said, the alternate routes can be very pretty and nice to drive! Sometimes I take the back roads just because they are scenic and calming. Nothing wrong with that but plan with extra time allotted for the lights and towns along the way. If you go the route by Rocking Horse, say hello to Altoona for me!

            Best of luck at the show!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by AllWeatherGal View Post
              Hi All,

              I'm a nervous wreck about an upcoming drive from Cocoa to a show slightly north west of Ocala).

              The most direct route is 40 miles on 528, 55 miles on the Florida turnpike, and 30 miles on I-75. The actual speed limit on those roads is (I believe all of them) 70 mph.

              Yes, every one of those roads has a 70mph speed limit. The second thing is that the 528 to FL Turnpike exit is hell with a trailer. A big loop with toll plaza (no epass underpass thing) and people driving like morons trying to get around you. I would do 1-95 to 192 to Turnpike which is honestly easier getting on/off and is a straight shot with a 60/65 mph until the Turnpike. Its the way I take and it is a lot easier to get on/off IMO.

              I'm borrowing a friend's older 1500 Chevy Silverado (circa "heartbeat of america" stickers). I've used it to pull my horse trailer (recently inspected and G2G) with my horse and it tows just fine ... I'm just not comfortable going fast (say over 60 mph). So, I will be below speed limit and Florida drivers go faaaast on freeways. Way over the 70 mph limit.

              You are going to get pushed around by Semis in that on the main highways. I went 65 mph max with my F150 and 2h BP from Cocoa to Ocala (Same route) and it was a mess. I hated driving that and cursed the day that I didn't have my dually or borrowed my BFs F250. It was not a fun drive. Remember that the Turnpike is hilly, steep lovely hills, even in FL so make sure you have the power to get up them and the brakes when someone cuts you off on the way down.

              Anyone familiar with this area/these roads have some advice on strategies or more friendly/relaxed routes? Besides buy myself a spankin new 3/4 ton truck like I used to have in California?

              Look at google maps, but beware of the routes that include a ton of lights as they are more stressful then the highway IMO.
              I do go 70 with my big trailer on the highways. Have no issues with it and its a smooth ride. Trainer is a scary driver compared to me and I cannot drive with her. She takes the same routes going 80 and it scares the living s*** out of me, hence why I tow myself in my trailer. Good luck OP and may the stupid drivers stay out of your way.
              I am on my phone 90% of the time. Please ignore typos, misplaced lower case letters, and the random word butchered by autocowreck.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Thanks everyone for your input. It *really* does help to get perspectives and feedback. I thought I'd replied earlier but must have gotten distracted by the maps I kept consulting. Anywhoo, I think I'll allow extra time and go more back-roady for now. I took the truck/trailer from Cocoa just to Melbourne and was white-knuckled on 95 (windy/big rigs) and my arms were SORE for the next couple of days. It's an old-school big-guy's truck. I appreciate the generous loan, but am saving my pennies. And reading all opinions on reasonable tow vehicle (I can't quite let go of the belief that nothing but a 3/4 ton will do.)
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