I have a big event each August in Texas. For 2015 I am considering biking there (from Ohio) for charity purposes. I have no doubts that I can involve my groups to raise the money but I have to do my part this year to prove to myself I can do the ride. Fitness, bike, bike packing, mental, etc. all the things that go into going from a weekend outing (few nights camping) to tour-capable will go into it. The great thing is that I have over a year to do it.
I'l be riding from Vandalia, OH to Arlington, Tx. Google Maps shows about 1,050 bike miles though I know I'll have to go over routes, etc. but I'll probably end up around there and I'm most likely not going to be over 1,200 miles.
So.... be prepared for several advice threads.