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  1. Default Moving NYC to San Diego, CA - input on route

    Hi. Wife an I are moving next week from NYC to San Diego. I'll be driving the Penske truck with our furniture and my RX7 in tow on a car carrier. She'll be driving her car.

    I'm looking for some input on route selection. Last cross country trip I took from CA to NY, I took I-40 and then another route diagonally north after TN. Trying to figure out what is the most direct and safest way to go. Hills/Mountains are not desirable since I'm driving a moving truck with my car in tow. Gas will be expensive enough w/o hills :)

    Seems like Hurricane season isn't too treacherous this year unlike last year.

    Any input?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default All the Same

    Welcome to the RTA Forum.

    All of your major cross country route's aren't exactly the same, but they are pretty darn close - in term of milage, safety, and even fuel use.

    What I get as the fastest route has you picking up I-70, taking that to St. Louis, then I-44 and I-40 to Arizona. I-17 South to Phoenix, using the AZ-85 shortcut down to I-8, and across. That comes in at about 2800 miles.

    Some of your other options include taking I-81 down to TN again, then using I-40, I-30, and I-20, to connect with I-10 in Texas, and I-8 in AZ, that's only an extra 100 miles.

    Or If you wanted some different from your last trip, you could take I-70 or I-80 all the way to I-15 and south.

    For example taking I-80 to Nebraska, Cutting down I-76 to Denver, and then using I-70 to I-15 is only 2850 miles. This uses some of my favorite sections of Interstate, and might be the route I'd recommend. Yes, it does go over the heart of the Rockies, but I've also done it before in a moving van, pulling a car, and its really not problematic. I didn't even see a significant change in fuel consumption during that leg of the trip.

    I guess my point is, since most of the routes are about the same in the terms of milage (with even 100 miles being just a tiny fraction difference in a 2800 mile trip) I'd go with the one that takes you through the part of the country you'd most like to see, if only while flying by it at 60 mph.

    PS - please don't taunt the Hurricane gods. Its still relatively early in the Hurricane season, and some of us are planning trips to Hurricane prone areas this fall.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 08-21-2006 at 08:00 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default One Climb to Avoid

    Michael is pretty much dead on in saying that there is very little to choose from in the various cross-country routes. One section that he recommends, however, I think you should be aware of. I-8 from El Centro to San Diego involves a long, hard climb from just below sea level (-15') to just over 4000' in the San Ysidro Mountains over the course of about 25-30 miles. It's one of the few stretches of Interstate where you really know you're climbing over some mountains. For example, they have pull-offs every so often with water available for overheating engines. You might, therefore, want to consider staying on I-10 west out of Phoenix and then use I-15 to drop down to San Diego. This will involve some more miles, but should be a bit of an easier drive.

    Addendum: I just had another look at your general route, and there is one other stretch you may want to avoid, a descent this time. Between Flagstaff and Phoenix, I-17 has a long descent that may test your brakes. I drove it once with a cold and had to pull over in agony as my stuffed up ears could not keep up with the change in air pressure. You could just stay with I-40 to I-15 and then on into San Diego. Best of luck!

    Last edited by AZBuck; 08-21-2006 at 12:40 PM. Reason: Addendum Added

  4. Default

    Thanks for the input. I think we're going to go the I40 route. Now I just have to figure out where we're going to stop along the way for sleep.

    Wish us luck. :)

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