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  1. Default California to Georgia

    I'm moving to GA from northern California. I've done this drive almost 10 times on various routes but never this late in the year. I'll be driving a 15 ft Penske with a car in tow (I do have experience with this set-up but am not super comfortable with it). I will be leaving central California on Tues, 19. There is snow in the forecast along I-40 covering nearly all of AZ and NM. Are their snow showers bad enough to warrant a detour down to I-10 to I-20 in TX? I have never driven this route. It also has some snow in the forecast but less than I-40. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!! Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Keep your options open

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Its going to be very hard to say which option will be best for you. Really, it all depends upon just how bad the weather gets in various places.

    I'd keep watching the forecasts and aim for which route looks like it could be the best. That might mean I-40, I-10, or even I-80. And don't just look at snowfall predictions; I would much rather drive through 6 inches of snow than any amount of freezing rain and ice. This is especially true when you are talking about a truck/trailer combo.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default If I Had My D'ruthers..

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    ...I'd probably take I-10. But there is no absolutely "right" answer so my reasoning is probably more useful. There are good and bad points to both routes you have laid out. For my purposes, I've assumed you're going from San Francisco to Atlanta ('northern California' and 'GA' cover a lot of real estate) but for the most part, the particulars do not matter. Using I-40 results in a trip that is about 2480 miles long and avoids, for the most part, major cities. The fact that there are snow flurries in the forecast for northern Arizona and New Mexico does not bother me nearly as much as the fact that the temperatures are forecast to be crossing the freezing point with highs above freezing and lows below. That, with the chance of precipitation, has the potential to produce icy roadways. Also, since you're not completely comfortable with your rig, it is worth pointing out that there will be a stretch of non-interstate (US-78) between Memphis and Birmingham. While this is freeway for the most part, it will require some surface street connections in those two cities.

    Taking I-10 (etc.) results in a route that is only about 135 miles longer on a 2500+ mile trip. All the roads are Interstates, and the temperatures along that route are forecast to remain above freezing throughout your trip. On the downside, this way requires that you drive through or around Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Dallas/Fort Worth. So if you can time your transit of those cities outside rush hour, and can be comfortable just picking a central lane and sticking to it as you drive through town, that would seem to be your preferred choice. Of course the final call is yours. Best of luck!

    AZBuck

  4. Default Clarification

    Thanks so much, your posts have been most helpful. To clarify, AZBuck, I am moving from Eureka, CA to Jasper, GA. However, I am picking a friend up in Pleasanton, CA so I'll make my first leg of the journey from Eureka to Pleasanton. I don't mind driving out of the way if it makes sense in the greater scheme of things, i.e. weather and roads.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default My Druther's #2

    Quote Originally Posted by vwchick909 View Post
    so I'll make my first leg of the journey from Eureka to Pleasanton.
    One of the scariest ice storms I have ever been in was on two sections of the I-10 (a few miles east of Tucson and another gnarly section near Van Horn, Texas). There is no perfect answer when we have two large, very cold Pacific storms posed to smack the west coast (this weekend) but my advice, would be to use I-80 (yes, you will hit snow, but the moisture content this early in the season will still be drier along I-80 than along I-40 and Ice storms are almost guaranteed along I-40) and go as far east as you can. Perhaps dropping south at Omaha on I-29 to I-80 and then diagonally down on I-24 to your destination in Georgia.

    Mark

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default How to Agree and Disagree at the Same Time

    It is very rare that the various moderators disagree strongly on some aspect of a particular RoadTrip, particularly when it comes to safety. And we really don't in this case, because in the end I think we are all giving you the same advice, namely where weather is a concern, the best you can do is keep an eye on the forecast and how the weather develops, and make your final decisions on route and timing only when you have the latest, best information in hand. That is for sure what you're going to have to do in this case. I've had a look at the week long forecast put out by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and it seems to indicate that the storms Mark refers to should have rolled on shore and will be past you by the time you start out. This is the 'official' US government weather forecast, but even so, at more than three days out it is little more than an educated guess. I suggest that you keep an eye on this site as the time for your journey approaches and hold off on a final decision until you see how the weather has developed.

    AZBuck

  7. Default In agreement about avoiding ice

    Wow, you guys are certainly helpful. I agree, although I have only been reading in the forums for a few months now, that it is odd that the moderators would disagree on my route.

    Since my natural desire is to take I-80 to Salt Lake and then to drop down to I-70 and go to Denver, what do you think about that? I've been told there are gates the highway patrol actually puts down on 80 when the conditions warrant. Is this true?

    Another question, since I'll be driving the 15 ft truck with a flat car carrier in tow, what do you recommend in regard to tire chains? Should I just wait and see what the weather has in store?

    Thanks again for all your help. I really appreciate it!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Nothing odd about that

    Quote Originally Posted by vwchick909 View Post
    Wow, you guys are certainly helpful. I agree, although I have only been reading in the forums for a few months now, that it is odd that the moderators would disagree on my route.
    There are varying degrees of opinions about most everything when it comes to roadtrips and the RTA Moderators are all experts with their own opinions about everything.
    Since my natural desire is to take I-80 to Salt Lake and then to drop down to I-70 and go to Denver, what do you think about that?
    Unless Denver is someplace you want to go anyways, I would press on to Omaha. Snow conditions on the eastern slope are generally mild, but freezing fog is the rule on I-25 and I would stay on I-80.
    I've been told there are gates the highway patrol actually puts down on 80 when the conditions warrant. Is this true?
    That is true for any Interstate highway in the West.
    Should I just wait and see what the weather has in store?
    NO! Purchase your tire chains now and practice putting them on in your dry driveway before you leave!

    Mark

  9. Default Update

    I am writing this from a hotel in Tucson, AZ. We decided to take I-10 because of the weather. A friend who was headed from GA to CA called and told me I-40 was iced over through much of NM. So far the weather has been absolutely beautiful - sunny and bright, no rain!

    As for the truck, they did not have the 16ft that I reserved, all they had was a 22ft! Gas is killing me but other than that all is well. Thanks again for all your great advice! :)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default A Wave Hello...

    ...as you pass by and stop in "my fair city". Glad to see your choice is working out for you. Portions of I-70, I-76 and I-80 are all closed in the Denver and Plains region of Colorado due to snow, and as your friend noted I-40 is iced in northern New Mexico. Nothing like the flexibility that the open road offers to respond to weather as it develops!

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 12-22-2006 at 08:54 AM. Reason: News Links Added

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