Ack! Salisbury,MD to Olympia,WA in December w/ U-haul & trailer
...and a cat.
I love road trips but this one may prove to be a bit more stressful. We're re-locating and giving ourselves 5 days to get there. We're both familiar with driving in snow which is good considering it may be unavoidable.
But can anyone suggest routes that are better or worse during that time of year? I thought of just sticking with Route 50 straight across until Nevada.
Any general suggestions would also be appreciated.
No time for US-50
Welcome to the RTA Forum!
5 days will pretty much force you to stick to the most direct interstate route. That would be working your way up to Cleveland and then following I-90 all the way west, or taking I-80 out to Salt Lake City, and then working your way northwest via I-84.
Even that's going to require you to be on the road for 10+ hour days, which is on the top end of what we recommend. Detouring off to slower routes like US-50 will take far more time than you have, and will also be a bit trickier to drive with the truck/trailer combo.
Speaking of which, remember that driving a truck/trailer in snow is a whole different ballgame than driving a car. There's a lot more weight, which takes a lot more time to slow down, plus the trailer can get really tricky if weather gets bad. Your best bet will be to try and avoid any weather if you can. Keep an eye on the forecast as you travel, especially as you approach Chicago. Then go with the route that looks like it will have the best weather, be it through Nebraska, South Dakota, or North Dakota.
And of course if you still hit bad weather anyway, please slow down or even stop if conditions warrant. Its not worth taking big risks just to stay on a pretty agressive timeline.
Thanks Michael. You brought up some considerations I hadn't thought about.
I didn't realize the schedule was considered aggressive. My poor husband thought we could do it in three days. O_o
Seems like we'll be taking a bit longer to get there compared to what we first thought.
...at about 3,100 miles.
Hi, That sound like 6 days at 500+ miles each to me. If you can spare the time, do yourself a favor and plan for 7 days. Something could go wrong, or you may need to wait a day somewhere in the middle of North Dakota or Nebraska until the roads are cleared.
If the roads are icey slick you won't be going anywhere close to the speed limit. I've driven across the prairie on both I-70 and I-80 at 25-35 mph for what seemed like days. I've even seen cars that were sitting still on the Interstate in the middle of Kansas literally blown off the road. The wind can really howl down from Canada.
On the otherhand, you might have a lovely, sunny, dry trip with spare time on the other end. How bad can that be?
co-author of the travel guide: America's Living History-The Early Years
Welcome to Washington!
You'll be just down the road from me. Have a safe move here and come on back when you're ready to explore your new home state. You won't run out of fun things to see and do.
I agree that you'll want extra time in case you need to slow down or even stop for a day or so if conditions get harsh. It probably goes without saying but you need to get your vehicle checked. Tires are extremely important in snow/ice conditions. Make sure you have the right kind of tires and that they are in optimum condition.