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  1. Default Traveling East to West For The First Time

    Hi everyone!

    I just got transfer to Los Angeles and I live in NY. I have two cars. A nissan xterra 2001 and a hundai elantra 2007. My wife and I don't know what to do!!! Do we ship out one and drive the other? do we ship out both and fly? We never drove cross contry before and we're kind of nerves even though everyone is telling us that it would be a great experience. Can anyone give us any tips on what we should bring? which hotels to trust? about how many times do you do stop for gas? do you get any cell phone signal out there? whats the average stop time to nap? and how long would it take to get down there?

    any advise would be appreciated!! Thank you

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

    Default Step One

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    No one but yourself can tell you which option for getting across country will work best for you. Certainly, I think most people on this site would say having the chance to drive across this country is always a great experience, but it doesn't mean its the perfect solution for everyone.

    This thread goes through some of the ideas of what to bring along.

    I'm not sure what to tell you about what hotels to trust. I guess I'd simply find a place that looks clean and safe and is within your budget.

    You stop for gas when you need it, but that depends upon the size of your fuel tank and the kind of mileage your cars get. I'd say every 300-400 miles is a pretty typical number, but that's something you'll have to figure out with your own car and your own experience.

    You'll find cell phone service in many areas "out there" and if you are along the interstate, the coverage is typically pretty good - but its not universal and you very well could find yourself in some areas without coverage.

    Your nap times and travel times would be based largely on your own personal preferences, but we generally recommend keeping your driving days to about 500 miles or less. That works out to 8-10 hours on the road per day, and 5-6 days to make the trip from LA-NY.

  3. Default thinkin' the same

    I too am moving from MA to CA.

    What is the safest fastest way to get from MA to CA? Where do I go for maps regarding my route and what about motels alongs the way?

    Any/all help is appreciated.

  4. #4

    Default Take the drive


    Especially since you've never done it before, I'd take the drive. I'd ship a car and all of my belongings other than the clothes, cooler, etc you'd need for the trip, and take a first-time X-C drive with the wife. In my humble opinion, there is no better way to see, first hand, what this country and continent is made of (both the good and the not-so-good).

    It would take a serious lapse in judgement to have fuel problems on the trip. Regardless of which major routes you might choose, I'd be surprised if there are instances of intervals of more than 100 miles or so without fuel. You'll get a feel for your vehicle's range early on, in the more densely populated East and Midwest, then just make sure you top off before getting to the critical zone when you're in the West. My bladder has a shorter range than my fuel tank, so I normally break up the trip with a rest-stop, fuel-food-rest stop, and another rest stop. That gives me a couple of hours behind the wheel, tops, and I rarely get below 1/2 to 1/3 of a tank of fuel.

    Yes, you will see there are some places in the West where cellphone signals aren't available, but it's the exception, not the rule. I have no reservations about fuel, food, or motel stops anywhere I've been. I tend to start early, before dawn, and stop early, by 4-5pm, in order to beat the daytime heat, some of the urban area traffic, and to have a good, broad daylight look around my overnight stop location. Don't do foolish things like leaving valuables in plain sight in the car and you're no more likely to have problems than you'd be in your home neighborhood in NY.

    Now, the fun really begins--which routes to take? Read up here and pop questions as your ideas start to crystallize!


  5. Default

    This reminds of an episode of "Friends" in which Joey has to drive to Vegas from NYC. So he has two possible routes, north or south :).

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