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Thread: Boston to SF

  1. Default Boston to SF

    Hi All,

    A wealth of information here--I'm so glad I found this resource! I need as much help as I can possibly get.

    I'm going on a "speed run"--from Boston to San Francisco in 5 or 6 days in mid-July.

    Not only that--I'm going to haul a 4'x8' Uhaul trailer behind my four-door sedan with 4 cylinder engine.

    I'm moving out for work.

    I will be driving solo with two cats in the car with me.

    (1) Advice (please) on the best routes to take? I'll use my atlas and AAA guides as well.

    (2) Any advice on safe places/cities to rest along the way? I plan to do 600 miles a day, starting out early in the mornings and stopping each day to sleep at a SAFE roadside motel/hotel in the nearest safe place each evening.

    (3) Should I be concerned about the trailer--will someone try to break into it? I'll try to pack it properly so it doesn't sway.

    (4) Any special challenges to expect along the way?

    I've never driven coast to coast, but I have driven from Texas to New York in the past, and I have driven 600 miles a day before, but mostly only within the northeast, so there was no new terrain. Based on this experience, what would the greatest challenges be?

    Thank you! I really would appreciate learning from any of your experiences! Especially with the trailer and mountains along the way, and other unforeseeable things I should know about.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Congrats on the new job

    And welcome to the Roadtrip America forums.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bos to SF View Post
    I'm going on a "speed run"--from Boston to San Francisco in 5 or 6 days in mid-July.
    Plan for 6 days since you're hauling a trailer. Five days is a rush as it is, but a trailer will be more tiring to drive and will slow you down. If you can squeeze 7 or 8 days, that would even be better. But 6 days should suffice.

    Not only that--I'm going to haul a 4'x8' Uhaul trailer behind my four-door sedan with 4 cylinder engine.
    Have you ensured that your car is capable of towing the weight? U-Haul should be able to help you determine whether or not this will work with your car. If the trailer is too heavy, this might cause you some problems. If not, you will still need to change your driving style to account for the extra weight. Definitely take advantage of the slower right lane.

    I will be driving solo with two cats in the car with me.
    I hope they travel well. While most of this applies mainly to dogs, there are still good tips in there for cats.

    (1) Advice (please) on the best routes to take? I'll use my atlas and AAA guides as well.
    Here's your quickest route. You really don't have time to go any but the quickest way, imho. It's a good route. And the best thing is that this basically follows the route of the old Lincoln Highway. Even though Route 66 got all the press, this was the first transcontinental highway across the US. So you're following historic footsteps!

    (2) Any advice on safe places/cities to rest along the way? I plan to do 600 miles a day, starting out early in the mornings and stopping each day to sleep at a SAFE roadside motel/hotel in the nearest safe place each evening.
    I really think you're best to stick to 500 miles a day over 6 days. 600 miles a day is going to take you about 11 hours to drive. Maybe even less some days due to the slower speed you'll be driving. Either way, you would benefit from reviewing our tips for speed runs so you can stay alert, healthy, and get some enjoyment out of this trip.

    I think you almost have to work to find an unsafe hotel. Most hotels, especially if they are a part of a chain, are safe. If you drive up and get the heebie-jeebies, then go onto the next motel. You always have the option of seeing the room first before you take the room. If the room is clean, the location seems safe, locks seem secure, and the people around don't seem like hourly renters, you're probably just fine. Use the same instincts you use in Boston to keep yourself safe and go with it. I've only had one bad experience in a motel while traveling....and that was caused by another guest, not by the motel itself or the staff...and, when I told them what happened, the staff were very attentive and ensured that I was, indeed, safe. I just wouldn't worry about this.

    And you're on interstates all the way, you will have very rare instances where you won't have motels regularly along the way. Parts of Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada will be a bit more spread out.


    (3) Should I be concerned about the trailer--will someone try to break into it? I'll try to pack it properly so it doesn't sway.
    Of course, that's always possible. But it's also possible that anybody at anytime can break into your car as well. In fact, if the trailer is locked, it's probably far easier to break into your car. If this is a major concern for you, I'd suggest parking your car/trailer in sight of the motel's office and/or next to the street. Most people aren't going to risk getting caught if there's people around to see them do it. Remember, you're driving through areas that are home towns to other people. I'm sure they feel safe there. You should, too.

    (4) Any special challenges to expect along the way?
    It sounds like you're a AAA member. That's good if you have a vehicle problem. Other than that, just use good common sense, keep your personal safety radar turned on, and you should be fine.

    I've never driven coast to coast, but I have driven from Texas to New York in the past, and I have driven 600 miles a day before, but mostly only within the northeast, so there was no new terrain. Based on this experience, what would the greatest challenges be?
    None. It's not like you're going to be going off-road. Interstates are built to certain standards. I don't expect you'll find the roads any different than you did going to Texas. The fact that they're new roads is the good thing! New scenic vistas!

    Thank you! I really would appreciate learning from any of your experiences! Especially with the trailer and mountains along the way, and other unforeseeable things I should know about.
    I wouldn't worry about mountains. If you take this route, you don't have too much in the way of extreme elevations gains that I'm aware of. You will have a few elevations gains/losses along the way but these roads are frequented by truckers and designed to allow big rigs to drive on them safely. If your 4-cylinder can handle the trailer, you'll be fine. Again, you would be wise to drive a tad slower and, going uphill, you probably won't have a choice, so make use of the right lane and don't try to drive like you would without the trailer.

    You should have a great trip. Enjoy!

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