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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Philadelphia soon to be Seattle
    Posts
    3

    Default Philadelphia to Seattle Dec. to Jan.

    So, I am going to be driving across the country the day after christmas and have until Jan 3-4th to arrive in Seattle (although the shortest amount of time is best) for a new job. My worries are that one, I'm not very good at driving in snow (hey, i was raised on the beach.. we got rain!) and I drive a Prius (not the best in snow). I would like some advise on the best routes and any problem areas I should probably avoid.
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Seattle / Baltimore
    Posts
    28

    Default

    Hi, I'm more or less driving the other direction two weeks before you :-)
    I'm planning to leave 14th and arrive before the 21st.

    http://www.roadtripamerica.com/forum...ad.php?t=18813

    I was planning to post some pictures from the roadtrip on my personal webpage. If you want I can send you the link then.

    You will definitely want to get some sort of snow chains / cables as they might be required to be carried along with you in some states e.g. Oregon, probably also Utah.

    If you never had experience with snow, I would recommend once you hit snow drive out on a parking space and try out your car - how does it react - make sure you have sufficient space around you :-)

    In general drive slow and don't brake abruptly be gentle, look ahead.

    Do you have winter tires or at least fresh summer tires (not used too long, deep thread) ?
    Add defroster to your whipper cleaning solution. Take a sleeping bag (per person) with you in case you get stuck and need to hang out in your car. Something to scrape off ice from your windshields is helpful too.

    Fuel is not such an issue with your Prius, but be aware how far the next station is located. I got into trouble once in Oregon, the station I wanted was closed the next station 50 miles away which I would not have been able to make. Luckily, farmer helped me out, he had a private fuel tank on his grounds. Since then I always start looking for fuel when I reach 50% of my tank.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default forecast

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The previous advice given is very good advice to follow. Here are some more winter driving tips, but the biggest thing is to stay within a comfort zone. If you think the weather is too much for you to feel safe, then pull off and wait for conditions to improve. You've got plenty of time to sit and wait out a storm, and still make the trip in your timeline.

    As far as routes go, I-80 or I-90 will be your shortest, and thus best options. I'd keep an eye on the forecast just before you leave, and even on after your first day or two on the road and pick your route accordingly.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Philadelphia soon to be Seattle
    Posts
    3

    Default Good advice

    Luckily I have driven in the snow in my car some (but I won't mention how many times I have gotten stuck trying to park in Philadelphia when we actually do get snow), but i will have to look into my tires. They are just what came on the car, and nothing all that great. Also, I'll look into chains, haven't thought of that one yet.

    I would definitely love to see how your trip turned out and where you might have hit some rough spots, so I can be better prepared.

    I am still deciding on the route, but it's looking like I-80 may be the best selection, but still considering I-70 if the weather would be better or I-90 if the weather will basically be the same no matter which route I take. Any input on any of these roads?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Seattle / Baltimore
    Posts
    28

    Default

    I think it's to early to decide where the weather will be worst. If you look at the NOAA pages http://radar.weather.gov/Conus/full.php
    You can see the snow is slowly coming south. I would expect Chicago to get snow in the next few days/weeks.
    You have the options with I70,I80 and I90.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default repeated often

    You'll see many threads on this forum with the same basic advice for winter routing: take the most direct option so you'll be on the road the least amount of time, and watch the forecast in the days before you leave to see if there is a specific storm that you can miss by taking an alternate route.

    I-80 and I-90 will both be of similar length, but its way too early to have any idea on what road conditions will be like during your travels.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Philadelphia soon to be Seattle
    Posts
    3

    Default so much for planning in advance....

    It definitely makes sense to take the shortest route, as long as the forecast when I leave looks pretty clear. I'll map them both out in the next few days so that I am prepared when I can see better what the weather will be like. If I have any more questions while mapping (which I am sure I will) I will definitely come here for some advice...
    Thanks!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Seattle / Baltimore
    Posts
    28

    Default

    Hi PTKitty,

    I'll definitely hit snow. I'll keep you updated later in the week.

  9. Default

    BrummBrumm's right. Don't let your tank get below half before you have a solid location to get gas.

    If you go through Wyoming, stop in at least Cheyenne, Rawlins, Rock Springs, and Evanston for gas. You never know when the road may close and you want to idle your car to stay warm (hotels will be expensive, and possibly packed) in the small towns of Wyoming.

    Make sure your car can handle the cold weather (get your Antifreeze checked, or buy a guage and check it yourself). Blankets, sleeping bags, etc are a must. Make sure your heat and defrosters are working before you make the trip.

    One tip I have, that I figured when I drove 10,463 miles in 16 days two January's ago (all 48 states, see my site) is to carry a second key somewhere on your person seperate from the key you use for your doors and ignition.

    That way, if you for some stupid reason lock yourself out of the car or lose your regular keys, you still have your spares on you.

    Sykotyk

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