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  1. Default NJ to LA and im leaving in 2 days NEED HELP!!!

    Im moving myself and all of my worldly possesions to Los Angeles on the 27th. I have a 95 Jeep Grand Cherokee (average 20 mpg) The fuel calculator on mapquest is saying that its gonna cost me roughly $266.87 in gas. I have no idea if that is accurate or not (cause I rarely trust mapquest...ever)

    I need to know if:
    A. that price for gas sounds right. Im driving to St. Louis and then taking rt.40 through the pan handle and up to Cali.

    and B. I have NO CLUE about tolls and how much its gonna cost. Like no clue at all.

    What is the least amount of money you would suggest for this cross country trip?

    Any and all suggestions are welcomed pluuuhhheeeaassseeeee!

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

    Default far more than fuel

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    You can use the fuel cost calculator on the left side of this page to double check your fuel costs. Your number sounds like it would at least be in the ballpark, based on current gas prices.

    However, Fuel (and tolls) are a just one part of the costs of a roadtrip. You also need to factor in costs for lodging, food, and any entertainment or other misc. expenses along the way. You haven't said anything about your approach to this trip, so we can't really give you a good estimate for your costs at this point.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Assuming...

    ...that you are taking I-80 and I-76 to around Akron, Ohio and then I-71 down Columbus and I-70 to St. Louis, the only tolls you'll have to worry about are the occasional bridge (e.g. the George Washington across the Hudson) and I-44 in Oklahoma, which is known along the parts you'll be driving as the Will Rogers, Turner, and Kilpatrick Turnpikes and should cost you around $9 in tolls altogether. To be on the safe side, I'd budget about $300 for gas, although if prices continue at their present low level, you'll probably end up doing a little better than that. A fair guess at motel costs would be around $75/night and food will depend on your tastes and whether you eat at restaurants or buy your own provisions at supermarkets and eat from a cooler at parks along the way. As Michael points out, beyond those basic costs, how much money you'll need and what you spend it on are pretty much up to you.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Per day costs

    Let's figure the whole thing out right here.

    Let's use 3000 miles for a nice round number (which will provide a built-in cushion). Twenty miles per gallon, so we have 150 gallons of fuel. Figure $1.90 per gallon, so we've got $285 for fuel. $75 per night for five nights of lodging, $375. We're up to $660, then the $9 for tolls. Throw in another $35 per day for food (this assumes a mix of eating out and preparing your own mess), then we add another $175, and we're at $844.

    Hopefully the weather will be kind, but let's say you have to stay somewhere for a couple of days on the off chance that the roads ahead of you become treacherous, so there's another $110 for food and lodging - $954. Round this up to $1000 and you've got a fair estimate to how much this trip is going to cost.

    Chances are the actual cost will be less, as this plan builds in several cushions. This is all based on the assumption that the vehicle is mechanically sound, of course.

  5. Default Other Important Things

    Seems like this is going to be your first trip of this length, and doing it during winter, no less. Weather forecasts for the western part of I-40 look good for next week, which is good news. You'll be fine, but please consider these suggestions:

    Don't try driving more than 500 miles a day if you're by yourself. Pretty much anyone on here would agree with that as a good rule of thumb. If you are planning on less than six days and five nights for this trip, I strongly suggest otherwise.

    Try to maximize the daylight hours. Unless you're planning to check out a city's nightlife, go to bed early and get up early. I do this in the winter months when the days are short. Wet roadways freeze over after sundown in many places (even along I-40) which can slow you down or cause other issues.

    Don't count on I-40 as being a "southern route" that doesn't get winter weather. Weather forecasts look good for now, but that can change in a heartbeat. Clear or not, it will be COLD at night along I-40, that I'll pretty much guarantee you.

    Be safe, don't take candy from strangers, and enjoy the drive. Best of luck with your move (did the same thing back in '02) and let us know how it went.

    Good hiking,


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