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  1. Default San Jose to Toedo OH pulling a trailer solo

    Hello and thanks in advance for advice from those that are experienced with cross country trips.

    I will be taking a trip next week sometime from San Jose CA to Toledo OH towing a small uhaul 4x8 trailer which will weight about 1500lbs loaded. I have about 20 years experience towing boats that I've owned from lake to lake here in California, so I understand the dynamics of towing a trailer. (drive slower, allow much more space to stop)

    I've already checked with uhaul people and they say my towing setup will be fine and the car will be able to haul and stop that amount of weight. I worry more about being able to stop it on a downgrade than pull it. The car has new brakes on it so maybe I'm being overly cautious... but I was a boy scout and I want to be aware of any major (like 7%) downgrades if there are any.

    Other posts I've read here say that the grades on i-80 are pretty gradual, but I've never driven i-80 past salt lake city so If someone here could tell me about that I would really appreciate it.

    I have pre planned my route which will be i-80 all the way:

    San Jose CA ---> Wendover UT 604 miles
    Wendover UT ---> Sidney NE 658 miiles
    Sidney, NE ---> Coralville IA 637 miles
    Coralville, IA ---> Toledo, OH 444 miles

    According to all of the online mapping/planning sites that I've checked, the first 3 days of this trip will be about 10 hours on the road with stops for bathroom, diesel, and food. My speed will be about 65mph tops. Am I being too optimistic on the schedule? Add another day and just take it super easy?

    I have driven from san jose to salt lake city before in one shot and it was a grueling 12 hours straight - I did it and we made it home safe but it really sucked so I'm NOT doing that again. 10 hours in the car is the top of my comfort zone.

    The two things that I'm most worried about are steeeeep lake tahoe like downgrades and wind, so if anyone could tell me more about i-80 eastbound from CA I'd really appreciate it.

    Thanks in advance


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Add a Day and Relax

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Actually, no, those estimates for driving times you're getting from online mapping/planning sites do NOT include stops for fuel, food or bathroom breaks, let alone traffic slowdowns, weather delays, the mental health and exercise breaks you'll need in order to keep up several days of driving, or anything else. In fact, they assume that you never stop at all, and travel at the speed limit every minute of every hour that you're on the road. Note that you're assuming 65 mph and that you can cover 625 to 650 miles in a 10 hour day. That is simply not going to happen. Even in cars unencumbered by a trailer, we find that an overall average of about 55 mph is more realistic when you take into account all the little slow downs and stops that you will encounter. In your case, I wouldn't count on more than 50 mph as a realistic average. So if you cover 550 or even 500 miles in a solid day's driving, you'll be doing pretty well. So unless you want several more of those thoroughly "grueling 12 hours straight" days, plan on covering less ground each day and taking a good 5 days to get to Toledo.

    On the positive side, Interstate Highways, such as I-80 are built to design standards that prohibit any grade over 6%, so while some of those can be rather lengthy, you won't encounter any 7% or greater grades.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    The only thing I might do is at SLC, take I-15 north to I-84, then back to I-80. This will avoid Parleys Summit.

    I agree with taking an extra day. I'd plan on overnights near the following:

    Elko, NV
    Rawlins, WY
    Kearney, NE
    Davenport, IA

    This gives you no more than 500 miles a day, which is going to be 10 hours.

    As far as downgrades go, just downshift the tranny to help keep the speed down.

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