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  1. Default Moving from Montreal to Los Angeles


    I'm moving back to LA next week, using a 16' rental truck and towing my SUV. I'll do it alone. I wonder if anyone has suggestions on saving money on such a trip.

    I made the move last year from LA to Montreal taking the long way: north to Vancouver and east to Montreal, across Canada. It was beautiful, but also an adventure driving my SUV and towing a U-Haul cube through the Canadian rockies, not to mention the gas cost, specially going up hill.

    This time I don't want to spend too much on gas by avoiding hilly roads, and I wonder if I-70 and I-40 are the flattest highways.

    Also I'm planning on using Motel 6, as these motels are reliable and simple, with good prices. Has anyone used Motel 6 in similar road trip? What was your experience? Which Motel 6 do you recommend that is along the way?

    As for eating I wonder if anyone could indicate good stops to eat along the road, where I don't have to maneuver the truck too much. I plan on stopping for one good meal, and take snacks on the road.

    I remember towing the cube and turning around was a huge problem for me. I plan on driving about 500 miles per day, or roughly 8 to 10 hours. I don't want to push it as I did last year. I don't plan on sightseeing because of the load I'm carrying and the difficulty in maneuvering two long vehicles.

    Another question, and I know this may seem weird, but since I am pretty aware of the social rifts in the US, what can you tell me about travelling across US being a woman and Latina, or maybe just as minority (meaning, non caucasian/white)? Are there any places/cities I should avoid? And what cities do you recommend as stop over that I may enjoy?

    Thanks in advance for making my moving smooth.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default This and That

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Well, you certainly ask a wide range of questions. Let me try to answer those that I can as well as I can. First of all, the best way to save money on the trip is to go by the shortest route possible. In your case this is by QC-132 and ON-401/ON-402 to Sarnia, cross into the U.S. there and then take I-69 and I-94 to join I-80 south of Chicago. Continue on I-80 to western Nebraska and use I-76 to I-70 at Denver. Cross the Rockies on I-70 to I-15 and follow that to the Los Angeles area. Plan on taking 6 days for the journey. Interstate highways are built to specifications which limit the grade to no more than 6% and so are your best bet for crossing the major mountain ranges.

    Motel 6 is a well known, relatively low-cost chain. Be aware that they manage low room charges by charging you extra for some amenities that you may have gotten used to as complimentary at other places, and there are other low-cost chains out there such as Red Roof, Microtel, Super 8 and others. I'd suggest that you just contact Motel 6 (and some of the others) and ask for a brochure or pamphlet listing their locations, or get on at the first one you stop at. Then you'll know where they are as you work your way down the road. You will generally find lower prices away from big cities - in smaller towns and along the highway. As for a place to park your rig and eat, I'd look for truck or service plazas such as Flying J and similar exit mega-stops that cater to the big trucks. They will have the room to handle your set-up. Just try to stay out of the way of the professionals for whom time really is money.

    There's not a single place in America that I would recommend that you avoid. Just use your own common sense in the same way that you would at home. If a place puts you ill at ease, simply get back on the road and head on down to the next exit.


  3. Default

    Thanks AZBuck,

    Those were very helpful suggestions. In fact, I'm leaving Montreal to Plattsburgh, NY where I'm renting a Budget Truck - believe me, that was the cheapest deal I got after researching all forms of relocation; Budget charges by the day, not mileage, a big savings. I'll leave my SUV there and head back to Montreal and pack; return to Plattsburgh and attach a trailer and my car, and head West. The best route to reach I-70 is probably I-87 to I-80, and then following your route suggestion, reach I-70.

    Motel 6 has a handy online trip planner where you can map your way and make reservations. You can see the locations, their amenities, and prices, so it is easy to choose, although time consuming.

    As for eats: those were very helpful suggestions since I've never crossed USA before. I always turn away from places where smiles are absent; my question was just to find out if there were some places where I should absolutely avoid.

    As for the professional drivers they have my highest respect.

    Take care.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia


    Quote Originally Posted by MontrealToLAinAugust View Post
    As for the professional drivers they have my highest respect.

    Take care.
    And if you get a chance to speak to any, be it in the plaza restaurants or at the pump, they are always willing to share with you, their knowledge of the road ahead. Food at truck stops is basic, good and cheap. Service is always quick, truckies don't like to be kept waiting. It pays to make good use of these facilities. You may find this a handy tool.

    Lifey who uses truck stops all the time

    p.s. both books are identical... different covers!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default budget

    I didn't know that budget charged only by the day, as the standard is to give you an set number of days based on the distance you'll travel and an amount of miles that covers the distance between your two points, plus some extra for the inevitable extra driving that you'll need.

    I am relieved to see, however, that while they charge by the day, they do have a minimum number of days that they will charge for. (In this case its 11 days) I could see people trying to drive way too far and too fast to shave a day or two off their rental cost otherwise.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia


    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    I didn't know that budget charged only by the day, ..................
    The very reason why I have always rented (cars) with budget!

    Not only do they always offer unlimited mileage, but their base rate was cheaper, even than the sites where you are supposed to get the cheapest. My total cost for five days in October, SF to LAX, is $275. All the others could not even match that before taxes.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    The best way to I-70 from Plattsburg avoiding major tolls is:


    For a 6 day drive, I show overnights near:

    State College PA
    Kansas City
    Richfield UT

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default different animals

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifemagician View Post
    The very reason why I have always rented (cars) with budget!
    I'm not doubting that is and has always been their policy for cars, but rental trucks are usually a different story. It appears they've changed their business model a bit since full converting their trucks away from the "Ryder" brand. It sounds like its a good things for customers, although I did notice that they don't appear to allow trans-border moves, while I know that Uhaul does.

    Speaking of which, I would make sure that Budget allows you to take their truck into Canada, and make sure your paperwork reflects that. You wouldn't want to have a rental truck in the US, and not be able to drive back up to Montreal to get your stuff!

  9. Default Totally understand your concern

    Hi there,

    Being a minority myself, I absolutely understand your concern. However, as long as you just stick to the highway and stay in decent hotels you should be fine.

    I have gone on camping trips in real redneck-y area in the deep south (TN/KY) and always encountered hostile stares and sometimes behaviour (when I had to go into a store). I have been called nigger a couple of times. However, so far nothing more than that has happened.

    The people there just disgust me. However, it is one of the most beautiful places I have seen, so I just have to put up with it to see such places. So be it.

    So all in all, you should be fine.
    Last edited by AZBuck; 08-10-2009 at 10:42 AM. Reason: Good Neighbor Policy

  10. Default Thanks guys - amazing answers

    Hi Lifemagician:
    Thank you for indicating truck stops as good place to eat. I'll need one hearty meal per day, and the rest I can survive on fruit snacks and plenty of water.

    Thanks Midwest Michael:
    I checked with Budget on border crossing, and also with US border services, and they have no problems. Since Plattsburgh is just on the other side of the border, people do that all the time.
    The day I called Budget, they received a second call asking the same questions, so I guess they are used to this transaction. I'm working on having the least surprises as possible, and as trouble free as I can get. I began researching the best way to go in early July.
    Renting Budget in Canada and then crossing to the US would cost way more because of international lines; unlike U-Haul, and unlike U-Haul, Budget charges by the day, and I got a great rate for 11 days at approximate $1,300.00 total with the trailer. I figure gas (perhaps diesel?) will be another $1,500, and the grand total will go to about $3,200, just below the price of those pods thingys without computing your driving or plane tickets! Believe me, this was the best deal I could find. By renting a U-Haul cube and driving the long way I spent near $5,000!!
    In any case, I'm picking up the truck tomorrow and I'll let you know how it goes.

    GLC, that is a cool route:
    Funny, I just finished my Mapquest search and possible stops at Motel 6s, and I got:
    I-81, I-90, I-80, I-76, I-70, I-15 with some Tolls
    But your route is avoiding Tolls, which awesome. Thanks!
    For stops, I plan on driving around 500/600 miles/day, and I got the following:
    Syracuse, NY; Joliet, IL; Kearney, NE; Grand Junction, CO; Las Vegas, NV, and finally LA
    I checked out your route suggestion, and that goes Southwest instead of West as Mapquest suggestion. I have to take into consideration the time I leave Plattsburgh on Wednesday: at around 3pm, and after a morning of truck loading, so I'll check a stop from about 4 to 4.5 hrs drive from Plattsburgh on your route.

    Hi Dinesh:
    That is exactly why I asked. I got the same reaction as you, and in New Orleans, from all places, and I'm not even black! It is a sad thing to see people hating others based on ethnicity... But what can one person do? I just believe that for each idiot, there are 5 nice people out there who are open and welcoming to all human kind.
    I was planning doing exactly that: sticking to the road, as all kinds drop by road stops, lessening the likelihood of finding unsavory types.

    Thank you all for your responses.
    I'll definitely write you back tomorrow to let you know how the border crossing went and after the trip with tips and impressions.

    Take care.

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