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  1. Default Portland, OR to Charleston, SC

    Hello! My husband and I are moving from Portland, OR to Charleston, SC in the next few weeks. I am debating taking I-5 to I-40 or I-10. If we take I-40 we're thinking of heading south to Birmingham after reaching Memphis and continuing on I-20. I'm just concerned about traveling through snow and were hoping to make the trip in about 6 days. Any advice on which route to take would be greatly appreciated.

    We'll also have 2 dogs and a cat with us along for the ride so pet friendly hotels suggestions would be great as well. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    You should plan on taking the fastest (shortest) route - with the idea of checking the weather and road conditions at the time for possible modification. The fastest route is:

    I-84/I-80/NE-2/I-29/I-70/I-64/I-57/I-24/I-75/I-20/I-26. This is right around 2925 miles, and 6 days is recommended.

    1. Take I-435 northeast around KC.
    2. Take I-270 north of STL, then I-255 south to I-64.
    3. Take I-285 northeast around ATL.
    4. Sorry to take you through Atlanta, but I-40 is closed at the TN/NC state line.
    5. You can cut off some miles right near the end by taking US-178 and US-301 from I-20 to I-26.

    If you go down I-5 to I-40, you will be adding 400 miles to your trip, and an additional day. If you go to I-10, that adds yet another 200 miles.

    Look here for pet friendly hotel listings.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Direct routing.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    As glc mentioned, to make the trip in 6 days you should take the quickest route, the least time on the road the lower your odds of seeing adverse weather conditions and by heading South doesn't guarantee you won't see those winter conditions.

    Of course it is wise to leave your options open and get the most up to date forecasts and then make an informed decision. Usually it is more beneficial to sit out a storm for a few hours while the road crews do there job then it is to add a day's driving to your trip and risk hitting another storm. I would also try and and have a "buffer" day so that you won't put yourselves under any pressure if you do meet poor conditions.

    Have a safe journey !

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default in triplicate

    I completely agree with the advice you've already been given, and would add that taking I-5 down to SoCAl and then over could actually increase your odds of seeing bad weather.

    First as has been mentioned, you're adding almost a full extra days worth of miles. But it should also be noted that you will be dealing with perhaps more mountains and elevation. The route down I-5 has several significant mountain passes that can and do see winter conditions. The most notable being around the Oregon/California line, but even as you cross the mountains separating the Central VAlley from Southern California (either via CA-58 Tehachapi or The Grapevine on I-5) there is the chance of seeing winter weather. You'd then also be dealing with the chance of storms across Arizona, New Mexico (both of which are at elevations that see snow, especially on I-40), and the Southern Plains which can see some fierce ice storms.

    Now this certainly doesn't mean you can't or won't see such conditions along the more direct route, but I just want to make sure you understand that going south is not going to improve your odds of seeing good weather in any meaningful way.

  5. Default Me too!

    Well, I am leaving Seattle, and taking I-90 to 84 to see my father in Grandview, wa, before I leave (about 30 min from tri-cities). If you are still checking this, or get email notifications or whatever, please contact me. I'm leaving on Dec. 17th, from Port Orchard, wa. Leaving early morning from my dads in Grandview, and planning on driving (switching on and off with my wife) for the whole 42 hours it takes to get to greenville, before eventually going the last 2 hours to charleston. The 40 is closed btw, at the east end of tennessee.

    It would be great to swap notes with you. If you google map, Seattle, wa to Greenville, SC, and then drag the route via I-80 (just drag the line toward salt lake city, UT) that is the route that I am taking, whcih I checked, is the same route that it provides for Portland to Charleston. Our trip is the exact same, except for the first 2 hours and the last 2 hours (we detour 30 minutes north to greenville before going to charleston later in the week).
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 12-10-2009 at 01:14 AM. Reason: E-mail address deleted as per forum policy

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    planning on driving (switching on and off with my wife) for the whole 42 hours it takes to get to greenville,
    That is extremely unsafe and irresponsible. Promoting that kind of behavior in these forums is going to get you in trouble with the moderators.

  7. Default why?

    8 hour shifts of driving irresponsible and unsafe? Thats a better schedule than any trucker, first time driver or not, durring harvest season around here. They drive 12 on 8 off. And they gotta drive home, shower, sleep then drive back to work in that 8. I'm not sure that the moderators would refuse to help any truckers asking about traveling.
    I'm not trying to "cause trouble" or anything, i was just asking for advice about roads and am wondering how to find weather reports for different places. I would also like to know how to find out what passes i will go over, I'm not sure how to find them without just tracing my route zoomed it with a toppo map...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    You cannot get proper rest and sleep sitting in a car. Driving 42 hours straight through in 8 hour shifts with no downtime in a real bed is unsafe. In a pinch with 2 people, I'd say you could drive 16 hours a day with a 4 hour rotation, but spend each night in a hotel.

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