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  1. Default tips/advice for Chicago to San Diego Trip

    Hi all,

    Dec 28th, the girlfriend and I are jumping into my jeep liberty and moving me to San Diego from Chicago. We decided the best route is going south a bit through St Louis, Oklahoma City, Albuquerque and flagstaff. I'm a little concerned about the drive but the weather looks good so far. I'd love to get feedback on the drive, route and stops we may want to make along the way. We considered taking a more northerly route through CO and NV but we are both concerned with potential weather conditions.

    Any advice or tips will be greatly appreciated!!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Check the weather and road conditions just before you leave. I just came through on I-70 from Denver to I-15 Tuesday and the road was fine. It was a bit wet going up over Vail Pass, but no icy or snowy spots. Balance snow through the mountains with the possibility of ice storms across I-40.

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

    Default Wait and see.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Yep, it's a little to early to decide on the best option just yet regarding the weather. The Interstates are a priority when it comes to keeping traffic moving but in the event of a nasty winter storm it's wise to allow enough time for the journey to be able to just pull off the road if need be and wait it out.

    How long have you got in mind to make the journey and do you want to make it as quickly as possible or do a little sight seeing ?

    Sticking to Interstate and taking time out for food and bathroom breaks, a stretch of the legs and to fill with gas you are looking at around 4 x 9 hour day's of driving without any major weather disruption.

    We don't recommend day's of more than 5-600 miles on multi day trips as it can turn into a "bit of a grind".

  4. Default

    thank you for the replies! i've saved the DOT websites for the areas we may be driving through to check them before heading out. we'll make our final decision sometime late next week.

    We're looking to make the trip in 3 days. we'd like to be in san diego by thursday evening, however, we are not wanting to overdue it either.

    i plan on staying on the interstate the entire way through, but we did want to check out some things along the way. it all really depends on time and what kind of venturing mood we are in.

    i'd love to drive through colorado but my jeep is only a 2WD and only has 'all weather' tires. so i really would hate to be stuck driving on ice and white knuckling it through the state.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Keeping a day spare.

    You really won't have any time for checking things out on the way other than the place you stop for the night, but having been on the road for 12 hours and needing an evening meal before facing another 12 hours on the road you probably won't feel up to much.

    I hope you have a "buffer" day that you can take if needed as you are pushing beyond the limits we recommend and if the weather doesn't cooperate you will be under a lot of pressure.

    Many cars on the roads will be 2 wheel drive with standard tyres and the Colorado road crews are used to dealing with the worst nature can offer and heading South doesn't guarantee good weather, so you are doing the right thing by making an informed decision closer to your departure.

    Good luck and have a safe journey.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default common misconceptions

    As has been said on this site many times, a front wheel drive will work just fine for 90% of interstate travel. The reality is that 4 wheel drive is just not that much help when you are talking about travel at freeway speeds, and if anything people get overconfident, and forget that while 4wd provides extra traction to get your wheels moving, it does nothing when you are trying to stop!

    Its also a big misconception that traveling south is a better bet. I-40 frequently sees winter ice storms in the planes and snow as it travels across several higher (7000 ft) passes through NM and AZ. Even I-10 can and does see winter storms, and in fact, has already been closed because of storms on a couple of occasions earlier this year. Quite frankly, northern crews are often better equipt to deal with bad weather and if there are storms that stretch from Wyoming to Texas, I'd personally most likely take I-80 to I-15. While this route is certainly not immune to stretches of bad weather, its avoids the heart of the Rockies in Colorado yet its crews will be best able to deal with poor conditions.

    3 days for this trip is not impossible, but it really will be pushing your limits and will give you zero time for any extra sightseeing. It will become impossible if you don't see nearly perfect travel conditions.

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