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  1. Default Rte with least Mtns leaving phoenix

    We are moving from Phoenix AZ to Minneapolis, MN. I have a moving truck with a car hauler and need to find a route that has the least mountains or lowest grades at the very least. I know we won't get the best gas mileage no matter what, but I don't want the absolute longest route either. Trying to get up the mountains with a 24 foot truck and car behind it has me scared to death. PLEASE HELP with any suggestions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default relax

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    First of all, if you are sticking to interstate highways, driving in the mountains is really not that big of a deal, even with a moving truck and a trailer. I've driven a similar combo across I-70 through Colorado in February, which is a taller mountain than anything you'll deal with, and it really wasn't a problem. Be prepared to take a low gear and sit in the right lane as you make your way up the hill.

    The shortest way on the interstates would be to take I-17 up to Flagstaff, I-40 to OK City, and I-35 north to Minneapolis, although this does certainly does gain significant elevation, especially driving to Flagstaff. Its about 1800 miles, and I'd recommend planning to spend 4 days/3 nights on the road, especially since you'll be in a slower moving combo.

    You could also look at I-10 across to Deming NM, then take NM-26 as a shortcut to I-25 north to Albuquerque, and pick up I-40 from there, but this does add 100 miles to your trip.

    There are also some US highways that you could take, but considering your concerns already, I think you'll find it easier to stick to the interstates.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    The easiest route from a mountain standpoint is I-10/I-20 to DFW, then I-35 to MSP. This adds 225 miles to the most direct route already mentioned. What would I do? I'd take the shortest Interstate route unless there are weather concerns. If engine power is a concern, rent a diesel truck, I think 24 footers are available in both gas and diesel.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default diesel

    Actually, if you have the option of getting a diesel, I'd recommend it regardless. I don't think you'll really have any problems with power even with gas engine, but diesel should provide a bit more power with better mileage (although diesel is a bit more expensive these days). Since you'll want to stick to the interstates regardless, diesel will be easy to find - and you'd probably want to fill up at truck stops anyway since they'll provide the most room to get around with your truck/trailer.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    Diesels are clearly superior at high altitudes because of the turbocharger, that's what makes the real difference. I'd probably be surprised if a diesel moving truck towing a car trailer wasn't able to maintain 55 mph up any Interstate grade in the country. I can't say the same thing about a gas engine, but the highest elevation on your shortest route is less than 8000 feet if I'm not mistaken.

  6. #6

    Default Interstate grades aren't your problem......

    .......because they're designed to standards limiting steepness.

    Most long Interstate grades are 3 lanes on the uphill side, and it's SOP for tractor-trailers and rental trucks moving slowly to occupy the far right lane with flashers on as they chug up the mountain.

    I'm not certain about a diesel-powered rental, fully loaded and with a car hauler in tow being able to maintain 55 up any Interstate grade, but whether or not that's possible, diesel is the only way to go.

    I would also not add either 100 or 225 miles to my trip unless I was avoiding an existing or guaranteed major snow/ice event along the shorter route. Even then, I'd be inclined to stick to the short route and wait it out at a truck stop. It's rare for delays/stoppages to last more than a few hours. The 225 miles represents 4-4.5 hours' extra time and perhaps $75 in extra diesel fuel.

    Foy

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