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  1. Default Detroit to Phoenix May 2010

    Hello all...I discovered this forum yesterday, and it's fantastic!

    I need some advice if any of you would be so kind. I'm moving to Phoenix from Detroit in early May, and I am trying to plan out my route there. All my furniture and most of everything is being moved by a full service mover, so all I will have in my car is really myself and my one year old cat.

    Since I am moving for work, I won't really be able to take my time to drive out...it will have to be a speed run. I can drive long distances at a time with relatively no issues, as I work in outside sales and typically drive from 7am to 5pm every day, most of which is time spent on Interstates.

    I'm just wondering if it will be possible for me to drive from Detroit to Phoenix in three days. If anyone has done this before and could recommend good towns to stop for the night, I would really appreciate it! I'm thinking of taking I-94 > I-69 > I-70 > I-44 > I-40 > I-17.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default A Bit More than We Recommend

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    You might be able to make it in 3 days, but that's really more than we recommend on a multi-day trip. Doing it in 3 days would require you to be on the road for about 700 miles a day, which works out to be about 13 hour a day on the road. The reality is that when you start driving that many hours, your focus and concentration will start to suffer, especially at the end of the day, and all day on days 2 and 3. Professional Drivers in the US are limited by law from traveling beyond about 600 miles a day, and and studies have show that once you get beyond 9-10 hours on the road your skills can easily deteriorate much like someone who has had too much to drink.

    Also remember when you are traveling with your cat, he/she probably won't enjoy the experience and probably won't be very interested in eating/drinking/litterboxing until you are stopped and off the road for the night. That's another reason to try to add another night, and trim a little time off your miles per day.

    What I would recommend is stopping near St. Clair Missouri, Shamrock Texas, and Holbrook/Winslow Arizona. Those will be roughly 12 hour days on the road, and sets you up for a quick 3-4 hour drive into Phoenix on your final day. None of those places are exciting cities, but all will have several motels near the freeway for you to pick from.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    My mapping program says it's about an hour faster taking I-94/I-80/I-55 to STL. This is good unless you hit rush hour around Chicago, which you won't if you leave Detroit early in the morning. Either way, you are going to be hitting STL in afternoon rush. Best way around/through is 55/70 to I-255 (sign says Memphis) around the southern bypass (changes to I-270) to I-44. Expect a bottleneck getting off 270 onto 44, and stop and go till you get past Fenton, then general congestion to Eureka/Pacific.

    I used my software to split it up into 3 equal days if you really need to do it, and overnights are suggested between Rolla and Springfield MO and between Amarillo TX and Tucumcari NM. I agree with Michael that it's not wise, but if you are that experienced and are used to long days on the road, you should be able to handle it. However, if you do start getting tired and your attention starts wandering, call it a night no matter where you are.

    A suggestion to cut off some miles and not lose any time getting into Phoenix, if it's during daylight, and get some nice scenery:

    Get off I-40 in Holbrook, take AZ-77 south to AZ-377 to AZ-277 to AZ-260 to Payson. Then take AZ-87 down to Phoenix.

    If you take Michael's suggestion, the only towns between the western STL suburbs and Rolla with any hotels at all are St. Clair, Sullivan, and Cuba. If you want to stay a night in Holbrook, I can personally recommend the Motel 6, it's the nicest one I've ever stayed in and it's cheap.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Google actually recommends taking I-75 to Dayton and picking up I-70 there. However, I don't imagine the travel time would be all that much different than taking I-69 to Indy. The mileage between those two routes, and also with going I-80 to I-55 is virtually identical. The distance between Detroit and St. Louis is between 550-560 for all three routes.

    However, going via Chicago/Gary would be my last choice. There's just too much traffic on that section of I-80 at all hours of the day, and I'd say your likelihood of hitting traffic would be quite a bit higher.

    If you do go in three days, I'd shoot for Rolla and Tucumcari, simply because you will be fresher and will have a slighly shorter third day when you'll be most tired. However, again, I'd really recommend a 3rd night on the road (and if this is for work, they should certainly allow you enough time to make the trip in as safe as amount of time as you'd need).

  5. Default

    Thank you both for the welcome and the informative responses!

    I'll definitely be avoiding Chicago at all costs. I'd come in through Dayton to I-70 but Ohio has a 65mph speed limit and some of the worst highway patrol you'll ever encounter. I'd much rather go through Michigan and Indiana where I can do a steady 75ish with no worries.

    Another reason I really wanted to do this drive in 3 days was because of my cat. I figured it'd be best to get her to the destination asap. But, as you said Michael, it's probably best to get her out of the car earlier each day so she can relax/litterbox/eat/etc. I think I will add the third night in the Winslow/Holbrook area, spending the first nights in Rolla and Tucumcari...give or take.

    glc, I'm going to add your St. Louis bypass to my route. None of the routes I found online suggested that, and with the time I'll be getting to STL it will probably be rush hour. I also love the idea of coming in through Payson instead of I-17. I think I will definitely have to do that, as I hear that section of highway is beautiful. Also, what mapping software do you use? I've been thinking about buying a program.

    Again, thank you for the insight. I know it won't be for a while yet, but I will definitely post how the trip went once I'm in Phoenix.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Just for Clarification, if you're doing this trip with 3 stops, I wouldn't go all the way to Tucumcari for day 2. That's going to be 2 drives of about 700 miles, followed by a 400 mile day and 250 mile day. Getting to Amarillo would be plenty far, setting you up for a comfortable 550 mile trip into Holbrook.

    I believe GLC uses Microsoft Streets and Trips. Its a good program, but I'm cheap, and find that Googlemaps works well enough from most anything I need to do, and that's free!

  7. Default

    I like the sound of comfortable....Amarillo it is. Now to look for pet friendly hotels!

    Thanks, Michael.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Cheap and pet friendly = Motel 6. All of them welcome at least one well-behaved pet at no additional charge. I've stayed in the one in Amarillo at exit 73 on the north frontage road and it's acceptable. If you stop in Amarillo and want an excellent steak dinner, go to the Big Texan. It's about a mile east of that Motel 6.

    There's no Motel 6 in Rolla, but there is about 20 miles farther west in St. Robert. You could spend 3 nights in a row with them!

    Yes, I use Streets & Trips. I also have the GPS module and use it in my truck with my laptop.

    EDIT: The only restrictions on pets at Motel 6 are:

    1. Must be declared at checkin.
    2. Must be in a cage or carrier if left alone in the room if you go out to eat, etc.
    Last edited by glc; 03-23-2010 at 08:13 PM.

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