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  1. Default trip from New Jersey to Minneapolis

    Hello Road Trip America,

    I was very excited for a road trip from Southern New Jersey, around the Philadelphia area, to Minneapolis, MN and thought I could cover it in about 24 hours with a friend. The trip is apparently 1200 miles, and I thought we could switch off every couple of miles, that way we wouldn't have to stop anywhere. I have never driven so far so not sure, most I've driven is toward Boston. Would this kind of trip be feasible?

  2. #2


    Welcome to the forum!

    1200 miles is far more than one person, or two people, or however many people should drive in one day. At the forum it is advised that you only would drive 600 miles in one day. It is a 19 and a half hour trip and adding stoppage time for the necessities such as eating and gas breaks you would probably be around the 24 hour mark. It is NOT something to do. It is a much larger amount of miles than even professional drivers are legally able to do. No matter if you switch off every 2 hours or so you are going to get road weary. For a "speed run" such as what you are in need of 2 days is advised. Leave at 6am, get in at dark, and be able to relax at the half way point (near the I-80/I-90 and I-69 junction)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Please Don't

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Sorry, but it just is a fantasy that people think that if they switch off drivers they can drive any distance they want without stopping. That's just not the case, and there is no way with 2 people you can safely cover 1200 miles in one sitting.

    With 2 people, there's just no way you can get enough rest to stay alert enough for this trip. In the best case - you'll have a passenger sleeping, so there is no one making sure the driver is staying awake and alert, and thus no margin of error. The only way you could possibly do such a trip safely is if you had 3 people where you could do a true rotation, where one person drives, then they help navigate/keep the next driver focused, then they take a nap. Even there, with your lack of experience in long haul driving, I'd have concerns.

    The reality is that by the time you get to about Chicago, your driving skills and abilities will have deteriorated in much the same way the would as when you are drunk - and you'll still have another 7 hours of driving to go. The facts back it up, thousands of people are killed and injured every year because of this sort of driving without proper rest.

    And of course, on top of all the safety concerns, there is just a practical reason not to do this. If you did manage to complete such a trip without killing yourself or someone else, you're going to be so exhausted when you reach Minneapolis that you won't be able to enjoy much anything for about 2 days anyway. If you do the responsible thing and stop for the night halfway, when you arrive, you'll be in a much better condition to enjoy time at your destination.

  4. Default

    Thanks for the replies, it seems that the only way I could go is to have an overnight stay. I was originally planning on picking up a rental at around 12 pm on friday, so maybe we could make it by Toledo, OH by night and crash there at a hotel. That would be around 550 miles. Is this advisable or should I change the reservation to pick up the car earlier? Would it be advisable to book a hotel beforehand or just find a motel around the road? If this goes as planned, we would have a full day to travel from Toledo, OH to Minneapolis, which is around 652 miles.

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

    Default It would help.

    If you could pick up the car earlier it would make a big difference. Otherwise you will be arriving at a Motel at 10 pm and will most likely want to unwind and eat. Even a couple of hours earlier could mean you can be in bed by 10 for a good nights kip and ready for the long day ahead. You should be able to "wing it" and roll into a Motel without booking as long as you don't get caught in the trap of pushing on too far.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default The Proverbial 10 Pounds of Potatoes in a 5 Pound Sack

    Sorry, but you still have an overly optimistic idea of what you're going to be able to accomplish. To get from, say, Voorhees to Toledo (540 miles) is a full day (10 hours on the road) of driving, with NO stops other than those which are absolutely required: gas, food, traffic, bathrooms - none of which are accounted for in computer based mapping routines. You'd then still be looking at 650 miles (12 hours on the road) the next day to get to Minneapolis. This can be done, I suppose. It will at least be somewhat safer than your original plan. But it will not be fun, you are still trying to compress what should be a 2½ day drive into 1½ days.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default a big improvement, but

    What you've laid out is possible, but it is a lot of work, and is going to push you into being on the road for 13 hours or so (plus Chicago traffic) on that second day.

    Also remember that picking up a rental car can take a little time, so if you pick the car up at noon - its quite likely it will be at least one o'clock if not later.

    If you can't change your plans, I'm sure you'll be able to make them work. However, If you could pick up the car a little earlier - say around 9 or 10, and try to make it a little farther on that first day (I'd shoot for Fremont, Indiana which is about halfway with several motel options) I think you'll find the trip to be a lot less stressful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Considering you would not be getting out of Philly particularly early, I'd shoot for Toledo for your overnight stay. Stop at the first service plaza on the Ohio Turnpike and pick up a motel coupon book. There can be considerable savings using them. Try to get an early start out of there and get through Chicago by noon or so and you should have smooth sailing. It's about 650 miles from Toledo to MSP and can be done in 12 hours or less with no significant traffic delays. I'd get off the Indiana Toll Road at Burns Harbor and take I-80 through NW Indiana and south Chicago to I-355 to I-290 to I-90. If you have an EZ-Pass, bring it, if not, see if one comes with the rental. It will be both a time and money saver, and the fastest route involves a LOT of tolls. The EZ-Pass works in all the states you will be going through.

  9. #9


    Some people can do this, but most can't. Considering you've not done this before, I'd plan for at least two days. My wife and I have done that sort of driving a few times. We went from Minneapolis to Missoula (1150 miles) in about 24 hours. 5pm to 5pm. When we stopped in Missoula she took the kids out for dinner while I stayed at the motel room and crashed.

    I would not make room reservations so you can go as far as you can that first day, rather than having to stop even if you still have energy to go farther.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default russian roulette

    Some people have made a trip like this without being involved in a crash - but no one can safely drive for 24 hours - even with 2 drivers. By doing so, you put your family and everyone else on the road in grave danger.

    At that point it just is simply not physically possible to be at the alertness levels needed to safely operate a 2 ton machine traveling at 70 miles per hour. It really becomes a game of russian roulette, and just like it may take a drunk driver 100 times before he is arrested and/or causes a crash, just because you've done such trip before without killing someone, it was as much a matter of luck and gods grace as it was anything else.

    The stats back it up, thousands of people die every year on American highways because of fatigue, and all of the science shows that after 8-10 hours your driving skills become seriously reduced. For the sake of your family and everyone else one the road, please do not try to do something so dangerous again.

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