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  1. Default Solo Road Trip Los angeles - CA to Raleigh - NC in 4 days mid June

    I have only 4 days to drive from Los Angeles to Raleigh as I wanted to do this for long time. First can I make it without over exhausting myself.

    How long or how many hours should I drive in a day? What are places I can stop over night to sleep. Please thorw ideas and suggestions. I greatly appreciate it.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default The Very Edge

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    4 days is a possible for this 2550 mile trip, but it really is more than we recommend, especially for a solo driver.

    If you do it, you're going to be looking at about 12 hour days on the road, every single day of your trip. I-40 really will be your only option, and you won't have time to make any extra detours.

    Your stopping points would be Gallup NM, Weatherford OK, and Jackson TN. All of those drives are going to be in the 600-650 mile range, but will put you at a spot where you'll have plenty of motels to chose from at the end of the day. Make no doubt about it, this will be a very exhausting bit of work, and you'll need to treat it like the job it will be. That means stopping frequently for short breaks, and get off the road completely if you even feel a hint of yourself getting drowsy.

    If you've never done a long haul trip like this before, I would really encourage you to try to add an extra day. It will still be a long trip, but its going to be much less exhausting.

  3. #3

    Default Get Ready for Love's


    Around 3 years ago I did Raleigh to Port Hueneme, CA (Ventura) with my son as he returned from overseas deployment to his Navy Seabee base there. At the end of the active duty part of his enlistment contract, he drove it solo back to Raleigh. Four days is pushing the edge of the envelope, for sure.

    The best way to do it is to economize on stops. Not to say you shouldn't stop regularly for a stretch and such, but we tended to start the day before dawn with a full fuel tank from the night before, drive an hour or two, stop for a sit-down breakfast, the run the rest of the day with just bathroom, fuel, and snack stops. I mentioned "Love's" since I-40 features a Love's travel plaza about every 75 miles from AZ all the way into AR. Decent fuel prices, a wide variety of coffees, snacks, and to-go sandwiches, and clean restrooms made Love's our "combination stop" of choice. Given the 300-mile fuel range on his truck, we'd normally stop for fuel + snacks + bathroom by late morning and would then drive out that tank and stop for the day by late afternoon. A fuel top-off, sit-down supper, and an early bedtime then left us ready to roll by 0500 the next day.

    This strategy allowed us to get some miles done with very little traffic, stop for lunch before most of the crowd did, and stop for a motel and supper before most of the crowd. We were consistently observing how full the motel parking lots had become after our retiring as we'd look around during our AM departure.

    Stay alert, have fun, and safe travels.


  4. Default

    Thank you all for valuable feedback. I will post back after I have reached Raleigh with my expeirence.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    South Central Orange County


    I tried the reverse course once and only got as far as Oklahoma City. On day 1 I drove from Raleigh through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, by Dollywood and a few other place and stopped in Carlisle, Arkansas for my first night's sleep. I'd planned to drive to Albuquerque the next day and then on to LA the next. The car I was driving died about 30 miles east of Oklahoma City, so I never got to see the Cadillac Ranch or any of the other places I'd penciled in.

    Make sure your car is in good traveling shape before you leave!

  6. #6


    The first thing I want to tell you is to find someone who can go with you if it is at all possible. Make sure your passenger for your trip would be on the same page as you as far as what the trip will be about. The trip will be much more enjoyable and not so tedious if you have someone to go with you.

    I did a four day trip of this length in November of 2008. I put my experience in the Road Trip Field Reports.

    This trip will no doubt exhaust you and you'll need a day or two to recover from the long drive. Hopefully you can when you are in Raleigh. Rest stops such as Love's, Pilot, TA, etc will be your primary source of rest ( other than your overnight stays) on the side of the road as you go along your journey. You'll also get some contact with people there and at the state welcome centers. (pick up the free maps! they are great souvenirs.)

    I suggest to leave at dawn and get in at dusk. You will be much more alert during the day.

  7. Default

    Any suggestions as how to beat traffic on I 40 while crossing major cities on the way. Should I avoid rush office hours in morning and evening? Thanks.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    One thing you can do is try to make your motel stays on the 'far' side of a city - in your case the east side - so you don't have to drive through the city center when you are leaving in the morning. However, I think you'll need to be stopping in relatively small towns where traffic won't be much of an issue.

    Otherwise, if you are approaching a major city during a rush hour you might find that its a good time to stop for a meal and let things clear out before you continue on your way.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 05-25-2010 at 05:49 PM. Reason: clarification

  9. #9


    I agree with Michael and more so it's going to be difficult to bypass major cities without adding time to a trip where you already are short on time. You are pretty much stuck with what you got as far as a route. Previously I have had trouble with traffic in Little Rock and a little in Nashville and Memphis. That, and perhaps OKC, would probably be where you would see the most of your traffic anyway, other than LA of course.

  10. Default

    I am curious about what shirohniichan had experienced when his car was broken. shirohniichan, how did you get car towed away and made alternate arrangements.
    Though I have good condition reliable car along with AAA membership what should one do in case a car is broken or road trip has to be cancelled but car needs to moved to destination. I understand shirohniichan somehow reached to nearest airport and flew to final destination.

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