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  1. #1

    Default Road trip from Hollywood FL to Long Beach CA

    Hello everybody,
    I'm moving to SoCA in august. After thinking just a little bit about all the costs with tickets for me and my dog, shipping my car and furniture. I stopped and thought...Why not drive there and enjoy the ride? So now Im on the middle of the planning process. So I would like to heave some suggestions and road tips. I decided to make this trip more like a vacation time then just trying to make it there as fast as I can. So no rushing, I wouldn't mind taking 7/8 days to get there. In order to visit/sight seeing the places Im gonna drive through. And of course not to keep just driving all the time, since Im going by my self (and Mr Magoo of course). My plan is to stop on camping spots that allow dogs or "couch surf" (you should check that out, very interesting way of travelling and metting people). But I dont know where btween here and there I should make my stops. The only one I know is New orleans. After that I had no idea what the west coast and the desert has to offer. I would like some tips on places to stop that allow dog for a sleep over if necessary (hostel, motel, inns).
    Im traveling on tight budget so any info on the cheapest way to do it will be appreciated.
    What is the avarage cost on gas? My car do 29-31/gallon. Is a station wagon and Ill be taking a Uhaul trailer with me, saving the space on the back of my car if I need to sleep on it. Who knows?
    I read here that is a very easy trip. Not too much of worries. But would appreciate some sharing experiences. Hope im not being too crazy with all of that,,but I have a feeling that it can be an extraordinary experience of knowing the US west coast, exchanging culture with local people and sightseeing beautifull and differents places. But where should I make my stops after new orleans???
    thks a lot for your attention

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Welcome!

    You need to plan on $3 a gallon for gas, and you are not going to get that kind of gas mileage towing a trailer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default trailing

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    7-8 days will give you the freedom to make some extra stops and enjoy yourself, but keep in mind this is a long trip. Considering you've got a dog and will be pulling a trailer, I'd say you're really looking at a 6 day trip here at the bare minimum.

    My bigger concern overall is if your car is really up to pulling a trailer cross country. Simply put, I just don't know many cars that can get 30 mph that make for good towing vehicles. I'd have some serious concerns about the strain you'll be putting on the engine, brakes, transmission, and cooling system. Even if you think it really is up for such a trip, I'd strongly recommend having a mechanic check your car out first to make sure. Also know that your gas mileage is going to plummet while pulling a trailer - and I'd expect your mileage to fall into the teens (or worse).

    Pretty much all campsites will allow dogs, and that could really be your best bet. At the very least, that will give you some good space for your dog to be out and move around after being in a car all day (good for you too for the same reason!), however, its really not that hard to find motels that will allow pets.

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    Welcome!

    You need to plan on $3 a gallon for gas, and you are not going to get that kind of gas mileage towing a trailer.
    I thought about that too. I was giving the average my car do now without pulling the trailer.thks

  5. #5

    Default

    Wow thaks a lot. there was a lot I heavent thought about it. I have a pontiac Vibe wich is in good condition, but definetly gonna check with my mechanic and with Uhaul about other choices. I can do the trip even in 4 days just didnt wanna to just drive 10 hrs per day non stop. Im use to travel with my dog, but to be honest the longest he did ina row was 5:30. Of course with stops for "bathroom" and water and a little walk to stetch our legs. That why I thought about doing in a longer time. But 6 days sounds good.
    Now I have to figure it out if its manageble for me to tow a trailer. Maybe the high cost with gas (plus the strain on the car) will make it a better choice of getting a trailer and tow my car. Ill will have to do some math with my budget.
    Any suggestion where to stop?
    Thks for all the help

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

    Default No, you can't

    Quote Originally Posted by Cissa View Post
    I can do the trip even in 4 days just didnt wanna to just drive 10 hrs per day non stop. Im use to travel with my dog, but to be honest the longest he did ina row was 5:30. Of course with stops for "bathroom" and water and a little walk to stetch our legs. That why I thought about doing in a longer time. But 6 days sounds good.
    You misunderstood me - 6 days is the minimum amount of time you need to safely do this trip - and even that will require 8-10 hours a day on the road, when you factor in the slower speeds you'll need to travel with a trailer and the fact that you'll have to stop more often because of your dog. I think 7-8 days sounds very good if you want to take some time to have fun and doing a little exploring.

    Even if you didn't have a trailer and a dog, 5 days really would be the minimum. Trying to do this in 4 days means you'd have to be on the road for at least 12-13 hours a day every day, and that's under ideal conditions where you could drive at least 70 mph all the time and could sharply limit your stops for fuel and food. That's simply too much to do safely.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    The Vibe is only rated to tow 1500 pounds. You cannot tow in overdrive (assuming automatic transmission), so you will pretty much have to keep it down to 55 mph and you will be lucky to get 20 mpg.

    A 4x8 enclosed U-Haul trailer weighs 850 pounds empty. A 5x8 weighs 900 pounds.

    I'd pack the car full, ship or sell what won't fit, and stay in budget hotels and/or tent camp on your way out. The other option is to rent a truck and a car trailer.

    Another thing to consider - if you have never towed before, a cross country trip is not a good way to learn and get experience. It's also going to be a pain sightseeing and visiting attractions with a trailer behind you to worry about. Any place you stop, you are going to have to look for truck/RV parking. I'm very experienced and hate every minute of it.

  8. #8

    Default Trip from Hollywood, Fl to Long Beach, CA

    First I would like to thank everybody that already helped me with so many good and valuable information about this trip. But Im still missing some good tips. Well after the advice got here Im not towing a trailer anymore. Going to drive with my car (Pontiac Vibe 2004) "empty". I mean only small thgs and clothes and my bike. Gonna bring stuff on mu roof and some inside. Anyways. I would like to ask about the road from here there, about Tools, and about camp ground sites that accept dog. Ill be traveling for about 6 days with my pooch, a white boxer. I only have planned my first stop, that will be New Orleans. I would like to stretch the first day driving the most, and take easier on the following ones. I would like any tip about the route. Wich other places I should stop Btw LA and CA. I read that isnt a heard road trip. I know Ill be crossing the desert, so dont wanna get caught in the middle of nowhere with no gas station or a place to park and stay over night. Im traveling on budget so any cheap tip is appreciated. Im planing to do the cooking, with my camping equipment, groceries at supermarkets, trying to keep as low as i can on the expenses.
    If I can do any sightseeing would be great. But need some suggestions here. Im from Brazil and its my first time traveling cross country in US. It will be interesting to know the american west coast. And if Im not too tired when Im getting there in the end Ill try to make a turn just to get the classic Route 66.
    What is the best raod/way to go more close to the coast through I-10W or after New Orleans get more inland road trhough I-49N, I-20W then I-40W. Wich one will be more interesting or safe? The difference in distance as from google map would be more then 40 miles. So...thumbs up for any tip I might get here. To help me organize this trip that i will be doing in the end of july. Probably gonna get some cold weather on my way there. Going over cold mountains. Whoever know anything about all that, or some of that please contact me. Thks a lot.
    Last edited by AZBuck; 06-30-2010 at 10:22 AM. Reason: Merged with previous posts. Please do not start multiple threads for the same trip.

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

    Default

    The fastest way is I-95/FL Turnpike/I-75/I-10. This is a full 5 day drive, and you should not try to make it all the way to NO in 1 day, this is almost 900 miles and is a full 16 hour drive. Not wise at all starting out a long multi-day trip this way. If you want to see New Orleans, you can add the 6th day, arrive in NO in the middle of the day and leave in the middle of the next day.

    Suggested overnights:

    Pensacola FL
    Houston TX
    Fort Stockton TX
    Tucson AZ

    You will not find any cold weather anywhere in August, but you will experience 100+ temperatures through much of the desert.

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