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  1. Default Northern route east via I-80

    We are leaving Portland, Oregon, hopefully if we're done packing this week, we'll leave next Tuesday. We're taking a rented Penske, and driving to Midland, Michigan, likely via Redding, CA to say goodbye to my Grandmother, just in case.

    We're taking a bigger truck and just a little nervous about it, but we've done the Grapevine and the southern Oregon I-5 corridor a few times, so I'm guessing it can't be too much worse than either of those.

    It looks like from Redding we're taking 44 to 36 to 365 (?). Any thoughts on any of these roads? The weather should be good I'm guessing this time of year. I prefer to stick to major arteries, but if I'm going to say goodbye to Grandma, I have to take those routes east to meet up with I-84. Any reason to worry about them?

    Any thoughts on likely places to divide the drive? We're planning to get into Redding late on Tuesday night, and head east after lunch on Thursday. We figure we should be able to make 8-10 hours (actual drive time) on Thursday, leaving us about 36 hours of drive time to split between Fri/Sat/Sun.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
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    9,271

    Default

    Welcome!

    44/36/395 does save you 100 miles over taking I-5 to Sacramento then picking up I-80.

    3.5 days is not enough to drive from Redding to Midland in a Penske - it's a whole day short of what would be safe. You need 4.5 days.

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    Welcome!

    44/36/395 does save you 100 miles over taking I-5 to Sacramento then picking up I-80.

    3.5 days is not enough to drive from Redding to Midland in a Penske - it's a whole day short of what would be safe. You need 4.5 days.
    How is 44/36/395 as compared to heading down to Sacto to pick up I-80? How many lanes, passes, other drivers, accidents, services, etc?

    For drive time, Mapquest had listed 42 hours from Redding to Midland. I figured if we did 8 hours on Thursday (maybe 10) that would give us roughly 11 hour a day drives the remaining 3 days. Even for stops and gas, for us, that typically adds another 2 hours per day. Padding an extra hour or two for "oops".... that's consistent with what we've done on North/South I-5 trips, a 14 hour day. Is the problem speed for the truck on hills and such? Or the higher speed limit in rural areas?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    I have no personal experience with 44/36/395.

    You need to add at least 25% to Mapquest times if you are driving a truck. Maybe you can do a 14 hour day, but 4 in a row is not safe. Driving 10 hours after being up for a few hours already is just as bad. If you have a hard deadline to meet, get on the road first thing Thursday morning and take 4 full days. This is just over 600 miles a day, which is at the upper limit of what we recommend driving a CAR. Plan on overnights in Wendover UT, Cheyenne WY, and Des Moines IA.

    A Penske truck is going to have a hard time cruising at anything over 65 mph - and you are going to lose a lot of time in the mountains, especially if it's a gasoline engine. Some states have lower speed limits for trucks than cars, and the speed limits get lower anyway as you go east. You also are going to have 23 hour days to deal with due to time zone changes.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
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    9,358

    Default The Scale of Things

    As glc pointed out, the drive from Redding to Midland simply cannot be made in 3½ days. Wherever you're getting your estimates of driving times from, they are totally unrealistic. Remember that computer based mapping routines assume that you will be driving at or above the speed limit every second of every minute you're on the road, and make no allowances for pushing an overloaded and underpowered truck up a slope, or traffic tire-ups, or for fuel stops (many more than in a car), meal breaks or even bathroom stops. To think that you're going to be able to put in 10 hours of "actual drive time" after a late start on Thursday is another bit of wishful thinking. Add in the above mentioned stops and you'll be looking for a vacancy somewhere in the vicinity of 1:00 AM, exhausted and willing to settle for anything. To expect to get up early the next morning and put in the first of three back-to-back-to-back 600+ mile days is simply a fantasy. I'm sorry to be so blunt, but your current plan is absolutely unworkable. Leaving Redding on Thursday afternoon, you should not expect to get to Midland before late Monday evening at the absolute earliest, and 'sometime' Tuesday is a far better prediction.

    Yes, I would, for the cost of that extra hundred miles, just keep on down I-5 to Sacramento and I-80 rather than trying to cut across mountainous terrain on two lane roads without the Interstate's restrictions on grades and curves.

    AZBuck

  6. #6
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    Oct 2008
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    Another issue - lodging between Reno and Salt Lake City is limited. That's a very desolate stretch of I-80. It's one place I would not want to be driving a truck late into the evening.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
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    13,064

    Default the shortcut

    I agree that you really are being too optimistic in your drive time estimates, and assumptions in how much ground you'll really be able to cover are very optimistic.

    If you must make the trip in 4 days, you need to plan for it to be a full 4 days leaving first thing Thursday, with a goal of making it to at least Wells NV. That's going to set you up for 3 more days where you're still going to be spending at least 12-14 hours a day on the road, with logical stops in Cheyenne and Des Moines. Those are going to be 4 very long days on the road, that's certainly the top end of what you should be trying to do, and really could be optimistic in a Rental Truck.

    If you don't leave till after lunch, then I think getting to Winnemucca NV is probably your best case (as GLC mentioned, your options are quite limited for stopping points on I-80 in Nevada, and its a long way to Battle Mountain and/or Elko your next two possible stops). From Winnemucca, you're still more than 2000 miles to Midland, and trying to do that in 3 days is just too much. Overnight stops in Rock Springs WY, Grand Island IL, and Joliet IL would be your best case to do the remaining trip in 3.5 days.

    The only area where I disagree with the above is that I would not take I-5 all the way to Sacramento - I'd head to US-395. I don't have any first hand experience with the route, but 100 miles is a significant difference for this relatively short portion of the trip, and while you will likely have lower travel speeds, it should be perfectly fine for your purposes. If you were pulling a trailer with the moving truck, I might have a different opinion, but just driving a truck by itself shouldn't be too bad. There's certainly nothing wrong with going via I-5, and that would be the more conservative choice, but I think that's going to add at least an hour of travel time.

  8. Default

    Thanks for the feedback. Our friends moved to St. Louis from Seattle and did that in 4.5 days with a couple of hours at Mt. Rushmore. Granted that's a full day's drive closer, but it's about all I had to go on, besides a 1 day drive from Bakersfield to Portland this January, but I had good roads all the way and needed to get home.

    We'll adjust accordingly. I figured Monday was our maybe yes, maybe no day, but I'll just add in Tuesday as well.

    And maybe Leave Grandma's a little earlier on Thursday. :)

  9. #9
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    You would not have a problem leaving Grandma's after lunch Thursday and making it to Midland Monday night. Assuming you take the "long way" to stay on Interstates, suggested overnights would then be Fernley NV, Evanston WY, North Platte NE, and Davenport IA.

    If you pass Fernley your next lodging is Lovelock (1 hour, very limited choices, no chain hotels) then Winnemucca (another hour, good choices). After Evanston, you have Green River (limited) and Rawlins. After North Platte, you have Kearney. After Davenport, you have Princeton and La Salle.

  10. Default

    Well, we just found out our renter lost her job, and we are listing with a property management company. We figured it's no more gas to go down to Redding and back than to take a truck and our minivan on the way out, and it will give us a couple of weeks to show the place before we head out. And hopefully get it rented (eeek!).

    So it will be 2-3 weeks, hopefully not cold enough to snow us in at higher elevations, and we'll probably leave on a Wednesday afternoon and stay somewhere out I-84 in E. Oregon. If we aim for shorter drive times, my husband can fit in a few hours work at night and not have so much time to make up when we arrive, and that should still get us in on a Sunday, and a more leisurely pace.

    Thanks for the spacing advice.... Trying to figure out how to break things up when I've never been there is tricky. :)

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