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  1. Default Los Angeles to Oklahoma City in January

    Hi all :D

    I'm moving to OKC this coming January but I would like to know more about the drive around this time. I'm taking the I-40 straight into OKC. Are the weather conditions around this time acceptable for a drive like this? The estimated time is about 21hours, and I want to get through it as fast as possible, but my schedule is flexible enough that I can stop a while if weather is horrible. Is there a big chance of something like that happening?

    Also, if anyone has tips for the drive or knows of any good places to stop, I'd really appreciate it :)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Neither Big Nor Zero

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    The drive from L.A. to OKC is around 1350 miles via I-15 and I-40. The first thing you have to do if you want to make this trip safely is relieve yourself of the delusion that this is a 21 hour drive. I'm sure that you got that 'estimate' from some computer based program, but here's the thing - computer drivers never have to stop for gas, they don't have to eat, they never encounter traffic, they never even have to stop to go to the bathroom, and they never ever get tired. Not terribly realistic, heh? In the real world, L.A. to OKC is 2½ days. There is simply no sense in thinking of it in terms of hours. To that 2½ days, you should be ready to add another day should you encounter severe weather which makes the roads unsafe. The chance of that happening are significant but not terrible. Across much of northern Arizona and New Mexico, I-40 runs at an elevation of around 7,000 feet and snow is always a possibility in January. There's no way of predicting what weather you will encounter which is why, at this point, you have to at least have 3+ days available for the trip.


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


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Regardless of the weather, making this trip in 21 hours is a computer generated fantasy, that assumes you can drive non-stop at 75 mph without ever even slowing down and ignores the fact that the human body simply can not function at a level to safely drive a 2 ton machine at highway speeds for an unlimited amount of time. Simply put: making the trip in one day is just not a reasonable plan.

    This is a 1300 mile trip and doing this trip in 2 full days is the bare minimum you need to make this trip safely and responsibly (and even that's the upper extreme). That assumes good weather.

    There is no way of knowing at this point what the weather will be, other than to say that it is a route that frequently sees snow and ice in winter, so seeing a delay is certainly a possibility. If there is any sort of bad weather at all, then even doing this in 2 days is going to be too much and you'll need to plan for a third day

  4. Default

    Thank you so much for replying so quickly :D

    Yes, I did get the estimate from Mapquest, but like I said, I will have enough time to make sure the drive is a safe one.

    Do you think I will need chains for my tires?

    Do you have any tips? They would be a great help.

    -winter :)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Because you're looking at an all interstate route, if conditions have deteriorated to the point where chains are required, you really are at the point where you should simply pull off and wait until the roads are cleared. At 20 mph, you're just not going to get anywhere fast enough to make continuing worthwhile, when waiting (at most a day in all but the most extreme storms) will usually allow you to resume traveling at or near normal speeds.

    Otherwise the advice is pretty simple, stay within your limitations both in terms of how much you are driving and your ability to handle the road conditions. Check out some of the articles from the planning section - like this one specifically about winter driving - for more specifics about having a safe trip.

  6. Default

    Thank you very much :)

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