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  1. Default Moving from Dallas to Seattle

    I'll be picking up and moving the family to Seattle in the middle of December. I've got a new job up there that starts on January 3rd and I'm pretty excited about it. We're going to be driving two separate vehicles with one of them pulling a pretty decent sized Uhaul trailer. We'll also have two dogs with us. This is going to definitely be an adventure.

    My question pertains to the best way to do this. I'm thinking something like 35 to Kansas, 70 over into Colorado, 25 up to 80, and then into Washington on 84. I'm figuring to do this over 4 days of driving. We'll try to get early starts every morning so we can be done and relaxing by the time the sun goes down.

    Does this sound feasible to you guys? I realize we'll need to plan our trip around the weather and pay close attention as we get closer, but still. I'm fond of planning ahead of time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Plan on More

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    If you were unencumbered and this was summer, then you could probably plan on making this drive in 4 days. If everything went right. But pulling a trailer, stopping for the dogs, keeping two vehicles in synch, facing the near certainty of at least a minor weather delay, and with significantly shortened daylight hours, you will be fortunate to do it in five. Your choice of route is the best there is, and the Interstates will help keep delays to a minimum. But this will not be a speed run by any definition.


  3. #3

    Default See you on I-80 west of Cheyenne

    Hello Ozzu,

    If all goes according to plan, I'll be spending New Year's Eve in Cheyenne enroute to Park City, UT, so perhaps we can wave at one another.

    For a winter trip cross-country, and with two vehicles--one of them towing, I offer the following:

    Make sure the cooling systems are serviced on both. An overnight in CO or especially WY can dip to or below zero. The towing vehicle needs its system particularly up to snuff.

    I'd do a transmission fluid change on the towing vehicle if it is anywhere near due for one. Towing is the death of many an automatic transmission, and old ATF doesn't resist heat buildup like fresh fluid does.

    Your route seems fine to me. I do agree with AZ Buck that 4 days is too tight with the entourage you're moving. I'd look at 5 and have a 6th in my pocket for weather delays.

    I'm all about early starts and early quits. It minimizes time lost waiting in line for lunch, etc, and fuel at mid-day, too, if your starting lunch at 10:30-11:00am.

    I'd fill the washer reservoirs with anti-icing fluid, not so you can barrel through the snow, but because the spray from wet spots on the highway can freeze onto your cold vehicle and the wipers may not budge it. Carry a couple of gallons to keep both vehicles topped off.

    Carry a couple of rolls of heavy-duty paper towels and a good squeegee, too, and put some of the anti-ice fluid in a generic spray bottle in order to touch up the side windows, mirrors, and headlights/tail lights at fuel or rest stops. That darn spray accumulates and can really mess your vision and visibility to other vehicles.

    I'd have either a CB radio in each vehicle, or an FRS frequency walkie-talkie for quick discussions between vehicles without having to dial a cellphone call each time. The FRS radios are cheap and work very well.

    Keep an eye on the weather, as you've already noted, and you'll be glad you did. I'm firmly convinced only those most willing to do so end up driving into bad weather. There is every opportunity to drop back 15 yds and punt (waiting it out for a few hours to a day).

    Good luck on the move.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    My mapping software shows a faster and shorter route by taking 287 to Amarillo, then up through Dalhart to Raton to pick up I-25. However, being that you are towing and convoying, I'd stick to the Interstates, it's only an hour or so longer and potentially a lot less hassles.

    In order to be off the road by sunset or not long after, you need a minimum of 5 days, 6 if you have any weather issues. This is a 2200 mile trip, and I doubt that your speed average will even get close to 50 mph by the time you make fuel, food, and rest stops - and crawl up the mountain grades at 25 mph with the 18 wheelers. If your tow vehicle isn't a turbodiesel, that's all you will be doing, and U-Haul trailers are simply not safe over 65 mph. In fact, U-Haul will tell you to keep it to 55.

  5. Default

    Really awesome tips. It's much appreciated.

    I'm really excited about the trip. My wife is more worried about it than I am. I'm thinking of it as much more of an adventure than just a move.

  6. Default

    Small bump to get a few more opinions on something else related to the move. It's looking more like my wife won't be coming up with me on the initial trip. She's looking to join me in January or February.

    As far as avoiding as much winter weather as possible, which month would you guys suggest she make the trip in? I'm thinking February myself, but I figured I'd ask the experts. Thanks!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Ft. Collins, CO.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ozzu View Post

    As far as avoiding as much winter weather as possible, which month would you guys suggest she make the trip in? I'm thinking February myself, but I figured I'd ask the experts. Thanks!
    My Colorado-centric view says Feb is the coldest month, March the snowiest. The very best month to make the trip is September :-)

    With genuine attention to the weather forecast and plenty of extra time allowed to hole-up and let storms pass over (rather than trying to make progress thru the blizzard) any time of year would be ok. (assuming good preparation and sensible driving)

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


    Its a crapshoot at best. There just is no real way of knowing - you're just covering too much ground and too diverse of a landscape to make a general statement like that. The reality is that the only thing that really matters is the specific forecast during the time of your travel, and that can't be forecast accurately until just a couple days before you are on the road.

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