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  1. Default Leaving SF for ATL on 12-28

    Great forum!
    I'm leaving on Tuesday with a 26' Penske (cheaper than U-Haul) truck, with a car carrier behind me. I guess it's somewhere around a total of 35-36' or so. I-5 and then I-10

    I have driven the reverse route 3.5 years ago and it took me 5 days, with comfortable driving. Very boring though. I was scared going too far off the freeway, since reversing with that whole rig is pretty impossible for me.

    Anyway, I'm open to maybe going off the freeway on certain spots and driving parallel smaller routes to get some local flavor, but again, I'm kind of scared with such a big truck.

    Are there any suggestions that you have that might be some parallel routes to I-10 for a few hours at a time that doesn't create problems for me with the truck (low bridges, or truck too heavy etc).

    Solo female driver (with dog), so safety is also a factor.

    Thank you for any suggestions.

    ps: On the way here I was informed at a gas station that someone had cut my fuel line and the
    gas was coming straight out again. I understand that they did it to syphone off gas. Does that happen a lot and is there something I can do to avoid that?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Breaks from the Superslabs

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Well, I can certainly understand how 5 days between Atlanta and San Francisco, pushing a big rental truck down the road day after day with no real sight seeing breaks, could get to be a bit tiresome. But that is about the minimum amount of time for such a journey, and really did preclude getting off the highway and seeing anything. If you'll have more time for the return drive, then your best bet is to, as you say, look for parallel roads where you can just pull off, see some local color, and pull back on the highway, all without to many turns, and certainly no backing up. One possibility is the longest segment of the old Mother Road still extant, You'd get off I-40 at exit 53 in Kingman, AZ and follow AZ-66 through Peach Springs to Seligman and get back on I-40. Another good stretch would be to take exit 240 in Henryetta, OK and follow US-75/US-266/US-64 rejoining I-40 at exit 326 just west of Fort Smith Arkansas. Then, of course, there's a final long segment of US-78 from Memphis to Birmingham, that while not technically Interstate, is your shortest route home and is four lane divided highway for the most part. In addition, there are many state parks along the way that are close to the Interstates and typically offer drive through parking specifically to accommodate larger rigs such as what you'll have.


  3. Default

    Thanks, AZBuck,
    I'm sorry if I wasn't clear - I'm taking I-10. Don't want to get into snow and really, really don't like to drive in Mountains (so much so, that I want to drive over the cliff, because I just want to get past the scary part - so I avoid driving in the mountains lol).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default (My) and/or (That's Too) Bad

    Hmm... My Bad. Yes, you did say in your original post that you were going to take I-10. I guess either I wasn't paying attention or zoned out when I plugged in your start/end points into my mapping software. Let me first say that I still think the I-40 route would be what I would recommend. Going I-10 through San Antonio and Houston to Mobile before turning north on I-65/I-85 adds around 300 miles or a full days drive to your trip. Even if you take I-20 through Dallas - Fort Worth you're adding almost 150 miles. And I-40 simply isn't that mountainous. Yes, it does get up to significant elevation, 7-8,000 feet in northern Arizona, but there are no steep climbs and no precipitous drop-offs that would qualify as 'mountain driving'. You'll be hitting 5,000 feet or so on I-10 in southeastern New Mexico and west Texas. So, I don't see the real point of going that far out of your way to try to avoid something that isn't there on the shorter route. And to be perfectly honest, I think the I-40 route is much more interesting and offers better opportunities to get of the main highway and follow some scenic parallel routes. But ultimately it's your choice.

    So if you're going the 'full I-10', your first parallel road opportunity isn't until south central Texas and US-90 from Seguin to Columbus. This really is a closely parallel road and you will never be that far from the Interstate. You'll have another shot at US-90 between Lake Charles and Lafayette, Louisiana, then US-31 alongside I-65 from Evergreen to Montgomery, Alabama.

    If you do the 'modified limited hangout' and use I-20, look at US-80 between Lawrence and Marshall, Texas, although that would take you through Longview, and US-80 again between Minden and Monroe, Louisiana, and between Jackson and Meridian, Mississippi.

    I would say that it is very unusual to experience the kind of vandalism you suffered on your westward drive. The best preventative is to leave the rig parked in plain view of as many people as you can.


  5. Default maybe I should rethink I-40......would there be the potential to get into some kind of snow anywhere along that route, since there are some higher altitudes? I know Atlanta is expecting snow, that's why I was trying to take the more southern route.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Snow

    There is potential for snow anywhere in the continental United States. It even snows in Hawai'i on Mauna Kea. The only thing that matters is whether there will be snow (or freezing rain, or high winds, or....) along the routes you'll be driving when you're driving them. As we often advise people here, and as you note with the expectation of snow in Atlanta, going farther south is certainly no guarantee of warm sunny weather. But it will take you into areas where if there is snow or ice, the local highway crews will be far less prepared to handle it. I-10 does see snow and worse, freezing rain and black ice. I would kind of map out the two routes and be prepared, in a general way, for either one. And then a day or two before departure, and only once I had a detailed weather forecast for at least California, Arizona and New Mexico in hand would I make my final choice. Pay particular attention to forecasts for the higher elevation sections I mentioned.


  7. Default

    Thank you, the point about snow preparedness is excellent. So, I will rethink my itinirary.

  8. Default

    well, after consulting my map, I've decided to take I-5 to 40 and maybe at Barstow I start taking some little detours along old Route 66. It's so legendary, that this might be a good time to do it. And I understand there are many interesting things to see. It seems to parallel I-40 for a few states, until it veers off to the north. I know there are several books just about route 66, and websites as well.

    So, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for making me rethink my trip. I'm excited about it now ;-)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Right here.

    You can find Great route 66 information from these RTA links.

    Have a great trip !

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