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  1. Default Ohio to California in 17 days

    My husband and I are planning our first road trip. Attached is the itenerary - is this realistic??? I would love to somehow get some time to see San Francisco, but may have to keep on driving and just see the golden gate bridge. Any thoughts?

    Friday 6/24 : 10 hrs driving time to Ohio to Cedar Rapids
    Saturday 25th : 10 ½ hrs: Cedar Rapids to Keyston, SD
    Sunday 26th : Rest
    mon 27th : Rest
    tues 28th : Rest
    wed 29th : 10 hrs: Keystone, SD to Salt lake City
    thur 30th : 7 hrs : Salt lake City to Reno
    fri 1st : Rest
    sat 2nd : 7 hrs : Reno to Crescent City
    sun 3rd : Rest
    mon 4th : Rest
    tues 5th : 11 hours: Crescent city to LA
    wed 6th : rest
    thur 7th : 10 hrs : LA to Albuquerque
    fri 8th : Rest
    sat 9th : 10 hrs : Albuquerque to ??
    sun 10th : 10 hrs: ?? to Home (ohio)
    mon 11th : off work at home

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default fantasyland

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I'm sorry, but the travel times you're listing aren't close to realistic. Online mapping programs are always extremely over-optimistic, and the times you're using are even more unrealistic than what Google comes up with.

    You didn't say where in Ohio you are starting from, but Cedar Rapids to Keystone is a 730 mile drive. You are not going to average 73 mph for a days drive, unless you are spending most of your trip crusing at speeds above 100 mph. Keystone to SLC is "only" 650 miles, but much of it is on 2 lane roads. Those drives are both likely to take about 14 hours, and both of those driver really are significantly more than what can be recommended for a safe day on the road (yes, even with two drivers.)

    Basically, all of your driving days are like that, making the assumption that you can drive 750 miles in 10 hours. Realistically, 10 hours is a good full day on the road, but that will only get you 550-600 miles of real world travel on the Interstates, less on 2 lane roads. You really need to go back to the drawing board and rework your trip with driving days that are limited to about 600 miles.

    Finally, one special note, I really don't understand at all your thinking on going all the way up to Crescent City. First of all, CC to LA is not a one day drive, and if you wanted to take the coast highway, you'd be looking at at least 4 days to make the trip, if you want to make even a small stop in San Francisco. I really don't know why you wouldn't simply spend some time in SF and on the coast highway and actually enjoy yourself rather than just trying to fly by things.

  3. Default

    Is there a calculator that would make this easy?!!! This is our first road trip and never planned anything like this before. I tried the app on this site and it is very frustrating. Should I just get a map and calculate with a ruler?! Still, like you said, the trip from Keystone to SLC is only 650 miles but may take 14 hours. I wouldn't know this by looking at a map.
    I definitely do not want to drive that long. So, I am back to the drawing board. How do I start?!!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Like I said, a good rule of thumb is that you'll cover 550-600 miles over a 10 hour drive on the interstate. That's based on the tried and true estimate that you can figure that over a full day on the road, you'll average about 57 mph on the interstates, if you are driving at or slightly above the speed limit, with limited stops for the basics - like food, fuel, etc.

    So that right there is your starting point. Look for drives that are about 600 miles max, for a full day on the road on the interstate, but dial that back a bit if you are going to spend a lot of time on 2 lane roads, or you hope to make a few stops to actually see things along the way.

    Another good rule of thumb is to add 20% to the travel time estimates provided by mapping programs, which should also result in similar results to the 57 mph estimate.

    You can certainly use any of the various online mapping programs, to build your trip and their mileage estimates are right on, but you have to also use your brain and not just accept their suggestions for routes or travel times as absolute fact. Additionally, using a paper map is a good idea for some of your planning, as it will show the the big picture of where you'll be going, and what else is along the way far better than any computer program can.

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