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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Berkeley, California, United States
    Posts
    1

    Default Planning Coast to Coast in 4 days

    I am planning to do a summer road trip from SF to NY in 4 days. I have 3 other people who can drive with me. Is it a good idea to attempt this in 4 days. Is there a rental car agency which would provide a car for this? All the major rental car companies charge exorbitantly for SF to NY.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default not a good plan

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    First of all, yes nearly every major car rental agency will allow you to rent from SF to NY, but yes, everyone will have a charge (likely several hundred dollars) for doing a one way cross country trip. If you are 21-24 years old, your costs will be higher still, as you'd be looking at $25 a day or so for each underage driver.

    However, no, doing this in 4 days is not a good idea. It's a 3000 mile drive which means you'd have to do 750 miles a day, which works out to at least 14 hours a day on the road. On top of that, you'll be losing an hour every day heading east. With 4 drivers, you could do that for a day, maybe two, but by the time you get to day 3 and 4, you will all be exhausted, your ability to safely drive will be impacted, and you certainly won't be having any fun.

    5 Days is really the minimum to do this safely and tolerably, and you'd need 6 before you can even start seeing anything along the way. If you need to do it in less time, you'd be much better off going by plane or train.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Ouch!!

    Can you imagine being cooped up in a little metal box for 14 hours (possibly much more) per day, for four days in a row with three other adults. I really don't think you have thought this through.

    Michael is quite right, it will take at least five days, but even then, I doubt you will all still be friends at the end. You'd have to be superhuman. And in that time frame, there is no allowance for hold ups.... Road construction, traffic congestion, accident up ahead, or detours for whatever reason. You could well find that you are in that little metal box for around sixteen hours. If you do not stop for a decent meal, relaxing, shower and sleep, you will all be at risk of making a flawed decision the following day, or not re-acting in time to avoid an obstacle.

    These are realities and the reason why professional drivers are prevented by law to undertake that trip in less than five days.

    If you cannot add more time, do as Michael suggests, take a plane or train.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    I'll offer another way of thinking. When I was college-aged, four of us went from Northeast Missouri across the country towards California. However, this was not really a pleasure trip. One young man from California was planning to drive home for the summer. He invited two of us who lived out that way to ride along, share expenses and share the driving. Then he invited his girlfiend to do the same. We were crazy, but we drove straight through. Most of the time, when we weren't driving, at least two of us were sleeping. The other was talking to the driver. We drove in two or three hour shifts. I was the first one out, as they dropped me in Flagstaff. The rest continued on. Were we tired? Yes. However, as I said, we were merely trying to get someplace (home). We weren't trying to do any sightseeing along the way.

    BTW, my husband has been a professional driver, but he was a team driver. They drove in 10 hour shifts, relieving the other so that one could sleep. He regularly went across the country in 3 days. That was legal. Solo drivers have to take so many hours off to sleep too.


    Donna

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default No comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    I'll offer another way of thinking. When I was college-aged, four of us went from Northeast Missouri across the country towards California. However, this was not really a pleasure trip. One young man from California was planning to drive home for the summer. He invited two of us who lived out that way to ride along, share expenses and share the driving. Then he invited his girlfiend to do the same. We were crazy, but we drove straight through. Most of the time, when we weren't driving, at least two of us were sleeping. The other was talking to the driver. We drove in two or three hour shifts. I was the first one out, as they dropped me in Flagstaff. The rest continued on. Were we tired? Yes. However, as I said, we were merely trying to get someplace (home). We weren't trying to do any sightseeing along the way.
    In the first place, there was a lot less traffic on the roads, four or five decades ago. But still, count yourself fortunate that you are here to tell the tale. Unfortunately, far too many are not.

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    BTW, my husband has been a professional driver, but he was a team driver. They drove in 10 hour shifts, relieving the other so that one could sleep. He regularly went across the country in 3 days. That was legal. Solo drivers have to take so many hours off to sleep too.


    Donna
    There is no comparison. They have a proper bed in which to sleep. I have friends who are long haul truck drivers in North America, who do the same. However, these same drivers are sensible enough to realise that they cannot replicate that in a sedan on a road trip.

    To the OP, if you are not really worried about your and your passengers' safety, then think about the safety of all the other road users. Would you want to carry the burden for the rest of your life. knowing that you are responsible for someone else's disabilities..... or worse?

    Lifey

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    I see your point, and yes, we did it years ago. And yes, we were definitely crazy. Today, I wouldn't do that - but we're now in our 50s and have learned about how not to be crazy. :-)

    If it were me today, I'd get on I-80 and go straight across. But I would do it in 6 days, not 4.


    Donna

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