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  1. Default Sacramento,CA to New Bern, NC recomendation

    We are just retired (mid 60's) driving a 12 year old suv in very good condition pulling a 6 x 10 cargo trailer. Leaving Sacramento end of June. Wondering route recommenendations. We are not on a speed run but should be in NC by 7-9 or 7-10. Looking at the trip as leisure and site seeing as much as point A to point B. I know the choices are 80, 70, or 40. I have heard that 40 is not very scenic. I am a little concerned about crossing the Rockies with an older car and trailer. Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 06-12-2012 at 09:26 AM. Reason: Moved thread to Roadtrip planning.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default What appeals to you ?

    Hello and welcome to RTA !

    There is much to be said about each route choice and much will depend on what places might appeal to you and your interests the most along each one. There really isn't much to choose from in the way of difference in time and distance. Each route will take close to 6 days of driving for 9/10 hours a day [give or take] with time for rest breaks, food etc, so you have time to do a little 'wandering'.

    Interstates are built with gradual curves and gradients and with the needs of the biggest of rigs in mind, so I don't see that playing a major role in your decision making with a relaible vehicle and at the time of year you are travelling. [ie Not winter] I would look around RTA, searching the forums and checking out the tool bars above where you will find lot's of planning tools, including the Map centre. Get a good size map of the US and see what appeals, once you have some dots on the map a route will start to form.

    Once you have got that far I'm sure we will be able to throw in a few suggestions to help !

  3. #3

    Default Welcome to North Carolina!

    Good afternoon MSR,

    Foy from Raleigh here. Welcome in advance. Are you by chance moving to Fairfield?

    Any time I pick up on a thread including long-distance towing, I like to mention the need to include your automatic transmission in the various pre-trip servicings to consider. I'd consider a "full system flush and refill", as routine transmission fluid changes leave around half to 60% of the old ATF in the torque converter, pumps, the cooler (if equipped), and the lines. Long-distance sustained Interstate speed travel can cause significant heat buildup in an automatic transmission, and towing a large trailer will magnify that materially. The last thing you need is to cook your transmission between Winnemucca and Elko. You might consider ADDING an ATF cooler if your SUV doesn't already have one.

    Having driven from Raleigh to Port Hueneme, CA on I-40 to Barstow, from Raleigh to Green River, UT on I-70, and Raleigh to Elko, NV on I-80, I can say the alpine scenery along I-70 is more pleasing to me. I-80 would be my second choice since I like Nevada a lot, and since the stark high plateau which is most of Wyoming is fairly pleasing, too. Running I-40 would offer a chance for a drive-through of the Grand Canyon Nat Park, but aside from that, there is less which interests me along 40.

    If you choose I-80, be aware of the long grade leaving SLC to the east. I-80 picks up around 3,000' from I-15 to the pass named Parley's Summit, and does so over a 10 mile grade. It's a touch further to take the I-215 loop to I-15 north, to Ogden, and go up I-84 to where it joins I-80 at Echo Canyon. The grade up the Weber River canyon is far gentler than I-80.

    Closer to the east coast, I'd resist the urge to take I-64 from St Louis to Charleston, WV and I-77 down into NC. There's a fair amount of up and down on 64 in southern IN, the section from west of Huntington to Charleston is a high truck-traffic industrial corridor, and there's a WHOLE lot of up and down on I-77 from Charleston to Wytheville, VA. By contrast, from the split at Mt Vernon, IL, taking I-57/24/40 is much flatter save for about 75 miles in between Nashville and Knoxville, TN, where one long grade brings you up upon the Cumberland Plateau and another brings you back down. This route is only 20 miles farther than the rather more mountainous WV route. And, at the I-40/I-81 split east of Knoxville, consider running up 81 to I-77 at Wytheville, thence down I-77/73/US 52 to I-40 Business/I-40 east of Winston-Salem. Such avoids the tighter curves between Asheville and the TN-NC line on 40, and some older, poor quality I-40 stretches east of Asheville. The price is only a few extra miles. If you were not already aware, flat highways are your friend when towing a 6x10 full of household furnishings.

    Save travels!


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I would be concerned about towing on I-70 in Colorado - the highway goes over 10,000 feet and altitude is your biggest enemy.

    What exact model SUV do you have (and with which engine), and do you have any idea of the gross weight of your loaded trailer? Does it have a factory towing package, and does the trailer have brakes?

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