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  1. Default MD (baltimore area) to CA (san francisco bay area) Shortest/Less creepy route?

    Hello!

    Im a new member here and wanted to get a few suggestions on my upcomming trip from the east coast to the west coast in a week. I'm leaving Monday from the baltimore area and heading to the san francisco area. I want to take the route that is shortest but most well known. I am in sort of a rush, so sight seeing most likely will not be done unless i am stopping in that certain place for the night. So what route do you guys suggest I take?

    Next: Sleeping .. I kinda want to limit my hotel night stays to 2, but I also don't know if I feel comfortable sleeping in my car alone unless it is some well known place. Do you guys have any suggestions for the resting part of the trip?

    No middle of the no where routes with creepy gas stations that you see in the movies!!! lol :)

    Thanks for any replies!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Movies v. the real world.

    Hi Chris, and Welcome to the The Great American RoadTrip Forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by chris2090 View Post
    No middle of the no where routes with creepy gas stations that you see in the movies!!! lol :)
    That's the movies, not the real world. Especially on the Interstates, you should not have anything like that to worry about.

    As far as sleeping in your car is concerned, do you actually have it set up to sleep in? Do you have a mattress? a sleeping bag? and all the other things required for a good night's rest? If not, it is not recommended that you sleep in your vehicle. On a multi day trip, such as this, it is essential that you have a good night's rest in a proper bed, to be in a position to focus on the task ahead next day. (It is also essential that you have good, wholesome meals, and drink plenty of water.)

    If you are going to sleep in your vehicle, the best places are truck stops which make RVs welcome. Ask at reception, and tell them you will be staying overnight. Reward them by giving them your business. Fill up or eat in their restaurants.

    How long do you have for this trip. A cross country trip like this is a minimum of five very long (and tiring) days. Six days would give you a little more comfort.

    Lifey

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifemagician View Post
    Hi Chris, and Welcome to the The Great American RoadTrip Forum.


    If you are going to sleep in your vehicle, the best places are truck stops which make RVs welcome. Ask at reception, and tell them you will be staying overnight. Reward them by giving them your business. Fill up or eat in their restaurants.

    How long do you have for this trip. A cross country trip like this is a minimum of five very long (and tiring) days. Six days would give you a little more comfort.

    Lifey
    I was hoping for four-five days.. but I guess it depends on the route and how I'm feeling while driving.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default shortest fastest

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Clearly based on what you've described, you want to stick to interstate highways, which are all at least 4 lanes with lots of traffic and plenty of modern services.

    The route I'd take if I were you is I-68 to I-79, getting on I-70 near Pittsburgh. Then I-70 to Indianapolis, I-74 to Davenport, Iowa, and the I-80 all the way to SF from there.

    That's actually a little bit longer than jumping right up to the PA turnpike and following I-70 to I-76 to I-80 in Ohio, but it avoids lots of tolls and potential traffic headaches near Chicago.

    It is a trip that is nearly 2900 miles, so you're looking at a minimum of 5 days/4 nights to do this trip safely either way.

    Sleeping in the car is something you'll have to think carefully about. Some people can sleep just fine in their car, but if you can't get a good nights rest, then its not worth it. Being exhausted while on the road isn't worth saving a couple of bucks. Also keep in mind that after a long day on the road, there is something nice about just being able to move around and be outside of the car. If you do sleep in your car, truck stops will be the best choice.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    I-70/I-68/I-79/I-70/I-74/I-80.

    Overnights near:

    Indy
    Omaha
    Cheyenne
    Elko

    The first 3 should have a choice of large major chain truck stops (Pilot, Flying J, Petro, TA, Loves) near the cities for overnights in the car. I'd try to stay west of the city to avoid morning rush hour. I'd advise a hotel in Elko.

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