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  1. Default Best route from Sacramento, CA to West LaFayette, IN to Fayetteville, NC in September

    In September, we are traveling from Sacramento, CA to Fayetteville, NC, with an overnite stop to see friends in West Lafayette, IN. We plan to travel I-80 all the way to near Gary, IN and then take 65 down to Lafayette, IN. Can you suggest a better route? Also, what is the best route to take from Lafayette, IN to Fayetteville, NC? The main driver has less than 5 years driving experience and is nervous when driving in the mountains or in heavy traffic. We are driving a 2008 Honda Civic with a cargo carrier attached to a hitch in the back and a soft car top carrier on the roof. We would appreciate any suggestions, advice, or tips.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    South of England.
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    Default Time ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    How long have you got exactly for the journey ? I will leave those with experience of the area to talk about what route would then be best suited to you, I80 is the way to head out, but according to my mapping program you could turn off at Lincoln onto NE2 to I29/US36/I72/74/IN25, or simply take I74 after Davenport. All look to be similar times, but like I say, I will let others comment on 'quickest' from first hand knowledge.

    Back to the timing of your trip. This is a minimum of a 5-6 day trip for an experienced driver and I'm a little concerned as you only mention "an stop overnight stop", as in one stop ! To even your journey out into equal segments you will be looking at stops around Wendover UT, Cheyenne WY, Omaha NE, West Lafayette. [You could possibly push on to SLC on day 1 and push each stop a little further along to arrive at your friends a little earlier in the day.]

    From WL it is 700 miles to NC and you will need another overnight stop. To spend a little of the morning with your friends you could look at the Charleston WV area for the night. Interstates are built with gradual gradients and curves to take the largest of rigs so although you may be gaining elevation across the mountains you shouldn't really 'feel' it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
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    Default weighty

    I'd recommend I-80 to I-74 at Davenport, IA. It adds less than 10 miles vs going all the way to Chicago and I-65, but should see much less traffic. The route Dave mentioned using US-36 across Missouri would be ok, but while it is mostly a 4 lane road, its not quite freeway standards and I think sticking to the Interstates will be a little easier for you.

    The route to Fayetteville is a bit more complicated, as there's no direct interstate route, but I'd be looking at I-70 to I-75 at Dayton, then US-35 to Charleston WV, then I-77/I-74 to Winston-Salem, and US-421/NC-87 into Fayetteville.

    The most concerning thing to me about your plans is that you plan to use both a hitch-haul carrier AND a car top carrier. If you are planning to use both, then it sounds to me like you're going to have your car pretty severely overloaded. That can start to make handling the car very unstable and even dangerous. Especially considering you're dealing with a compact car and an inexperienced driver, I'd recommend you skip the car top carrier, and if you can't fit everything inside the car or on the hitch hauler, then ship the rest of it.

  4. Default

    I should have mentioned that we are allowing 6 days for the trip. We were planning on pushing to SLC the first night (9/1), then to North Platte, NE (9/2), then to Moline, IL (9/3), then to Lafayette, IN 9/4), then to Knoxville, TN (9/5), and then arriving in Fayetteville, NC on 9/6.

  5. Default

    Thank you for your suggestions. I was a little worried about what the traffic might be going that close to the Chicago area, so I'll take your advice and go I-80 to I-74. As I mentioned to Dave, we are allowing 6 days for the trip. The route from West Lafayette to Fayetteville had me most puzzled because I didn't know what kind of road US-35 was, but since you recommend it, it must be a good road.

    The reason for the trip is my 23-yr-old daughter is moving to Fayetteville (her army husband is returning from Afghanistan in Sept). The Honda is hers, so she insists on doing most of the driving. Anyway, as to the two carriers. The soft top carrier will have clothes in vacuum-sealed bags, so shouldn't be too weighty, but I do worry about the air drag it will cause. The hitch cargo carrier is 20" by 48" and will hold some bulkier items, probably not over 100 lbs. Does that sound doable to you or should we still skip the car top carrier?

  6. Default

    I have another question. If I take I-74 to West Lafayette, do I go to all the way to Indianapolis and then north or is there a good road to cut over to WL from I-74? Thanks for your help.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
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    Green County, Wisconsin
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    That's a pretty aggressive start to your trip. Driving 650 miles on back to back days isn't impossible, but that's a lot of ground to cover, especially with an inexperienced driver. For days 2 and 3, I'd consider dialing back to say Ogallala NE and Iowa City.

    Going via Knoxville adds about 100 miles to the route I suggested.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
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    I show it as being a 4 day trip from Sacto to WL. Take I-80 to I-74, then use US-231 to get from I-74 to WL. I show that the most equally spaced out overnights would be Wendover, Cheyenne, and Des Moines. This is roughly 550 miles a day.

    Now - from WL to Fayetteville, my software shows the most direct route involves some non-Interstates and a toll road. That would be I-65 to Indy, I-70 to Dayton, then US-35 to I-64 to Charleston WV - then I-77 to I-74 (Mount Airy Bypass) to US-52 to Winston-Salem. Then, I-40 Business/US-421 to Greensboro and stay on US-421 to Sanford. Then, NC-87/NC-24 into Fayetteville. For an overnight, I would not go any farther than Wytheville VA.

    If you are concerned about US-35, it's now freeway-grade all the way from Dayton to the WV line. In WV, there is a 12 mile stretch of 2 lane, the rest of it is 4 lane but not freeway-grade yet, it's in the process of being upgraded.

    US-52 is freeway-grade as is US-421 from Winston-Salem to Siler City.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by bovanna View Post
    I have another question. If I take I-74 to West Lafayette, do I go to all the way to Indianapolis and then north or is there a good road to cut over to WL from I-74? Thanks for your help.
    No, if you take a look at a map, you can see you'd cut up on US-231 near Crawfordsville, IN. Its about a 20 mile drive north from I-74. Going all the way to Indy would add about 80 extra miles!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by bovanna View Post
    The soft top carrier will have clothes in vacuum-sealed bags, so shouldn't be too weighty, but I do worry about the air drag it will cause. The hitch cargo carrier is 20" by 48" and will hold some bulkier items, probably not over 100 lbs. Does that sound doable to you or should we still skip the car top carrier?
    I still would not do it, because I'm assuming that you are using the extra carriers because the car will already be fully loaded. It also doesn't take much for lots of light-weight clothes to start having significant weight. There is also the drag as you mentioned, plus it can raise the center of gravity of the car, which makes handling difficult. That's on top of the additional load you'll have in the rear of the car, in a car that's not really built for any kind of towing. A hitch hauler empty is going to weigh about 50 lbs. Using both really starts messing with the engineering and design of the car, and if I was only going to use one, I would go with the hitch haul.

    If the clothes really don't weigh much, then it wouldn't cost much to ship them.

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