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  1. Default NY to LA February

    Hi all.......I am trying to plan a move from NY to LA sometime in February. While I realize there can be no accurate weather predictions or guarentees (I just went thru Super Storm Sandy!), I'm wondering what you all think of driving to Florida and picking up route 10 cross country. I'm thinking this is the closest I can get tominimizing bad weather. Driving across country in winter is not my first choice but it is the only option I have. Any ideas or suggestions are greatly appreciated! Thanks!

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


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Our suggestion would actually be to NOT take I-95 to I-10.

    The best rule of thumb for avoiding winter weather is to take the most direct route, so you are on the road for the least amount of time. That gives the least amount of days where you can see bad weather, and the most amount of extra time in case a storm does slow you down and/or force you to stop. If there are a couple routes that are similar in distance, then pic your route among those by looking at weather forecasts - which you can't do until you are just about to get on the road.

    The reason I-10 is a poor choice is because it adds 500-600 miles to the more direct options. At the very least this means one extra day on the road, and I-10 certainly can and does see severe snow and ice, especially across West Texas, New Mexico, and Eastern Arizona.

    The route I would use as a default, starting point would be I-70/I-44/I-40 basically taking you through Columbus, St. Louis, and Oklahoma City. That's a little under 2800 miles and is a solid 5-6 day trip, depending upon the weather. You could also look at heading south first down I-81, or staying farther north, across I-80. Any of those routes could be better or worse on any given day in Winter.

  3. Default

    Thanks for the input and realize driving south on the 95 is wasting time (tho I was toying with a stop in New Orleans)......I'd love some input re the itinerary I've come up with so far.....I'm driving alone with my dog and think 6 hours a day will be plenty...NY to Staunton, VA to Farragut TN (just west of Knowville to somewhere around Memphis (west side?) to Okla City to Santa Rosa,NM to Flagstaff to L.A.....
    I'm also wondering if any of these states require chains for snowy roads, I have all weather tires...
    Thanks again...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Ft. Collins, CO.


    NYC to LA is about 2800 miles. Google Maps show 2 slightly different routes.
    Neither go near Virginia. So if you're going to Va. to visit someone or see something that's fine. But it won't help with avoiding weather and just makes your trip longer.

    What helps with weather is watching all the sources of weather info you can get and then choosing when to start and where to layup and wait for storm fronts to roll past if they are too rough to drive in. Knowing where the next town with a good assortment of motels is comes in handy so that you might quit driving early and stop there when you start to encounter bad weather. Even low-cost GPS units have information like this now.

    Chains- commercial trucks are required to carry chains in winter here in Colorado. Cars aren't. If conditions are so bad that cars need chains it's best to not be trying to drive. But do be sure to have good open-tread tires with plenty of tread depth left. (California might require chains for certain conditions on certain passes. I've heard things but don't really know.)

    Feb is a poor time to be sight-seeing if you're interested in outdoors stuff. Most of the attractions have, at best, shortened hours or are closed entirely for winter. But scenic turnouts are available year round.

    Good luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Jamie's route seems to be something like I-80 to I-81 down to I-40 and straight across. We just did that route the summer before last, basically. (We went to Phoenix first, then up I-17 to I-40, then I-81 to I-80.) It's a decent route. NY to Staunton is a good day's drive (we even went through Shenandoah National Park between Staunton and Front Royal, and still made it to northern NJ at a reasonable hour!).

    Our overnights, after Phoenix, were in Santa Rosa NM, Sallisaw OK, Cookeville TN, and Staunton. Our drives were 500-600 miles per day.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Where in NY are you leaving from? NY is a pretty good sized state and it makes a difference.

  7. Default

    glc- I'm leaving from NYC
    nofan- I left out that I did this trip in reverse previously and that was the basic route we took driving east.....if you have a better suggestion, I'm all ears...
    Donna- do you think it's reasonable to think I'll make it to Staunton? Per Google it should be about 380 miles...and I'm thinking 6-61/2 hours....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If you want to go a bit south, take I-78 to I-81 to I-40.

    From the I-78/I-287 interchange near Somerville NJ, it's 342 miles. This should take about 6 hours plus stops.

    None of those roads will likely require chains - if it's that bad you shouldn't be out there anyway.

  9. Default

    Somerville NJ is only 45 mi from NYC! But thanks for responding....

  10. Default

    You've got it right! Do you think, driving alone, Staunton is a reasonable first stop?
    P.S. your posts were very helpful to me on the drive east!

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