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  1. Default HELP! Son driving moving van towing car from Campbell, CA to No. Virginia... TODAY!

    Hi all, I tried searching the Internet and am getting such conflicting advice. I'm trying to map the safest route for my son, who flew to CA to help his friend move back to Chantilly,Va by driving one of their cars. The friend had hired a moving company but that has now suddenly changed to the renting of a large moving van and towing the car behind it.

    If ANYONE could give me the safest route I'd be so very grateful!! My son has very little experience driving such a large vehicle and none with towing! I've been reading take I-80 instead of I-40 because snow is better than ice to you really need to take I-40. If I could get specific roads/towns/turns in the directions it would be so helpful and very much appreciated. I swear, he's trying send me to an early grave!! :/ I realize that this time of year there are possible bad conditions with every route but I'm looking for the flattest route with the best potential road conditions!

    Thank you in advance.

    Mom going Crazy
    Last edited by Jantea; 12-05-2012 at 03:46 PM. Reason: added town in VA

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

    Default Relax

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    When it comes to planning a safe trip, choice of route is almost irrelevant to how safe the trip will be. All interstates are designed for long-haul truck travel, and are among the safest highways in the world. There are no hairpin turns or anything like that, even in the mountains, while on the Interstates, and they are all designed to carry thousands of travelers every day of the year, regardless of the seasons. Weather can be a factor, certainly, but how a driver reacts to it is still vastly more important than the route. Taking the shortest route is solid advice, however, as the best way to reduce risk on the road is to reduce the amount of time you are spending on the road.

    In this specific case, there is almost no difference between taking I-80 or I-40. Both trips come in at roughly 2900 miles. There are also no major storms in the forecast anywhere in the US right now, so that's basically a non-factor. If he does take I-80, I would recommend cutting south at I-74 in Davenport, Iowa, to I-70 at Indianapolis, because that will avoid Chicago traffic, and what would be some rather expensive tolls across Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. If he takes I-40, he'd take that all the way east to I-81 in East Tennessee.

    With that in mind, he should go the way he wants to go. It doesn't even have to be exactly one of those ways, as there are several ways to add some variation without adding significant miles, if there is a place he has always wanted to go to.

    I will say when it comes to safety, far more important, but far more often overlooked, is time. For this to be a safe trip, even with multiple drivers, they should be planning on this trip taking at least 6 full days, when they factor the lower speed needed of driving the truck/trailer combo.

    Edit: I will also add, that I would highly recommend that he rent a full size car trailer rather than a tow dolly where only 2 wheels of the car are being towed. That is going to be much easier for him to handle, especially with no trailer experience. If he pulls the car with a tow dolly, he will not be able to ever go in reverse.

  3. Default

    Thank you for your quick, thorough reply to my panicked email! :-) I forwarded your response to my son's smart phone for him (and his friend) to read. They have no time restrictions and do plan a slow paced trip. The advice for Chicago and the tolls is greatly appreciated also.

    The car is on a U-Haul Auto Transporter (trailer with 4 tires) so that's a plus! He helped this friend move TO Ca from VA 2 summers ago driving a much smaller moving truck so he's not totally without experience. He did make the comment that this truck is much larger and has a totally different feel.

    Again, thanks so much for easing my worry and giving great advice!

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