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  1. Default California to Pensacola

    Hi RTA,

    I've been reading around and found helpful tips but I haven't found any situation similar to mine yet. Google maps estimates the drive distance is about 2050 miles, from Temecula CA to Pensacola FL. I'm 32 male traveling with a small/medium size CorgiBeagle mix dog, will be driving our 2008 Honda Accord coupe. I always drive from SoCal to NorCal and back, 450 miles by myself or with my wife and dog with no stops and I'm use to driving odd hours. I've drove from California to Virginia twice, sharing driving responsibility with my mom and had a step-dad that needed some assistance to walk, I believe that took us a week.

    I'm planning to take Interstate 10, and originally was planning to leave on a Sunday so I can get there by Wednesday, but I might leave that Friday or even Saturday. My wife is still currently waiting for her class to start for Navy A-school, she's been there since mid November and I just dropped her off the airport earlier today ending her mini-vacation and she won't know how long she'll be in Pensacola. So we decided that I should stay there for a month or two.

    I don't really have the need to make stops for sight seeing as I find driving enjoyable and appreciate the view from the car. I know I could drive up to 800 miles, the car could go 450 in a full tank so I planned to rest at least a hour every time I get gas. I do plan in staying over night maybe somewhere in Texas? I was planning to just stay in a dog friendly hotel once and rest at rest areas the rest of the way.

    Even though I'm not doing the Sunday to Wednesday drive anymore just wondering if that is doable at these conditions? Also any ideas for dog friendly hotels? I did find a website online for that. How many lanes are usually on I-10 and theres plenty of gas stops here? At 800 miles the first day, where would i be and should I stay? Are there any military bases or military lodges running along my route? Also I can't find the hinge that connects my front license plate so I don't have my front license plate (its in my glove compartment) will that be trouble in the other states?

    I apologize for the wall of text. Any help is appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Limits and Opportunities

    You should be able to make your complete drive, safely, in about 3½ days. Trying to do it in significantly less than that, particularly trying to drive 800 miles a day is simply unwise, unsafe, and unwarranted. Yes, this is the standard advice you'll get on a public website, but it is also the truth. I think that every single one of the regular contributors here, who will all give you the same advice, has done one reckless day where he or she drove distances approaching 1000 miles, and we all will tell you the same thing: NEVER AGAIN!

    If you get free or reduced rate bunking at military installations, then you might want to look at Fort Huachca (AZ) on your first night, Goodfellow AFB (TX) on your second, and Fort Polk (LA) on your third. Each of those is a bit off the main highway, but if you get a deal and bases take pets, they could be hard to beat.

    Your license plate should not be a problem once you get outside California. What I would do is try to wire it to the front bumper before departure or, failing that, post it in the front window.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I'm sorry, but your plan to leave Friday or Saturday really is not safe or reasonable if you need to be there on Sunday.

    Its also just not reasonable to assume that because you can easily drive 400 miles non-stop that it means you can safely drive 800 miles with 1 stop. 800 miles is just too far to drive in a day, on a multi-day trip. Even if you arrive safely on day one, there's just no way you'll be in a condition to be a fully rested and safe driver for day 2. The longer you are on the road, the harder it is to maintain the focus needed to operate a 2 ton vehicle at 70 mph, and the more rest you need to maintain that focus.

    The fastest a professional driver would be allowed by law to make this trip is 3.5 days, and that's really what you should be looking at too. That's around 600 miles a day, which is still a good 10-11 hour work day on the road, once you factor in stops and slowdowns.

    You should be looking at overnight stops around Lordsburg, NM, Junction TX, and Baton Rouge NM. There are plenty of fuel stops along I-10, although i would recommend you fuel up when you get near a 1/4 tank, rather than trying to burn every drop of fuel you can between each stop. Motel 6 is generally rather pet friendly, if you're trying to keep your budget low. I personally wouldn't recommend sleeping in the car - as you're going to need a good night sleep, and that's going to be very tough in a small car with a dog - but if you do, make sure you're stopping at Truck Stops or similar places, and not at rest areas, where sleeping is often illegal and unsafe.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default What about the dog?

    Wouldn't you want to stop a little more frequently to give the dog a walk? Sounds to me that your plan is not particularly pet friendly.

    Lifey

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Add me to the ones who recommend that you do no more than 600 miles per day. Then a full night's rest. Michael had good stopping points so I won't change those.

    I believe bringfido.com is a good website for dog-friendly travel advice. Motel 6 and La Quinta Inns are both pretty pet-friendly. If you are a AAA member, stop in at the AAA in Temecula and pick up some Tour Books for the area. Though you are not planning to sightsee along the way, the Tour Books are full of motel and hotel listings, and every listing will tell you either "no pets" or "pet friendly", as well as give you some prices for yourself (and the animal deposit).

    As far as your front-plate-less car goes: if you have the plate, keep it in the glove compartment. If an officer of the law stopped you about it, you could always haul it out (tell them, "I have the plate, it's under the seat", before you reach or they may react in a way that will not be comfortable for you). But for the record, for years we traveled across country in a truck that had no front plate, and we didn't even own the plate. When we traveled in our car whose front plate kept falling off (until we took it off), we never got stopped for that, either.

    Military lodges have more lenient pet regulations, btw, because of the numbers of people on PCS moves. However, it's also the reason why it is very difficult to get a room at a military lodge unless you ARE on PCS move. Goodness knows, we've tried to get space at several along our trips and have never been successful!


    Donna

  6. Default

    Thanks for all the tips, will consider all of them and pan out my trip better. Don't worry, we always make sure to stop and let our dog stretch and walk even when we don't have to in our trips. :). Another question, the car says I'm at 60% oil before I need an oil change. I hope that's enough to make it before I get an oil change.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    I still follow the mileage recommendations for oil changes, and I have no idea what that means for "60%" on your car. Having said that, highway miles are much easier on a car than city miles so if you go a little over the recommended distance on a roadtrip, its not that big of a deal.

    On the flip side, its always a good idea to have your car looked over by a mechanic before heading out on a long trip, and it could be easy to have an oil change done as part of that inspection.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    You can always get an oil change enroute at a quick oil change place for about 30 bucks and 30 minutes of your time.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    If your car is like my husband's, 60% means that 40% of the oil's given life is gone. My husband always has the oil changed when the meter reads 50%. His car has nearly 150K on it, so it must work. :-) Like glc says, an oil change place will be reasonable. Carry a coupon from Jiffy Lube along with you; it's nationwide.


    Donna

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