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  1. Default Moving 2,600 Miles - Best Route?

    I am planning a move from East Tennessee to Seattle. My plan is to move in late March, leave probably about the 23rd or so. The date isn't really set in stone, I just wanna be back by the 31st of March.

    Anyway, here is my ultimate dilemma. I can ship my car through a friend that works for a shipping company but that requires a lot of complication once I am there, as well as just getting out there. (I'd fly, but the cheapest trips are from airports 2 hours away in either direction.)

    Even if there were no inconvenience, the total cost (including shipping all my stuff) would be around $1,700. I don't want to spend that much, especially having to inconvenience friends and family once I am there.


    I can drive with my boyfriend and then have him fly back (he is moving later). The cost for that is roughly $400 less, maybe more (I have budgeted approximately $500 for any work that is needed on my car. It has no immediate issues other than a squeal at start up, but it doesn't affect the drivability.)

    Right now I am leaning heavily toward driving, both for the sheer fun of a cross country drive and the savings. Not to mention that any repairs done to my car would be taken care of when I arrived.

    So anyway, I want to take the shortest route, north to I-90 then straight home via I-90. My boyfriend is worried about that route being snowy or having other bad weather in late March.

    I would rather not go all the way down to CA via I-40 then up I-5 and the cost difference would tack on another $100 or so at least.

    Is there anyone who has done the route before - specifically through Montana and Wyoming - in spring? If it is going to be snowy I think I will have to suck it up and take either 40 or ship it.

    Does anyone know another route that would avoid any crazy weather or insane mountain passes? Would I-80 be a better choice?

    Any feedback would be appreciated!!!

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


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    It appears you've fallen for the biggest, and most common, myth about winter travel: going south will magically help you avoid bad weather.

    The reality is that going the most direct route is the best answer, because you're on the road for the least amount of time. Every single cross country route sees snow and ice in the winter months, and specifically I-40 can see bad ice storms in the plains, snow in New Mexico and Arizona, and then I-5 has several mountain passes that frequently see snow.

    On the flip side, I-90 is actually often one of the best winter routes, as it stays at a lower elevation than I-80, I-70, or I-40.

    Speaking of elevation, all interstate highways are designed for year-round truck traffic, and so there are no "insane mountain passes" on any of them, they are all designed with gradual slopes and curves so that traffic can maintain highway speeds.

    Of course, the only thing that really matters is what the conditions are when you are on the road, and you won't know that until you can see weather forecasts just days before you leave. Both i-80 and I-90 are roughly the same in terms of distance, so keep an eye on the roads, and pick the one that looks best during your specific time of travel.

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