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Thread: CA to NJ

  1. Default CA to NJ

    Hey Mark,

    This is Sid. Thanks for your prompt response. I am planning to drive from San Clemente CA to Newark NJ ocz i Couldnt afford to ship my car and fly. I will get the car serviced and ask my mechanic to diagnose everything before i leave. If you have any route suggestions plz let me know keeping in point of my car Mitsubishi Eclipse RS 1998 Automatic has 205k miles on it. I really love and dont wanna sell it i fixed every thing in last few months...Thermostat, radiator, timing belt, steering pump, battery, 200k major maintenance which costed me around $2200. This is my sixth car in last 2 years being a student fixing used cars is very difficult. I sense as i fixed almost major things i feel like this will work for atleast 50k more miles by taking care of regularly. Your valuable suggestion would be appreciated. Plz also guide me how should i plan, route, breaks,timings to avoid traffic..thanks

    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 03-21-2013 at 05:01 AM. Reason: Moved to own thread.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Five days minimum.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    If your car is properly checked and given a clean bill of health then you should be OK, although nothing is guaranteed with mechanical 'creatures'. You should certainly have some emergency funds available in case you had problems and it would be worth considering joining a motoring organisation such as the AAA.

    If your goal is to get there as quickly as possible then you have 3 major routes all within an hour of each other in regards to the time your journey will take, hardly worth mentioning on a trip of this distance. The quickest appears to be I15/70/76/80, or you could continue on I70 from Denver through St Louis and Columbus. The other option would be to head to I40 and take I44 to St Louis.

    It really depends on your goals, whether you want to do any sight seeing and if so, your interests. Either route it is a minimum of a 5 day journey with rest breaks, and maybe a little time to look around the place you stop for the night, but with no major sight seeing detours.

    You should be planning on covering between 550 and 600 miles per day which is 9-10 hours of your day with short stops. This will prevent you from getting fatigued and help in keeping you safe. It's tempting to push too far at the start of a multi day trip when you feel fresh and ready for the journey, but go too far and the rest of the journey can become tiresome. Remember it's a marathon not a sprint ! If you stop overnight in [or near to] a major City then I would suggest you try and find lodgings to the east side of the City so that your onward journey will be taking you away from the main morning work traffic that is going into the City. Equally you could try and time things that you are not arriving into the evening rush hour traffic, by getting on the road early and/or stopping for a rest and food during the peak traffic period.

  3. Default

    Thanks for the reply. I have a question regarding the toll roads fare. Is there any pass which i can buy and use it on all the toll roads come across or how should i skip them. Some times even if we disable toll roads on gps we cannot skip some of them. Plz advice me how to save money on toll roads fare. Is there any all state pass which i can buy and use them free ...thanks..Sid

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    The EZ-Pass system will work on pretty much all toll roads in the Northeast (from Illinois to the east coast). In many states, using the EZ-Pass will result in a reduced toll compared to paying cash. If you are moving to New Jersey, it would probably make sense to get an EZ-Pass before your trip, as you'll probably want to have it when your trip is over.

    However, having said that, tolls are an incredibly minor cost of a roadtrip. Even if you took a route with the most tolls (using I-80 from Chicago to NJ), the extra costs of tolls would basically only work out to what you'll pay for a single tank of gas. I wouldn't hassle with getting an EZ-Pass if this was only a single trip, as it wouldn't save you enough to be worth your time.

    Even more importantly, there are plenty of direct routes that involve very few tolls. For example, I-40 to OK City, then up I-40/I-70/I-71 through St. Louis, Columbus, and Akron to I-80 would only have a small section of tollway through Oklahoma. You could also go I-40 to I-81 which has almost no tolls, although that adds about 100 miles, so you will be paying a bit more for gas.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    The most direct route to avoid almost all tolls would be I-15/I-70 to Columbus OH, then I-71/I-76/I-80 to I-280. The only tolls are I-70 in KS ($2.75) and the I-80 bridge into NJ ($1.00). This adds about 45 miles to I-76 out of Denver to I-80 and saves you over $20 in tolls. Considering that an extra 45 miles would be less than $10 in gas and less than 1 hour more, it's worth it. Suggested overnight stops on that route would be Richfield UT, Burlington CO, Columbia MO, and Columbus OH.

    A bit of advice - don't destroy the speed limit like you folks do in CA on the freeways, the cops definitely do not look the other way. It might take you a bit longer to get there, but you also won't burn as much gas.

    Suggested ways to handle the major cities:

    Denver - straight through on I-70
    KC - I-435/I-470 around the south side
    STL - I-270 around the north side
    Indy - I-465 around the south side
    Columbus - I-270 around the NW side

    In Columbus, there are reasonably priced hotels in the Dublin area (I-270 exit 17) and around exit 117 on I-71 (note that this is just SOUTH of I-270).
    Last edited by glc; 03-22-2013 at 08:04 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    My husband and I have driven to north central NJ (Stanhope) and back from our home near San Diego, twice.

    2011 - We took I-40 to I-81 up to I-80. No tolls, beautifully green drive in July. Our trip out was 6 travel days, with overnights in Phoenix, Santa Rosa NM, Sallisaw OK, Cookeville TN, and Staunton, VA. For a return trip, we took I-80 to I-76 to I-71 down to I-70, then straight west to I-15. Overnights were in Springfield, OH, Columbia MO (where we stayed for a long time, due to a death in the family), Burlington CO, and Richfield UT.

    2012 - We went the long way, via Orlando, FL. We returned via the same way we returned in 2011...overnighted in Fairborn OH (actually stayed a few nights there), Columbia MO, Burlington CO, Moab UT (two nights to see Arches), and Primm NV.

    Both routes are good. The advice to do it in 5-6 days is great.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I-15/I-40/I-81/I-78 is a very viable alternate, but it adds about 100 miles and 2 hours. The only toll is $1 to get into NJ. It can be done in 5 days like the other 2 routes, but your days will be a bit longer. No city bypasses needed, just stay on I-40 through OKC, Memphis, Nashville, and Knoxville. Look at overnights in Holbrook AZ/Gallup NM, Elk City/Clinton OK, east side of Memphis, and Wytheville VA.


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