We are planning a road trip from about mid June to early August all across the country. We are likely going to start in San Francisco but potentially in San Diego. We need to be in Raleigh, NC, from July 4-7 (so arriving the third). How long do you think we need to make it there? Ideally we'd like to stop in places along the Southwest, then head north to Denver, Kansas City, St. Louis, Nashville, etc. We'd then spend the rest of July on our way back to SF, hitting Virginia, D.C., New York, maybe Boston, Chicago, and if possible, the Pacific Northwest. We calculated this on the map and the ideal route is just under 8000 miles, not including any out of the way sights.
Note - we aren't looking to sightsee in California much, we both grew up here and have seen plenty of the parks and sights within a day's drive.
Any other tips are welcome! We've budgeted a couple thousand for gas, food, lodging, but also plan on camping and couch surfing with friends in these cities.