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  1. Default Washington DC to Seattle WA early June

    I will be driving from Washington DC to Seattle in early June. I'll be doing all the driving as my 2 road trip companions will be my dogs. Will be driving either a 10 ft. or 14 ft. Uhaul truck and will be towing a small convertible. Planning to do the trip in 6 days. Looking for the fastest and flattest route. After taking 76 through PA and then 80 towards Cleveland, I'll plan to take 90 towards Chicago.

    Then my question is, do I just take 90 all the way to Seattle or should I take a more northern route through MN, ND, and MT on 94 and then jump back on 90 in Billings? I've read that 94 is flatter, but not sure if it's worth the extra distance. Any thoughts?

    Any motel recommendations for basic, inexpensive places (but not fleabags) not far from the highway that accept dogs would be greatly appreciated. Don't need anything fancy; just a place to get a decent night's sleep so I can get right back on the road the following morning.

    Thanks for any advice you can offer! I've never done a cross-country trip before.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default A great trip.

    Hi Geeman, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    You're in for a great trip, even though it will be all interstates. Having driven both 90 and 94 I really do not think it is worth the extra miles to take 94. What I would do, though, to 'partially' bypass Chicago is, continue on I-80 from Cleveland to I-39 and take that up to I-90 in WI. Especially if you should be there during the busy times.

    Six days will keep you going, but should not be too rushed.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If you plan on taking 76/80/90, you are going to get KILLED with tolls and get caught up in Chicago traffic.

    Take I-270 out of DC to I-70, then take I-68 to Morgantown, then I-79 back to I-70. Take that to Indy, then I-74 to I-80. Take that to western IA, then I-680 to I-29 to I-90, and just stay on it to Seattle.

    Yes, it's 100 miles longer, but the extra gas you burn will be a lot less than the tolls you will avoid.

    I broke that route up into 6 equal segments, and came up with overnights:

    Springfield OH
    Iowa City IA
    Mitchell SD
    Sheridan WY
    Missoula MT

    You may have to adjust farther or shorter to get towns with better hotel selections, I put that out as a general guide for a 6 day trip. Generally, the most inexpensive hotels will be in small towns and rural areas, and the ones by Interstate exits will almost always have a lot for parking trucks and trailers.

    On the top green menu, Hotels and Cars - search for hotels for the cities and dates, and use the Filter Your Search. Pets allowed is one of the filters. You should call each hotel to verify the pet policy. You will not find Motel 6 in our search as they don't list with any service, but they have a chain-wide free pet policy. You can use to find them. Officially, it's ONE pet per room, but you can call and ask about 2. La Quinta is almost universally pet-friendly, no limit, no fee.

    Make sure you rent a trailer for towing the car, not a dolly. Dollies are almost impossible to back up without jackknifing. You have to unhitch it to back it up, and if you are solo, that would be a REAL pain. Plan on getting your gas at truck stops, they are easier to get a rig in and out of than a conventional gas station, even the car islands which you will need to use.

  4. Default

    Thanks for the tips (and the welcome!), Lifey. Much appreciated!

  5. Default

    GLC - Thanks so much for the very thoughtful advice. I will research the route you suggest. Appreciate the info about hotels; that's great to know. And, yes, I have already reserved a trailer rather than a dolly.

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