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  1. Default Richmond, VA to Los Angeles, CA through Houston

    Moving in August from Richmond, VA to Los Angeles, CA traveling through Houston.
    Plan to stop in Houston for a couple of days of rest and visit family.
    Would love to arrive in LA by the 7th day of the trek if possible
    Will be driving a 24 foot moving truck (diesel) and spouse will be in minivan (gas) with several children ranging in age from toddler to teenager.

    I have never done this before. I look forward to your expertise. Thank you.

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

    Default The difference a day makes.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    I'd say it's borderline doable, but it won't be a lot of fun and exhausting, leading to a lot of disgruntled children making the move more stressful. It's going to be slower going with a loaded truck of belongings and a loaded car of several children and even slower with the two combined. A couple of days of rest would be welcomed so I would add more time.

    Also you have to consider the logistics with a stop in Houston, you can't get there safely in 2 days but you could in 3 slightly more comfortable days. To get from Houston to LA would be 3 long days with your set up and you would arrive pretty tired and in no mood to unload the truck etc. What I would likely do is 3 days to Houston, a day and a half with family [even if you drive for 3 hours or so from 3pm] and 3.5 days to LA minimum and add at least another day.

    It's important to make regular stops and let the Kids run off some energy, this thread lists places near Interstate where they can do just that.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Do You Have to Stay Together?

    I've got to agree with everything Dave has said: Minimum two and a half days from Richmond to Houston; Minimum three days from Houston to Los Angeles; Leaving you maximum day and a half in Houston. That makes your plan just doable. It would help if both drivers were comfortable in their assigned duties and could travel 'independently'. That would allow the driver of the truck (with no children) to forego the stops at the R&R sites that Dave pointed you to and so make steady if slow progress down the road. The driver of the van could make a little better time and use that time to make the stops to let the children run around and blow off steam. At the end of the day, you could meet at a pre-arranged overnight stopping point. I'd encourage you to pre-book your accommodations anyway just because it allows you to shop from the comfort of your home rather than from the road at the end of a long day's drive; you can call ahead to make sure they have parking for the truck; and it sort of forces you to stick to a 'sane' schedule rather than trying to push 'just a few more miles' with crabby kids when even the adults are pushing their limits. Reasonable overnights would be:

    Union City, GA. This makes for a somewhat long first day, but you really want to be on the far side of Atlanta before stopping for the night so you don't have to fight the next morning's rush hour. A relatively early start your first day is in order, but don't try to drive through Atlanta during the first day's evening rush hour either.

    Baton Rouge, LA. Stay north of Lake Pontchartrain (and New Orleans) by using I-12 instead of I-10. This is a slightly shorter road day than Day 1, but still you'll have to put down a solid 500 miles.

    Houston, TX. Yay! A day and a half with family. Plan on arriving in the early afternoon (after lunch).

    Fort Stockton, TX. You probably won't get an early start what with saying goodbye to family, and there really isn't much for quite a while to the west of here, so this is it for your first day back on the road.

    Tucson, AZ. The wide open roads of west Texas and the southwest will let you make pretty good time, and this is another case where there aren't a whole lot of good options for some distance before and after.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    You've had some good advice on how to handle this. From experience, it is difficult for the slower-moving truck to keep up with a mini-van, and still stay together. This may be especially true in west Texas where the car speed limit is 80, but the truck still has to maintain a slower limit.

    This thread has some information about driving U-Haul type trucks.

    BTW, the kids will probably enjoy the motel a lot more if it has a pool and/or a playground. My kids always liked a place more if it had either one of those. The adults might enjoy it too. :-)

    In Tucson, you might want to stay on the northwest side of town, in the Marana area. That way, when you depart on your final morning, you won't have to battle Rush Hour. There are some motels at Ina Rd and Cortaro Rd exits. As AZBuck pointed out, the next ones aren't until Toltec, Sunland Gin Rd., and Florence Blvd in the Casa Grande area, another 45 miles up the interstate.

    Welcome to California, btw.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Texas does not have a lower truck speed limit on I-10, but the truck will have a governor that will top out before you hit 80. The last Penske diesel my son in law rented topped out around 65 on the level and about 72 downhill.

  6. Default

    Thank you everyone for your feedback and recommendations. I originally thought I could make it to Houston in 2 days and then to Los Angeles in 2 days. Your comments have giving me the necessary insight to make the trip enjoyable and not fray nerves in the process. Thank you so much.

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