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  1. Default WISC to FLORIDA interstate help with moving Truck

    We are moving from Chicago to Gainesville.
    We are driving a 27 ft uhaul and I would like to avoid the most hills/mountains.
    I'm not worried abt cities - we will drive around rush hours.
    Can anyone tell me best; I see I-65 or I-75
    Help and Thanks.
    "FloridaBound and Retiring"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default More Terrifying than Hills

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    For the most part, the drive from Wisconsin/Chicago(?) to Gainesville can be done on the flat, and the Interstates you mention (I-65 to Nashville, I-24 to Chattanooga, I-75 to Gainesville) form the most direct all-Interstate route. You'd see some minor grades around Chattanooga as you skirt the very southern end of the Appalachians but nothing to be too concerned about.

    However, something that I'd worry about even more than hills (Interstate slopes are limited to 6% grade, maximum.) is traffic, particularly multi-lane freeways with frequent exits and entrances, large speed differentials between vehicles, and frequent lane changing. In other words, large cities, e.g. Chicago and Atlanta. There are ways around those cities that I would strongly suggest that you at least consider.

    If you are truly starting out from Wisconsin rather than Chicago, I-43/I-39 south to Bloomington and then I-74 east to I-57 south lets you swing well around Chicago and also miss Indianapolis. You'd then get on I-24 in southern Illinois rather than in Tennessee. To avoid Atlanta, you'd stay on I-65 south out of Nashville all the way to Montgomery AL. From there use US-231 south to I-10. While not an Interstate highway, US-231 is near-freeway quality for almost the entire length you'd be driving it. I-10 east would get you back to I-75 south to complete the journey to Gainesville.

    While it's true that those two alternatives would add a bit of time and distance to your drive (roughly 70 miles and an hour and 15 minutes), that's fairly minimal on a trip of this length. And the advantage of missing at least two large driving nightmares (Chicago and Atlanta) make them well worth it in my opinion.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default I'll second that.

    Having driven roughly the same route at least twice over recent months, I can confirm that AZBuck's suggestion should work well for you. The only bit of non interstate, i.e. US231, is a very pleasant and relaxing road to drive. In Birmingham take I-85 from I-65 to US 231.


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

    Default knowing what lies ahead.

    I have also taken both routes, and think I actually disagree with Buck and Lifey here.

    The points they make are certainly valid, but I show the difference between going directly through Chicago and Atlanta and bypassing those cities via I-39 and I-65/US-231 to be about 140 miles, which adds about 10% to the overall distance of your trip. That's quite a bit of extra time built in to avoid traffic, and in a Uhaul - where you're likely going to be getting about 10 mpg that's about a $50 difference in fuel too.

    The direct route via Atlanta is a bit more hilly than going down to Alabama, but it isn't something that should be a problem at all for a Uhaul.

    Now, if your plan involves pulling a trailer behind your Uhaul, then I might feel differently. Negotiating those cities in a large UHaul and a trailer would increase the level of difficulty and stress, even if you do your best to avoid rush hour, quite significantly, and at the very least, the trip wouldn't be for the faint of heart!

  5. #5


    I would agree with Midwest Michael. The extra driving to avoid Chicago and Atlanta would not be worth it. If you plan to hit Atlanta in late morning, early afternoon or early evening, it is not that bad. I always take I-75 right through downtown and if you avoid rush hour, it's fine. This would be especially true if your starting point is southeastern Wisconsin.

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