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  1. Default NC to LA in January-which route? where to stop?

    My son and I are driving from North Carolina to Los Angeles on January 2 for job reasons. It seems that I-40 and I-10 are both good possibilities, but am wondering if weather will be a problem on I-40. We need to do the trip in 4 -6 days, but would like to travel a route that is not only safe for winter driving, but has a few interesting stops for stretching or resting, or overnights. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Keep checking the weather forecasts.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    The weather could be a problem on either route or you could experience clear weather on either route. It's best to keep checking the forecasts and road conditions right up until you leave and then decide what will work best for you. You will need a fifth day to complete your journey, it's just a bit too far to travel in 4 days and with a 6th day to act as a cushion for any possible weather delays you should be OK. To get a break from the Interstate for a rest and walk check out the options in this thread. Whichever route you decide on you should treat the trip as a marathon and not a sprint at the start and look for places to stop for the night every 550-600 miles.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Where in NC? It makes a difference.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Plan for ice storms -- and rejoice when the roads are dry and clear

    Every time I do a map search it suggests I-40, but I am wondering if during this time of year, we would be safer taking I-10? Any help with a map and suggestions would be appreciated.
    The Map Wizard program that you were using to generate maps for your trip is the "Quick Map" version of the main RTA Custom Maps program. If you go to the main page of RTA Custom Maps, you will see a lot more options for customizing your map. For an explanation about the easiest ways to make custom maps -- where you create the route your prefer (and not the mapping software making that choice for you) you might find this thread helpful.

    And then as has been pointed out -- there is no snow/ice-free route across the western states in the USA. Both I-10 and I-40 have seen significant ice storms already this season. You need to look at the weather reports as you move east and plan your trip accordingly.

    Happy Planning!

    Mark

  5. #5

    Default

    I-40 might have some snowstorm between Albuquerque-Flagstaff. I-10 will be your good bet.
    for stay, there are plenty Super8, Eco lodge right at any freeway. Fuel Travel stops are regular (Love's, Flying J, TA etc.) and you can sleep there too (within your car) and take shower there. Rest areas are also another option where you can sleep (free) and continue your trip. Take some heavy blanket in your car just in case. I just completed a trip on I-70, I-I4 and I-10 in last two weeks.
    Good luck with your trip

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Not recommended.

    Quote Originally Posted by astraclub View Post
    Rest areas are also another option where you can sleep (free) and continue your trip.
    Unless the rest area has a security guard, this is not recommended. It can be one of the most dangerous places to spend the night. People have lost their lives. Several States now provide armed night time security at rest areas, for that very reason. Find the nearest Truck Stop. Truck Stops are 24 hour operation, well lit and have people coming and going all night. Some have security officers all night long, and the local law enforcement makes regular checks.

    Stay safe.

    Lifey

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    Where in NC? It makes a difference.
    Thank you to everyone for your advice. I have just discovered your website and am very grateful for your help.

    We will be departing from Greenville, NC, about an hour southeast of Raleigh. We are driving a Honda CRV which has 4-wheel drive but no chains or snow tires. I have NEVER made a long road trip like this before, and am especially concerned about the possibility of icy weather.

    I am considering taking I-40 from NC, then dropping down to I-10 along the way to make an overnight in Palm Springs and visit a friend. Before learning about the snowstorms from Albuquerque to Flagstaff, i had thought to take 17 from Flagstaff to Phoenix and get on 10 there. I also see that I could take 25 south in Albuquerque and connect with 10 there, but as Mark warned, there could be snow and ice on 10 as well. I will have an i-phone with me to keep checking weather reports. At one time I thought we could stop and see the south rim of the grand canyon on the way, but I don't want to do this if the weather is not good.

    I am assuming now that the trip will take about 6 days.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    My software says the "fastest" route is US-264/I-440/I-40/Bus-40/US-52/I-74/I-81/I-40/I-15 into the LA basin. This is 2640 miles and will be a minimum of 5 days of dedicated driving. Overnights plot out roughly Knoxville, Little Rock, Amarillo, and Flagstaff.

    If I alter the route to go to Palm Springs, the software suggests I-17 out of Flagstaff, Loop-101 around Phoenix to I-10.

    Altering the route to go through Dallas and Tucson would barely keep it within limits for 5 days to Palm Springs. This would make the whole trip about 2720 miles. This would have you taking I-85 out of Greensboro, then I-20 to I-10. Overnights would be around Atlanta, Shreveport, Midland/Odessa, and Lordsburg.

    You shouldn't need chains, if the weather is that bad you don't belong on the road, find a hotel till the roads are cleared. All-season rated tires in good shape are all you need.

  9. Default

    Thank you very much for such detailed help with the route! I really appreciate it! We now plan to take the Ii-40 route that you suggest unless the weather gets bad.

    This was a great help to me.






    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    My software says the "fastest" route is US-264/I-440/I-40/Bus-40/US-52/I-74/I-81/I-40/I-15 into the LA basin. This is 2640 miles and will be a minimum of 5 days of dedicated driving. Overnights plot out roughly Knoxville, Little Rock, Amarillo, and Flagstaff.

    If I alter the route to go to Palm Springs, the software suggests I-17 out of Flagstaff, Loop-101 around Phoenix to I-10.

    Altering the route to go through Dallas and Tucson would barely keep it within limits for 5 days to Palm Springs. This would make the whole trip about 2720 miles. This would have you taking I-85 out of Greensboro, then I-20 to I-10. Overnights would be around Atlanta, Shreveport, Midland/Odessa, and Lordsburg.

    You shouldn't need chains, if the weather is that bad you don't belong on the road, find a hotel till the roads are cleared. All-season rated tires in good shape are all you need.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Just noticed I left out one highway - that would be I-74 to I-77 to I-81.

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