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  1. Default Trip from Los Angeles to Central Texas

    I'm leaving from Southern California to Central Texas in a couple days and I am at a complete loss on what I need to take with me. I have two other people coming with me. Here is the kicker though: I drive a Fiat 500. The weather is really mild right now,however I don't want to be unprepared. We need to take at least two suitcases, duffle bag and a cooler. We plan on driving from California to El Paso then staying the night then continuing to Killeen the next day. Does anyone have any suggestions as far as emergency supplies? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    When it comes to planning a trip, and thinking about safety, people love to focus on things like "emergency supplies," but in reality, that's really one of the last things you should be worried about. It is far more important to plan a trip where you avoid the likelihood of getting into an emergency in the first place.

    With that in mind, I'd strongly recommend you reconsider your plan to drive to El Paso the first night. It is 800 miles from LA to El Paso, and even with multiple drivers, that is too far to safely drive in one day, and it will leave you in no shape to drive another 600 miles the next day. You really are dramatically increasing your risk of getting into a crash by attempting a plan like this.

    Really, the 1400 miles from LA to Killeen really is too far to do with just one overnight. Professional Drivers would be required to stop twice to get proper rest. If you are going to do this in two days - which again is *not* recommended - then you should look to stop either in Lordsburg or Deming, New Mexico. That will give you two evenly spaced days, but days that are going to take you 12-14 hours, when you factor in the bare minimum of stops.

    As far as what to bring, here are some suggestions from other discussions.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,937

    Default Mapping programs and human needs.

    As stated above, the best thing you can pack is a bit more time. Don't be fooled by the fantasy times quoted on internet mapping programs. They assume that you will be speeding all of the time, and never need to stop for anything.... not for traffic, not for construction, not for fuel, the bathroom, food, or simply to get out of the car to walk around, have a stretch and refocus.

    This is even more important since there will be someone sitting in the back seat all of the way. Also take into account that with every extra passenger, each stops takes just that bit longer, than for the solo traveller.

    Have a safe trip.

    Lifey

  4. Default

    Thanks for the tips. As far as the mileage is concerned, I am torn between staying in Las Cruces or driving the extra miles to stay in El Paso. I haven't quite decided yet. The area of Las Cruces off I-10 is a bit seedy for my tastes.

    This isn't my first rodeo with long trips either. I've driven from LA to Atlanta in two and a half days and I've made this trip driving 30 hours straight (not that I'd EVER do that again). Multiple trips to Northern CA, Phoenix, Grand Canyon, Hatch, Bullhead, Laughlin and Vegas round out my list.

    Unfortunately, this trip was brought on at the very last minute, hence the reason for me having to take my clown car instead of my comfy SUV and being at a loss on what exactly to bring with me. In the past I've brought tools, a full sized jack, jumper cables, fluids, first aid kits, etc. Now, with a cargo area the size of a large cookie sheet (!) and three persons worth of luggage I'm stumped. I'm off work a total of seven days so I only have time for one overnight stay each way. Not the most ideal situation, but it has to work.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default

    The reality is that while you've survived drives in the past, you've been playing a game of russian roulette. Your luck will eventually run out, and thousands of people die every year as a result of actions like that. Statistically speaking, some of the drives you've done in the past are every bit as likely to cause death or injury as drunk driving.

    Driving the 800 miles you'd need to cover to get to El Paso as part of a 2 day drive is dangerous - no matter if you choose to believe it or not - and frankly going as far as Las Cruces really isn't much better. Again, please consider stopping at Deming - at the very farthest.

    If you're the veteran of trips that you say you are, then you'll know which "safety" items you're most likely to actually use. That's really the best advice we can provide for which items you should pack. But it really won't matter which items are in your trunk, if you don't make it there at all.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Hey, I do "hear" what you're saying. My husband and I have been trying to figure out a leg of our own trip -- the one from San Diego to Houston -- and everything we come up with leads to one very long day on the road. But the heart of the matter: 800 is way too long to be on the road for one day. By 600 miles, my husband and I are ready to get off the road whether we have been sharing the driving equally, or one of us (usually him) has driven more than the others. My husband is an ex-pro driver, and always says there's a good reason why there are length-of-driving-day requirements for the pros (10 hours, which usually equates to around 550-600 miles). We have tried 700 miles, like LA to Deming, and with those, we're so tired when we get in that getting up the next day to do it again (like you need to do) is almost impossible. If you're going to Killeen (as mentioned above), it would be another 695 miles from Deming to Killeen, so you'd be doing two killer-days in a row. Can you get another half day? Or even a few hours on a third day?

    If you had a few hours on the third day, you could go LA to Willcox, AZ (560 miles) on the first day, Willcox to Ozona, TX on the second day (580 miles), then to Killeen (250 miles, or 4.5 hours) on the third day. This would ease the burden a lot. The hardest part is finding a place to stay in western Texas, because places with hotels are far apart....Van Horn, Ft Stockton, Ozona, then another 40 miles to Sonora.


    Donna

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    Or, leave at noon the first day and spend the nights in Phoenix and Van Horn.

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