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Thread: Need advice

  1. Default Need advice

    I will be driving from No Ca to No Texas in a few weeks to take my daughter to college. We will be driving a ford F150 loaded. What is the best/safest route to take? I was in an accident a few years back so I don't love to drive anymore. Looking at google maps only gives me I10 or I40. Any suggestions on a safe not too hard to drive route for us to take? We would like to do it in 3-4 days. Ideas on how to break down the trip would be welcome as well. I haven't ever done a road trip like this.
    Last edited by cutepupsmom; 07-24-2014 at 09:53 AM.

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

    Default No 'best', just options.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    There is simply no single 'best' or 'safest' route at the best of times, but not knowing exactly where you are starting from or finishing it's even more difficult to advise. No Cal to No Texas is still a big target area. US roads are, generally speaking, safe to travel, but as you have sadly discovered accidents can and do happen just about anywhere. For a direct route with a loaded truck and when getting 'there' is the most important thing, it's hard to beat Interstate routes and from Sacramento to Dallas it would be a full 3 days of driving. It would be more comfortable if you used at least half of that day 4. Google maps will only show you it's preferred 3 routes, but there are many other options available. Once you have the route typed in you can 'drop and drag' the blue route line with your cursor to explore these choices. Do not be fooled by mapping program drive times, they are not realistic for 'real world' drive times. Either add 20% to the times or consider 500-600 miles to be 9-10 hours on the road with 500-550 being a realistic and safe goal for a day on the road using major highways with time for rest breaks, to fill with gas, stretch the legs and get something to eat and drink.

    If we know the locations we can be more precise.

  3. Default

    I'm sorry you are correct that would be more helpful! We are leaving the San Francisco area and going to Denison Texas that is just a bit north of Dallas. I have never done a cross country trip driving trip. Good ideas of places to stop and spend the night would be appreciated.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Depending on your goals and plans.

    If just getting there is your main aim then I5 to I40 is probably your best bet, joining the two by cutting across to Bakersfield and CA99/58. Again overnight stops depend on a few things, whether you want to do it in 3 long days, or 4 slightly more relaxed days and of course, if you want to do any sight seeing along the way. Depending on what time you leave SF you could look at a fairly easy first day and stay over in Barstow, or Laughlin NV would be as far as you would want to aim for with an early start. From Barstow you could head to Gallup for the night or from Laughlin to Albuquerque. If you only wanted to stop twice then you would have to push on to Santa Rosa from Laughlin.

    So you could go SF > Barstow >Gallup > Amarillo > Denison [3 stops] or SF > Laughlin > Santa Rosa > Denison [2 stops] Having said that there is always options, for example if you wanted to sight see with 3 stops, you could aim for Laughlin and then stop in Gallup and check out a couple of route 66 towns, the Petrified forest or even the Grand canyon.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Secure that load.

    Is the truck covered in? If you have an open truck packed full with your daughters things, I'm not sure I'd be parking it anywhere to go sightseeing. Good hotels have security in the parking lot.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    FWIW, I will agree with Lifey. Secure the load, not only for the temptation for others to steal it, but also to ensure that the highway is not littered with stuff. (We saw that twice on our trip.)

    As far as getting from I-5 to I-40, it was suggested to use CA-58. It is a great route! From I-5 to where it joins CA-99, it's 2-lane. Then after it leaves CA-99 (about a mile after it joins), it's 4-lane and then becomes 4-lane interstate quality except in a few places, until just before Kramer Junction. Once you get to Barstow, you get Interstate. We just took this route a few days ago, and it was in good shape with only a section or two of construction (which is inevitable on ANY road during the summer months!).


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I use CA-46 to get from I-5 to CA-99, then south into Bakersfield to pick up CA-58.

    The other option is take I-580 out of SF to I-205 to CA-120 to CA-99.

  8. Default

    Truck has a locking cover so we don't have to load everything into a hotel room at night when we stop.

  9. Default

    I think we will add in a Grand Canyon stop. Too close not to take advantage of that. Is Gallup close to the Grand Canyon?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default A half's day travel -- more or less

    It is 272 miles (by the shortest route) from Gallup to the Grand Canyon Village. (I-40 to US-180) although you could go in via US-89 and AZ-64.

    Oh, I just read the thread.... I see you are traveling west to east?


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