NY to FL
We are driving to FL Aug 13 to our new home. We will be leaving as soon as we complete the closing (starts at 11AM). Hope to be on the road by 2PM, driving straight through with 3 drivers New City NY (Rockland County) to Boynton Beach FL (Palm Beach County). Not sure what to expect once we hit the road. I am sure there are several metro areas that will bog us down, certainly DC depending what time we hit it. Any words of wisdom as to the route and potential congestion? I see two options, straight down 95 or head toward coast and take Chesapeake bay bridge and tunnel. That would avoid DC and only adds 24 miles to trip. Thoughts? Thanks in advance for your help. T & L
Last edited by tpoid86; 08-03-2014 at 07:45 AM.
Welcome to the RTA Forum!
You're probably not going to like it, but The only real words of wisdom you need to know is that trying to drive 1200 miles without stopping for the night is homicidal, even with multiple drivers. It's extremely dangerous in any situation, but trying to do it on the single busiest traffic corridor in the western hemisphere is that much more reckless. Add in that you will already be exhausted from packing/moving/etc before you even hit the road, there simply is no way you can expect to be safely operate a 2-ton vehicle at 70 mph for more than 24 hours straight (the amount of time it will require to complete this distance, no matter what online mapping programs might tell you.)
Professional drivers would be required to take 2 full days for this trip - and even that would be pushing their legal limits, with any delays at all (very likely on I-95), they would need to stop twice. With 3 drivers in a strict rotation - 1 drives, 1 assists the driver, 1 napping - and no breaking from that, maybe you can cut this down to a day and a half, factoring in your time to leave in the afternoon, but if you value the safety of yourselves and the others on the road, you need to plan an overnight stop.
While taking US-13 down the Delmarva Peninsula seemingly adds only 24 miles, it WILL add considerable time -- maybe as much as you'd waste in traffic on I-95. We took US-13 through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel and found that the DelMarVa was really pretty, but we were slowed down at almost every town along the route.
Another thought on routing, to avoid DC but still stay on the interstates, would add only about 90 miles: I-78 to I-81 to I-77 to I-26 to I-95. It would be a beautiful route, though, as it will be along the side of the Appalachian Mountains while on 81.
I do concur with AZBuck: this is not something you do "straight through, non-stop". Stop at a motel someplace after you've been on the road for 6-8 hours...Staunton or Roanoke, VA on the route that I've suggested. After your overnight, do the rest on the following day, rotating as he suggested as well.
Believe me, over the years, I've tried what you're suggesting. Most of us regulars on here probably have, too. Please learn from our collective experience -- do an overnight someplace along your route. You'll enjoy your trip a lot more, and will live to remember it as a pleasant memory.
Why We Say That
The advice that Michael and Donna have given you is the same advice that you can find repeated over and over on these forums any time someone proposes to do anything like what you are setting out to do. That advice is based primarily on real-world experience. As I have said here before, pretty much every regular contributor has done something similarly foolish and, fortunately, lived to regret it. Always with the words "Never again!" ringing through their minds. My own case was almost the same as yours, setting out from Wilmington DE with six(!) drivers to go straight through to Florida. If it weren't for the humanity of a North Carolina state trooper who pulled us (me) over at 3:00 AM for weaving all over the highway and led us to a nearby all-night diner for coffee and a break, we never would have made it.
The thing is, it doesn't matter how many drivers you have. What matters is their sleep schedules. If you are going to try a Speed Run with only three drivers, it is imperative that each of the three already be on a completely different sleep schedule, e.g. one will be used to being asleep from 11:00 PM to 7:00 AM, the next from 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM, and the third from 3:00 PM to 11:00 PM. That is the only way to ensure that two people will be awake for any eight hour shift. Note the most important words in the foregoing: "already...on a completely different schedule." You simply cannot expect to shift over immediately to being awake at 3:00 in the morning if you were sound asleep the previous 3:00 AM.
But it sounds like that's exactly what you think you can do: have every one of your three drivers awake for the entire day before you leave, and then have someone stay up 'til the wee hours of the morning while the other two sleep, and expect that someone to be alert enough to move a two-ton vehicle down one of the most brutal highways in America through some of the worst traffic in America, and exercise competent decision making when (s)he's losing it, and be willing to wake his/her companions before (s)he drives off the road. That's simply too much to ask or to expect to be able to pull off safely.
Please reconsider your plans, or else commit to them by having everyone spend the couple of days prior to departure doing the one thing they really need to do above all others - shift to their assigned sleep schedule. If you can't do that, you can't make this trip safely. It's really that simple.
Having read replies and recognizing other variables to our trip, we are adjusting our plans. We close on our house Wed. We will leave Thursday AM, stay overnight, resume Friday. That being said we have some new questions. What city is a good stopping point on our way to Palm Beach County? Also, we are transporting a small parrot with us, questioning if that will be an issue with the stay over. Will we have a problem finding a place to stay that will allow. It will be in the PM, it sleeps at night like the rest of us! Thanks, Tom
If you take I-95, your halfway point will be around Fayetteville NC, where you will find a wide selection of hotels and motels.
If you would take the routing I suggested, a mid-point would be somewhere around Statesville or Moorsville, NC, with Charlotte being about as far as you'd want to go.
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