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  1. Default Washington DC to Denver

    Hello all, I'm planning on driving from DC to Denver in May. I have flown between the two cities countless times, but I have always wanted to do a roadtrip between the two. I do have a couple questions though for people who have been on similar routes. Is I-80 or I-70 the better route? About how many nights would it take to get to Denver? Is there any bad weather I should watch out for in May while driving in the midwest? Thank you all.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    I would take the following route:

    I-270 to Frederick
    I-70 to Hancock
    I-68 to Morgantown
    I-79 to Washington, PA
    I-70 all the rest of the way

    Recommended bypasses:

    Wheeling I-470
    Columbus I-270 south
    Indy I-465 south
    STL I-270
    KC I-470 to I-435 south

    This is a 3 day drive, recommended overnights are Richmond, IN and Lawrence or Topeka, KS. Weather should not be a factor but that's the beginning of tornado season. You will have a $2.75 cash toll in KS, your EZ-Pass won't work.

  3. Default

    Thank you for the reply. Seems like I-70 is the way to go. Also, when driving in Kansas, are gas stations pretty far apart or are they common?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default

    You won't have any problem finding gas stations, just use common sense and don't run too low on gas.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    On I-70 in Kansas, there are fuel stations about every 10 miles. When you are on the Kansas Turnpike section, if you take an exit to get gas, you'll have to pay the toll (and then again when you depart the turnpike). There are service areas near Lawrence and near Topeka. Once off the turnpike, these are areas where there is no fuel near the freeway:

    Between exit 356 (Topeka) and exit 341 (Maple Hill), then between exit 338 and 313.

    When we are traveling this highway, we usually fill up on the east side of Kansas City (because MO usually has less expensive gas/fuel than KS). Then we can usually go to the Flying J at Salina, or one of the stations in Hays (depending on what vehicle we are driving). Like Dave said, don't run too low on gas. We look ahead on GasBuddy.com (or use the app) to see where fuel is cheaper that's within our range, and we tend to not go below half a tank on our diesel truck or below 1/3 tank on the sedan.


    Donna

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

    Default Don't count on it.

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    When you are on the Kansas Turnpike section, if you take an exit to get gas, you'll have to pay the toll (and then again when you depart the turnpike). There are service areas near Lawrence and near Topeka. Once off the turnpike, these are areas where there is no fuel near the freeway:
    It pays not to rely on these service plazas. Fill up before you enter the turnpike. More than once I have found a service plaza closed.

    Lifey

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Nothing wrong with being cautious, but to run out of gas anywhere along that route takes a lot of inattention. I'm not aware of any modern vehicle that can't go at least 200 miles on a tank of gas and even if there is no gas for 50 miles, you shouldn't let your tank get low enough to cause yourself to run out. Most Interstates have signs before each exit showing what stations are at the exit and a large proportion of them are open 24/7. In some states, some of them may be unattended but still open for those who use a card, no cash. By the time you get down to 1/4 tank, you are probably ready for a quick rest stop anyway. My truck is good for 400 miles or so on a tank, when my low fuel light comes on I have 50 miles to dry. I can count on one or two hands the number of times the light has come on in the 8 years I've owned it and I've never run out.

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