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  1. #1

    Default March 2015: Tampa to Roseburg Oregon

    Hello everyone, I am planning a trip from Florida to Oregon, and just wonder about the most common route via Colorado, Utah -
    do the interstates usually stay snow free? Should I change tires for a winter thread? Should I change oil to a different oil to handle colder weather? I am doing this for the first time - and because of a new job in Roseburg. I am wondering would it be safer to go via Phoenix and Las Vegas route. I read some of the posts and they mentioned there are large gaps with no cell phone reception and more lonely roads. Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    We'll start with the easy stuff with your car. What kind of car are you using for this trip? Before you head out on a long trip like this, it always makes sense to have your car looked over by a mechanic, but beyond that, there is probably nothing significant you have to do. If you have all-season tires (which most people do) that are in good shape, your tires should be fine. For your oil, check your owners manual, but most modern cars are already running lightweight oils like 5w-30 or 0w-20 that are used year round in all temperature conditions.

    For route, the shortest route actually doesn't go through Colorado at all, nor is there any good route that takes you through Las Vegas.

    The shortest route would actually take you up I-75/I-24/I-57/I-64/I-70 through Atlanta, Nashville, St. Louis, and Kansas City, but then you'd head north again on I-29 to Nebraska City, and use NE-2 and I-80 across Nebraska and Wyoming to Utah, then I-84 and US-20 to and across Oregon. Without knowing any specific details of your travel dates and a specific forecast, it's impossible to say what weather you might see, and there certainly could be snow or ice, but it is safe to say that Interstates are cleared as quickly as possible during a winter storm, and they usually don't take long to get back into good condition.

    Having said all that, a more southern route might make more sense for you. You could take I-10 all the way to California and then use I-5 north all the way to Oregon. This route adds about 200 miles, but it is all Interstates (unlike the other option, that would require 2 lane roads across Oregon) and this late in the winter, it could reduce your chance of seeing bad weather somewhat. If you do choose this route, you might consider bypassing LA and it's traffic by using I-15/US-395/CA-58 to get from San Bernardino to Bakersfield.

  3. #3

    Default

    wow this is great information -thank you! Glad to know there are no good routes via Las Vegas, I definitely would like to stay on interstate. I am more concerned of the mountains and snow possibly over Utah and Wyoming - perhaps the better options is the southern soute - I don't mind the extra 2 miles, and kind of wanted to see Northern California anyways, and Medford for potential job there too...Thanks so much for this...I may be able to sleep few nights in the car too if go southern route...might be warm enough weather.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,545

    Default

    Sleeping in the car is never a good idea for two or three reasons: a) it's not very comfortable, b) you are taking a chance with your own safety, and c) you won't get a good night's sleep for the next day's drive because of a) and b).

    If you DID decide to sleep in your car, the best places would be at truck stops/travel centers (rather than at Rest Areas, which often don't allow overnights anyway). Those have a tendency to be too well-lit for a decent night's sleep, and also have the constant sound of diesel engines running, doors slamming, and people yelling while you're trying to sleep.

    The southern route can get rather cool, anyway, as some of it is at higher
    elevation. Most of it is lower, but there are some areas where it will get into the 30s at night (or even lower) and make you wish you'd opted for a cheap motel. Which, personally, I'd opt for in any circumstance!


    Donna

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Safety first.

    Unless your car is set up for sleeping, i.e. a mattress and sleeping bag as well as somewhere to change, it is not recommended to sleep in you car., for all the reasons above.

    You have a multiple day trip ahead of you with driving for many hours. Unless you are well rested, you could put yourself and others on the road in danger. Look for hotel/motel discount coupon booklets at rest areas along the way. These often have good deals.

    When checking into a motel, especially a cheap one, be sure to ask to see the room before you commit. As well as cleanliness, check that the smoke alarm has not been disabled and that the door has a lock which cannot be opened from the outside, such as the chainlock. Don't worry too much if one of the lights doesn't work or there is a hole in the carpet. That is why they are cheap.

    A cheap motel is a small price to pay for safety on the road.

    Have a great trip.

    Lifey

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default

    When are you actually travelling and how long are you allowing for the trip ? Don't presume that by going south you will avoid bad and cold weather.

  7. #7

    Default

    Thanks everyone. I am leaving on the 17th of March, so in ten days! I don't really put a timeframe on the journey, other than I should be starting my work in OR 6th of April and having found a place to live in prior to that. So at least 10 days for the trip.
    So not so safe to sleep overnight in truckstops? Yes I agree on the road safety good point. Wish it was summer and could camp out. I have some things in my car - like clothes hanging - I wonder should I take them all (at least visible things) to the motel room overnight?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Err on the safe side.

    Quote Originally Posted by sirpaautio View Post
    I have some things in my car - like clothes hanging - I wonder should I take them all (at least visible things) to the motel room overnight?
    I would not worry about things which are not valuable, such as clothing.... other than that they will be a clear indication of the gender of the person in the room. This applies especially where you park outside your room. It is also a good idea to leave both front seats looking as if two people are travelling. Don't make it obvious to anyone that this vehicle belongs to a solo traveller. Frankly there is not much likelyhood that anyone cares about your vehicle or its contents, but err on the safe side.

    Lifey

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,545

    Default

    As far as the clothes are concerned: if they are covered by a sheet or similar, it will protect them from fading during the day from the sunlight, and also eliminate the gender issue.

    Some good ways to make it look like two people are traveling: two commuter cups/mugs, towels covering both seats. Fold maps and put them away so that they don't give an indication about where you've been and where you're headed.

    Always bring anything valuable inside the room with you, such as laptops, electronics, and portable GPS units. Don't even stash them in the trunk.


    Donna

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

    Default

    Truckstops are generally safe, but you won't get a good night's sleep in a car. If you had a van with a real bed in the back, that's a different story.

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