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  1. Default Moving From Tampa to Seattle with 16' Truck and Car Carrier

    Hello All,

    My wife and I are planning on moving from Tampa to Seattle in a couple of weeks, and would like advice on our route, and any tips for sightseeing opportunities we could see to save our sanity during this 3k+ mile move. We plan to leave on a Saturday midday and hopefully arrive in Seattle on the Friday morning, which gives us 6 days of 10+ hours of driving a day, which we will need because with a car carrier I believe we need to stay at or below 55mph.

    For the route, there seems to be two major decision points to make. The first is to stay on I75 through Atlanta, Nashville, St Louis, to Kansas City vs. more west through Montgomery, Brimingham, Memphis, to Kansas City. For this choice I'm learning towards the latter selection because I'm traveling through smaller cities, and since I can't go very fast with the car carrier the higher speed limits don't really matter for the first choice. The second choice I see is taking I90 vs. I80/I84 from Kansas City west to Seattle. From what I've read I90 may be an easier drive for my truck, but I'm not sure, as I've never driven west of the Mississippi river before.

    Also, are there any sightseeing or other tricks we can use to keep our sanity during this really long trip?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default More than 2 options.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    It would seem you have just made note of the two routes suggested by Google which are not your only choices, for example you could go St Louis, Denver, SLC in a similar amount of time. Even going via Dallas and Albuquerque up to SLC would only add 2 or 3 hours over the 6 days, but I'm not sure I would be looking to add time. You really won't have time for any major sight seeing, just regular rest breaks on the drive and a little time spent where you end up for the night, so it comes down to whether you prefer one over another for what ever reason. The most important thing is to treat the journey as a marathon and not a sprint and break your journey into equal segments. The temptation is to push too hard on the first two or 3 days when you are fresh and then quickly become fatigued after that which can lead to misery. Also keep in mind that when you are capable of keeping to the speed limit you will only average around 57mph over the course of a day by the time you have taken rest and bathroom breaks, filled with gas and eaten etc so if you are restricted to 55mph you will be lucky to avverage 48-50 mph each day. Taking 'slower' roads because you cant go fast will also eat into your average time, bends, hills and towns will be taken slower and decreasing and increasing speed takes longer. One tip to save some time would be to stay out the 'other' side of town as you head north and west so that as the morning rush is heading into town, you are heading in the opposite direction and will avoid the worst of the congestion.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    I would probably stay on the Interstates - I-75 to Chattanooga, I-24 to I-57 to I-64 to STL, I-70 to KC, I-29 to Sioux Falls, then I-90 to Seattle. You are correct - I-90 is an easier tow route than I-80.

    I would also add a day - 5 1/2 days is what this trip would take in a car driving the speed limit.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    I would agree with GLC, sticking to the Interstates will really make this trip easier for you. While the lower speed limits may not be a concern of lesser traveled routes, they will be more difficult to navigate with the large truck and trailer combination. On interstates, you won't have to worry about stop signs, right hand turns on city streets, or gas stations that really aren't set up to deal with a large truck/trailer combination.

    I'd also be careful about how far you think you'll get in a day. As Dave mentioned, If you are driving at a max speed of 55 mph, you will only average in the high 40's over the course of the day.

  5. Default

    Thank you for the advice so far and the welcome. I will stick to the big interstates then, and luckily I'll go through Atlanta on a weekend so hopefully not too much traffic. And thanks for the timing advice. We will make sure moving into our new apartment can happen on a Saturday if the trip takes 6 1/2 days.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    If there are 2 of you, have you considered driving the car instead of trailering it? You can do the speed limit or close to it in most rental trucks.

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    If there are 2 of you, have you considered driving the car instead of trailering it? You can do the speed limit or close to it in most rental trucks.
    That is an interesting idea. We figured that with two of us we could drive in shifts and cover more hours a day, and be less bored. But if we drive the car we can drive faster, and get the 12' foot truck since we don't have to tow. I think our boredom factor may be too much to drive each seperatley though.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    My husband and I have done the "you drive the truck, I'll drive the vehicle" type move. Boring? Depends on your outlook! First, you'll have the advantage of being able to call each other on the cell phone if you have a BluTooth for it. Each of you will have to carry a car charger or charge your phone every night. Most UHauls have some sort of sound system, even if it's something simple like an AM-FM radio. Or carry a speaker for your iPod or other way of playing music. Whenever the truck needs fuel, the car should get fuel too. Stop and stretch your legs at the same places.

    Believe me, whether you're each driving or whether you're driving in tandem, two drivers is not going to make you able to drive further in a day. It takes one to drive and one to stay awake to keep the driver awake. Only if there is a third, can it be a true speed run. Even then, though, I wouldn't recommend it.

    Donna

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Your state of mind is up to you.

    Quote Originally Posted by actuaryal View Post
    My wife and I are planning on moving from Tampa to Seattle in a couple of weeks, and would like advice on our route, and any tips for sightseeing opportunities we could see to save our sanity during this 3k+ mile move.
    As mentioned above, your sanity is completely in your control. It is a state of mind, not the influence of the terrain through which you will pass. Take a great interest in how people live in the areas through which you'll pass, as well as why the different crops, vegetation, architecture, etc. There is a wealth to learn on a cross country trip, even on a trip such as yours where you are basically restricted to the interstates. Maybe some of the comments in this article will help you.

    Do you have your maps ready. The map of each State through which you will be passing. You can get the best maps from AAA (free to members). These maps have a wealth of information which you will not find within the confines of a little screen. Maybe studying these maps before you leave will help you appreciate some of the richness of the country through which you will be passing.

    If you don't already have it, for a trip such as this a roadside assistance package, such as AAA, would be wise. I also agree with Dave, approach this trip in the same manner as an athelete approaches a marathon.... steady does it, don't be tempted to go too long.

    Lifey

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    We've done both ways, but generally have gone the trailer route, especially for long moves like this. When you're talking about being on the road for 6 days, having someone to talk to, point out thing you might otherwise miss, and yes, even share the driving is nice to have. Usually the trailer doesn't end up costing more than what you'd spend on gas for the car, so towing would be the way I'd probably go in your shoes.

    AAA won't really be of much help, unless you are driving your own car. UHaul/Penske/Budget will be providing your roadside coverage if you are in their trucks.

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