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  1. Default Moving from San Francisco / Oakland to Denver


    I've scanned over some of the posts here, and this seems like a really helpful place, so let me say thanks in advance. I could use a little advice as to what to expect for a trip I am planning. My wife and I are moving from Oakland (just outside of San Francisco) to Denver. We are likely doing this around late April or early May, if things go well (gotta finalize that job first). I anticipate renting a 17' UHaul for all our worldly possessions in the back, plus our cat in a crate in the cab, and driving that. My wife will drive our car. I expect that we will take the I-80 route, with one night in Salt Lake City.

    First off -- is this reasonable, a 2-day trip in a loaded truck? I would like to minimize the days, as the cat is old and doesn't like being in vehicles.

    Second off -- the roads. I've not driven over the mountains before. From Oakland to Reno or Tahoe, sure, but never so far as Colorado. What should I be expect? Hopefully it never gets down to one lane; being an interstate, I wouldn't think so. Windy / curvy? Steep, or long and steady?

    Anything else in general? Thanks!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    This trip, taking I-80 to I-25 into Denver, is over 1250 miles. In a loaded 17' U-Haul being followed by your car, making 625 miles each day is not going to be very pleasant - cat or no cat. You'll probably average 55 mph if you're lucky, 50 mph would be about right. You'd be better off trying to make 450 miles a day for the first two days, and 350 miles on the following day. That way, Miss Kitty (or Mr Kitty) can get out in the motel and stretch his/her legs.

    Interstate is going to be 4-6 lanes in each direction unless you get to a construction zone. Interstates have to be built to certain specifications, and they won't get curvy or wind around a lot. Grades will always be marked. If going uphill, stay in the "truckers lane" (i.e. the right lane) if you're slow. If going downhill, use a third gear if there is one in the truck (hubby says he remembers U-Haul having PRND321, meaning a downshiftable third gear). However, on I-80, WIND is definitely something you will deal with in Wyoming (or so my husband says).


  3. Default

    This is really good advice, Donna, thanks. I had been only thinking about what Google says about travel times (~18-19 hours?), but of course that will think about going speed limits, and a loaded truck will not hit that.

    This was one option. The other option was hiring a mover for our stuff, and hitting the road with us & Ms. Kitty & a few needful things. This second option is sounding a little better.

    Any other thoughts?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Over three days.

    Getting a mover and going in your car, is not going to shorten the mileage. 625 per day is a heck of a long time in the car. Even in a car it is going to take around 11 - 12 hours each day. I'm sure Ms Kitty will recover quicker from her trip with shorter days and more time in a motel room.

    I Have often seen people walking cats on leashes at rest areas to give them some exercise and fresh air along the way. Take her for a little walk each time you stop for yourself. You will probably need the walk as much as she will. If you stop to eat, try to choose an outside table so she can be there with you.

    As a last resort, a mild sedative from a vet would probably settle her down.


  5. #5


    I think this trip is going to be very interesting and memorable for you. The journey is over 1250 miles. So, according to me your second options is sounding better for you. So, Hire a mover for your stuff and other things and enjoy the trip.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 04-13-2015 at 01:10 AM. Reason: New members are not allowed to use outside links.

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