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  1. Default Eastern NC to Seattle

    I am going to jump into to this as well as this timeline/route is very close to mine. We are departing 13 Jan from Eastern NC headed to Seattle. We need to be there by 22/23 Jan. I have driven cross country three times all solo. I have taken 40 twice and 10 once. The good news is I will have my wife this time, and our dog to assist. We are really torn on taking 40 or the Northern route. Also torn on which vehicle to drive. We are shipping one of our vehicle driving the other. Looking for some advice here. Take the VW Tiguan (has AWD 4 motion), or Jeep Wrangler Rubicon(its a Rubicon). Leaning towards the VW for fuel economy and overall comfort. But if we hit bad weather I will feel more confident in the Rubicon. I have driven in snow and ice before which in my opinion doesn't matter because it is very unpredictable. So looking for advice here. Right now we have a 40 plan and a northern plan and will make our decision closer to our date of departure. Open to any and all tips, advice, strategy. Thanks!

    Moderator Note: Moved from this thread: because every trip is different, we prefer to give each trip its own thread.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    If you take another look at the post Buck made in the thread you originally posted to, you'll see exactly why we would NOT recommend taking I-40 or I-10 for this trip. Going via I-40 to California and up the west coast would add 700 miles - a solid day and a half of driving - compared to a more direct route.

    Not only would you be adding more days on the road, and more days where you could see bad weather, you would be doing nothing to increase your chances of seeing good weather. I-40 frequently sees snow and (even worse) ice across the southern plains, and it actually reaches a higher elevation in NM and AZ than you'd ever see along I-90 in Montana! Not to mention, you have more mountains and snow chances to deal with as you head up the west coast.

    So, if it was me, I wouldn't even consider I-40 as an option. I-90, which is often one of the best cross country winter routes, would be my clear first choice. If there is a storm hitting the Dakotas or Montana, then and only then, would I consider another choice - but that choice would look more like I-80 to I-84 across Wyoming and Utah.

    As far as vehicles, I'd certainly take the Tiguan. If conditions are so bad on the interstate that you need the extra off-road advantages of the Jeep, over an already very capable AWD vehicle in the VW, you really would have no business being on the road anyway. Don't forget, AWD/4WD does nothing to help you stop! Pull over and find a nice spot to relax until conditions improve.

  3. Default

    Thanks MW! You bring up some great points. Do you recommend any sites or apps for weather tracking during a drive such as this?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    We have a sticky thread in the Gear-Up forum about weather data. For road conditions, safetravelusa.com has links to all the states' DOT sites.

  5. Default

    Any recomendations on places to see along the 90 route?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default

    Without knowing anything about your interests or how much time you have available, it's hard to offer any specifics. However, I would suggest you start by looking at the RTA Map Center, which will show you RTA recommended ideas right along the route.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default wUnderground

    Quote Originally Posted by VJUSMC View Post
    ....or apps for weather tracking during a drive such as this?
    One such tool is the one created by wUnderground. Their trip planning tool combines current weather forecast for any 8-10 day period and plots temperatures and likely road conditions along routes determined by the user.

    And thank you for your service.

    By the way, one of the most gifted chainsaw sculptures of all time lives in Wallace. I have a baby bear that he created for me sitting in my office. Getting to his studio in the winter requires some diligence -- But if you are there, I am sure he would welcome you. Vernon Pine.

    I also use a scanner -- but I scan for school bus frequencies -- they are the most consistent about reporting road conditions, especially ice, on local roads.

    Mark

  8. Default

    Advice on tires. We have decided to take the Tiguan for this trip after a lot of research and advice on this forum. With that being said the tires are the original tires with about 30k miles are them. I could prob get another 10K but after inspecting the thread depth I AM NOT going to run them for this journey. I have been researching studless snow tires, and have it narrowed down to a couple different sets. As stated we are moving to Seattle, and would most likely switch these tires out to some all-seasons come summer time. But I am starting to wonder if I am wasting money with snow tires, and should simply put on a good set of all seasons. I do like the idea of having snow tires if we were to get caught in a storm and had to truck through to get to a safe stopping point. Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default

    I live in a part of the country that sees far harsher winters than you'll ever see in Seattle, and I don't use snow tires, and I wouldn't get them just for a single cross country trip.

    A good all-season tire should be just fine. If you'd like a little extra piece of mind, look for a tire that's got an M/S rating (mud and snow), which are designed to give you a little extra traction in poor conditions.

  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by VJUSMC View Post
    Advice on tires. We have decided to take the Tiguan for this trip after a lot of research and advice on this forum. With that being said the tires are the original tires with about 30k miles are them. I could prob get another 10K but after inspecting the thread depth I AM NOT going to run them for this journey. I have been researching studless snow tires, and have it narrowed down to a couple different sets. As stated we are moving to Seattle, and would most likely switch these tires out to some all-seasons come summer time. But I am starting to wonder if I am wasting money with snow tires, and should simply put on a good set of all seasons. I do like the idea of having snow tires if we were to get caught in a storm and had to truck through to get to a safe stopping point. Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions?
    I done trip from TX/WA/TX Dec/January 2015. If you have budget for tires than I would strongly advise on replacing with new tires. You will drive over icy roads one way or other. Many over passes and high elevations roads are likely to be icy this time of year (I70/I40/I15/I84/I82/I90 and US Highways in-between).

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