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  1. Default Bakerfield, Ca to Chicago,Il this weekend!

    Hello everyone,
    I will be traveling across the country (in a 2015 Hydunai Accent) and even though I'm excited, I'm also nervous about the drive. I've never driven in snow, I will be buying chains to take with me. I was planning on taking the longer route option(given by maps) and that's I-40 E and later I-70 E to avoid driving through Colorado, because I read on here that they are strict about tires and also I've heard the weather isn't driving friendly. Yet I have no idea. Any tips? What should I be aware off? Also my maps says it will take me about 1 day and 7hrs but of course I will be stopping and if the weather is bad then I will be getting a hotel but does anybody have an estimated idea on how long it will take me? Thanks in advance and I hope it all makes sense.

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

    Default Four days.

    Hand welcome to the RTA forums !

    The first thing to note is that if the weather were to be bad enough that you need chains then you shouldn't be on the road at that point in time, especially as you have no experience with them. They are a handy tool for getting you out of difficulty but it's more important not to get yourself in difficulty in the first place. You would need time enough that you can simply pull off the road and let the road crews go about clearing the road. Secondly, you need to check the weather forecasts [even now you should get a good indication ] as no one route is guaranteed to be better than another no matter how far south or north you go. And most importantly, do not take any notice of times from a computer program, they do not allow for 'real world' needs such as rest, food and bathroom breaks, nor do they consider road construction and congestion or weather disruption. Simply put you will need a minimum of 3 overnight stops to make this journey safely and you should have one 'in hand' incase of weather related delays. If you take I40 then you would continue towards Chicago using I44/55.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default No guarantee.

    If you take I-40 rather than I-70, that is no guarantee that you will not see snow and ice. Already this winter there have been significant weather related disruptions on I-40. So make sure you keep your eyes on the forecast, and be aware of what weather is ahead each day, so you can sit out a storm, rather than continue regardless.

    I agree with the advice above, if the roads are such that you need chains you have no business being on the road at all.

    Have a safe trip.

    Lifey

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

    Default

    I am also totally in agreement with the above advice: if you need chains, get off the road, go into a motel and hole up till the weather is better. As a Southern California resident for many years, I too am not experienced with driving in snow.

    You have a number of routes that are more-or-less direct and still fast. However, by any route, you are looking at 2100 miles one-way. By no means is this a "weekend trip". It will take you a good 4 days to drive this, and you'll need an extra day or so "just in case" the Weather is uncooperative. You should choose your route based on the predicted weather, not on what you think might be the most cooperative weather.

    1 - You could go up to I-80...Use US-93 and US-6 to get up there. However, this is a longer trip.

    2 - Take the 58, get on I-15 north, to I-70 east, to I-76 east, and then get up to I-80 that way. Much shorter and lots less lonely 2-lane roads. However, it crosses some very high mountain passes west of Denver, so take this one if there's no mean weather predicted for that area.

    3 - Take the 58 over to Barstow and pick up I-40. Take that to I-44 in Oklahoma, and in St Louis, pick up I-55. This crosses some mountains, but they aren't nearly as high as the ones west of Denver. However, they can and do get snow. Watch the weather forecast.

    4 - My last choice is a combination of #2 and #3. Take the 58 over to the 15 north, to the 70 east, all the way to STL where you pick up the 55 north. It's longer, and there can be a lot of truck traffic on the 70 between KC and STL.

    Do you have a good atlas? If not, go directly to a big box store (Walmart, Target) or a bookstore and pick one up. (There's also the RTA store, but if you're leaving this weekend, you wouldn't have time to order one online.) You need to have maps with you, in case an unexpected storm blows in and you need to change your route.

    BTW, there are many more possible routes. I just mentioned the ones that are mostly interstates because in the winter, those are the first to get maintenance.


    Donna

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, CO.
    Posts
    304

    Default

    2100 miles is not one day and 7 hours of driving.
    Figure about 500m/day without weather problems.
    Notice that this is the time of year when there are weather problems.
    (we just had a foot of snow across the NE plains of Colo - travel speeds about 35 mph if you could stay on the road)
    And the Chicago area can be dense, slow traffic.

    Seems like a 5 day job to me.

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

    Default

    At this time of year in a small car I think I'd take 58/40/44/55. Yes, this is a 4 day drive, more if the weather gets bad.

  7. Default

    I figured the drive would take me about 3-4 days as I'm not the only one driving. So should I buy chains and have them just in case? I wasn't and still not planning on driving on snow. We have plans of getting a hotel as soon as the weather gets bad.

  8. Default

    Hello, so I should get an actual map? I was going to just use my maps in my phone. But I'm glad I asked because I have never taken a long trip like this. Now I need help. How do I check the weather? If for example I'm passing thru Arizona and I don't know what city then how would I look up the weather before I actually get there?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, CO.
    Posts
    304

    Default

    Chains- I've carried chains many years and many miles but not used them since I have 4WD.
    If you're not doing mountains then skip it. (ignore prior reply - got confused which thread)

    Maps - I look at them on Google Maps so I can zoom in and out when I'm at a computer.

    But I carry a Rand-McNally paper road atlas in the car. It never runs out of batteries and doesn't care if it's within cell tower range. (but I've always loved and used maps since before cellphones were invented) I use the Garmin GPS to help find hotels and to check my speedometer in the car.

    I have a 12 year old not-very-smart phone so can't address new tricks with them.

    We put up a discussion thread of how to check weather.
    http://www.roadtripamerica.com/forum...ther-forecasts
    Last edited by noFanofCB; 12-16-2015 at 11:47 AM.

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

    Default

    Also use safetravelusa.com to get links to the road conditions sites for each state.

    Even with multiple drivers, 3 days is not safe - it's at LEAST 4 days. You should try to restrict your driving to daylight hours as much as possible, after dark is when the roads can ice up even if they are essentially clear of snow.

    If you stick to the Interstates, you won't need chains. If the conditions are that bad you don't belong out on the road anyway, just hole up in a hotel till the storm passes and the roads are clear.

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