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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Washington DC (moving to Los Angeles)

    Default Moving Truck from DC to LA

    Hi there,

    To start, thank you to all the contributors on this site. The information is extremely helpful.

    I will be driving a 26 ft Penske truck from Bethesda, MD to Los Angeles. I have driven this route before and really enjoyed it- taking I40 a majority of the way. I am looking to see if anyone has input on what the flattest route would be- taking I81 to TN or taking I70 and meeting up with the 40 in OK. I am not in a huge rush, but really want to try and avoid inclines if at all possible. I remember a mountainous region in TN which I am trying to avoid. The Penske truck does not take climbs very well!

    Any and all suggestions would be appreciated.

    Thank you,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Getting Over the Hump

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    The subject of getting 'over' the Appalachians seems to be coming up fairly frequently lately. First, let me tell you my basic philosophy about crossing mountains, whether it's in a truck or not. If there's no good way around, then your best option is to simply pick the shortest all-Interstate route through them and just get it over with. The Interstate Highways are built to have a maximum grade of 6%. They also limit how tight a curve can be and will always have at least two lanes, often three, on any climbing stretch. In your specific case, this would mean taking I-270 out of DC to I-70 and on to Hancock MD. At that point, I'd suggest I-68 to I-79 north, rejoining I-70 at Washington PA. There are a couple of reasons for not just staying on I-70 all the way, both having to do with the Pennsylvania Turnpike. First of all it's a toll road and the tolls for multi-axle trucks are particularly steep, and secondly it was actually built before the Interstate standards were set and so it can be a bit narrow and twisty through the mountains. It also entails several tunnels.

    After that it's a relatively simple matter to take I-70 to St. Louis and then follow the modern equivalent of old Route 66 on today's I-44/I-40/I-15 into Los Angeles.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Washington DC (moving to Los Angeles)


    Thank you very much for the detailed insight. I will follow your advice on taking I-68 to I-79. Thanks again!

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