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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Mishawaka, Indiana
    Posts
    17

    Default Will have a huge home moving next week (Indiana - Las Vegas - California) by driving

    Dear all,

    I've been working in northern Indiana for many years, and now I need to move to another job in northern California. Because I want to save some money and want to enjoy the road trip I've never done before, I planned to drive there. I've reserved a 15' truck from Penske which gives me 12 days and unlimited mileage. I will pick it up next Saturday (10/15) and start going on Monday (10/17). For some reason I need to stop by Las Vegas. I have friends in Vegas so I can have a good rest there for about two days, before I get back on the road for the rest of the trip. So I think the first segment from Indiana to Las Vegas would be challenging for me. There is no chance of changing the plan, so I will have to stick to the driving instead of flying there and hire a moving companyy, etc.

    I don't know how dangerous (/fun /boring) it would be, and I need to plan the journey for each day, such as how long distance I want to drive, and which hotel/motel I want to stay. I have enough time, so I guess I can just drive 6 hours a day, and spend about 1.5 weeks to finish this task. I don’t need to go any sightseeing so I would just stick to the highway, and after lodging each day I will just stay in the room for safety reasons. I would greatly appreciate if anyone can give me some advice. If you need me to add any detail other than the above writing in order to give me better suggestion, please let me know. Thanks!

    Best,
    Henry

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,004

    Default Fairly Straightforward

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    If you're not interested in sight-seeing stops, are going to stick pretty much to the main highways, and are time-constrained (by the contract length, the time needed to load and unload, and the speed of the truck), then your route and stopping points should become relatively obvious with a little thought.

    Let's deal with the 'northern Indiana' to Las Vegas segment first, since that's all we know anything about. I've used South Bend as a starting point. Somewhere else in 'northern Indiana might make a little difference, but only a little. Since you're apparently going to take the first couple of days getting the truck and getting it loaded, and assuming you will send a couple of days in Las Vegas with your friend, and leaving four days to complete the trip into 'northern California' and unload, that leaves you only four days for the drive to Las Vegas. That will be just about the minimum required, given that rental trucks are somewhat underpowered and slow when fully loaded. But you can't do it in four days if you're only going to drive six hours a day. It's just not physically possible.

    I would aim for 500 miles each of the first two days while you're on the flat plains and about 415 miles on the third and fourth days as you cross the Rockies, the San Rafael Swell, and the Wasatch Mountains. That would put your overnight stops around Avoca IA, Fort Morgan CO, and Green River UT. Each of those towns has a range of motels to choose from (You can use our hotel finding tool to check out what's available and make a reservation), but is still small enough that you shouldn't need to worry about your safety or that of your belongings.

    Now, just because you won't be stopping for any major sight-seeing doesn't mean that you shouldn't plan on making any stops. Indeed you need to realize that driving a heavy truck at highway speeds, particularly if it's windy, is hard work. You will need to take a break every couple of hours to relax and refresh, and to just take your mind off the road for a bit. Smaller local parks are the best place for such activities, especially if they offer camping which would indicate that they have the roads to handle larger rigs like RVs and trucks.

    If you can add more time to your journey, then you can consider driving less each day and holding to your 6 hour limit, but not on your current 12 days. You will want to hold a day in reserve just in case of mechanical trouble with the truck, untoward weather, or traffic/construction delays. By my calculation (above) that 'spare' day would have to come from your time in Vegas and/or unloading time in 'northern California'. We also might be able to give a little bit more precise advice if you new more precisely where you were starting and ending your journey.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    8,836

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    Would you please post where in Indiana and where in California? "Northern" really isn't specific enough. I can then recommend a route with suggested overnight stops.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Mishawaka, Indiana
    Posts
    17

    Default

    Dear AZBuck,

    Thank you so much for such a quick and thorough answer, which exceeded my expectations. I realized that I need to be more precise on this. I'm starting from Mishawaka, IN which is just a neighbor city east of South Bend, IN. My destination is Woodland, CA, a small city to the west of Sacramento, CA. I'll pick up the truck on 15th, and return on 27th. The penalty for late return is just about $50 /day, which is not too big a deal. I assume if I start the driving on 17th, and reach Las Vegas on 22nd, and start on 24 and arrive on 26, then the time is just about right. If this is feasible, I can have totally 5 whole days to spend on the segment from Mishawaka, IN to Las Vegas. I don't know if this could let you update your suggestions.

    Thanks again,
    Henry

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Mishawaka, Indiana
    Posts
    17

    Default

    Hi glc,

    I'm starting from Mishawaka, IN, and my destination is Woodland, CA. Thanks!

    Henry

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    Welcome to RTA!

    Would you please post where in Indiana and where in California? "Northern" really isn't specific enough. I can then recommend a route with suggested overnight stops.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,076

    Default

    That helps us a LOT, when we know more specific departure and arrival destinations.

    From experience, depending on how much stuff you have, you may not get out after 2 days loading. It took my brother a lot longer than that.

    Mishawaka to Las Vegas is about 2100 miles. To drive that in 5 days, you'll be driving about 425 miles a day. That's very, very reasonable, as the trucks don't have a lot of "get up and go", especially when loaded and in the mountains.

    Wherever you intend to stay in Las Vegas, be sure to ask about parking. Many of the hotels on the Strip have only parking garages, and will not be able to accommodate your truck full of your possessions. There are a few that still have parking lots, but be sure to ask. Ask about off-strip motels, too, as some have small lots. My husband used to drive commercial, and "got stuck" in Las Vegas for 24 hours, and had to figure out where to park the rig. It was a challenge - I think they ended up at the Luxor. It shouldn't be much of a problem if you overnight in smaller towns. Green River motels have good parking for U-haul type trucks, for instance.

    Las Vegas to Woodland is just under 600 miles, if you take I-15 down to CA-58, across the southern end of Sierras and then up I-5. I would plan on a day and a half or a full two days for this.

    You should allow some unloading time -- you already have a place secured to drop your stuff? I know it takes about 1/3 as long to unload as it does to load, as long as you have people to help unload and a place to put the stuff.


    Donna

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    8,836

    Default

    Mishawaka to Las Vegas via fastest route is 1850 miles, via I-80/I-76/I-70/I-15. A 5 day trip with a mid-morning start on the first day would put overnights around Davenport IA, York NE, Denver CO, and Green River UT.

    after lodging each day I will just stay in the room for safety reasons.
    I don't understand the concern - there are no unsafe areas in any of the stops I mentioned as long as you don't stay in downtown Denver - find a hotel in the suburbs.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Mishawaka, Indiana
    Posts
    17

    Default

    Dear Donna,
    Thanks for your reply. I'm only living in a two-bedroom apartment, and my furniture is not much. The most heavy stuff is a sofa, washer & dryer, and three beds (one king, two full). I have already asked several friends to help. So I think two days would be enough for me to load the whole home into the truck.

    As for the parking in Las Vegas, I will stay at my friend's home, which has a private drive way and front street. I guess it'll be OK if I park the truck in front of the house.

    I do already have a place to drop off the stuff. I will arrive at the new home on 26th, and spend the whole day unload, and return the truck on 27th.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Mishawaka, Indiana
    Posts
    17

    Default

    Thanks for the suggestion, glc.
    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    I don't understand the concern - there are no unsafe areas in any of the stops I mentioned as long as you don't stay in downtown Denver - find a hotel in the suburbs.
    I don't know how come I have such an impression, that it's very dangerous to travel across the country. Maybe from the movies. :-P

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Mishawaka, Indiana
    Posts
    17

    Default

    Now I'm thinking of spending only 4 days (Oct. 17-20) from Mishawaka to Las Vegas (major reason is so I can meet a friend who will leave early 21st.). I just don't know how much more difficult and tiresome this would be compared to the 5 day plan.

    Based on AZbuck's suggestion, 4-day-plan will get me stop at Avoca IA, Fort Morgan CO, and Green River UT. The first two days 500 miles per day, and third and fourth days 415 miles per day. I'm also mentally prepared to spend 7 hours a day for the driving (3 in the morning, 4 in the afternoon).

    In my opinion, I don't see any reason it's not possible, but I really need some practical input before I reserve the rooms in the hotels. Thanks!

    Henry

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