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  1. Default Detroit to Los Angeles Road Trip Early December

    Hello,

    I am moving to Los Angeles and am driving from Detroit, MI to LA next week (Dec 2), I am worried on how driving conditions will be in Colorado at this time of the year and if I will be okay driving into it. I have a new SUV car that I am driving to LA with, so it has new tires and is all new. Can someone please let me know how driving in Colorado this time of the year may be? Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I'm sorry, but no one can tell you how driving will be in any state next week, because the only way you can know that is by having a good weather forecast - and we're still too far out for forecasts to be accurate.

    It should be noted that Colorado is hardly the only state you should be concerned about - as you could see winter weather in just about every state between Michigan and California. However, having said that, just like Detroit doesn't shut down every time it snows, America's Interstate Highways get top priority in winter weather and with the exception of during a storm, a driveable all year long.

    The best thing you can do is keep an eye on the forecasts and make sure you have enough time in case there is bad weather. At 2300 miles, this is a solid 4 day drive in good conditions. If you have a 5th day available you'll be in good shape to be able to slow down or even stop for a while if you do run into a bad storm.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default More Importantly

    While it's nice that you will have a brand new SUV with brand new tires, there's a downside to those same factors: namely that they're new and you will have no experience with them. The best 'equipment' for winter driving is experience with your rig, not the rig itself. If your new vehicle is heavier and better sprung than your previous ride, there will be a strong tendency to go faster than you should, because it will 'feel' the same as your former ride when you were going slower and the increased momentum and lack of familiarity with it's handling characteristics will make it harder to control rather than easier, particularly if you've lulled yourself into a false sense of security since you 'have a brand new SUV with brand new tires'. So take it extra easy if/when you first see snow until you do get some muscle memory and seat-of-the-pants experience with your new vehicle.

    As Michael noted, the Interstates get first priority in wither road maintenance, so the shortest all-Interstate route is usually your best bet. And rather than spending hours upon hours trying to rive around inclement weather, that time is usually better spent just waiting out the storm in a warm motel room, letting the road crews do their job, and resuming travel only when conditions improve enough to allow you to continue your drive safely.

    AZBuck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    Buck's point about knowing your rig and how it handles is a huge factor when driving in winter, and to that point, even though your new SUV will have new tires that are almost certainly All-Season tires, you really don't know how those tires will perform in Snow. My current roadtrip vehicle is a Subaru Forester, an SUV that is supposed to be very good in the snow, but the tires that came on it from the factory where horrible on snow - to the point where I thought my wife's 2 wheel drive car was actually much safer on snow - until I replaced those tires.

    All tires have strengths and weaknesses... but there's really no way to know how yours will respond until you have some experience with them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Most original equipment tires are chosen for low rolling resistance (for fuel economy), low noise, smooth ride, and long wear. Traction and bad weather performance is way down on that list. Tires that are good in snow generally don't have any of those attributes.

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