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  1. Default Seattle to Flagstaff (Avoid Deadman Pass?)

    Hi Fellow Roadtrippers,

    I am new to this forum. In May or June this year my husband and I will be moving from a suburb of Seattle to Flagstaff, AZ. We will be driving a 15' Uhaul and my dad will be driving our Elantra (we will also be taking our 2 cats). I would like to take the route that goes on I-84 for a good part of the way, but am concerned about Cabbage Hill/Deadman Pass. What is the recommendation? Should we avoid this area? I have been a passenger going from Portland to Boise and back once before, but I don't really remember that part well.

    What is your advice?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default No Reason You Should

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    [I] am concerned about Cabbage Hill/Deadman Pass. I have been a passenger going from Portland to Boise and back once before, but I don't really remember that part well
    There's absolutely no real reason why you should remember that particular stretch of the Interstate system. And therein lies the strength of the Interstate system. It is built to specifications that limit the grades and curves on every mile of those roads. They are built to allow the quick and safe movement of military (primarily), commercial and passenger traffic with the least amount of stress. If all you're concerned about is a safe efficient move, then I-90/I-82/I-84/I-15/US-89 is your route of choice

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    One of the stipulations of the Interstates, when they were built, was that they were to have a maximum of 6% grade and curves were limited. That said, your 15' UHaul and the smaller car should have no problem negotiating either of those issues. My husband and I have used UHaul-type rigs on several occasions, and never had any trouble with long grades.

    With two cats, you will need to do a little homework to find pet-friendly lodging. La Quinta and Motel 6 are among the choices, with a smattering of other chains and mom-and-pops that are pet-friendly. Bring Fido is another resource. Mostly they refer to dogs, but most facilities that accept dogs are okay with cats, too, though they may request that you keep them crated.


    Donna

  4. Default

    Don't worry and just drive under speed limit and you will be fine. I82 has stiff hill to climb near Yakima, WA. Just verify your UHAUL truck is in good shape.

    Sad to see people move away from Seattle area... but you will have more sunny days and healthy life in AZ.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Allowing the time is most important.

    As has been said you have nothing to be overly concerned about as long as you allowing enough time for the journey, that's what is key to safely getting to your destination. In this case you will need at least 2 overnight stops along the way.

  6. Default

    Thank you for all your advice.
    I had been worried because when trying to research the route I came across a lot of people who say that Deadman Pass is dangerous, that your brakes can go out, that you have to worry about driving by huge semi's and the dangers that could bring, etc. I couldn't tell if people were worried about it in the winter only, or if it was for all seasons.

    We were thinking of possibly making the trip in 2 days (for the sake of the cats) and either staying in Twin Falls or SLC, but maybe it is wiser to do 2 night stay. We are also considering a U pack option where we pack it ourselves and have a driver take it down there. That way we could not have to worry about driving a Uhaul that whole way and also be able to be in the car to take care of the cats.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default

    It really is a bit much for 2 days and would require you to drive further and for longer than a professional truck driver is permitted to do by law for safety issues. Do not get fooled by google map time estimates as they are impossible to match in any vehicle never mind a U haul. With sensible rest breaks, time to refuel, eat and cater for the usual congestion and construction delays, you are looking at around 26 hours travel time which is simply too much to do on back to back days safely. In fact it would put you in much more danger than any pass you may have to drive over, fatigue is a killer.

    Safe travels !

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    I-84 is challenging, relative to other interstate highways. The grades and curves in the section you are talking about are essentially at the maximum allowed for the interstate system. Having said that, as everyone above has said, even at the maximums, you are still talking about a very safe road. The key - as with all mountain driving - is when you are going down a steep hill, make sure you aren't overworking your brakes, instead use the transmission/engine to slow you down, by shifting into a lower gear. If your brakes are going out on an interstate, it's because of operator error the vast majority of the time.

    For the sake of your cats - and yourself, and everyone else on the road - please make 2 overnight stops for this trip. At 1350 miles, it's just too far to drive with just one overnight stop - a problem compounded by the fact you'll be both in a Uhaul, and in a caravan with 2 people with will increase your travel times. Salt Lake City is way too far to try and drive in a day, and even Twin Falls would be pushing harder than we'd recommend. I'd recommend planning to spend your first night around Boise, and then your second night around Beaver, UT (once you get off I-15, your options for motels would drop off significantly.)

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

    Default

    that your brakes can go out
    That's what the transmission gear selector lever is for - just downshift to a lower gear and use engine braking.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Every day on my way home from work, I come down a steep grade (8%) on a 2-lane road. To avoid burning out my brakes, I downshift. If you have an Overdrive on the moving truck, it would be a matter of turning off the overdrive, which means you end up in 3rd gear. If your car has a manual 3rd gear, like one of our vehicles does, that's our first line of defense. Otherwise, slow down enough and then shift to 2nd. If your car is a stick shift....well, easy!!! Clutch and shift!!!

    My hubby and I find that in a self-moving truck (U-Haul, Penske, whatever), you accelerate slower and you have more weight to slow down. So we never plan more than 400 or 450 miles a day. As has been pointed out, the caravan will also slow you down. Just getting on/off the interstate, into a fuel station or motel, will take a little longer as you try to ensure that you are staying together.

    Speaking of that, you may want to work out a system of communication between the two vehicles, so that the single person in the Elantra does not have to try to dial a phone while he is driving. Either hands-free system, family radios (which have a distance maximum of 1-2 miles), or the old fashioned methods of lights flashing or lights on by the rear vehicle, so that your dad can contact you.

    Donna

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