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  1. Default Moving from SFO to ORD - Terrified with heights

    I am driving from San Francisco to Chicago, IL mid June time this year and I will be traveling with a 26' foot rental moving truck with a car attached to the back of it with a car tow dolly.....I am terrier of heights.. :(

    What is the best route for me to avoid driving in the mountains??? .....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,217

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Unfortunately, there is no way to get from anywhere on the west coast to Chicago without going over mountains.

    The good news is that if you stick to the interstates, there are no hairpin turns or steep drop offs. Depending upon how you define terror, it's very possible that you'd have no significant issues just taking the direct route of using I-80 nearly all the way across. I'd use I-15 to I-84 around Salt Lake City to bypass a particularly steep section of I-80, but otherwise, you'd get on I-80 and just keep driving. At a little over 2100 miles, you should plan on the trip taking 4 to 5 days.

    Otherwise, pretty much the only thing you could do is follow US-101 all the way down the coast to Los Angeles (avoiding mountains on I-5), and then take I-10 at least into New Mexico, if not all the way into Texas. I really wouldn't recommend that, because this still goes up to 5,000 feet elevation, adds a solid 600 miles to your drive - pushing you up into basically a 6 day drive. It also adds several more major metro areas, and is going to add a few hundred dollars to your fuel costs, and could also result in penalties from Uhaul for using too many miles/days. If your fear is that strong, I think I would really look at finding moving company, or some other option for getting your belongings across the country.

    No matter what route you end up taking, I would strongly recommend you get a full trailer for to tow your car, rather than the tow dolly. A full trailer is much, much, much easier to deal with than a tow dolly. With a tow dolly you can never back up, even a little bit, and on a trip of this distance, there will be cases where you need to back up!

  3. Default

    Thank you! So you are suggesting that I-80 -> I-15 -> I-84 -> I-80.. Simple enough.

    A couple of questions. How much elevations that am i looking at? and what are the areas that involves major mountainous pass?

    As for my fear, so long it's a 4-lane roads, I should be okay. I just don't want angry driver on my tail on single lane through mountains. I will drive slow to navigate height.

    Thoughts?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,675

    Default

    My husband understands your dislike of angry drivers on your tail end on single lane through the mountains. He prefers interstates for loads and towing, for that and a few other reasons. Most of the interstates, if you are going uphill with a grade of 4% or more, will give a "truck lane", and require slow vehicles and trucks to keep to it. It's an extra lane over and above the 2-lanes-in-one-direction that the interstate normally has.

    You can, and probably should, negotiated with U-Haul for a few extra miles and an extra day. In winter, having an extra day will give you peace-of-mind so that you have time to load it, drive to Chicago, and unload it (which ordinarily takes about 1/4-1/2 the time of loading it!) before the return to the destination U-Haul dealership.

    My husband and I are about to embark on a U-Haul trip, next month, and we are facing the same issues you are.


    Donna

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,413

    Default

    Weather shouldn't be an issue in June. I totally concur with Michael - rent a car trailer, not a dolly.

    What you want to do in SLC is take I-215 north to I-15 north to Farmington, then US-89 north to I-84 east. This takes you through a canyon instead of over Parley's Summit and only adds 10 miles and 10 minutes. US-89 is 4 lanes with some traffic lights.

    Maximum elevation is around 9000 feet, that's on I-80 in Wyoming. The only major pass you will be dealing with is Donner Pass near the CA/NV state line.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,675

    Default

    Oops, I missed the reference to "June". Sorry about that, and no, you shouldn't have weather issues in June! The only weather issue you may have are winds on I-80, and possibly a warning for high profile vehicles about that.

    Donner Pass has truck lanes. Should not be an issue.


    Donna

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, CO.
    Posts
    316

    Default

    If you stay on the interstates there won't be any single-lanes except thru construction zones.

    Don't forget that if you climb the hill slowly because it's steep you should also descend slowly so as to not overheat brakes. This means shifting the transmission to a lower gear and letting the engine hold you back rather than using the brakes continuously. If you ride the brakes down the hill at best they'll overheat and not be effective. At worst they'll catch fire.
    This is something that is seen on I-70 west of Denver as some folks in RVs just ride the brakes down the hill.

    I chuckle to remember that when I had my Unimog it would go uphill on I-70 west of Denver at a maximum of 13 mph. I was in the right lane with flashers on but was being passed by many semis who also were going slow with flashers on because of the grade but the only thing slower than me were broken down vehicles on the shoulder. I've been passed by bicyclists on uphills :-)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,413

    Default

    If the truck is fairly new, the transmission may have a "tow/haul" mode. This works both uphill and downhill. Going downhill, a tap of the brake pedal will downshift it 1 gear unless it would overrev the engine. Going uphill, it keeps it in the lower gears longer.

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