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  1. Default San Diego CA to Austin TX

    Hey fellow road trippers!!! Long time lurker in this forum, finally set up an account so I can ask some questions to you fine folks.

    I'm headed to Austin from San Diego January 10th. I will be driving a chevy conversion van that has a bed and I will be able to store food and all the necessities.

    I was hoping to avoid snow if possible, just because I have never driven in snow before! I grew up in the sun and the ocean so anything below 60 is new to me! Haha.

    I was wondering if there any certain routes you guys recommend? (I planned on the 8east to the 10 east) Or any cool pit stops?

    Planned on making it a 4/5 day drive, taking my time and seeing the sights. I'd like to stop to see the Grand Canyon or maybe northern Arizona. Anywhere green I enjoy, I'm from the hot city desert!


    Thanks in advance let me know if there's more details you need but any advice is welcome! This is my first cross country trip! I've driven up California to Washington quite a bit.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,905

    Default Start making a list.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    The only way you can avoid snow is by knowing where it is and you won't know that until much closer to your departure time. (There could be snow throughout and unaviodable but the Interstates are a priority to keep clear)Staying south doesn't necessary mean you wont see snow, but it will certainly mean you won't see the Grand canyon ! ;-) To go via the Grand canyon will mean 3 days of driving, spend a day at the canyon and your 4 days is up, but if you have that fifth day it will mean you can break your drives up and do some smaller stops along the way. You could travel parts of old route 66 and stop in a few of the towns. I would look at a decent map, do a little research and mark out places of interest and have plenty of options so that you can adjust depending on any weather related issues. Speaking of which, it's going to be cold at night in a van !!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    187

    Default

    Hello, and Welcome to the RTA Forums!

    Four to five days is a good amount of time for the trip, but there's no way to guarantee that you'll avoid snow during the first half of January on any route that crosses the Continental Divide. Heck, you might even hit snow in the mountains east of San Diego; it's impossible to predict until we get much closer to your departure date.

    Interstate 10 is the most direct route, and it runs at a lower altitude than the alternatives, but even I-10 sees snow on occasion. And including the Grand Canyon in your drive will greatly increase your odds of winter weather. The South Rim is at 7,000 feet, and if your timing isn't perfect there could be a LOT of snow in northern Arizona.

    Our best advice would be to closely check the weather reports before you leave San Diego. Keep your plans flexible, and be prepared to sit out a storm, if necessary, by holing up in a motel. Sleeping in your van in snowy weather is a terrible idea, as vehicles aren't all that well insulated. You could literally freeze to death! Let us know a little about your interests, and we can recommend some places to stop along the way, in addition to, or, if the weather fails to cooperate, perhaps instead of the Grand Canyon.

    Rick
    Last edited by Rick Quinn; 12-22-2017 at 01:34 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,671

    Default

    Rick has a good point, one that immediately came to mind as I was reading your post: winter and conversion vans aren't good companions when it comes to sleeping arrangements. The only way I'd consider sleeping in one during the winter is with a good 4-season sleeping bag!

    If Grand Canyon doesn't appear to work out because of snow/ice, you could consider Saguaro National Park and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, both right outside of Tucson. Saguaro NP is in two sections, one on the southwest side of town and one on the east. One is a thick forest of the tall cacti, and the others are very, very old cacti. There's Kerschner Caverns nearby, as well as an old movie set, Old Tucson. Then further along the 10, you could detour up to Carlsbad Caverns National Park, or south to Big Bend National Park.



    Donna

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,008

    Default

    The South Rim is at 7,000 feet, and if your timing isn't perfect there could be a LOT of snow in northern Arizona ........
    My daughter was at the South Rim last March, and to her children's great delight there was a snow storm.

    Lifey
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 12-27-2017 at 02:20 PM.

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chevyg20fun View Post
    Hey fellow road trippers!!! Long time lurker in this forum, finally set up an account so I can ask some questions to you fine folks.

    I'm headed to Austin from San Diego January 10th. I will be driving a chevy conversion van that has a bed and I will be able to store food and all the necessities.

    I was hoping to avoid snow if possible, just because I have never driven in snow before! I grew up in the sun and the ocean so anything below 60 is new to me! Haha.

    I was wondering if there any certain routes you guys recommend? (I planned on the 8east to the 10 east) Or any cool pit stops?

    Planned on making it a 4/5 day drive, taking my time and seeing the sights. I'd like to stop to see the Grand Canyon or maybe northern Arizona. Anywhere green I enjoy, I'm from the hot city desert!


    Thanks in advance let me know if there's more details you need but any advice is welcome! This is my first cross country trip! I've driven up California to Washington quite a bit.
    I did van camping trip from DFW to AZ and Las Vegas last week except for a night hotel stay on strip at LV. I downloaded "Loves travel shop", Pilot and TA android apps in my phone to view listed facilities as I used paid showers at Loves travel shop. The android apps included directions to travel shops from my current locations. This saved me $$$ and time on the road as I did not have to book hotels and re-route to hotels. I was also able to find a quiet parking spot at Loves travel stops for overnight parking as Loves allows overnight parking. There were few RVs parked overnight. The good thing about these travel stops is that more than few are new constructions along I10 and I40. Hot coffee and showers/restroom 24x7 big bonus.

    Each night cost me about $25 for showers/food and breakfast. The nightly temperatures did drop below 20 however a good 0 degree sleeping bag from Cabela's and twin memory foam bad topper sheet from IKEA did the trick. Also time saved not having to look for hotel was a big plus.

  7. Default

    Thanks for the response. We have a full sized mattress, sleeping bags and lots of blankets. It's me and my girlfriend

  8. Default

    Great response and thanks for taking the time! So we have lots and blankets and are prepared for cold weather but I understand having to get a motel if it's too cold. I don't want to be unsafe that's why I'm trying to avoid the snow. The grand canyon isn't a must, just want a couple cool stops.. i understand the middle of winter isn't the best time haha.

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