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  1. Default Dallas to Seattle Move - Jan 26 - Jan 28 2018

    Dear Experts,

    I have to move from Dallas to Seattle during the weekend of Jan 26 - Jan 28 2018.

    I have a 2009 Hyundai Elantra GLS Sedan :-) Planning to dump my stuff in the car and head off for a road trip starting Jan 26 and ending on Jan 28.

    I am both excited and nervous as I've never done a road trip this far.

    I need your expert advice on the trip during this time of the year:

    1. Can I take the route through Colorado? I read several posts asking people to avoid that route as the Interstates might be Icy.

    2. If not, i was planning the following itinerary:

    Day 1: Jan 26 2018 3 AM: Start from Dallas
    Day 1: Jan 26 2018 10 PM: Reach Phoenix, AZ (Halt overnight) (Google predicts 15 hours, but i am adding a buffer of 4 hours).
    Day 2: Jan 27 2018 6 AM: Start from Phoenix, AZ
    Day 2: Jan 27 2018 10 PM: Reach Sacramento, CA (Halt Overnight) (Google predicts 11 hours, but i am adding buffer of 3 hours).
    Day 3: Jan 28 2018 6 AM: Start from Sacramento, CA
    Day 3: Jan 28 2018 11 PM: Reach Seattle, WA (Google predicts 12 hours, but i am adding buffer of 3 hours).

    Any comments on this itinerary if the previous one through Colorado is not advisable?

    3. Do i need to be equipped with chains on any of these routes (I never had to use chains so far)?

    Thanks for your guidance !

    Regards,
    Hari

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,118

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    I'm sorry, but you've got a plan that is EXTREMELY unrealistic, dangerous, and unsafe.

    Read what you wrote: You are planning to drive 19 hours on day 1, 14 hours on day 2, and 15 hours on day 3!

    Putting aside how completely unrealistic it is to even consider that you could safely operate a 2 ton machine at 75 mph for those kinds of hours, when do you think you'd be sleeping with this plan?

    The reality is even if you have multiple drivers, trying to put in those kinds of hours is homicidal, and every bit as dangerous as driving drunk. Professional drivers are limited by law to about 10 hours of driving a day, in the real world, that works out to a maximum of about 600 miles. I am hoping this plan is simply because of your inexperience and lack of knowledge, and you will immediately reconsider, but if not please ask yourself why you think you could safely do something that professionals can not.

    The reality is that you are looking at a drive that is about 2200 miles if you go by the most direct route - which means you need a minimum of 4 days, if you go the direct route and see good weather conditions.

    The route you've proposed is about 2600 miles, so that means you need at least 5 days, and that's assuming you see good weather - and I'm sorry to tell you, you'd still have plenty of opportunity to see snow and ice both across Texas and New Mexico, and again as you make your way up the mountains along the west coast.

    I'm not sure exactly what you've read, but the standard winter advice here is actually the opposite of what you're planning - since any cross country route can and does see winter weather, you are better off taking the most direct route. That means the fewest days on the road - and thus the fewest chances to see bad weather, and it also means if you do see bad weather, you have that much more time available to sit and wait for conditions to improve. In your case, even if you had to wait out bad weather in Colorado, for example, if you were delayed by a full day, you'd still arrive sooner than by going all the way over to California and up. Now, if two routes are similar in distance, take the one that looks best - so for example, you might take I-25 all the way from Colorado to I-90 in Montana (often the better choice in winter) or you might take I-80 across Wyoming depending upon what the forecast say for your specific days of travel. If conditions are so bad on the interstates that you need chains, you are better off waiting for conditions to improve and plow crews to do their jobs.

    But no matter what route you take, it can not be stressed enough that you MUST take far more time for the drive than you are currently planning. Trying to drive 19 hours in a day could very easily get someone killed, and trying to do that for 3 straight days is flat out playing russian roulette with the lives of everyone on the road.

  3. Default

    Hari,

    I done the trip from DFW to Seattle/Bellevue WA in winter and don't suggest taking Colorado route as it's likely going to be impacted with winter conditions. Most northern routes to Seattle including I70/I15/I84/I82/I90 likely going to require a chain or at least in Washington state if you get pulled over during mandatory chain zone/conditions you can get up to $500 fine ticket. Assuming you are driving front-wheel only vehicle and no chains in extreme icy conditions.

    Be sure to get your car winterized and at least have newer tires.

    Three days seems to be extreme as MM indicated. You may want to consider extra few days due to short daylights and safety concerns.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,323

    Default

    jm, you can't generalize like that. The route through Colorado may be just fine. They do have excellent road crews in the mountain states. It has to be pretty bad before you will run into any chain laws.

    Look at it this way - there is no way to get from Dallas to Seattle on Interstate highways without going through mountains. As Michael said, plan on the shortest all-Interstate route and AT LEAST FIVE DAYS to make this trip. If you only have 3 days, go buy a plane ticket and have your stuff and car shipped.

  5. Default

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again. You'll average about 50 mph, even driving 70 - 80 mph, due to delays: stopping for gas, rest rooms, food, city traffic, construction, accidents, weather, and slower drivers.

    I just drove 1300 miles from Michigan to Florida. There were times when I was doing 70 mph (or was it 80?). Other times I was lucky to do 55 for the reasons already posted. Total time over two long days with two drivers: about 25 hours. We could not have driven a third day.

    Your trip of 2600 miles will take about 52 hours.

    Oh, you were asking about chains. How fast do you think you can drive in snow, with or without chains?

  6. Default

    GLC, Agree however my recommendation was based on vehicle age, snow/ice conditions this year around in part of Colorado/Utah/Eastern Oregon and Washington state. Unless there is going to be weather in 60s on that part of country in next two weeks or so the black ice and some accumulation will remain on highway/bridges.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,118

    Default

    There will certainly be accumulation on the ground, but that hardly means that there will be any snow on the roads. They plow and salt roads in those parts of the country - it's not like the far south/southwest where they just wait for all the snow and ice to melt. And saying that someone would "likely" need chains on the interstates at this time of year is just not accurate.

    As is said on this forum frequently, saying someone should avoid any road or state at a certain time of year is just very bad advice, and could easily have someone avoid a perfectly clear route and drive right into a snow or ice storm - especially in a case like this where a "southern" route adds more than 500 miles and still involves numerous places that see snow and ice (and can also occationally require chains) every winter.

  8. Default

    MM, Jm98, Glc, Travelingman,

    Folks, thanks a lot for your time and valuable inputs. As suggested by you, I am planning to do this in 4 days instead of 3. Also will have an additional day as reserve.

    Planning in the following way:

    Dallas -> Santa Rosa, NM (halt) -> Moab, UT (halt) -> Boise, ID (halt) -> Seattle, WA

    This gives an average drive time of 10 hours per day.

    Let me know if you see any challenges with this route. Of course will still have to look out for weather reports and change routes accordingly. But do let me know if you see any major challenges or concerns with this route.

    Thank you !

    Regards,
    Hari

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,323

    Default

    That will work only if the weather and roads are good. That's a lot of traveling off Interstate highways.

    Dallas to Amarillo might as well be an Interstate - US-287 is a major multilane highway. Albuquerque to Provo is the part you need to be careful of. Also, as I remember Moab hotels are quite high priced, you may want to look at Monticello or Green River.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,118

    Default better, but.....

    This plan is significantly better than the last one you proposed, however, it still is not the route I would recommend.

    This route involves a significant number of miles on 2 lane roads, through relatively remote mountain areas. The biggest problem with that you're now talking about roads that are a lower priority if it snows, and if it snows, you're likely to be farther away from people and services to help you deal with the winter conditions.

    Your planned stops of around 550 miles each leg are good choices, but I would take I-25 up through Colorado in a heartbeat over trying to work up through the mountains of New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah on non-Interstate highways.

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