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  1. #1
    wjgray Guest

    Default Moving everything...

    ... except the furniture....

    We are embarking on something quite significant for our little family next week and would like to solicit suggestions (especially route) from the good people here.

    Start: Phoenix, AZ
    Destination: Bellevue, WA

    VehicleS (3)
    - One brand new Toyota Corrola XRS (Wife driving)
    - One 2002 Dodge Durango 4WD with 50k miles (Dad driving)
    - One 1996 Saturn SL1 (too many miles) towed by Dad using an auto-transport rented from U-Haul.

    Participants: Mom, Dad, nine year old human, 2 adult cats

    I have never towed anything and am somewhat anxious of mountain travel with a vehicle-in-tow.

    We PLAN on driving a maximum of 8 hours/day leaving as early as possible each day (I HATE NIGHT DRIVING!)

    I know I have to hit some mountains, but I'd like to minimize the difficulty (rise/fall/winding) as much as possible.

    The "gut plan" is to use I-10 to I-5. However, I am VERY open to suggestions.

    Our goal is NOT exploration this time. We simply want a safe move of all breathing creatures and basic necessities. Suggestions for human child and adult cats welcome

    (portable dvd (cats LOVE Lassie!) and soft carriers (not for child) already purchased)


    Thanks in advance to any and all who help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ


    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forum!

    Your basic route looks solid, but be aware that there will be a short stretch between where you leave I-10 in Barstow, CA and take CA-58 to Bakersfield, CA and a bit beyond to where you pick up I-5. Parts of this section will be 2 and 4 lane highways with uncontrolled access. There shouldn't be too much in the way of serious mountain travel on this route, you'll be mainly following valleys. You will have to cross the Cascades in southern Oregon, but I've not made that crossing myself so don't know what to tell you about it. Otherwise just be prepared for some long climbs and descents, keep an eye on your engine temp and speed.

    Some further considerations: You should also be sure to carry some form of communication between vehicles, either cell phones, CB's, walkie-talkies or some combination. Load up the Durango and Saturn and keep the Corolla as empty as possible so that you can use it for excursions. And check here for some tips on mountain driving. Mainly, take your time and take it easy and I think that you'll find that towing is taxing but doable.


  3. #3
    wjgray Guest


    Good suggestion regarding communication! We will carry a cell per car plus our nifty Cobra's we normally use for biking. Thanks for the reminder!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula


    Welcome to the forum and welcome to the great State of Washington! If you want to know what's fun to do here, I'm full of ideas!!

    The route you've chosen is probably the best route for staying on interstates and having less mountains to cross. It's not the prettiest route but it will serve your needs well.

    The Siskiyou Pass in southern Oregon, shortly after crossing over from California, is probably the sharpest grade you will have to deal with. And it's really not that bad of a grade. As long as you stay in the right lane and just drive at a speed you are comfortable with, I doubt you will have much trouble. The road is wide and there are decent shoulders. I don't recall that there are many curves in the road. I think it's fairly straight.

    Good luck on your move.

  5. #5
    RoadTripper Brad Guest


    Well, hope you enjoy living in the state that I call home! Although it seems to me that you are heading against the flow of traffic (every time I go to the MVD here in AZ, I would say about 50% of the people in line are carrying Washington Licenses and Washington Titles!). I agree with Judy about Siskiyous Pass. However, you have about 6 or 7 individual passes to go over if you go through LA, about the same if you go around.

    Just remember that on any pass that you will hit, especially with the truck/trailer combo, go easy on the brakes. You can keep yourself from going down hill too fast by staying in 2nd gear all the way down (although you will be crawling!). Just remember DON'T RIDE THE BRAKES! I have seen a set on a U-Haul flambeau, burninate, (whatever word you use for flames) at the base of Syskious Pass... I was 5 and the only one short enough to see the flames coming out from undernieth the truck! Another suggestion is after crossing a pass, find a place to stop, such as a rest area, and let the vehicles take a breather. When I drove my 91 Lumina down from Washington last year I would put the hood up on the car to allow cool air to reach the engine quicker. Just be sure to also check the fluids frequently, even if it is a new car... although I doubt you'll have any trouble, it's nice to know that something's wrong when you are in the safety and comfort of a rest area or gas station, rather than out in the middle of nowhere.

    You can EASILY make the drive in 2 days. If you leave between 3 and 4 in the morning and not stop for lodging until 7 or 8, you can easily reach Redding, CA or at minimum North Sacremento. I went from Wenatchee to Phoenix via California in 2 days, and Wenatchee to Phoenix via Utah in 2 days, so it is easily a 2 day drive either way (although you will most likely want to sleep for 16 hours when you get to Bellevue).

    If you want to avoid the mountains, you can easily take 93 from Wickenburg north to Kingman, then across Hoover Dam (yes you should be able to cross), around the outside of Vegas, up through Littlefield AZ and into Utah on I-15. From there just head north, and take I-84 West to Boise. Once in Oregon, you have a few choices. You can continue up through Yakima on I-82 and then over Snoqualmie on I-90 (Snoqualmie Pass should be clear and is a easy pass to climb and decend), or if you aren't up to it, you can still do I-84 through the Columbia River Gorge to I-5 in Porland, then up to Seattle/Bellevue.

    Personally, I prefer the California Route, but the route through Utah has far fewer climbs, although it is very very boring.

    Again, both ways should only take you 2 days without sightseeing.

    Phoenix, AZ

    PS The Utah route is shorter.

  6. #6
    wjgray Guest

    Default Thanks to all!

    Thanks guys! We leave tomorrow. I am now plotting my course and will compare the 2 routes. I will be sure to let you know which I will choose and I will let you know how it turns out.

    This forum is great!

  7. Default Buen Viaje!

    Enjoy your journey! Bob

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