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  1. Default is 400miles per day reasonable, east to west?

    Have read bunch of good posts and answers from this forum, which helps a lot for my coming summer trip planning: from Detroit, MI to San Francisco, CA in July. Looking forward to driving 6 to 8 hours per day (rest time is extra), mainly taking I-80 and I-90. MS s&t shows me that 500 to 600miles for 8 hours (9am to 5pm).

    So, could someone has the experience let me know if it is reasonable? If not, how about 400 miles per day?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Quite

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forum.

    There are a few ways to compute how far you can expect to get in a certain amount of time. The rule of thumb around here is 53 mph (even on interstates!) and that takes into account stops for gas, food and rest (toilet) stops, and the occasional light traffic slowdown, but not rest (per se) or heavy traffic tie-ups. Another way is to take the estimates one gets out of mapping software and to add in time to allow for all those 'extra' items. For example, Your MS S&T estimate (and that's all it is) of 600 miles in 8 hours means that you have to average 75 miles per hour for the entire 8 hours. Not bloody likely. Your target of 400 miles in an 8 hour day of driving is much more on target. It will leave you in shape to do it again the next day, and the next...., rather than exhausted at the end of the day. You might find, to your delight, that you can cover a little bit more, and that is vastly preferable to finding out, to your dismay, that there is simply no way that you can keep the schedule (600 mi/day) that some inhuman computer program said you could.


  3. Default

    Thanks AZBuck, guess I will adjust my stops then.

  4. #4


    One thing you need to decide when planning the trip is what your goal is. Is this a road trip to see things along the way, or is it a road trip just to get to the end destination. I've easily traveled 800-1100 miles in a day, but that's because I knew where I wanted to be and I didn't care what was in between.

    If you are looking to enjoy yourself along the way, I would definitely not recommend more than the 400 miles per day. That seems like a very reasonable plan and will be comfortable.

    And one final thing to consider. If you drive a little earlier, say starting at 5 or 6 am, you may get better speeds as long as you don't hit a major city during the morning rush.

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