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  1. Default Los Angeles - Michigan

    Hi folks,

    I just found this board through a Google search. I'm planning on moving from LA to Michigan next week, and wanted to get some tips here. I'll be driving in a 2002 Honda Civic and plan on filling up the trunk and back seat with my stuff.

    - What is the best route to take -- I-70 through Denver, I-80 through SLC or I-40 through ABQ? I know I-70 is the shortest and I-80 is faster because of lesser elevation gains. However, which of these three routes will be least stressful on my car because of the weight and the mountainous driving?

    - I plan on doing this trip over 3 days, so what are the recommended rest stops? I'm thinking of the following:
    I-70: Grand Junction, Omaha
    I-80: SLC, Omaha
    I-40: ABQ, Tulsa

    Are these reasonable expectations?

    - Any general tips for doing this drive, as well as any specific tips for this route? This is my first cross-country drive, so any input would be most appreciated.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default You need more time

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    My first suggestion, and it is a strong suggestion, is to add at least one more day to your plans. You didn't say where in Michigan you are heading to, but even in the best case, if you are heading to SW MI, you are looking at a 2100 mile trip. (Obviously that will be more if you are heading to Detroit, or elsewhere in the state.) 700 miles per day works out to an average of more than 12 hours per day on the road in the best case. That is simply too much for a solo traveler over 3 consecutive days. There is also a pretty good chance that you'll be starting your traveling a little tired from packing up before your trip, so that will also be working against you.

    I'll also tell you that my last cross country move from California to Wisconsin took me 4 1/2 days, and they were full days of driving. Even with my experience, I wouldn't have tryed to push myself much harder than what I did.

    Regardless, I would highly recommend that you also read the Art of the Speed Run before you hit the road.

    As far as your routing, It really won't make that much difference time wise either way. I used I-70 without any problems, and I was in a UHaul pulling a car. I-70 also takes you past great views, so it is my personal favorite of the 3 route. I-80 is a few miles longer, but it could be slightly faster, but its not so much because of the elevation as much as it is because it avoids the potential of traffic backups in Denver.

  3. Default Add another day ...

    I'll chime in here too.. What you've laid out looks like a very very demanding road trip for a single person. Even with two people driving, it would be tough.. just from the miles per day you want to travel.

    If you're using one of the internet maps, what they give you is "drive time" -- assuming some calculated mph on the route. But that doesn't include things like gas breaks, biological breaks (bathroom), food stops, and the very necessary "get out of the car and stretch or I'll go crazy" stops.

    For example, you laid out on one route, LA to Salt Lake City in one day, and then on to Omaha the next. The first day is listed as 689 miles and 10 hours on The second day is 934 miles and 13 1/4 hours. A more realistic average speed of around 55-60 mph *average* including some stops, would put the first day at 11.5 to 12.5 hours on the road. So starting at 7 am, would get you there around 7 pm. The second day would be 16 to 17 hours. Way too long: 7 am again to 11 or 12 pm.

    How well and how safe do you think you'll be driving by that point in the middle of the night? Particularly after a previous 12 hour day of driving?

    The farthest I've averaged on a multi-day trip is around 600 miles, and I was beat at the end of 3 days. And that was a "lets get there fast" trip.

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