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  1. Default Phoenix to Detroit via Denver in April

    My friend and I are flying to Phoenix one way and driving a UHaul back to Detroit with the goal of enjoying this trip as much as possible! We plan to drive from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon on April 4 and then straight to Denver (via 160 to 191 to I-70) so we can spend two days in the Denver area (visiting Boulder and RMNP). I'm concerned with the weather conditions driving a large vehicle on this route (it's weight capacity is 2400 lbs, and dimensions are 12' long, 7.5' wide and 9' high).

    We then plan to head to Mt. Rushmore and head back to Detroit via I-90.

    Does anyone have any experience with this route during this time of year? I've never been in this area before, and have heard stories about snow chains on tires. Do I need to get some to be on the safe side? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Leave Some Wiggle Room - Back Off So You Can Enjoy

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    You're looking at 2 days from Phoenix to Denver (just over 900 miles) and 3 days from RMNP to Detroit (around 1200 miles) plus whatever time you want to spend in the Rockies. You should also build in to your schedule at least one day to just sit out any possible bad weather. I would put your odds of encountering weather severe enough to delay you at a good bit less than 50% but NOT zero. U-Haul typically will include more days than strictly required for the move in the rental contract, and additional days are usually fairly reasonable. I'd make sure that I had the truck for at least 9 days to allow for the drive, a day or two in the Rockies, a day at either end to pack and unpack, and a day for possible weather delay. Mt. Rushmore is simply too far off your path to even think about on this trip - wait until you see how your truck guzzles gas and how few miles you've racked up by the end of each day, even though you've pushed yourselves harder than you would have thought necessary.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Days Allowed

    I looked, and UHaul gives you 8 days to get from Phoenix to Detroit, so it looks like it is plenty of time to make the trip.

    However, when you consider that you'll probably want a full day to load and unload at each end of the trip, that drops you down to 6 days, and as Buck as already said, you'll need at least 5 days to cover the mileage. That doesn't leave a lot of time for exploring, or really even spending more than a day in any one place.

    What I would recommend is talking to your UHaul dealer and see if they will give you an extra couple of days to make the trip. It will be at the dealers discrection, but they should be able to work out something so you won't be charged for the extra days, which can get rather pricey.

  4. Default

    Thanks for the info. We plan to be back in Detroit in April 8, with the 9th as a buffer day in case it takes longer. We may be naive in thinking we can make it from Phoenix to Denver (with stopping at the Grand Canyon for two hours) in one push (about 20 hours). If we have a delay caused by the weather, we definitely won't be making it, but we're pretty flexible. We're mostly concerned on what to expect with the weather heading across the Rockies.

    When we leave Mt. Rushmore and head east, we also plan to visit Milwaukee, where we have some plans made on Saturday, April 7th. Hopefully we'll be able to keep them, but if not, it's not that big of a deal.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Danger: Lecture Ahead

    Let me get this straight. You want to leave Phoenix on the 4th, drive more than 900 miles in one day, stopping at the grand canyon during this trip. Then you want to spend 2 days in Denver, the 5th and 6th, and then somehow you want to not only make it 1200 miles to Detroit, you want to head several hundred miles in the wrong direction, and somehow still make it to your Destination on the 7th or 8th?

    I don't even know where to begin, other than to say, what you are considering attempting is not just foolish, it is flat out dangerous. You will be attempting to go way way way beyond what professional drivers are allowed to attempt, and you are going to do it in a large truck that you aren't familar with.

    If you want to leave Phoenix on April 4th, and arrive on the 8th, you barely have enough time to make a direct trip, you certainly do not have time for a 500 mile non-interstate detour.

    If you want to "enjoy this trip as much as possible," please consider reality and go back to the drawing board. You certainly won't have fun with the plan you are laying out, and you will be putting the safety of yourself and everyone else on the road in danger.

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