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  1. Default los angeles, CA to nashville, TN in 3.5 days

    I came across this forum when I was trying to plan my first roadtrip.
    I noticed that alot of these posts are about roadtrip with leisure. However, I have to make a speed roadtrip. I'm starting from los angeles headed to nashville. I need to arrive in nashville by the 4th day...
    I'm completely new to this... any advice, routes, how to find lodging, what to expect...
    My friend and I will be driving a black sudan and figured that we don't want it to overheat and avoid driving during the day. So how do you recommend I schedule our driving... which destinations?
    Sorry I feel abit lost.
    Thanks in advance for any advice!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Fortunately, They're Non-Issues

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Los Angeles to Nashville is just about 2000 miles, so your time frame is sufficient to make the drive. Read through these general tips on trips that are more about covering the distance than seeing the sights. For your purposes, I think you should try to lay down somewhere between 550 and 600 miles each of the first three days and then find lodging before you start feeling exhausted. Take an hour or so in the evening to unwind and an hour or so to get up, fed and ready to go in the morning and just try to keep a steady pace. You'll have to stick pretty much to the Interstates, I-15 and I-40, which will have plenty of motels along the way giving you the freedom to choose one on the fly.

    As long as your sedan is in good mechanical shape and has air conditioning, there really is no point to driving at night. Daylight will help keep you alert and you might as well at least see some of the country you'll be blowing through, You really won't have time to visit any destinations along the way, but you should get out of the car a couple of times each day to take a hike for a half hour or so. It will be the navigator's job to find some worth while venues that aren't far from the highway. State parks and national wildlife refuges make great 'rest areas' in this regard.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    The color of your car really doesn't make that much of a difference, especially if it is a newer model - most modern cars have a bunch of insulation that hides the engine anyway, under plastic covers, foam insulation, etc.

    To do this in three days, you will have to average 700 miles per day - which means you will be on the road about 13 hours a day, taking I-40 straight across. As far as destinations, other than Nashville that is, this doesn't leave a whole lot of time to go out of your way. Fortunately you will be splitting up the driving, which will make things easier on you.

    Lodging shouldn't be an issue, unless you are planning on travelling close to a holiday or a weekend in a busy area.

    You will want to read this page to get an idea of what you need to be prepared for.

  4. #4


    Route 66 kind of parallels I-40.You could get on it for a couple of 100 miles for a nice diversion from the Interstate.

  5. Default

    thank you so much for the responses!
    I feel much better about it... people were saying it was pushing it too hard and not doable...
    another question. Do I need to worry about lodging at all? Like pre-plan which motel and book in advance? Or can I just drive and lodge wherever we end up at...
    Thanks again

  6. Default When?

    During peak summer season, lodging can be locally hard to find -- occasionally -- you'll usually find a room in the end, but you might have to work a bit harder at it. That said, most of us who do this frequently usually always find something (although at peak times it may cost a bit more than we'd want). Take a look at this RTA article on the topic -- your comfort level has a lot to do with it.

    Reserving has advantages -- and disadvantages, depending on your point of view. Reserving ahead takes away the stress of thinking you might not find something at the end of the day -- but it also ties you down somewhat to a specific plan and distance which can be a drag.

    I do it both ways, depending on the type of trip I'm on. If my time is my own, I probably would not reserve ahead. If however, the schedule is king, then I would likely plan things a lot more carefully (and rigidly, no spontaneity permitted) and reserve ahead. For the record, I prefer the former method. -Bob

  7. Default Take cell phone...

    Just to add onto Az Bob's note..

    For a speed trip, with 2 people in the car, grab a AAA tour book for the like or the states whereabouts you think you're going to spend the nights. About noon or early afternoon when you get an idea of where you're going to spend the night, have the "navigator" call ahead and find a hotel to stay in.

    This gives you more flexibility on where you stay so if you're making tracks during the day you aren't locked into a specific place. But at the same time, you'll have a room waiting when you get to your goal for the day. Plus, if rooms are getting booked in high demand places, you've got enough flexibility on where you can stay that you can go an extra 60 miles or so -- which is usually enough to get you out of the busy/ popular places to find a room.

  8. Default

    Thank you for all the advice!
    I'll be leaving in less than 2 days.
    Quick question, my car needs an oil change in about 1000 miles...
    Should I get it before I make the ~2000 mile trip, or just do it in between somewhere... but where???
    I have made no pre-lodging plans.. hopefully that isn't a problem this time of the year... Are there plenty near the freeway? Or should I go inland more...?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Nagging Details

    Oil change requirements depend on the particular car, but in general have been getting more lax in recent years. I carry a 3000 mile between changes figure in my head, but was surprised recently to find that some manufacturers are now saying it's all right to go 7000 miles between changes. So check your manual to make sure of what you need. If you're on a 3000 mile cycle, then I'd go ahead and get it changed before your trip. If you're on a much longer cycle, I might hold off. If you really want to nail it, Almost any small city in America will have an "Oil-Kwick" type of establishment where you can just pull in and have your oil changed while you go have lunch.

    There will be more motels along I-40 than you can possibly need, even at this time of year. If you're pacing yourself properly and getting off the road in the early evening (at the latest) to get a good night's sleep) I would be mildly surprised if you didn't find a room at the first motel you pulled up to and flabbergasted if you got turned away from two.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Oil

    How many miles has it been since your last oil change? If you are only at 2000 miles, then I wouldn't worry about it until after your trip. 4000 miles between changes is no big deal. If you look, the 3000 mile requirement is only for "severe service," which is aimed at people like taxi and delivery drivers who are constantly in stop and go mode. The oil change industry has done a delightful job of convincing people that almost everyone drives in "severe" conditions, even though most manuals say that oil changes under normal conditions are only needed every 5-8k miles.

    That said, if you are concerned about it, I'd probably just do it before you leave. If you are taking it to a shop, then it would also be a good chance for your mechanic to do a quick inspection of your car before your trip. And while you certainly wouldn't have any problems finding a place to change your oil while you are on the road, its always nice if you can avoid those little headaches while you are on the road.

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