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  1. Default driving from nashville to seattle w/22 foot penske towing a car...

    Hi all,

    i'm going to be making a big move at the end of November, from nashville to seattle.

    i''m renting a 22 foot penske truck which will be towing a car (one a car carrier, not a tow dolly) and then i'll be driving another car behind the penske.

    needless to say, i don't know what the weather will be like in the last week of november - so depending on the weather, i'll either take I29 up to I90 and take that across, take I29 up to I80 then I84 then I82 to seattle, or if the weather is bad - i'll take I40 straight across to California and then work my way north from there.

    It goes without saying that I40 is the safest route, but it'll also take an extra day's time and that's another 600 miles of gas expense.

    i've heard that I80 can be very dangerous because it goes through Wyoming and that the winds in Wyoming can be downright treacherous.

    I90 seems like a straightforward route, but i can still hit winds in Montana and further, i'll be going through some tough driving in western Montana and through Washington.

    I've never seen any of those routes before so i don't know what to expect in terms of how treacherous the terrain might be, especially with a 22" penske towing a car. Presuming that weather is optimal - are the roads through the mountains on either I80/I84 or I90 that treacherous that i should resign myself all together to taking the southern and safer route - with the understanding of "better late than never?"

    Any/all opinions would be much appreciated .. thank you

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

    Default too soon to tell

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    Its just too soon to know what sort of weather you'll be facing in Late November. Forecasts just aren't reliable enough until you get under a week out. What I would do is head out on the road, and then once you get to Iowa, check the weather and see which route looks more clear.

    If the weather is clear on both, I might lean towards I-80, since you'd be dealing with flatter terrain, but it would be a pretty close call either way.

    Going down to I-40 would be about the last thing I do. It doesn't go without saying that it would be the safest route - in fact it can often be the worst winter cross country route because its is subject to snow in Arizona and New Mexico and Ice Storms across the lower plains. It doesn't mean its always bad nor would I totally avoid it in the winter, but it does mean that I would never consider adding extra miles to use that route.

  3. Default

    thank you for the welcome and your reply!

    I totally agree with you about the weather, and not knowing until the last minute - so ideally, much to my chagrin, i really don't know what route i'll be taking until a couple of days out - but that's how the game is played i suppose.

    In spite of the potential for bad weather on the southern route, i was figuring that the potential for bad weather on the southern route might be somewhat less then that of the more northern route (considering the time of year - about a month removed from winter), which of course, can only be answered closer to trip time.

    One of the reasons i'm leery of I80 is because i've heard that the winds going through Wyoming can be absolutely brutal, so when i check the weather - i'll be sure to check the forecasted wind conditions also. Now, if I80 is a flatter terrain than I90, that would be a BIG benefit.

    I've driven a Penske 22" truck in the past, from B'klyn to Nashville, in April - taking 81 to 40 so although i'm familiar with the handling of the truck, i don't remember much in the way of heavy winds - so not knowing what to expect in how the truck handles in high winds - that makes me leery. In addition, i'm not sure how much (if any) difference adding a car carrier to the back of the truck will make. Overall lthough, i'm guessing it's better to hit a bit of windy weather on a flat stretch - then less windy weather on a more curvy stretch - depending on the amount of wind, of course.
    Last edited by nishira; 11-07-2007 at 10:21 PM. Reason: mispelling...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default overthinking

    I think you're worrying a little too much about things like the wind. I-80 is used by thousands of truckers every single day, and while you certainly could see a wind storm, its not like you're dealing with 70 mph winds every day of the week. And really, I think you might be a little more likely to see those wind storms across the plains of the Dakotas and Nebraska.

    But in the end, the weather is going to be what it is going to be. Wind will likely make it a little harder to handle the truck, but its really not something that I think you need to be extremely concerned about.

  5. #5


    As Michael says, don't worry about it. Whatever will be will be. If you see the pros pulling off the road and parking up then you might be wise to follow their lead, otherwise you'll be fine. You'll only really have an issue with the wind in an unladen curtain-sider which acts like a sail when caught by a cross wind. If it's laden or a sheet metal side then the worst you're likely to have to do is steer into the wind occasionally.

    Just keep an eye on the trucks in front and, if you see them caught by a cross wind and blown sideways then be ready to counter steer when you reach the same clearing.

  6. Default everyone has the right to think ...

    everyone has the right to think .. but i do tend to abuse the privilege - hehehe.

    overall i'll have a better idea come trip time ...

  7. Default

    another question though.

    I tried to be as pro-active as possible in pre-determing my stops for each evening (so that i can pre-book a room) and map out, as best as possible, the enroute truck stops that i'll be making along the way (figuring that it'd be easier to get gas with a 22" penske towing a car - at a truck stop as opposed to a regular gas station).

    i'm wondering if there's any good advice on whether i was too ambitious with any of the segments below. Ideally, i'm thinking to drive "roughly" 600 miles a day, averaging 60/mph, with a bit of time allotted for gas/bathroom/eating, etc - and then hopeful ample time to get a good night's rest.

    I'm hoping that i'm not being too ambitious in my estimates (especially when driving through some of the more mountain type areas) and if so, if i need to cater the time better?

    thank you

    DAY 1 – Nashville, TN to St. Joseph, MO – 635 miles
    Stop #1 – Metropolis, IL / 150 miles
    Stop #2 – Nashville, IL / 120 miles
    Stop #3 - Columbia, MO / 180 miles
    Stop #4 – St. Joseph, MO / 183 miles

    DAY 2 – St. Joseph, MO to Rapid City, SD – 665 miles
    Stop #1 – Loveland, IA / 150 miles
    Stop #2 – Sioux Falls, SD / 165 miles
    Stop #3 – Vivian, SD / 190 miles
    Stop #4 – Rapid City, SD / 160 miles

    DAY 3 – Rapid City, SD to Butte, MT – 600 miles
    Stop #1 – Gillette, WY / 140 miles
    Stop #2 – Sheridan, WY / 100 miles
    Stop #3 – Billings, MT / 130 miles
    Stop #4 – Bozeman, MT / 145 miles
    Stop #5 – Butte, MT / 85 miles

    DAY 4 – Butte, MT to Seattle, WA – 600 miles
    Stop #1 – Missoula, MT / 120 miles
    Stop #2 – Smelterville, ID / 130 miles
    Stop #3 – Ritzville, WA / 125 miles
    Stop #4 – Ellensburg, WA / 115 miles
    Stop #5 – Redmond, WA / I90 – 110 miles

    I80 ROUTE – 2,490 miles

    DAY 1 – Nashville, TN to St. Joseph, MO – 635 miles
    Stop #1 – Metropolis, IL / 150 miles
    Stop #2 – Nashville, IL / 120 miles
    Stop #3 – Columbia, MO / 180 miles
    Stop #4 – St. Joseph, MO / 183 miles

    DAY 2 – St. Joseph, MO to Laramie, WY – 645 miles
    Stop #1 – Waco, NE / 180 miles
    Stop #2 – North Platte, NE / 190 miles
    Stop #3 – Kimball, NE / 160 miles
    Stop #4 – Laramie, WY / 115 miles

    DAY 3 – Laramie, WY to Boise, ID – 695 miles
    Stop #1 – Rock Springs, WY / 210 miles
    Stop #2 – Trementon, UT / 210 miles
    Stop #3 – Twin Falls, ID / 145 miles
    Stop #4 – Boise, ID / 130 miles

    DAY 4 – Boise, ID to Redmond, WA – 515 miles
    Stop #1 – North Powder, OR / 150 miles
    Stop #2 – Prosser, WA / 170 miles
    Stop #3 – Ellensburg, WA / 85 miles
    Stop #4 – Redmond, WA / 110 miles

    I80 ROUTE – 3,110 miles

    DAY 1 – Nashville, TN to Oklahoma City, OK – 690 miles
    Stop #1 – Lakeland, TN / 200miles
    Stop #2 – Morrilton, AR / 200 miles
    Stop #3 - Henryetta, OK / 200 miles
    Stop #4 – Oklahoma City, OK / 90 miles

    DAY 2 - Oklahoma City, OK to Albuquerque, NM – 550 miles
    Stop #1 – Shamrock, TX / 175 miles
    Stop #2 – Tucumari, NM / 200 mies
    Stop #3 – Albuquerque, NM / 175 miles

    DAY 3 – Albuquerque, NM to Barstow, CA – 680 miles
    Stop #1 – Lupton, AZ / 160 miles
    Stop #2 – Flagstaff, AZ / 165 miles
    Stop #3 – Kingman, AZ / 150 miles
    Stop #4 – Barstow, CA / 205 miles

    DAY 4 – Barstow, CA to Redding, CA – 575 miles
    Stop #1 – Delano, CA / 165 miles
    Stop #2 – Turlock, CA / 155 miles
    Stop #3 – Dunnigan, CA / 130 miles
    Stop #4 – Redding, CA /125 miles

    DAY 5 – Redding, CA to Redmond, WA – 615 miles
    Stop #1 – Medford, OR / 150 miles
    Stop #2 – Coburg, OR / 165 miles
    Stop #3 – Longview, WA / 160 miles
    Stop #4 – Redmond, WA / 140 miles

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Reservations or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by nishira View Post
    I tried to be as pro-active as possible in pre-determing my stops for each evening (so that i can pre-book a room)
    I wouldn't do this at all! Winter time travel with a trailer is just a little to tricky to pre-plan this much.

    Further, if you want to drive 600 miles in a day -- you need to figure that you will be on the road, in some form or other, for a minimum of eleven hours each day. This should allow the extra time for re-fueling, grabbing a snack, weather and road construction delays and some quick rest breaks. The only way you can "average" 60 mph with a truck towing a car over the course of day's travel is to drive at least 75 mph as much of the day as possible. Your schedule with 4-5 stops each day would require that your on-the-road speeds rarely dip below 84 mph. I don't think that is entirely reasonable.

    Here are some more ideas about getting reservations or not....


  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Overthinking Part 2

    If there is ever such a thing as trying to plan too much, I think you're doing it, and then some.

    As Mark alluded too, especially in the winter its very possible to run into unforseen things that will cause you some delays. There is also the aspect that when you try to plan things down to the details of exactly where you are going to stop, you can very easily become so focused on staying "on schedule" that there is no opportunity to enjoy the trip and the things you'll see along the way. There's nothing wrong with coming up with some ballpark ideas, or trying to figure where you'll be spending the night, but be careful not to go overboard.

    I also think its worth noting that while you mentioned staying "roughly" at the 600 mile mark, you're planning to drive more than 600 miles (in some cases much more) almost every day of your trip. As Mark mentioned, 600 miles alone is a very full day, and when your driving a truck with a trailer, you're going to have to go a fair bit slower than if you were just in a car or truck. If you can, I would really try to limit your driving days at the 600 mile mark, and I would strongly encourage you to rethink any day where you're going beyond 650 miles.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 11-09-2007 at 10:26 AM. Reason: added info

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Over-planning...that's an understatement!

    Anytime you're on the road, different variables will pop up that will waylay the best laid plans. Add to that, you're traveling in the winter and you're towing.

    I think your best plan is to check the weather each evening /morning, plan your route accordingly, stop when the urge/need strikes you, and stay at convenient hotels along the way. There are many and you really shouldn't have any problems finding a vacancy.

    On a trip like this, it's a good idea to have benchmarks so you don't get too far behind schedule. But, in the winter, it doesn't hurt to have some flexibility so that you can weather out a storm.

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