Hoping some of the road-trippin' veterans here have some first hand knowledge for a newb!
I've done some Googling and (surprisingly?) haven't found a definitive answer to this:
How do the high mountain passes on I-80 compare to I-40?
Is it worth detouring down to I-40 to avoid Blue Canyon / Tahoe?
How about permits? Is it easier (administratively? cost? etc?) to get wide load permits (8'10", dammit... missed it by that -> 4" <- much!) to go one or the other?
I'll be towing a boat (30', <5000# total weight) with a new-to-me F250 turbo-diesel from San Francisco to my new home in Maryland. That's a challenge and anxiety-inducer enough on its own, so I'm trying to find the "easiest" way across the country. Really don't want to strain the truck, the trailer, me, etc any more than I have to!
In the years I've lived in SF, I've made many, many (MANY! could pro'ly do it in my sleep... hell, may have!) trips to Tahoe, via 80, 50 and 89. The grade on I-80 at Blue Canyon (I think? regardless - the big steep drag up, not to mention the drop into Reno) make me very nervous about towing a trailer up and over it. Maybe I worry too much, but that's me.
So, I'm thinking of going down to LA and out I-40, clipping the corner at Bakersfield to avoid the Tejon Pass, Google has it at only a few hundred miles more, and time isn't that critical, but I can't find any solid comparison of the passes / grades / difficulty of the two routes... haven't driven that route, so I have no first-hand knowledge... help!
Further, as I understand it, I-70 is Right Out - steep, windy, etc. Sounds beautiful, and one of those "some day, before I die!" things to do, but not right for this trip.
I admit I've never driven east of Reno or LA (err, been to a lot of the country, just not gotten there on my own four wheels... unfortunately, there's not enough leg room in coach for a sailboat! ; ) )... I'm actually looking forward to the trip, but hopin' to get some first hand comparisons of the two options?
Obviously, if it were winter, I-40 makes more sense. Since snow isn't an issue in June (I HOPE!), that's not an issue.
So - thoughts? Help? Wisdom? Facts?
Much thanks in advance!