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  1. Default

    We are moving from Bakersfield to Long Island at the end of July, and i was looking for the best and straightest shot to Long Island. We will be driving an SUV with a 4x6 utility trailer, and a 16ft rental truck. We have 5 days to make the trip. Steep grades and traffic is what concerns me. Which route would be best for us? Suggestions?

    P.S. No sight seeing
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 07-09-2009 at 10:23 AM.

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

    Default basic options

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The nice thing about travel on the interstates is that they are built with minimum grades so almost any vehicle can easily make it across the mountains.

    All of your options start by heading to Barstow, but from there you've got 2 main choices. You can take I-15 up to I-80 and take that all the way across to NY. You could also take I-40 to I-44 to I-70.

    I'd probably take I-80. You will hit Chicago traffic, but otherwise, you mostly avoid cities. One downside is that you'll also have some tolls once you get to Chicago and East. (You should also consider taking I-15 all the way to I-84 north of Salt Lake City to avoid a significant mountain summit)

    I-40 is another decent option. Here you'd be trading Chicago traffic for potential issues around St. Louis, and to a lesser extend some of the other cities like Albq, OK City, and Indy, that you'd be traveling through.

    Both routes are nearly identical in mileage, so they should both take about the same time. It will take you all of your 5 days, being on the road for probably 12 hours a day each day.

    I-70 across Colorado would also be about the same time wise, but you would be dealing with the most mountains and Denver traffic. It is amazing scenery though, and is the route I took when I moved from Bakersfield back east with a moving truck/trailer a few years ago.

    I do have another suggestion for you. If you need the space of both a trailer and a truck you might consider towing the trailer with the moving truck to avoid some of the strain on your personal vehicle. I'll also say that unless the trailer is one that you own and need to bring with you, it would probably be more cost effective and easier to go with a larger 24 or 26 foot truck.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Pushing It

    There are several possible routes, all of which come in at around 2,900 miles. So to cover that ground in 5 days, you're going to have to make good nearly 600 miles each and every day. Given that your convoy is going to necessarily be moving relatively slowly, that means being 'on the road' about 14 hours each and every day. Not driving each of those 14 hours - do take time out for meals and the occasional mental health break besides the needed fuel and bathroom breaks - but working toward the end of getting to your destination. As you say, no sight seeing, but no extra time spent watching TV or otherwise lounging around a motel room either.

    All Interstate Highways are built to specifications that limit grades to 6% at most as well as limiting how sharp curves can be, so in general those factors need not be concerns. Traffic is a different animal and while you can't avoid all large cities on your cross country trek, you can minimize the number you must navigate. I'd choose to go via I-40 to Oklahoma City and then I-44 to St Louis. Since one of the major freeways through St. Louis is currently closed for repairs and because I-70 would take you through several large cities, I'd then opt for taking I-255 around the south side of St. Louis to I-64 east to Charleston, WV then I-79 north, I-68/I-70 east through the Maryland panhandle, I-81 north past Harrisburg and I-78 to New York City and thence Long Island. Total mileage on that route is still just about 2,900 miles depending on where you're headed on Long Island.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I would not take I-80 from Chicago to eastern OH - the tolls for passenger cars are high enough, and they really soak you for trucks and trailers.

    Here is my personal choice to avoid major tolls and metro areas and be most convenient getting a truck and a vehicle towing a trailer through NYC to Long Island:

    CA-58 to Barstow, then I-40 all the way through TN to I-81.
    I-81 to I-78 to I-287, then I-80 to I-95 to the George Washington Bridge.
    I-95 (Cross Bronx Expressway) to I-295 and cross the Throgs Neck Bridge.
    From there, go to where you need to go, and you must be careful of NY's parkway laws - no trucks or trailers.

    Do not use the Verrazano Bridge - the only non-parkway after you cross it is the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, which is one of the most miserable stretches of urban highway in the world. Your other options are city streets. I also would not use any of the tunnels through Manhattan. The GW Bridge to the Throgs Neck is the best option for through traffic to anywhere in LI outside of the NYC boroughs.

    If at ALL possible, find another day or two - you CAN make this in 5 days but those are going to be 5 very long days. You REALLY don't want to hit the NYC metro area anytime close to rush hour - your best situation is spend the night somewhere around the PA/NJ border and get on the road around 9am. This will get you through the worst of everything in midday.

  5. Default

    I say take i-80 route up top. Fast moving and through less populous cities. I took this route in May a few years ago (DC to NorCal). On the way back in November, I headed down to Bakersfield and then towards i-40 in order to avoid snow as much as possible in my RWD car. I got stuck in tons of traffic in St. Louis, Ohio, etc. It was Thanksgiving weekend + snowing though. Not fun.

    Certain parts of Utah (i-80) was very curvy but so were parts of St. Louis (i-40). Very high altitude in Utah, Wyoming, etc. though. Costs more gas, but still worth the freedom of driving in less traffic.

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