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  1. Default Needed advise for a late December trip from Tennessee to California! Please!

    Hi all! I'm planning to drive back from Tennessee to California and am wondering what the best route would be that would keep me away from any snow and ice? I'm starting to get a little worried about the road conditions because my car has never been driven in such conditions and is a fairly old lexus. I could really use some advise/help about routes and whatnot. Thanks!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default A big place.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    It's too early to predict the weather and what might be your best alternative and it would also make a difference knowing your start and finish points other than California. [It's a big place];-)

    One of the most important things is giving yourself enough journey time and in the event of a winter storm you could pull of the road and let the crews do their job. Interstates are a priority to keep clear and traffic moving and if your car is generally in good shape you shouldn't have any problems. Get it checked over for fluids, tyres etc prior to leaving if you have any doubts.

    Have a safe journey !

  3. #3

    Default There are no guarantees

    Hello Hannah,

    As SW Dave says, it's too soon to have a specific forecast and there is essentially no route within the US which guarantees a snow/ice-free trip.

    It would be helpful to know generally where in TN you're departing from and where in CA you're headed for, as routing suggestions may vary depending on those factors. In the most general sense, however, the likely routing is I-40 all the way to Barstow, CA, thence either south on I-15 for destinations in the LA Basin or farther south, or CA 58 west in order to connect with routes trending northwest into the central CA coast and interior. It's quite possible that working one's way up to I-80 out of, for example, north-central TN is the best route for reaching the Bay area and northern CA.

    Many posters ponder the weather and believe staying south is the best idea. There are two fallacies to this general notion: One being that the I-40 route reaches elevations + 7,000' in NM and AZ and the western OK and TX Panhandle are around 4,500' and notorious for ice storms. The other is that the CO, WY, and UT interstates are maintained by plow equipment and crews second to none on the planet. Only a real blizzard event closes roads, and then only for a few hours duration. Only the most ill-prepared traveler would find herself blindly driving into such conditions, as there are many opportunities to check conditions along a route a day or two ahead of time. And, worst case scenario, you hole up at a Travel Plaza for a few hours with a cup of coffee and a book.

    I would suppose your Lexus is front-wheel drive. If your tires are good, you have a good machine for driving on snow-covered Interstates. Interstates are built to exacting standards in terms of grade (steepness) and curve radius, meaning there are no switchbacks or banzai hills. And, as noted above, the more northern routes like I-80 are such that if snow on the road is encountered, it'll likely be in high places and covering but a limited duration of your pathway.

    So, where are the starting and endpoints of your trip?


  4. Default I'm also taking this route in January

    My apologies, I don't have advise for this car trip. I hope it's ok that I piggy back on the subject?

    Has anyone taken a moving truck, about 16', along this I40 route, Tennessee (Nashville) to California (Los Angeles) in the winter? Is this doable or a reckless adventure?

    many thanks!

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

    Default done by millions

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    If such a trip was really a reckless adventure, do you think there would be several companies that have built their entire business on renting trucks to people for cross country trips?

    Millions of people drive across this country every day of the year, in every season of the year. It certainly is possible that you will see some bad weather, but as long as you don't behave recklessly, there is no reason this can't be a very successful trip.

  6. Default Great News!

    Thanks for your confidence in the truck rental business. I'm sure some are better than others and I'll do my homework.

    Moving, in general, makes folks jittery. So, I appreciate your perspective!

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