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  1. Default wisconsin to las vegas...minus mountains...possible?

    greetings rta folks...the wifey and i are relocating to las vegas from milwaukee. i just drove in from milwaukee with her to get her and her car here so she can start work. most of my issues were in denver and then utah through huge elevation changes...we were in her 2009 subaru forester which i thought would be perfect but turned out to be severely under powered with only 600lbs of payload which consisted of me, her and her stuff. i have to do the run again to get my 2dr jeep here from milwaukee in the next week or so. can anyone of you rta experts suggest an interstate route that keeps me as flat as possible. i gotta say i enjoyed the mountains once...but don't care to do it again.

    also...there's potential that i may be renting a box truck to load my household stuff and trailer my jeep to somewhat save on moving costs if i can find a relatively flat course....and if it truly saves on costs as opposed to paying someone to move our stuff.

    please help...thanks,

    Last edited by frm671; 05-30-2010 at 05:12 AM. Reason: typo

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    It's over 200 miles and about 4 hours longer, but I-39/I-55/I-44/I-40 is a little less grueling - note that you still climb over 7000 feet though. I recommend that from Kingman, you take the truck detour through Bullhead City rather than try to cross Hoover Dam. You would have to go all the way down to I-10 to stay under 5000 feet, and that would add well over 700 miles and take an extra day and a half. If you must do that, take best way to Memphis, then I-40/I-30/I-20/I-10/US-95. If you rent a truck, try to get a turbocharged diesel, it will handle altitude better than a gas engine. Penske should have those.

    I don't see why you had problems with the Forester - I've made that run in my full size pickup truck with a V-6 engine. I also have a friend that drove a Forester (4 cylinder, manual trans, no turbo) from Chicago to Fairbanks AK pulling a U-Haul trailer and had no issues.

    What model is your Jeep and what engine does it have?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I too an very surprised that you had any problems at all in a Forester. I've taken several trips in a Forester (late 90s model), fully loaded with gear and 3-4 guys, across the mountains at points that are far more strenuous than I-70 and it didn't have any problems at all. I'm curious has to how you defined underpowered in this case - and if it really was struggling to get across the pass, I think you should probably have it looked at by a mechanic because something seems very out of place here.

    In any case, another option other than going all the way down to I-40, would be to take I-80 all the way across Wyoming. Like I-40, this too has sections where the terrain is mountainous, but it doesn't see nearly the elevations of I-70 in Colorado. Taking I-80 to Salt Lake is about 100 miles shorter than going to I-40 (and its about 50 more than going through Colorado) and its the route I would take if I was concerned about going over the Rockies.

    One extra note, if you are planning to drive back from Vegas, you should be aware of Construction on I-80 at the Quad Cities. The Mississippi River Bridge is closed to eastbound traffic. There is an easy detour (I-280) for through traffic but that does take you a ways out of your way to get back up to I-88 to head Northeast. And because of that headache, you might consider taking US-151 from Cedar Rapids to Madison instead. Westbound traffic on I-80 is not affected by the construction, so this won't be a problem for your trip to Vegas.

  4. Default

    sorry for the late reply guys...had a lot to do in vegas to get the wife settled but i'm now back in milwaukee preparing for the 2nd road trip to vegas.

    in regards to the underpowered forester...its a 2009 forester(the new body style) with an auto tranny. i had to put the trans in sport shift mode because it kept dowshifting evry few seconds to make the hills. maybe it was just me as i'm used to the power of my old turbo'd 05 legacy and 07 wrx wagon. nonetheless it made it and now unloaded works fine in the flats of vegas.

    the jeep is a 2010 2dr rubi...i don't think i have to worry much about power as it has some good torque...but i was just looking for a flatter route since this isn't a vacation run. though now i'm thinking of repeating the same route to just get it done.

    one other thing about was extremely windy through most of the it always like that there or was it out of the ordinary to have a "wind advisory" that weekend.

    thanks all.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Just to get it done, I'd take what the mapping programs suggest as the fastest. Wind advisories are common in Utah, but definitely not constant.

    Yeah, I think you were simply spoiled by your turbo Subarus - and I'm guessing you also had manual trannies in them. My truck has a manual, and I sure couldn't leave it in 5th up there. The computer in the Forester was doing its thing trying to balance off performance with gas mileage (with priority to gas mileage) - and you did the right thing putting it in sport mode. Gotta remember - high altitude has thin air, and a turbo compensates for that.

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