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  1. Default Houston to San Francisco


    I am relocating from Houston to San Francisco, and intend to drive my car. I intend to carry two suitcases (each weighing ~60 Lb) with me as my other stuff will be taken care by some other means.

    I have a few things going around in my mind on which I would to have some feedback viz:

    1) I have an old car - 2003 Hyundai Accent (1.6L engine) with 90K miles on it. Is it advisable to take this car on this long one way journey (~2000 miles)?

    2) Which freeway should I prefer: I10W or US 287 & then I-40W. According to Google maps, one covers same number of miles in both options and in same time. So the question is
    - 2a. Which freeway has less tendency for jams (usually)?
    - 2b. Which freeway may be comfortable/safe for driving this small car? Some freeways have higher speed limit/more lanes while some have hilly terrain.

    3) How should I prepare my car for this trip besides getting oil change, and checking fluid levels before starting for the journey?

    4) Any pointer on how much weight should I carry considering that the car has 4 cylinder 1.6L engine?

    I look forward to your feedback, and I very much appreciate it.
    Last edited by AZBuck; 03-26-2011 at 06:49 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Not to Worry

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    I make the I-10 route slightly shorter both in terms of miles and time, but hardly enough to matter, maybe 15 miles and 45 minutes over a 3½ day drive. An eight year old car with 90 kmiles on it hardly constitutes 'old' in this day and age. If it runs well around town and doesn't have problems that you know of, there is no reason not to take it. And 120 pounds of luggage is less than another person, again a non-issue. Take the car to a mechanic you trust, tell him what you plan, and ask for an inspection. If there are any problems, he'll let you know, but there really shouldn't be if the car has been well maintained to this point. As for other factors which might affect your choice of routes... I-40 reaches a somewhat higher maximum elevation than I-10, but Interstate Highways are all built to design criteria which among other things limits the maximum grade to less than 6%, so there are no steep hills that should over task your car. I-40 has slightly less urban congestion problems than I-10, mainly by avoiding Phoenix and the Los Angeles Basin. So there are trade-offs between your desired characteristics for a highway and the ultimate decision won't be far wrong no matter what. Be sure to take a look at what's along the way for each route and see if there's something you want to see. That could also sway your decision.


  3. Default

    That was helpful. I am interested in looking at the country side especially in NM, AZ and CA. I also learn that some of the freeways in CA are along great landscape. Thus, do you believe I-40 be a good choice?

    I plan to drive around 10-12 hours during the day, and thus, complete the journey in three days. I plan to stay in Amarillo (TX) for the first night (confirmed), and second at Flagstaff, AZ (tentatively). Since Amarillo to Flagstaff is around 9.5 hours, I have the flexibility to choose any area around Flagstaff including Needles/Bullhead city/area around Mojave National preserve. Any suggestions in this context?

    Thank you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Pushing Too Hard

    You simply can't believe everything that a "virtual" reality silicon chip tells you. The driving estimates you're getting from computer programss assume the following: You can drive at or above the speed limit for every second of every minute you are on the road. You will never have to stop for gas. You will never have to stop to eat. You will never have to go to the bathroom, You will never get tired or bored and just want to take your eyes off the road for a few minutes. You will never get behind a slow moving truck while it laboriously passes a line of slightly slower moving trucks. You will never see a traffic while driving through any metropolitan area. Now, if those sound like reasonable approximations of what you can expect in the real world, then you can expect to cover 600, 600 and 750 miles in your 3 successive days of driving, But I'd leave 3½ days at a minimum and at least 4 if I wanted to actually see anything along the way and/or enjoy the drive.


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