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  1. Default North Carolina to California June 2011

    Hello all new here,

    I will be relocating to California (home for me) early next month. I have done the I40 once before as I sold a newer car to a family member. This time it's job relocation and a solo trip as I couldn't find anyone to fly out here to North Carolina :(.

    I recently found this site and wanted to gather info, gain others insight, obtain some wisdom and overall understand this trip as best as I can. My original plan was take hwy 40 all the way as before but because I could not find a family member to fly out I am rethinking the route and for the sole reason is I am pulling a classic car on a tow dolly. The reason I have a tow dolly was to allow a family member to drive the car on the mountain region of the trip (i.e. NC-TN) and then tow it at different times when he was not driving it.

    my next option is NC to Atl, GA then east to Texas, you thoughts.



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

    Default details

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    A few more details would be very helpful. Where exactly in NC and CA are you starting/ending? Both states are big enough where it can take a full day to drive across each, and thus it can make a huge difference in the best route choices.

    Also, what are you using for a Towing Vehicle?

  3. Default


    I am traveling from Greensboro, NC to Los Angeles, CA.

    I have a tow dolly. Again the plan was for someone to drive the car during the mountain regions, but now it's a solo trip.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    I have a tow dolly.
    Michael was asking what actual tow vehicle is being used.

    Do you own the Dolly or renting ? If you are renting and the tow car is capable you would be much better with a 4 wheel trailer for stability on Interstate at higher speeds and travelling alongside big rigs. You can also reverse with a trailer, unlike with a dolly which can come in handy in a tight spot. I'm not familiar with the roads to the East, but with Interstate built to a standard of gradual curves and gradients, if you are looking for the quickest and shortest route, it would seem I40 would do just fine.

    Also, how long are you planning to take for the trip ?

  5. Default

    It's a Stehl tow dolly. Front wheels up and Manuel transmission in neutral. Again the plan was to Quicky offload so my cousin could drive it through the mountains and majority of the travel and tow it on drives when he is tired. Was supposed to be a old school road trip in a classic (1967 convertible Mustang) with a me driving the truck added insurence in case car broke down. Was my dream to do it since I was a kid and thought I offer a family member the chance. Didnt work out that way. But I'm still trying to find someone to drive the car to help.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    Let me word it differently Lol.

    What is pulling the tow dolly and classic car ? The vehicle doing all the work up front is the one that you need to worry about with the mountains etc, not what's behind it.

    Edit. [Aha, looks like you have a truck.

  7. Default

    Ford sport trac

    V8 tow package and 4x4.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default the unanswered question

    I really didn't think that asking what you have for a vehicle would be such a complicated question!

    The reason it is important to know what vehicle/truck would be pulling your tow dolly/classic car is twofold.

    First, all Interstates are built to make the grades as easy as possible, so in most cases you'd want to take the most direct route, but its possible it would change if you've got a vehicle that's near its limits for towing capability.

    Second, it does also impact what is the best way to actually pull the car. We are aware of what a Tow Dolly is, but as Dave mentioned, in many cases it would be a lot better to use a full trailer. If you actually own the tow dolly and/or have a towing vehicle that isn't big enough to pull a larger vehicle that wouldn't be possible.

    I'll also mention that a tow dolly isn't an ideal choice for your overall plan, because since your Mustang is a rear wheel drive vehicle you have to disconnect the driveshaft to safely tow it on a dolly. You can do that, but it's not going to make it very practical to be loading and unloading it on and off a dolly throughout the trip - it pretty much will need to stay on the dolly until you arrive.

    Edit to add - and of course while I was typing you did go and answer the question!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default now to the answer

    So now that we know you've got a truck that's well suited for towing and is very capable for this trip, I'd recommend just loading it up and getting on I-40 and pulling it the whole way.

    Going via Atlanta and I-10 adds about 200 miles, and while you would save a bit of elevation, but it does take you through the traffic nightmares of Atlanta and Houston. Since your vehicle shouldn't have much difficultly pulling the car, even in mountain areas, I'd save the time and money and go with the shorter I-40.

    I'd still recommend that you use a full trailer and get 4 wheels of your Mustang off the ground if possible. It really would make the towing easier, and you don't have to worry about getting in a spot where you can't back up (which you can't do with a tow dolly.)
    I'm not exactly sure how having a manual transmission will impact your ability to use a tow dolly, but it's still not generally a recommend set-up, and I certainly wouldn't bother with trying to load and unload it, as your truck should be perfectly capable of towing on the interstates, even in mountain areas.

  10. Default

    Allow me first to apologize for my misunderstanding of the question, I should have read the reply more thoroughly. I did ask for advice, I just wasn't ready for a question of the details of my truck (it does make sense the question) seeing that this forum is public.

    Allow me to clear up some questions...

    I tried to rent a trailer with double axle and brakes. Uhaul does not rent to Explore owners, Penske only rent trailer when you rent their trucks. Average price for a trailer $2000.00 which I will use one time.

    Dolly made the most sense but the most uncertainies. I can put the front wheels on the dolly and seeing that my car is a manuel I can put it nuetral and haul it that way. I contacted the OEM of the dolly and they advise rear wheels on dolly and tie down steering wheel (no wheel lock on 67) and haul it that. One of my concern was the tractor trailers passing me by at a high rate of speed. OEM advises if my front end does not have any defects (bent tie rods) I'm ok.

    Believe me I rather have a trailer but my options I am left with is this. Again this option was on the condition that some one drive the car a majority of the way and my truck with trailer or dolly was added insurance

    I rather drive the mustang as I have week and half to get to California. I was even thinking about catching the remainder of my route 66 in St Louis at Ted Drews and continue on.

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