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  1. Default New Jersey To Sacramento, CA

    My two friends and I are planning a road trip from Central Jersey to Sacramento, CA from May 4-12, 2013. We will be renting a car for the trip. On the first day one of my friends and I will be driving to Champaign, IL to pick up the third member of the trip. This should be about 12 hours of drive and we will spending the night there. On Sunday 5th May we will be leaving from Champaign, IL. We are open to any routes for getting from Point A to Point B. We are guys ages between 20-30 and have very little in terms of restrictions. I would appreciate guidance in terms of places to visit and any tips from past experiences. This is the first and probably the last road trip for us as a group and I would like to make it memorable. THANK YOU for any of you who take the time out to reply to my post.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default First, A Dose of Reality

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    The first thing you need to come to grips with in planning your RoadTrip is the difference between the real world and the virtual world. Central New Jersey to Champaign IL is not 12 hours in the real world. Yes, I know that silicon-based mapping routines will tell you that's how long it will take to drive, but those routines assume that you can always drive at or above the posted speed limit; that you never need to stop for fuel, for food, or for bathroom breaks; that you will never have to slow down for traffic, construction, or ever get a single slow-moving truck or RV in front of you; and most importantly that you will never, ever, ever get tired and become a danger to yourself and everyone else on the road no matter how long you continue to drive without a break. In the real world, none of those assumptions are true. You need to plan on at least a day and a half to get to Champaign, with a solid night's sleep built into your plans for that leg. Keep in mind that a solid day's driving will let you cover about 550 miles or so. Long-haul truckers are forbidden by law from driving much farther than about 600 miles. You are proposing to drive something on the order of 800 miles as a first day's effort! Not a good idea.

    The other bit of reality you'll have to deal with is the cost of having multiple drivers at the wheel of your rental car, particularly if any of them are under the age of 25. If anyone other than the primary driver does any driving at all, then you will need to pay the additional driver's fee of $25/day or so for the entire length of the rental contract for each of those additional drivers. If any of those additional drivers (or the primary driver) are under 25, then there will be an additional $25/day/driver for the entire length of the rental contract. Those fees add up quickly.

    Once you get past those realities then you can start enjoying both the planning and the trip. Between Champaign and San Francisco, there are two basic routes you can follow, I-80 or I-70. I-80 follows in the tracks of the old Oregon Trail along the Platte River, across southern Wyoming, past the Great Salt Lake, and through the Great Basin of Nevada, and over the Sierra Nevada into the Central Valley and Sacramento. I-70 would strike off towards Denver, affording access to Rocky Mountain National Park and Arches National Park, before swinging south on I-15 in Utah past Zion, through Las Vegas, and around the southern end of the Sierra before heading up to Sacramento on I-5. That's another basic decision that you and your traveling companions are going to have to come to grips with.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 03-30-2013 at 08:44 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO



    If you are planning on driving from NJ to Champaign in one day, you are starting the trip off on the wrong foot. This is 800 miles and farther than is recommended or safe in one shot. You really should break it up with an overnight stop somewhere in between. Can you get a start the day before and get a few hours in under your belt?

    Professional drivers are limited to about 600 miles a day by law.

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