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  1. Default How safe? Austin to Chicago during first week of January 2016?

    Was wondering if I could get some advice on this trip. Planning on drive from Austin to Chicago on January 5, but still not sure if this is a smart move because of how harsh winter might get during the states in between . I am from Los Angeles so i am unfamiliar wih just how bad conditions might get, so just really looking for advice from people that have done a similar trip or live in the states in between? Thanks!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Central Missouri


    Welcome to RTA!

    At 1150 miles, Austin TX to Chicago is a 2 day drive in good weather. Whether weather will be in your favor at the time of your travel, remains to be seen. What we always recommend is to start watching weather forecasts about 2 weeks before your travel, and have 2 or 3 different routes planned that you can use.

    Generally, if you stay on the interstates, you'll probably be better off. They are the last ones closed in the event of bad weather and the first ones to be plowed, roads treated for ice, etc. Have an extra day or two in your plans that you can get off the highway and check into a motel if at all possible.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Recommended most direct route:

    I-35/I-35E to Dallas
    Take the I-20/I-635 bypass around the east side
    US-75/US-69 to I-44 to St. Louis
    I-270 bypass around the NW side
    I-55 to Chicago

    Plan on an overnight in Joplin, that's the halfway point. I live there and we have a wide selection of hotels, most right at Exit 8. Do NOT stay at the Sunrise, it's a dump - and the Motel 6 has a lot of suspicious activity, so to speak. Everything else is quite acceptable except the Hotel Joplin - it used to be a Holiday Inn, it's old and poorly maintained and is under heavy renovation.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Ft. Collins, CO.


    You may encounter sub-zero temperatures.
    Be sure your vehicle coolant is good to -30F, your windshield washer fluid is WINTER formula, your windshield wiper rubber is new, your battery is less than 4 years old and that the connections are recently cleaned and tight and that your engine oil is the correct weight for winter temperatures.

    If you've never started a vehicle at -20F - it's a reminder of how our technology is only thin protection against nature.

    My wife is from Chicago and will NOT consider us driving there during Winter due to ice and snow. She will, however, happily let me drive us thru Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and eastern Washington in the winter. Midwest icing is a bad thing.
    Last edited by noFanofCB; 11-23-2015 at 07:23 AM.

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