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  1. #1

    Default Seattle, WA to Raleigh, NC

    Hi and Hello. Glad to found this website, very cool. My wife and I will be going cross country, Seattle to Raleigh. Our plan is to leave Seattle on April 9th on or by 6:00am PST. We would like to make Raleigh if possible by or on April 13th, so we would like to try to make it a 3 to 4 day trip. I will be the only one driving. We will be in a 2016 Honda Fit EX. We plan to sticking to whatever route we travel on and just maybe stop and see few places, Mt Rushmore is 1 option. My question, is the travel plan to leave on Sunday and arrive on Thursday possible? I researched Google maps and looks like if I drive at least 10 hours a day with 3 or 4 overnight stops and sleep, it could happen. This is our first cross country trip, we are really excited. Any other tips, like quickest route, etc, would be helpful. Thanks for your time

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Google is NOT to be Believed

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    There are many, many problems with Google's driving time estimates, as there are with any computer-based driving time estimates. They simply aren't realistic. My own software predicts that, by the shortest possible all-Interstate route, the drive from Seattle to Raleigh would take approximately 42 hours of driving. But that is NOT the same as four days of ten hours each. First of all, computer-based estimates assume that you will always be driving at or above the speed limit; that you will never have to stop for gas, for food, for sight-seeing, or even to go to the bathroom; that you will never get behind a slow moving car, RV or truck as it passes another slow moving vehicle; that you will not hit traffic in Minneapolis or Chicago or Indianapolis or Dayton or Winston-Salem; and that you will always and everywhere be perfectly alert, as fresh on the last day as you were on the first. In short, they're a fantasy.

    In the real world, 500-550 miles per day is a solid bit of driving. More than that will just wear you out and leave you less able to continue the next day. Professional long-haul drivers are limited to ten hours behind the wheel and must then be completely off the road for fourteen hours before getting back in the saddle. That's for a reason. Trying to do more than that causes accidents. You are NOT more capable than well-practiced professionals.

    Even if you could, just barely, make this drive in five days, you would have exactly zero time for side trips to Mount Rushmore or anywhere else. If you want this trip to be at all enjoyable, you will need a minimum of six days. If you can get that much time, or maybe a little bit more, we can help you make the best of it. But trying to do it in five is going to be stressful beyond words. Trying to do it in four is suicidal or worse, homicidal

    Last edited by AZBuck; 01-20-2017 at 09:29 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    To add to what AZBuck said -- Mt Rushmore is about 45 minutes from I-90, *one way*. It will take you 15 minutes to get in, parked, and at least a half hour to view it -- even if you just walk to the main area, look, and take pictures. There's more than 2 hours of your day, and you have to account for that in your day.

    A 10-hour day on the road (500 miles) is a work day. Plain and simple.


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


    2800+ miles at an average speed of 55 mph is a LONG time. Google doesn't know about fuel, food or potty stops, or weather or traffic. 51 hrs is, at best, 5 full days of driving. And you'll be really tired of the whole thing upon arrival.

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