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  1. Default Moving from SC to OR in February


    My wife and I are moving to Portland OR from South Carolina in February, and we're trying to figure out the best option for us as far as driving. We're looking at getting a Penske truck and we have a car that we might have to tow, plus another car that we'll be driving as well. What would the best route for us to take? Is it worth the extra time to stay as far south as we can? Thanks for the help.

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

    Default common myth

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Staying south is actually one of the biggest myths of safe winter travel. Every cross country route in the US sees winter weather, so it's not possible to go far enough south to eliminate the chance of snow and ice. In your case, even after staying south, you'd then have more chances for winter weather as you make your way up the west coast. And for all that trouble, you'd be adding another 500 miles, which means one more day, minimum, you'd need to be on the road.

    Taking the most direct route is actually the better bet. That means you're on the road for the least amount of time, means you have the most time to sit and wait if a storm hits.

    In your case, the most direct route would be (depending upon your exact starting point in SC) I-26/I-40 to Nashville, I-24/I-57/I-64 Through St. Louis, I-70 to KC, I-29/NE-2 to Lincoln, I-80 to Utah, and then I-84 to Portland. You can watch the weather forecasts to make some adjustments, for example you could take I-70 all the way to Denver if there is bad weather in Nebraska that you can avoid by going through Kansas. You might also consider going up to I-90 - which despite being farther north, is generally at a lower elevation than I-80, and thus can have some advantages, and only adds about 150 miles.

    In any case, you're looking at a trip that's roughly 2800 miles. In a moving truck while towing you should plan to limit yourself to abut 500 miles a day. That means a good 6 days on the road, plus it would be wise to have 1 more day available, just in case you do see bad weather that forces you to stop for a day.

  3. Default

    Ok, cool. My main worry is driving through the rocky mountains after Denver. Do you know the liklihood of the roads being clear through them? Is it correct to assume I'll need to carry chains through them?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    There is no way to predict any likelihood of the roads being clear.

    You would not want to put chains on a rental truck, if it's that bad, find a hotel and wait it out.

    If you take I-90, you would take US-395 to get back to I-84 into Portland.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    There is absolutely no way of knowing what the road conditions will be when you travel as even what has happened historically has no real meaning. All you can do is wait for the forecasts a couple of days before you travel and keep updating and then make an informed decision. The most important thing to stay safe is to have enough time available to drive to the conditions and if necessary simply pull off the road and wait out a storm while the road crews go about clearing up. Hopefully the weather won't be an issue, but it's certainly possible.

  6. Default

    Ok, thanks guys! I appreciate your help.

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