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  1. Default Florida to Wisconsin

    Hello all! Looking for help: first time on this website but it seems like everyone is very knowledgeable. I searched around but couldn't quite find what I was looking for, and hoping I'm posting in the correct area to get help.

    In a week, I'll be driving a moving truck (just a 16 footer) from Tampa, FL to Wisconsin. I don't want to necessarily rely on GPS app to trust I'll get the most accurate information.

    What would be the easiest (and hopefully quickest) route when carrying a decent amount of weight?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Interstates, But...

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    The easy answer is that you want the most direct all-Interstate route that you can plot. That's because the Interstates are built to design specifications that limit curves and grades, are multi-lane controlled-access routes, and typically require the fewest number of different route numbers to complete a given journey. With all that said, you're looking at I-75 north out of the Tampa Bay area to Chattanooga and then I-24 to Nashville, and then??? We can't give you directions after that because those will depend on where in Wisconsin you're going, and you haven't told us that yet.

    Total driving time could be anywhere from two and a half days (Kenosha) to a bit over three days (Superior). Even with a relatively smallish truck, I wouldn't plan on more than 500 miles per day, since you'll be going slower than you're used to in the family sedan, and it will take more effort meaning that you really will need to get off the road a little earlier and get a full eight hours of sleep each night which actually requires being off the road for a solid ten hours each night. You should also plan on taking at least a couple of short walking breaks each day to just get some fresh air and exercise so as to remain fresh and alert while behind the wheel.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    It might help if you give us a better idea of where in Wisconsin. It's a pretty big state, all things considered.

    Chances are, the interstate highway system is going to be your quickest and easiest. To Madison, WI, I see it as 1325 miles via I-75/I-24/I-57/I-74/I-39. The only hazard on that particular route, is Atlanta. If you wanted to avoid that, then use I-75/US-82/I-65/I-24/I57/I-74/I-39. US-82 is pretty much 4-lane divided highway from Tifton GA into Montgomery, AL.

    My next advice would be to go get yourself a good road atlas (here on RTA, or your local bookstore or Walmart), or if you're a member of AAA, you can get maps free with your membership. There are plenty of other routes available.

    Be aware that if you're renting that truck, they'll give you XX number of days to get where you're going. You won't want to drive the thing more than 450 or 500 miles per day. Though 16-footer is a small one, it's still lumbering and will catch the winds pretty easily.


  4. Default

    Great advice so far, I appreciate it. I really didn't think about the difference in driving a small truck vs. my car, and I was assuming I could do 12 hours of driving a day and get the trip done in 2 days. I'll have to think about it.

    Rhinelander, Wisconsin is my final destination. Sorry I failed to mention that.

    Thanks again!

  5. Default

    Thanks, AZBuck. Great advice. Added a new reply, but Rhinelander, WI is my final stop. I'll have to look to see what's a safe place to stop after 500 miles on my trip, I really wanted to make it well past Atlanta on my first day. Was thinking Nashville but that's @ 700 miles.

  6. Default

    Thanks, Donna...haven't had a road atlas in about 20 years but you're right - now may be the perfect time to grab one! And I mentioned it already, but good advice on miles per day. Going to have to think through this some more.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    Nashville is a no go as it's too far to do safely and especially when you have more driving ahead the following day. The best thing you can do is treat it like a marathon and split it into 3 equal days. Much will depend on whether or not you have the truck ready and loaded the day before departure or if that has to be done on the day you set out. Presuming you are ready to roll first thing then you should be looking at maximum stops in Dalton GA and Champaign IL.

  8. Default

    Thanks, Dave. I was thinking about the advice and thought about stopping 1st in Smyrna, GA on the first day. Second day I was thinking about Champaign, you mentioning it makes me feel pretty good and I think I may do that.

    And yes, truck will be packed the day before.

    I'm feeling better about my trip already!

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


    I have relatives in the Tampa area so I make the drive down there fairly frequently, and as others have said, you're certainly looking at a 3 full day drive, especially since you'll be in a moving van. Don't fall for the fantasy travel times provided by online mapping programs - even over 3 days, you're going to be looking at 9-10 hour days on the road for each of those 3 days.

    Smyrna is probably a good spot to stop for the first night, especially since it's tough to get on the road first thing in the morning when you're moving (there always seems to be at least a few last minute things to take care of). However, that would still be 600 miles away from Champaign. I'd look at Effingham as a better choice for your second night in that case.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    If you decide on Smyrna then you need to stop a bit earlier on day 2, Effingham IL for example would make 3 reasonably nice days.

    (I see Michael suggested the same as I was still typing.)
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 05-30-2017 at 10:52 PM. Reason: Added info.

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