View Poll Results: Seattle to Nashville: Which route should we take in June driving a 16' moving truck?

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  • Northern Route (I90/I27)

    1 100.00%
  • Southern Route (I80/I84)

    0 0%
Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. Default Moving from Seattle to Nashville in June! Need advice!

    Hello everyone!

    My husband and I are moving from Seattle, WA to Nashville, TN in early June. We will be driving a 16' Penske truck and pulling our car on a car carrier.

    We know that generally there are 2 main routes to take. We have been referring to them as the "Northern Route" and the "Southern Route".
    -The Northern Route is I90 (We'd travel through states WA, ID, MT, SD, IA, MO, IL, KT, TN)
    -The Southern Route is I84/I80 (We'd travel through states WA, OR, ID, UT, WY, NE, MO, IL, KT, TN)

    When comparing the two routes:
    -Distance - both routes are roughly the same distance of about 2500 miles.
    -Elevation - I've read that I90 has a lower elevation (max elevation around 6,000 ft) and that I84/I80 has more wind because it's generally more flat and at a higher elevation (max elevation around 8600 ft).
    -Scenery - I've read that the scenery traveling through ID and MT is stunning and that I90 is a much prettier route that I80/I84.

    With all of that said, here are my main 2 questions:
    1) Which route do you recommend, the Northern or Southern Route? Do you agree with my above comparison of the 2 routes? Also, because we are traveling in early June (as opposed to winter), does it not really matter so much which route we take? If it's most likely going to be summer weather (temps in the 70's and 80's), and both routes are about the same distance, then we might as well choose the route that is more scenic and at a lower elevation (the Northern Route), right? Will we be okay driving a 16' truck pulling a car carrier taking I90? (Sorry, I guess my first question ended up turning into 5 questions).

    2) We are thinking that because it will be June (peak season), that we should reserve our hotels rooms for each night ahead of time (like start booking the rooms now which is currently 6 weeks prior to our move). If we were moving in the wintertime, I think we could probably get away with just winging the hotel rooms every night on the spot as I'm sure rooms would have more availability in the wintertime. However, because it will be the first week of June which is busy peak season, I just feel like I would hate to get stuck and have us stressed out because we can't find an available room after an exhausting day of driving. I just feel like it will be less stressful for us to know we have a guaranteed place to lay our heads at the end of each long day of traveling. What are your thoughts and opinions about booking the rooms ahead of time instead of winging it day-of on the spot?

    I'd really appreciate any thoughts or feedback anyone can give me. Thank you in advance!! :)


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Welcome to RTA!

    I would recommend the northern route. Take I-90 to I-29, take I-435 around KC to I-70 to I-64. Take I-64 through downtown STL to I-57 to I-24. This is actually the fastest route in addition to being easier on towing.

    I don't see a need to prebook hotels unless you want to stay in or near a resort or national park area. You should never be more than an hour or so away from an Interstate exit with multiple hotels. Keep your flexibility, that way you don't have to feel like you have to drive "x" more miles if you are getting tired. Try to stay in the smaller towns, not the big cities.

    I'd look at around 500 miles a day when driving a moving truck towing a car carrier. This would roughly put your overnights around Missoula MT, Buffalo WY, Sioux Falls SD, and Columbia MO. You shouldn't have a problem finding lodging in any of those places or places within an hour or so. Try to avoid KC and STL in rush hour. Remember you need to keep your speed down to 65 mph, that's as fast as those trailer tires are rated for.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    I would agree with GLC, to take the "northern" route. The elevation isn't the problem, it would be the wind of I-80 that could give you grief. Generally, U-Haul's go up and down the rolling grades easily. But get a side wind or (oy vey) a head wind, and there's a whole different kind of problem.

    Hubby and I just did a U-Haul with car on carrier trip, two months ago. We had side winds, tail winds, and (for about 20 miles) head winds. Side winds were not easy as you feel the need to "fight" the steering wheel. The tail winds were a pleasure, as they just push you along. However, when in a head wind, it is quite a possibility that your U-Haul's engine will kick into lower gear and roar.

    However, I'm going to differ with GLC in whether you should have pre-booked lodging or not. The one thing you're going to have to face is parking the rig. While a lot of hotels DO have parking for trucks, we also saw a number of places where we would have had to park along a street that wasn't well-lit. Our second night's lodging said it had truck parking, and we got in at 5 and took one of the three places. The other two truck parking spots filled within an hour. So you may want to do some research and see what's available. I can tell you that a lot of hotels in the Columbia, MO area have a spot or two for a truck, but if you can get about 20 miles further to Kingdom City, MO, you will have motels will far more room.

    The other thing you will face is the problem of "where should I eat lunch?" You can eat breakfast in the hotel, as most places will offer a continental breakfast of some sort. There's usually a dinner spot near the motel where you can walk to. But that's another reason to do some research ahead of time. Lunch is a whole 'nutter ball game, as we found out. Not every meal place near the freeway will have room for your long rig to park, and don't even think about a drive-through! You're better off looking for a truck stop that has a restaurant or fast food place with it.

    The other thing we learned on this trip was that you can't access your towed car very easily. You can get in it, put stuff in it, take stuff out of it. But remove it from the trailer in order to take yourself to dinner or out sightseeing? No, it's a big hassle, and U-Haul frowns on it. Just unhitching it, especially with the car still on it, could cost you big bucks if something breaks.


  4. Default

    yeah northern route would be good

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