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  1. Default NC to CA road trip in an old Grand Wagoneer advice

    Hi all,

    I'm new and need of some advise and I mean any advise and things to keep in mind about traveling across country. It just going to be me and my two dogs with some of my stuff. I might be moving to Los Angeles, CA from eastern NC in the next few weeks and I'm trying to plan the least elevation change route. I'm thinking I20W and I10W route is the least, but I can't seem to draw my own route in the advanced maps. If anyone has a better grasp of using the maps function here and can send me a link with the "show elevation" on that would be awesome!

    To give a bit of background, I drive a 1987 Jeep Grand Wagoneer and it's a gas hog so trying to find the route with the least resistance in about 6 days. Also should I be worried about gas station spacing taking I10/I20W route? I'm planning on camping each night to save money, I'm going to bring all the fluids (AT, oil, and coolant) and an extra gas canteen, extra belts, and I'll have all my tools so if I have to do some simple repairs I should be OK. I'm also messaging my FSJ forums to find local mechanics along the route I pick so I can have a backup plan in case things go really crazy, but I just want to know the route first before I message them.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Keep in Mind

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Yes, I-20/I-10 is the cross-country route with the least elevation gain. I'm always surprised a bit on this route when I pass the sign marking the Continental Divide, ad it's located on what looks like a flat plane. Even better, this route is only about 35 miles longer than the most direct all-Interstate route, basically I-40/I-15.

    I do think that you're overly concerned about breaking down, especially 'in the middle of nowhere'. If you have your Jeep checked out before you start and it's in good mechanical shape then you should be fine. Steady highway driving is the easiest on any vehicle and there are very few stretches of Interstate where you're going to be very far from services, and they will be marked.

    I'm actually more concerned about your plans for "camping each night to save money." Even as far south as I-10 goes, winter nights can get quite frosty, especially in the desert southwest where the lack of atmospheric moisture can allow overnight temperatures to easily drop 40º from their daytime highs. If you've got the cold weather gear for it, your next task would be to pick out your four or five overnight 'targets' and make sure that there are campgrounds, state parks or commercial, that will be open in the middle of winter.

    And finally, even I-10 in Arizona can and does see snow and ice in the winter, so you should try to keep an extra day available in case you need to hole up in a motel for a while to sit out a winter storm.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Phoenix, Arizona


    One area along Interstate 10 where service stations are widely separated is in West Texas, roughly from San Antonio to El Paso, where the speed limit is 80 mph. I use to drive an old Wagoneer, and yes, they are thirsty beasts, so in that part of Texas, if you're at half a tank, and you see a gas station at an exit? Stop and get fuel, even if the gas is on the wrong side of the freeway.


  4. Default

    Thanks for the replies! I'm not too worried about breaking down but just like to plan for the worse. I was more worried about gas stations being sparse. My GW is my daily driver so I'm good on the maintenance and getting it all checked out next week to make sure everything is in best possible shape. I do have cold gear, but I was thinking finding hotels that allow dogs would be tough or expensive?? I do want to camp at least a couple of night though because I love the outdoors.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Pet-friendly hotels are not hard to find. 3 of the following chains are reasonably priced and have a lot of properties:

    There are others that welcome pets, but may charge an extra fee or request a damage deposit.

  6. Default

    Awesome thank you!

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