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  1. Default help with road trip from Phoenix to Rochester, MN


    I am new here and new with road trips. I am moving from Phoenix area (Scottsdale actually) to Rochester MN and thinking of driving there. I have a 12-year-old VW Rabbit and will get it inspected and prepared for the trip. I am wondering if I can find a relatively 'flat' route that is easy for this small and old car. And, is there any section of the road that there is no gas station/cell phone signal for more than 2 hours of drive? I have 6 days for the trip so I don't need to be in a hurry. Is there anything else I need to know and get prepared for?

    Thanks a lot!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default You should be fine.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    You could possibly make the trip in 3 days so having 6 days available is great and gives you time for some sight seeing and taking it steady. You won't have any problems with gas stations along the way as long as you are sensible and don't let your tank run too low. I would look at a decent map and do a little research to see what route (if any) appeals to you and your interests. If your car is given a clean bill of health and is serviced etc then you should have no problems with it tackling any paved roads. Make sure your spare tyre is in good shape and has the correct pressure and check your fluids at the start of each day and all should be fine. Cell phone signal may get sketchy in some places but if you needed assistance help is never far away as it doesn't sound like you want to start going 'off road'.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    The hardest pull you will have on this whole trip is I-17 between Phoenix and Flagstaff. Being an Interstate highway, it's designed for heavy trucks, so you shouldn't have any problems. If you want to avoid that, you can take I-10 to Deming, NM-26 to Hatch, then I-25 north to I-40. Take that to I-35. Cell coverage will be nearly uninterrupted on the Interstates.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Don't overlook US-83.

    Head up to I-40 east and take that to Childress TX. Turn north onto US-83 and take that all the way to I-90, then I-90 straight to Rochester.

    I drove this route only last year and found it to be a most relaxing and enjoyable drive. It will take you through some lovely small towns, past many small parks, lakes and wildlife refuges (great places for a break), as well as small towns, besides a couple of cities. Small side trips will take you to places like Dodge City. You will pass through the sand dunes area of Nebraska and a very interesting part of I-90, with the Golden Rest Area (where west and east of the road were finally joined). Not to overlook Mitchell, with the Corn Palace..

    There is no shortage of fuel outlets along this route and I don't recall ever having problems with telephone or gps reception.

    Try it, you'll experience parts of the country most people never get to see.


  5. Default

    Thank you all for your advice, your replies are very helpful!

    One more question is, as I am actually at east Scottsdale, the google map suggests I take 87, then 260 and 377, then 40, instead of going though I-17. Don't know if these two route are comparable or if I-17 will be easier...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default If You Want Flat

    Most mapping routines consider not much more than distance and speed limit. It is true that AZ-87/260/377 is a good bit shorter than I-17/I-40. Also most, but not all, of that route is four-lane road with a median. But there is a long (two mile) 6%+ grade climb on AZ-260 that could easily make the difference. If you're concerned enough about the capabilities of your car to ask, then you should probably opt to drive the extra 60 or so miles and stay on Interstate quality roads all the way, using I-17 up to Flag and then I-40 for the start of your trip. Once east of Albuquerque, things get a lot flatter and you can choose your route on the basis of places you'd like to see without worrying about putting too great a strain on your car's engine.


  7. Default

    Thanks! Will take I-17 then.

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