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  1. Default Oceanside, CA to Philadelphia, PA in December

    I am looking to do a 3-5 day drive from Oceanside, California to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in December. It will be myself and one other person splitting the drive along with our two dogs. We plan on driving approximately 12-15 hours a day, driving in 4-5 hour rotations. We will not be interested in sightseeing as we made the northern drive before during a better time of year.

    After reading multiple forums and websites, I have planned a route to get us started (pending any weather delays) and will have ample supplies of emergency gear, roadside assistance, bottled water, blankets, car chargers, tire chains, and extra dog supplies. I just wanted to see if anyone had any better ideas to tweak my plan.

    Leg 1: Oceanside, CA to Albuquerque, NM (estimated 12 hours)

    Leg 2: Albuquerque, NM to Memphis, TN (estimated 14.5 hours)

    Leg 3A: Memphis, TN to Philadelphia, PA (estimated 15 hours); If we see weather we will take a more southern route for Leg 3/4.
    Leg 3B: Memphis, TN to Raleigh, NC (estimated 11 hours)

    Leg 4 (if needed): Raleigh, NC to Philadelphia, PA (estimated 6.5 hours)

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

    Default Please don't !!

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    This is a minimum 5 day drive and can only be accomplished in that time with good weather conditions, any major disruption and you need a sixth day. It looks as though you have fallen into the trap of believing the travel times given by a computer program in a virtual world where you never have to stop for fuel, food, rest, the bathroom or to let the dogs out for a run. It also presumes you can run at the speed limit the entire time without congestion, construction or weather delays. To get to Albu on day one is too much and on to Memphis the next is even worse and to put it bluntly, it would be dangerous and foolish to attempt that journey on a one day summer trip, never mind after a 15 hour day the day before in the middle of winter. I can tell you that the passenger will not get any meaningful rest while the other drives and if they were so exhausted they managed to drop off to sleep, who would keep an eye on the exhausted driver ? What about the poor dogs ? Please, please reconsider for your safety and for those that share the road with you. This is a minimum 5 day trip and with appropriate rest stops you will be on the road for 11-12 hours per day which will be tiring enough to do back to back.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Having made a speed run myself over Thanksgiving, I can tell you that Leg 1, Oceanside to ABQ in 12 hours, won't work. There is a major construction site right at the state line between AZ and NM. It will delay you about a half hour, maybe more if it's a weekday when they're actually working at the site. (We went through on a Saturday and they weren't working, but there was still a delay as you go from 2 lanes down to 1.) I-40 is a major truck route. You will be sharing that road with a LOT of trucks. It seemed like there were 3 trucks for every passenger vehicle on the road.

    It took us 12 hours to go from our home in San Diego County to Gallup, NM. That is about 150 miles short of ABQ, on the west side of NM. That was a LONG day. If we'd have gone up I-15 to catch I-40, it would have been longer, because Cajon Pass is always an issue. (We went I-8 to AZ-85 to I-10 to Loop 303/Phoenix to I-17 to I-40.)


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default dangerous myths all the way around

    I will completely agree with what Dave and Donna have said, and note that you seem to be hitting all of the myths of winter travel, which is going to put you in a very dangerous situation if you attempt this.

    If we see weather we will take a more southern route for Leg 3/4.
    In addition believing to the fantasy times spit out by online mapping programs - which even those are significantly beyond what the human body can safely do - you seem to be falling into the trap that all you need do to see good weather in winter is go a little farther south. There are plenty of times where the weather is worse farther south. Every cross country route can and does see snow and ice, period. You need to watch the forecasts, not just assume a lower latitude will provide better weather.

    If safety is at all something you're factoring into your plans, you need to plan for a minimum of 5 days. Reasonable overnight stops - in good weather - would be near Holbrook AZ, Amarillo TX, Springfield MO, and Dayton OH.

    There's nothing wrong with carrying emergency gear, but the single best piece of emergency gear is not getting into an emergency in the first place. Trying to make this trip at anywhere close to the pace you've proposed dramatically will increase your chances of being involved in an emergency situation, due to fatigue, and even though you can't due a breath test for fatigue, the impact on the body is nearly identical to driving under the influence of alcohol.

  5. #5


    Wow, that first leg is LONG at 800 mi plus. If it were to the end destination with a few days rest I could see doing that on an exception basis, but certainly not as part of a multi-day road trip. Much less so when traveling with two dogs. When driving coast-to-coast, 7 days is a much better option. Otherwise, fly or take the train.

  6. Default

    2750 miles = 55 hour drive

    Yeah, that’s 50 mph!

    You may be driving 8O mph at times, but only some of the time. You’ll only AVERAGE 50 -55 mph unless you’re very very lucky and drive like a bat out of Hell. (Hell Michigan). Your speed run will be ruined by traffic, weather, construction, detours, accidents, gas stops, dog stops, food stops, and who knows what. Plan on the times your map programs give you, and you’ll be behind schedule almost immediately.

    Oh, you’ll also lose several hours as you cross time zones. You’ll have three hours of “jet lag” by the time you hit the eastern time zone.

    So plan on five 11 hour days and hope that ideal conditions will whittle them down to 10, but don’t count on it.

  7. #7


    Days of 11 hrs driving/in-transit are rather gruesome, something like hitting the road at 8am and arriving at 7p, checking-in, going out to eat, collapsing and repeating. Six days makes it 9 hrs in-transit each day, checking-in at 5p as it is getting dark. Still a series of road warrior days but more manageable for you and the pups.

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