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  1. Default Road Trip - First Timers

    We will be traveling from Manhattan NY area to riverside CA in mid Feb. Any suggestions on the best route and shortest time frame? Only have about four days to spare with two drivers.

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by Tablefor3; 02-08-2020 at 10:12 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,148

    Default No go!

    Wlcome o the Great American RoadTrip Forums.

    If you cannot spare at least six days, then you better book some airline tickets. Actually, you'd possibly need seven days, to allow for winter weather, which could hold you up for a day. Cross country is a full six day trip, and having two drivers does not shorten this. You both need a good eight hours' sleep every night to prevent the onset of fatigue, one of the greatest killers on the road.

    Did you per chance make the first timers mistake by taking your travel times off the internet. One thing you need to remember is that not only do computers expect that you will be travelling at or above the speed limit, 100% of the time, but they do not have the needs of us poor mortals. Computers do not need to stop for road contruction or accidents up ahead. They never see a red light. Neither do they stop for meals, they don't need to stop for fuel, - stretching legs, bathroom breaks, etc.

    Neither are computers in danger of developing fatigue, the greatest enemy of the long distance driver. It is an insiduous condition, which sneaks up on you without your being aware of it, until it is too late. Furthermore it is cumulative. Day after day it gets worse, until you are a danger to yourselves and every other road user at the time.

    Only sleep cures fatigue.

    Lifey

  3. Default

    2750 miles
    Target: 75 mph
    Average: 50 mph
    Drive Time: 55 hours at 50 mph

    7 days at 8 hours per day

    If you’re REALLY lucky with traffic, construction, etc you might get there in 7 full days but I wouldn’t count on it.

    4 days is possible with a Lamborghini going 100 mph.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,466

    Default Be safe.

    Hello and welcome to the RA forums !

    As your goal is to get there as quickly as possible (and you want to arrive safely) then you will be looking at Interstate as much of the way as possible. If you have good conditions the whole way you could complete this trip safelyin 5 days but as already pointed out, you really need a day or two in hand just incase. When you set out you will be fresh and excited and the temptation to carry on driving into the night will be there, DON'T DO IT !! This is a marathon not a sprint and should you push too hard at the start, you will become tired and fatigued through the rest of the trip. Spread your time out evenly at around 550/580 miles and 10 hours per day (conditions permitting) and you will have a fairly relaxed and SAFE drive. If heading to I-40 your trip could look something like this > Springfield OH>Marshfield MI>Amarillo NM>Winslow AZ>Riverside.

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tablefor3 View Post
    We will be traveling from Manhattan NY area to riverside CA in mid Feb. Any suggestions on the best route and shortest time frame? Only have about four days to spare with two drivers.

    Thanks in advance!
    Thank you all so much for the great advice! We have taken it into consideration and will definitely add in some additional days.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,466

    Default Good to know.

    That's great to read !! Of course safety is paramount but extra time will at least make the journey bearable and perhaps to some extent, enjoyable.

    Safe travels !

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
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    9,853

    Default

    Suggested routes to (hopefully) avoid the worst winter road conditions, high tolls, and large city traffic:

    1.

    I-80 to Youngstown OH
    I-76 through Akron to I-71 to Columbus OH
    I-70 to STL
    I-44 to OKC (tolls ~ $10)
    I-40 to Barstow CA
    I-15 to Riverside

    2. About 100 miles longer

    I-78 to Harrisburg PA
    I-81 to Knoxville TN
    I-40 as above

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,891

    Default Keeping Alert and Having Fun

    As others have pointed out, and I'm glad to see you took their advice, this trip is going to take far more than four days. At roughly 2,800 miles (by any one of three or four routes) you're looking at five to six days of driving under ideal conditions. However, you cannot count on ideal conditions in February, especially crossing the Rockies. thus the range of answers you've gotten anywhere from five to seven days.

    Those recommendations are made so that you can have a safe drive. As Lifey pointed out, having two drivers does nothing to shorten the drive time. Indeed it makes it longer, since each stop will take the amount of time required by the slower of the two of you. More importantly, the non-driving partner is not going to be able to get any real rest while the car is in motion, and fatigue is going to be your worst enemy on multi-day drive completely across the continent. Plan on no more than eight hours or so of driving each day split between the two drivers.

    One thing you can do to both increase your alertness while driving, as well as make the trip just a bit more enjoyable is to take two or three short R&R breaks each day. The list of potential stops just linked to cover all the major Interstates so that no matter which of the possible routes you choose, you'll have at least some notion of where you can get off the superslabs, get out of the car, take your eyes off the road, take a short walk and stretch your legs, and get some fresh air, all of which will help keep you a better more focused driver.

    Finally, as noted, there are several possible routes - all within less than a hundred miles of the same distance. You should map several of them out, including where 550 miles would get you at the end of each day, but I would hold off making a final decision on which route to use until just a day or two before departure, then make that decision based on the predicted weather for each route. Unfortunately, even when you leave New York, you won't be able to know what the weather will be west of the Great Plains. It'll just too far in the future for there to be any meaningful forecast. So you should plan on re-evaluating your route for the western half of this trip once you've crossed the Mississippi. Thus I'd aim for St. Louis as a midpoint since you could go south from there, I-44(toll in parts)/I-40/I-15, or more directly via I-70 through Denver to I-15.

    In any event, you've made the first best decision already, to allow yourselves enough time to make the trip safely. Now you can start thinking about what would make it more enjoyable for you as well.

    AZBuck

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Default

    Thus I'd aim for St. Louis as a midpoint since you could go south from there, I-44(toll in parts)/I-40/I-15, or more directly via I-70 through Denver to I-15.
    Actually, from STL I-70/1-15 is 50 miles longer than I-44/I-40/I-15.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Tucson, AZ
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    9,891

    Default

    glc: 'direct' refers to the simplicity of the route, NOT the number of miles.

    AZBuck

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