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  1. Default Thanksgiving 2020 road trip from San Francisco, CA to San Antonio, TX

    Hi! I am planning a return road trip (14-16 days) from San Francisco to San Antonio around Thanksgiving. Neither my car (2 wheel drive without winter tires) nor I can handle any snow on the roads. I am thinking of the below itinerary. I skipped Marfa and Fort Davis due to snow concerns. It will be great if you can suggest:

    1. Any places I should skip due to snow or any other reason
    2. Any places I should add to the itinerary
    3. Day 11 and Day 12 seem little hectic for driving. I can add one more day here but did not find any good place to visit and stay for a night. Any suggestions are appreciated.

    Day 1: San Francisco, CA to Palm Springs (8 hours drive)
    Stay at Palm Springs, CA

    Day 2: Palm Springs to Joshua National Park (1 hour drive)
    Joshua National Park to Tucson, AZ (5 hours drive)
    Stay at Tucson, AZ

    Day 3: Tucson, AZ to Saguaro National park
    Saguaro National park to Las Cruces (4 hours drive)
    Stay in Las Cruces

    Day 4: White Sands national park to Carlsbad caverns (4 hours drive)
    Stay at Carlsbad, NM

    Day 5: Drive to San Antonio, TX (7 hours drive)

    Day 6, 7, 8, 9, 10: Stay in San Antonio/Austin and make day trips to Caverns of Sonora/Fredericksburg/Houston

    Day 11: San Antonio, TX to Roswell, NM (8.5 hours drive)
    Stay in Roswell, NM

    Day 12: Roswell, NM to Scottsdale, AZ (Pitstop Socorro, NM) (10 hours drive)
    Stay in Scottsdale, AZ

    Day 13: Scottsdale, AZ to San Bernadino, CA (6 hours drive)
    Stay in San Bernadino, CA

    Day 14: San Bernardino, CA to San Jose, CA (8 hours drive)

    Thank you!
    Last edited by rdtrippr; 10-27-2020 at 08:00 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,573

    Default Remain (very) flexible.

    Hello and welocme to RTA !

    Your plan is certainly realistic on paper but you should really have a plan 'B' and 'C' and remain completely flexible. Keep researching and keep looking for places that interest you and make notes without being fixated on a set route. First of all, don't start avoiding places now because of concerns about snow as it can happen anywhere, nowhere is safe from the possibility of snow and ice. (On our last trip we saw snow in Vegas!) Secondly you will have to keep up to date with the latest info and local advisories/rules with regard to COVID. The good thing is you have a nice amount of time to juggle things as you go to make the trip safe and enjoyable.

  3. Default

    “ Neither my car nor I can handle any snow on the roads” ANY?

    That comment makes me a little nervous. If you mean your tires are bald, play it safe and get new all weather tires before the trip. Same goes for windshield wipers. Filling up your wiper reservoir with a quality deicing fluid would be a good idea too. I always carry a spare in the car just in case I overdo it and drain the reservoir spritzing the windshield a lot.

    Hopefully you will avoid winter weather but hope for the best and plan for the worst. It will bring peace of mind whatever happens.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,554

    Default

    De-icing fluid is NOT easy to buy in California. It may have to wait until he gets to Arizona, where he will probably find it at a truck stop such as Love's or Flying J.

    We drove to CO last November and could not buy the wiper fluid here that was good for -40F weather. We bought some at Love's in Gila Bend.


    Donna

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    De-icing fluid is NOT easy to buy in California. It may have to wait until he gets to Arizona, where he will probably find it at a truck stop such as Love's or Flying J.

    We drove to CO last November and could not buy the wiper fluid here that was good for -40F weather. We bought some at Love's in Gila Bend.


    Donna
    Thanks! I will order online as I have time till I start my trip. Thanks!

  6. Default

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by travelingman View Post
    “ Neither my car nor I can handle any snow on the roads” ANY?

    That comment makes me a little nervous. If you mean your tires are bald, play it safe and get new all weather tires before the trip. Same goes for windshield wipers. Filling up your wiper reservoir with a quality deicing fluid would be a good idea too. I always carry a spare in the car just in case I overdo it and drain the reservoir spritzing the windshield a lot.

    Hopefully you will avoid winter weather but hope for the best and plan for the worst. It will bring peace of mind whatever happens.
    I updated the post to describe the car situation. The car tires are used 11K miles only but they are not winter tires. I'll get some deicing fluid. Thanks!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    10,036

    Default

    If they are all-season tires you will be fine. You don't need full winter tires.

    I would not order washer fluid online. You can actually buy winter fluid in some parts of California:

    https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/our-work/prog...her-fluid-faqs

    Otherwise, just buy it when you cross into Arizona. You don't use it to deice the windshield, you put it in the washer reservoir to keep it from freezing. It's sold in gallon jugs for a couple bucks a jug. Just look on the jug for the temperature rating. Empty the reservoir the best you can before putting it in, then run several wash cycles to flush the old fluid or water through the lines.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,684

    Default

    It sounds like you want to avoid snow mostly because you don't have experience with it, but as others have mentioned, you really should be ready for the possibility of it pretty much anywhere past Tucson on I-10. I just saw a picture this morning of snow on the ground in El Paso - and it's only October! It wasn't an amount that's likely to cause major problem, and the odds of you seeing a significant amount of snow (or worse, ice) are fairly small, but it is something you should be aware of and be ready for.

    I don't know why buying washer fluid online would be a problem - I buy almost all my motor oil from Amazon these days - as long as you can find a decent price for it. It shouldn't cost you more than $5/gal - and usually I find it for under $2.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    10,036

    Default

    They may not ship winter fluid to this person's county/zip code if it's not on the list I linked. Even if they do, I think shipping is going to cost more than the fluid.

    I just searched Amazon - fluid there is well over $10 a gallon, buy the same stuff at a truck stop, gas station/c-store or Walmart for $2.

  10. Default

    Once you get to colder areas, there will be STACKS of various washer fluids to choose from.

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