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  1. Default Winter route NJ to CA

    Driving to Los Angeles from Northern NJ in end of January. Best southern route.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,708

    Default Best ??

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    You haven't given us much to go on to be able to offer meaningful advice. When you say "Best" what does that mean, quickest, most scenic, winter weather in mind ?? How much time do you have and is it a family road trip, solo trip or moving trip ? What I can tell you at the moment is that this trip will take a minimum of 5 overnight stops to complete it safely and you should build an extra night or 2 in to allow for the possibility of weather disruption. The second thing is that no matter how far south you go you have no garuantees that you will avoid poor conditions, it could even be that a northern route is more preferable at the time you travel. This you won't know up untill the point you are departing so it pays to keep your options open until then. Most importantly forget about Google map travel times they just aren't realistic when you do the maths. A computer doesn't allow fot the need to stop for gas and bathroom breaks never mind food and sleep! It also expects you to be able to travel from door to door without any of the above and at the speed limit, no congestion, no construction delays !!(What a perfect world!) For planning overnight stops, expect to cover 550-600 miles over a 10 hour period which on a multi day trip is our recommended goal without sight seeing, anything over that fatigue will get hold and you will become a danger to yourself, passengers and those sharing the road with you. Give us more detail and ask any specific questions you have and we will be pleased to help.

  3. Default

    Great advice!

    Let me elaborate on “ no matter how far south you go you have no garuantees that you will avoid poor conditions, it could even be that a northern route is more preferable at the time you travel.”

    If there’s snow or ice In Ohio, it’s no big deal. Northern road crews are well prepared to handle anything Mother Nature can throw their way. I’ve even seen snow plows and salt trucks sitting alongside a dry interstate, awaiting an oncoming storm!

    Conversely, I’ve seen a minor snowfall completely shut down interstates in Tennessee where road crews had neither the experience or equipment to deal with it. Inexperienced drivers were extremely hazardous to drive by. They were sliding uncontrollably and drifting off the road in conditions northern drivers routinely handle with little concern. Getting off the interstate to grab a bite to eat can also an experience; restaurants close to let employees safely make it home! The city was a ghost town!

    So, think twice about long winter drives on southern interstates.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    5,709

    Default

    So, think twice about long winter drives on southern interstates.
    Going even further south - my mom has a story about a snowstorm in Van Horn TX (along I-10) that sent many people off the interstate into local campgrounds, truck stops, and motels. Van Horn just wasn't prepared for it, and neither was that area of (west) Texas!

    One of the most direct routes would be to take I-80west to I-81 south to I-40. Another would be I-80 west to I-76 west to I-70 west, to I-44 west, to I-40 west. For either one, when you reach Barstow, CA, go south on I-15 which takes you to the LA Metropolitan area.




    Donna

  5. #5

    Default

    Just to add, the 550-600 mile drive in a day is a "stretch goal," but not something I would plan for more than two days on a cross-country drive. Many other factors come into play, e.g., traveling with kids or pets.

    With regards to weather-based routing. Most of the weather systems travel west to east and you are traveling east-to-west with a fast closure rate. So, plan for the best, prepare for the worst. In addition to the lack of preparedness and experience in the southern states for winter storms, most of the cross-country interstates still encounter elevation or customarily windy areas. You likely do not want to drive I-95 south to I-10. Miss a winter ice storm but drive into a tornado!

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