We're traveling in an RV from NJ to Oakland area, with 3 kids & 4 pets. This is our first time doing this drive;any advice? Also, does anyone know of good points of interest along route 81. We need to go the southern route to try to avoid getting snowed in. We'll be driving over the kids Xmas break, taking about 7 days.
does your 7 days include a round-trip?
NJ to Oakland
If you're taking an RV, it's going to be tough to take a roundabout way in the amount of time you are leaving yourselves. My best advice is to take I-80 the entire way if your main objective is to cross the country in seven days. You may encounter inclement weather along the way, but you're just as likely to have problems in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Tennessee along I-81.
I-80 might be the most well-traveled road in the country. There are plenty of tiny "highway towns" with gas, food, and lodging should anything go drastically wrong. If you really feel more comfortable doing the southern route, I can tell you it's roughly 1300 miles from New York City to New Orleans, and then another 1800 from there to San Diego along I-10. San Diego is exactly 500 miles from Oakland. That's 3600 as compared to 2800 for the straight run.
I can also save you a bit of trouble when you enter California (regardless of your route). California checks all vehicles for plants or animals that might be under quarantine. You are required to provide proof of rabies shots for your pets.
Good luck and safe driving.