It's official - we are going
Thanks Bob (other thread on driving from OC to MD) It's official we are going - looks like the end of Feb.
I'm monitoring weather along the I40 East - the southern route - I want to avoid mountains if I can - what are the best cities to stop in? I'm only driving in the daytime - stopping right before dusk at a hotel (one that allows pets) - I'm thinking Flagstaff, AZ will be the first stop - then I have to stop in ABQ to see family - then what other stops are do-able?
What am I looking for? Specific road signs that will help me along my way......whats the hardest stretch of road to drive? I don't want to be low on gas at anytime during the trip -
I'm not sure what else I need to ask.....
3 days drive
From Albuquerque, you can make Tulsa for your first night, Indianapolis the 2nd, and Baltimore (?) at the end of the 3rd day.
For the first day out from ALB, OKC or Joplin MO would be good alternates, and the 2nd, Terre Haute or Richmond, Indiana.
I figured these starting at 0800, one hour out for lunch, and ending the day in early evening -- no later than 6:30, with a driving speed of 70 on the interstate.
If you have any other questions -- let us know!
Cities to stay in
Thanks Bob! I've lived in Indianapolis so I don't want to stop there, somewhere new :) - Missouri sounds good, do I go through Springfield? Memphis is a must - but then I think I need to pick some for a meal rather than overnight stays.
What about long stretches? Nothing worse than being close to empty and not knowing where you are
To go through Memphis, you'll miss Springfield unless you go out of your way. If you have time to meander around, you could do them both, but that won't be a DIRECT route (if that's important).
For Memphis, take I-40 all the way across Arkansas and Tennessee, to I-81, INSTEAD of getting off I-40 at Oklahoma City and using I-44/I-70. Your 2nd overnight would be somewhere between Nashville and Knoxville TN. This route is a bit faster by the way, and would save you a couple of hours.
Your longest stretches between services will be in the west -- but on I-40 it's really no problem. There are service stations and food about every 50 miles or so at least, even more once you get to the midwest. When your tank gets to half, start watching for a station and fill it back up again and you'll be fine. I-40 is a 24 hour route and there are stations that are always open.
Leaving in 12 days
It's more than official - I'm leaving in 12 days - weather, now I'm concerned with weather - snow? rain? I'm looking at extended forecasts - anyone travel during this time and hit super bad weather????
My folks gave me a Mercedes to drive there - they said more durable than a Honda - takes diesel fuel, heard it was better for highway driving - true?? diesel fuel is okay to find along interstate 40 (southern route)?
You'll find diesel all across the country -- remember, America moves by truck, and trucks run on diesel! You'll find it at every truck stop and many other gas stations as well, along the highways. It is not as common on city streets -- but if you find yourself somewhere like that just look in the phone book. You'll find a station easily.
A road trip would be a hoot in a Honda -- but you'll find the Mercedes a comfortable and solid ride. Be sure to have someone check out the basics before you go -- oil, tires, fluids and grease -- and belts, hoses, brakes, cooling system and charging system, etc. These are the most typical items to cause you trouble on the road.
You need to have some idea of what the car's range is before you hit the road -- so it would help if you can drive it a bit beforehand and see how many miles you get on a tank and many gallons it holds (or ask the current driver?) -- then you'll have an idea when you have to start looking for a fuel stop. Remember you'll get a few extra MPG on the highway than you do in town.
For now, just keep an eye on the weather. You won't know for sure what it will be until time to go -- long range weather forecasting is just as much art as science and they are frequently very wrong. If there is a storm when you are ready to leave, you can usually adjust your route to get around it.
You're having a mover ship your household goods, then?