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  1. #1
    Mara Penrose Guest

    Default driving a u-haul over mountains?

    I am planning a move in a 10' u-haul from Monterey (central) CA, to MD at the end of March. I am not usually a truck driver and would like to avoid very curvy or possibly snowy mountain roads. I would like to make the trip in 7 days, and stopping for fun, esp. at national parks is a second priority. Would driving the extra miles to dip south on Route 40 save me from the mountainous driving on Routes 80, 50, or 70? Has anyone done this trip in a U-haul?

  2. #2

    Default Ten foot?

    Is that 10' a typo? That's an awfully small U-Haul!

  3. #3
    Mara Penrose Guest

    Default not a typo--it's a penske

    The truck is actually a Penske 10' truck--the smallest they have, because of the fact that I'm not confident about driving it and only have a one-bedroom worth of stuff. Do you think it will be tough to drive it that far?

  4. #4

    Default Driving U-hauls

    They're not tough to drive. They don't ride like a Caddy, of course, but you'll do OK. One thing you might do if the cab is rather spartan (hard armrests, etc) is take a pillow or cushion that you can stuff between you and the door for added comfort, to rest your arm on, etc, or put behind your back in case that starts to get achey (and it WILL).

    You won't have any trouble at all driving one of them on the interstate system, as the grades and curves are more gradual by design, and the highway departments keep them cleared as quickly as possible. They are national defense highways, so that makes their driveability a government priority!

    Keep your speed down -- remember that it will have a much greater mass and a higher center-of-gravity than an ordinary passenger vehicle, so everything must be planned ahead and done slower -- no sudden stops and no sharp curves at high speed! You can't drive them like a sports car. Pay attention to overhead clearances -- it is not unusual for someone not used to them to "top" them trying to go through a Jack-in-the-Box or Taco Bell! And have fun -- it's an adventure!

    I think your best bet is to go down through Bakersfield and Las Vegas before heading east on I-70 or I-40. Which one you choose depends more on which parks you'd like to see than it does the weather, probably. The cluster of parks in the N. AZ/Utah area are awesome -- you could see Zion/Bryce/Capitol Reef/Canyonlands and then pick up I-70 north of Moab, or end up coming south for Grand Canyon and then go out through Gallup, NM on I-40. Either choice will likely be good road in late March.

  5. #5
    imported_Transplanted Midwesterner Guest

    Default Did it last week

    I actaully just finished Driving a 17 foot U-Haul from California to Wisconsin pulling my car on a trailer. I took I-15 and I-70 through Colorado and didn't have any problems. The truck was pretty sluggish approaching the Eisenhower Tunnel, but I dropped it down to first gear and slowly made it over.

    You shouldn't have any problems and I wouldn't worry about taking any special precausions. With the small truck you should be able to handle any highway just fine, just keep in mind what others have said about more stopping time and a higher center of gravity.

    Oh.. and one more tip, if you can hold off on filling up until you get out of California and Nevada you'll save some cash. Gas prices in St. George, Utah were 30 to 40 cents per gallon lower than in Vegas about 150 Miles away. It really adds up when you're filling up a big tank in a truck that gets bad mpg.

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