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Old 08-12-2011, 09:43 PM   #15
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Congrats on the job Laura, certainly a big difference from what you have been doing. Its going to be a long drive to the CanOpener though!

Good luck and have a safe westward trip

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Old 08-12-2011, 10:06 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Roadtoaster View Post
Congrats on the job Laura, certainly a big difference from what you have been doing. Its going to be a long drive to the CanOpener though!

Good luck and have a safe westward trip

Thanks Greg. I'll miss CanOpener.... who will sing Happy Birthday to me? I really had a good time. And, guess what? I may be towing my Silver Olive west with me after all!!!!!! Had a friend offer to drive a UHaul so I can tow the airstream. But she'll need new tires and that's not an $$$ investment that I was planning. Think I can find as friendly group as ya'll out there in the desert?


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Old 08-12-2011, 10:21 PM   #17
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Godspeed! Keep us posted on your new adventure.

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Old 08-13-2011, 09:35 AM   #18
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Last July, we moved west. We jumped off the interstates and used US and state highways through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and California. The roads aren't glass-smooth, but they aren't terrible either. We made a trip along I-40 in 2007 from AZ to GA, and I remember I-40 being very rough in long sections.

I used Google Maps to plan the trips and didn't worry about elevations. I think the steepest grade of any length was 8%, and we made the trip without any mechancial issues. Fresh brakes on the truck and trailer, a functioning cooling system, and heavy use of lower gears both uphill and downhill made the trip manageable.

We visited the Ozarks, Dodge City, National Grasslands, State and National Parks, and we either boondocked in parking lots or stayed in RV parks and had no issues with availability. Scenic trip and more relaxing as well did not worry about maintaining interstate speeds. We just cruised along at 50 mph and avoided all trouble.

We made St Louis to the Pacific Ocean in 9 days, not being in a hurry. If you have a few extra days, I would plan on using them since you are driving nearly 3,000 miles.

EDIT: I forgot to mention, we used a 8'x8'x16' pod to move our stuff. It was full and weighed nearly 5k pounds. We filled a standard 3-bedroom ranch-style house with what was in it, and this weight did not include a dishwasher, oven, or fridge.

Good luck and enjoy.

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Old 08-13-2011, 11:03 AM   #19
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The southernmost route is the flattest. I-10W all the way to Tucson, then a fairly straight line NNW through Las Vegas and on to Reno. About 60-miles farther than the northern route suggested by G-Maps through Nebraska/Wyoming IH-80. I would do the latter route due to the unrelenting heat of this time of year, personally, as the "problem" of mountains is really IH-70 though Colorado. Nearly 3k miles.

Plan your daily routing: restaurants, fuel, etc. Do NOT drive on into the night. Leave a little early (civil dawn) instead. Expect to be up by 0500 for breakfast having showered the night before, and on the road at 0630. Be off the road one hour before dark and lay out everything for the next day, including food shopping etc. Have a big meal and hit the bed early. Do both pre-and post trip inspections of your vehicles. Wash them daily, IMO, and the glass at EVERY stop. What you're doing is akin to truck driving. It's a job, so treat this death-defying set of acts with respect. Your "money-saved" is illusory if you're just hanging on the steering wheel with the cruise on. Be careful as fatigue sets in on Day Two and must be mediated by planning and regular habits. 500-600 per day is real work day after day. Go over that and you'll screw up the rest of the trip.

Plan each day so that a series of short legs is the accomplishment. Know your stops. Stop every two hours for fifteen and every four hours for one hour. Etc. Knowing the Exit # ahead of time, and the stops, avoids distractions while driving.

I'd rather take seven days than six to do this trip. I'd find all the cool diners ( to have lunch at, and the WalMarts to shop in. Plus places to fuel. Combine what you can (time and locations), and leave a minimum of one-hour in the day for contingencies (besides being off the road an hour ahead).

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Old 08-13-2011, 12:12 PM   #20
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Hi- If you decide to take I-10, at Tucson you'll have to choose between going north or staying on I-10 to San Bernardino.

If you choose north from Tucson take 93 to VGS where it mergers with 95 then 95 up to Fallon,NV and go west on 50 then hit 395 and up to Reno. 93/95 was in good shape on our last trip about 8 months ago, new between Kingman & Hoover Dam, but absolutley make sure you have plenty of extra water with you as it will be hot if you're traveling during daylight hours.

If you choose north from San Berdoo 395 will take you right into Reno. This route is more scenic if you prefer greenery and probably a little cooler.

Myself, from Tucson I'd probably go up through AZ & NV but only because we really love the desert. Remember this as you'll be hearing it a lot out here, "But it's a dry heat" hehe.
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Old 08-13-2011, 01:23 PM   #21
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First, it's great you have such a good friend because you don't have enough time to train your dog to drive the truck. Second, you got a job! That job will be a real change and I hope it works for you.

Get a Rand McNally road atlas. The quick ways west are interstates and you have to transition north from one to another to get to Nevada. Last time we went through Houston on I-10 there was a sign that no trailers and maybe no trucks were permitted on I-10 west of the city. It had been made into a restricted toll road for commuters only. Houston is to be avoided.

The trick is getting from I-10 to I-40 by the time you reach west Texas. Not having a map in front of me, I am unsure how you get from I-10 to I-20 to I-40, but look for good 4 lane highways diagonally going northwest and try to get to I-20 by the time Dallas is on the horizon. I think there is a way from Louisiana north to Baton Rouge along the Mississippi and eventually to I-20. From the Dallas/Ft. Worth area there is a good 4 lane highway that goes northwest toward Lubbock and Amarillo where you can pick up I-40. By that time you will be in the high plains, but no mountains. This will take you across NM and into Arizona. There's no easy way to get to Reno from there. I believe you can pick up US 395 in Cal. and that will take you to Reno, but I can't remember where it crosses some of the mountains. If it goes around part of Lake Tahoe, avoid it. It is may be best to aim for Las Vegas—pick up I-15 in Cal. and go north to Vegas, then take the US 95 to Reno—it roughly follows the western border of Nevada. There are some long grades—especially before Tonopah, Nev., but it is a good 2 laner. Another, more direct way to get to Vegas is to take the US 93 that crosses over the new bridge at Hoover Dam. I thunk you can pick it up at Kingman, Arizona. The interstates around Las Vegas are confusing—it is like gambling to find the right one, but look for Reno signs as well as US 95.

When you look at the US map in a road atlas, the way gets pretty obvious on a large scale, and then you look at the state maps for details and the city maps to get through the interstate mazes.

You might get walkie talkies or CB radios to talk to your friend, especially when one of you gets stuck at a traffic light or takes the wrong turn. Walkie Talkies have 2 settings—one is long range and you are not supposed to use it unless you have an FCC license, but I think few people worry about that.

This is a long, boring drive on interstates. You have no one to spell you at the wheel except the dog and they have a hard time reaching the brake pedal. You can do it in 5 days, but will need to sleep for a few after you get there, so take it easy. Even 7 days is a lot of driving with a trailer or a rental truck. Think about having a day off somewhere along the way. I don't know how much furniture, clothes, food, books, etc., you have in your house, but I'd guess it weighs more than you think, so bigger truck is better and may have a bigger engine. I drove a loaded small box rental truck with a trailer behind it last time we moved and that thing was slow and not very comfortable.


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