Originally Posted by Mikec1231
So looking at Google maps, if I head south from Oregon is Hwy99 a full blown highway through California? I have only traveled on I5 going to LA. Google says take it to Bakersfield and get on 58 to I40 to Amarillo. Get on 287 in Wichita Falls then to 114 outside of Dallas. Take 30 to 20 East of Dallas to Jackson MS. Then 49 to 98 to Mobile get on 10 to Jacksonville and then 95 S to destination. Only 3300 miles 48 hrs! Yikes!!
99 is not limited access all the way, but most of the way. No lights that I know of. But LOTS of truck traffic, and almost all 4 lane (two lanes each way.) It has a lower speed limit (65) than I-5 and you should heed it. Immensely more interesting than I-5 if you like local flavor.
Having just towed my 23 ft Safari from Florida to Sacramento, I researched many routes. Elevation was one of my considerations, as was temperature (heat) having driven it in August. I have driven just about every possible route from West Coast to East over the years. My first was in the 70s in a ford pinto station wagon when I left Georgia to work for the Forest Service in Gasquet, CA (Six Rivers National Forest.) My route there was via I-10 and up the 101 and PCH. My route back was south on I-5 to US 50, which I opted for to keep off the interstates... Got lost a couple of times, semi-intentionally, but that was before GPS.
Most recently I drove out via I-95 to I-16 to I-75 and north, eventually stopping for a week in Iowa and then on to Sac via I-80. Same trip I've made a dozen times. Its OK, but perhaps the most important thing is the CONSTRUCTION zones. Almost every state had at least one or two major zones. These are now done with diverting you off at least halfway onto the shoulder into a narrow single lane channel with concrete walls on both sides. Not all states bother to grade the rumble strips off, and if you end up on these for any time, it will rattle your trailer, and its content to hell. I really got tired of the construction zones.
I'd opt for whichever route has the least miles under construction!
I've driven I-80 East in the midst of a BLIZZARD leaving Sac the weekend after Thanksgiving, and it followed me all the way to my home in Wisconsin. Three days of 45 MPH in whiteout conditions and passing wrecked cars every quarter mile overturned and on their roofs. Fortunately I had a brand new XC90 with AWD and could continue when others could not. I-80 is a MAJOR truck route and passing those suckers in the snow is a white knuckle affair for sure.
I-10 is BORING, but it is fast and is likely to be snow free. I-70 is very interesting, but as others have said hard on the brakes and they are already heading into snow season in Colorado.
I-40, is OK but coming into winter has some elevation that may see snow as well esp around Albuquerque. You can always opt to drop down to I-10 if its a problem (take I-17 south from Flagstaff to Phoenix).
Taking the 99 through Bakersfield and then out through the desert toward Tehachapi, is a cool drive and lots of neat things to see. Going that route, you can opt for I-40 and a bit of the old Rt 66 attractions along the way, stop off in Joshua Tree for a diversion, and don't forget to stand on the corner in Winslow Arizona...
Thats probably the route I'd take (and yes, I've been there and done that too). And yes, I resemble this song:
I've been from Tucson to Tucumcari
Tehachapi to Tonopah
Driven every kind of rig that's ever been made
Now I've driven the back roads
So I wouldn't get weighed
And if you give me weed, whites, and wine
Then you show me a sign
I'll be willin' to be movin'