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Moving to CA from MI

Lansing, Michigan
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Moving to CA from MI

My wife and I are moving to Sacramento, CA from Lansing, MI in 4 weeks or so. We'll be driving our 2012 Civic with some luggage to the west coast. We plan to take I-80 all the way (we should hit it after about 180 miles from Lansing) to Sacramento. How many days do you think we need to reach there? We are thinking of starting here early on Friday morning and reach there by Monday evening. Is that doable? We don't plan to do any sight seeing on the way and reaching there safely in least possible time is the priority. We have never driver for that many days, so don't really know how to plan it. Any advice would be great. Thanks in advance!

1. Re: Moving to CA from MI

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Removed on: 03 March 2014, 21:05
Lansing, Michigan
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2. Re: Moving to CA from MI

We were thinking of driving 10 hours on the first day and 8 hours for the next 3 days. That isn't much, is it? Or am I being too aggressive?

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3. Re: Moving to CA from MI

If you haven't taken a long road trip before, you may be surprised how tiring it is.

If Google Maps suggests that a drive will take 10 hours, that's wheels-turning time. That does not allow any time for refueling, eating, stretching, or whatever. Depending on your travel style, that might be only 11 hours total or could be 13 hours. Road conditions (snow? accident?) can delay you.

In general, when I'm making a long drive (not a vacation road trip but a long drive to get from Point A to Point B), I try to make the first day the longest. Then I try to drive as far as is reasonable for the next days. But I haven't made a cross country drive w/o scenic stops in a long time.

Lansing, Michigan
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4. Re: Moving to CA from MI

Yes, you're right. When I say drive for 10 hours, I know it is gonna take 12 hours at the very least. But, that's doable, I would imagine. Specially if you start early in the morning. Google maps says the journey is going to be 32 hours.

5. Re: Moving to CA from MI

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Removed on: 05 March 2014, 14:05
Lansing, Michigan
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6. Re: Moving to CA from MI

The longest I have driven in a day is 600 miles (Lansing to DC) and it took me exactly 10 hours (with breaks). I feel like I could do it in 4 days with another driver, but I don't want to be over optimistic.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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7. Re: Moving to CA from MI

# 5 Should the Civic actually be produced in the Southern US ... Would "Grits Grinder", be appropriate ??? carracar

Tacoma, Washington
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8. Re: Moving to CA from MI

Weather can still be a factor you have to consider.

interstate driving will be quite boring---especially in the plains.

When you drove from Lansing to DC you would hit metro areas every few hours, you would have some varying terrain. It takes all day to crossing Nebraska alone will be an ll day drive.

Henderson, Nevada
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9. Re: Moving to CA from MI

You have a trip of about 2,250 miles… (per Google) or just under 600 miles per day for 4 days… 4x your personal best… Understand you are stretching… embrace the challenge but don’t let the challenge drive you to frustration and anger… it’s not worth it…

I find that I beat Google time on long trips at least in the west… it’s all about “wide open spaces…” (ther is more than one song about “wide open spaces”) My personal longest day is over 900 miles, done 10 or 12 times… (I do long road trips a lot… I enjoy long drives… your experience likely is not mine… you should plan for less...)

You do need to be concerned about weather on I-80… It could be clear or it could be a slog or worst portions closed for a day or more… the crossing over Donner Pass in California’s Sierra Nevada is a particularly difficult point… but anywhere on the route, bad weather will slow you… and having a hard schedule in bad weather is a recipe for stress at best, or disaster at worse.

With your car, in good repair, you will have no trouble exceeding the speed limit along the route if appropriate… (but don’t plan to, tickets are not worth it) With your car it will be a reasonably comfortable drive… do yourself a favor… make plans to make yourself comfortable… if you like music have CD’s or other music options… have lots of bottles of water… have snacks… have trash bag to keep the interior civil… Good maps (AAA… a membership comes with road service which is a least peace of mind, and at worse your savior in a bad situation) and an internet connected phone will keep you informed about where you are, where you are going, and options for stops… (you can also update your Facebook status, or send emails… make the trip into a story) Have a pillow or two for your partner… let her/him sleep if they want to… stop and doze if you need to… A half hour nap in a rest stop may save a trip, but you have to be self aware and stop before the crash (physically or practicably)

Back to speed limits… in some places the speed limit is the speed limit… last week in southern Colorado 65 mph meant not more than 65… not 66… on the other hand driving from Sacramento to San Francisco on I-80 with a 65 mph speed limit, on I-80, meant 80 mph… follow the local’s lead (not the guy in the black Trans-am) I have regularly averaged over 75 mph on roads with 65 mph speed limits over long distances… but drive slower if safety or official scrutiny calls for it…

Yes your goal is distance, but don’t be afraid to stop… don’t let the sense of urgency keep you from stops if only for a potty break… Honoring a request for a stop is a significant stress reliever… the stop is more important than the time lost. This is a lesson I took a long time to learn… and a lesson I now never forget, nor do I regret the stop and time lost… It is a reason I am happily married for 33 years and counting… and looking forward to the next trip with the lovely wife… (and why she is looking forward to the trip)

As you get further west, be aware that fuel and services can be scarce… While near home I may run near empty, in the far west, fill up at about 1/3 of a tank… looking for fuel with the “low fuel” light on is no fun when the next gas is 45 miles away…

One favorite strategy… get away in the afternoon/evening… go a reasonable distance… a few hundred miles… the next morning get up, eat breakfast, go… home has suction… it is easy to leave later than you expect… a drive of even 100 miles both gives you a head start the next day, but also gets you free of the suction… Once free of home it is easier to get up and go and you have a head start on the first day…

Welcome to the Golden State… it’s a great place to live and play and explore… We like it here…

Randy

Lansing, Michigan
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10. Re: Moving to CA from MI

That's excellent advice, Randy. Thanks for that.