Advice on a winter Roadtrip covering 18 states in less than 30 days
Replies: 29 - Last Post: Feb 21, 2013 8:33 AM Last Post By: josenoy
Dec 8, 2012 8:44 PM
Advice on a winter Roadtrip covering 18 states in less than 30 daysHi gang,
I have the opportunity to d a few small jobs in San Antonio Texas (End of January) and Salt Lake City, Utah 1 1/2 weeks later. My wife adn I being a bit adventurers thought about doing a road trip from our home in Charleston, SC all around the US and making a few stops at the following cities and areas:
Salt Lake City
I am hoping to stay within that trajectory. I will be traveling with my 5 children, my wife and possibly my mom. We have a diesel excursion that fits us all comfortably and gives us amazing gas mileage.
I am hoping to do this in less than 30 days. I am aware of challenges in traveling the Northern states during the winter. It worries me a bit but wanted to get y'alls advice. Also, wanted to get suggestions of areas to visit that might be int he way. Also, what should I prepare for? What are things I should think about before heading out? Is this trip a bad idea?
Anyone out there have any suggestion about a South Carolina diesel truck driving in northern states? ANything I should prepare for or change?
I really appreciate any feedback. It has been a dream of mine to be able to do such trip but wanted to make a wise move and seeking your advice and wisdom can help me define this trip or nix it altogether.
Dec 8, 2012 9:22 PM
Dec 8, 2012 10:42 PM
Dec 9, 2012 12:18 AM
Dec 9, 2012 1:42 AM
4I dunno. It sounds to me like you are trying to cover to much ground and will do nothing but drive. I guess it depends on how much time you'll be working.
Winter driving in the US, even in the mountain states, even in Alaska, can be done. Heck I know a guy who lives in Alaska and he drives to work every day . . . . errm almost every day.
It's more about being prepared and being flexible with your plans than about possible or not possible.
Still, I'd trim down the number of destinations and actually enjoy he ones you visit.
Dec 9, 2012 4:12 AM
5Seems feasible to me, especially if you're prepared to cover big chunks of ground on a few days devoted to doing that. Google or Bing Maps for driving time estimates, and if you belong to AAA as advised, their triptych tool.
Petrified forest is worth its short detour off I-40, kids might enjoy a night in the wigwam motel afterwards (we passed by, didn't stay there).
Prepare for the unlikely but potentially fatal cold-weather inoperable vehicle by having blankets and an independent heat source (candle/sterno/coffee can with roll of TP, and lighter) with you. http://www.nd.gov/des/uploads%5Cresources%5C147%5Cwintersurvivalkit.pdf
Dec 9, 2012 5:20 AM
6For winter driving in the north, such as Minnesota, you do need a block heater, as carracar mentioned. That means, with -20F degrees temperatures you will plug your heater into an electric outlet overnight and if colder, then you plug it in when you stop at the grocery store. I have lived and worked in Alaska, but not in Fairbanks, which does have really cold temperatures. Diesel truckers usually leave their engines running in cold temperatures -- I don't have a diesel engine, so I don't know the parameters for when it needs to be plugged in.
Also, you would need to have chains for the rear tires in case you encounter ice on the roadways. Interstate-90 through Coeur d'Alene over the pass into Montana is steep downhill and may be icy. A bag of gravel kitty litter helps with traction if your tires spin on ice after stopping at a light or in a parking lot.
Only the route from Gardener past Mammoth Hot Springs is open year-round in Yellowstone, and many of the roads will not be plowed of snow in February. No RV campground facilities will be open inside the park.
If you are going through Albuquerque, a short one-hour detour north to Santa Fe is well worth the time. Lots of cowboy and Indian souvenirs at the original Trading Post on downtown San Francisco Street. Great scenery and lots of history. There is a year-round RV campground on Cerrillos Road next to a great, paved trail along Arroyo des Chamisos for hiking, skate-boarding (if no snow), etc. There is a public gym -- Geoneva Chavez Recreation Center -- across the way with ice skating and swimming pool indoors. Excellent bus transportation, $2 adult day-pass and kids ride free.
Instead of using a fire for an independent heat source, bring the hand warmers and feet warmers that have chemically-induced heat for 12 hours or so. I assume that you will have warm sleepingbags for everyone. Wal-Mart is the best place to stock up on these cold weather essentials.
As you probably know, there are lots of high-paid oil field jobs in the Dakotas and it is essential that people bring their own temporary housing accommodations with them.
Edited by: trekker502
Dec 9, 2012 6:35 AM
7I would not go anywhere near Colorado, Wyoming, North-South Dakota, and Nebraska/Wisconsin/North Illinois/Indiana, in Jan, are you nuts? Only 1 entrance of Yellowstone is open, for 3 miles to Visitor center, and thats it. Its is a two day drive from Denver to Yellowstone, and thats in summer. Most the roads/highways and passes this region close when snow hits, they even have gates to block entrance to freeway ramps and road entrances, when bad weather is about to strike, and January is prime time snow month, Feb is peak, as is March.
There is no way you would want to visit Chicago in January, I live here, promise.
Dec 9, 2012 6:57 AM
Dec 9, 2012 7:33 AM
Dec 9, 2012 7:41 AM
Dec 9, 2012 9:30 AM
Dec 9, 2012 2:25 PM
12Bring the video recorder!! wife, 5 kids and mother in law (at least to one of you) sounds like a reality tv show, or maybe you wanted to kick start a divorce?
I live near Hennepin county, Hennepin is not a city, so maybe Minneapolis?
I'm working in bed watching the foot of snow come down. I got home about 2 hours ago and put my vehicle into awd to make it up the hill after watching a kia slide back down.
watch this before you decide... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwlPe2to548
I've lived here 40 yrs, sounds like a trip from hell. I've done many christmas trips to iowa and sd in winter, once counted 94 cars/semis in the ditch. I'm a great driver, but it ain't fun. My goal in life is to live south in the winter. I know you like adventure travel, but with that group, is adventure enough.
Dec 9, 2012 2:50 PM
13Thanks guys... lots of things to think about. Lots of tips....
My drive is pretty flexible and reducing the stops is very much doable. The only two concrete stops are my one day job in Sat Antonio , TX and my three day job in Salt Lake City, Utah.
My excursion has the block heater. Getting all the necessary warming cloths in the event of getting stuck is doable. We have plenty of room in the excursion to drive very comfortable and plenty of room in the back for our luggage plus a small fridge and microwave.
Thank you for the Santa Fe suggestion. My mom wont be able to come so that space will be free. We have done several week long vacation but this will be the first driving in wintery conditions.
ANy areas you would prefer than those mentioned in my trip schedule?
Dec 9, 2012 2:55 PM
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