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Old 06-30-2014, 09:05 AM   #1
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Question Ohio to California in August!

New to towing long distance. Would appreciate any suggestions, tips.
Which route? Northern or Southern? Destination Sacramento.
Hoping to find some free or low cost overnight stops.
Is it safe to stop overnight in truck stops?
Just two of us, no kids, no pets. Retired.
If going north, is it difficult to get over the mountains?
If going south, when is best time to travel the desert in southern California.
Have been west as a kid, don't know anything about travel that direction
now.
Thanks for any and all help.

Karen
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Old 06-30-2014, 10:21 AM   #2
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ohio to california

Where in California are you planning to travel? What would you like to see along the way? We traveled from Phoenix Az to Ohio and back. Took a different route on the way back. Stayed on major freeways and with a GPS and a cell phone you can find campsites for reasonable rates. Truck stops, most are O.K. but noisey with trucks in and out all night long. Bring you Woodalls camping guide.

Plenty of mountains no matter which route you take. Make sure you know what your mileage is and look for Pilot, Flying J or loves stations for fill up and nature break. They are generally cheapest.

No matter which route you take you will visit some beautiful parts of this country. Enjoy the sites and stop to visit if you have the time. It's a beautiful country and plenty of wonderful folks along the way.

Enjoy the ride. It is going to be a long one.

Jim
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Old 06-30-2014, 10:32 AM   #3
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Thanks Mucho!

Going to Sacramento area to visit family. Planning on 4 to 5 days each way, depending on stops. Mostly concerned about the heat, mountain
pull and gas prices!! But, if we can keep the cost of overnight stays
down, this is the best way. Want to try a long distance pull at least
once.
Since either way will be long, may go north on the way out and south
on the way back!

Thanks again. If ever in Dayton, OH area, let me know.

Karen
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Old 06-30-2014, 10:51 AM   #4
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ohio to california

My son lives near Cleveland so trips there every couple of years. Suggest Northern route to Sacramento. Mostly flat until you hit the rockies through Utah. Can get boring In some areas, but how ya gonna know until you do it. You must stop in Reno and help the local economy. Stop at "Boomtown" just on the west side of Reno. They have a beautiful campsite at the casino there. About 5 miles west of reno. All thats there is the casino and a Chevron station.

Again, enjoy the ride, it's a long one. If your going to do it in 4 to 5 days, they're going to be long days. Difficult to enjoy the trip driving all day.

P.M. me if you wish to discuss to further.

Jim
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Old 06-30-2014, 01:38 PM   #5
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I80 is the most direct route. we drove to Chicago and back, to get our HTT on I80.
i found that pulling through the Rockies, on I80, was no big deal. i see steeper climbs on the West Coast. in fact, i think climbing out of Reno, on I80 west, was the steepest climb of the whole trip.

you don't want to take the southern route in August!
and it's too far out of the way, if you're heading to Sacramento.
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Old 06-30-2014, 02:53 PM   #6
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Just my 2 cents worth, we travel Dayton to Los Angeles a lot and I will not go through Denver again. It was tough with semi's and me down to 30 mph. I always head further south to get over the mountains, but we do not go to northern CA. Guess you got to figure mountains vs. distance. Trade off. We now have a vehicle that can handle the trailer, but it was a bear for us in a Isuzu Rodeo pulling an Aliner. If that helps at all. Denver to Vail was a bear.
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Old 06-30-2014, 03:00 PM   #7
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the most boring/monotonous section of the I80 drive, was across Nevada, from Wendover to Reno.
Mind Numbing!
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Old 06-30-2014, 03:33 PM   #8
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The problem with cheap/free overnight stops is the heat. We just drove from Maryland to Florida and wanted to overnight in a parking lot (Walmart, likely). The problem was- it was just shy of a bajillion degrees outside and a bajillion+100 degrees inside. There was no chance any of us would have been able to sleep in that heat. We don't carry a generator/generators, so we were stuck finding a place to pull into and ended up arriving at one overnight/transient campground at like 11pm.

The other is, if you're doing it to save money AND if you do have a generator - watch the amount of fuel that it consumes at $x/gallon/hour to make sure you're not spending more in fuel than a cheap overnight would cost you.
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Old 06-30-2014, 03:34 PM   #9
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This site keeps an updated list of Walmarts that allow overnight parking:
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/walmartrving/info

The moderator keeps it based on personal reports at specific stores and often calls the stores himself to verify their status.
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:41 PM   #10
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Thanks to all

Appreciate all of your comments and tips. Will keep in my note book.

Did not think about the heat and doing a Walmart overnight!

At this point, we have decided to postpone to California and head for
Mt. Rushmore. Not as long a trip for the first long distance haul.

I think you all are great!! Where else will you find so many willing to
help but on a forum for RVers and campers!!

And if I can be of any help to you in any way, just ask!!

Thanks again to all!!
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