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Old 08-18-2013, 10:42 PM
 
3 posts, read 5,745 times
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I have lived in California all my life, and have never moved more than 100 miles before. Now, after a pretty long time looking for work, I have a job in West Virginia. The start date just got moved up by a couple weeks, to the 9th of September.

So, my situation is basically- I am moving from Sacramento, CA to Beckley, WV. My job starts on the 9th of September, though I would like to be there 3 or so days before that--the night of the 5th/morning of the 6th maybe. I'm driving my car there (a Jetta, so smallish). I am taking my 50lb dog, my kitten, and whatever fits in the trunk. I am not sure of basically anything at the moment.

What route is best-- google gives me 3 choices but it seems there is really north or south. What is the difference? whch has better freeways and which is less scary?

How nights will I need to stop? and what are some good stopping spots? I am the only driver. I'm not carrying a trailer or anything. I'll need to stop and walk around pretty often, but I'm ok with relatively little sleep. During the trip I am planning on 'camping out' (free places only ) and sleeping in the car. I can look up forest service/State Park type free spots, but I need to know general areas to look at to find them.

Another thing--what do I need to do to my car before I go? It has about 85,000 miles, but hasn't had anything done for about 20,000. Its Check Engine light just came on. I really don't want to break down in the middle of Kansas or something. So what should someone get done before driving across country, and about how much does it cost?
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Old 08-19-2013, 02:48 AM
 
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Wow, your car will definitely need some attention. I am planning on the opposite move to Ca in the coming months and have posted my questions - and trepidations - on this forum. As far as your car, at minimum, you need to get the oil changed, have a mechanic look at - and maybe test drive - your car, check and fill all fluids. Others have suggested to me to have AAA in case of a breakdown and also they have a trip planner I think, check out your local AAA office for this. I have read that Walmart let's people park and sleep in their parking lots but I haven't done this myself so search city data for that. Be sure and stay safe, see my posting in this forum for great suggestions I've gotten from others on this. Good luck!
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:46 AM
 
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I would search out and stay at the larger rest/welcome centers along the route. Most have places to exercise your dog and fresh water. Many people stop at them for the night so they are generally safe places.

You'll of course have facilities for yourself to clean up a bit also. Many of them also have wi-fi available for you to check your route or any other questions that might arise.

During the day they often times have people working there that can answer any of your travel questions also.
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Poway, CA
2,698 posts, read 9,946,876 times
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1. Get the car checked immediately. The light could be something simple (inexpensive), but your concern for being stranded is a valid one and you don't need that worry the whole way across country. At a minimum, I would: get the oil changed, have your tires checked for adequate tread, have the accessory belt checked for wear, and check the air filter. Most places that change the oil will do all the basic checks with the cost of the oil change. Just don't be surprised if they come back suggesting you need a few extra things. These places are notorious for suggesting items be replaced that may not need done. Then again, if the car has been neglected for as long as you say it has been, they could very well need done. If you know anyone who is any kind of a 'car guy (or gal)', they'd probably be happy to check everything for free. Also consider some sort of roadside assistance program just in case (AAA or similar). It's good for the peace of mind.

2. For ease of travel, I would choose the route that involves the fewest large cities. When I moved from San Diego to North Carolina (and back), I took I-40 because it was one of the most direct routes and avoided a lot of the larger cities where I would inevitably get stuck in traffic. Worked really well.

3. If you want to stay in a hotel, Motel 6 is probably your best bet with pets. Most other hotels charge for pets, if they're 'pet-friendly' at all. Motel 6 doesn't. They're also pretty cheap, though it's for a reason (uncomfortable beds, not always well-kept, sometimes in sketchy areas). If hotels are not an option due to cost (or whatever reason), I would second pknopp's suggestion to use truck stops. They're typically friendly to those crashing in their vehicles overnight and have facilities to take a shower or even do some laundry.

4. I always use 500 miles/day as a safe estimate. Honestly, I have no issue pushing WAY past that, but I know others in the vehicle with me may not share my 'enthusiasm' for a road trip. Still, 500 miles usually equates to a relaxed day of getting on the road 8-9ish, stopping for breaks and lunch, and finishing up sometime right around dinner time.

Mike
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,579 posts, read 17,567,761 times
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I didn't see much difference between the two routes. You will be paying some tolls, and the bulk of your drive is going to be through sparsely populated areas. I would most definitely get the car examined before driving.

I've never driven past Nebraska, but gas stations can sometimes be few and far between in NE, IA, and especially rural IL. You will want to fill up around half a tank in those regions.

The larger rest areas are a good idea. If you're pressed for cash, truck stops are a decent bet as well. I know there is a terrific truck stop in Walcott, IA that you will pass by that has laundry facilities, showers, etc.

Biggest thing is going to be adjusting from CA to WV. I've done quite a bit of OTR travel and WV is among the poorest, worst places I've been.
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:29 AM
 
Location: Finally escaped The People's Republic of California
11,119 posts, read 7,568,813 times
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North vs South in early September?
South means traveling through the desert.....
Just something to ponder
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:51 AM
 
79,036 posts, read 33,578,351 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emigrations View Post
Biggest thing is going to be adjusting from CA to WV. I've done quite a bit of OTR travel and WV is among the poorest, worst places I've been.
Beckley is a resort community.

Winterplace Ski Resort - Where Winter is FUN for Everyone! - West Virginia

Sacramento has more people living under the poverty level than WV.
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Old 08-19-2013, 11:17 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
13,820 posts, read 18,790,699 times
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Yep traveling through the desert is not an easy thing and yes you want your car in the best shape possible for that indeed . Also wal mart no longer lets people sleep in their parking lots too much stuff was going on so they stopped that . motel 6 now charges for pets but it is not that costly something like 5 bucks a night . Just be prepared for culture shock when you get to wv from california . WV takes alot of getting used too . I just got back from a trip over there and was like wow look at all the trailer parks . Just a warning but I think you will like WV as opposed to california and also be prepared for winter cause yes it snows in WV , I did not know if it snows in sacremento or not so I thought I would prepare you for your first winter and I mean major winter snow and ice . Good luck with the job and the road trip .
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Old 08-19-2013, 11:31 AM
 
79,036 posts, read 33,578,351 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phonelady61 View Post
Yep traveling through the desert is not an easy thing and yes you want your car in the best shape possible for that indeed . Also wal mart no longer lets people sleep in their parking lots too much stuff was going on so they stopped that . motel 6 now charges for pets but it is not that costly something like 5 bucks a night . Just be prepared for culture shock when you get to wv from california . WV takes alot of getting used too . I just got back from a trip over there and was like wow look at all the trailer parks . Just a warning but I think you will like WV as opposed to california and also be prepared for winter cause yes it snows in WV , I did not know if it snows in sacremento or not so I thought I would prepare you for your first winter and I mean major winter snow and ice . Good luck with the job and the road trip .
There is one mobile home park in Beckley.
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Old 08-19-2013, 05:25 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
13,820 posts, read 18,790,699 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pknopp View Post
There is one mobile home park in Beckley.
I was not referring to Beckley . I was referring to WV in general . please read post carefully .
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