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Old 11-21-2014, 07:00 AM
1 posts, read 1,159 times
Reputation: 10


Hi All!!
A job offer in Los Angeles has us packing up and moving from Atlanta to Los Angeles 4-5 days before Christmas. We will be driving a 16' Penske truck and towing our Honda accord. Neither on of us has ever done this before so I wanted to ask for some advice.

From what I've read, most people opt for the i40 route. However, the main concern there is snow and ice in Arizona, Texas and possibly Tennessee. Quite frankly, we're novices when it comes to driving in snow and every more novice in a truck towing a car.

The other option is taking the i80 route farther south. That scares me because we dip very low south close to Ciudad Juarez Mexico which I've heard is not safe at all. Also, my husband and I are one step away from him getting his residency here in the United States. I have heard that along that route there are many immigration points that can and will stop you. While we are in full accordance with the law and the immigration process, it scares me to have immigration stop us.

Any ideas/advice?

Thanks a million!!!
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Old 11-21-2014, 11:14 AM
Location: Metro Atlanta & Savannah, GA - Corpus Christi, TX
4,515 posts, read 7,647,003 times
Reputation: 2295
My first word of advice... try posting in the LA forum, not Georgia... unless you want to move to another part of Georgia.
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Old 11-24-2014, 06:30 PM
Location: Tucson AZ & Leipzig, Germany
2,986 posts, read 8,189,557 times
Reputation: 5102
I've driven all the main interstate routes across the US. The easiest and flattest route from Atlanta to LA will be I-20 west through Birmingham, Jackson, Shreveport to Dallas. From Dallas, I-20 heads southwest past Midland-Odessa and connects to I-10 in wide open west Texas, about 30 miles from Van Horn. Van Horn is about 150 miles east of El Paso, and is a nice quiet little town for a rest break.

Keep heading west along I-10. Yes, I-10 goes through El Paso, one of the safest cities in the USA. Yes, Ciudad Juarez is on the south side of the border from El Paso, and in a few places you can see Juarez from I-10. Don't worry, countless tens of thousands of cars and trucks drive through El Paso every day and nothing happens. You don't have to stop in El Paso, just keep rolling along to Las Cruces.

Yes, there are a couple of US Border Patrol checkpoints along I-10 in Texas and New Mexico, and they have some drug sniffing dogs as you slow down. As long as you don't have a U-haul full of weed or other dope, no problem. They might ask if you are a US citizen, or some other dumb question. 90 percent of the time they just wave you through. Not sure why you are scared of US Border Patrol checkpoints. Are you on a wanted list or undocumented? If not, don't even think about it, that is silly.

Once you get to Las Cruces, NM it is a long 1 day drive to LA. You will cross the continental divide just west of Las Cruces at elevation of around 4200 feet above sea level. This is the big, important reason you should take I-20 and I-10 west while driving a rental truck and towing your car. There are no steep, grueling mountain grades anywhere along I-20 or I-10. The climbing along these roads is gentle and minimal compared to I-40 which goes across Northern NM and Arizona. Also, I-40 in AZ and NM is subject to heavy snow and blizzards anytime during the winter season, whereas I-20 or I-10 have almost no snow in winter. By staying south on I-20 and I-10 you will save a lot of $$ on fuel because the distance is shorter and there are fewer mountain grades. It is a boring trip much of the way, but you can't have everything.

Worst part of the drive will probably be the last 50 miles. Try to time your arrival into the Southern California megalopolis so you don't hit peak traffic, which could be almost any time of day or night. This sounds bad, but the best time you could arrive in LA area would be on Christmas morning, because that is one of the few times I can almost guarantee you won't get stuck in traffic.
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Old 12-09-2014, 08:00 AM
Location: GA
1,241 posts, read 1,666,230 times
Reputation: 1272
Good luck with your trip to the West. Be prepared for the California sunshine and best of luck with your trip.
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