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Cross-Country Road Trip (CA to NY), advice?!

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Cross-Country Road Trip (CA to NY), advice?!

Old 09-18-08, 01:02 AM
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Cross-Country Road Trip (CA to NY), advice?!

So I've finally graduated from college and it's time to move back to the best city in the world.

My girlfriend and I are both moving back to our respective home towns () and we don't feel like flying. And at any rate, we have too much stuff to leave here, ship, or sell. So we're going at it Lewis and Clark style, minus the compass, add the GPS.

So we need to prepare for our journey, from getting our stuff ready for the move, to selling my car (we're driving her car), changing addresses, and all the other lovely stuff that needs to be done.

Frankly, we're a little overwhelmed. We've set a date of October 12th.

We've looked into getting a hitch installed on her car and renting a 4x8 Cargo Trailer from UHaul which is 200 bucks for 10 days, and it can be returned at any UHaul center.

We're working on making a route. We're going to probably visit our friends in Missouri, and then visit my grandparents in Myrtle Beach, SC. We've started looking into any touristy type places or cities. Maybe something like the Grand Canyon, Chicago, etc. We're pretty clueless when it comes to cool places to visit in America.

First a few specific questions:
  • Where should we go to get her car completely checked up and prepared for the trip? (It's a 2000 Nissan Altima, if that matters)
  • Should we just buy and install the hitch via UHaul, or buy it from a third party and install it ourselves?
  • What GPS (that I can buy at Costco or Best Buy) is best for cross country road trips?
  • Should we even go through UHaul? Any other places that offer better deals?

Other than these questions, we're looking for any advice. Tips for moving across the country, places to visit (and any good places to eat while there?), roads to avoid during mid-October, and anything else that comes to mind?

You guys are the best and I know you won't let us down!

Signed,
Lil ole' CKM.
Old 09-18-08, 01:30 AM
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1. Ditch the U-Haul. It's really a huge pain to drive with it. You can probably ship all your stuff using a mover for not that much more than renting the U-Haul, extra gas, etc.
2. GPS = Garmin Nuvi. Absolutely the easiest to use. Preferably a 600 or 700 series. About $300.
3. CA to MO to SC to NY means probably a two week trip. Avoid the Rockies if at all possible. Take the I-40 to I-44 route. Much easier driving.
4. If you're going to be in MO already, then adding Chicago would be an excellent bonus. It's a great city to visit. Middle of October ... see if you can catch the Cubs in playoffs at Wrigley.
5. From SC to NY, you can stop by DC, which is a very romantic city. The museums and the parks along the Potomac are amazing.
Old 09-18-08, 01:34 AM
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Two weeks trip? Really? My girlfriend drove from WV to CA in about 3-4 days.

Chicago seems cool, but what's in Chicago besides the Cubbies and deep dish pizza?

And can you provide any suggestions or links for movers that will ship fragile stuff like my massive DVD collection and PC tower (and possibly my girls guitar).

Last edited by CKMorpheus; 09-18-08 at 01:46 AM.
Old 09-18-08, 01:54 AM
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another vote for trailering is a pain in the arse.

you will need to find big spots to park and get down backing up with a trailer down correctly. it can be frustrating in the beginning.

if you guys like driving go for it... i rather pay the convenience for flight.
Old 09-18-08, 02:00 AM
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Perhaps a cargo thing for the top of her car would work better?
Old 09-18-08, 05:09 AM
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Avoid driving through Nebraska on I80. It sucks like no other.
Old 09-18-08, 06:38 AM
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Randy C can give you advice on how to plan a fun cross-country trip.

http://www.chasecam.com/roadtrip/
Old 09-18-08, 08:28 AM
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Going from Missouri to Chicago to S.C. then up North to NYC seems very inconvenient just to see Chicago for a day or two. I would definitely do the Grand Canyon. You could also stop by the Jack Daniels Distillery in Kentucky.

If you do go to Chicago, you're way better off going to see a Sox playoff game. And there is a whole lotta other stuff to do in Chi-town.
Old 09-18-08, 08:53 AM
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if you aren't leaving until October 12th, baseball will be in the playoffs, so there's a chance that you won't get tix if you go to chicago.
Old 09-18-08, 09:05 AM
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If you are looking for the quickest point A to point B trip, then there probably won't be a lot of tourist places you will drive past. However, a few minutes to the left or right (or north or south) will produce some cool places. Have an idea about what route you are going to take?

If you are going to see the Grand Canyon, I am assuming you will continue driving east on I40. If you head north a little you can go through Monument Valley which is just a cool drive by itself. You could hit up 4 corners, but that is kinda a tourist trap. But Mesa Verde is only about 50 miles from there and that is so worth it. If you still want to head north (up to I70) you will pass Arches National park, very worth it. But, you will hit the Rockies on I70. They are fun to drive through for about 5 minutes, then they just become big things in your way. I hear Rocky Mountain National Park is worth it, but I haven't been there yet. Once you hit Denver it is pretty much smooth sailing. And by smooth sailing I mean boring

There are so many cool places to visit, you just have to decide how long you want to make this trip
Old 09-18-08, 09:15 AM
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When I moved to Texas, I went to ABF trucking and rented one of their "UPack" crates for all my stuff out of a one-bedroom apartment. They dropped it off, I packed it up, and then they came and picked it up and then transported it out to Texas and dropped it off at the storage unit I rented. This was back in 2006 and I paid $1200 for it.
Old 09-18-08, 09:33 AM
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www.pods.com is another one of those "you pack, we ship" type outfits.
Old 09-18-08, 09:56 AM
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DVD's can be packed in a box and shipped back... I'd say sell everything else...
Old 09-18-08, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Deftones View Post
www.pods.com is another one of those "you pack, we ship" type outfits.
I've read horrible things about PODS, despite their fancy website. http://www.consumeraffairs.com/movers/pods.html

I'm thinking I may just put all my DVDs in a book, and ship the cases via UPS or FedEX. Other than that, the rest is pretty much my computer tower, XBox, and clothes. We may be able to keep it all in the car, or at least in a small cargo storage on the roof. Installing a roof rack may be a problem though.

And yes, we were planning on going through I-40. Grand Canyon was definitely a thought.
Old 09-18-08, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by mickey65 View Post
When I moved to Texas, I went to ABF trucking and rented one of their "UPack" crates for all my stuff out of a one-bedroom apartment. They dropped it off, I packed it up, and then they came and picked it up and then transported it out to Texas and dropped it off at the storage unit I rented. This was back in 2006 and I paid $1200 for it.
Yeah, 1200 is way outside our range for moving help. We'd rather just bring it all ourselves and put that money towards good eateries and an entertaining trip.
Old 09-18-08, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by CKMorpheus View Post
I'm thinking I may just put all my DVDs in a book, and ship the cases via UPS or FedEX. Other than that, the rest is pretty much my computer tower, XBox, and clothes.
Bingo, even shipping a couple of boxes of clothes is better than the trailer. All that should fit in your trunk and backseat. Ship what you can! DON'T DO THE TRAILER. $200 for UHAUL + Hitch is prolly $200= $400 for shipping!
Old 09-18-08, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Chrisedge View Post
Bingo, even shipping a couple of boxes of clothes is better than the trailer. All that should fit in your trunk and backseat. Ship what you can! DON'T DO THE TRAILER. $200 for UHAUL + Hitch is prolly $200= $400 for shipping!
You know I didn't even consider shipping clothes, but that just screams as a *head-smack* idea. I'll talk to my girl about it. I realized I'd have my dishes, pots and pans too, but that doesn't seem too bad. At least, taking it across the country seems possible.
Old 09-18-08, 11:21 AM
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If you're going to take 40, it's going to be a boring drive. Alternatively, you could go through Denver / Kansas City / St. Louis or try the southern route through Phoenix / El Paso / Austin / Houston / Biloxi / New Orleans / Atlanta. The Desert between El Paso and Austin sucks, but other than that, it's an interesting ride.
Old 09-18-08, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Chrisedge View Post
Bingo, even shipping a couple of boxes of clothes is better than the trailer. All that should fit in your trunk and backseat. Ship what you can! DON'T DO THE TRAILER. $200 for UHAUL + Hitch is prolly $200= $400 for shipping!
It depends on how much stuff he has. If I had to ship my clothes across country, it would cost more than $400, but would probably all fit into a uhaul trailer.

Of course, I'd just do Door-to-Door or something like, which was mentioned before.
Old 09-18-08, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by tbone View Post
You could also stop by the Jack Daniels Distillery in Kentucky.
Don't spend too much time looking for the Jack Daniels distillery in Kentucky.

Free advice.
Old 09-18-08, 11:51 AM
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Don't stay here:



or here:

Old 09-18-08, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by CKMorpheus View Post
I've read horrible things about PODS, despite their fancy website. http://www.consumeraffairs.com/movers/pods.html

I'm thinking I may just put all my DVDs in a book, and ship the cases via UPS or FedEX. Other than that, the rest is pretty much my computer tower, XBox, and clothes. We may be able to keep it all in the car, or at least in a small cargo storage on the roof. Installing a roof rack may be a problem though.

And yes, we were planning on going through I-40. Grand Canyon was definitely a thought.
not vouching for them, just offering more suggestions. my sister's friend used them and didn't seem to have any problems.
Old 09-18-08, 01:37 PM
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Anyone have suggestions for a place to bring her car for a full tune up/inspection?
Old 09-18-08, 02:04 PM
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My advice: Stay in CA where it is warm and sunny all year round!!!
Old 09-18-08, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by DVDtotalfreal View Post
My advice: Stay in CA where it is warm and sunny all year round!!!
My advice: get the hell out of CA with whatever money you have before the state completely implodes.

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