Cross country trip help needed

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by Liberty, Sep 21, 2015.

  1. Liberty

    Liberty Shhh! Lifetime Supporter

    So over Halloween weekend I'm flying out to Washington State, renting a Budget truck (U-Haul is WAY too expensive) and driving back to West Virginia. I'm looking for help with cheap gas prices, places to stay cheap or safely, etc.

    I know it's not as awesome as Bob's trips, and I don't need to load up on mags, but I DO need to save some serious dough. I MIGHT be needing to fuel up at Wal-Mart/Sams locations as much as possible based on my credit cards too. I'll likely be driving around 14+ hours a day so I can do it in 3 days. I'm going to try to sleep in the truck to save money, so good truck stops or the like will be welcome.

    The plan, barring weather, is to fly out on Thursday, October 29th, get in sometime in the evening, spend the day on Friday the 30th with family and loading the truck (bringing back some family furniture), and leaving on Saturday, October 31st. Oh yes, I get to drive all day Halloween.

    I'm familiar with all of the routes as I've driven each of them before multiple times, but I want to get help with the best gas prices and places to stay along the way. If everyone could report the best gas prices they know in their area if you're along any of the routes, then when it comes time to go, I will know the cheap places to stop like rachgier is doing with his cross-country move.

    Barring any weather, I am going to take the northern route, so take I-90 over in Seattle, through Idaho, Montana, cut through the corner of Wyoming, through South Dakota, I-29 south to I-70, through Nebraska/Iowa/Missouri, around Kansas City on the far side on 435, then east on I-70 which turns into 64 and I'm home.

    If there's weather, I can drop down to I-84 to 80, the southern part of Idaho to Utah, then 80 East and down, or if I really have to down through Denver and east through Kansas.

    My planned stops are somewhere around Billings, Montana, and St. Joseph, Missouri, but those can certainly change. If I can manage it, I can do it all in 3 days, with a little stopping here and there.

    The vehicle I'll be driving is going to be a Budget 12 foot truck (can't get a 10 foot). The range looks to be about 200-350 miles, I won't know until I get in the loaded truck and am driving. The websites I've seen say 6-10 MPG. Hopefully gas will stay cheap over that weekend.

    So basically anyone that is close to any of those routes, I'd appreciate any help with gas prices you see right now so I can gauge what spots are the best to stop for fillups, and the best places to stay too.
     
  2. undeRGRound

    undeRGRound ROLL wif Da MOLE! Supporting Member

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    Your missing Mole-Ville by a wide berth... :(
     

  3. wizard

    wizard Well-Known Member

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    Oh man that is one long drive...I did Georgia to New Jersey, in a day and that
    had me beat.
     
  4. sarahsmom

    sarahsmom Supporting Member

    I've done Oklahoma/Las Vegas in 22 hrs - but that was 26 yrs ago. Now that drive requires an overnight stay in Albuquerque.
     
  5. Bull

    Bull Just a Man Supporting Member

    I should be in town Lib, I'm 10 mins east of KC on I-70..... Gas is 2.09 at the moment, and I can probably arrange a place to crash if it's on your time schedule... Lemme know.
     
  6. bigjohn56

    bigjohn56 Member

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    You probably know this but in case you don't:

    www.murphyusa.com click on "find a store" and it shows maps and when you select a store it shows prices

    gasbuddy.com is available online or as an app for your phone.
     
  7. MachoMelvin

    MachoMelvin Well-Known Member

    I will pass on a word of advise, Take it or leave it?
    If it don't say PENSKE on the side, I'm NOT DRIVING it!
    I have driven both U-Haul's & Budget trucks, & NEVER again!!!, The breakdowns will cost you more in motel rooms & extra meals than the 100% Guarantee PENSKE warranty will. You will be $$$ ahead by going PENSKE. Take my word for it. I have had several relatives ask me to move their STUFF from state to state. If they don't buy PENSKE, they are on their own. If you breakdown in a PENSKE, they will put you up in a motel, NO CHG, buy your meals while you are either repaired or replace the whole truck & pay people to move your STUFF from the broken truck, while you sit in the air conditioned truck & watch! That's what I'm talking about, I have had this happen twice. U Haul & Budget work on the re-imbursement program, and DON'T like to answer their phones. You can be stuck on the side of the road for hours waiting!!!
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2015
  8. Liberty

    Liberty Shhh! Lifetime Supporter

    Penske is a little more expensive than the Budget. Going to meet with my insurance agent to figure out what coverage I have before the trip. I'd like to get the Penske if I can - trying to keep this as cheap as possible.

    St. Joseph to Blue Springs is another hour, Bull. If I can make it I totally might take you up on the place to crash. Saving a night of hotel room would be a great benefit and much better than sleeping in the truck. A couch and a shower do fantastic things for the drive. I'll PM you as I get closer to the trip date.

    I figure I've got to drive roughly 14-16 hours a day to make it, not counting stops. If I leave Washington (just shy of the Canadian border) at 6 AM on Halloween and drive until 11 pm I can make either Billings for sure or as far as Sheridan, WY. I gain an hour so that gives me about six 15 minute stops - one every 3 hours, which is seriously not a lot of stops. My parents are not going to want me to leave that early, but I will have the major time crunch. I've also got to do 70 that whole way which will seriously decrease my gas mileage. I'd like to do 60 rather than 70, but that adds an hour every 6 to my trip, which means I'm not likely to make Sheridan by midnight.

    If I can make it to Sheridan and sleep in the truck, then it's an easy 14 hour cruise to KC, plus breaks. A 15 minute stop every 3 hours puts me on the other side of KC at about 8 or 9 pm. I can make it back home in less than 12 hours from KC, so I could be home in time for dinner and then have the 3rd off the entire day, back to work on the 4th.

    Or, I can do about 650+ a day, have plenty of time for stops (I do have a bad back), and do the leg from KC to home from 6 am - 6 pm, do about 65 the whole way. From KC to home is right about 700 miles.

    If I do it in 4 days and have to go a more southerly route due to weather, I'm likely to go Bellingham to Boise, Boise to Fort Collins/Denver, Fort Collins/Denver to KC, then KC to home. With that I'll be able to unload my stuff (table, chairs, and buffet) in an hour and then be up for work at 5 am the next morning.

    10 years ago I did this route the other way 'round (WV to Olympia, WA) with my wife in separate vehicles, we did it in 4 days, and then when we moved back from WA to WV in 2007 I drove by myself in 3. That was 8 years ago though, and I wasn't quite yet 40. 47 is a LOT different than 39, I tell ya.
     
  9. Bull

    Bull Just a Man Supporting Member

    I've already talked to the wife, got a spare bedroom, (twin bed sorry) shower and whatever.... You're more than welcome!.... That's also my off weekend, so I'm home all day sat sun mon and Tuesday, so it ain't a problem.
     
  10. cicpup

    cicpup Resident PITA Supporting Member

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    Need to save money? Sleep in the truck.
     
  11. Liberty

    Liberty Shhh! Lifetime Supporter

    I figure I'll sleep in the truck - plus the room & shower Bull offered - that will be wonderful. I'm thinking more like safe truck stops & such. I've driven across the country a lot in my life and know that some places just aren't as safe as others.

    Driven the I-5 corridor between San Diego or LA and Seattle (or further) 100 times, and that's enough in itself. Left Bellingham at 4 one morning and was in LA at 8 that night once - lucky I didn't end up in jail for the number of 100+ MPH hours I drove that day. Made it past Portland before rush hour even.

    Bull - thank you for the offer and I'll definitely take you up on it.
     
  12. Rachgier

    Rachgier Administrator Staff Member

    My trips are awesome? My trips are miserable because of my back as well. 1700 miles only broken up based on the fuel tank and my level of sanity. This trip is going to BLOW because I'm hauling 5 kids, 4 dogs, 3 cats, and a 26ft trailer with a 1/2 ton SUV.
     
  13. Dane

    Dane Supporting Member

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    I believe there is a gas price app, and check with priceline app for last minute motel deals.

    Check online for any truck rental specials and or any possible discounts available to you. Veteran, senior, friends and family, etc.
     
  14. Fracman

    Fracman Member

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    Don't forget about mountains they tend to slow loaded trucks down and make them drink the fuel
     
  15. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

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    Yeah...but you'll be heading for freedom, so keep smiling.:p
     
  16. Rachgier

    Rachgier Administrator Staff Member

    True, but I've got to make a solo return trip as well with the empty trailer and then back home to freedom land. I think I'll try to catch Kirk and Tall on that trip. Will be so much easier to do meet and greets by myself. Might bring one of the four legged children with me for the company.
     
  17. Bull

    Bull Just a Man Supporting Member


    Same offer to you Brother, you need a place to crash.... I can accomadate....
     
  18. Rachgier

    Rachgier Administrator Staff Member

    You're only being nice because of the ps3...
     
  19. MaryB

    MaryB Supporting Member

    will be passing 90 miles SW of me in Sioux Falls... Good luck on the trip and I hop gas stays cheap! And yeah stay away from Budget and Uhaul. I have driven both and both were huge POS's. Last Uhaul vibrated so bad I thought it was going to fall apart, wouldn't shift to third unless I blipped the gas... luckily only needed it for a 90 mile round trip
     
  20. Bull

    Bull Just a Man Supporting Member


    Pssshhhh... I'm a frickin sweetheart to everyone.... Even moles!...... But for you, even without the PS3, I'd lower my overnight stay rate 30%........... The mrs will just be happy to get a night off when Liberty passes through....