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Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
3/4/20 1:45 p.m.

So my brother just got a new job over in California. No, my brother isn't the actor type, he's more the rocket scientist type (seriously). I'm leaving with him tomorrow to make the trek from Central Florida all the way to Los Angeles.

We have a 15ft U-Haul and an open trailer to tow his car, and we hope to get to LA in three days time (and then I'll fly back on my own).

Is there anything we should know? Thankfully we both have a little towing experience, but is there anything we should stay away from or make sure we stop at along the way or any other relevant information you have to share about moving across country?

Also, I'll try and take lots of pictures and keep everyone updated as best as I can.


John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
3/4/20 1:51 p.m.

Stay away from...Uhaul.
Penske has better vehicles/equipment than Uhaul


Trailering a car to CA...will that car pass smog and be legal to title in CA when the time comes?  


Sell it all...If your brother is young and single and all he owns fits in a 15ft Uhaul it may be wise to just sell it all and buy new (or used) of the same once you arrive in CA.  Spending $1k to take your crappy furniture across country could instead be a $1k shopping spree at Ikea in CA for different crappy furniture.  

Mr_Asa HalfDork
3/4/20 1:56 p.m.

Went from Tallahassee to Oxnard, Ca 10ish years ago.  Hurricane diverted me up to I-40 around Panama City instead of I-10.   

I'm positive that the gas station I stopped at in a semi-abandoned town in Texas was a portal to the Underworld, so avoid that.

As soon as you cross into Cali there seem to be one or two gas stations that jack their prices up way too high even for Cali, cruise past them to the next town 10-20 miles down the road.

I'd budget half of one day's driving time for automotive trouble.  I had the truck checked over before I left and the fuel pump crapped itself when I got into Arkansas. 

californiamilleghia Dork
3/4/20 2:06 p.m.

Fill your tank in Arizona,  as California has much higher gas taxes......

check tires and lug nuts at each fill-up ,  bring oil , water , brake fluid.....

bring a car cover for the trailered car and put it on at night when you stop at the hotel , 

Download Click and Clack the car guys on NPR , always good for a laugh !


Duke MegaDork
3/4/20 2:09 p.m.

Keep an eye on the trailer tires - I had one blow out in Ohio towing the Poncho back from STL to PHL.  It took Uhaul about 4 hours to replace it, parked by the side of the offramp in a seriously sketchy part of town.

Good luck!

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
3/4/20 2:24 p.m.

Thank you for the tips so far. I'll be sure to pass on the information.

KyAllroad (Jeremy)
KyAllroad (Jeremy) UltimaDork
3/4/20 2:35 p.m.

All of the above.  Take Ibuprofen early before the backache sets in.  Stop every few hours and stretch even if you feel ok, it's a marathon not a sprint.  Slow down and work on your mileage over your speed.

Really consider selling it all and buying replacement stuff at the other end.

Mr_Asa HalfDork
3/4/20 2:40 p.m.

As a follow up, if you're doing this in 3 days, you really wont see anything along the way.  I budgeted 8-10 hr driving days and 5-6 days to get there.  I barely had time to stop for anything along the way.

If you want to see any of America along the way, ditch the interstate for a lot of the drive and take two weeks to get there.  Theres so much along the way that you have to either plan to get there or you plan to see America.  If you do both you'll end up cheating yourself out of one of them.

FuzzWuzzy HalfDork
3/4/20 3:10 p.m.

Three days from Florida to LA? Are y'all doing one sleeping, one driving?

It's normally a 3 day-ish drive from San Diego to Kansas City with sleeping at night and I tend to find the speed limit signs a suggestion, especially when taking the southern route through New Mexico.

But to harp on every else's points: bring extra oil, water, typical fluids, etc. Bring plenty of snacks and drinking water to keep pit stops down to a minimum. Stretch often. Expect to get sore and bored. If you have charging banks, make sure they're charged.

californiamilleghia Dork
3/4/20 3:28 p.m.

AAA card , baseball bat !

Pillows , backrest , blankets ,  I am sure the seats are terrible with bad back support and no side support , 

Tmobile service was not good  El Paso towards Austin , may be better now.....

Are you going to the LA area or Bay area ?


David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
3/4/20 3:35 p.m.

Nice knowing you, Colin. I'm going to totally annex your office. smiley

Brett_Murphy MegaDork
3/4/20 3:39 p.m.

I'm surprised I have to say this, but you need to look for either a rust-free classic car or a car that won't pass California smog any longer and drive it back to Florida. 

mr2s2000elise Dork
3/4/20 4:34 p.m.

JPL or Air Force Base in Lancaster?

I am super close to one of them

Mr_Asa HalfDork
3/4/20 4:39 p.m.

In reply to Brett_Murphy :


Shadeux HalfDork
3/4/20 5:23 p.m.

Three days?! Drugs. Lots of drugs.

californiamilleghia Dork
3/4/20 5:24 p.m.

Sunday is Long Beach swap meet.....just sayin........

LarryNH New Reader
3/4/20 5:49 p.m.

In 3 days all you will see is the inside of the truck and the big windshield.  And inside of your eye lids.

good luck

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
3/4/20 6:10 p.m.

Colin's young, so this will be easy. Back in my day, I did LAX to Daytona in an S2000 in three days. 

californiamilleghia Dork
3/4/20 6:14 p.m.

We need a thread on the trip with pictures !

mr2s2000elise Dork
3/4/20 6:26 p.m.

Have done few cross country trips 


1967 mini - 5 days (New Hampshire to La) 


1999 Ducati 748 - NYC to LA 11 days 


Elise SD to Alaska - 4 days 

elise - Connecticut to la - 5 days 

docwyte UberDork
3/4/20 6:42 p.m.

Yeah, you're doing some iron butt driving to get from Fl to Cali in 3 days.  Enjoy the scenic gas stations!

Its a solid day from KC to Denver, then a really long day from Denver to LA.  From Fl to KC in a day seems, ambitious....

californiamilleghia Dork
3/4/20 6:47 p.m.
docwyte said:

Yeah, you're doing some iron butt driving to get from Fl to Cali in 3 days.  Enjoy the scenic gas stations!

Its a solid day from KC to Denver, then a really long day from Denver to LA.  From Fl to KC in a day seems, ambitious....

Why would you go that far north  to Denver?

Jordan Rimpela
Jordan Rimpela HalfDork
3/4/20 7:16 p.m.

Boo. I was hoping you were having a blast driving on the OBT. 

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
3/5/20 4:54 a.m.

And we're off! Wish us luck.

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
3/5/20 5:04 a.m.

In reply to Colin Wood :

Good Luck!

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