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Old 06-17-2014, 04:26 PM   #1
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I-80 to the West Coast.

Heading out in a couple weeks with the family to Gilroy California. I'm going to make my way down to I-80 and head west, I don't want to pay the crazy tools across MA and NY. It has been 20 years since I ran big trucks to the west coast. Is there anything I should look out for? Are there plenty of places to pull over to sleep for the night? I was going to do the Walmart and Cabelas thing. Any suggestions would be great. Also, where are the cheap fuel places?
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Old 06-17-2014, 04:39 PM   #2
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I can only speak to Nebraska west... but you won't have any issues in that regard. there are rest areas, walmarts, little americas, etc.

Some things to keep in mind would be the gap between Evanston, WY, and Tooele/Lake Point, UT. There are not a lot of good places to stop in there (SLC is lousy for it in my experience) so you are better off stopping at Evanston or the Little America before that and then driving through SLC and on through Utah into Nevada (we often try and make Wendover).

Just past Fernley, NV is a nice rest area (and I think you can stay at the walmart in town). After that the rest stops are not great and can fill up late at night... then once you are down the hill Gilroy is an easy drive. You probably want to go 80 -> 5 south -> 152 west to avoid traffic and tolls...

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Old 06-17-2014, 04:45 PM   #3
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I've driven I80 in a car in PA and CA. The road is well maintained in both of those states. I remember the Donner Pass in CA as being a bit of an up and could be a problem in fall, winter and spring if it snows.
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Old 06-17-2014, 04:47 PM   #4
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Sevel is right plan on skipping past SLC. They don't cater to us and therefore don't care if you stop. Also head winds going through Nebraska and Wyoming can be rough. Plan on extra time and fuel.
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Old 06-17-2014, 05:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AttilaKara72 View Post
Heading out in a couple weeks with the family to Gilroy California. I'm going to make my way down to I-80 and head west, I don't want to pay the crazy tools across MA and NY. It has been 20 years since I ran big trucks to the west coast. Is there anything I should look out for? Are there plenty of places to pull over to sleep for the night? I was going to do the Walmart and Cabelas thing. Any suggestions would be great. Also, where are the cheap fuel places?
AttilaKara72
We've traveled from Illinois to San Francisco, (and back), via I-80 a number of times.
We never had a problem finding a Walmart, Sam's Club, truck stop or rest area to overnight at/in when we wanted to stop.
I get fuel based on when I need it, not on price.
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Old 06-18-2014, 06:45 AM   #6
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Thank You.
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Old 06-18-2014, 06:58 AM   #7
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Regarding the SLC area, if you find yourself getting close to that area at days end there is a good Walmart just off the Park City exit which is about 20 miles east of SLC. Then it's an easy shot westbound to make it into CA. In a long stint you can make Gilroy that day.
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Old 06-18-2014, 07:15 AM   #8
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This is kind of spur of the moment type trip. We are planning on leaving Massachusetts on a Sunday night when my wife gets home from work and be sitting in Gilroy CA by Thursday. There will be three of us who can drive which is helpful. That is why I figured I would ask about places to sleep for the night. This should be quite the adventure and yes I know we are crazy. I guess you could say that's how we roll, right down the middle of crazy boulevard!
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Old 06-18-2014, 08:24 AM   #9
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As long as you're rolling down crazy blvd, with 3 drivers and beds to sleep in why worry about stopping, you can rotate and be there by Wednesday AM easily .
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Old 06-18-2014, 09:15 AM   #10
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Attila,

You will burn more gas avoiding the crazy tolls as opposed to just paying them.

Mass Turnpike, NY Thruway, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois will all get you. Get an EZPass to save on some tolls and allow you to drive through some tolls at normal highway speeds (saving you time and gas).

Being in NJ with a son in the Bay Area of CA, we've done the I-80 trip a number of times.

We use a book called the Next Exit and an iphone app called AllStays to find free places to overnight. We have stayed at Flying J in PA, rest area on OH Turnpike($20 to overnight with electric), rest areas in Iowa, WalMart in Princeton, IL (right by a Culvers for butter burgers!), Cabelas (truck parking) in NE, rest area on the Salt Flats west of SLC. Usually by NV we're ready for a campground to shower with good water pressure and dump our tanks.
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Old 06-18-2014, 09:46 AM   #11
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Last year we drove it, the part through central and west Nv. seems to be a perpetual construction zone. If that bothers you, go south on 93 to Ely and then west on 50 (the loneliest road). It's a little more interesting too.
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Old 06-18-2014, 09:57 AM   #12
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Other than the roads in Indiana, no issues with I80. You're going to see a lot of corn!!! If you drop down to I70, rest areas in Kansas have a RV circle away from the trucks. If you take I90 across SD, one of the best interstates across the mid-west.
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Old 06-18-2014, 01:55 PM   #13
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Actually going through Nebr. on I-80 there are 3 Cabela's on or near I-80. One is in La Vista, just West of Omaha, one is in Kearney (my hometown and just about in the center of the state), and the original one in Sidney. Sidney is in the Western part of the state. As RVThere mentioned the truck parking areas of Cabela's. La Vista and Sidney's locations are right off I-80. Kearney's (which was the 2nd. store Cabela's opened) is probably 2-3 miles North of I-80. Doesn't sound like much of a sight seeing trip for you but there are some really neat things to see along the way. Enjoy our state as you go through and have a safe trip.
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Old 06-18-2014, 05:53 PM   #14
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Nice to see the responses. We will be doing MA to SoCal in July, but not in quite that rush. I can recommend Has Buddy app for gas prices. It its crowd sourced and good for about 80% of my strips. For instance going north on I-44 it showed Cuba, MO as the sweet spot to get gas before St.Louis. When you get to NV, most casinos allow overnighting.
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