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Old 02-22-2021, 07:37 PM   #1
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Chicago to Sacramento starting 29 Feb 21

Our Brother-in-Law and his wife are planning to travel from Chicago to Sacramento next week. I don't think doing this at this time of the year is a great idea. They have little RV experience and I fear its going to be a real "learning experience" for them. The weather is the main factor. Am I wrong? I don't want to appear "too negative" but I realize the I-80 corridor can be a dicey thing even in April.
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Old 02-22-2021, 07:40 PM   #2
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As long as they know to watch the weather, pull over sooner than later and prepared to hunker down if needed. Are they sure cgs will be open that far north?
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Old 02-23-2021, 08:49 AM   #3
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I'd ask them to postpone the start date to March 1st .
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Old 02-23-2021, 09:25 AM   #4
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The I80 route can be exciting most any time for one reason or another. Each state has its own winter driving problems, as road conditions can change in a heart beat. You did not mention what they will be driving car, mh, etc.

If time is not important things maybe ok, maybe even have chains for the drive tires. If they could wait to me that makes more sense.

Good Luck safe travels
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Old 02-23-2021, 11:05 AM   #5
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As long as they know to watch the weather, pull over sooner than later and prepared to hunker down if needed. Are they sure cgs will be open that far north?

They are being "adventurous" and transporting/driving a "compact" mini MH (I'm guessing a minivan type RV) for a company. They have till 18 March to arrive in Sacramento. They have never RV'd in anything larger than their minvan. They are resourceful and intelligent but seriously lacking in experience. I certainly wouldn't do it at this time of the year. There has been no mention of chains/cables hoses etc or liability if the vehicle freezes up while they are forced into a hotel till it warms up. My wife feels I am being too negative and I shouldn't address these questions with them. While I feel its possible, it may well be dammed uncomfortable and as much as they can handle. Too many unknowns for me. I suspect that the number of available campground is quite small. I simply don't have any current knowledge of conditions. Would you do it?

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Old 02-23-2021, 04:33 PM   #6
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I agree with your wife. Let them decide. You said they're resourceful and intelligent so give them some credit. How old are they?

Who are they transporting a "compact mini MH" for? If it's a company, the company should be backing them with help, as needed.

They do need to pre-check if they need to carry chains through the states. However, they should plan to use them. The smart thing is if chains are needed the RV shouldn't be driven. Pull over and wait it out. Roads are usually cleared fast.

If they can't find a RV park open when they want to stop they can pull into a motel for the night. A long, hot shower would feel welcome.

Relax. They'll be just fine.
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Old 02-23-2021, 09:36 PM   #7
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I-80 is a major interstate and gets priority in storms, watch the weather and road conditions. They should have enough common sense that road are bad and we need to stop for the night.
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Old 02-23-2021, 09:51 PM   #8
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Another option is a more southern route. Chicago to St Louis to OKC then I40 across OK,TX,AZ then up to Sacto. Iíve done both routes in Feb except from Minneapolis. Itís all about the weather window! There are not many overnite camping options on I80. There are definitely more via I40 once you get to OKC..
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Old 02-24-2021, 11:11 AM   #9
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The Southern Route to Sacramento

The southern route is a far safer route weather wise. It is our winter route of choice with fewer choke points (high mountain passes). The negative of it that it is dammed boring. Its mostly desert and not my cup of tea. But even it can be chancy also this time of the year. Lets face it, timing is key, and the longer you push out the horizon the less forecastable the weather becomes. This covid-19 issue further clouds things with many of the old maxims no longer valid. No matter how you look at it, its a long range gamble only as good as the latest 3>5 day weather forecast. Not a good bet right now.
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Old 02-24-2021, 11:29 AM   #10
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If they are adventurous suggest they head south out of Chicago, turn right at US50 and keep the afternoon sun in the windshield.

They might want to rent a Sat Phone for the trip. Cell service can be sketchy in some of the less populated areas along the way. If by chance George Donner or James Reed are somewhere in the family tree I would advise them to wait until May or drop way south to at least I40 or further.
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Old 02-24-2021, 01:48 PM   #11
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If they are adventurous suggest they head south out of Chicago, turn right at US50 and keep the afternoon sun in the windshield.

They might want to rent a Sat Phone for the trip. Cell service can be sketchy in some of the less populated areas along the way. If by chance George Donner or James Reed are somewhere in the family tree I would advise them to wait until May or drop way south to at least I40 or further.

A word to the wise on this route, they DO NOT PLOW I-50 outside of the few small towns in Nevada!!! You have to wait till it melts. Now its been awhile since we've been this way, it was this was 5 years ago. I doubt anything has changed. And the cell service comment is dead on as of 2 years ago.
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But It is prettier (even in the snow) than 1-40 or I-10.
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Old 02-25-2021, 07:09 AM   #12
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well if they are going to leave on 29 feb 21 they will have a long time until they leave. feb 2021 only has 28 days in it.
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