View Full Version : Anybody live in the rockies and/or northern states? Moving question about snow.

03-13-11, 11:56 AM
The Canadian Navy has decided that I need to be on the opposite coast so next week I begin my move from British Columbia to Nova Scotia and will be driving the V across. The question is how far south will I need to go to avoid a snow covered crossing of the Rockies and states.
Here are the options I have been looking at from Seattle, WA along with driving times each day:

1, I90 to Billings, MT then the I94 and skirting south of the great lakes. 6hrs/day
2, Same as above but following the I90 to Chicago. 6hrs/day
3, I84 down to Salt Lake City, UT followed by the I80. 7hrs/day
4, I5 south to LA followed by the I40 then the I81. 8hrs/day

I have 12 days to do the drive and the shortest distance is about 3900miles. The further south I go the longer my days will be but I will be able to dodge snow better.
If any of you live on these highways, let me know where your opinions stand.

03-13-11, 12:23 PM
Good luck in your new assignment. I live in Wisconsin just north of I94 near Milwaukee. We have a lot of melt going on right now. Expect no snow by week end. But...the roads are always clear within a day or so. The area down near I80 looks like spring already. But...your question is really all about weather during your particular journey. I am very wary of the northern plains....they can get bad and stay that way. East of the Rockies you can generally drop south till you get out of the tough stuff. But....you may be better off waiting it out depending on the storm. In the upper midwest this time of year we can get heavy snow, but its rare and short lived. If there is any indication of tough weather north you might do well to take the more southern route and make time....Should be 50s here by mid week. Good luck...keep us posted. Sounds like an epic drive!

03-13-11, 12:24 PM
What an epic road trip and a great way to get to know your V! I'm thinking about taking my V on my yearly road trip from Cleveland to Colorado in a couple of months instead of our SUV....but that's shorter than your trip, 1350 miles each way, and a LOT more gas. :)

A few comments:

First, just do routes 1 or 2 and invest in winter tires for your V for the trip. I assume route 1 takes you the fastest back into Canada as I-94 will take you to Detroit, then you can travel through southern Ontario. Route 2 takes you to I-90 east into IN, OH, PA, NY, MA before you have to turn north to get to NS. Frankly, the weather is similar along both routes in general, unless you have the dumb bad luck to run into lake effect snow as you are passing through Cleveland, Buffalo, or upstate New York. A bit less likely on Route 1 IMHO.

Second: You have the potential for significant snow on every route except #4. Since you're going next week, you are obviously already scanning North American weather reports. I recommend the Weather Channel's Interstate planner, which I use on every road trip.

Third: Remember, the stock PS2s, which likely serve you well in BC and may also be just fine in NS (I understand it doesn't snow that much there), don't do that well in the 30's F. Limited braking power is an issue and if you run into snow, your day ends early as you will not get around at all. Even if you don't run into snow, you WILL run into bonechilling cold, even this time of year, at some point on every route except #4.

Fourth: GOOD LUCK and arrive safely!

03-13-11, 12:38 PM
Thanks for the advice. I am not going to add summer tires as I only normally drive the car from April/May to November. Spending 2G on winter tires for one trip across is not economically feasible.

03-13-11, 01:08 PM
Makes sense to me.
I'd scan the weather and if it doesn't look like significant snow, take #1 or #2. If the weather looks bad, then definitely #4.

03-14-11, 11:36 PM
Don't go to far south either, since they ARE getting snow/ice now. I'd stick on 94, unless you have to go further south.

03-15-11, 12:16 AM
man... i like a roadtrip as much as the next, but id be very tempted to have the car shipped.