Monday, January 23, 2012

LA to New York to San Francisco -- Feb 2012 ?

My wife and I are leaving the San Francisco Bay area to make our way to NYC at the start of February 2012. We are starting our road trip, however, in Los Angeles. We are trying to decide if the 2001 Toyota Camry can make it back safe and sound during the winter.

We would prefer to camp along the way as we did when we traveled from Boston to San Francisco two years ago.

1. What are the weather conditions for Route 66 in winter? Both for driving and camping?

2. Should we fly and ship our materials instead of doing a cross country trip in January?

Thanks for your insight and suggestion. I look forward to your response.



Hi Joshua --

Many thanks for writing in to Road Trip USA.

Driving in winter is not ideal, but in my experience Toyotas live forever, so I hope things are OK on that front. Weather is a bigger issue, and since Route 66 hits some pretty high elevations (especially around the Grand Canyon / Flagstaff), I'd suggest you head further south, along the warmer & less snowy I-10 / I-8 corridor (which I cover pretty fully in my "Southern Pacific" road trip).

It's a little out of your way, but has the advantage of visiting Big Bend (where you might actually be able to camp out, even in February!), and New Orleans, which is a fantastic city. It's not as out-of-the-way as you might think; heading from LA to Florida, then up the East Coast, adds maybe 500 miles to a 2,800 mile bee-line trip (adds + 20 percent distance for 100 percent better weather!)

About your "materials", I'd say the less stuff you have to stuff in your car, the happier your traveling will be -- but if shipping costs get expensive, maybe you could hook up a small U-Haul trailer rather than overload your Camry (in which you may need the backseat for taking naps in).

Not sure if this counts as insight, but hope it helps you have a safe and enjoyable journey.

With best wishes,

Jamie Jensen
Road Trip USA


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