My girlfriend, our two dogs, and myself are moving from San Jose, CA to Kansas City, MO leaving in late August. I am not worried about snow in the more northern I-80 because of the season, what I am worried about is just driving up and over the mountain passes with the trailer. I am a competent driver and have some experience with towing, but mainly in the flatlands of the Midwest. I have heard going south through I-40 has easier passes and even though it is higher elevation it is not as much steep white knuckle climbs and descents that I-80 brings.

What worries me about I-40 though is driving through the desert with the trailer in late summer. Obviously the generic breakdown would be worse in the empty, hot desert, but how is gas station/rest area spacing, is that a worry?

Summed up, I am not worried about the scenic quality of the drive, I just want the easiest drive to make with a uhaul trailer. My vehicle is engine cooled, and has all the capacity to tow the trailer, its the actually driving I worry about. Harsh crosswinds, large climbs, curvy roads, quick descents that kind of thing.

What would you recommend?

  • 3
    I40 has plenty of gas stations. No major passes. Cut NE at Tucumcari (NM) on US54 towards Wichita to save a bunch of miles.
    – Jon Custer
    Jul 19 at 2:26
  • I-80 also passes through desert in Nevada. While it might be marginally cooler than the California and Arizona desert I-40 crosses it is (in my opinion) a lot lonelier. If you want to avoid big mountains and the driving times are similar I would personally prefer I-40. This is opinion, though, I'm not sure there is a correct answer.
    – Dennis
    Jul 19 at 14:02
  • FYI for I-40 I wouldn't recommend staying overnight in ABQ due potential theft. And I say this as someone who lives in the region and follows local news.
    – Peter M
    Jul 19 at 19:01
  • I don't know the full trip, but I-80 heading East out of SLC is initially pretty steep. But on I-40, once you've got past Flagstaff it's pretty flat.
    – Peter M
    Jul 19 at 19:05


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