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Heading to Seattle


A friend will be heading from Kansas City to Seattle after Christmas.  She will be driving a motorhome with a Jeep toad.  Can someone give some advice for this trip and the best route to take.


Explorer III
Explorer III

I live in eastern Washington and have been over those passes many times, even in winter. Interstates are the only reasonable route across the mountains in winter. 

RayIN has good advice, especially on waiting for the weather. A day or two of clear sky let the highway departments work and truckers warm the road. "Mountains make their own weather" is a truism of the west. There are also some tight turns on the Montana side! 

Speaking of big trucks, a good trick in bad weather is to get behind a steady one and stay there. 


2019 Grand Design Reflection 150 273MK
2015 Ford F350 CC SB Lariat Powerstroke
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I-90 0r I-84 have passes to contend with. Many states have chain requirements for vehicles over 10, 000 pounds. Toads with braking systems also must have chains on rear most braking axle. 

Best suggest is to watch weather and take best route at the time and be prepared to hold up and not install chains.

USAF Retired
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No matter which route she chooses she will face mountain passes and the possibility of snow and ice.  She'll need to carry chains no matter which route she takes.  I can't speak for other states, but in Washington (if she chooses a northern route using I-90) she will need to chain up even when snow tires are advised- that's required for vehicles over 10K GVWR.  I would advise her to be flexible and monitor weather reports carefully to avoid having to drive over passes in the snow.  But she may not have a choice.

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In N. California some mountain passes have show chain requirements  during winter months. It's important to check with California state DOT website before arriving in N. California.

Personally I'd build in enough travel time to allow for a 3-4 day layover instead of trying to drive a MH with tire chains, and risk having one break and beat the wheel-well to bits. When driving with tire chains on, about 15 MPH is top speed; otherwise you  cannot prevent a chain from breaking a destroying everything it hits.

As to route, I'd stay on the interstates when possible, they are kept more drive-able IMO.

" My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. "John F. Kennedy 1961