DC to Boston with a UHaul
July 19, 2011 1:35 PM   Subscribe

How long will it realistically take me to drive a UHaul from DC to Boston?

Assume I leave very early on a Saturday morning and will have 2 drivers so trip will include minimal stops.
posted by mhaw to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Straight through with minimal traffic is 8ish hours. With a moving truck and the need to make stops at some point, I would conservatively aim for 9 1/2
posted by goggie at 1:40 PM on July 19, 2011


I did the reverse trip (admittedly about 4 years ago) and it took approximately 10 hours. This was the smallest size of U-haul truck - the 10 or 15 foot or what have you. It took that long primarily because we couldn't comfortably get the U-haul above 55 mph without the steering wheel shaking uncontrollably in what seemed an unsafe manner, and because there was minimal traffic upon entering the city.

I think 10 hours is a good guess - having made the trip sans U-haul on many an occasion, it's usually about 7-7.5 hours with a +5-10 mph on speed limits the whole way, with minimal stoppage (once or twice for gas, snacks, etc).
posted by CharlieSue at 1:42 PM on July 19, 2011


Er, also, apparently I'm terrible at reading because it wasn't the reverse trip - my move was also DC to Boston on Saturday.
posted by CharlieSue at 1:42 PM on July 19, 2011


Yup, that's about right. Do some research about construction before leaving, because that will definitely cause traffic backups on a Saturday. (I once went to NYC at 3 in the morning, and the traffic was backed up on 95 for a few miles due to construction, causing about a 1/2 hour delay.)
posted by Melismata at 2:27 PM on July 19, 2011


In the next month or so? You're going to run into beach traffic in New Jersey. There WILL be a delay somewhere on the NJ Turnpike or Garden State Parkway. I think the previous estimates are a bit optimistic by a couple of hours. My gut was "11 or 12." It takes from eight to nine hours to drive from Philadelphia to Boston on summer weekends when it usually takes a shade over six. New Jersey is where smooth car trips go to die. (Live in Greater Boston, in-laws in Philadelphia, regular trip for us.)

You should take 280 in Newark to 287 and drive over the Tappen Zee to avoid 95 through New York city, both to avoid potential delays and to avoid driving a U-Haul through that stretch. You have been warned.

I hope that my pessimism is unwarranted; you may well make it in 10 hours but you will need a bit of luck. Have a fun trip, welcome to Boston and watch your speed in Connecticut!
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:27 PM on July 19, 2011


I've done it in 8 1/2 (best case). Not in a U-Haul.

The worst traffic ends at NYC -- Bronx through New Haven is crowded but usually moving, and New Haven to Sturbridge is never too bad eastbound. Sturbridge to Boston probably won't be bad on a Saturday morning, except the tollbooths at Route 128 in Waltham.
posted by zvs at 4:23 PM on July 19, 2011


"The earlier you leave, the better" should be the takeaway here. And you know not to take I-95 past New Haven, right? Just checking.
posted by zvs at 4:24 PM on July 19, 2011


You should take 280 in Newark to 287 and drive over the Tappen Zee to avoid 95 through New York city, both to avoid potential delays and to avoid driving a U-Haul through that stretch. You have been warned.

Seconded.
posted by zeikka at 5:37 PM on July 19, 2011


Watch out for Storrow Drive on the Boston side of the Charles, should your route take you that way. Lots of underpasses with low clearance. Every year new new students in uhauls get stuck, which is inconvenient and expensive.
posted by 6550 at 6:56 PM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


The last time I drove a moving truck more than a couple hours, I found it took me almost twice as long as driving a car the same distance. I'm not sure why, but if you double google map's time, you should be fine.
posted by QIbHom at 8:00 AM on July 20, 2011


Nthing the Tappan Zee! I also recommend taking the 684 (off the 287 just past White Plains) to the 84 and on to the Mass Pike (90). The 95 through Connecticut always has traffic, and is ugly and boring. The 84 is much more pleasant, and is probably faster.
posted by apricot at 11:38 AM on July 20, 2011


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