Long Drive for about 1200 Miles in a stretch

I am planning to travel from Tampa to Dallas in the month of May and it shows a distance of 1150 (appprox) miles and I want to drive in a single stretch. The only thing concerning my mind is; Is it OK to drive my vehicle given my car condition is gud and in a target of 18 hrs?

Car Model - Toyota RAV4 - 2010
Current Miles - 156,000

I greatly appreciate your feedback and responses as I can plan accordingly.

There is no way anyone can answer that over the web . Take the vehicle to a mechanic and have it looked at to see if there are any problems . We also can’t see your tires and have no idea of your ability to drive for 18 hours . Some people can and some can’t.

Even without stopping for fuel , meals and rest room facilities you will need to average 64 MPH the entire trip . Not an easy thing to do.

As mentioned my car condition is gud and saying that Tires are new and jus need a Oil Change.

I am passionate in driving long journey…!

I vote against this. You’re not leaving enough break time to be safely rested.

Your car will be fine, but I doubt your ability to do this drive without considerable risk.

If you were a long distance trucker you would be breaking the law.

I have driven across North America 9 times and also enjoy driving. I drive from Detroit to Spokane in 3 easy days.

But my comfort limit is 600-800 miles, after which I’d like to check into a motel, have a swim, and then dinner. I’m assuming this will all be interstate?

Cars don’t get tired the way people do. Moderate highway speeds are easy on a car, and this trip will help clear out any deposits that may have accumulated in the engine. Check your oil at each fill up.

In summary, 18 hours behind the wheel is illegal for professional drivers, and it should be for you as well.


I did a drive this long in a truck showing 129,000 miles in one shot. Took 17 hours and I was very tired at the end… but my bed was at the end.

But that is me, not you and my truck is meticulouly maintained.

Going to do 1k mile road trip 2x times this summer in my 03 with 190k miles, it only has to run another 40 hours, not that this is the best plan, but if It breaks down I am ready to get a new vehicle, and being retired a few days in motel does not bother me. Maintenance is good, transfer case front and rear diff fluid, nw power steering lines, brakes and tires are good, plugs etc. all done, we will see.

In 1974 I drove my 1963 Ford Galaxie 427 cu in from Salem, OR to my home in San Gabriel, CA. (almost 1,000 miles). In Medford, OR an empty log truck kicked up a rock and broke my headlight. A replacement was $1.50 and I was on my way. I took a 30 minute lunch stop ( I packed a lunch) in Weed, CA. My generator light came on at Lodi, CA. Worried about being “Stuck in Old Lodi Again” (Creedence Clearwater Revival song) I had an extra capacity battery so it charged quickly. About an hour from home the headlights were dimming. I had the battery charged again at a truck stop while I had breakfast and coffee. Made it home OK and replaced the generator the next day.

The car should make it just fine, it’s the driver i’m more worried about. Two of my college age cousins drove from Oregon to New Jersey many years ago with as few stops as they could get away with. One driving while the other slept in the passenger side of the 1986.5 Nissan Hardbody regular cab with close to 200,000 miles at the time. This would have been in late 1999. The younger brother was driving somewhere in Iowa when he noticed an orca on a billboard which seemed strange, took another look and it was a Ford Explorer. Pulled over to change drivers at the next exit.

We lost a co-worker 6yrs ago when he fell asleep at the wheel here in town and went into a tree at 50mph at 2am on new years day, not quite 22yrs old.

Google estimates that I could drive from here to South Dakota to see family in 24hrs, driving 1,560 miles. If I were to attempt the trip it would be over 3-4 days.

As a former long haul driver, I urge you not to attempt this. The very fact that you are asking this question tells me you are not used to doing this. I have lost too many guys I worked with who fell asleep at the wheel and were killed. It was only by the grace of God that I was not one of them.

If you are determined to do this, don’t drive through times you are normally sleeping. 2 to 4 AM are the most dangerous times for most people. If you get tired, pull over and get some sleep. If you are lucky enough to wake up while driving, STOP DRIVING ! You might not get another chance.


Besides the danger from fatigue, I have another concern. Why would you want to drive this distance basically non stop? Sounds like about as much fun as a butt whooping anyway!

Spend the night in Mobile. Money well spent!

Yeah break it up. Every couple of months I do an 800 mile jaunt in about 13 hours and that’s pretty bad. When I was younger I would do about 1200 miles in a stretch but that was leaving about 4:00 in the afternoon Friday, driving all night with a couple hours in a rest area, driving all day Saturday and holing up for the night Saturday night-um with two drivers. Insane by yourself.

My late brother took a winter trip to Florida every year with his family. They left Toronto and spent the first night in Lexington, Kentucky and arrived the following evening in Fort Meyers, Florida where they would stay at their favorite motel. His wife could have shared the nigh shift driving but she would have non of that. They always arrived safely in Florida and back home on the return trip.


400 mile a day is all I can do and remain a pleasant person to be around.

Many years ago, I drove from Central NJ to Daytona Beach with 2 co-workers, and then back to NJ again about one week later. Because this was prior to the completion of I-95, it was a longer and more-time consuming trip than it would be today. IIRC, the distance was ~1,100 miles.

On the way South, we stopped-over for one night, but because we really needed to “make time” on the way home, we drove non-stop–except for buying gas & food. In total, the return trip took 21 hours.

With 3 drivers, we thought that by each driving for about 6 hours while the other two dozed, we could do it with a fair degree of safety. On the way home, while I was dozing in the passenger seat, I was suddenly awakened by the lurching of the car and by a lot of noise. As I roused myself, I asked the driver what had happened, and his response was…
We drifted off the road onto the gravel shoulder, but that woke me up!

After that close call, all 3 of us were wide-awake for the remaining 4 hours of that trip.

Why was I thinking of this incident again a few days ago? I dunno. I think I was going to be a high school senior and I got a week off from work and myself, mom, and dad decided to head to DC. 1200 miles from Minnesota and decided to drive non-stop. Sometime the next morning mom was driving, I was the co-pilot and dad was sleeping in the back seat. I don’t know exactly where we were on the turnpike but yeah, mom went to sleep at the wheel. We were on the incline to the ditch with a bridge coming up. I managed to grab the wheel and got us back on the road again hitting only one sign post. No real damage to the ole 61 Merc but I took over then and mom went to sleep. It can happen so fast and driving alone with no co-pilot? Just about 60 second from hitting the concrete barrier at 70 mph and it wouldn’t have been fun even with seat belts on.

You know you need to pull over NOW when you start getting irritated by the rumble strips om the shoulder of the road waking you up.


My aunt found herself waking up with her car in the grassy median of a Highway near here, she somehow convinced the medic’s that responded to get her the right medication and then they helped her get to a motel in the area where she called her husband, who flipped out and called us wanting to know if it would be easier for him to get to our church from the bus or train station? She’d told her husband about the incident but was planning to drive home the next day. Dad told my uncle to just book either one and call us back, not to worry about us having to miss church to help them out.

Apparently my aunt shouldn’t have caffeine without certain medications and just passed out while driving on the highway and the car drifted into the grassy median without incident.

This is one really bad idea.

Southwest is offering flights in May from Tampa to Dallas for $50-$100, which is LESS than the cost of gas alone.
Add in all the additional costs of meals, wear on your vehicle, the loss of 2 days of your time (driving & recovery) and the very real safety risks, this is an obvious no brainer.

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