Cross Country Roadtripping

A little over two weeks ago, my dad and I set out on a week-long adventure across the United States. Starting in DC and ending in Santa Monica, we spaced the trip out over seven days so that we would have a few free hours each day to stop and explore along the way! Check out the driving schedule we decided on below…


Trip Statistics

To distract us from our boredom along the way (looking at you, Indiana and Kansas), we tracked all of our gas fill-ups throughout the trip. Since we were pulling a U-Haul trailer, and knew there would be some significant elevation changes when going through the Appalachian and Rocky Mountains, we were curious to both have visibility into our gas usage, and some rudimentary miles-per-gallon data along the way.

Roadtrip Statistic Finding
Total Mileage 2998.3 miles
Total Gas Utilization 232 gallons
Total Fill-ups 16
Average Fill-up Cost $43.90
Average Fill-up Quantity 14.5 gallons
Average Gas Price $3.01
Average Distance Between Fill-Ups 183 miles
Average MPG 13.4 MPG


A few takeaways….

  • It was interesting to feel the price of gas increasing as travelled West… we hypothesized that a few different factors were the primary drivers:
    • Limited supply due to remote geography: Grand Junction, CO
    • Remote geography plus price inelasticity due to affluent area: Vail, CO
    • Significantly higher state Gas taxes in California: Victorville, CA
  • The U-Haul trailer we were towing brought down the gas mileage of our 2004 Honda Pilot by about 5 MPG, from roughly ~18 MPG without the trailer to 13.4 MPG
  • Kansas: very big, very flat, very cheap

Travel Photos

Check out some pics from along the way!