Home » What’s The Longest You Can Actually Drive In One Sitting?

What’s The Longest You Can Actually Drive In One Sitting?

Autopian Asks Without Stopping
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There’s still much debate about range on both electric and combustion cars. We’re all familiar with cars that have microscopic fuel tanks and the concept of EV range anxiety, and since both share similar concepts, let’s put it to the people. How long can you specifically drive in one sitting without stopping and taking a break?

This means no fill-ups, no stand-up leg-stretches, no bathroom breaks, no pulling over for food, just driving. Pretty simple, right? I’ll go first. You might think that doing this whole car thing for a living might imbue me with superhuman stint abilities, but my answer’s likely more modest than you’d expect.

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If I really have somewhere to be and I’m in a car with comfortable seats and a big enough fuel tank, I can do 425 miles in one shot. That’s about six hours in a car, and that’s more or less my limit. I’ve done it multiple times, to the point where it’s stable, repeatable, and an answer I feel confident in. Now, is it the most comfortable thing in the world? No, but by managing hydration and timing meals, it’s totally feasible.

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However, not everyone can one-shot 425 miles. Some people are good for longer, truly testing the limits of fuel capacities. Some people need more frequent breaks, and that’s also totally okay. I don’t want to say that human backs and knees are wear items, but discomfort is a real thing that’s nothing to be ashamed of. So, let’s turn it over to you — how long can you drive for in one sitting?

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Martin Ibert
Martin Ibert
6 days ago

About four hours. But then I’m done for the rest of the day. Otherwise, I’ll take breaks every two hours.

RhoadBlock
RhoadBlock
13 days ago

I’m good for a 4-6 hour stint, but my limiting factor is a wife & toddler.

But a few years back (late 20’s, pre-kid) I did learn that I’m able to wake at 5 am, work a full work day, then come home to make a ~17-hr drive from ~Tampa, FL to ~Philly, PA because my wife apparently “didn’t feel great and had a headache” because she only had 1 muffin & an iced coffee all day so she wouldn’t be able to take the first shift so I could rest in the car after working all day. We finally traded deep into NC at ~1:30 AM and then when she hit the VA state line 1/2-hr later it started snowing and she wasn’t comfortable driving my truck in the snow so I drove the rest of the way. Don’t recall how many pit stops were made, but it was roughly 36+ hrs awake, crashed for 16-hrs straight, then came down with a cold the following morning.

Capable of it, but eff that, will not ever do that again.

SteveR
SteveR
13 days ago

I don’t know how long I could go without stopping but I bet if I limited liquids I could make it to the max fuel range of my vehicle, which has gotten 600 miles on a tank before (70mph and below on the highway with favorable winds).

In reality, while I don’t blink at an 800 mile day and will still do 1000 in a pinch, I almost always take a break every two hours. No reason not to (and I do tend to drink a lot of coffee and water while driving…the A/C really dries me out). So in practice, the longest I’ve gone without stopping lately is probably about 3 hours (from the last rest stop on I80 before the I380 exit in Iowa to my door) at the end of a road trip, because it’s usually after midnight and no reason to stop.

Now, if you want to measure total distance in a day (or without sleeping), my max is 1291 miles from Carter Lake, IA to Las Vegas. I believe I left the hotel at 8am Central and arrived at ~2am Pacific, so 20 hours including stops. The longest I intend to do again is 1110 miles from San Diego to Hudson, CO.

LostinTransit
LostinTransit
13 days ago

Really depends on the car,, Cadillac.. 16 hours.. our current van.. about 9 hours.. Drove cross country in a doorless no top jeep. When through temps from 23 degrees (Colorado mtn) to 103 Texas. So much wind in the jeep wearing shorts that the hair on my legs and arms was still tingling. Oh and the cattle smell in the midwest.. without doors roof and ac.. Plus the road we took was concrete made in sections.. for more than 3 hours bump bump bump…

Last edited 13 days ago by LostinTransit
Peter Thompson
Peter Thompson
16 days ago

The longest trip I’ve driven with only stopping for fuel was 720km.
That was unusual circumstances, though.

Now, generally, the longest time I’d want to drive without a break would be around 2 hours.

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