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.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

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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Loudsx .
Loudsx .
1 month ago

I’m about 600km but that’s mainly due to limitations on fuel tank rather than my endurance.

SCOTT GREEN
SCOTT GREEN
1 month ago

Pee breaks would be my downfall, unless I made sure I was actually dehydrated before setting out. I have the kidneys of a Rottweiler and the bladder of a nervous chihuahua. Otherwise, I could drive all day, within the limits of the gas tank. I might have trouble getting out of the vehicle after driving all day, but I’d worry about that when it comes.

Palmetto Ranger
Palmetto Ranger
1 month ago

I think 4 hours is about the longest I have ever gone. My back is bad enough now that I need to stop and stretch every 2 hours or so.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
1 month ago

I personally have gone for something like 5-6 hours in one shot and only stopped for gas.

But these days, I don’t do that. It’s not healthy.

Myk El
Myk El
1 month ago

I need fairly regular breaks. I think the longest stint alone without a break I’ve done is just over 3 hours. I’ve done as much as 750 miles in a day alone, but I need to stop periodically.

Mantis Toboggan, MD
Mantis Toboggan, MD
1 month ago

If pulling over to run to the tree line and take a piss counts as stopping I’d say I could do four hours max. I’m not pissing all over my self while trying to drive and manipulate my penis into a bottle at the same time and I know that’s what’ll happen.

Mark Liggett
Mark Liggett
1 month ago

There are many variables. Main issue are the suspension, the quality of the road and size of the gas tank. Personal record of uninterrupted was 8.75hrs in a Prius using 10.7 gallons.

S2000 – about 4 hours before the tight suspension breaks me (I found this out while driving the tank to empty the first time)

LS400 – Drive til the tank is empty was not a problem because the ride was just too good, noise was minimal and it was just a joy. Was sometimes hard to empty the rather large tank (i was used to the 12gal econoboxes).

4Runner – Easy to Drive until empty.

My Vette…Chevette – involved some work, but I was pulling 28MPG most of the time, so a 6 hour drive was not impossible, but I did want to get out of that Penalty Box with time served for semi-good behavior.

Most of these drives were on fairly good interstates, except the S2000 – there is a 110mi stretch of interstate that is pretty terrible, and the S amplifies that to the highest degree

Zack Wilsey
Zack Wilsey
1 month ago

One week after getting my learners permit, my dad decided three drivers ment we could save money on a hotel by driving through the night from North Carolina to South Dakota to visit family for Christmas. 24hours is a long time to be in the car. But, his logic was “We’ll be dead tired when we get there whether it’s a 2 day drive or 1, so we might as well.”

John Fischer
John Fischer
1 month ago

About six hours is my limit. By then I need to use the bathroom, get some food, and fill up the car.

Rubbit
Rubbit
1 month ago

Back in 2017, I rented a Chevy Malibu and drove from Massachusetts, to Greensboro, North Carolina for a wrestling tournament. I believe, total mileage was about 890 mi. But of course I did not have enough gas, so I think it was 8.5-9 hours, with the total drive being close to 12 hours. So I was around 520 without stopping until I need a gas. I was surprised how well the car did on gas. I usually jam-pack the gas into the fill tube and then drive. I can jam about 17 gallons into my sedan and another 20 into my van.

My wife won’t put up with that, and my son begged my wife never to let me pick hotels again!

Last edited 1 month ago by Rubbit
Dan Jones
Dan Jones
1 month ago

-23 hours towing a 6×12 from Houston, TX to Grays Lake, IL.
-16 hours back sans trailer (with one close call from very nice officer in Missouri)
-A very hazy trip driving from Houston to Austin to Grays Lake in 18 hours, died for 6 hrs, drove 5 hours to Michigan, drove back another 5 hrs, changed out the head on my dad’s explorer, drove 18 hours back to Austin towing his other explorer, 3 hours back to Houston and then spent two days working through the night helping my friend run Ethernet in his company’s building.

Zack Wilsey
Zack Wilsey
1 month ago

349 miles is what my bladder can take when I have coffee but am still in a hurry. Gas tank made it the extra 45 miles my bladder couldn’t.
Usually, about every 2.5 hours is a good time to get out and stretch.
Sidebar: my boss with the bladder of a chipmunk HAD to get the big tank in his work truck so he wouldn’t have to stop. The same trip I’d do with no stops? He’d get there after five or six stops to pee and get more diet DR Pepper.

Jason Levi
Jason Levi
1 month ago

How long I can and how long I would drive without a stop are two very different things. My old comfort cruiser Ford LTD Crown Victoria Country Squire was the absolute least fatiguing car I’ve ever driven and even on a run from Portland, Oregon to Fernley, NV in one shot, I felt like I could have pushed on much further. That said, I still stopped at least once every three hours to walk around, pee, eat something, look at roadside attractions and generally enjoy the trip.

Could I have buckled down, pissed in bottles, and ate nothing but trail mix and gas station speed pills to get there and hour or two earlier? Sure. But I wouldn’t have enjoyed the trip and would just mean spending another hour or two in Fernley.

F.Y. Jones
F.Y. Jones
1 month ago
Reply to  Jason Levi

This is my situation. I have no idea what my limit is, but when I’m road tripping I’d say I stop about every half tank (150 to 200)

Opa Carriker
Opa Carriker
1 month ago

As noted by another respondent, OTR drivers belong in a separate category. During my driving days, when pulling out of Joplin, MO on a west coast run I could hit Albequerque, NM before needing to stop for fuel. A one gallon milk jug was essential for P breaks plus a bag of sandwiches from home. I would usually take a six hour nap before rolling on into LA. Safe? Probably not. Lucrative?; not particularly so but at 21 cents a mile, no one was getting rich. Could I do it now? Hell no! Now I’m good for a 2 hour drive to Wichita, KS before putting it down for the night. A good nights sleep and I’m ready for the return trip the following AM!

AceRimmer
AceRimmer
1 month ago

Two hours. For the entire day.

Bad backs suck.

RidesBicyclesButLovesCars
RidesBicyclesButLovesCars
1 month ago

Max for one “sit” is the range of the fuel tank. I think the best tank I ever got on a road trip lasted six hours. I was a notorious “we aren’t stopping until the fuel light is on” road tripping monster in my younger days.

Longest road trip without stopping for sleep was 23 hours. I’m too old for that now.

My wife and I really enjoy stopping every 1-3 hours with an EV. Those 15 minutes of leg stretching really make a big difference on a cross country drive. It adds time but also adds comfort.

Vanillasludge
Vanillasludge
1 month ago

Am I allowed to sit in a diaper full of my own wastes? If so the sky’s the limit!

Anonymous Person
Anonymous Person
1 month ago

I’m in my 50s now but I could still do 16 hours, only stopping for drive-thru food and using the bathroom when stopping for fuel every 6 hours or so. I used to be able to stretch it to 18 hours when I was younger, but 16 would be enough now if I was by myself or with a like-minded coworker.
If I was with the wife? 6 or 7 hours is all she can handle as she’s not a fan of long driving days unless we can stop and sightsee/shop along the way. Maybe 12 hours, but we’d only be 6 hours away from where we started.

John E
John E
1 month ago

Learn how to pee in a disposable cup on the move. It’s how I regularly drove from Las Vegas to Wilder, ID nonstop when I drove OTR. I had a fairly regular Nogales, AZ to Portland, OR run and I technically ran out of hours about halfway between LV and Ely, NV. So, I’d get fuel and food at LV and drive straight home to Wilder so I passed the Idaho port of entry when it was closed because they had a bad habit of checking log books. After that, it was clear sailing. So, about 12-13 hours straight. Yes it was illegal. No I never crashed. No I don’t regret it. It gave me an extra half day with my wife and kids.

Theotherotter
Theotherotter
1 month ago

I could probably do 5 hours, but I’m too old for that shit now, and my upper limit these days is probably 3 hours.

Danny Zabolotny
Danny Zabolotny
1 month ago

I can do about 15 hours straight, so Denver to Phoenix or Dallas to Phoenix in one sitting. My bladder isn’t even the limit, it’s my damn fuel tank… having to get gas every 450-500 miles is annoying. I usually stock up on snacks and beverages from my local grocery store before I go on a drive like that, so I don’t have to waste money on gas station food.

Jb996
Jb996
1 month ago

What are you driving that limits you to 33 mph for 500 miles?
(500mi/15hr=33mph)
Are you commuting in a farm tractor?
That sounds excruciating.

Danny Zabolotny
Danny Zabolotny
1 month ago
Reply to  Jb996

You missed the crucial detail there… that 15 hour drive from Austin to Phoenix is 966 miles, not 500 miles. I have to gas up at least once during that drive. I generally average 80-85mph, since my fuel economy drops off rapidly after 90mph (my car has a 5-speed manual with no overdrive so at highway speeds it’s spinning the engine at like 4000rpm).

Rubbit
Rubbit
1 month ago

Man, it’s really hard to average 80 to 85 mph! You would have to be driving at least 100 with an occasional drop down to 60 to be able to pull that average. My old 5-speed would spin to 3,800 at those speeds, but the mileage would also drop to around 23 to 25 mi to the gallon which in that car would only take me 400 mi tops, on a 16 gallon tank. Plus, good luck not running onto speed traps along the way.

Zack Wilsey
Zack Wilsey
1 month ago
Reply to  Rubbit

Not one of my brighter moments, but in that vein, I was coming from Chicago to Sioux Falls late one night. Left at 7pm-ish. After midnight somewhere around Albert Lea, Minnesota I gassed up and from there, I guess I just wanted to be home because my average for that 180+/- miles was over 103mph. Car governed at 112 and I have a speeding ticket at 111 to prove it from a different trip.

Danny Zabolotny
Danny Zabolotny
1 month ago
Reply to  Rubbit

In Texas it’s very easy to do triple digit speeds on the interstates, especially when the speed limit is 80/85. Radar detector is an absolute must, it saved my ass so many times.

Wagonsarethebestanswer
Wagonsarethebestanswer
1 month ago

When I was much younger, the only nonstop drive-time limits were: fuel range and/or bladder status, but I don’t consider a 30 second piss-on-the-roadside, or a quick Gas&Go as ‘Stopping’. My most epic journey without any sleep was from Wrightsville, PA to Los Angeles, CA = 2,640-ish miles; Google says 39 hours, theoretically. I was hired by a friend’s parents in 1994 to transport a replacement vehicle after her Nissan Pulsar got stolen shortly after she moved to Hollywood. (Don’t ask why she couldn’t buy another car in LA). I pre-determined that I was gonna try to set a Personal Best road warrior record & succeeded. 30 years later I can guarantee that mark will never be eclipsed!! Started having issues w/the auto tranny slipping when I hit the Rockies & stopped for help @ a sleepy, but helpful lil’ garage in Silver Plume (?), CO. That kept me going to Barstow, CA where the transmission basically gave up. Thanks to my AAA card, 2 separate tows delivered me+car to Laura’s place by mid-morning on my 3rd day. I was so wired/frazzled that I made her take me barhopping & sightseeing the rest of the day, and late into the night. Slept thru most of the next day. You might be wondering: what was the special car that had to go nearly coast-to-coast? T’was an older than me 1967 Volvo Amazon.

Mike F.
Mike F.
1 month ago

Time is the factor here, rather than mileage. Just drove to Tucson and back from Sacramento with a friend, and we were going around 4 hours at a time (which worked out to around 300 miles, depending on traffic). Limitations were both fuel and bladder-oriented.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
1 month ago

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

Depends:

https://images.bonanzastatic.com/afu/images/0cfb/838d/cdd2_9201274990/s-l1600.jpg

Last edited 1 month ago by Cheap Bastard
Mike F.
Mike F.
1 month ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Or there’s this: https://www.stadiumpal.com/

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
1 month ago

2 hours when traveling with an elderly dog.
Having fed the pups & kittehs, I was laying on my sister’s couch yesterday when I got a call: they had locked the keys in the M Coupe at the Coupe gathering in the next state. Would I be so kind….?
266 mile round trip in 6 hours flat including a fill up & 2 pit stops. Not bad considering how much of that was in Virginia.

I must commend Toyota: the new Venza may not be a canyon-carver, but it’s a competent mile-eater. Passing power even at 80mph is surprisingly excellent. The beeping nannies can be off-putting, though

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