to?" has got to be the leading road trip question,
but there's another one that can have just as much impact
on your journey: "What vehicle should I drive?"
While our choices are often limited to whatever's in the
driveway or rental yard, we asked ourselves the question.
Our answers prove what we suspected all along: one person's
dream ride is another's "Not in this lifetime!"
Van, or SUV
Mark: First, it should have four-wheel drive, a
minimum of a four-inch lift kit, a powerful, if somewhat
fuel-guzzling engine, expansive cab and storage space,
an assortment of built-in GPS and electronic gear, large
all-terrain tires, and a winch. Color-wise, I'd go for
black, with tinted windows. A GMC Yukon or Ford Excursion
comes to mind. Creature comforts for the long days in
the saddle are top priorities for this roadtripper.
Forget all the macho stuff! I'd choose one of those new
hybrids like the Ford Escape and save on gas while enjoying
the feeling of being cool and environmentally responsible.
Four-wheel drive is nice, but here's a better plan - stay
on paved or nicely graded roads! Why do you think they're
called road trips? Hint: It's not because you're blazing
Mark: My first choice would be one of the all-terrain
and all-wheel drive units built on a Unimog chassis. If
that weren't doable, I'd opt for a 40-foot class "A"
along the lines of a Prevost or Marathon. I'd want the
capacity to carry all the weather-tracking equipment and
gear I wanted, room for a fully functional mobile office,
and the ability to live well for a month or two at a time.
First of all, you might as well get used to one of life's
most obvious facts: you can't look cool driving a motor
home, even one built for combat duty in the Sahara. If
you still want to try looking sexy driving a house, go
small. Chinook has a four-wheel drive Class "B"
that looks pretty jaunty for a vehicle with a kitchen
and holding tanks.
Mark: Over the years, I have enjoyed Fiats, Jettas
and other mid-range sedans. These days, I'd favor performance
and power over most other considerations. The Pontiac
Bonneville GXP or a BMW 6 Series coupe comes to mind.
Comfort and the ability to zoom along paved roadways are
A sedan is definitely the classic road trip conveyance,
and to be really dreamy, make it a convertible. Okay,
go all the way. Make it a red convertible, like maybe
a 1964 Mustang. Yeah, now you're talking
Mark: Both of these forms of transport, while fully
vetted as superb road trip conveyances, represent a little
more discomfort that I am generally interested in experiencing.
But given the right mix of circumstances, I would probably
choose a Honda GL1800 Gold Wing as my first choice in
motorized two-wheel travel. If I wanted to use foot-power,
I would opt for one of famed Petaluma bike builder Bruce
Cordon's bikes, probably the BLT (basic loaded touring)
Here's your chance to look cool, but you definitely have
to know what you're doing to set out on a road trip on
a motorcycle or a bike. Knowing absolutely nothing about
either, I have this much to say. Why not go for the "Easy
Rider" look on a motorcycle? You'd be sure to have
a memorable journey - maybe even good enough to get made
into a movie. The most romantic bicycle has got to be
a tandem, even though they do look a little unwieldy.
(But if you break down, I'll be right behind you in my
Dog or Covered Wagon
Mark: Over the years, we've seen horse-drawn carriages,
food-shaped trucks, "Mad Max" contraptions,
kinetic sculptures, electric cars, and even motorized
beds. (On occasion, we've even captured photos.)
If I had to drive a unique vehicle, I'd make it a fully-integrated
Dashboarding mobile office built on the 32-foot chassis
of a M-2 Freightliner tractor. I'd use it to test every
satellite navigation and electronic communication device
available. Outside, in case a forest of radio antennas
wouldn't attract enough attention, I'd wrap it in some
gaudy "conspicuous consumption" graphics. That
should make for an interesting road trip!
If I had to drive something unique, I think I'd go for
the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile. Not only is it universally
recognized and generally loved, it has a horn that plays
the trademark wienie song. For making friends while traveling,
it would be hard to beat. But I'm still dreaming about
that red convertible.
is one thing we both agree on, though. Whether you're
driving a unicycle or a Unimog, get out there! There's
no place like on the road.
Sedenquist & Megan Edwards