Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. Default Convertibles-- good choice?

    There are 3 of us trippin' the West Coast between July 10 -> August 31, 2 girls and a guy, all of us 23 years old.

    We're starting in LA then driving up through San Fran, Reno, down to Vegas, off to visit friends in Pheonix, then back round and up. 1.5 months to do it in.

    We're considering hiring a convertible--

    I'm just wondering if you think its a good idea, all things considered?

    For us, it's purely for the fun aspect. And knowing it'll be hot (darn hot!), we thought that might be cool too.

    We're looking at a Ford Mustang. We've had a lot of opportunity to drive a Sebring but I've heard bad things.

    Opinions? Experiences?

    Thanks! -Lee

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Reality Check (We Also Take Cash or Credit Cards)

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forum.

    Let's skip right to the bottom line. To rent a Ford Mustang for a month and a half from Los Angeles will set you back between $2000 and $2500, depending on which company you end up with. And that's just the base rate. You would then have to add an additional $25-30 per day for each of you (if you plan to give each participant any time behind the wheel) since you're all under 25. That would add another $3000-4000 to the costs of the rental. (Ouch!) Finally, there is the fact that many major rental companies have policies in place that do not permit the rental of 'specialty' cars to drivers they consider at increased risk - namely people under 25. So is the 'fun aspect' worth the $5000-6000 that renting such a car would cost you?

    AZBuck

  3. Default

    Thanks for the response, AZBuck.

    I've managed to find a deal with a couple of places where the convertible, all inclusive, with CWD + liability insurance for 3 people under 25 is $3,800.

    That's a good deal, I thought. There's 3 of us. I'm quite used to paying high rental fees because of my age everywhere I go, and since the road trip is a critical element of what makes this trip fun, we'd like to maximize that as much as poss.

    Compared to most other vehicles, there's actually not *too* much in it-- it's maybe $500 extra each for the convertible for the month and half, which I think is a pretty fair trade-off.

    My question really is whether or not a convertible makes a good choice for long-distance driving. Does the novelty soon wear thin? Is it practical out in the desert? Would a Mustang be roomy enough to ensure the comfort of 3 adults over several 6-8 hour driving stretches over the 1.5 months?

    Appreciate your input, thanks! -Lee

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Good Deal

    Yeah, that is a very good deal compared to the norm. So, as you say, the question comes down to will the novelty of a ragtop wear off before the trip is over. I must say that my experience with topless cars is somewhat limited. My brother has a restored '70s Monza that we take out ocassionally on very pleasant days. But I've never ridden in the back seat (where the wind would be a problem) or in bad weather (where, given the wind noise I've always heard in convertables with the tops up, I'd guess leakage would be a problem. On the other hand, there are folks who have convertables as there primary (or only) vehicle, and they seem to do fine. Given that you're getting such a good deal on the rental, and that the weather in the southwest is usually sunny, and that you can trade off who has to ride in back, and that it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity... Go for it.

    AZBuck

  5. Default

    Super, thanks :-)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default One Sour Note

    Oooops... Just reread your first post again and noticed the dates. In Tucson, at least, those dates correspond almost exactly with our monsoon season when you can pretty much count on afternoon thudershowers every day. They'll be limited in time and extent, and the mornings should generally be sunny, but just be prepared.

    AZBuck

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Can get too hot?

    I have travelled in the SW with friends with convertibles in caravans. Quite often, they get too hot with the sun beating down on them and will put up the top and turn on the A/C. They also wear hats to keep the sun from blinding them (even with sunglasses on). These hats usually have a big enough brim to shade their necks from sunburn.

    I'm not saying they don't have the top down a lot, too. And they really enjoy it when they do. But sometimes the air is hot enough where the wind doesn't cool them off very much. They will turn the A/C on with the top down and, if it's particularly hot, they will put up the top.

    All that said....I think a convertible would be a great choice for a trip in the hot SW. I don't think newer models have any particular leaking problems unless there is a defect in that particular car. And even if you don't have the top down all the time, when you do it will be sublime!

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck
    Oooops... Just reread your first post again and noticed the dates. In Tucson, at least, those dates correspond almost exactly with our monsoon season when you can pretty much count on afternoon thudershowers every day. They'll be limited in time and extent, and the mornings should generally be sunny, but just be prepared.

    AZBuck
    Hey AZBuck-

    I'm going to be in Arizona around early September- what will the weather be like then? I've been during an El Niño and a year after one, so I know how changable Az weather can be :)


    And to add to the thread: It'll feel cooler with the top down and the wind blowing, but the sun will still be just as strong. To quote an annoying song: "wear sunscreen" :) I do envy your choice of car though- I'm gonna be roadtripping in a Ford Windstar... lol

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Changing

    Quote Originally Posted by Lunja
    I'm going to be in Arizona around early September- what will the weather be like then? I've been during
    an El Niño and a year after one, so I know how changable Az weather can be :)
    You've put your finger on the basic answer. In early September, monsoon season will just be ending. Now that's defined rather obtusely as when the dew point falls below 54ºF. What it really means is that there is not enough moisture in the air to drive afternoon thunderstorms. So temperatures will still be elevated - highs around 95ºF, lows around 65ºF, and there will be just enough humidity to make things muggy without enough to get that cooling rain. By the end of September though things will be cooling off and drying out rapidly. The above is for Tucson. For Phoenix, temperatures will be about 5º warmer.

    AZBuck

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
    Posts
    10

    Default

    A convertible would be a great choice and worth the extra money imo. When it gets hot in mid-day, or when you get tired of the wind beating you up, put the top up. Seeing the sights of the West is an *entirely* different experience from a convertible than from a coupe.

    I do think a Sebring is a much better choice than a Mustang for three people. A Mustang is really a 2-seat car with a package shelf. They also are not near as comfortable on a long trip imo.

    As to Arizona temps listed above, that's just for about the lower third of the state. Once you get north of Phoenix it is much cooler.

    Dealing with a convertible with the top down is somewhat like dealing with a motorcycle. You're going to have to keep your hair tied down if it's long. You're going to want a brimmed hat (don't worry, the right one looks cool). You'll be glad if the hat has chin strings. I can highly recommend a Tilley Air-Flo hat. Me, I take a brimmed hat, a ballcap, and a "biker's bandanna" to keep my hair in place. That way if it's overcast or early/late in the day you don't necessarily have to wear the brimmed hat.

    You're going to need sunscreen, and I recommend at least one loose, light-colored long-sleeve shirt. An old men's white dress shirt works great. Jut wear it untucked for a casual look (plus it's much more comfortable). You will find it is actually cooler and more comfortable wearing a long-sleeved shirt than going bare-armed, even (or especially) in Phoenix in July.

    We lived in Phoenix for 10 years and did road trips to all the places you mention. 6 weeks is a LOT of time for your itinerary, imo. Heck, we're taking 4 weeks and planning a trip from Florida to Michigan, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, California, Utah, Arizona and back to Florida - but then I like to drive. :) So if I were you I'd add some side trips if there are places you haven't been, like for example to Sequioa or Yosemite National Parks. Or maybe go all the way up the coast to Olympic National Park and then come back down through Yelowstone, Utah, and Arizona. That would be the trip of a lifetime. For planning purposes, figure 200 miles is a dead-slow sightseeing day, 300-350 miles is an easy travel day plus some sightseeing, and 500 miles is an all-driving day. Even going all the way to Olympic and back down as I describe shouldn't be more than about 3,500 miles, only 17 .5 days at the slow pace of 200 miles a day. You've got about 40 days. That should leave plenty of time for visitng friends and 2-day stopovers when desired.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 8
    Last Post: 08-02-2008, 09:50 PM
  2. Anyone else interested in ghost towns?
    By Carolyn Worl in forum Off the Beaten Path
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 10-30-2007, 04:11 AM
  3. Trippin across Cali- Mammoth to San Fran, down the coast to SD
    By Sister Jules 'n' crew in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 03-21-2004, 02:55 PM
  4. Replies: 17
    Last Post: 12-18-2002, 06:25 AM
  5. Good Songs about Road Trips for mix tape?
    By CTFisher in forum Gear-Up!
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 10-29-2001, 08:39 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES