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  1. Default Farewell America :( final cross country trip

    Hi,
    After living 6 years in US i am moving to UK. I am planning to do a farewell america road trip across US with my wife for 1 month from San Francisco to New York. I am looking for suggestions on making this trip a memorable one without breaking my back. My route is as follows
    San Jose,CA - Yosemite National Park(2 days), then onto Tonopah, NV , take the Extraterrestrial Highway to Zion national park, do a grand circle tour of canyons in utah (10 days) , finish off in Grand Canyon, from then take the route 66 between flagstaff,az to Albuquerue NM (2 days), visit the White Sands National Monument, head eastward to texas, drive up north to Kansas city via oklahoma, Kansas City to St Louis, either the Appalachian trail road through West Virginia , stop enroute in Washington.. ( this final part of the trip is not finalized).
    Following are my questions.

    1. I don't have *any* camping gear (i was planning on doing 1/2 camping , 1/2 motel) however given that i would only use the gear for one month i am not sure if its worth the cost buying the gear and using it for the trip than spend the money staying in motels.

    2. I have a Honda Civic Sedan, and i just ain't sure how i am going to put my stuff 4,6 suitcases and i don't have a luggage rack, any opinions on http://www.piggypack.com/website/car...ers_intro.html.

    3. I don't have much experience in camping and was wondering if it would be too hot in utah,arizona for camping.

    4. If i stay in motels is there anyway i can still cook on the road perhaps carry a used coleman stove ?

    5. any suggestions on the trip route welcome.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Expert Car Top Expert

    Quote Originally Posted by rsdighe
    San Jose,CA - Yosemite National Park(2 days), then onto Tonopah, NV , take the Extraterrestrial Highway to Zion national park, do a grand circle tour of canyons in utah (10 days) , finish off in Grand Canyon, from then take the route 66 between flagstaff,az to Albuquerue NM (2 days), visit the White Sands National Monument, head eastward to texas, drive up north to Kansas city via oklahoma, Kansas City to St Louis, either the Appalachian trail road through West Virginia , stop enroute in Washington.
    Time period seems reasonable -- when do you plan to leave?
    2. I have a Honda Civic Sedan, and i just ain't sure how i am going to put my stuff 4,6 suitcases and i don't have a luggage rack,
    The lead article on RTA, to be published in two weeks is from an expert in the field of roof-top car packs.
    4. If i stay in motels is there anyway i can still cook on the road perhaps carry a used coleman stove ?
    Um, you aren't planning on cooking in motel rooms are you?

    Mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default Camping, Cars, Etc

    Quote Originally Posted by rsdighe
    1. I don't have *any* camping gear (i was planning on doing 1/2 camping , 1/2 motel) however given that i would only use the gear for one month i am not sure if its worth the cost buying the gear and using it for the trip than spend the money staying in motels.
    One option would be just to pick up some very cheap camping gear at a discount store. You could pick up a sleeping bag, tent, and a couple of accessories for for about the same prices as a night at a motel. The stuff might not hold up as well long term, but since you are only using it for one trip, it should be good enough.

    2. I have a Honda Civic Sedan, and i just ain't sure how i am going to put my stuff 4,6 suitcases and i don't have a luggage rack
    I can't imagine that between the trunk and the back seats you wouldn't have enough room inside the car. Actually, put it this way, if you can't fit it all inside your car, how are you going to fit it on an airplane later?

    3. I don't have much experience in camping and was wondering if it would be too hot in utah,arizona for camping.
    I've yet to come across an example of it being too hot for camping, but I suppose it depends upon how much you value air conditioning. I've had cases where its gotten so cold I wish I hadn't camped (or had better gear), but since it cools off at night, I've never had a problem with heat. That said, I always budget to spend at least a night or two in a motel during a camping trip for those nights where the weather looks less than ideal.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default $100 max should do it

    If you go to a major discount store, you would spend, at the most, about $100 for what you need. Probably much less. It will quickly pay for itself. Donate it to a Salvation Army, Goodwill, homeless shelter, or some similar place when it's time to get on the plane.

    Wouldn't it be cheaper and easier to ship most of those boxes home before you go on your trip?

  5. Default lot of luggage !

    yep i am shipping a lot of stuff by mail too, but there is no way i can mail my suitcases i am going to have 4 suitcases each 70 Pounds + 2 carry on luggage. + since the shipping is my USPS parcel service it going to take forever.

    thanks
    rahul dighe.


    Quote Originally Posted by Judy
    If you go to a major discount store, you would spend, at the most, about $100 for what you need. Probably much less. It will quickly pay for itself. Donate it to a Salvation Army, Goodwill, homeless shelter, or some similar place when it's time to get on the plane.

    Wouldn't it be cheaper and easier to ship most of those boxes home before you go on your trip?

  6. Default

    Hi,
    i plan to leave 1st of August !. I will wait for the article i hope it has something that talks about roof top car packs without the racks. well i just like home cooked meals i just can't see myself eating in restaurants all 3 meals every day for 30 days, but i guess unless i plan to burn down the motel it wouldn't be such a good idea :(


    Quote Originally Posted by Editor
    Time period seems reasonable -- when do you plan to leave?The lead article on RTA, to be published in two weeks is from an expert in the field of roof-top car packs. Um, you aren't planning on cooking in motel rooms are you?

    Mark

  7. Default

    well international airlines normally allow 2 70pounds suitcases + 1 carry on + a laptop bag , since its going to be me and my its going to 4 - 70 pound suitcases 2 carry ons and everything else . so its definetly some challenge. i could put stuff on the back seat but i am just worried it could get stolen that way :(

    most of the time i see myself camping is during the Grand Circle tour - where it seems the temperature would be in the 90's during august atleast during the day.

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael
    One option would be just to pick up some very cheap camping gear at a discount store. You could pick up a sleeping bag, tent, and a couple of accessories for for about the same prices as a night at a motel. The stuff might not hold up as well long term, but since you are only using it for one trip, it should be good enough.



    I can't imagine that between the trunk and the back seats you wouldn't have enough room inside the car. Actually, put it this way, if you can't fit it all inside your car, how are you going to fit it on an airplane later?



    I've yet to come across an example of it being too hot for camping, but I suppose it depends upon how much you value air conditioning. I've had cases where its gotten so cold I wish I hadn't camped (or had better gear), but since it cools off at night, I've never had a problem with heat. That said, I always budget to spend at least a night or two in a motel during a camping trip for those nights where the weather looks less than ideal.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default A Bigger Target?

    well international airlines normally allow 2 70pounds suitcases + 1 carry on + a laptop bag , since its going to be me and my its going to 4 - 70 pound suitcases 2 carry ons and everything else . so its definetly some challenge. i could put stuff on the back seat but i am just worried it could get stolen that way :(
    I understand the concern about having things stolen if left in plain view, but I think having any sort of cargo hold on the roof of your car is going to make you a much bigger target. Anyone who sees your car will be able to identify you as a traveler with lots of stuff, as opposed to just people who would be walking up and looking in your windows.

    Also, have you checked with your airline about how much that extra baggage will cost you? Airlines recently have been raising extra baggage fees and lowering baggage weight limits. It wouldn't be surprising at all to see an airline charge an extra $100 per bag or more for your extra luggage. You might actually find shipping to work out cheaper than that.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    234

    Default

    rsdighe,
    For a home cooked meal, maybe a rice cooker will help. I am a vegetarian and have the same issue of not being able to eat out every meal of everyday.
    My rice cooker comes with me wherever I go. Most of the hotels do not mind, if you can keep it clean.
    I generally buy some ready to eat dishes at my local store. Its cooked food that is vacuum packed. I generally warm it on top of the rice cooker.
    Good to go. Hearty meal!

    About your plan of camping, it is going to be amazing!
    However, you cannot camp all day and so,remember, camping gear is going to take some space in your car.
    So, plan accordingly.
    IMPO, u camp or stay in motels, so much luggage in the car is not going to make your trip very peaceful. Atleast, I wouldn't feel so.
    If there is any other option, I'd go ahead with that.

    good luck, though!
    cool

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Just thinking out loud here....

    It seems to me that you need to balance the issue of carrying all the luggage in the car to save a few bucks on shipping charges vs. what impact carrying all that will have on your trip. Personally, even if it cost me more money, I'd ship most of it so I could enjoy my roadtrip without any extra clutter. I would think that the money spent on a cartop carrier to haul all those suitcases around the country would be better spent on shipping to the UK.

    And, remember, a cartop carrier will impact how a car drives. You will definitely notice it's there on windy days and on twisty roads. For me, that would detract from the fun of the drive itself. It will also make you get less miles per gallon so your fuel costs will increase.

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