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  1. #1

    Default Post High school road trip (DC-san diego round trip)

    Hey everyone, love the website

    My two friends and I (17, 17, 18) are going on a cross country road trip from DC to the pacific this summer. the whole trip will last about 3 weeks and be around 6,200 miles. We have five or six places to stay along the way and we are thinking about camping rather than hotels.


    I know, what the hell are the parents of three teenagers thinking of letting their kids attempt this crazy feat....well it wasn't easy to convince them.

    a few facts about the trip
    the car is a 1997 honda odyssey...packed with every safety feature possible...we got a spare tire..and a doughnut, flares, CB radio, first aid kit, extra oil, ponchos, a gasoline siphon, an automotive expert, and then some.

    I am also an eagle scout and trained paramedic, so all thats stuff that could go wrong, we'll be ready

    And just in case the worst happens, i have 3 one-way airplane tickets :(

    We are planning on seeing the grand canyon, sedona, las vegas, monument valley, and arches Natl Park. If any of you know anywhere else around there to see, a suggestion would greatly be appreciated.

    and finally, with these plans, what do you think would be an appropriate budget with just bare necessities.

    THANKS!
    Last edited by Luther IV; 12-17-2008 at 06:14 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default A Couple Thoughts

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    It sounds like you've got a good start on making a solid plan for a roadtrip. There is one thing that did stand out, however:

    a doughnut, flares, CB radio, first aid kit, extra oil, ponchos, gasoline , an automotive expert, and then some.
    Gasoline is actually a terrible thing to pack with you on a roadtrip. Not only is it a big safety hazzard to have a highly flamable liquid in the car with you, it also will make you and everything in your car smell like gas.

    It makes much more sense simply to not get yourself in a situation where you will run out of gas. When you're at or near 1/4 of a tank, you should already know where you are planning to refuel.

    Here's more ideas for packing your car, and here's one of several excellent threads we have about building a budget.

  3. #3

    Default

    opps!, the gasoline was a miss-type, i meant to type a gasoline siphon..., you know, so you can take gas form one tank to another...only in dire situations of course

    but thanks!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Luther IV View Post
    opps!, the gasoline was a miss-type, i meant to type a gasoline siphon..., you know, so you can take gas form one tank to another...only in dire situations of course

    but thanks!
    I don't know of any place you could go in the country where you would end up in need of a siphon. And besides, if you were in such a predicament, wouldn't it be better to have the owner of the vehicle being siphoned from help you out?

    Also, I don't see something that I consider the most important tool in the road trip enthusiast's toolkit: a paper atlas. Mapping software is very useful, and Google maps is a wonderful thing, but for making decisions in a pinch, the paper atlas wins in ease of use and portability. $5 will get you the latest Rand McNally at Target or Wal-Mart.

    an automotive expert
    Make sure to have the vehicle checked out by a trusted mechanic before taking this trip. Knowing how to do a roadside transmission replacement is one thing, but avoiding it altogether would be my preference.

  5. #5

    Default

    the siphon came with the rest of the stuff, cant hurt to have it

    I of course will have it checked by a trained professional. also will get new tires. old ones are pretty run-down

    one of my friends who is coming is pretty good with all the car mechanics and stuff. his brother is one of those "trained professionals"
    and i completely agree with the maps. i already have a couple in the car. GPS systems are fun and all, but they would drive me crazy if they told me to take 3 lefts at an intersection again

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    It looks like you are budgeting the time well - 300 miles a day gives you plenty of "slop" to sightsee and wander around.

    To allow for contingencies, I'd try to budget (or at least have available) $100 per day per person.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default Natural wonders

    Hi Luther,

    Sounds like an awesome trip !!

    We are planning on seeing the grand canyon, sedona, las vegas, monument valley, and arches Natl Park. If any of you know anywhere else around there to see, a suggestion would greatly be appreciated.
    If you enjoy national parks then you could include Zion and Bryce canyon, Capitol reef, Mesa Verde, Canyon de Chelley and Death valley to name a few around the places you have mentioned above. Depending on your destination point and time available you could cross the Sierra's into Yosemite and Sequoia. They are all amazing places.

    If you do plan to visit a few N.P's then Buy there annual pass. It is $80 and has unlimited access to all parks and Fed rec lands for one year. Generally speaking it has paid for itself between 3 and 4 visits so that will help the budget. The N.P's are great for camping as well [fee not included in entrance fee] and a lot of them have free shuttle bus services throughout the park which will help the environment and save you money on gas.

    If you would like any tips on your cross country itinerary post it up.

    Have a great time!

  8. #8

    Default Thanks!

    thanks dave, i have looked into all those other NP's and they are all on the list of "maybe's"

    i have already been to zion and death, loved it there...but i do really wish to see yosemite, i just dont think we have the time. Ill definitely think about that annual pass, ive seen it on every NPS website but never thought into it. If its that worth it, ill certainly consider it!

  9. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Luther IV View Post
    the car is a 1997 honda odyssey...packed with every safety feature possible...we got a spare tire..and a doughnut, flares, CB radio, first aid kit, extra oil, ponchos, a gasoline siphon, an automotive expert, and then some.

    I am also an eagle scout and trained paramedic, so all thats stuff that could go wrong, we'll be ready
    In my experience, these items aren't going to cover the types of problems that're likely to happen on trips. You'll take the van to a mechanic before you begin the trip, and you're not likely to have more than a flat tire or an overheating issue.

    To say, "You're ready!" I'd like to hear more details on budgeting and splitting of costs. I suspect those are going to be your weak points. Talk, talk, talk to your roadtrip friends about how you're going to budget your money. Will it all go into one pot and one person'll act as treasure? How will you budget for food, gas, etc? With a limited budget, you have to plan ahead. How will you split up the work of pitching tents, driving, etc.?

    Definitely plan on the NPS pass, but do not buy it until you reach the gate of the first park. The one-year starts ticking when you buy it, so why should you own it ahead of time? Get the most out of your year.

    If I were in your shoes, I'd skim through Vegas quickly -- don't give it more than a day. It's expensive, and you won't be old enough to do much. You'll enjoy the parks much more.

    Finally, forget the gas syphon. I've managed to live 42 years without ever once syphoning gas or even knowing anyone who's syphoned gas. Well, that's not true: Back in the 70s when fuel-efficient cars were just becoming available, a guy at my dad's office was being overly-braggy about his wonderful gas mileage . . . so my dad started ADDING gas to his car every day so that it NEVER needed gas. Boy, did the guy brag more. Then after two weeks of that, my dad started REMOVING gas from his car so that he couldn't keep gas in it. So I'll amend my statement: Aside from practical jokes, I've never known anyone who actually syphoned gas.

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