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  1. Default First Cross country drive

    Hiya all. I was in the beginning stages of planning my first cross country drive (Hench the title...) and had a few questions.

    First, I would be making the drive in my Firebird, a '98 Convertable Trans Am with 112K on it. Granted, one of the joys of buying a used sports car if getting to get the entire engine rebuilt/replaced (Lying sack of **** previous owner!) so really, the engines got about 10K on it. Like new! Anyway, I don't plan on packing much, just enough for a week or so. Anything I should consider vehicle wise? Gas mileage wouldn't be a problem, because for a huge V-8, it will putt along at 27-28 MPG on the highway, which is about as good as my Mazda3 (Leased, or I would take it).

    Also, I was going to take a month of vacation to spend with my family back home. How long should I plan for? I'm in Northern Cali, and my family is in Delaware. Trip is about 2800 miles, most maps online say about 40-44 hours. Now, realisticlly, assuming a 22 year old's driving habits in a sports car, and his penchant for screwing up and getting lost even with a GPS screaming that he's an idiot and should turn to his other left, about how long could I expect to make the trip in, if I average 8-10 hours of driving a day?

    How easy will it be to keep gas in my tank and to find a cheap hotel? If I drive like a grandmother, I could pull off 350-400 Miles per tank. I'm mostly worried about the mid west... I know that its a whole lot of nothing, seprated by more nothing. Will fuel be an issue?

    I was going to have my mechanic go over my car before I leave, topping off the fluids, tightening everything, ect. Anything I should prepare for that he might miss?

    Also, anything else that might come up? This is actually my first long distance drive. But, when i came to Cali 3 years ago, i wanted to drive cross country, and never got the chance. Now, I'm leaving here soon, and won't have such an easy chance anymore.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Nice ride.

    Hello and welcome to the R.T.A. forums !

    To travel 2800 miles, driving 8-10 hours a day will take 5-6 days with time for short stops for Gas and food breaks and the odd photo op and stretch of the legs etc.
    You shouldn't have any trouble finding Gas or hotels but avoid running the tank low in isolated areas.
    A reputable mechanic should carry out all the necessary checks, but you must inform him of your intended trip so that he can check for brake and tyre wear, air pressure etc as well. Unless it has been recently done, it will be worth changing the fluids rather than just topping off, and check the condition of the belts, rather than just tightening them.
    Make sure your spare tyre is properly inflated, legal and that you have the tools to change should that situation arise.

    Have a great trip !

  3. Default

    Thanks for the tips!

    The fluids in my car do get changed regularly... I use the car for the occasional drag race at the local track (Best time of 13.1!) so my maintenance schedule tends to be a bit more strict then the average car. I already told my mechanic my plans, he advised putting in some higher grade oil (Royal Purple or Redline) right before the trip, and will be filling my tires with Nitrogen a few days before I leave.

    Anyway, thanks again for the help. Assuming my leave goes through, and theres no... "Surprises" (Boss: Hey, good news! Your Deploying to Some-where-izstan!) I should be read to do this in mid June!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default sounds like someone wants your money

    Honestly, a roadtrip is generally easier on your car than what most people do on a day to day basis. Long distance interstate driving is far easier than stopping and going of an average commute.

    While there is nothing wrong with using a more expensive motor oil or spending money to put nitrogen instead of regular air in your tires, if your mechanic is going so far as to recommend them for a roadtrip, I'd think your mechanic is trying to find a reason to get you to spend some extra money. I can't really think why either of those things would be any more beneficial on a roadtrip than during everyday driving.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Both those items are beneficial for all types of driving. If you care about your vehicle, it would not be wrong to do it. I can see the benefits to both on a trip - the synthetic oil will run a bit cooler and you may get slightly better gas mileage, and the nitrogen will not expand when it heats up, keeping tire pressures closer to the cool pressures.

    Set your cruise control to the speed limit and enjoy the ride!

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