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  1. #1

    Default Road trip with fiance across southwest

    Hi, my name is Frank and I live in central Florida. This November my girl is turning 30 and we're looking for a south east road trip that will last about 2-3 weeks. We don't have a lot of money and we're not that experienced with camping and outdoors.

    We're also looking into getting a used car for about $8000. We're not sure if we should go for a standard v6 sedan or is it really worth getting something worth sleeping inside (like an SUV or minivan).

    I don't really know anything about the southwest so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Mixed signals

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    You mention both the southeast and southwest as your destinations, so lets start with some specifics on where it is you know you want to go for sure? If you did mean southwest, and you've got 2-3 weeks, you should know that it takes about a week to drive across country, so for a round trip, you'd really want to be on the upper end of your time frame.

    As far as a car goes, I would not purchase a car with only a roadtrip in mind. Its just too big of a financial purchase to be one dimensional. Look for a car that will be comfortable for your trip, but that will also be practical for your needs after the trip. Buying a minivan with the hopes of sleeping in it (which may not be all that comfortable for 2 people) and then being stuck with a vehicle when you get home that doesn't meet your need could easily end up costing you far more than just staying in motels.

  3. #3


    Oh sorry, I wanna visit the south west and possibly the west coast from my Florida home.

    What I really need a good resource because I love stopping at small little art museums and historic buildings. I know it's impossible to "see it all", but I need to know how to better plan this thing.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default That avatar photo

    As an aside here -- that photo that you're using as your avatar is the photo of a dog that belongs to a pretty famous Internet technologist -- Are you sure you want to use it here? I know his name is not Frank....


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Sleeping in the car

    It could be too hot to sleep in a car in the Southwest.

    Having just spent most of the nights over the last 7 weeks, sleeping in the car, and having met many couples who have the same setup..... some even with porta-potty on board... I can honestly say, that the reports from all is that they are comfortable, and happy with their setup.

    However, that was travelling up to Alaska and back in May and June. Some of my last nights were in Montana and North Dakota in early July, and by now it was getting hot in the car overnight. Unless you have mosquito curtains, leaving windows open is not an option. It is also a security concern.

    Lifey who will be taking her tent down south

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default knowing nothing

    Well, you need to start with where you are going beyond a region. Saying you "know nothing" about the southwest, isn't really helpful and probably isn't true otherwise why would you pick it for a destination?

    Start with the big things, figure out what your top priorities are and where you want to focus your time. Once you've got the major things, then you can start looking for the small little things to fill in the gaps, and we can certainly help with that, but you need to take the first steps.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default SW Camping in a car

    I wouldn't plan for that. Most nights it will be quite warm and a tent that you can zip open for ventilation (with built-in netting to keep out the bugs) would be far more comfortable.

    That said, as Lifey said some vehicles can be made comfortable for sleeping in and I believe her but I also agree that a car purchase should be something that works for your needs when you return home.

    I'm quite happy traveling in my compact car and putting up a tent at night. So get something you like and that works for you. You will, of course, want to make sure it's road-worthy.

    Just to emphasize what was said elsewhere, you will need all of five days, traveling at a steady clip, to make it to the west coast and another five days to get home. This is if you don't make a lot of long stops and linger very many places. Two weeks just won't cut it. You will really want all of three weeks for this trip but, if it were me, I'd want at least four weeks to make it really worth it.

    If you could share what places you're planning to visit, it would be easier for us to help you fill in the gaps and to give you pointers.

  8. #8


    I like this tent idea. However, will a good gps device help me find camp sites? Also, should I come packing heat?

    The destination isn't as important as a solid route (something along the lines of the southern Lincoln Highway).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default not recommended here

    As a gun owner and hunter, I think taking a gun along on a roadtrip is a really foolish idea. Legally, you can run into a whole bunch of issues trying to carry a weapon across state lines, with different gun laws. There is also the simple fact that using common sense will keep you from being in a position where you'd need one, about 99% of the time. If anything, having a gun is going to give you a false sense of security and over-confidence.

    For scenic routes, you might take a look at the National Scenic Byways Program, and of course, a lot of times you can find really scenic roads just by getting onto an old two lane state or US highway and driving for a while.

  10. #10


    The only thing I'm worried about are the state laws. I can't find a clearly understandable website that explains all of that....

    But the last thing I need is officer hardass torturing us because he doesn't like Floridians with guns.

    Anyhoo I got the Dining and Lodging guide for route 66. It'll come in about a week. I still got about 6 weeks before the trip is engaged.
    Last edited by nappas; 09-30-2009 at 01:00 AM.

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