I am graduating this Summer and will be going to the Bay Area for my first job. I will start from Dallas in early September and want to reach the Bay Area in 2-3 days. I plan to travel from Dallas to Lubbock to Albuquerque, rest there for the night, then from Albuquerque to Los Angeles, rest there for the night and then onward to San Francisco. I will have all my clothes, books and kitchenware with me (that will fill the trunk and the back seats of the car.
I drive a Toyota Camry that is really old (1991). But it runs very well. It has a V6 engine, runs very well, has new tires and is generally pretty well maintained other than some rust at the bottom (the car was in the East Coast before I got it).
It gives around 25 miles to the gallon on highways and has a 12 gallon gas tank.
1. What precautions should I take about the car? What are the points of inspection I should get done on the car before I embark on the trip? What parts typically fail in such an old car on such a long trip?
2. Where should I plan to get gas along the way?
3. Which AAA membership would you guys suggest (normal/premier)?
4. I have never driven for more than 3 hours at a single go? What precautions should I take so that I dont fall asleep at the wheel, dont get bored?
5. Where along the way should I be careful about safety? Highway Patrols pulling people up for going 5 miles over the limit? California checking every car?
6. The car has Texas license plates and has Inspection sticker till May 2010. How soon after reaching California do I have to get new vehicle emission stickers? What documents should I carry about the car, in case I get pulled over by the highway patrol?