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  1. #1

    Default Planning 6,000 mile plus roadtrip- advice/help needed

    Hi there, me and a few friends (all in our early twenties) are currently based in Vancouver, Canada for the year (we're all from the UK). This summer we're looking to hit the road on a memorable roadtrip- but at the same time we're on a very tight budget.

    Anyway this is our proposed (very tentative) route: Seattle-Montana-Mt Rushmore-Milwaukee-Chicago-Nashville-Memphis-New Orleans-Austin-El Paso-Tucson-Grand Canyon-Las Vegas-Boise-Portland-Seattle. As you can see its a bit of an epic road trip-a huge loop of 6,425 miles in total, a total of 4 days 6 hrs straight of driving (google maps). We're planning to leave 27 days or so for the trip, and getting a monthly car rental as you get better value. We'll be camping most nights in tents, and a few nights in hostels in the big cities.

    Well, anyway some question I was wondering: is this distance just too extreme? Of four of us I can't drive, so that leaves the driving load split between three- and one isn't so confident on the road. Is it just too much distance to cover in 27 days?

    As for camping- how much is it to camp in a simple tent in most places? Does it vary place to place or is there a set rate?

    I've figured gas would be about $175 each between four people in an economy car - sound right? Are there any hidden costs that might creep up on us. Want to spend no more than $1000 each, everything included.

    Any advice/help would be appreciated- anyone else attempted such a distance?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,899

    Default good but...

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    First of all, your distance isn't bad at all. Basically a month will be a very nice amount of time for this trip and you while you'll be doing a lot of moving, you should have to feel rushed at all.

    A couple things to consider though. Your actual mileage will likely be quite a bit more than just your point to point distances, once you factor in things like driving around towns, looking for campsites, just normal moving around stuff. Time estimates are also usually very optimistic on online mapping programs, and total time estimates when you're talking about "4 days of straight driving" really don't mean anything.

    Now the bad part. Your budget sounds extremely lean when you are talking about including a rental car into the picture - especially when you're in your early 20s and will be looking at (multiple) underage driver fees. Your fuel estimate is also very low. You're going to be looking at $1000 in fuel alone, and that's if the price of gas stays around $3/gallon. Once you factor those two things in, I think you're going to have practically maxed out your budget, before you've even considered camping, food, or entertainment expenses.

    As an aside, I would really look at upgrading to at least a mid-sized car. I know I'm telling you I think your budget is too low even for an economy car, however, the difference to upgrade in size is usually pretty small, and when you've got 4 adults who are practically going to be living in a car for a month, that extra size is going to be a very cheap investment in comfort and enjoyment.

    Camping will vary from place to place, depending on ownership and amenities. Public campgrounds will usually be a bit less than private ones, but $20 is a good average number for planning purposes.

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