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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    currently Daytona Beach, FL, moving to Escondido, CA
    Posts
    2

    Default Daytona Beach, FL to Escondido, CA in a VW Bus, Dune Buggy, Vintage Porsche

    Hi guys (and gals), cool site!

    My brother and I just graduated Embry-Riddle in Daytona Beach, FL (BS in Aerospace Engineering for me), and my whole family is moving to Escondido, CA! My parents are driving to CA from MA, my brother and a friend or two are driving from Daytona Beach, FL.

    Here's the fun part- I have a sand rail (dune buggy) that I want to bring to Cali, but don't want to drive there (obviously!). I also have a lot of stuff to bring. So I bought a 1964 VW Deluxe Minibus to haul all my stuff and flat-tow the dune buggy. I'm also going to be driving my daily driver, which is a 1974 Porsche 914 2.0L.

    This trip will go down either August or October, whichever I chose. I'm building a fresh motor for the bus now, and going through the mechanicals. I will probably taking the southern route, so I might wait till October due to not having A/C. :)

    My questions to you are, what routes should I take and what should I see on the way? I plan on spending about a week on the trip. We don't have much money, so we can't go way out of our way or do anything extravagant. But we want to have some fun! Also looking for a co-driver or two if anyone wants the trip they will never forget lol. Here's some pics of the rides.

    Peace,
    Brent D.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Welcome!

    Before you go too far in your planning, you need to research the regulations in all the states you plan to cross to see if flat towing is legal and what equipment you will need to do it.

    I'd have to think that trying to pull that buggy with a loaded VW bus is going to be pretty painful when you hit the mountains - and you may not be able to maintain minimum speed on the Interstates. You will also be heading into the prevailing winds. You may want to explore other options to get the buggy out there. I personally wouldn't do it with anything less than a midsize pickup or SUV with a trailer, or inside a moving van.

    Please don't take me wrong, I'm not trying to discourage you - but I don't think you realize what kind of limitations driving a heavily loaded "mailbox on wheels" with a tiny 4 cylinder engine will be placing on you - unless the engine you are putting in is heavily modified. Even empty, a stock or close to stock VW bus has a hard time maintaining Interstate speeds all by itself, especially driving into a headwind uphill. You would also have serious cooling issues in August, it's going to be over 100 degrees in most of the Southwest.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default Agreed

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I have to agree with the concerns using that van for this job. There would be concerns about using a nearly 50 year old vehicle for any cross country trip, but when you add in the fact that you're talking about a VW bus, which was never known for reliablity in the first place, and then try to use such a vehicle for towing on a cross country trip? You've got a pretty high probability of having some problems.

    I'd say waiting for October would be a very good idea, not because of your personal comfort with the lack of A/C, but to reduce the odds of you have a problem with overheating. A modern car that is capable of making a cross country trip is capable of making this trip at any time of year, but you're not talking a modern car or normal conditions.

    I'd say a week will be the absolute minimum amount of time you'll need, as under ideal conditions where you could drive at 70+ mph you'd be looking at a 5 day trip. With your much slower speeds, I can't see you making the trip in under a week. Also keep in mind that any mechanical breakdown could also add several additional days to your trip, because getting parts for a 50 year old VW may not be easy to get on short notice.

    The only route I think would work for you is to take I-10 to I-15, which is the shortest route and will have the least mountains. I-8 would be a bit shorter, but with the mountains approaching San Diego, I think you may have trouble with that route.

    Since this is also a move, one more thing to consider is that a 64 VW Bus likely would not be able to pass California's strict emmissions rules (this could also be a problem for your Porsche). These cars may be old enough to be grandfathered in, but I don't know the rules for that, and it's something I would look into before you commit to taking them to a place where they could basically become worthless.

    I'm not saying your trip can't be done if you've got your heart set on doing it this way, but you've got some pretty major potential problems that could easily make this trip far more difficult and time consuming than you are currently planning for, and you need to think about those things really as your first priority.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    currently Daytona Beach, FL, moving to Escondido, CA
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Thanks for the replies!

    I-10 to I-15 is a great idea if it avoids mountains. I was also considering taking I-40 if it would be less scalding-hot than I-10. I will probably going in October due to the heat, like you mention. There is no rush so if it takes more than a week, all the better!

    I looked into flat-towing laws, and I shouldn't have any problems because the dune buggy is registered, tagged, insured, and street-legal. My current plan is to have one of my drivers drive the dune buggy if we hit any major terrain, so there's less strain on the bus's engine and brakes. I've driven the dune buggy for hours and hours on the highway no problem, I'm not worried about its ability to do so. All of the vehicles are emissions compliant/exempt in CA.

    Interstate minimum won't be a problem, we will be able to cruise at 60-65mph. Thanks for mentioning that, I looked on the web to make sure that's not an issue.

    I'm installing a much larger than stock engine in the bus. It would never make it on the stock 40HP engine for sure!

    I am a mechanically minded guy with years of experience working on these type of vehicles and I'm capable of almost any repair needed on the road for such a simple vehicle (and I'm getting AAA just to be safe!).

    My other question is, what is the farthest distance between gas stations that I will encounter? And what are some must-see sights on the way? Thanks! :)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    I-40 involves altitudes over 7000 feet. For terrain avoidance, I-10 is really the only option. I think you can count on gas stations at least every 100 miles everywhere, and the most desolate portion will be between San Antonio and El Paso.

    If you are into aviation, you may want to spend some time at the museum and aircraft boneyard at Davis-Monthan outside of Tucson.

    Tip: To avoid downtown Phoenix, you can take I-8 west to AZ-85 and take that back north to I-10.

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