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  1. Default Road trip up the West Coast! Chico CA to Seattle WA

    Hey everybody!

    My two friends and I are planning a road trip up the west coast and have planned to dedicate a max of 6 days to the journey. Starting around January 4th, we would really like to drive the 101 from Chico, CA all the way up to Seattle and sleep on or near the coast two or three times along the way. The three of us are college students and are pretty short on cash so we are hoping to put everything towards gas and sleep for free or as cheap as possible.
    The drive will be made in a Suburban and we are thinking we will have plenty of room in the back for sleeping 3 people.

    Is sleeping in the car even a good idea?
    Are there any camping locations located off the 101 (free or affordable) that would work?

    We are a little unorganized and are looking for any guidance we can get.

    Last edited by jon; 12-05-2011 at 01:39 AM.

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

    Default problematic

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I really don't think you've got a very good plan, as least in regards to sleeping in the vehicle.

    While a suburban is a big vehicle, I still think you'll find it extremely difficult to get 3 people to comfortably sleep inside. The fact that this trip is in January is also a challenge because, while its fairly unlikely you'd see any major snow, it will still be quite cold at night. A car provides basically no insulation, so you'd need some serious winter camping gear to deal with the temperatures which will likely be near or below the freezing mark overnight. Between the tight quarter and difficult conditions, I'd say you'll really struggled to find any enjoyment in your trip or each other by the third day.

    Finding a campsite is the one area that shouldn't be too difficult. Finding a free one would be tough, but there are several state/county parks with low cost (under $20) camping options.

    But if saving money is key, I think you could quite likely be better off taking a smaller, more fuel efficent vehicle and spending your time looking for motels discounts.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default There are other ways to save money.

    I would have to agree with Michael, your plan as set out is not such a bright idea.

    The simple fact is that road trips cost money, and whereas it is possible to travel on a shoestring, it does take a certain amount of resources. Taking a smaller, more fuel efficient vehicle is a given, in my books. And using the hotel/motel discount coupons is another.

    Most hotel/motel rooms will accommodate three, and many of the modest motels along the road are quite adequate and clean. If you look out for those which offer a free breakfast of one sort or another, as well as free coffee or coffee making facilities, is an extra bonus. Then you will find that many have a fridge or microwave (or both) in the room, or available for use, enabling you to make your breakfast, prepare some food for on the road and / or eat cheaply from the supermarket - at least part of the time.

    There are many ways of saving money along the way, but depriving yourselves of good restful sleep should not be one of them.

    Travel safely.


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