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  1. Default Austin to Denver: Christmas 2015

    Hey all,

    Newbie here. We're planning on road tripping from Austin to Denver via the straightest shot possible.

    The War Rig:
    2010 Kia Sedona "Black Gold" to me. "Buddy" to the kids.

    Planned Accessories/Additions:
    Hitch Receiver (The cheapest that will hold a cargo platform)
    Cargo Platform Carrier
    Full size spare on the roof
    CB Radio

    Looking to log the preparation and journey as well as get any input y'all would like to offer.


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


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    What is the reason that you think you need lots of extra cargo space/how much extra stuff are you planning to bring?

    I would be cautious when you start adding a lot of extra cargo carrying items, as they can really start to throw off the balance of the vehicle, and have a major impact on how it handles. The hitch-cargo platforms aren't designed to hold very much weight - keep in mind, when you're actually pulling a trailer, a well balanced trailer doesn't actually put much weight at all on the hitch. Putting items on the roof can be just as bad - perhaps even worse. Heavy items are going to change the aerodynamics, impacting things like gas mileage, but more importantly, it shifts the center of gravity. That's especially important in an SUV that already has a high center of gravity to begin with. Lots of weight on the roof could make the vehicle unstable, especially on curves.

    If you are sticking to the highways, a full sized spare tire isn't really a necessity - as long as you have a donut, you'll never be so far away from services that you can't get back on the road relatively quickly. If you want one anyway, you might look to see if you can find a way to fit a full size spare in the area where the donut sits.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Overnight stop.

    It's a drive that will require an overnight stop for sure. Amarillo would make a good point to stop for two relaxed days and being able to get into Denver before the afternoon rush.

  4. Default

    Thanks guys.

    we have three kids, so the cabin tends to feel cramped really quickly. The cargo holder will be handling luggage (clothes and such) to free up interior space. But to your point, when I was looking at universal mounts, I was surprised how heavy they were, and I could see how that much cantilevered weight would affect handling quickly.

    We're actually eyeing doing it in one day. My family did it a couple of times back in the early 2000s. In car DVD makes it much easier for the kids, but at this point, I'm looking for ways to actually get them to take in more of the trip rather than be distracted from it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Please reconsider.

    I'm sorry but you are likely to put them off road trips for life attempting the journey in one day, it will be 16 hours of torture ! Not only will it be miserable, it really wouldn't be that safe either to try and drive over 900 miles without proper rest. That's 50% more than a professional driver is allowed to cover by law because of the dangers that fatigue can cause.

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

    Default a very bad idea

    At more than 900 miles, trying to do this trip in one shot is a very, very bad idea.

    Just for comparison sake, that's 50% farther than a professional driver is allowed to drive in a single day. Doing such a trip with children involved - even if you "drug" them with videos - is a brutal, miserable experience for everyone involved, and more importantly, traveling such long distance (at least 16-18 hours in real world conditions) is extremely dangerous.

    Just because you did it in the past without being harmed, doesn't mean it was safe then, nor does it mean that you'll be as lucky this time. For the safety of you, your family, and everyone else on the road, please consider making an overnight stop somewhere along the way.

  7. Default

    Thanks Michael,

    I'll forego my original plan and take this thread down or you can do it yourself. I wouldn't want to set a bad example to other forum members or guests.

    [edit] You probably have to do that, and I would appreciate as much. Thanks again.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    There is no need to bring the thread to a close, you are not the first and won't be the last to consider this sort of distance in a day, and it offers valuable info to others who may considerate it. As well as it being too far to travel in one day, you are also planning to do so during the middle of winter where you are more likely to get slowed down due to poor weather conditions and the daylight hours are short.

    Hope you have a safe trip !

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Unsafe and Unenjoyable

    Quote Originally Posted by 2003protege
    We're actually eyeing doing it in one day... I'm looking for ways to actually get [the kids] to take in more of the trip rather than be distracted from it.
    First of all, let's deal with trying to drive over 900 miles in a single day. That is patently unsafe. It really doesn't matter that you've gotten away with it a few times. It is still patently unsafe. Professional long-haul truckers, with far more experience and with cabs that are practically rolling motel rooms, are prohibited by law from driving more then 600 miles in 24 hours. Again: trying to do that and then another 300 miles on top of it is patently unsafe.

    Having a couple of drivers does not change the fact that nobody on such a trip is going to get any real sleep, or exercise, or mental stimulation. Everyone in your rig is going to be mental and physical zombies long before you reach Denver. If you truly want the kids to take in anything on this trip, they're going to have to get out of the car, get some fresh air, actually experience some of the attractions and landscape rather than just seeing the signs to them flash by their windows.

    A far better plan, according to your own stated goals and in the interest of getting there in one piece is to take two days for the drive and then stop every couple of hours each day to visit a park, historic site, or other attraction. Just a few that are available to you: Fort Chadbourne, Museum of Agriculture, Cadillac Ranch, and John Martin Reservoir State Park. Even better, show the kids a good, detailed map with your route marked out and let them find places along it where they'd like to stop and explore.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Getting the children involved.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2003protege View Post
    ... we have three kids, ....
    What input have the children had into this trip? Other than picking the movie?

    You don't mention their ages. If they are school age, they are probably quite capable of looking things up on the computer. As mentioned above, they could find things on the map (things which are not on maps within the confines of a screen) and then research them to see which interests them most.

    The more input children have in the trip, the more they will get out of it. You won't need the DVD, and you will have very little trouble 'to actually get them to take in more of the trip'.

    Getting children involved in a trip does not start in the car, or on the road. It actually starts the moment the idea of a trip starts to take place.


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