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  1. Default 7 days from Kitchener Waterloo to California. NEED ADVICE!!

    Hey guys! Me and 3 of my buddies want to do a 7 day roady from Kitchener Ontario to California beginning of May 2017. Our plan is to go on Kijiji and buy a well used car for 400-600 bucks. When we get to California well sell it for scrap metal and get a flight back to Ontario. We'll be trying to camp in tents on the way. Google maps is showing a route through Missouri, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona. Saying its about 38 hours and 2600 miles.

    My big question for all of you is will we have enough time? We've never done a trip like this before and don't have much experience doing a big road trip. Would we have enough time to stay a night in Vegas and/or LA? Does scraping the car sound alright to you guys? Our biggest pitfall would be having some lemon fall apart half way there.

    Anyways if you guys have any tips for us or good spots to stop along the way please let me know! Love to hear from you all, Chow

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


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Honestly, you've got a plan that is just simply a non-starter.

    Buying a car for $600 and thinking there is any chance that it will be road worthy enough to make it all the way to California is just silly. You're just begging to be stranded in the middle of a desert at that rate, and you could easily be in a position where you'd be spending more than the car is worth just to get it towed off the side of the road.

    Then there is the fact that you'll still have to pay for a title, registration, and insurance, which will also likely cost more than the car is worth.

    And then on top of it all, you probably will not be able to sell it for scrap because it is a Canadian car. Instead of just being a visitor, you'd be importing the car and that opens up a whole list of issues with customs, in terms of tariffs, taxes, and paperwork. In fact, if you show up at the border with a car that doesn't look roadworthy, you may not even be allowed into the US!

    And then on top of it all, no, you really don't have enough time. Despite what Google might tell you, you're looking at a minimum of 5 days on the road to do this trip safely - even that would be 10 hours per day on the road, and barely gives you enough time to find a campsite and setup/tear down each day. You'd literally only have time to drive to Los Angeles, get rid of your car, and get on an airplane - and in the likely situation where you have car problems, you wouldn't have any time to even make your flight!

    So, I'm sorry to tell you, you really need to go back to the drawing board.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart

    The thing about being older, which I am, is that many of the things I tried and did when I was younger no longer make a whole lot of sense. One was a trip much like the one you are contemplating. I set off from the Philadelphia area with four friends in my own relatively new car with plans to visit New Orleans for Mardi Gras, the Colorado Rockies and the upper Great Lakes before retuning home. I got as far as New Orleans where the car was broken into and all our camping equipment, clothes, and other baggage stolen. We had no choice but to repair the smashed window (after a fashion) and head home. Fortunately we had our wallets and the car was still operable.

    My point is simply this. The optimism of youth drives a vision of what is possible if everything goes right. The 'wisdom' of age is often nothing more than the knowledge, hard earned, that things rarely if ever go completely to plan, diving a vision of whit is probable if anything goes wrong. I have to agree with Michael that there are far too many things that can (and probably will) go wrong with your plan to be reasonably pursued.


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