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  1. Default Roadtrip Stats and Costs

    I recently returned from a 6 day, 2400 mile roadtrip. Since a frequent question here is "how much does a road trip cost," I kept close track of my expenses for this one in hopes the information might prove slightly useful to someone else. I say slightly since the type of roadtripper you are and the type of trip you are taking will cause your costs to vary.

    This trip was not a sightseeing kind of roadtrip -- I was taking a vehicle to my son who is in the Army on the east coast (Norfolk, VA area). I had a limited amount of time and a specific destination. I therefore made an effort to get there as quickly as possible in case I ran into an unexpected problem that would cause me to need the extra time. It's important to note that my focus was not economy -- but controlling the time spent on the road. I therefore ate all meals in cafes and restaurants, and I made three out of four arrangments for lodging ahead of time (which did help keep lodging costs lower). With that in mind, and for what they're worth, here are the stats and costs for my trip:

    Phoenix to Fort Eustis, VA, mostly via I-40. (My route was I-17 to I-40 to I-81 to I-64.)

    It totaled 2,404 miles. I averaged about 51.6 mph over the entire driving day (each), and was usually driving the speed limit or close to it. In the west that meant I was typically running about 75 to 79 mph, farther east it was closer to 65 mph.

    The average overall was almost always 51.6 mph, or very close to it. This no longer surprises me, as it is always the case -- I discovered this years ago while traversing the continental USA as a truck driver. No matter how fast I drive, my average for the day is always about this same number.

    The '97 Toyota Tacoma I was driving had 91,000 miles on it by the time I finished. I checked it out and did nothing but have new belts put on it (plus I added air to the tires) before I left Phoenix -- my son maintains the truck himself and it is in great condition as a result. It had been parked since he left for boot camp in January. It averaged about 23 mpg overall on this trip -- got as high as 27 mpg in the west with what I assume to have been a tailwind!

    I averaged 601 miles per day over 4.5 days of driving. It was a total of 48.5 driving hours -- the two longest driving days were the middle ones -- roughly 14 hours each from start to park. I was fatigued after those two long days and slowed down a bit after that -- the third full day was 9.5 hours, and that left only 200 miles to finish up on the last half day (4.7 hours). The first "day" was a 6 hour evening run from Phoenix to Gallup to get a head start on the trip.

    My costs (averages, per day):

    Gas: $39.10
    Food: $24.37
    Lodging: $59.75
    Overall total (average) per day: $111.29

    Road Report: I-40 is in about average shape from Flagstaff, AZ to Knoxville, TN. Some sections are great (new pavement), a few are terrible (potholed and rough). The good road surface was more frequent than the terrible. There were numerous road work zones from New Mexico on -- but only one time was the traffic backed up in any way -- that was in Nashville where a bridge repair crew had the traffic funneled into one lane and the back-up was about 1.5 miles. I found I-81 and I-64 to be about the same as I-40.

    My roadkill score for this journey was a one-bump-bounce raccoon strike about 40 miles east of Oklahoma City -- I tried to miss that peckerwood but he doubled back on me and I nailed him at about 70. He never felt a thing.

    Highlights of the trip:

    A stop at Glenrio, TX -- an old (now ghost) town on the TX/NM border on old 66. I stayed in the motel there when I was 13 in 1966 -- and consciously recognized the Great Plains for the first time out the back window of that motel room. I have been awed by them ever since. The motel is a ruin now, about to fall down. Nothing much remains of the town which was never more than a gas station/cafe/motel anyway, but it looks like one family still lives in a house there -- probably ranchers from the looks of things. Glenrio died when I-40 by-passed it in the late 60s. Old Rte 66 is still a curb-divided boulevard in front of that ruined motel today -- although the pavement ends very quickly on either end of the town.

    Best meal: I had lunch at the Morrilton (AR) Drive Inn -- right off I-40 at the Morrilton exit. I had your basic deluxe old fashioned cheeseburger and tater tots -- and the food was pretty darn great!

    Once arrived at Fort Eustis, I was able to visit with my son only for about 2 or 3 hours as he was "on duty" -- but his new bride and I spent a day on the Outer Banks of North Carolina on Monday -- we went to the beach, to the Wright Bros First Flight Memorial at Kitty Hawk and had barbecue at The Pigman's place. I flew home on Tuesday.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Roadkill score

    Quote Originally Posted by Moderator Bob
    My roadkill score for this journey was a one-bump-bounce raccoon strike about 40 miles east of Oklahoma City -- I tried to miss that peckerwood but he doubled back on me and I nailed him at about 70. He never felt a thing..
    Makes me think we could start a new forum on this subject -- actually there is a book I would love to get (it sells for about 7x the original price on e-bay) and it provides several dozen (serious) recipes for cooking a variety of meals on the engine block as one drives and... certain road kill could qualify for a meal... I have a few memorable road strikes as well.

    Great trip stats report.

    Mark

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Moderator Bob
    .

    My costs (averages, per day):

    Gas: $39.10
    Food: $24.37
    Lodging: $59.75
    Overall total (average) per day: $111.29
    We have been keeping these kinds of records almost since day 1. The first four years we only recored gas costs/miles/mpg, but then after that we have everything for the last 28 years! I keep little note books and made a spread sheet.

    Last year we did 2,085.60 miles in the motorhome and spent 11 nights out on the road. (One of our shorter vacations!)

    Our cost (averages, per day):

    Gas: $50.57
    Food: $14.54
    Camping fees: $19.77
    Other costs: $24.47 (National Park Pass, propane, lots of souveniors)

    Overall total (average) per day $106.35

    Utahtea

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France
    Posts
    761

    Default

    Makes me think we could start a new forum on this subject -- actually there is a book I would love to get (it sells for about 7x the original price on e-bay) and it provides several dozen (serious) recipes for cooking a variety of meals on the engine block as one drives and... certain road kill could qualify for a meal... I have a few memorable road strikes as well.
    Is that the book you're talking about?

    How to cook Road Kill - Richard Marcou : 2,88$ (used) on Amazon

    or was it the Road Kill Cafe Recipe Book?

    You can also find great recipes on certain websites (ex. : http://user.pa.net/~nrwing/recipes.html)

    As for cooking on the engine, I never tried it personally (I'd probably just forget the thing there for a few days until I realize it smells strange and that my engine is filled with melted cheese) but someone I know tried it and apparently it worked pretty well... But you have to wrap your stuff tightly in tin foil if you don't want your food to be contaminated by toxic vapors.

    My last Roak Kill score were two deers that jumped on the hood... I almost hit a moose a few hours before so I didn't mind the deers after all! As long as it's not Victor.

    Gen

    --->Trivia : What State allows drivers to eat their own road kills?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Trivial Road Kill

    West Virginia - But anyone could have guessed that. Sorry if I just offended any mountaineers.

    AZBuck

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default

    I think Mark's talking about "Manifold Destiny: The One and Only Guide to Cooking on Your Car Engine."

    I luckily came across this in a used bookstore for about $4.00. Perfect condition, too. It sells for quite a bit more on Amazon.

    It teaches you how to find spots in your engine where you can cook without the food falling off, and how to wrap is so it doesn't leak, etc. And then gives you ideas for recipes. The idea is that you prep your meal in double or triple-wrapped foil packets. Seal the edges tight. Pop the packets into the engine bay, drive, and then get to your destination with a wonderful gourmet meal. Some of the recipes are things like Cruise-Control Pork Tenderloins, Any-City Chicken Wings, Lead Food Stuffed Cabbage, and To Grandmother's House Road Turkey.

    To be honest, I've not tried any of these ideas out yet. But it's a hoot of a read!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Manifest Destiny -- A Classic for all Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Gen
    Is that the book you're talking about?
    How to cook Road Kill - Richard Marcou : 2,88$ (used) on Amazon
    or was it the Road Kill Cafe Recipe Book?
    Nope -- it is "Manifold Destiny " it was originally published in 1989 and used ones can be found for ~ USD 43.00. A paperback reprint edition was issued in 1998 and sells for USD $62.00.
    As for cooking on the engine, I never tried it personally (I'd probably just forget the thing there for a few days until I realize it smells strange and that my engine is filled with melted cheese) but someone I know tried it and apparently it worked pretty well... But you have to wrap your stuff tightly in tin foil if you don't want your food to be contaminated by toxic vapors.
    That does make sense.
    My last Road Kill score were two deers that jumped on the hood...
    You are lucky you are still with us. A couple of days ago I had chipmunk-looking-something-or-other stare down the front bumper of my approaching truck and he/she had the gumption to root to that spot and I passed safely over him/her. Still amazed that it stayed in place and was standing upright almost challenging the truck!
    --->Trivia : What State allows drivers to eat their own road kills?
    Well, I did so well with the last one --- I am going to guess Montana...

    Mark

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gen
    --->Trivia : What State allows drivers to eat their own road kills?
    West Virginia sounds like a very good guess, but since its already been taken, I'll go with Arkansas.

    If that isn't right, I'll go with Texas for my second chance guess.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
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    1,703

    Default Costs

    I've found that our costs average about the same. The other day I found a receipt for lodging and figured it out to the minute...that way when I'm at work and getting irritated, I can console myself with the thought that the irritation will allow me "x minutes" of roadtripping pleasure. At some point I plan on writing a simple trip logging program, but when that will happen is hard to say.

    I'm going with W. Va. for the roadkill. It just seems to connect. There was a segment on MotorWeek a couple of months ago about the very book Mark is talking about.

  10. Default Arizona

    In AZ, roadkill (if suitable) is often donated to charity kitchens and institutions. We have a lot of it -- deer and elk mostly -- especially along SR260 between Payson and Show Low and other highways in the high wooded areas of the state. The animals move back and forth from the low country to the high country seasonally -- so are often crossing the roads at the times they are least visible to speeding motorists!

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