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Thread: Roadtrip

  1. #1
    Robert Eriksen Guest

    Default Roadtrip

    Hi everyone.

    Me and a few friends of mine are planning a roadtrip across America.
    Now, we are all from Norway, and none of us have ever been to the United States. However, a roadtrip along Route 66 and nearby areas is something a few of us have wanted to do for a long time.

    Our plan so far is to rent a car, a Ford Expedition or something, start out in LA. and make our way from there towards New York. Our route will most likely divert from Route 66 a bit, as we want to visit Nevada. Also, we want to see cactus (dont ask ;)). And we want to end up in New York. We have set aside about 4 weeks in July for this.

    So we have a few questions.

    - Is the route any good? Any suggestions about what we should visit?

    - I have read a bit about crossing the desert-areas along the route, and it sounds kinda bad if something should go wrong. What should we do if something like that actually happens? And is the car i was referring to any good?

    All i could think out at the moment.

    Thanks in advance for any answers.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Trip

    Welcome to the forum!

    As far as your route goes...volumes have been written about Route 66. Many regular contributors live close to the nostalgic highway, too. Do a search on here and you're likely to come up with much information for this decommissioned highway, which is roughly paralleled today by I-40 and I-44. And this route leaves a gaping hole between Nevada and NY (I assume NY City?)

    There was a thread on here a little while ago about the perils of desert travel, and how to avoid them.

    While you're here, absolutely take the time to visit the Grand Canyon and Meteor Crater.

    If you stick to the rough US-66 route as you head East, you'll be placed in position to come across PA either on US-6 (a most scenic route) or I-80 (still a beautiful drive, and will lead you straight to NYC). State roads along the Western perimeter of New Jersey are light on traffic and very scenic.

    The vehicle would probably be comfortable, but it is by no means the most efficient. I'd estimate 15-18mpg, tops, so save some coin for fuel. A minivan might be more practical here.

    I can totally understand your wanting to see cactus. It's an oddity for me, too.

    I'm sure we will come up with many suggestions in the weeks to come, so keep checking back here!

  3. #3

    Default Roadtrip - July?

    Do you have to do it in July? Hot hot hot, especially in the southwest and the best of the desert will have long gone. If you can do it in late May early June you will be better off, not only will there be more greenery but the kids will still be in school and there will be less people on the road.

    I too am fascinated by cacti (born and grew up in England) and am happy to be living in a place where they grow wild in my back yard.

    Bob Palin
    Torrey, Utah

  4. #4


    Good day, folks - I'm one of the guys who'll be going with Robert on the roadtrip, so I thought I'd join the discussion as well.

    What temperatures are we to expect in May and June, measured up against July?

    And since we will be covering quite a lot of America, have anyone got any things that we should be sure to experience or see before we're done

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default To Do?

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forum!

    One of the better weather sites for the US is The Weather Channel. If you go to that site and enter a city and follow the link to 'Averages and Records', you will see what kind of temperatures and rainfall you can expect for any given time of year.

    What you must be 'sure to experience' depends on your particular tastes. Certainly the Grand Canyon and Meteor Crater as TimboTA has suggested qualify. If you really want to see cacti, you may have to get a bit farther south than the old alignment of US-66. I personally would add at least the Mississippi River, some of the wide open spaces in the mid-section of America, Las Vegas, Death Valley, and Los Angeles.


  6. #6


    Hi Arve and Robert,

    Welcome to the forum!

    Since this is my 3rd attempt at posting a reply, my hands and fingers are tired and will be in pain soon.

    May is likely the best time to go. Lack of fires, hurricanes, and for the most part intense heat and humidity, and of course snow.

    I took my own car on a similar trip in 2003, and I averaged 33 to 44 mpg with AC on for several days and no breakdowns. Not even a tire low on air. I thanked God every single day for my luck.

    Keep us posted, and good luck!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula


    Welcome to the forum and to America!

    One of the best trips of my life was a visit to Norway when I was 12. Beautiful country! My dad is from Stavanger and my Morfar was from Bergen. We visited tons of relatives there. I would love to return someday.

    Since that was years ago, I don't know if things are the same or have changed much, but we travelled north from Oslo over to the coast through the mountains. I recall there weren't many places for gas/lodging/food there. It was pretty desolate. Believe me, there are few places in America today that compare. Even in the least populated areas, there are sufficient services usually about every 50 miles, at most. Getting fuel, food, and services if you need help isn't all that difficult in most of the US. On most of the route you're doing, you won't go 10 miles without some kind of services. You should be fine.

    I would suggest that you think about purchasing a cellphone for your trip. If you have one in Norway, it won't work here in the US. Different system. There are inexpensive prepaid cellphones at places like Radio Shack and Wal-Mart. If you Google "prepaid cellphone" you will find plans by various companies. I've seen deals as inexpensive as $20 for the phone itself plus 30-40 minutes of airtime. Any additional talk time can be purchased via credit card. If you do have a problem, you will be glad to have a cellphone with you. While service is spotty in some areas, coverage is pretty good through most of the country.

    I agree that a minivan will give you just as much room as an Expedition and you will get better gas mileage with the minivan. Gas is cheap here compared to Europe but you will be driving lots of miles and the expense will add up quick. But if you are set on getting an Expedition, it is a nice vehicle and should give you a good ride.

    While it will be hotter in July, your vehicle will have air conditioning. If you have to come in July, don't worry that much about the heat. Just stay hydrated and avoid long hikes in the middle of the day. Even a short 10-minute jaunt can be draining in the heat so take a bottle of water with you virtually everywhere you go.

    I would recommend purchasing an inexpensive cooler and keeping it filled with water. That way, if you do have an unexpected delay, you have the most important thing with you in ample supply.

  8. #8
    Robert Eriksen Guest


    Thanks for all the great advice everyone.

    As it stands today, we are almost forced to leave in the beginning of July, due to the fact that thats when most of us have our summer holiday. But like it was said, the car has an A/C, which I would say is almost a must that time of year, so it will probably be grand. Im gonna make a print-out of the thread regarding how to deal with the heat and such.

    As for the cell-phone, our plan was to get a phone when we came down, as we plan on mounting webcams in the car, and use GPRS to upload images to the internet on our roadtrip website. We did this when we took a roadtrip around Norway this summer, and it worked really well.
    But how is it with GRPS-coverage around the more desolate places of the states? And how about cell-phone coverage overall?

    We are already set on going for an Expedition for our trip, and since gas-prices (atm. atleast) is 1/2 of what it is in Norway right now. We pay about 5-6$ per gallon, maybe more. So we're gonna be the guys who have a big grin on our faces when filling up the tank. ;)

    Now, im not entirely sure about this, but one of you mentioned fires and hurricanes. Does the route we plan on taking, take us through the so-called Tornado Alley?

    Thanks again for all the great answers.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Tornado Alley

    Sorry, I don't know much about GRPS, but other users of this forum do. Perhaps they'll chime in. As for Tornado Alley, it is a term loosely applied to the area from Texas up through the mid-section of America to Illinois or thereabouts. So you will be driving through it. Tornado season typically runs from April through June, so you shouldn't run into difficulties - but keep an eye out anyway.


  10. #10



    If you have to do this in July you will be sorry if you don't have AC. That's all I know about that! Of course, make sure your vehicle is in top shape before leaving. And I second the idea to bring plenty of water (not just for humans, but for the car too if it needs it).

    One great thing about the US is that we have practically every imaginable type of weather in the world. The huge continent (along with Canada) makes for real extremes in temps. These extremes, the Rockies, the Plains in the central US and the Gulf of Mexico combine to make Tornado Alley in the central US. It varies, but the worst starts in the South in March and moves north during the spring months. Like Buck said, the worst lasts until June, but tornadoes can occur anytime of year, and are not uncommon in July and August. Bottom line is that you cannot avoid Tornado Alley, even if you're not stopping for long. Just keep an eye out for the weather. Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas are the worst states for tornadoes.

    I'm the one who mentioned fires and hurricanes. From what I've seen, fires seem to get worse as the summer goes on and the sun bakes the West which is already dry. Certain times of year bring winds off the mountains and can carry fires. But they are easy to spot on the internet, just like hurricanes (which get much more airtime). I haven't had to take detours due to fires yet, but they can affect Interstates since some roads are VERY close to mountains. Fortunately, Interstates are remarkably water-resistant and open first after flooding.

    I have a prepaid cellphone and it doesn't have great coverage thru the mountains but it is much better than nothing. Interstates have the best phone coverage of any roads.

    Right now, gas is around 2.50 a gallon here for the cheapest stuff. I bet it will continue to drop during winter but probably will rise again next summer, to who knows what. I also bet you'll be the only people in SUVs smiling when they fill up for 2.50 or 3 bucks a gallon! Best to make sure you have LOTS of money for gas.

    Hope this helps,

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