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  1. #1
    brookofkishon Guest

    Default Summer Road trip to... everywhere!!

    hey, 4 of my friends and i are planning one huge road trip to the four corners of the continental U.S. we just graduated high school and i would appreciate any advice you have to offer. as of now, we are planning on everyone pitching in 1500 dollars each. should this cover expenses (i.e. gas, van, food, etc.)? we plan on camping out most of the time, with a few motel stays here and there. we are from northwest ohio and want to go up to maine, then down to key west, florida; from there over through Texas and up into Nevada to see the Great Salt Lake and then down to southern California; then from there up to Washington and back to ohio. so what do you think? possible or not?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default First Question

    Quote Originally Posted by brookofkishon
    we are from northwest ohio and want to go up to maine, then down to key west, florida; from there over through Texas and up into Nevada to see the Great Salt Lake and then down to southern California; then from there up to Washington and back to ohio. so what do you think? possible or not?
    Welcome to the Forum! How long do you envision being on the road? When are you planning on leaving? Sounds like an epic adventure.

  3. Default

    Sounds like a great plan. But, your budget working or not working all depends on how long you're going to be on the road. So how long are you thinking?

  4. #4
    brookofkishon Guest

    Default when and how long

    hey, we plan on leaving a couple days before the 4th of July, so we can see the fireworks in new york. as far as how long, we are thinking about a month or just a little bit less.

  5. #5

    Default Trip Cost

    It certainly is doable but your costs really depends on your lifestyle on the road. An example of an inexpensive 47 day trip is at with a summary of the costs on the last page. In this case we were a little early for camping (most campgrounds were still closed for the first part of the trip) but we stayed in some very inexpensive motels. We could have easily doubled the cost by staying at more expensive motels... Housing & meals are your most adjustable costs.

    You might take a look at for another example of a whole country road trip. Also, be sure to look at the road trip planning pages here at Roadtrip America!

    If you can determine how long you want to spend on the road, do a little math & come up with a daily cost. Deciding how many driving hours & miles per day you want to cover is an important part of this decision.

    As you go you may need to adjust your spending & housing quality or shorten your trip. Be sure to each have a reasonable amount of non-committed cash for personal purchases.

    One last note - hopefully, the van is already available - rentals are difficult if everyone is under 21.

  6. #6
    brookofkishon Guest

    Default van

    ya, the van is becoming a bit of a problem. if needed, we thought we would try to get one of our parents to rent a 12 seater for us, which would be about $2,500 without insurance and without gas added in; our only other option so far is another van (94 ford aerostar) with like 220,000 miles on it for about $700 to buy. my family had the same kind of van that we had taken to califonia and to texas and back here to ohio, and that van ended up having 310,000 miles on it, but still i really dont know if i should take the risk of a van with that many miles on it. as for the budget, i thought we would try to drive an average of about 7 hours a day, like 500 miles. granted, some days we wouldnt drive and some days we would drive a lot, but on average thats what we want. anyway, thanks for the other sites, hopefully that will be a big help to me.

  7. #7
    RoadTripper Brad Guest


    You run the risk of a break down with any vehicle you drive, but it is true that the chances tend to increase with milage... with that said, I've made 2-3 day road trips with vehicles that have 350,000 miles on them as it were and had no problems. The thing with higher-milage vehicles is that you do have to be more careful. Preventative maintenence prior to travel is the best, so have your fluids changed, belts replaced, and a vehicle inspection done prior to your trip if you do go with the 220k mile van.

    Once you are on the road, make a stop every few hours for about 15 minutes. I always raise the hood on the vehicle to allow the engine to loose more heat (compared to when the hood is down, although this is best in summer rather than winter). Also be sure to check the fluids and visually inspect the belts at every stop, and make sure the tires are properly inflated.

    Keep extra fluids in the vehicle, several quarts of oil, some transmission fluid, power steering fluid, break fluid, coolant, etc, and some basic tools. An AAA membership wouldn't hurt either. I made my trip from Washington to Arizona without it in a chevy lumina that had 350k miles on it... and I will never do that again.

    You might get asked if you need help sitting in a rest area with your hood up, but compared to the alternative, it's better.

    With a plan on doing 7 hours or so of driving per day, I don't see you'll have as much strain as my normal 16 hours, so that might help prevent a breakdown.

  8. #8
    brookofkishon Guest


    okay, thanks for all the advice, if anyone has anymore advice, places to visit, or ways to spend less money let me know.

  9. #9
    brookofkishon Guest


    hey, i have an update on out trip. it turns out one of my friends' grandparents have a black aerostar that they just replaced the engine in (this new engine has only 30,000 miles on it). he called them up and they said they would give it to him as a grad present, so now we got ourselfs a great van for practically nothing. the only thing we will have to do about it is put a sound system in it (which is totally optional).

  10. #10

    Default Great Salt Lake

    Quote Originally Posted by brookofkishon
    up into Nevada to see the Great Salt Lake
    Good luck finding it 8-)

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