I get the feeling this post will be long, so here goes... :)
Me, my girlfriend and two friends are going to work in Canada over the summer (we have the right visas and everything is above board) and are then taking three weeks to travel at the end. We will be leaving Vancouver in late August, and here is a breakdown of our route-
Vancouver, Canada to Seattle WA
Seattle WA to Boise ID
Boise ID to Salt Lake City UT
Salt Lake City to Moab UT
Moab UT to Farmington NM
Farmington NM to Williams AZ
Williams AZ to Phoenix AZ
Phoenix AZ to Lake Havasu AZ
Lake Havasu AZ to Las Vegas NV
Las Vegas NV to Santa Cruz CA
Santa Cruz CA to Vancouver, Canada
It's quite a distance, but we're giving ourselves 16 days to do hit each place, with 6 days spare so that we can see the sights. I've been on roadtrips with my parents before around Arizona, Southern Utah and SoCal, so I know a few of the sights around that way, However, the Vancouver-Moab portion of the trip is entirely new to me, as is the Santa Cruz-Vancouver part (which we will break-up, just we don't know where we'll stop :) ) so what should we try to see along the way? I'm a big fan of Williams, AZ just for it's atmosphere, so anywhere like that would be great. We're after the whole mix- historical (museums etc) cultural (any Native American attractions) natural etc, so any suggestions would be great, along with ideas for places to stay. We will be stopping between these places- these are what we need to hit to keep on our intended route, so ideas for places to stay on the way would be good. We will be on a budget (we're all University students), so any ideas for hostels/cheap rooms/campsites would be gratefully recieved. We know of KOA campsites, and The Crazy Lizard Inn at Moab (or something similar), so does anyone have experience of these places?
Here comes the next set of questions... (Thanks for staying with me so far!)
We're going to be buying a car in Vancouver and using it for the trip. We figured that renting would cost around the same amount of money, however if we buy a car, we can sell it at the end to get some cash back. Anyway, since I'm only 20, renting would be difficult. (If anyone has suggestions for good hire companies/deals, I'd be glad to hear them).
So, the dilemma is- Which kind of car to choose? I got my licence in the UK, and I've only driven small to midsize (Ford Taurus size) cars. When I was with my family in AZ, we used a Chrysler LHS, a Chevy Blazer and a Chevy Astrovan over three trips. The people I am travelling with would prefer something bigger along the lines of the Astrovan, and so I have been looking at Conversion Vans. We like the look of the late 80's/early 90's Ford Econoline/ Dodge B250/ Chevy Starcruiser vans, since they tend to have good levels of equipment, and have the bonus of having four good-sized seats and a fold-out bed in the back. Has anyone had any problems with these cars in the past? What should we look out for?
Since I have only driven smaller cars in the past, I'm wondering if I may find such a van daunting to drive- I'll like the high driving position, but the lack of visibility may put me off. My idea was to look at SUV's like the Cherokee, but the others are worried that this may be too small. Does anyone know of anything in between? I've seen late 80's Chevy Suburbans in our price range (max Can$2500), but these seem to be even bigger that the Econolines, so can anyone recommend a car that would suit us? A new version of the Volkswagon van (the old Woodstock type) would be good, but I've been warned off buying non-American cars because parts will be easier to find.
Again, sorry for all the questions, but I want to solve any problems so I can just get in that car and drive :)
Thanks all for any replies!
EDIT: My little piece of roadtrip philosophy: "I'm off to shake hands with the horizon, and say hello to everything in between" :)