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  1. #1

    Default American Outback Excursion

    At this point, I have not even begun planning this trip, so all the details are still up in the air, but I wanted to throw it out there and see what others thought.

    The plan is to buy a new Outback (which I intend to do no matter what) and spend most of a year driving around the country in it. I live in Seattle, so that would be my starting point. I would leave in late August, travel east across the upper part of the states, then spend the first part of fall in New England. When it started getting cold, I would head for the south, and spend the winter travelling around there, then end up in the southwest that spring. I'd get back to Seattle around June. The idea is to experience as much of the country as possible, but I don't need to hit every state along the way. I will have the money saved for gas, food, and some extras, but I would still like to do it as cheaply as possible. I intend to have a mattress in the back, and sleep in the car most of the time, but I would also be open to spending a week or so working for room and board at certain points, just to get a better feel for an area (like a farm in Kansas, for example).

    Thoughts, suggestions, advice?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Good and Bad

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Such an extended RoadTrip is a fantasy of most people around here, but I think I'd like to take a contrarian view initially and try to point out some realities. First off, a year of travel will cost more than a year at home. You can do it as cheaply as you will and still, everything from meals to gas to daily care items will simply cost more. How much do you live on annually now and how much have you set aside for this trip? And unless you have a specific, in-demand skill you cannot simply count on work being available when and where you want it, particularly in the current economic environment. Secondly, the grand adventure aspect of the trip will wear off long before you reach the end. Surprising though it may seem, I suspect that you will get bored before you even hit New England. The fact is that a week or a month is a lot of time to fill, let alone a year. Are you prepared for long days with nothing really to do but drive or walk around? How do you really plan to keep busy for an entire year? Finally, the Outback, while a great car for winter driving, is not an RV or even a good sized SUV. Trying to live and sleep in such a confined space is going to get old fast. Look, if you can pull this off and enjoy it, more power to you. But prepare for the reality.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia


    What a great experience that will be. Of course you can do it cheaply. I have travelled round the US for six months (22000 miles), spent about 60 nights with family and friends, and did it all on somewhere round 6 grand. Staying with friends is really no cheaper, as I always either bring something with me, or take them out to their favourite restaurant. The cost of that is usually more than two nights in a hostel.

    There are quite a few hostels which allow you to stay for free, in exchange for a few hours of cleaning, or reception, or whatever.

    Outback is a great car, I have one myself. I take mine camping a lot. Carry a small gas stove to prepare some of your own meals. I also have a 12v power outlet in the cargo area, right up the back. This allows me to plug in a small 12v fridge to keep perishables from going off. That way you can buy some supplies in a supermarket, and not buy ready to eat or fast food all the time.

    Also means you can buy cans of drink by the slab in supermarkets, and have cold drinks along the way.

    It does not need to cost a lot to travel. There are many ways you can cut down on the expense, but I would think that sleeping in the back of an Outback is not one of them. And if you are not well rested, you are probably not in an ideal condition to drive safely. (You'd hate to scratch that Outback, wouldn't you!)

    If you are planning to be on the road for the best part of a year, you will end up having a few things to take along. There would not be much room left for a mattress. And unless you are shorter than I am (5'6"), will not be very comfortable. (I have done it in an emergency.)

    Lifey who loves her (sporty) Outback

    p.s. which one are you getting, 2.5 or 3? what colour?

  4. #4


    Thanks for the advice, guys. I hear you when you say a year may be a bit long - I looked into weather in the different areas, and it looks like September is nice everywhere. Do you think a month would be long enough to drive across the top (through Montana, Michigan, etc, into Maine), down through New England, cut across Kentucky and Tennessee to Louisiana, up the Mississippi to Illinois, then follow Route 66 to California and 101 back up to Washington? I don't want to spend every single second driving. Would I have time to enjoy the trip? I'm willing to stay in hostels when I can find them, though I would likely still spend most nights in the car to save money. I am used to travelling light - I would not need a lot of stuff with me. I don't want to take an RV or SUV because I want it to still be fun to drive and easy on the gas budget. Lifemagician - I am looking at the 2009 2.5i Limited (black). It comes standard with privacy tint on the rear windows.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia



    I was lucky getting mine. It had been registered to Subaru Head Office, and was just 8 months old, had 5802km on the clock. Having been driven by one of the top executives, it has everything that opens and shuts... leather upholstery, sunroof, built-in satnav, and the sporty thingy with the levers on the steering wheel - one for a gear up, one for a gear down. Have not yet worked out how all that works. All I know is that I can change down when going uphill without losing the cruise control, and it just automatically changes up again when you get to the top of the hill. No idea what it is called, nor how to get the most out of it. Still to learn all that. Whatever options were available in 2007, are all on this car... which I was lucky is in my preferred colour.... white.

    Enjoy the ride!

    Lifey the original petrol head

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