I'd like to start by saying that RTA is a great website, with a lot of information and resources for the novice and experienced roadtripper, my compliments!
With the first six weeks of the summer having zero obligations, I figured it would be nice to enjoy complete freedom in the form of a roadtrip. I'm a college student (21), and I'll only have classes in the second part of the summer, so I can do whatever I want in the first six weeks (starting May 1st). I live in the very end of the Florida panhandle, and the idea was to go as far west as possible: San Francisco. I've created this thread to see how feasible the plan is, and I'd like your help with it.
The route I was thinking of taking:
Pensacola - (Houston) - (Phoenix) - Las Vegas - Los Angeles - San Francisco - (Yellowstone) - (Mt. Rushmore) - (Memphis) - Pensacola
Parenthesized cities are optional and I just picked them because they were big cities/places on the way or in the neighborhood (relatively, of course ;-)). Google Maps tells me this route is 5700 miles, and if I divide that over six weeks, it would come down to 130 miles a day. Sounds doable to me, but I'd like your opinions about that, too. I would also like comments on the route: things I'm missing, detours I'm taking, etc.
Again, I'm a college student, so money is tight. I have a job that doesn't require me to be in a certain physical location: all I need is a computer with an internet connection, and I can work whenever I want. I'm planning on living off the money I make while traveling.
My car gets 35 mpg on the highway, about 30 in the city. If I assume 33 mpg average, 5700 miles, and $4 per gallon (which it'll probably be next month), that would mean $700 on gas. Food and lodging can be really cheap, although I have to say that I eat more than average, which consequently costs more, too. If I can eat for $10/day, for 42 days, that's about $400. Lodging can be anywhere: in the car, a cheap motel, a hostel, camping (although I prefer a bed, and I will most certainly need one every once in a while). Couchsurfing is an option, too. I figure probably $30 per day on average for lodging, which brings me to about $1200 for lodging. $1200 + $700 + $400 = $2300. Certainly more than I'm making with work, but I would have had expenses such as food and rent anyway.
Is this a realistic estimate, or am I missing serious stuff? Is the overall plan manageable, or is this trip way too intense for a first solo roadtrip? Any comments or suggestions are much appreciated!