glc, I was planning to get the smallest trailer, as I was able to put most of my items inside the car when I was crossing the mountains. There is no need for anything larger, and I really believe that I can manage it.
Southwest Dave, I am in the unique position that I really can take my time. I want to be smart about it. I was totally fine with up to six days of travel.
Midwest Michael, despite the fact that the engine is seriously underpowered on mountain passes, I was able to use it hilly country for twenty years with very few problems. Yes, I lost a heat shield once, replaced an alternator, and had the standard wear-and-tear things. Whenever I do up the math to get a new car, however, the math works out like this:
A) Cost to get a new car=monthly payment +insurance rate hike times twelve months.
B) Cost to keep this car=regular maintenance+repair.
IF the total in (B) exceeds costs total in (A) twice within a two-year period, it then makes sense to get a new car. If it does not, then it makes more economic sense to nurse that poor old car and save carefully.
Either I lucked out with the one decent car in the lot, or I am just really good at maintenance...but my next car has got to be a 6-cylinder.