MN - CA : weather & elevation concerns
im driving from minnesota to california on the last day of october.
here's the scenario: i am on a tight budget, therefore im planning on roughing it at the end of the day, preferably campgrounds. but im afraid the weather temperature might be unbearable at night despite my subzero sleeping bag and 3 season tent.
also, i will be driving my newly aquired beat up car - 94 civic. i will get it minimaly tuned up for the trip, but im a bit apprehensive driving through higher elevations.
With a good cold weather bag and a tent, I don't think you'll have a problem unless there are early storms. You will probably want to avoid ending the day at the top of the Rockies -- but a west-slope overnight (say, Grand Junction or Utah) would still be tolerable I think.
For your car, just make sure the thing is running well, and check those items that are prone to wearing out -- belts, hoses, water pumps, radiator, tires, brakes, charging system, etc. Once you done the basics, then you'll likely be OK if the vehicle is otherwise in sound condition.