Driving across country

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by John Lee, May 28, 2014.

  1. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    May 28, 2014

    Buying car sight unseen

    I'm considering doing it as an adventure this summer. Has anyone here done it, and is it more a miserable grind than it is a a fun excursion?
     
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  3. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I've never driven coast to coast, but I bet that would be fun. I don't think it would be a grind if you were to plan your route and stops in advance. I'd be psyched about all the parks, landforms, and funky museums I'd get to see along the way. Are you planning on going solo or as part of a group?
     
  4. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    For my honeymoon, MANY years ago, my husband and I quit our summer jobs and went north from San Diego to Vancouver, Canada, all the way across Canada to Quebec, down the east coast and across the midwest. We took 3 weeks, camping, when we weren't visiting family or friends. It was great! We have a vastly diverse, beautiful, amazing country. We drove a Pinto packed to the gills with gear, had very limited money, and didn't regret a second (except maybe a miserable night in Kansas).

    Do it!
     
  5. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    My friends family did it often. They planned stops along the way and made sure that for every stop they at least had a few hours to do something interesting. There were few nights where they pulled into the hotel at dark and left at dawn. My friend said that the family saw a lot of things. Stops were anywhere from a half of a day to 2 days. It was never a cross country from one coast to another but they did get to the middle of the country and see a lot of national parks.
     
  6. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I've never done it, but I'd love to someday! I'd rent a nice, roomy SUV. I'd never put that kind of wear & tear on MY own car. (I've rented cars to make my rare 2-hr drives.) I'd of course bring snacks & necessities, even though I'm sure I may have to buy a few other things along the way as the situation comes up. I'm a rather big planner, so I'd have as much mapped out as I could beforehand. Have fun!

    Necessities include:

    I'd make sure I have some kind of GPS system
    paper towel roll or two/towel(s)
    lots of quarters
    other common sense items (first aid items, etc.)
     
  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    We take roadtrips all the time. I've driven to Alaska from the Midwest. A couple of summers ago we drove from the West Coast to the Outer Banks. If you like driving, it's fun. Be sure to stop at all the goofy attractions along the way.
     
  8. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    My family took a road trip up the east coast about 10 years ago. We saw 17 states in 21 days, and we had a blast! There were 5 of us on the trip, and everyone got to pick 2 places that were "must sees" to give us a kind of focus. Between destinations, we just traveled the roads and stopped and explored what looked interesting. I loved it and would gladly do it again!
     
  9. VT-HI-PATeacher

    VT-HI-PATeacher Rookie

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    I drove from PA to CA last summer, took the 40 heading west and the 70 heading east. Took me about 2.5 days but that was because I was on a time schedule to pick up my wife and daughter at the airport in CA.

    This summer I am driving it again, this time with wife, daughter, and dog in tow. Plan on taking the 40 again heading west, maybe shoot down to the 10 towards TX.

    It's not really a grind, only if you make it to be. We plan on taking 4 to 5 days to drive out west, stop in a few cities that I missed last summer, take our time.

    If you drive for 10 to 12 hours a day you can make good time and distance because you can literally go 85 to 90 on any interstate west of the Mississippi River.
     
  10. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    I rode north to south...my dad drove us to Texas. WE took about 2 days made some stops especially on way back. My fave stop Graceland...I LOVE Elvis, so he stopped for me.
     
  11. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    I would like to go back to the early sixties and do it. So I need to time travel before I do it. My younger brother did it in the mid seventies.
     
  12. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I would like to do this one day. My sister did it a couple of summers ago: TX to FL, up the east coast to DC and then back through Ohio . She enjoyed it and they had plenty of time at the stops they wanted to see. I have to be in the mood to drive and have some great music going.
     
  13. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    I would (most likely) do it as a solo mission

    I'm considering buying a car from the East Coast. Of course, there is the cost of shipping the car here. (If the shipping quote I found online is relatively accurate, I probably wouldn't save all that much money driving it myself, what with flight there, gas/lodging coming back.) But I was just wondering if I was undervaluing the "adventure" aspect of it... and from the looks of it so far, it looks like I am.

    We'll see... the guy may sell to someone local today for all I know. Anyway, hopefully keep the thread going here. I think it is a fun one.
     
  14. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I think a solo mission would be ok as well. No fighting over the music, you set the timetable, visit parts of the country you would like to see without having to worry about anyone else. Good luck with the car! What made you look across the country for a car?
     
  15. TamaraF

    TamaraF Companion

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    I have driven all over my country both alone and with other people. I LOVE driving alone! My husband and I travel well together, as well. It can be an awesome adventure, especially if you have no set schedule. If you come north, or are headed to Alaska, let me know!
     
  16. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    That's cool TamaraF. AK is definitely a bucket-list destination for me, but I don't see going up that way.

    I'm looking at a specific type of car (VW Vanagon/Eurovan type, camper/daily driver). So the market is somewhat limited. I'm trying to get one so that I can do some more camping/weekender trips here but also use in the city. Just throw some things in the car, when the 3pm bell rings, out the door and camped at: beach, Big Bear, somewhere, in two hours. How nice would that be?

    Spend the night, relax, go hiking or something in the morn, come back home on Saturday afternoon.
     
  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Did it round trip one summer when dh was in military...it can be quite an adventure!
     
  18. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    I would love to do it! What I'd really like to do is ride my bike cross country, but that takes way longer. :)
     
  19. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    JohnLee, Make sure the car meets California emission standards or they may make you retrofit it when you try to register it.
     
  20. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    I drove from Utah to the Redwood,s in California, down the coast to Oceanside, Ca, to Gulf Shores, Al (traveling through Roswell, New Mexico, and San Antonio, Texas) crossing the Swanney River to DisneyWorld in Orlando, down the Florida Keys. Total of 6 weeks of Road trip, and had the best time of my life. I did this with my mom and DD. ( then back home, by way of Graceland, Devils Tower, the Badlands, and Mount Rushmore) we zig zagged across the country making lasting memories. So John ,if you do go make it a trip to remember. I love road trips.
     
  21. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    We took road trips all the time when I was a kid. My dad's parents live in southern Illinois. My mom's family is on the west coast. Aunts and uncles are scattered around the country. I think i saw most of the western US when I was a kid. Traveling all day (for many days) with your siblings and Dad wanting to stop at every historical marker along the way could be a grind, but I have great memories. We could probably sell our stories to Dave Barry or get a great book deal telling about all the mishaps we endured. Anyone want to camp out with buffalo?

    One of my lottery wishes is to take a few months to drive from Florida to Maine stopping at the various battlefields and historical cities along the way. I figure I'd need a month to get through Virginia alone.
     
  22. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    We took road trips all the time when I was a kid. My dad's parents live in southern Illinois. My mom's family is on the west coast. Aunts and uncles are scattered around the country. I think i saw most of the western US when I was a kid. Traveling all day (for many days) with your siblings and Dad wanting to stop at every historical marker along the way could be a grind, but I have great memories. We could probably sell our stories to Dave Barry or get a great book deal telling about all the mishaps we endured. Anyone want to camp out with buffalo?

    One of my lottery wishes is to take a few months to drive from Florida to Maine stopping at the various battlefields and historical cities along the way. I figure I'd need a month to get through Virginia alone.
     
  23. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    My hubby and I flew one way to Rochester NY, bought a motor home, and drove it home to Nebraska. It was the best trip we have ever taken. No plan, just drive. We saw Niagara Falls, which we probably never would have if not for that trip.

    As big football fans, we've driven long distances to go to games. Dallas was a fun trip, and San Diego was awesome one year. Last summer, we drove with the kids to Wisconsin for vacation-great drive up, but coming home was a bit rough. :)
     
  24. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Should I be concerned with rust issues, from a car that has been back East all this time? I'm speaking toward rusting. I read how (I guess?) salt on the roads, snow, can wreak havoc on cars in terms of rust (on the underside, etc.) The car I'm looking at right now looks in really good condition... there is a long scratch on the drivers side panel + door (hard to notice in close-up pics even, but noticeable nonetheless). Where the front panel and door connect, there is a small (I'd say the size of the end of my pinkie at most) where it seems to have rust on it. I would assume that to be surface rust (which I understand to be a totally different condition, easily managed).

    Does anyone have any thoughts to offer on that? Thanks.
     
  25. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    If you are buying used, I'd suggest checking the car out in person. The scratch in the door may be able to be fixed at a body shop. The rust spots are something I'd look at closely. There are products that can by applied to inhibit the spread of rust. How often has this vehicle been driven in winter (and therefore salty) conditions? You are correct that road salt contributes to the growth of rust on a car. If you are taking it to a dry environment with little to no winter road conditions that require salt, the growth of the rust would likely be minimal, especially if the vehicle is kept in a garage when not in use. Having spent most of my life in the Midwest, I can understand why this is a concern to you.
     
  26. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Thanks for the 4-1-1.

    Anyone reading this, who has bought a used car from far away: It all sounds legit, and I'm close to buying. He is asking for a $1,500 deposit, and I pay the balance when I get there (exchange key). What I'm wondering about is how that all works, in terms of the deposit. Is there a way to ensure that it is all on the up and up? I mean, I don't want to send money to some scam artist, and basically get swindled out of $1,500. Is there some sort of way (i.e. Paypal, Western Union) something that I can be reasonably assured is not going to just up and walk away with my cash.
     
  27. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    PayPal or a credit card will offer some protection.
     
  28. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    That's good to know. (This is where FB is useful.) I looked him up on FB, and a) It is an actual person, b) He seems to be a family man. :thumb:
     
  29. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Buying car sight unseen

    I'd like to know about things I can/should do in taking this on. I find both on craigslist, and both happen to be in WA. One is from a private individual, the other from a BMW dealer. Pictures seem to show two very attractive cars (actually, both seem to be pretty outstanding deals, which, after you've seen the market, is a slight cause of concern. (They aren't "ridiculous" deals... But they are at the low range in terms of comparable.)

    Anyway, added to this is the fact that I don't want to head out to pick up the car until after next weekend (weekend of 21st... Have something I'd like to be in town for). And I doubt these cars will be around that long, for me to come and and personally see (which BTW, I don't know much about cars anyway!)

    So between now and the time I'd like to go out and pick up the car to drive back (and make a nice week-long trip of--I can't do that either now, as I'm still hoping to work the rest of the school year). Ideally, I'd like to gain some peace if mind in terms of not buying a lemon. With the dealer, I would assume that it behooves them to be up front about their cars. With the private seller, it obviously could be better or worse. In both cases, I do have a good feeling about them.

    But I would feel like a real dummy, going 1,000 miles and paying x dollars for a lulu lemon!
     
  30. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    One of the things I wonder about is whether there is a service that can give a car a good once-over (i.e. A mechanic). I'm considering contacting a mechanic in the area, arrange for him to come down, take a look, etc. After all, that is all I might do with the car myself. I don't know what else I might want to consider.
     

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