JeepinMatt
JeepinMatt HalfDork
7/6/10 2:52 p.m.

How many GRMers live relatively close to the coast? I don't mean rivers and lakes, although the Great Lakes would suffice, but more like the Atlantic, Pacific or Gulf. I grew up about 100 miles from the coast, which is not that far for a day trip, but not close enough to get hurricane season quite as bad. I've lived 10 minutes away from the ocean and the Cape Fear River for the last four years, but I've lived in the city part of town. Not crazy about it. I usually prefer more rural areas outside of towns, close enough for a quick trip in but not crowded in. I'm wondering if living there permanently would work for me. My main concerns are:

  1. Saltwater corrosion. What have you guys noticed about cars; do you notice them rusting quicker from the salt air?
  2. Driving roads. The mountain roads are great and get most of the attention, and most of what I've seen around here tend to be straight and long. Any twisty, fun roads along the coast by you?
  3. Lack of car culture. There's some in Wilmington; it doesn't seem quite as big as around Charlotte or Raleigh, although they are bigger. Up in Beaufort and Morehead City, I don't think more than a handful of people car one bit about any type of motorized vehicle if it isn't a boat. Boating and water-related things tend to eclipse all else.

I like some coastal areas, but if I won't be able to take a car out for a quick drive on a fun road, or watch it dissolve in front of my eyes, then I'll start looking westward. I appreciate the feedback.

slantvaliant
slantvaliant HalfDork
7/6/10 2:56 p.m.

After the rain we got over the last few days, I'm a lot closer to a coast than I was ... As of Monday, we've had more rain this year than our average annual total.

Some coffee-sippers almost got whacked: Starbucks Roof Collapses

jrw1621
jrw1621 SuperDork
7/6/10 3:00 p.m.
JeepinMatt wrote: ....although the Great Lakes would suffice,

Not really if the question is salt air corrosion. I live at the southern-most point of all the Great Lakes and all our corrosion comes from road salt. There is not even a trace of salt air.

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess SuperDork
7/6/10 3:06 p.m.

I lived <30 miles from the coast for 6 years and drove to Galveston every day. Well, not every day because a whole lot of those days I drove to Galveston and didn't come home for a couple days, only to get maybe 5-6 hours sleep and drive back. Anyway, LOTS of corrossion from the salt air, even on stuff that was 30 miles from the coast in my garage. I attribute the rust on my Truck to the salt air, and I had a lot of small rust issues like chrome pitting and aluminum oxidizing on my bikes because of it. I'd say that 6 years there was worse from a corrosion standpoint than 20 years spent another 100 miles inland.

mad_machine
mad_machine SuperDork
7/6/10 3:13 p.m.

salt air can be very bad. I live 12 miles from the atlantic and when I go to work, I can see it from where I park my car.

Corrosion is a way of life.. even on modern cars.

Where I grew up, in ocean city nj.. we lived on the bay side of the island. At about 10 feet above mean high water.. we used to have to keep our breads and cereal in the oven so that the pilot light would keep them dry. Mold and mildew was a way of life

benzbaron
benzbaron HalfDork
7/6/10 3:32 p.m.

I live about 10-15 miles from the coast and am far enough away I don't have to worry about my car disintegrating. The moist salty air around here (SF bay area) is a terror to cars parked outside. Not just the steel car bodies, but also the aluminum alloy wheels. I guess the moisture carries salt vapor in the air and deposits it on your car. This is one of the reasons I think the theory of "no rust in southern california" is unfounded.

If you are going to live on the coast I would plan on washing your car once a week and waxing it once a month. I mean wax all the chrome and everything.

zipty842
zipty842 Reader
7/6/10 3:40 p.m.

I;ve lived ~9 miles from the Pacific on the central Oregon coast for almost 20 years now.

Corrosion: It happens. almost every car i've had to get rid of has been due to rust. not really in the spots you would expect though. I tend to dispose of a vehicle once i get a lap full of water from the top of the windshield. the other big issue as said above is mold and mildew. but then everything else i own is full of it as well.

Fun roads: where i live is practically at the base of a mountain range, so the roads are pretty good. the main problem here is that the county seems to like to chip seal any road that gets lots of motorcycle use in an attempt to get them to go away.

Lack of car culture: other than a small hot rod club that laughs at me, there's not much. The nearest auto-x to me is about a 3 hour tow.

Supercoupe
Supercoupe Reader
7/6/10 4:10 p.m.

I live 1500 feet from the coast and rust is a way of life here. A piece of bare metal in the garage will rust away before you could use it if left untreated. However I feel the salt air is good for the body, so nice long night time strolls to the beach seem medicinal at times. Car culture, well that's alive and well here. Almost every night there's some sort of cruise/meet going on within 20 miles of me and every Sunday AM, as long as the sun's out, there's a big meet on the beach right smack dab in the heart of the salt air.

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
7/6/10 4:13 p.m.

I live exactly one mile from the GRM/ CMS home offices here in the Daytona Beach area. Nearly the entire East coast is split between "Beachside" and "Mainland side". The Intercoastal waterway splits the two. My house is only 3 miles or so from the Ocean, but only 1/4 mile or so from the Intercoastal. (brackish-- fresh water) If you live beachside, rust is a major issue. If you live on the mainland side, like I do, rust isn't an issue at all. Most of the problem arrises from salt spray in the air. If you have trees and buildings to block it, the salt doesn't make it over to mainland. If you are beachside, every day you'll need to use your windshield washers to clean the salt off of your car so you can see. Cars rust incredibly quickly from the top down near the beach.

The fun roads are mostly inland, although A1A is a pleasant (if straight) cruise. Car culture is pretty robust here, but like most places you will see more Chevelles than Jaguars.

Property is very affordable down here, but quality jobs are not easy to find.

jrw1621
jrw1621 SuperDork
7/6/10 4:23 p.m.
Joe Gearin wrote: Property is very affordable down here, but quality jobs are not easy to find.

Which would be the next sentance here?
A: But, I am one of the lucky few to have found a quality job.
B: And, my job serves as proof that quality is not easy to find.

ReverendDexter
ReverendDexter Dork
7/6/10 4:35 p.m.

I lived right on the cost in Humboldt county, CA. Roads are decent and Eureka has a very active autocross scene (I lived in the boonies and could be on track in 30 minutes).

The reason I don't live on the coast anymore? The weather. The weather on the cost is absolutely miserable. Sure, 67 degrees and partly cloudy sounds nice... until it's the 685th day it's been 67 degrees and partly cloudy, and, to paraphrase Lewis Black, you're about to talk your pocket knife to your wrist just to see some damn COLOR besides green and grey.

Give me 110 degrees in the blazing sun, give me 6' of snow, a shovel, and a 100' driveway, but you can keep your coastal weather.

modernbeat
modernbeat HalfDork
7/6/10 5:41 p.m.

I lived 200 feet off Clear Lake, and about 3/4 mile off Galveston Bay for years. My trailer, which had 20 year old hammerite on it, rusted faster down there then when it was stored in Dallas or San Marcos. I didn't notice any more rust on my 2003 truck than any other truck of it's age and I've even driven it on the Bonneville Salt Flats a number of times. Though I cleaned it thoroughly after that.

Vehicles actually ON the water, or on Galveston Island did rust faster. We had a dedicated '90 Suburban that lived either in Seabrook Shipyard or Houston Yacht Club and it rusted pretty quickly. It was retired to the ranch near Port Aransas and was parked at the airport in Port-A for 90% of the time.

914Driver
914Driver SuperDork
7/6/10 5:50 p.m.

Humidity.

cwh
cwh SuperDork
7/6/10 5:51 p.m.

I live in Ft. Lauderdale, maybe 2 miles from the Atlantic, and 200 yards from the Intracoastal. Rust just does not seem to happen here. Probably because we get enough rain to wash it off? Beach Rescue trucks disappear quickly though. Pretty good car scene here, with Sebring and Moroso close by, and a new LSR scene out west. Even a quirky drag strip run by local cops! No complaints, except the heat and humidity can wear on my old bones rather badly. Roads are all straight and boring, until some clown pulls out a gun. Love the Keys, though.

JeepinMatt
JeepinMatt HalfDork
7/6/10 6:16 p.m.

Luckily my Jeep had a fresh undercoating on it when I bought it. Unforunately, it's beginning to chip off. And seeing as how I spent two hours on a ferry over saltwater in two days, I'd really like to go wash it off right now. Needs a better coating. POR-15, maybe?

StevenFV19
StevenFV19 New Reader
7/6/10 6:47 p.m.

I live 1.5hrs from Ocean City, MD, and I live on the Chesapeake Bay. We do have faily good driving roads (good enough for a 4x18mile island) 1. Haven't notices salt water corrosion (Bay is Brackish water) 2.said above 3. nobody likes cars around here.I shouldn't say like, but nobody is as interested in working/fixing/project cars/new cars coming out as everyone on here. There are the few guys with old muscle cars, porshes, some ferraris, but that's about it. although there used to be 4 of us that Club Raced with SCCA in the same community! kinda wierd

Toyman01
Toyman01 Dork
7/6/10 7:09 p.m.

I'm in Charleston SC. Less than 1/4 mile from the harbor and about 2 miles from the ocean as the crow fly. Rust around here is usually caused by letting crap build up in crevices where it stays damp and paint damage. Window frames and quarter panels are the usual problem areas. Keep them clean and keep them painted and it usually isn't a problem. Newer cars don't seem to rust at all. Everything I have made after 97 doesn't have any rust.

ignorant
ignorant SuperDork
7/6/10 8:28 p.m.
Toyman01 wrote: I'm in Charleston SC. Less than 1/4 mile from the harbor and about 2 miles from the ocean as the crow fly. Rust around here is usually caused by letting crap build up in crevices where it stays damp and paint damage. Window frames and quarter panels are the usual problem areas. Keep them clean and keep them painted and it usually isn't a problem. Newer cars don't seem to rust at all. Everything I have made after 97 doesn't have any rust.

I'll echo this. clean out all the damn leaves that get stuck everywhere and you won't have a problem with rust. Unless you live in a place that floods with the rain. I've seen some of the cars of those who live on Johns Island or Folly and do get damp with some of that marsh water when it really rains. On my newer cars I never had a problem.

Also.. Insurance right next to the coast is no joke. It may be because I was looking for a home after Katrina, but Insurance in a coastal area was stupid. I lived 20 minutes inland and saved thousands per year.

Jensenman
Jensenman SuperDork
7/6/10 9:25 p.m.

Chucktown here as well. I live ~15 miles inland so salt air isn't a problem but hurricane season is a pain in the ass.

Over where Toyman lives it's a different story. I work in the car bidness so I see downtown Chuck and Mount Pleasant (aka Mount Misery) cars all the time, they generally have rust spots all over underneath. The downtown cars are the worst due to brackish water flooding. Some of the older ones look like Northern salt road cars underneath.

About leaves etc: Those friggin' 'oak worms' will get in the cowl area, plugging the drains leading to all sorts of nastiness in the A/C box. I have seen some A/C cases that, when opened, made me want to puke. :puke emoticon Per won't give us:

In Columbia (150 miles inland), it was pine needles. Those things will break apart, get sucked into othe A/C box and land on the resistor for the blower motor leading to all sorts of hilarity.

JeepinMatt
JeepinMatt HalfDork
7/6/10 10:02 p.m.

Wilmington floods like crazy. It's unfreaking-believable. My freshman year of college there was a small hurricane and we waded across I-40 (it gets a name once you got well enough into town) to go buy stuff.

Toyman01
Toyman01 Dork
7/6/10 10:52 p.m.
Jensenman wrote: In Columbia (150 miles inland), it was pine needles. Those things will break apart, get sucked into othe A/C box and land on the resistor for the blower motor leading to all sorts of hilarity.

Hahaha, I set the AC box on 78 Chevy truck on fire on I-26 about 11pm one night. Scared the crap out of me. Funny as heck now.

dimarra
dimarra Dork
7/6/10 11:26 p.m.

I'm 12 miles west of the Atlantic and 30 miles east of the Chesapeake Bay. The salt air is murder on any untreated surface. ...and pretty bad on many treated ones.

There are some short, interesting sections of roads but not any particularly fun long stretches.

As for car life, there's a pretty well-run hot rod group, the Southern Delaware Street Rod Association and an NHRA drag strip plus a couple of dirt tracks. No autocrossing. The nearest road courses are New Jersey and Summit Point.

All-in-all it's not a bad mix car-wise but far from the carnucopia (Yes, I intentionally mispelled that.) that is California.

Wally
Wally SuperDork
7/7/10 1:39 a.m.

I grew up on Long Island about15 min from the beach. The corrosion was nothing worse than anywhere else I'd been. There are really no fun roads on Long Island, but there are plenty of criuses and car shows and lots of interesting cars out on the roads in nice weather. The only thing I really miss though is going to the ocean at night.

Monkeywrench
Monkeywrench Reader
7/7/10 8:05 a.m.
mad_machine wrote: salt air can be very bad. I live 12 miles from the atlantic and when I go to work, I can see it from where I park my car. Corrosion is a way of life.. even on modern cars. Where I grew up, in ocean city nj.. we lived on the bay side of the island. At about 10 feet above mean high water.. we used to have to keep our breads and cereal in the oven so that the pilot light would keep them dry. Mold and mildew was a way of life

This. I grew up in Ocean City as well (52nd St), and am back living there.

The air is salty. You don't notice it much in summer, but come winter when the storms start churning everything up, you can smell and feel it. The power lines (everything is above ground) buzz like crazy and everything gets that sticky salt feel.

As said above, any metal left untreated will rust like crazy, and it's still tough on most coated metals.

Unfortunately, depending on where you live, you may be forced to drive through salt water. Most towns have storm sewer outfalls in the back bays and ocean. When the tide gets REALLY high, it can start flooding the island from the inside out. Unless you have a job that allows you to wait until the tide goes down, you might want a truck. Carrying flood boots is always a good idea as you might have to park several blocks away and trudge through 1ft or more of water to get back home (usually in 40 degree sideways rain, ugh).

It's windy! Especially in the winter and spring.

It could depend on the state, but the roads are usually in terrible shape. Most towns experienced building booms, so the roads are riddled with utility connection holes and poor patch jobs. Also most towns focus their capital improvements on maintaining beaches, so the roads are secondary.

mad_machine
mad_machine SuperDork
7/7/10 11:49 a.m.

Monkeywrench.. then you know where I grew up.. 34th street. The only area that flooded more than that area was 9th street.. I would still live there, but I can't afford the cost.

I had forgotten about the powerlines buzzing.. that used to freak me out as a kid

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