MGguy87
MGguy87 New Reader
6/1/19 2:15 p.m.

Alright so here is my proposal,

I'm going to be going out to Bodie, CA with a group of people to take some pictures of the Ghost town that is out there.  I'm really looking forward to it.  The only problem is that I see that the hotels/AIRbnb out there are really expensive and I rather not pay for hotels out there.  I thought since I'm able to take some time off of work I will and just fly out to Reno, NV by a cheapish vehicle, and see some national monuments and parks on my way back home to Richmond.

Proposed Route and Timeline

From 19 AUG 2019 - Till 6 SEPT 2019

Reno, NV, Bodie, CA, Sequoia NF, Yosemite NP, Great Basin NP, Capitol Reef NP, Black Canyon NP, Great Sand Dunes NP, Dodge City, KS, Wichita, KS, Kansas City, MO, St Louis, MO, Mammoth Cave NP, Petersburg VA

Time really isn't an issue so if there is something interesting I'm open for suggestions

Proposed Vehicle Criteria:

  1. 5k or less. Looking at selling the vehicle afterward
  2. Must carry at least two people
  3. MUST RUN and drive and be street legal
  4. Preference is to sleep in the vehicle to avoid hotels and such. As long as it can fit a tent.
  5. Prefer cruise control that works.  Not a deal breaker if it doesn't but it would be nice to have
  6. AC would be nice.
  7. Bonus Points for unique vehicles out there.

Looking to purchase in the first week or two of August. I've looked at Vans, trucks, cars, motorcycles.  I want to leverage the collective information of the interwebs to make this trip fun.

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
6/1/19 3:54 p.m.
MGguy87 said:

Proposed Vehicle Criteria:

  1. 5k max {blah}
  2. {blah} two people
  3. {blah}
  4. Preference is to sleep in the vehicle to avoid hotels and such. As long as it can fit a tent.
  5. {cruise blah}
  6. {blah}
  7. {blah}

I don't get it.  You want to pitch your tent inside your vehicle? 

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise HalfDork
6/1/19 6:45 p.m.

Tacoma/4runner/ or the one i would buy 100series Land cruiser 300-400k miles 

MGguy87
MGguy87 New Reader
6/2/19 5:24 a.m.

In reply to sleepyhead the buffalo :

How else do you car camp?

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
6/2/19 5:43 a.m.

I mean, this is mazdeuce's picture from the traccord build thread...

but I've definitely just unrolled a sleeping bag in a Focus, and a Honda Fit.  And there was that one time two of us took a 3-hour power nap in a miata, out front of the gate to Circuit Grand Bayou raceway.  But, Basically, you can probably do that with any car/hatch that has a rear folding 60/40.  Might be a bit more difficult if you're trying to go two bagged-up.  But, then I'd probably have the second person in the front pax seat, reclined, with luggage/sundries filling the front pax footwell to make it more 'bed like'.

and there's definitely some youtube video of people living out of corollas and gen2 prius'.  I think as you come east, you'll have to start setting up in 'pay for a spot' campground... and if you have a tent, you might as well set it up on the ground.

but, you know... you do you.  I'm curious to follow along and learn from your learning experience.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
6/2/19 7:22 a.m.

As an ex-resident of that fine corner of Northern Nevada, for your purposes you don't want to buy a car in and around Reno. The market out there is pretty crappy both price and selection wise - there's a reason why a lot of people (me included) would buy their cars either in Sacramento, CA or the Bay Area - the latter has the biggest choice of vehicles in the area and tends to have the best prices.

CA also has the advantage of the plate staying on the vehicle and you have a set amount of time - used to be 30 days, worth checking if that is still the case - to register the vehicle in your name, so as long as the registration is still valid, you can drive on the PO's registration for that time and just need insurance and obviously proof of purchase. In NV the plate stays with the PO and you have to register the car in your name. Not sure how that would work for someone who's not an NV resident, plus registration in NV is pretty expensive (yes, even compared to CA) and you can't get your money back when you re-register the vehicle in another state. They'll give you a credit that's only good at the NV DMV. It used to be possible to get a movement permit in NV that was good for 10 days, but in recent years that's been pretty impossible to get and the DMV will only give you a 1-2 day movement permit to get the car moved to your place.

As to the route, that looks to me like you're pretty much following US-50 across with the exception of the detour to Yosemite. Out West that's a pretty cool route but once you're past the Rockies you might want to consider hitting the Interstate.

Great Basin NP is definitely worth a visit, just make sure you bring cash if you want to camp in the park. When we went out there in 2011, the nearest ATM was 30-45 minutes away and you have to pay cash for camping in the park. Also, a lot of the camping spaces that are desirable are at 8000'+ so make sure you have a decent sleeping bag even in August.

Oh, and if the locations above are supposed to be in the order of your visit, you'll have to move the Sequoia NP into a different place in the order - the only way to get into that NP from the East is by climbing . Personally I'd fly into SF, buy  a car out there and then do:

Bay Area - Sequoia NP - Yosemite NP - Bodie - Great Basin NP

Reno is pretty much Vegas's tackier, uglier sister so unless you have a good reason to go there I'd cut it out completely.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
6/2/19 7:43 a.m.

Forgot to mention - if I were you I'd fly into Oakland or San Jose, rent a car there for a couple of days, pick up a car and then start the drive from there.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
6/2/19 4:20 p.m.

In reply to MGguy87 :

You state that the trip is... 

From 19 AUG 2019 - Till 6 SEPT 2019

Those are some HOT months and hot places for sleeping in a car. (KS to VA) 

MGguy87
MGguy87 New Reader
6/3/19 6:43 p.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

You aren't wrong but I"m doing this in conjunction with a Photography trip that has some set dates.  I figured if I was out there might as well just enjoy the ride.

MGguy87
MGguy87 New Reader
6/3/19 6:46 p.m.

In reply to BoxheadTim :

Thanks for the input.  Only reason to fly into Reno was because the photography trip to Bodie and that was the closest Airport. Right now there isn't anything stopping me from going a bit earlier either. 

I have driven through WY on state highways on my last roadtrip across the US flying into Seattle and driving to WI but that was more of a sprint so I was looking forward to taking my time with this trip.

MGguy87
MGguy87 New Reader
6/3/19 6:47 p.m.

In reply to sleepyhead the buffalo :

Happy to be a test bed for others.

MGguy87
MGguy87 New Reader
8/4/19 8:44 a.m.

Alright, 

Thanks all for the advice. It's been awhile since I've posted so here is the update on the trip in case.

Vehicle: 1985 VW Westfalia Camper van diesel conversion.  Yeah it's way out of my stated price range. Yes it'll probably break down. I'm going to for resale value back on the east coast for a rust free vehicle, If I need to sell it. Part of the purchase is nostalgic. My family used to do massive cross country trips in a 85-87 Vanagon.

 

Trip: Flying to Sacramento on the 15th, picking up the vehicle on the 16th, Sequoia and a few other stops in CA along the way ending in Tahoe between the 18-19th so I can make it to Bodie, CA on the 20th. Spending till the 24th in Bodie.  Then onward to Great Basin NP and the trip really begins then. End point is going to be Watkins Glen, NY on the 5-7 September for the vintage car race.

 

I'm going to do my best to keep updating on this trip. I'm getting temp tags to bring with me from VA that'll be good for 30 days or so. Pretty excited about this trip and I'll take any advice on stuff that I may or may have missed.

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair MegaDork
8/4/19 11:51 a.m.

Outstanding!  Looking forward to the updates!

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
8/4/19 2:21 p.m.

In reply to MGguy87 :

If you're picking up the vehicle in CA, you shouldn't normally need temp tags unless the PO has personalised plates on the car.

Sounds like an adventure, can't wait to follow along.

MGguy87
MGguy87 New Reader
8/11/19 8:37 a.m.

In reply to BoxheadTim :

Thanks for the info. Talking to the guy it sounds like I should be ok with the plates.

 

 

MGguy87
MGguy87 New Reader
8/16/19 8:43 a.m.

Well an update on the situation. Flew in to Sacramento just fine, however the Van has a mysterious fuel leak and Overheating problem all of a sudden. So in other words I'm back to my original idea. I'm currently on Amtrak headed down to San Luis Obispo because well I bought the ticket and I am on vacation afterall and I have the time. 

I shipped some things to myself which I think I going to forward to myself to Sacramento so I have it because return trips on Amtrak are a 5 hour bus ride and an hour train ride. 

My current opinions via Facebook Marketplace are a 2008 Sienna, 2006 Toyota Tundra, 2004 Lexus GX470, or a 2003 Honda Element (5sp). I'd take a Toyota Tacoma too but I'd prefer a cap on the back so if you guys have leads I'd be happy looking at them.

I'm still having a good time and this is why I came out early. Do it for the story right?

keithedwards
keithedwards New Reader
8/16/19 9:52 p.m.

If you are car-camping, through hot areas, how about a Prius that has automatic A/C? I hear they run the A/C off the battery, then they automatically fire up the ICE for 5 minutes every 1/2 or so to re-charge.

MGguy87
MGguy87 New Reader
8/16/19 11:02 p.m.

In reply to keithedwards :

I actually have a Prius for my daily. It works exactly like that. It's also nice for keeping dogs cool in the summer. It starts some pretty angry conversation sometimes

MGguy87
MGguy87 New Reader
8/18/19 8:26 p.m.

Well I finally got a Vehicle

99 Toyota Landcruiser with factory lockers. I'm pretty stoked that this is coming together. The rest of this trip will be great

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
8/18/19 8:27 p.m.

In reply to MGguy87 :

Cool. Sorry to hear the VW didn’t work out. 

MGguy87
MGguy87 New Reader
8/19/19 7:49 a.m.

In reply to BoxheadTim :

Yeah I'm a little bummed myself but hey it's fun so far.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
8/19/19 7:53 a.m.
MGguy87 said:

Well I finally got a Vehicle

99 Toyota Landcruiser with factory lockers. I'm pretty stoked that this is coming together. The rest of this trip will be great

That opens up a whole host of different places to visit on the way back. Nice!

Ridge Racer
Ridge Racer New Reader
8/29/19 2:17 p.m.
sleepyhead the buffalo said:

I don't get it.  You want to pitch your tent inside your vehicle? 

I'm also interested in learning how to set up a tent in a car laugh​​​​​​​

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