Best vehicle for a cross country road trip?

green_henry

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Ford Explorer (one of the new ST's would be fun, if available)

Great view, very comfortable, and lots of room... lots of cup holders too ;) You can run into a wide variety of weather travelling cross-country, so being in a big vehicle with a great view is important.

Also, you can run an E85 blend to save money (though your MPG will also suffer ... not sure where the break-even point is).
 

bftfender

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It seems that a CX9 would be ideal for your trip or my trip to the west coast. I envy you for planning to buy an RV - my wife would never go for that kind of travel, unfortunately.
CX9 has been a great purchase. Have Locksmith Company & running the big vans at 12 mpg was not so good. Get 25 mpg on Highways & Average 22. Thing has paid for itself many times over in making car keys & hauling he gear back n forth for the studio sessions.

This journey has solidified to get an RV & go see the family more often not having to chase hotels & Flights.

Enjoy your trip. It seems to re energize & put the important things back in perspective with the driving time

bayou load 22.jpg
 

Old Deaf Roadie

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Subaru. Find a 10 y/o Forester & have at it. Plenty of room for stuff, great economy, and they run forever as long as you change the oil. And, if the unspeakable happens & you break down, parts are a dime a dozen with a nationwide supply of qualified techs to install them.
 

Whatizitman

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But seriously.... A couple of years ago I did a 5000 mile road trip in my 2015 Accord, four passengers, loaded with luggage, etc... And several shorter ones. It would have been nice to have something bigger and/or AWD/4wd. But it has done what I needed it to, is very comfortable to drive long distances in, and gets great gas mileage.

Of course we didn't sleep in it. But that's ok. The older I get the less the car sleep/overland thing is appealing to me. Hotel camping, baby.

I have 88k miles on it now, and it drives like I just drove it off the lot. Absolutely no mechanical issues to speak of.

Checked KBB and such the other day out of curiosity. It's worth around $9k-11k sale/trade. Maybe not the best for me, should I need to sell or trade. But if I was in the market for a decent used commuter/family/trip car, an Accord would be a no-brainer. :)
 

Whatizitman

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I've seen a lot more dead bodies from car accidents.

Because the ratio of car drivers and passengers to motorcyclists is very high, perhaps?

:rolleyes:

Anyway.... Sometimes safety and comfort overrides need for excitement. And that's... ok. Laws of physics don't change just because something is fun or feels good.
 
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bcorig

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It appears that you doubt my story. My friend was from Finland, and she worked as a tour guide in Portugal. Her friend was also from Finland and doing the same job. To avoid the very high tax on new vehicles in Portugal at the time (it may be the same today), she ordered the new Honda in Finland. Henna picked up the car for her in Finland and met me in Amsterdam. We drove a brand new car registered in Finland in someone else's name through several countries, hoping that we would not be stopped by police or border guards. At the time I wondered if we would have been covered by her friend's insurance policy if we had an accident. Anyway, as an experienced tour guide Henna knew that there could be issues at the border into Portugal. She suggested that we should cross on a road in some remote location on Sunday night, because the border might be unattended. She was right.

Those girls had a pretty good deal. I am sure that they didn't make a lot of money but they lived very well. For the week that I was in Portugal we were comped at several restaurants and wineries, obviously because she brought them business. Finland didn't ask them to pay income tax because they were working in Portugal, and apparently Portugal didn't tax them because they were paid by a company from Finland.
No, I was responding to your harsh slap down of the CrossTour which I like very much. The Market seems to have sided with your point of view, though.
It’s all good.
Great story, by the way, although the morals of tax avoidance are another issue.
A very close friend of mine, at 70, has just moved to Portugal and purchased a home there. He’s very happy there.
 

GuitarsBuicks

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But in your case you’re talking about the brake lines, which again are metal tubing or reinforced rubber.
If you’re having any issues at all with the brake lines, someone is trying to kill you. People cut small holes in the brake lines and you take off and every time you push the brake pedal, you force brake fluid out of the hole or cut. You will soon push out most of the brake fluid and the brake will not function.
I have driven millions of miles in 55 years and never replaced a brake line. There is nothing about the metal tube that wears.
So not to sound like a smart ass, if you have had issues with the brake lines on one car would be rare, but a half a dozen cars? Very suspicious, someone may in fact be trying to hurt you.

Where do you live and do you do 99% of your own maintenance?

I live on a dirt road connected to a dirt road with a dirt drive way in the New York mountains and 20 miles from anywhere worth going. My family had a rule. You want to drive you learn to do the maintenance. My father ran a successful garage for 15 years, so I had a good in house teacher. Ever seen what 20 years of salt and stones will do to the underside of your car. It looks like someone took a machine gun to your exhaust and brake lines. Rubber brake line dry rots and break from the motion of the suspension and steering, and that stupid tin crap they put on at the factory is never going to last when its is constantly exposed to the moisture, stone throw from the tires, and the salt that they put on the roads. That salt-cinders stuff will rust out your car in less than a year.

So no, nobody is trying to kill me except the car companies that cut corners wherever they can and mother nature.

So, if you and I go get a beer, we’ll take my car:D

I do not drink and I never will. My family has a history of dying before we reach 35. I have no desire to join that crowd. when your dad and his brothers are the oldest living generation in your entire blood line you tend to be very careful about life choices.

Also when we re-do the brake lines we use the copper-zinc EZ-bend rust and corrosion proof line. Its what they use on planes and its much easier to work with. It's also darn near bullet proof. So if you want homemade sausage gravy over home fries for breakfast we will take my station wagon.
 

GuitarsBuicks

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True in SoCal. Not in the rust belt.
Rusted out brake lines has been a major problem for decades in places like NY, PA, OH, etc, and increased by about 300% when states switched from rock salt/sand to brined chemical treatment.
My shop has replaced hundreds of sets in the last decade. Some brands being so prone as to make us know just where to look on every visual inspection.

AMEN BROTHER!! I had to learn to do my own maintenance from me father and my moms father. I wish they would just use stainless or that copper-zinc EZ-bend stuff.
 

GuitarsBuicks

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Subaru. Find a 10 y/o Forester & have at it. Plenty of room for stuff, great economy, and they run forever as long as you change the oil. And, if the unspeakable happens & you break down, parts are a dime a dozen with a nationwide supply of qualified techs to install them.

Unless god forbid you have to replace the sparkplugs in the boxer motor. Either have to pull the engin or drill through the frame. My uncle had one. Thats when we found out that its nearly impossible to change the plugs on the side of the road.
 

Willie Johnson

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Gotta throw in a shoutout for the out of production Honda Element; 4 cylinder engine isn't too efficient (25 mpg highway), but super reliable and hungry for high mileage.

If you take the back seats out and you're under 6 feet, you can sleep in the back with the back clamshell door closed. With the tailgate down and a mosquito bar over the opening, it'll accommodate up to probably 6'6"; that's the most user friendly configuration regardless of size.

You can tie up a tarp over the back for a kitchen as well. I've car camped mine like that and it's very comfortable, and you can break camp in 10 minutes or so. A roof rack/basket will accommodate even more gear room and a full size spare if you feel the need. It's the easiest, cheapest out of the box overlanding setup out there, and abundant on the used market.

The only downside is ground clearance on sloppy forest roads, and lack of true four-wheel drive (but a hydraulic 'Realtime 4WD' system transfers power to the back wheels if the front wheels lose traction, and works ok in the snow and moderate sloppy conditions). I have to give mine up to my soon to be teen driver, and will miss it as a daily driver, but it'll still be in the driveway waiting for me.
 

GuitarsBuicks

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I have to give mine up to my soon to be teen driver, and will miss it as a daily driver, but it'll still be in the driveway waiting for me.

Why give up your car? Just go and help them buy a cheap full size car like a buick park avenue or LeSabre, or something along those lines. They are big, cheap, reliable, and very, very safe. let them work over the summer and they will probably be able to pay for it. you can get a decent one for just over $1,000 and a near mint one for under $4000. At least the car is made out of thick solid sheet metal. My dad and brother got in a major accident in a LeSabre. It would have killed them if they had been in something smaller and less formidable. It still ran too like a top. The biggest problem was that the accident bent the 3- inch steel block tube subframe totaling the transmission and steering when the guy hit them at 70+mph. They weren't even bruised although the eggs and other groceries in the trunk were smashed.
 
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Willie Johnson

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My wants and needs are admittedly different; I've been driving the Element for close to 10 years and would like something new, but it's got a lot of life left in it, and as I mentioned, they aren't made anymore, so I'm reluctant to trade it in. To the original point, it's a great overlanding vehicle if you're on fairly tame terrain.

If only the back came off like a Bronco, it'd be the ultimate beach wagon. I've seen some pretty wild mods for the Element, but that would require a roll bar and some pretty extensive fabrication.

Good point about getting an old school tank of a car for a teenager, although you lose some of the modern safety features like 3 side air bags, etc.
 

GuitarsBuicks

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Good point about getting an old school tank of a car for a teenager, although you lose some of the modern safety features like 3 side air bags, etc.

The 1997-2005 era buicks, oldmobiles, and ponitacs have those I believe. Although I could be wrong, and have no desire to find out the hard way if I'm right or wrong. They also have those locking seat belts. The ones that lock if you pull to fast or set on the brakes to hard. Most also feature padded surfaces. Unlike some of the toyotas my friends at college drive. The engines run forever if you take care of them, 150000 miles is just getting started.
 
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