Advice for a cross-country trek!

Bikes, trikes, personal mobility and getting to/from the event - this is the place to discuss general transportation issues.
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tattooedreceptionist
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Advice for a cross-country trek!

Post by tattooedreceptionist » Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:53 am

Hey everyone! This year we're doing the trek across the states coming all the way from FLORIDA for our second burn!!! Looking for advice, tips etc for first time road trippers.

We're bringing Chariot (2016 frontier). We are ideally NOT hauling a trailer the entire time, the plan is to pick one up closer to BRC but far enough out of the immediate BM-priced RV rentals. So from ppl who have done this trek from the east coast, any and all advice is welcome, i.e. Places to avoid going through, suggestions for long drives, advice for hauling a trailer, post burn maintenance (since we gotta make it back the way we came).

Things I've already considered: transmission cooler meant for hauling a load, not buying supplies until way closer to keep load weight down, covering front grills and protecting the undercarriage for the drive back.

Thank you for any input and see you all in the dust! )'(
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Re: Advice for a cross-country trek!

Post by Ratty » Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:58 am

Tattoo, you are in for a great adventure. One way to gather all of that info is Google. Put 'eplaya' in the search and you'll find 10 years of advice. Or you can browse through the threads in the archives here. Drive safely.
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tattooedreceptionist
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Re: Advice for a cross-country trek!

Post by tattooedreceptionist » Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:03 am

Ratty wrote:Tattoo, you are in for a great adventure. One way to gather all of that info is Google. Put 'eplaya' in the search and you'll find 10 years of advice. Or you can browse through the threads in the archives here. Drive safely.
Thank you for the response, I will do just that :D
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Re: Advice for a cross-country trek!

Post by VultureChow » Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:06 am

That sounds amazing. Not sure the route your taking, but I've hear Salt Lake City is a good place to rent an RV or trailer coming from the east.
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tattooedreceptionist
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Re: Advice for a cross-country trek!

Post by tattooedreceptionist » Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:14 am

VultureChow wrote:That sounds amazing. Not sure the route your taking, but I've hear Salt Lake City is a good place to rent an RV or trailer coming from the east.
I stopped there last year after the burn, absolutely the best pho I've had!! Will def look there, thanks!

**dreaming of post burn pho :mrgreen: **
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Re: Advice for a cross-country trek!

Post by some seeing eye » Thu Mar 30, 2017 12:37 pm

Adventure awaits!

I love the Roadside America and Atlas Obscura websites for odd attractions. If you take the Northern route via 80 and you eat meat try Ole’s Big Game Steakhouse & Lounge in Paxton, NE.

I like showering and getting into clean clothes for the drive back. There are some ePlayans and people from your regional who travel by land.
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Re: Advice for a cross-country trek!

Post by LeonardPotato » Thu Mar 30, 2017 1:09 pm

I am making the trek from just outside of Chicago so I will be on a more northern route than you. I was able to get a trailer on rvshare,com in Laramie Wyoming... Kind of random, but it is on my way. I would recommend looking at that site as they have a lot to choose from anywhere along your route.
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Re: Advice for a cross-country trek!

Post by mgb327 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 1:18 pm

I do the drive East/West and back every year. I tow a pop-up camper behind a Suburban from Virginia. I would suggest, for a one-time tryout, drive 50 in Southern Nevada, the "loneliest highway". I take the south route on occasion and do the s. Utah to Reno run on that road, and the best parts is staying a night in Green River, Utah. Do it. Stay at Robbers' Roost Motel, eat next door at Ray's Tavern. You will thank me later. Stellar motel, and the food at Rays is worth driving across the country for. Also, do not, under any circumstances, do St. Louis during rush hour. Nope.
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Re: Advice for a cross-country trek!

Post by lucky420 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 2:58 pm

Craigggg,
Hwy 50 is not Southern Nevada it is central Nevada (remember Fallon, cantalopes, Eureka, Ely) those are all Central Nevada.

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Re: Advice for a cross-country trek!

Post by MyDearFriend » Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:03 pm

I have driven I-80 back and forth several times and I love it.

Read John McPhee's "Annals of the Former World" before you go, or while traveling, or both, as I do; you can see & understand how the continent was formed just by looking at the road cuts, wow. 8) 8) 8)

There is a competent & friendly 10-minute Valvoline oil change place in Rock Springs, WY where you can sit behind the wheel & stare at a gorgeous rock face while a pit crew sorts your oil & fluids etc VERY QUICKLY and RELIABLY. I take advantage of this going in both directions.

Day's Inn Laramie has a great view of ALL THE MOUNTAINS. 8)

West Wendover, NV (just across the Utah border) has casino hotels if you like inexpensive luxury and $1 margaritas. :lol:

To make best time: don't stop for lunch. Pack a cooler with apples, cheese, nuts, etc and eat while rolling. Stop for fuel, stop to stretch, stop for water, stop to pee, but don't stop for greasy fast food. Find a good early dinner and then drive another few hours before bed.


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Re: Advice for a cross-country trek!

Post by maladroit » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:54 pm

If you take the south route (through Vegas): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meteor_Crater

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Re: Advice for a cross-country trek!

Post by Meat Hunter » Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:24 pm

You are driving from Gainsville, Florida way south of some others. Right?

From central Mississippi, I take the mid-route via I-40 though Las Vegas: four 8 hr. driving days from Fernley. Since I arrive in Fernley about 4 in the afternoon, I could easily drive the rest of the way to the playa. Instead, I overnight in Fernley and do my last minute perishable and ice shopping.

I just checked MapQuest and one route takes you through Jackson, MS - the route that I drive. It shows that it is about 15 minutes longer than the northern route, but you would not be driving the high mountains

The northern route would give you better views. In my opinion, the I-40 route would be less tiring.
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Re: Advice for a cross-country trek!

Post by tattooedreceptionist » Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:48 am

Thank you guys!! This is exatly what I was looking for, coz this our first time going cross country. Last year was my first time on a plane, needless to say I'll never get on one again, it just isn't for me :?

I'm so excited for this adventure!! Yes. We're coming from south-south lol will def be looking into all the oddity attractions n tourist traps else what's the point, right?

Can't thank you guys enough for the input! This planning period is grueling but part of the ritual n I love it!! <3
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Re: Advice for a cross-country trek!

Post by Token » Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:17 pm

I'd be concerned about towing with the little Nissan truck. Nothing big please. 2000# tops. We want you to get there safe.

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Re: Advice for a cross-country trek!

Post by Redtah » Sat Apr 01, 2017 12:49 pm

Quit my job and heading to BM 2 years ago as the headway into a 3 month trek across the US (heading from northern NJ I made sort of figure 8 across the country.)

As for post Burn Maintenance, I HIGHLY recommend going to Reno (I know it's west after the burn) but you can hit up In and Out Burger and theres a car wash called Buggy's who I've gotten my car cleaned at for $80~ both years. Its also cool because there is always a ton of burners at the in and out burger and Buggy's getting their car washed. They also do an engine clean for that 80 dollars (Cannot stress how important it is to get that dust off any electronics asap) Pretty sure they basically just spray a citrusy solution to cut it but my engine has been more than fine and for 80 bucks I don't think it can be beat.

If you need to pull over most walmarts are ok with people being parked overnight (not all but the ones that I know that don't allow it post signs in the lot about it)

Also after making the trek 2 years in a row I realized that most of those cars you see at 3 am in a rest stop? Yea there are definitely people sleeping in there, if you have to (driving solo without quiting my job last year and losing my license on the playa I didn't have many options so I slept in a lot of rest stops and a few walmarts) do it, just make sure your in the back seat and not obviously visible (god forbid something happens) if your not visible and sleeping people are most likely just going to assume your in the rest room or something.

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Re: Advice for a cross-country trek!

Post by trilobyte » Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:54 am

I'm giving this a nudge to the transportation board, as that's a better fit for discussions about transportation to and from the event.

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Re: Advice for a cross-country trek!

Post by XPTom » Sat Apr 08, 2017 7:15 am

I consider Hwy 50 from Lake Tahoe to Pueblo CO to be the cure for the common interstate. Next time I will detour south of Pueblo and make an effort to see Bishop Castle. He seems like an interesting soul. https://www.google.com/maps/place/Bisho ... 05.0944196
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Re: Advice for a cross-country trek!

Post by Captain Goddammit » Sat Apr 08, 2017 11:04 am

MyDearFriend wrote: To make best time: don't stop for lunch. Pack a cooler with apples, cheese, nuts, etc and eat while rolling. Stop for fuel, stop to stretch, stop for water, stop to pee, but don't stop for greasy fast food. Find a good early dinner and then drive another few hours before bed.
A friend and I do "cannonball-run" trips between Seattle and Southern California in a truck full of horses that can't be kept in the trailer too long... and yeah, it's the stops that really slow your progress. You don't have to drive fast, if you just keep moving, eat on the go, you'll make amazing time. Don't stop, go go go!

About towing an RV trailer with a Nissan; have you done this before? I don't wanna rehash stuff you already know, but if this is a new thing, you need to know some stuff.
You need to install a trailer brake controller in your truck and set your truck up with a 7-pin RV type trailer electrical connector.
With that light a truck, I'd want a weight-distributing hitch. Hell I use them even with my one-ton dually. You don't HAVE to, and they're expensive, but if the trailer weighs much it'll drive and handle a LOT better and safer with one. They plug into your truck's 2" square hitch receiver (it has that, right?) and attach to the trailer's frame... If you're lucky, the trailer will already have all that good hitch equipment.
You need mirrors wide enough to see around the trailer. The stock ones won't work, you won't be able to see to make lane changes especially to the right.
You'll probably be OK without a trans cooler for this one trip, but it's a good idea especially since you probably haven't got a trans-temp gauge and you won't know when you're overheating the trans on a hill. Adding a transmission temp gauge isn't a bad idea. That and the normal water-temp gauge are your most critical things to watch when loaded heavy going up over mountain passes.

Don't leave it in "D" and floor it up the mountains. Under a heavy load, downshift to lower gear, and back off the gas. Try to avoid full throttle pulling a trailer up the mountains, that cooks things. Your biggest concern is NOT breaking your truck before you get to BRC.

If you can get your hands on a small pop-up type trailer, you can skip pretty much all this stuff, otherwise you have a good bit of truck prep to do, especially with such a small light truck that isn't really ideal for this sort of thing.
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Re: Advice for a cross-country trek!

Post by Jackass » Sat Apr 08, 2017 11:58 am

Never forget, the mighty nissan frontier can take a flogging like no other...

(At least the ones with a manual transmission and overload springs can)
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Re: Advice for a cross-country trek!

Post by Captain Goddammit » Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:47 pm

Yep, that's what I'm talkin' 'bout! Your Nissan will be perfectly happy with that type, without any further modifications.
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Re: Advice for a cross-country trek!

Post by tattooedreceptionist » Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:35 am

Thank you all for the input! I am excitedly looking into all the 'tourist traps' being mentioned, I love learning about those hidden gems that you can only find if you've done the drive multiple times. Curious about the castle and crater as well

Redtah-- THANK YOU! Will def be stopping in Reno to get the trailer detailed before returning anways, great idea to get the truck taken care of n unclogged of all the dust before heading back

Mydearfriend-- you had me at $1 margaritas :P

Captain-- my truck came with a transcooler, class 4 hitch, n 7pin connector; weight distributing ship has been ordered (I work at a Nissan dealership). We've hauled a pop up 19ft camper (~3000 loaded) n didn't have any problems without the WD hitch....however this was in florida, no hills really, so advice on going uphill is def appreciated as well as the tidbit about the mirrors. Although it says we can haul up to 6000lbs, no way we're even going to push it that close, that's why we did a first run locally. We reserved a 19ft pop out in Vegas, 2800lbs, cant imagine hauling it the entire way, you guys that do are troopers! :D

Jackass-- thanks for posting the pic! Frontiers are renowned as the biggest smallest truck LOL the ol gal can haul a load :mrgreen:
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Re: Advice for a cross-country trek!

Post by Token » Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:35 am

tattooedreceptionist wrote:

Captain-- my truck came with a transcooler, class 4 hitch, n 7pin connector; weight distributing ship has been ordered (I work at a Nissan dealership). We've hauled a pop up 19ft camper (~3000 loaded) n didn't have any problems without the WD hitch....however this was in florida, no hills really, so advice on going uphill is def appreciated as well as the tidbit about the mirrors. Although it says we can haul up to 6000lbs, no way we're even going to push it that close, that's why we did a first run locally. We reserved a 19ft pop out in Vegas, 2800lbs, cant imagine hauling it the entire way, you guys that do are troopers! :D
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