The Official Prius Camping and Road tripping Thread

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by CharliePrius, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. Oldwolf

    Oldwolf Prius Enthusiast

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  2. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Senior Member

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    No, but this is a not a bad idea. Have considered on US40 (National Pike) and US90 (Old Spanish Trail)
    I had been on sections of US50 in VA, WV, CO, UT, NV and CA. Not sure how the section through the Plains looks like, but 50 overlaps with I-70 in several places.You could certainly drive/ride on one from Ocean City, MD to San Francisco.

    Out of through highways US-191 and 180 are on my todo list. Sections of 191 in AZ defunct now infamous US-666 Devil's Spine, and 191 goes through or in proximity of several National Parks.

    US-66 is popular, but with exception of few sections like the one in AZ btw Seligman and Kingman, most either overlaps with I-44/I-40, had been turn into circus or abandoned; I wouldn't spend time driving the whole thing YMMV
     
  3. AstroIII

    AstroIII Junior Member

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  4. AstroIII

    AstroIII Junior Member

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    Tent vs Car?
    We travel and camp all over the country with our Prius, and even though we set up a tent at most destinations, that is to keep our cargo items out of the elements, as well as for bathroom / changing privacy. We sleep in our Prius for safety, security and comfort. Using a camper conversion kit, the Prius back becomes a ~queen size sleeping space that is climate controlled.
    While touring through the Bear Tooth Wilderness in MT, some of the camping areas restrict sleeping in a tent, or habit tent, type car conversion due to bear danger. BEAR DANGER, ok; we are very happy to retire for the evening in our closed, locked, safe Prius.
    Happy economical travels!
     
  5. DoubleDAZ

    DoubleDAZ Senior Member

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    What a great idea, Robert. I never thought of picking out a back road like that and just following it all the way. If you for it, I sure look forward to a trip report after. I'm having trouble finding new routes between Phoenix and Savannah. I might try Hwy 82 out of Lubbock next spring. We enjoyed the drive from Phoenix to Lubbock with an overnight at Cannon AFB NM this spring, but then hit the freeway out of Dallas. Guess I've got some research to do. :)
     
  6. DoubleDAZ

    DoubleDAZ Senior Member

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    Nice idea for the floor extension with access to what's beneath.
     
  7. AstroIII

    AstroIII Junior Member

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    Thanks Dave,
    Beartooth Pass from West Yellowstone, through the park to Red Lodge is outstanding. By that I mean, lots of stopping to get out and standing to look at the spectacular vistas (Lol)!

    Tire Bewear!
    What I also learned on the "byways" (which can sometimes be coarse gravel roads) is that the original Prius tires were as good as a paper bag for carrying water. Lost two tires within two days with un-repairable cuts on the sidewalls at about the 22K mark. Walmart to the rescue. Bought four new Douglas Xtra Trac II Tire 195/65R15 at about $55 each mounted and balanced. I have about 3,000 miles on them now and at 42psi front, 40 psi rear, I am still getting ~50 mpg. (I don't know why, but my first tank of gas after the tire replacement got me only about 41mpg. This could have been a tire break in period, or bad gas; your call).
     
  8. AstroIII

    AstroIII Junior Member

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    Dave, be sure to post some legs that you enjoy, we are gearing up for another visit out that way.
    Last December for Christmas, we did an out and back from Phx to Charlotte; but the weather was so bad, that we did a non stop and used our sleep setup to take turns sleeping / driving. We went out the south route via Houston, Atlanta, then returned on the North route by Nashville, Oklahoma City. We only got a weather break on the return near Ashville and into the Smoky Mountains. That was nice!
     
  9. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Senior Member

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    I have somewhere Rand McNally road atlas (millennium editions, bought in walli-mart for $6 back in 1999) which has scenic roads marked out. Had been a great helper planning our trips.
     
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  10. DoubleDAZ

    DoubleDAZ Senior Member

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    Your comment prompted me to do a search and I found this site. A friend recently posted a map very similar to the ones on this site and I asked him what program he used to plan his route. He hasn't responded yet, but this might be it. I use Google Maps now, but I'm going to give this site a try.
     
  11. DoubleDAZ

    DoubleDAZ Senior Member

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    Unfortunately, our next trip East won't be until next spring, but if we take the back roads and find anything of interest I'll be sure to post. My guess is Hwy 84 through Texas will be pretty bleak, but one never knows and we all have different things that we find interesting. When it comes to the southern route between Charlotte and Phoenix, we enjoyed driving Hwy 90 from New Orleans to Lafayette, partly because the James Lee Burke novels I read takes place in the New Iberia area. We also enjoyed Hwy 90 from San Antonio to Ft Stockton through Del Rio and the Judge Roy Bean Visitor Center in Langtry TX. Don't get me wrong, it's a desolate drive in a lot of places, but so is I-10. We also dropped down on one trip to Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge outside of Brownsville to see the Green Blue Jays. We still need to visit Big Bend National Park and might do that on the return leg in the spring.
     
  12. DoubleDAZ

    DoubleDAZ Senior Member

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    BTW, anyone who plans road trips might want to check out the site I mentioned earlier if they haven't already. I just planned a trip to GA, took about 5 minutes, using back roads (Hwy 82) and not freeways to see how it would do. I can't believe how easy it was and the amount of info it provides. As I use it more I may find things I don't like, but so far I think it's great. Some features I like so far that are different than Google Maps are:

    - unlimited entries. Google Maps is limited to 10 entries per map, though I think the Classic version is still unlimited.
    - select a place on the map and add it to your route.
    - automatically puts it in sequence based on other destinations. Google adds it at the end and then you have to move it.
    - labels each destination with a number for easy reference.
    - lets you define your driving day in hours (like 10 hrs +/- 15 min) and recommends locations for overnight stops based on that setting.
    - allows you to specific an overnight stop regardless of the driving day setting.
    - displays your itinerary.
    - let's you define the number of days for a stop and accounts for that when displaying your itinerary.
    - allows you to specify a Start Date/Time and accounts for those in your itinerary.
    - lets you expand/contract list of destinations and directions.
    - can hide turn-by-turn directions so you only see overnight stops, waypoints and time/distance between them.
    - shows time/distance between overnight stops as well as time/distance for waypoints between those stops.

    There are more settings to explore, but these are some I've been hoping Google would add for a long time. I have very little use for the turn-by-turn directions, so being able to hide those is a welcome feature.

    Oh, and they have preset scenic drive maps already available that you can modify to your liking. I haven't check them out yet though. :)
     
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  13. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Senior Member

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    thnx for the link but it doesn't seem to have even 1% of what my old atlas have. Here is a couple more links:
    America's Scenic Byways
    http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/byways/
     
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  14. Robert Holt

    Robert Holt Senior Member

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    Looks nicely done, but how stiff is the surface between the back of the front seats and the front lip of the rear seats when they are folded down?
    I struggled with that issue in my own camper conversion, and finally settled on thin plywood supported by rods inserted where the posts for the rear headrests normally go. Have also supported the plywood for that gap with either stacked milk crates or hard-sided suitcases. But open to better methods/designs. I'm 6-2 and my shoulders rest on that plywood , so firm support of some kind is necessary while DW and I sleep back there.
     
  15. DoubleDAZ

    DoubleDAZ Senior Member

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    I didn't really post the link for the scenic byways part, haven't even looked at that part yet, got hung up on the route planning features.:) I will check this one, but a quick check seems to indicate it is just a list of byways, a good one I might add, and I think both would be good tools for planning fun trips.
     
  16. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Senior Member

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    THe trips we've done I usually figure out where we going to, and then pick what is alone the route. For example on 2 trips west alone I-40 we had stopped in Palo Duro, ~ 20mi south off Amarillo, TX. 2nd biggest canyon CONUS (though it is 1/5 of Grand Canyon and not much bigger than Letchworth in upstate NY).

    So you pick the rough route and than check it on McNelly and other internet sources. And usually use Google and TomTom for final route planning. It may take some time but it is well worth it, when you have all the via points and prepared routes in GPS, all you need is to load itinerary at right time. Saved alot of time and let us see many things you'd normally zoom by in a hurry.
     
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  17. DoubleDAZ

    DoubleDAZ Senior Member

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    That's pretty much what I do too, though I use Garmin and we make so many trips to Richmond Hill GA that it's getting hard to find new routes and new things. The last few trips we haven't had time to make them true "road trips", but the next one will be. :) The best trip though was a 90-day one where we did virtually no preplanning, just decided each night where we wanted to go the next day.

    Funny you should mention Palo Duro Canyon. When I was in basic training (USAF) at Amarillo AFB in 1966, some of us rented motor scooters and drove out there. It's a very pretty canyon and was especially fun on the scooters. I took the wife and kids there many years later.
     
  18. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Senior Member

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    It is nice to be retired. We still have another 10-15 years to go. Unfortunately it is not possible when you have full time job: have to compress schedule. I think we averaged ~400mi a day on our trips.
     
  19. DoubleDAZ

    DoubleDAZ Senior Member

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    Don't I know it. I was there for a lot of years with family and friends living 2,000 miles away in Wisconsin, Florida and North Carolina, having limited time for vacations. Fortunately, my Air Force career let us live in many different places, so that certainly helped with the travel bug I've had since my teen years.. Not sure why I don't live in a motorhome. :)
     
  20. 348

    348 Junior Member

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    I'll be doing 450 miles in the next 24 hours, a little 1/2 day fishing trip. I'll see how easy it is to snooze a bit in Enzo and make some coffee camping style @ 0500! .......French Press as I'm not a Philistine
     
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