5 Fun Road Trip Destinations

Whether solo or with a group or family, road trips are a great way to explore your inner self or bond with others while seeing the sights and attractions that can only be appreciated on the road. If you have just a few days or even a few weeks, there is bound to be a destination that will leave you in awe.

How to pick just one is likely the hardest part. Aside from the preparation and taking time away from obligations at home, the last thing you want to do is to drive for hours or days, only to be disappointed when you arrive.

Here are 5 Fun Road Trip destinations that might just be calling your name.

Fun in the Sun

Second, perhaps only to the infamous “Route 66”, the Pacific Coast Highway, or PCH as it’s known, is an iconic drive along the sunny beaches of California. Stretching over 600 miles between San Francisco and San Diego, any segment of the PCH is well worth the drive. A drive along its entire length takes just over 10 hours. However, the variety of sceneries and activities along the way might be worth selecting a shorter segment to match your interests.

Bonus: US Highway 101 (North Section)

If your time allows, continue north from San Francisco on Highway 101 through Oregon and Washington. The ocean will rarely be out of sight and is well worth the extra time.

To See the Greenest Greens

As its name implies, the “Emerald City” of Seattle offers some of the greenest scenery you will see, despite being a larger metropolitan area. It may seem odd to pick a large city as a driving destination. However, most of Seattle, including downtown, is divided into smaller neighborhoods where parking in one location in each, will provide plenty of side excursions, well within walking distance. The recently removed viaduct along the city’s waterfront has been replaced by many walking paths.

Bonus: Victoria, BC (Vancouver Island)

There are few places where being able to drive on another island is as easy as driving onto a large ship. A drive up the Olympic peninsula and across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Victoria, BC, provides even more diverse scenery with breathtaking seascapes.

Lighthouses and Airplanes

Another coastal adventure, on the opposite side of the US, is a trip along the Outer Banks in North Carolina. On this route, you will start at the famous Kitty Hawk, where the Wright brothers completed the first flight in a powered aircraft. From there, the relatively shorter route will take you along the scenic coast to Cape Hatteras to the historic lighthouses along the National Seashore. We highly recommended a convertible for this route.

Rolling Mid-America

Especially if taken towards the end of summer, the wildflower blooms along the Blue Ridge Parkway will create a lasting and perhaps unforgettable experience. The route, just under 500 miles, connects the Great Smokey Mountains to the Shenandoah National Park and Valley. Along the way, the rolling terrain that also includes a mix of rugged mountains is sure to have you stop often to just look at the sights. At the top of many of the higher hills and peaks, you might catch the fog filling in the valleys below, giving an almost celestial or floating background to the mountains.

Coast to Coast

Perhaps no other single road in the US can provide an opportunity to see more incredible diverse landscapes and sights, as the longest continuous interstate highway. At just over 3,000 miles, I90 is not a simple weekend road trip. But whether starting in Boston, Massachusetts or its opposite end in Seattle, Washington, completion of this epic trip will provide the gift of seeing almost everything the US has to offer. From the rugged Rocky Mountains to the plains of South Dakota and the coast of the Great Lakes, and ending at the famous Back Bay of Boston, this route could be one of your most memorable adventures. A vehicle such as a camper-van can make the trip all the easier by allowing rest wherever the scenery decides for you.

RV Parks: The FUN Kind

Part 5

A Bunch

We spent far too much time talking about Trailer Parks (as in manufactured home parks) and not enough time talking about Trailer Parks as in RV CampGrounds and Resorts. So back to the fun. 

Locating Amazing places to vacation on the cheap (comparatively) is made easier by the existence of entire networks and associations of RV sites. Here are a few to consider whether you’re considering a summer vacation or a longer season of nomadic living. 

The US 

Nobody does RVing like the United States with over 13,000 privately owned RV parks and over 1,600 state parks that cater to RVers in the USA. Available for drop in or with reservations, you can easily use these locations to stay for a relaxing breather or as a way to work your way across the country without having to sleep in a new bed every night. 

Membership campground networks like Thousand Trails operate via joining the club. You pay a joining fee and typically annual fees as well. Then you get a timeshare arrangement for you and your RV. The two largest chains of campsites or KOA (Kampgrounds of America) and Jellystone (after the famous yogi bear). The Good Sam Club is the largest association of RVers who maintain a list of independent campgrounds they endorse. Which can be very helpful. 

Each of these outfits has better coverage in some areas than others so it’s quite possible you will need more than one association if you really want to be choosy in how you get where you want to go. 

On that topic, you can find online directories of RV campgrounds and resorts through:

CampRate

MobileRVing.com

Reserve RV

RoverPass

RV Parks & Campgrounds

RVParkReviews

RVThereYet

The Dyrt 

If you intend to go off grid though, you won’t have access to wifi at all times. (Although some of the above operate as aps which may have “offline mode.”) If could be a good idea to seek an old school printed directory (you know the kind that are chronically out of date). 

Woodall’s Campground Magazine is the Gold Standard for RV lifestyle information. Equally as revered is Trailer Life Magazine. Before you become a “full-timer” you’d better spend some time reading up on “the life.” 

European Networks

The  Caravan Club is huge, with over one million users. Use them for mainland locations. 

Called Reisemobil-Stellplatz in German or Aire de Camping-car in French this more recent upstart operates in Germany, France, Norway and the Netherlands. There will be a language barrier for us Americans but google translate can get you quite a ways if you’re willing to take a chance.

In the UK you’ll get better results from Camping and Caravanning Club, a non-profit association of campgrounds with over 100 locations.  Pic Link https://www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/dist/images/Camping-and-Caravanning-Club-Logo.svg 

RV Parks: New Uses & Abuses

Part 4

A Bunch

While the reputation of trailer parks hasn’t improved recently there is a new use for manufactured home communities as temporary housing. 

Emergency Shelter

We already talked about the Company towns you can find near Amazon warehouses in Modern Nomads. However, hurricane Katrina created a use on a whole new scale. 

FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has begun employing whole villages of Manufactured homes after fires, floods, tornados and hurricanes. You might find it ironic to bring in more trailers after a tornado if you read Part 2 of this series. 

Retirement Villages

As a result of HOPA (Housing Older Persons Act) quite a number of 55 and over manufactured home villages have popped up. These are nicer, and newer facilities that offer additional resources for the unique needs of senior citizens. 

However, placing a government endorsement on something generally doesn’t make it more desirable. Just think of other government housing projects. It could be argued, due to the large swell of population reaching senior status, that the government is still using manufactured home communities as temporary housing and in a macabre way. As in, why build too many retirement villages when we won’t need them in another few years. 

You Already Own a Manufactured Home, er, Investment 

Another recent issue, one government and Wall Street have collaborated to create, is massive corporate investment. As of 2019, over 100,000 mobile home sites were owned by corporate investors like  Carlyle Group, Apollo Global Management and TPG Capital. Why blame the government? Well Fannie Mae facilitated this to the tune of $1.3 Billion. 

Ultimately…

Just as there is a place for all different levels of other products depending on the priority of the buyer, there is a space that Manufactured Home fit in the financial ladder of individual and family dwellings. And if there is a need for these homes there is a need for them to have a habitat. 

Be it ever so humble mobile home parks aren’t going away anytime soon. So if you live in one, hold your head high and make the best of it. If you live near one, try to give folks a break. We’re all just doing our best. 

As for True on the Road Living See our next and final installment in this series of Mobile Living. 

RV Parks: International RVing

Part 3

A Bunch

We’ve discussed RV’s and trailers in the US quite a bit. Let’s check around the world and see how it’s handled internationally. Is there reputation better, worse, or just different.

The UK

You probably knew that trailers are called Caravans in the UK, but did you know they call trailer parks “halting sites?” They call a manufactured home a “static caravan.” In the UK and most of Europe, the issue is illegal halting sites. We’ve mentioned Romani and Irish Travelers before, but since the 1970’s there has been steady growth of “free spirited” individuals who take to the open road, often stopping where they’re not really licenced to be. 

As in the US, “caravan parks” are used for senior living. Unlike the US, there are quite a number of “resorts” that employ static caravans for folks on holiday.

To find a great place to RV in the UK the nonprofit Camping and Caravanning Club has been around for 100 years with more than 100 campsites. 

Europe 

In the Netherlands and Germany (as well as many other countries) there are places where you can set up a “permanent” or very extended stay situation for your trailer or manufactured house. In France, however, the legal limit on living in an RV is three months–even on your own property. The work around is that they are pretty loose when determining what constitutes a house (a shed with electricity might work). 

Careful when you search Camp in Germany.

Unofficial, or less-than-legal campsites are a problem in Germany as well. Their term for an illegal halting site is “wagon fort” (Wagenburg).

Obviously anything European is either really old or completely modernized. A new built RV park will be up to the latest environment standards. One resource for finding just the right place to take your RV in Europe is  Caravan Club with over 2,500 CL’s (certified sites). Germany and France have been trying to catch up to the US in stopover campsite networks, called Reisemobil-Stellplatz in German or Aire de Camping-car in French, these are comparable to the US KOA type facilities. 

Australia & New Zealand

Australia like the UK, has traditionally used Caravans in their “holiday parks.” This fact is changing as the popularity of cabins increases. In New Zealand they might refer to them as a motor camp, which rarely exists without also allowing tent camping. Most camps allow you to stay overnight or long term. 

Can You Tow with a Hybrid or Electric Vehicle?

Electric and hybrid vehicles are incredibly popular these days. And looking at recent gas prices, it’s for good reason. Looking at the number of models available in plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and all-electric (EV) versions, it’s sometimes hard to tell them apart from their gasoline-powered brethren. With these types of vehicles being more and more accessible, switching to a PHEV or full-EV is as easy as choosing a paint color.

While PHEVs and EVs may help save money and cut emissions with their fuel efficiency or not needing fuel at all, we also don’t want to cut into how we can use these vehicles for recreation. The evolution of electric vehicle technology is now at a point where we no longer need to trade all capabilities for fuel efficiency. 

Getting Started

In some ways, towing with one of these types of vehicles will be a more pleasant experience than using their gasoline-powered counterparts. Somewhat surprisingly, the electric motors in EV and the electric assist in PHEV can provide the most important power factor for getting the payload moving from a stop–torque. Even the short time electricity generates the power in the PHEV, the high amount of instant torque is enough to get the full payload in motion. Be sure to check to see the payload capacity of the vehicle. 

Towing with an EV

While towing is possible, with an EV capable of such, there are significant hurdles that technology has not quite caught up to.

Range

There is no way around it. The more you tow, the shorter distance you will be able to travel. With some testing, towing near the payload capacity for a particular car can cut the range in half. Consider that most of your towing might be done for recreation to places that likely do not have EV charging stations, this may rule out EVs overall.

Weight

The torque of the electric motor easily gets the vehicle and payload in motion. However, stopping the weight can prove problematic. Looking at the weight of the EV itself, it does not take a lot more in the way of payload to exceed some vehicle weight limits. Some EVs can weigh almost a ton more than their gasoline kin. This is a lot to stop, not even considering what is being towed.

Charging Supply from Braking

One of the ways EVs maintain their charge to extend their range is by using the braking action of the vehicle to provide a slight amount of regenerative power back into the system. When the force needed to stop the EV and the payload exceeds what this system can safely handle, many EVs will turn their regenerative braking systems off. Without this source of charging on the go, the range is decreased even more. 

Towing With a PHEV

Using a PHEV over an EV to tow, seems to solve most of these issues and keeps the benefits of an electric motor. The PHEV uses the electric motor to get things started before the gasoline engine takes over. Once at speed, the hybrid system keeps the fuel efficiency quite high. There still are some downsides to using a PHEV to tow. The added weight and strain on the electric motor and hybrid system can have significant effects on the longevity of the batteries. This is much less than what is seen with EVs but is still worth considering. 

Conclusions

There are many EVs and PHEVs that offer significant towing capacity. However, this comes at a significant penalty by reliance on denser networks of charging stations and potential more frequent replacement of battery systems. And if your goal is to get off grid you are likely not heading to places with lots of charging stations.

The Five Best Car Shows 

Barrett-Jackson Auction

For many people, the release of a new model from a favorite carmaker is exciting. For others, seeing perfectly restored vintage cars brings them back to memories of their early years. In both cases, any travel or extra work needed is well worth it.

The incredible variety of car shows around the United States, as well as the world that provides nearly any kind of experience you might be looking for. These can range from seeing cars that are over forty years old but look as new as the day they rolled out of the factory, to cars that look like they are from forty years in the future.

If you are looking for just such an experience, here are five car shows that may be just what you are looking for. Being able to see the evolution of the automobile first-hand is well worth the time. 

Classic Cars–Woodward Dream Cruise

It is fitting that one of the largest car shows in the world is just miles from the American City known for auto productions. The Woodward Dream Cruise is hosted each August just outside of Detroit, in Pontiac, Michigan. Expect to see over 40,000 classic cars on display or driving down the famed Woodward Drive.

Luxury Cars–Monterey Car Week

What is often described as “the most important car show in America”, this week-long luxury event takes place among the incredible scenery of Monterey Bay in California. Not only are you able to see mint-condition vintage models from famed makers such as Ferrari and Bugatti, but this event also serves as a “test” for many concepts, years away from production. The weekends with the “Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance” that has a dress-code expectation to match the elegant name.

New Releases/Concepts – Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA)

Held in late October in Las Vegas, Nevada since 1967, it was not until recent decades that SEMA had transformed into what it is today. Automobile manufacturers realize, and attendees expect this to be the premier event for incredibly advanced concept cars, “one-offs” and custom builds. Although many of these will never make it to full production, it is the ability to see what each carmaker is capable of that draws the interest. The advancements in auto technology shown here may just be used as part of a full production model shortly. 

International–Paris Motor Show

When the Paris Motor Show is held this October, it will mark the 124th Anniversary of one of the first international auto shows. There is no ignoring the travel and cost associated with attending this event. However, if you are looking to see what is on the near horizon from automakers, this is the event to attend, and the event provides great instructions and help for international attendees. With certain trade regulations affecting what is exported/imported to various countries, many automakers have models specific to certain regions, the Paris Motor Show brings them all together. There is a definitive shift as automakers have showcased new green technologies and car-driver connectivity never seen before.

Auctions – Barrett-Jackson

Taking classic car restorations to another level, entrants into a Barrett-Jackson auction take time to perfect every detail on their car, in hopes of getting a higher bid. These auctions are held periodically throughout the year in various cities. While this is not a traditional car show, there will certainly be one-of-a-kind cars rolling across the auction block. Plus, there is the bonus of watching the exciting action that an auto auction brings.

Spring Road Trip Destinations

In 2022 we are starting to get back to our everyday lives while still being mindful of others. Spring road trips are the best way to take a vacation while viewing new places around the United States. So, what are some of the best Spring road trip destinations you can take this year? We are glad you asked! Take a look at this list of unique places you can go this Spring.

Columbia River Highway

Do you love scenic views of nature? Or maybe you’re the type of person who loves to feel the car sway with the road. Whatever it is you love about road trips, you will be shocked by this 74-mile highway surrounded by greenery in Oregon. It begins in Portland and goes down to the Columbia River Gorge.

What You Can Expect To See

  • Waterfalls
  • Rivers
  • Bridges
  • Many Campsites

This is not an incredibly long road trip, but the best thing about it is that there are many campsites to stop at along the way. It will only take a few hours, but you can stretch it into a week if you are an avid camper and hiker.

State Highway 82 Colorado

If you’ve heard of Colorado, you know that it is meant for people who love the outdoors, which also includes road-tripping. During the spring and summer, you will want to hit this highway and stop for a look at Independence Pass. It’s the best stretch of road for people who love to drive and will take you through 32 miles of mountainous terrain.

What You Can Expect To See

  • Nature and Scenic Views
  • Mountains
  • Blue Skies
  • Rest Stops With Views

This is truly a magical road trip that you should plan on once in your life. It is fun to drive, filled with twists, turns, and sloped corners. This will make you want to drive more in the future.

The Big Five In Utah

Why is this called the big five? There are five national parks in Utah that you can easily stop at on this road trip. If you love geography and checking out the multiple parks on one trip, this is what you should be planning.

What You Can Expect To See

  • Bryce Canyon
  • Canyonlands
  • Arches
  • Zion National Park
  • Capitol Reef National Park

This will be a fantastic trip if you love to drive and have an enthusiasm for national parks. Some of these parks are famous for their natural landmarks, and you can easily view them and photograph each one. Every year millions of people go to the parks just for the views, and it is worth it.

Pacific Coast Trip

You can spend 655 miles driving along the coast to view the Pacific Ocean. Does that not sound wonderful? You can roll down your windows and enjoy the smells of the ocean and the rich trees lining the roads. It’s a stunning sight when the sun comes out and the perfect road trip for this spring.

What You Can Expect To See

  • Bright Green Trees
  • Ocean Waves
  • Mountains and Boulders
  • Historical Landmarks

The west coast has plenty of places for you to stop on your road trip. You can take a day to hike around or even camp in beautiful areas. This can be as long as you want it, and the best thing is even though you’re driving, you will be surrounded by beauty. It’s time to plan your spring road trip destination to the west coast.

Tips To Plan Your Road Trip

It can be so fun to start planning a road trip, but you also need to take a look at the car you’re driving. Plan out how many miles you want to go and make sure your car can handle all of those extra miles. This can be a fun getaway if your car is ready to take on the road. Fill up on gas, plan your gas stops, and have food breaks before hitting the road.

If you are not 100% sure your car is ready for a road trip, consider getting a pre-trip inspection from a company that specializes in inspection and is willing to come to you. If only we knew of one we could recommend…

Best of the Web: Road Trip Itinerary

Valerie and Valise is a travel blog by a travel writer and photographer, Valerie with her Husband. In this post she gives tons of information about the Pacific Coast Highway, which is one of our favorite places to travel by car. We could write about it all day, but we’ll let Valerie do it for us!

Here’s a taste, but follow the link for more great information.

What/Where is the Pacific Coast Highway? How Long is it?

How long is the Pacific Coast Highway? Before launching into a bunch of details for where to stop along the Pacific Coast Highway, I need to define a few things:

  1. The Pacific Coast Highway is located in the U.S. states of Washington, Oregon, and California.
  2. The Pacific Coast Highway runs along two highways: US 101 in Washington, Oregon, and parts of California and California Highway 1 in the majority of California.
  3. From end-to-end, the Pacific Coast Highway is 1,675 miles long from Olympia, WA to San Diego, CA.

Now that you know the details, let’s dig into logistics of planning your own Pacific Coast Highway road trip itinerary!

Link to original post.

E-racers – Grand Turismo and Forza

It seems that the virtual world of racing is as interesting as the real world of racing. As always, it depends on how you like your thrills.

Grand Turismo

Starting with the Grand Turismo brand; Grand Turismo 7 has been linked with the Porsche brand since 2017. It’s different from designing a car as it’s all about what it feels like to be behind the wheel and although you need to know something about the interior and the paintwork this isn’t the main focus.

The Deep Forest Roadway is apparently back as is the Trial Mountain and the High-Speed Ring.

This is the first year that a Porsche has been developed for the game, as if it were a concept car or one-off. It’s not a car you’d see on the road now, it’s far too futuristic an aesthetic.

Porsche Taycan

It needs to look and feel as if it were a Porsche-in other words, have the correct proportions and the iconic light strip which is linked with the brand. It has a hologram display in a curved shape which is also linked with Porsche and has the low seat associated with a racing car. Although these features wouldn’t necessarily work in real life.

The LED headlights are certainly reminiscent of the Porsche but to be clearer it is most similar to a Taycan, a Porsche electric sports car.

The titanium and carbon casing that the car were accounted for in the weight and wind dynamics effect on the cars handling. Funny enough, made sure that interior appears to be made out of vegan elements. Not sure why a car that doesn’t actually exist in real life needs to go that far, but…there you have it.

The display reacts to the steering wheel/controller as quickly as it can be. There are a number of mysteries under the hood which the game merely hints at.

Apparently, creating a concept car so real your competitors could potentially steel your design ideas from it’s avatar in a racing game is a concern for Porsche. Remember when automakers tried to keep people from viewing their design models so you couldn’t reverse engineer them—well, now adays you might be able to do it from a digital footprint.

Forza Horizon 7

Forza Horizon 7 has introduced speedsters such as the Lamborghini Aventador and various other vehicles recognizable to road users such as the 2011 Ferrari. There is also the 1939 Maserati which might only be considered highly recognizable to vintage car experts.

Do people buy the Forza Horizon for the different qualities of car horns which can be heard? It’s highly unlikely, but they made the horn sounds accurate and we nerds thank them for adding a new level detail to the gameplay.

Unfortunately, its predecessor Forza Motorsport 7 stopped being available in online stores in September 2021. The only way to buy it as a boxed copy is now second hand.

1939 Maserati

This seems to be the way of things; gone are the days of owning a physical copy of a game. People must prefer to buy it online and play it online without a physical box or file that you can hold.

Even if you delete Forza Motorsport 7 and similar games you can redownload it for nothing (in a similar way as you can redownload apps).

As of December 2021, there’s no news of the game which is simply called Forza Motorsport, or the one called Forza Motorsport 8. Project Woodstock is also linked to Forza but again there’s scant news about these projects.

This keeps everything guessing about the latest fads, so it probably keeps online racers intrigued. We’d love to write a post about how racing game developers are pushing designers to innovate real cars, or something along those lines, but game developers don’t seem to be able to push themselves to release their own games on time. So we’ll work with what we have. Look for updates as they become available.

Locating Missing Cars

Looking for a particular vintage or classic car, you can actually do worse than searching through local barns and under trees in some back-forty. Though they will invariably be found under a layer of muck, brush, or worse, they are there to be found. Believe it or not, people don’t always think to protect these gems in the way you might imagine. Some have been found in the oddest places.

The Dino

A Dino was reported stolen in December 1974. A Dino, for those of who don’t already know, is a real-wheel drive car that was produced by Ferrari between 1957 and 1976. The car’s name was the nickname for Alfredo Ferrari, the son of the venerable Enzo Ferrari. The Dino finally turned up when two young boys were digging in their garden. How it ended up there, no one knows.

The Bullitt Mustang

The stunt car from the original movie Bullitt disappeared not long after filming, turning up later in a scrapyard in Mexico. When found, it was hardly recognizable as a Mustang. It was riddled with holes, whether it was used for target practice or maybe as an object for someone drilling holes, it’s a mystery. Not even being in a movie was enough to keep it from being abandoned by its owner.

The Cuban Falconwing

A Mercedes Benz, a Gullwing (also known as a Falconwing due to how its doors open like wings of a bird), was reported missing in Cuba only to turn up in a lot far away. It then disappeared again, later turning up under the shade of a banana tree miles away. The most famous gullwing is probably the DeLorean, a model of car that never sold well, finally ending with hundreds of models being scrapped, sending the manufacturer into bankruptcy.

The Largest Barn-find

In another amazing barn find, over three hundred cars were found in a large barn in Europe. The collection began in the 1970s and included a Bizzarani, which was created in the 60s, a race car which had been entered in Le Mans. Created by a joint enterprise between Alfa Romeo and Ferrari, this car was considered to be ahead of its time, likely being the reason why it didn’t last long.

How to Make your Own Barn-find

If you want to make your own barn-find, start with some research. Talk with people from the older generation, especially those who live out in the sticks – there’s no use looking for barn finds in the middle of Chicago, Dallas, or Seattle. It’s best to network your target area. People like mail-carriers, hairdressers, delivery drivers, and established real-estate agents may be the ones you need to get the break you’re looking for. Attending a swap meet or local holiday celebration or parade might just turn up the connection you’re looking for – putting you on the trail of the next big find.

Sometimes it’s just serendipity. You see a farm, miles from anywhere, one with a dilapidated old barn out back – maybe they have gems they don’t realize are there. Not sure where to start, pull up Google Maps, find an out-of-the-way community, and hit the open road.