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Driving cross (southern) country without A/C report

Driving cross (southern) country without A/C report

Jul 24th, 2009, 05:57 AM
  #1  
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Driving cross (southern) country without A/C report

Tomorrow we will be flying from Tampa to Phoenix on AA. Check in at the Arizona Biltmore Resort for 2 nights.

Sunday we meet up with the owner of my new toy, beautifully restored 1974 Triumph TR6, http://www.classic-british-cars.com/...-tr6-cars.html This will be the first time I actually get to touch my new toy I bought about a month ago.

Early Monday morning we start our drive eastward. On this thread we got some great suggestions as to where to stop, what to see, etc.... http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...hat-to-see.cfm. I-10 it is. AZ, NM, TX, LA, MS, AL, and home sweet home FL. We don't have any other reservations and no solid plans as where to stop with the exception of (never been)San Antonio and (gambling)Biloxi.

The one little problem is that the car has no A/C. It is a convertible so that will help. We plan on driving for no more than few early morning hours every couple of days.

Will make a trip report as we do the cross country drive.

I feel like a little kid in a candy store. My dream to own and drive the classic British car is finally coming true. And to really top the whole deal, a cross country drive... now, if the I-10 was US Route 66.... that would be the ultimate......
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Jul 24th, 2009, 06:05 AM
  #2  
 
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Have a great trip, look forward to your travelling tails.

In SA, try to stop in Gruene and drive through the Hill Country, we enjoyed our trip there. Fredricksburg is neat,the town has a big German influence.
owlwoman is offline  
Jul 24th, 2009, 06:28 AM
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Great little car...but I would drive as far North as possible during that trip. The South, LA in particular, gets brutally hot this time of year with the sun beating down. Your plan is good. Drive early morning, stop in an interesting place for the day and head out in the evening for a few more hours before your stop for the night. Best way to do it. Have fun!
mommybryant is offline  
Jul 24th, 2009, 07:41 AM
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As a former TR driver (even older than yours) I commend your adventurous spirit. I think keeping to the mornings is a good idea, although it will mean driving with the sun in your eyes much of the time.

But I confess that my first reaction to your post was, "Omigod."

Take any and every part you can find under the bonnet or in the dash with the word "Lucas" or "Dunlop" on it and throw it away before even leaving Phoenix. You can replace the rubbish with original bits when you get to Florida in easy reach of tow trucks and overpriced British car mechanics.

I love road trips; doing one in a TR6 sounds like a serious hoot. Do you have a cloth flat cap and a scarf? Can you work the word "chaps" into most sentences? Tally-ho.
Gardyloo is online now  
Jul 24th, 2009, 07:49 AM
  #5  
 
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One summer on our annual family vacation we drove half way across America (southwest included) without AC. However, this was in 1967 and we still didn't have air conditioning in our house. While my brothers and I still laugh about traveling at night through the desert because it was too hot during the day, I would not want to re-live the experience.

Have fun and good luck!
SiteC_er is offline  
Jul 24th, 2009, 07:58 AM
  #6  
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Take any and every part you can find under the bonnet or in the dash with the word "Lucas" or "Dunlop" on it and throw it away before even leaving Phoenix. You can replace the rubbish with original bits when you get to Florida in easy reach of tow trucks and overpriced British car mechanics.
,

that's funny, but not.....
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Jul 24th, 2009, 08:11 AM
  #7  
 
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DS had a beauty like that in high school--BRG!! I don't think going much north will help much with the heat.
Gretchen is offline  
Jul 24th, 2009, 08:14 AM
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If you are stopping in Biloxi to gamble, you might want to check out a place called The Shed, right off I-10 at hwy 57, about 10 miles east of Biloxi in Ocean Springs. It's a shed. That serves fabulous BBQ and blues. And is probably unlike anyplace you've been before.

www.theshedbbq.com
cheryllj is offline  
Jul 24th, 2009, 08:18 AM
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I salute you AAFrequentFlyer. When I was 14 my mom purchased a red VW super beetle (looked identical to this one I just found--http://carcrazy.ca/images_cars/2007-09-07-16-42-37-lg.jpg).

I have fond memories of driving around (and breaking down) all over town with her. I wish you well on your adventure and we've just tweeted it. I'm sure there are some car buffs on Twitter that will approve.
http://twitter.com/fodorstravel/
Katie_H is offline  
Jul 24th, 2009, 08:21 AM
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Two bits of pure Americana, convenient to Memphis (which you should also include.) You might consider gambling in Tunica instead of/in addition to Biloxi.

http://www.deltabluesmuseum.org/
http://www.shackupinn.com/
Gardyloo is online now  
Jul 24th, 2009, 08:25 AM
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No A/C but the one option we will have is a multi CD player.

I'm burning few CDs at the moment. Bunch of Stones, Bowie, Faces, Zeppelin, Beatles, Who, Kinks, etc.... songs. The one surprise disk will be full of the Clash, Sex Pistols and some old school reggae.

My beautiful wife next to me, rag top down, great music, sunglasses, 1/2 pack of cigs (not really, but we can pretend), full tank of gas... driving a TR6.. can life get better than that?

I'm sooooooooooooooooooo excited!!!!
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Jul 24th, 2009, 08:27 AM
  #12  
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Katie,

the car link is not working.

I would love to see pic of the car.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Jul 24th, 2009, 08:30 AM
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If you're traveling on I-10, Memphis is about 6-7 hours out of the way. Each way.
cheryllj is offline  
Jul 24th, 2009, 09:09 AM
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I don't envy you due to the heat/humidity here in the south east. And, no I would not be up for it myself without a/c. But, I do see that you are going to drive for only a few hours each AM. My advice is do it before 10AM! Even that will be hot.
Do you have a time line mapped out of where you expect to be/when?
olesouthernbelle is offline  
Jul 24th, 2009, 12:54 PM
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About 4-6 hours at a time. We have 2 weeks before my wife has to be back so we do have the time. We hope to stop and actually enjoy some new places along the way.

So far the plan is:

Phoenix-El Paso area
El Paso-San Antonio (probably the longest drive of the trip, I'm planning 4am departure)
San Antonio-Houston area
Houston-New Orleans
New Orleans-Biloxi
Biloxi-somewhere in the Florida panhandle
Florida panhandle-Tampa (visit a friend for 1 night)
Tampa-Sarasota

Nothing is written in stone, so we'll play it as it happens but we will try to limit our driving to very early mornings.
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Jul 24th, 2009, 01:03 PM
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We rented a convertible for a Louisiana trip a couple summers ago. Some people thought we were crazy because of the heat, but we had the best time. It was warm, but not bad.

For a recommendation - off I-10 in Louisiana just after Lafayette is the town of Breaux Bridge. There are a bunch of neat things to see in that area around the towns of New Iberia, St. Martinville.

There is a great restaurant in Breaux Bridge called Cafe des Amis - terrific food, nice people, and nice prices. If you are there on a Sunday, I think that is when they have their zydeco breakfast.

If you are interested in plantation houses, Shadows on the Teche in New Iberia is really interesting - very different from the big river road places. Just south of New Iberia is Avery Island, which is famous for Tabasco, however they also have the Jungle Gardens, which was a surprise highlight of our trip - the place is huge, you actually drive through it and with a convertible it is even better.

Lake Martin outside of New Iberia is great - terrific swamp tours with tons of wildlife.
november_moon is offline  
Jul 24th, 2009, 01:28 PM
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Don't forget sunscreen. Have a great trip!
obxgirl is offline  
Jul 24th, 2009, 08:05 PM
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Sunscreen, water, sunscreen, hat, water, sunscreen...

>>But I confess that my first reaction to your post was, "Omigod." <<

Mine was "WHY?"

Have a good time - better you than me, anyway.

One thing that helped us on an absolutely miserable trip from Dallas to El Paso without AC one May was buying a couple of quart spray bottles, filling them with water, and spraying ourselves periodically for some evaporative cooling.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Jul 25th, 2009, 04:44 AM
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We used Elendilpickel's trick when we lived in Mississippi and no cars except Cadillacs had AC: the evaporating water will cool you, even in LA and Mississippi, as long as you keep moving.

Note the phrase "as long as you keep moving": I wouldn't necessarily remove all the Lucas and Dunlop parts, but I would certainly carry spares for anything critical because you aren't likely to be able to buy them anywhere en route, and you will find yourself in places where you are 70+ miles from the nearest town, much less any place you can buy foreign car spares. Ask me how I know this.

Assuming the resto was recent and good and the electrics were brought up to standard, I would focus on fuses and cooling system stuff like thermostats, hoses, belts, etc., because this will demand the most from the car.

Have a great time. It will be hot and a heck of a lot of fun.
Ackislander is offline  
Jul 25th, 2009, 06:57 AM
  #20  
cd
 
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For the Florida Panhandle area, let me recommend Cape San Blas. The beaches are just beautiful. We stay in a house but this little Inn on the bay is lovely. http://www.capesanblasinn.com/
OR just up the road, so to speak, is Indian Pass and Starrs stays in this Inn on the Gulf and has recommended it here on Fodors:
http://www.turtlebeachinn.com/
AND be sure to try the oysters at Indian Pass Raw Bar no matter where you stay. Or, if you drive into Apalachicola, try Boss Oyster.

Have a great drive.
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