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Have u ever travelled long distance with your own vehicle?

Travel Forums General Talk Have u ever travelled long distance with your own vehicle?

1. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

Has anybody ever done a long trip with a van?
Did u sleep in your van?
What route did u take?
Are u good with car machanics?
Did your vehicle ever break down? If so, how did things work out?
Was it expensive to travel in your own vehicle?
Would u travel like this again?
Any other good or bad points about travelling with your own vechicle?


2. Posted by selani (Budding Member 46 posts) 9y

Travelling by car is my favorite mode for pleasure touring because I like freedom and don't have to worry about bus/ plane schedules to run after. I always pack my camping gear, so no worries if I cant get a hotel room. Gives me more freedom in changing my plans and discovering off-the-beaten path places, not mention cooking your favorite foods if u feel like it.

As for your querries:

  • Yes.. I have travelled extensively by car( not van), but all of it within Pakistan.
  • * Yes I have slept in the car many times. You need to get a little used to. sleeping in van can bean more cozy.
  • ** Vary long.. I started from Karachi( Pakistan), criss-crossed all provinces of Pakistan and ended my trip on Chinese border at Khunjarab.. Distance covered was about 5700 something KM.( It was a 1000 CC Car)
  • *** No good with machines. But can change tires or clean spark plugs. There is no need actually. Even if you are a good mechanic, you can't carry all your tools all the time. Just learn basic maintainance.
  • *** Break-downs were very few, and nothing serious. I got my car checked and tightened up before the trip. Only one flat tyre, two oil change and suspension work( I drive fast). I always found mechanic nearby. If u intend to drive around europe, it should be easy, roads are very good there.
  • *** Expensive? it depends on your cars condition, engine capacity and fuel cost. I found it a bit expensive than bus/ train, but the freedom was far more satisfying. You find travel mate(s) to share, it can be far cheaper.
  • *** Travel again like this? absolutely, and eversince that trip, I always do.

If u need further detail, u r welcome to ask.


3. Posted by pinkgirlie (Full Member 121 posts) 9y

My boyfriend and I recently returned from our RTW trip, half of which was spent driving in a rental car. We drove Adelaide to Sydney, then the whole way around New Zealand, and finally a large loop of the West USA in a car. We took a tent so we were flexible on where to stay, there were campsites everywhere. In USA it was very expensive - the fuel was cheap but the rental itself was a lot. In Oz the rental was quite pricy too, but we saved a lot on accommodation. In NZ it was really cheap and very manageable.

We were lucky that nothing went wrong with any of the cars, but all our rentals had call out in the insurance if we ever needed it.

I'd definately do it this way again - I'm planning a driving trip around Europe! That way I can take my own car so all I'll have to buy is fuel.

4. Posted by vxmike (Budding Member 64 posts) 9y

[b]Has anybody ever done a long trip with a van?

Not a van, but my car (Honda Civic). I've done cross country US trips numerous times in the car.

Did u sleep in your van?

Yes, I've spent countless nights in my trusty automobile. It's tolerable and if weather/animals are permitting I'll just sleep outside next to my car.

What route did u take?

Travelled throughout most of the US by car in this manner. Last summer drove 11,000 miles over 45 days.

Are u good with car machanics?

Not particularily, but I carry tools and a repair manual for my vehicle. If anything minor happened I could probably figure it out, but not anything major.

Did your vehicle ever break down? If so, how did things work out?

Nope, I've never had any mechanical issues while travelling fortunately.

Was it expensive to travel in your own vehicle?

No, this is the cheapest way to travel in the US. I save a ton on lodging and since my car gets very good fuel economy 50-60mpg it's still cheap to travel even though US gas prices has tripled in the last 7 years.

Would u travel like this again?

Absolutely. Anytime I travel in the US I try to use my car if time permits. Next major trip planned is driving to Northern Canada and Alaska all the way to Prudhoe Bay.

Any other good or bad points about travelling with your own vechicle?

Good points are the freedom of going where and when you want to, excellent equipment capacity, and cost savings. It's also great that additional travellers can be added for no additional cost. Only major negative I can think of are potential headaches of a breakdown. Also cars can be a hinderance if one is spending lots of time in large cities like NYC or SF where parking can be difficult, but overall the US is much much more car friendly even in the cities compared to many other countries.

5. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 9y

Quoting Mel.

Has anybody ever done a long trip with a van?
I have driven from Vegas to Jasper BC Canada and back, from Vegas to Martha's Vineyard Mass and back 6 times. Also Vegas to Florida to Maine back to Vegas.

Did u sleep in your van?
Yes, once in VW camper van, the rest in a Dodge Caravan.

What route did u take?
I have used all the major freeways, I-10 to I 90.

Are u good with car machanics?
Just the basics.

Did your vehicle ever break down? If so, how did things work out?
Yes, blew a head gasket in Florida and my VW van needed major repair in upstate New York. It went OK, did not get ripped off either time.

Was it expensive to travel in your own vehicle?
No, sleeping in the van saved enough to pay for my VW.

Would u travel like this again?

Any other good or bad points about travelling with your own vechicle?
YOu go where you want, stay as long as you like, but it can get lonely out there.

6. Posted by AndyB24 (Respected Member 167 posts) 9y

Drove from Melbourne to Cairns in 3 days, nearly 4000kms I think, did the reverse over a few weeks.

Was quiet expensive, fuel costs are pretty high in oz, is much much cheaper to fly.

Would not do it again in such short a time, but would over a longer period. The great part about having your own car is that you can stop wherever you want, and go see anything you like, you´re not locked into the tourist route. Plus camp sites are cheap :)

7. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5597 posts) 9y

Spend lots of time driving a car on holiday.

Last one was on Iceland and Eastern Canada, total of 5500 km.

Earlier this year about 2500 km in Ireland.

In April:drove from Melbourne to Darwin, about 7000 km in a month or so, which is not to bad.

Also rented a car for part of my trip in New Zealand.

With my own car I have driven pretty much around most of Western, Central and especially Northern Europe. Did a 10.000 km trip in 5 weeks to the North Cape in Norway, through Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Northern Finland and all the way down through Norway, back in 2002.

Other countries I have rented a car were Namibia and Cuba, which were a bit more adventurous than the ones mentioned before. On those trips I had a flat tyre (Namibia), which was very close to a lodge, so I had some help and in Cuba the clutch broke down, which afterwards was a good thing, as a local farmer in his tractor came and help us and he went away for a few hours just to get some small piece of rubber and fixed the thing afterwards! Man, do I have respect for Cuban hospitality and their ability to fix things!

Generally, travelling by car gives you maximum flexibility and is a good way to travel around most of Europe, North America, Australia/NZ, Southern Africa and several other countries.

Cheers! Michael.

8. Posted by TER06 (Budding Member 3 posts) 9y

We drove from Southeastern Georgia to Western Washington! It took us 4 days as we were traveling with our 4.5 month old son. We stayed overnight in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Columbia, Missouri, York, Nebraska and Ogden, Utah..and finally we arrived in the Seattle/Tacoma area late on day 4.

9. Posted by oscar1951 (Budding Member 5 posts) 8y

I once drove my wife around the bend!!! I wouldn't recommend it!!! No seroiusly i have done a number of long distance trips across Europe from the UK. The furthest I went was the italain lakes which I would more than recomend. You do need you make sure you have a good breakdown policy if you're not that good with mechanics. I did actually breakdown in Switerland on one of the trips and it was a real godsend. Think we used Vehicle Rescue Direct that time. Obviously a sat-nav is great but I kind of prefer to use maps - more of a sense of adventure!!:)

10. Posted by TLWH (Travel Guru 516 posts) 8y

Motorcycle, Car, Van, bicycle, Land Rover, and something resembling a giant lawnmower in Nepal.

Any other good or bad points about travelling with your own vechicle?

Good, going off road. Can't beat having your own vehicle in the African Bush.

Carnet de Passaig. The darn thing is brings up the expenses worse than any oil shortage.

Sleeping long term in a car with more than two people will mean setting aside a spinal correction fund for your later years. On the positive side, you'd never think humans could create such smells.

mechanics for continental traveling depends on where you are. Surprisingly there are a number of roadside mechanics in most developing countries. Unsurprisingly you don't want to look at how they get your vehicle running again!

Long distance, aka months at a time it's a unique way to travel and a great adventure. More costly than most people think, and it does require planning if you are crossing borders.