Is This A Bad Idea?

FrontRoyal

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I need to make a short notice road trip, literally across the country (MD to CA.) The only car I've got is a 1993 Ford Econoline150 with 200k miles on it. The van has survived 2 tours with my band and all of our gear, but i don't know if i can trust it to make this trip (about 80 hours there and back). What should i check for/work on before i hit the road?
 

SquareLeft

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Having done any number of long hauls, I'd say "It's not the best idea". Since we don't know a lot about the trip, it's difficult to take in even the common variables - how many people, how much gear, all interstate - or not?

Although my wife and I both have 'newer' cars; for long hauls when we can't fly, we usually rent an unlimited-mileage car from one of the 'big' rental companies. You can probably get a comfortable small car for around $175 per week with all fees included.
You'll get much better gas mileage
It will be recently serviced and have good tires
The heater and air conditioning will work
If it breaks, they'll bring a replacement to you
It will almost surely have a decent stereo and you won't feel like you're driving inside a base drum...
The Econoline is 24 years old and most of the parts (and electronics) are probably 10+ years old

Just my two cents...
SL
 

93Flareside

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Is This A Bad Idea?

If you've done recent transmission service, coolant flush, brake servicing, an oil change and you're fully confident in it, try it but that's a long way and you'll most likely spend more in fuel on the van than a rental car. Seeing as it's the middle of winter, it might be ok but, I wouldn't try it.

You're better off either flying or renting a car. Like squareleft said.
 
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argatoga

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Have you driven a multi-day trip across the country before? The longest I've ever done was from WA to OH and it was insanity inducing. Unless you have a good reason, fly. It's cheaper and you won't be a drooling mess at the end.
 

NecroJoe

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I have this one friend who is always asking "Is it bad..." or "Is it wrong..."

The default answer is, "Well, if you have to ask...."
 

CraigB

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I'm going to disagree with everyone here and say, if the van has been well maintained, do it. Change the oil before you go, take extra fluids and check the pressure/condition of the tires.
 

_HighVoltage_

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Have you driven a multi-day trip across the country before? The longest I've ever done was from WA to OH and it was insanity inducing. Unless you have a good reason, fly. It's cheaper and you won't be a drooling mess at the end.
I'd agree with the insanity inducing part. Driving through Nebraska/South Dakota/Iowa/Kansas is incredibly boring and tedious.

I'm going to disagree with everyone here and say, if the van has been well maintained, do it. Change the oil before you go, take extra fluids and check the pressure/condition of the tires.
I agree with Craig. If worried, buy AAA membership. 200k miles itself is not a reason to worry. We've all heard stories about massive failures on much younger cars, and sometimes even on brand new cars.

The first time I drover across the country I did it in a car that leaked 1qt of oil every 1,000 miles. I always had extra fluids and I made sure to stop every 150 miles to stretch my legs and check fluid levels.
 

FrontRoyal

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Thanks everybody for your replies, i think I'm going to go for it. I've got AAA, which ought to help.
Not too worried about the tedious driving, I've got plenty of experience taking this van all over.
Just gonna keep a close eye on the fluids and tire pressure and hope all goes well. I'll let you know if anything terrible happens.
Thanks again!
 

MWF

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Sounds like pretty cool and interesting trip. Take notes and a shit ton of photographs then create a thread. I'm sure plenty here would be interested.
 
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