Tips for the Drive home? California to Washington - Page 2 - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #21 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-10-2014, 11:04 AM
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Phil makes a good point. If the car has a hard top AND a soft top, I would keep the hardtop on the car and then ship the soft top home. It rolls up the size of a small duffel bag or a yoga mat for Kirstie Alley. However, it does take precious cargo space that can be used for a bag in the boot.
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post #22 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-10-2014, 11:17 AM
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Redwoods in Nor Cal. There are some awesome roads in that area too. Wish I could recall some of them. That route by the Oregon Caves over to the Nor Cal is good. You could get on I-5 for a while south of Roseburg. Then cut over to Crate Lake.

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post #23 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-10-2014, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! Yeah, I'd much rather be top-down the whole way . But I'd imagine the hardtop is better for security at night at hotels. Once I get this beast home, I'll be putting the hardtop in storage! I'll only be sleeping a few nights on the way back, we plan to have one backpack for us both.

Originally Posted by komiko View Post
Gotta love the forum.
be vigilant about entering and exiting any driveways/ramps that have a drastic slope change (ie coffee shops/ drive thru) , this car will scrape before an S2000 would. Remember you are invisible to everyone around you, and those other people in their SUV's will not think twice about running into your new car. It's not a problem for them.
Apparently NO ONE is using their back up cameras. Assume everyone will be trying to run into you.
Your primary job is to make it home with you, your passenger, and new car, unmolested. I admire your bravery - haha - i went cross country, without a passenger, packed for 10 days, and there is no way the hardtop would have worked in that situation because the soft top has to go somewhere - hello boot. Have a great time - highway 1 should be sweet, but would be so cool with no top on the car for the ride.. Just always be prepared for the idiots in the other cars, always be aware of your cars position in context to it's surroundings. Eternal Vigilance. haha. Have a great time.
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post #24 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-10-2014, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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I have an OBD of course, I was hoping I wouldn't need it with this car, hah.. I might just bring it along. You never do know what can happen.

-Does the Elise blow fuses often?

-I TOTALLY plan on taking the twisties. I'm trying to avoid I5 unless the weather gets bad.

-Don't forget to call YOUR family

Originally Posted by SwingLo View Post
A few things:

- Make sure you have the splined lug key - VERY important.

- Make sure you have both working key fobs just in case

- Make sure you have fix a flat

- Get a cheap pack of fuses and keep them in the car

- Buy and keep a handheld OBD diagnostic reader for peace of mind in case your car throws codes.

- Use a 'dash app' - cheap OBD bluetooth or wifi (GoPoint) reader from Amazon and either Torque for Android or DashCommand for Bluetooth. Will tell you what your car is doing!

- If you are going to use your phone for nav, order the RLS Mount and corresponding mount for your phone (google it). Will make life easier.

- Bring a LONG phone charger cable. The jack is between the seats and if you have your phone mounted up front (for nav or DashCommand), you'll want the phone to reach.

- Bring a radar detector (borrow if you don't have one). If you use one, make sure you have a DUAL 12v outlet adapter (radio shack). The car only has one - that way you can keep your phone plugged in and charged and your radar.

- Break up the trip. Stop halfway and spend the night. If you are worried, pre-plan to stay at a hotel with covered parking.

- ENJOY THE TRIP. It's not Iowa to Omaha. You'll drive through beautiful scenery. If your passenger is a spouse or significant other, make a nice couple of days of it - some scenic spots, a nice lunch, whatever.

- FIND TWISTIES!! You may never make this drive again. While you are on a boring highway, you could be 2 miles from incredibly twisty roads that will make you fall in love with this car. Take your time and find them - look at other car forums, make posts on forums and play with google maps.

Oh and call your mother, she misses you!
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post #25 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-10-2014, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by miro View Post
Thanks! Yeah, I'd much rather be top-down the whole way . But I'd imagine the hardtop is better for security at night at hotels. Once I get this beast home, I'll be putting the hardtop in storage! I'll only be sleeping a few nights on the way back, we plan to have one backpack for us both.
I would plan on a soft bag type suitcase or duffle rather than a backpack.

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post #26 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-10-2014, 04:16 PM
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Don't bring hard luggage... it won't fit, with soft duffle bags you can fit a lot more stuff in the trunk.

bring Sunscreen, good hat, and earplugs for at least your passenger.

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post #27 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-10-2014, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by TCAR View Post
I bought my Elise exactly 9 years ago and it has been my daily ride for some years now. Took the car on many trips, some in excess of 2,000 miles at a time. Never had an issue while traveling - not even a flat. Yes, the car sits low and tends to scrape driveway entries and curbs, but you know that. Would be nice to follow-up with a quick report and a few pics here once you have reached your destination. Just enjoy the trip.
Definitely will have to post some pictures! I'd love to do a documentary style video, because it seems the elise doesn't really have many, in the past few years. Not sure if I'll get time to do that. 2000 Miles is nuts!

Originally Posted by sturgeongeneral View Post
First off congratulations! Where are you picking up the car and how much time are you allowing? Highway 1 is a blast to drive but can get very monotonous in some areas. Also some areas get very congested and is extremely slow. There are some areas that are heavily patrolled. If you want to send me a pm or email at [email protected] I can pass on that info. If you plan enough time you can really have a blast!
Hey, I am picking up the car on Friday from San Luis Obispo and plan to be back by Sunday. I might take Monday off as well. I am planning on going on 156th (if i recall- it was recommended redwoods). Any info would be great! Thanks!

Originally Posted by pwildfire View Post
+1 on sunscreen.

Also a couple not mentioned:
- Take time to carefully adjust your side mirrors. These cars are really low and have big blind spots in the passing areas, and the mirrors are hard to adjust once you are moving.

- If you are totally unfamiliar with the Elise, do a little reading on the dos and don'ts, like don't put too much weight on the windshield frame when climbing in and out.

- Make sure everything you bring will fit in the car! If you are getting a soft top and hard top with the car you are going to be strapped for space. I assume you will not have a passenger, but still keep in mind that a small suitcase or duffel is about all you can fit in the trunk.

Drive it like you stole it!
Good tips, I'll have to familiarize myself with the blindspots. I have heard stories of the frame and the steering column can cause problems during enter/exit, I'll be careful about that!

Originally Posted by LostPawn View Post
Pack light and have fun. If the tires have a keyed lug nut make sure you have that with you. I donít think it happens often but if the key fob doesnít work there is a 4 digit code youíll need to know to start the car. Donít worry too much and enjoy the drive.

Some people will not see your car at all and you need to know this to avoid them. Other people will do everything they can to take pictures of your car; they will speed up to you, pace you and slow in front of you to get a better look. I havenít driven long distance with a passenger; it might be fine with some and horrible with others. Make sure the person going with you is prepared for a long drive in a car with few creature comforts.
I'm guessing the picture taking won't be as bad in California, but we'll see! The seller says it comes with all the original toolsets, so hopefully that includes the lugs as well-thanks!

Originally Posted by Dave J View Post
I can't believe no one else has said this: DON'T LIFT!!!!!!

This has been a message from the "You don't want the back end to pass the front end" council...
Hah, anytime a crash thread was posted on the S2000 forums, the first post was "Did you lift?", I am familiar with this, but I think it's almost more critical with the increased rear weight distribution.

Originally Posted by philethier View Post
- ENJOY THE TRIP. It's not Iowa to Omaha. You'll drive through beautiful scenery. If your passenger is a spouse or significant other, make a nice couple of days of it - some scenic spots, a nice lunch, whatever.

Go to Crater Lake. You can cut inland NE from Crescent City California. As you leave Crater Lake, you can angle NW through Roseburg Oregon back to the coast road.

You can ship the soft top to save space.

Drive with the lights on.

Never parallel park.
I might have to hit Crater up! that sounds awesome. Definitely a vacation

Originally Posted by sprocket3 View Post
So many great roads and so little time!

Make sure tire pressures are correct for an Elise, not a truck. This can make ride a lot harsher. If you have adjustable shocks set them on full soft.

Nice soft ear plugs and sunscreen for your left arm.
I'll make sure to check that, don't want it to be rougher than it has to be! I'm not sure if the LSS is easily adjusted, I heard there are two settings?
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post #28 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-10-2014, 04:27 PM
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I second the ear plug suggestions. It cuts down on fatigue.
If you have a passenger, sharing music with earbuds can help, too, since listening to crappy sound system competing with the cabin/engine noise is just the worst.

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post #29 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-20-2014, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
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Success! Almost home!! Will post more later.
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post #30 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-20-2014, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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post #31 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-20-2014, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by miro View Post
2000 Miles is nuts!

Congrats on the car, and nice pic and nice color car.

When I bought mine new, I drove across US and racked up 5500 miles. Alone. Met Lotus owners along the way. Great trip.

Since then I have done two, 2500 mile trips. One to the Midwest, and one to the Northwest.

Never had any issues.

That said there is a guy here, I had the pleasure of meeting, who shipped his Elise from Australia to LA-and drove it to Alaska.

It is a car...

(owner of AP1 and AP2 S2000 here)

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post #32 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-21-2014, 12:20 AM Thread Starter
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My story:

I wanted a lotus for years and years, and the time had finally come where it made sense. First off, I'd like to say how helpful this forum has been, it's even where I found the car!

I didn't explicitly say this before, but I had never driven the Elise, or any lotus for that matter. I had only sat in one, and made sure I fit a very long while ago. I put a deposit on the car, booked a one way flight for my girlfriend and I. Asked the owner question after question up util getting there.

After two plane flights, a late night hotel stay and morning comes--we had walked a mile and a half. Early morning, and we had the perfect private party inspection. Tiny little shop with a guy who lived for British cars. He told me that this was the tightest/best put together Elise he had driven. ~1500 trouble free miles later, I have learned a LOT about the car. I put on more miles in a weekend than the 2nd owner of the car ever did in 6 months.

The shop (British Sports Cars)

The car in the shop

Summary of what I've experienced
  • The Elise is incredibly EASY to drive, yet it drives like nothing else
  • Weighted down with extra parts and gear (max load essentially)-Around 80 you get about 29-31mpg, averaging higher speeds and sprints, we got about 27.5
  • The amount of confidence the car instills in the driver is unreal. The feedback is amazing.
  • After 1500 miles of various quality roads, I can confirm that the sport suspension is very good. I do not have a sore spine or rear.
  • The Elise is a rock chip magnet. Seriously, pass trucks as fast as you can.
  • Double check you have star shield everywhere. Because I thought I did, and I'm guessing the orig owner pulled off the beat up bits. Did I mention chips? (Going to fix them and shield the bits that don't have it asap...)
  • You'll get very good at maintaining a large following distance
  • Drivers in California = Aggressive/Good, Oregon=Passive/Good, Washington=Aggressive/Bad (Yes this is where I live)
  • The attention the car gets is also nuts. Any gender, age, status loves the car. No bad connotations. Head turns, questions questions. Stop lights. Thumbs up from motorcyclists.
  • Cars will tail gate you to take pictures, or attempt to race you. After driving the car for a grand total of 25 miles, a new Camero proceeded to pull over, and tail gate me trying to play 'chase the lotus'.
  • You can fill your own gas in Oregon if you have a nice looking car. You only have to ask (I previously got yelled at for doing this in a Subaru right after crossing the border-forgot about this law...).
  • This should be obvious, but pick the most interesting roads you can- I avoided most of the quickest route just to get in some good roads.
  • Monowiper. It's not a true performance car if there are two of them.
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post #33 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-21-2014, 06:15 AM
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Great write up. Thanks!

Glad to see you are enjoying the car.

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