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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought my 05 Lotus Elise in August of 2012. I actually found it in this forum in the for sale section. So far I love owning/driving the car. It is like nothing I have owned before.
I am planning to take a trip to Panama City FL. from NY in late March and I need reviews and/or advices from other owners that have experienced a long trip with their Lotus.
I have done relatively small trips of up to 200 miles with my Elise and its been a lot of fun (Considering that the roads in NY are not the greatest). Indeed, I feel that my Elise takes a beating when driving across NYC when I take a trip that way.
I would like to mention that my upgraded exhaust is somewhat loud and the cabin is not really noise proved. I also have a really nice sound system with a custom subwoofer designed to fit the back panel behind seats.
Any recommendations?
Should I even attempt to do the trip?
What would you guys do?

Upgrades
Fujita Cold Air Intake
Exedy Stage Clutch
Track Mounts 2
HID headlights
LED taillights
DBA 4000 Rotors
Pagid RS pads
Larini SE exhaust
 

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I've gone on several multi-day trips.

Mine has a stock muffler so the noise level is fine for me.

If you are staying in hotels I'd suggest you find smaller out-of-the-way places that will attract less attention.

Bring a second key FOB if you have one. Once my FOB didn't work and neither did my backup. However if you walk close to the front passenger headlight it worked from that location.

If it is very sunny it is worth wearing a long sleeve shirt. Without that your arm closest to the window can get very burnt.

Good luck.
 

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I have taken my car on multiple long trips.

After you get into the car, it is great!

Biggest issue I have had is my right leg/butt cramping from being in one position pushing the gas. Make sure to move your leg frequently. Spend some time with your right knee as far left as you can and your heel as far right. Then after 30 min reverse it and move your heel to the left and your knee to the right. (Yes cruse control will seem like a good option to you at some point during the trip).

As for your exhaust, bring foam ear plugs. Probably will not need them, but they are small and cheap.

Not sure you will need it then, but verify that your a/c is putting out 100%. There will be times when having the windows up and the a/c on will preferred because of wind/exhaust noise.

Would be amazed if this were an issue back east, but just keep in mind that you only have about 300 miles range on one tank of gas. You will probably want go get out of the car and walk some before then, but.... (In Utah and Nevada this can be an issue).

Otherwise, the car is great for long distance driving, and short distance driving, and I have no where to go but just want to drive the silly thing. (Did an autox on a frozen lake this weekend, not a good car on ice, but....)


Enjoy the trip.
 

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I would also suggest planning out the hotel stays along the trip; some have secured parking garages that you might want. I’m not sure you’ll need ear plugs, but there are several types that only block out noise above high levels. Several times on my trip from TX to CO I had traffic clusters surround me, making maintaining the speed I wanted to go hard and thus the trip longer. I’d also recommend the two keys, and make sure you know how to start the car should they not work. I’m guessing there will be plenty of gas stations along your trip, but be mindful of fuel if not. Weather conditions, not all of our tires are good on wet roads. Pack light and have fun.
 

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Don't worry about it at all. It's a car.

Have done NJ-Miami-NJ trip 4 times. I find the car very comfortable.


3 times drove straight north w/o stopping, except for fuel. (My much-used joke: My gas gauge and bladder are synchronized!)

4th time had a passenger and I don't drive as quickly w/someone in the car., so stopped.

Orlando LOG to NJ: I had to stop because of torrential rain, winds from Sandy. Couldn't see much at night.

Carry water. Get a hat. I stop at whatever motel is convenient.

The stock exhaust is fine w/me.

Edit: Try not to pass on the right. Put headlights on during day in iffy situations. Couldn't hurt.
 

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. (Did an autox on a frozen lake this weekend, not a good car on ice, but....)

Enjoy the trip.
Hey, Doug, would you mind telling us about that??
 

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Only out-of-the-ordinary thing I'd do to get ready is adjust your windows and hardtop if they whistle or hiss at all at highway speed, if you're anything like me it'll be fine at first and then start to aggravate as the trip goes on.

I've found that Gummi Pflege or Krytox for Rubber (rubber conditioners/lubricants) applied to the roof seals can help quiet the hard-top down and make it seal a little better.

Bring earplugs in case the exhaust gets too loud. I like my BOE exhaust but I don't think I'd like it as much over any kind of road-trip terrain (it's fine cruising but drones uphill).
 

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I have done a few of them and it is always fun. Try to avoid the highway and get into scenic routes to enjoy the car more :)

Two tips I found useful: (a) I installed a 3.5mm audio cable on the back of the radio and I can connect an mp3 player for when the reception sucks (always :)), the instructions are simple to follow from various posts here, (b) I am a big guy and on long trips I got a seat cushion from target for $5 to help with the side of the seat cutting into my thighs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you all for the replies. I sure didn't expect that many replies so quickly.
I am taking all of these tips into consideration to enjoy this 18hr trip to the max.
Luckily I am only 5'6'' so I don't have any problems as far as comfort ability. I do have an aux input so I shouldn't have any problems with music as I know the radio receptions in our lotus aren't the best. The foam plugs were a great idea. I love my exhaust but I don't know how much I can handle on an 18hr ride. Im sure louder music will be just fine to compensate for the loudness of the exhaust. :cool:
I am planning to take PA roads with better cruising views instead of I95.

You guys think it will be a rough ride?
Any mechanical suggestions?
 

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I've done multiple 9-14 hour trips in my Elise, nothing really bad, except I must say, get something to protect your rocker panels.. They will get beat up by tiny road debris. I simply sprayed mine with some white plastidip, lol [My car is white]

[Took her home from a 13 hour drive and had some small chips in my rocker panel the first time I bought her.] LESSON LEARNED

When I peeled it off, no chips or anything ! :) Cheap easy job, you might want to use a thicker solution IDK. But plastidip worked for me,

The seats kinda suck though, so I just padded my lower back for the trip.
 

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I drove my Evora across country, and have done several other very long road trips in it. Though not an Elise (had one previously) many of the same things apply.

For hotels, I never really had a problem but as usual was careful about parking (in front of the room or window if I could) and looked for security cameras to be in plain site be sure.

Due to the small-ish tanks on these cars, you will make regular fuel stops, but that isn't a bad thing to get out and stretch. I never had much of a problem with the lack of cruise control.

XM radio was a godsend.

AAA Premier would be a worth while investment if you don't have it already...126 bucks for your first year gets you the normal roadside assistance, plus priority in the line if their is one, a 24/7 concierge, but most importantly-3 100 mile tows a year and 1 200 mile tow..which may get you to the nearest dealer.
 

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Get busy looking at it or get busy driving it. You cant take it with you.
 

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being from NH i like to raise my ground clearance.. so... i went with Star Specs for tires... gets you another 1/2" +/-, +100% ride comfort increase as the taller sidewalls really soak up the bumps. Turns it into a Lexus. haha..
 

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My recommendation is to take some earplugs as you will most likely get tired of hearing the exhaust and/or music loud enough to hear over the exhaust after a while. Also, take some soft rags to use as padding. I like one under my left elbow, that plastic gets pretty hard after a while, and to cushion where my legs rest.

Other than that, have a BLAST!
 

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I did Jacksonville, FL --> San Antonio, TX it was just fine just lots of fuel stops which was good cuz then you get to stretch your legs.... And make sure you have a good radar detector :shift:
 
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