I'm planning on taking time off work next spring/summer and driving cross-country with a friend of mine - will most likely be taking the C5. This will be going from Raleigh, NC to the San Diego, CA area and back.
Aside from the obvious oil change and various checks to perform before leaving, any other suggestions on prepping the car for this kind of trip?
Also, any suggestions on interesting places to visit along the way are greatly appreciated!
Each September I do a 2-week, 2000+ mile trip from the NC coast to Kansas City and back, via Ohio. I have two reunions that I attend and each is a weekend apart. I always drive the Corvette. I will be leaving three weeks from today so I have recently begun my prep.
The pre-trip prep on the Corvette is no different than on any other vehicle that needs to be reliable enough to be driven for a long distance. It starts with checking things like hoses and belts that can turn into major headaches if problems aren't discovered and resolved beforehand [how old is your battery?]. I just replaced the tires as they were due [got 45,000 out of a previous set set of Michelin Pilot Sport A/S]. Next on my list is an oil change and an alignment. Aside from a good cleaning and waxing [done yesterday], and servicing the air filter, that is about it.
If you haven't done so, I would highly recommend that you take a look at cleaning your air intake/radiator, particularly since you're going to be driving through some hart parts of the country in the summertime. Your cooling system will thank you.
Since you'll be spending a lot of time inside the car, there are a few things you might want to consider to make it more liveable on a long journey, especially since you'll be traveling with a passenger:
-First is a decent cup holder. I have a Travel Buddy dual cup holder which I use for drinks. It allows me to use the joke of a factory cup holder for my cell phone.
-Speaking of the cell phone, I have added a dual adapter for the 12-volt power jack inside the console. This gives me one dedicated outlet for my GPS plus one for charging the cell phone.
-Before my trip last year, I broke down and bought a GM bra for the front end. Most times I think that bras are a waste of time and a PITA to use, but given the low stance of the car it was worth the money. I saw no adverse effects whatsoever from using the GM bra [no paint rubbing etc.], so it will get thoroughly cleaned and go back on the car before the trip.
-Make sure if you're running non-runflats that you have a way of taking care of a minor tire problem if one occurs. I carry a tire plug kit, 2 pair of pliers [regular and needle-nose], a small air inflator and a can of TPMS safe fix a flat. I also carry a set of jacking pucks. This might seem excessive to some, but as my Dad, a retired USAF pilot was fond of saying, "Luck favors the prepared."
I have added an XM Roady to the factory Bose system via a Peripheral PDXP Adapter that I purchased through Double D Mods. This setup also allows me to play an MP3 player and stream Pandora from my cell phone through the cars sound system and works great.
I have a convertible and have also added a window valet. It is a good accessory to have.
If you haven't been to the Corvette Museum and Assembly Plant in Bowling Green, KY, it would be well worth the diversion. I made it to Bowling Green from the NC coast by myself in one day so you should be able to easily get there from Raleigh. It was a long but very nice drive. I stayed in the Red Roof Inn in BG, as it was recommended to me by another member here. It was clean, inexpensive, a short drive to the Museum and Plant, close to restaurants and the room had a refrigerator and free Wifi. It's been 3 years since I stayed there but unless something has drastically changed, I'd stay there again. I understand that the Assembly plant is currently closed for tours due to C7 retooling but should be open by the time you are ready to travel next summer.
Follow Marine One's advice and you will be fine.
I've done cross country trips several times and my only regret was not installing a bra for protection from the semi's and dump trucks.
Road construction is at a all time high , and with that comes lots of stones and other debri.
I did 6,500 miles last April. Phoenix to Key West to Washington, DC to Chicago and home. Changed the oil in January, so I did nothing but fill her up with gas. Not a single problem. It's an amazing car and a blast to drive. We enjoyed spending time in New Orleans and San Antonio.
I did 2500 miles the end of May (Houston TX to Seattle WA). Marine One is right on with his suggestions only addition I might include is to verify your serpentine belt is in good condition. That is one thing that will put you out quick if it goes at a bad time. The C5 really is a great road trip car. I did not experience any of the negative affects (soreness/cramped feeling) driving the Vett that I have with some other cars/trucks on long trips. The 27-28 MPG at almost 80 MPH (75 MPH speed limits) was also refreshing. -Glenn
I just completed a round trip from Albuquerque to Muskegon, MI - logged about 3600 miles. I changed the oil and checked belts/hoses prior to the trip. The Corvette performed perfectly throughout the trip and got about 30.1 MPG! I have a 2004 Coupe. It was a good trip and a great ride!
I love traveling in mine. Prior to the Corvette I owned 3 different Mustang convertibles [95 GT, 96 Cobra and 07 GT] and could never drive any of them for more than a couple hours without having to take a break to get out and walk around. The seats just made my legs hurt to the point that the leg pain became the overriding reason for stopping vice my over 50 bladder. In the C5 I can log 12 hour days if necessary. Did the trip home last year from Warrensburg, MO to North Topsail Beach NC, just over 1200 miles, in two days. I also logged a 31.66 MPG tank of gas on the interstate running in the low 70s in a 65 zone with the AC on.
I also agree with Marine One.
Regarding places to see I suggest Arches National Park, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, and Zion for some of the most awe-inspiring drives in the country. They are on the way to San Diego and the parks are grouped not far from each other. After that make sure you take a drive up and down the Las Vegas Strip, once at nite and once in the day.
I've been cross country in the vette several times and love it.