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Going coast to coast without a clue


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I assume it has a thermostat but I don’t know for certain. The behavior does seem odd. If it has a thermostat and it closes the water flow it should heat up nicely. It’s odd that doesn’t happen. I’m going to check that."


That would also explain why your heater does not work well! Mine will put out plenty of heat. Colin liked to keep his feet warm......

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Here's a summary of what I needed for the trip. This will be my packing list going forward. Items marked with an * are items I didn't have but will take next time.


Great weather. I did 20 days without a drop of rain. I was so lucky in that regard


A car in good shape. I was fortunate the car I got was well maintained. Honestly, it was crazy to do the trip in a car I hadn't done a shake down run with and gotten familiar with. If I had owned the car for six months and driven it before this trip, none of the problems I encountered would have happened.


Doors, sunglasses and ear plugs


AAA membership. I thought I could get this last minute. You can but only the basic level which offers a 7 mile tow. To get the high-end AAA membership you have to be a basic member for 90 days with zero tows. After the 90 day period, you can upgrade to the membership that offers tows of up to 200 miles.


Here's a list of tools I ended up with:

Socket wrench

Metric and imperial sockets

Metric and imperial wrenches

Vice grips

Screwdriver with interchangeable tips

Stubby screwdriver for removing the nose

Hex keys in metric and imperial


Needle nose pliers

Wire snips

Torx wrenches (there are no torx fasterners on the car but as I change things out, I add them because they are so much better than the alternatives)

Blue lock-tite

Zip ties

Thin and thick sharpie

Crescent wrench

Air pressure gauge which I now use at least once a day

SAE powered electric pump

Jack and tire changing kit including any necessary key to remove the wheels

Baling wire

Duct tape

Voltage tester

Test lead

Wire stripper, cutter, crimper

A couple of inline fuse holders

A couple of switches.

Ring and spade electrical connectors

Butt connectors

18 gauge wire in a couple of colors

A charged cordless drill with drill bits (seems excessive but was a huge help)

Replacement bulbs for headlights, tail lights, turn signals - Test all lights before the trip


Fuse puller

Map of fuse placement in the fuse box

At least two SAE plugs connected to the battery, fused and run to the cabin and one with an in-line switch

SAE to USB converter to power my phone (Note these will drain the battery over time so pull it every night or switch it off.

Quadlock windshield phone mount, Quadlock phone case and Quadlock wireless charging head

Spare phone with SIM card from provider

Spare eyeglasses

Eyeglasses leash to keep them from blowing away


Consumables and spares

Oil as I burn a quart every 1,500 miles

Clutch cable

Throttle cable

Brake fluid


Nitrile gloves

Slime and/or tire plugs

Waterless hand cleaner

Something to clean the windshield

Silicone tape for bad hoses

Gas can, funnel and siphon


I hope this list is helpful. Feel free to add anything I didn't include that you would feel is helpful.


For what it is worth, I think you did the right thing and took the right amount of stuff. You reminded me that over-planning can get in the way of a good adventure and that is something I really don't want to forget.


I was smiling as I shared your adventure with my wife.


Speaking of adventure, highly recommend the documentary on Amazon about Horatio Jackson's experience:



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  • 6 months later...
15 minutes ago, Kitcat said:

I think someone shrunk your Caterham


I had wondered that and then I found the explanation. A few weeks ago the Bidens visited the Carters and they posed for a photo with the Carters in the middle and the Bidens on either side. The Internet blew up because the Carters looked like little-people next to the Bidens, who looked like giants. Turns out, a wide angle lens makes objects on the edge of the photo look larger and objects in the center look smaller. While this photo is unedited, I think that may explain the disparity.

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My wife has a Palisade (SUV on the right in that photo).  Scaling seems accurate to me.   Not to hijack the thread and have someone report me to the overly zealous admin, but...




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