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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
The E9X is the 4th evolution of the BMW 3 series including a highly tuned twin turbo 335i variant pushing out 300hp and 300 ft. lbs. of torque. BMW continues to show that it sets the bar for true driving performance! -- View the E9X Wiki

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  #1  
Old 03-24-2013, 12:11 PM
kosinar kosinar is offline
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Vacation trip question.

Hi everyone. I am planning trip west for this year vacation. I will take 3 weeks to do it. I am in SC and first leg of the trip is 1870 miles. I would love to drive my 2012 335is convertible 3,200 miles between Las Vegas, San Francisco and few national parks. If i decide to drive there and back it would be 6,875 miles of drivind in 3 weeks. Other option would be to fly to SF, rent a car and fly back. I enjoy driving my Bimmer but it will take me at least 4 days to drive there and back. My wife is good sport and will go ether way. I would like to request and will appreciate your opinion.
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  #2  
Old 03-24-2013, 01:17 PM
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bighorns bighorns is online now
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My wife and I have driven our Bimmer from SoCal to the Northernmost part of Washington State the last 4 years every fall, (2500 mile round trip), and for the most part it has been doable with good planning. I go on Google maps, and map out the itinerary well before we leave, so I know where we will be looking for gas, and meals on our way. Don't be afraid to stop along the way, and enjoy the journey.
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  #3  
Old 03-24-2013, 01:23 PM
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Kamdog Kamdog is offline
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I always fly to my location and rent the car there. More time to see what you are going there to see, and, if anything happens to the car, it ain't your worry.
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  #4  
Old 03-24-2013, 01:33 PM
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Chop362 Chop362 is offline
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That's a lot of driving..Fly & rent my choice but enjoy the trip either way.
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  #5  
Old 03-24-2013, 02:50 PM
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kosinar, I've made a couple of similar trips, one driving from Charleston all the way to SF and a couple flying from Atlanta to either SF or SLC.

The drive from SC to Denver is pretty boring, then up the front range to the high country it gets interesting all the way to California.

Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, heck all of Utah, California around SF are just amazing and that's just scratching the surface. To me that's where all the enjoyment was.

You might consider flying to Salt Lake City and renting a car using that as your hub.

One caveat, I was able to drive pretty fast out West and stone chips on the windshield and the front of the car were abundant. They seem to work on the roads during the summer time so I'd rather not have my nice BMW as a target for all the flying rocks!
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  #6  
Old 03-24-2013, 02:57 PM
sorus sorus is offline
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I have been planning something similar as well. With a relatively new car, reliability shouldn't be an issue, nor is finding good places for stops or breaks as long as you stay on major Interstate highways.

Take your car with you. A road trip like this is one of the best ways to enjoy a convertible.
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  #7  
Old 03-24-2013, 03:47 PM
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Salvator Salvator is offline
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I drove cross-country in a small U-Haul truck (the old Nissan pickup with a box on the back version)... Seattle to Virginia... With my future parent-in-laws antiques on board (and their daughter ).... Sure, parts of the trip were boring, but it was intersting to see the boring parts nonetheless, and find the interest and beauty in the simplest things... and make the most of where we were... For example, noticing our power level dropping off even more as we cross the Rockies, due to the altitiude... And looking forward to rolling down the other side!

IMO, if you like to drive, drive your car... If you are impatient or easily bored, fly out and rent...
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  #8  
Old 03-24-2013, 03:51 PM
Pasa-d Pasa-d is offline
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Fly the wife to SF, you drive and pick her up there. Hey, you asked!
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  #9  
Old 03-24-2013, 03:52 PM
Pilgrim Pilgrim is offline
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I've driven cross-country a number of times and I think it's a great way to see the USA. Drive your own car and figure to stop for at least one fun thing every day - two (one AM and one PM) if you get good opportunities. It's a big country, get out there and enjoy it!!
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  #10  
Old 03-24-2013, 09:33 PM
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Bemo Bemo is offline
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We did the Cabot Trail in Canada last year, 2200 miles in 5 days and I continue to claim that I did not get to drive enough during that trip! Plan your hotel/lodge stays and the rest is easy. Have fun!
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  #11  
Old 03-25-2013, 06:32 AM
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Verts4Ever Verts4Ever is offline
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Not sure about your route, but even if you're continuing on I-70 past Denver, I suggest first taking a detour up I-25 to Loveland and then to Trailridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park. And if you are continuing on I-70, you could also hit the Colorado National Monument outside of Grand Junction and later take a quick jog down to Moab, Utah. It's all beautiful scenery, especially in a convertible.

If your planned route past Denver would take you up I-25 anyway and then west on I-80, definitely take the time for Trailridge Road. Be warned, however, that I-80 through most of Wyoming would be one of the more boring drives of your life.
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  #12  
Old 03-25-2013, 06:48 AM
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furby076 furby076 is online now
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As others have said, that is a ton of driving. Flying and renting a nice convertible may be a better option. If you do decide the drive, make sure you guys stay in places with spas/massages at the end of each day (make sure to reserve someone).

Also, make sure you pick the routes recommended as most scenic.
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  #13  
Old 03-25-2013, 07:19 AM
gpburdell gpburdell is offline
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Do you prefer the destination or the journey?

There's much to see driving across the country. If I have the time, I prefer driving to my destination for all the little stuff you can see and do on the way there.

However if you're the "are we there yet, are we there yet, are we there yet?" sort it'd be better to just fly.
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  #14  
Old 03-25-2013, 07:27 AM
hondo402000 hondo402000 is offline
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how about driving half way, leave your car at the airport, then fly out to your final destination, mess around for some days, fly back, get your car and finish the drive back home,
find the airport with the best airfare and thats were you drive to
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  #15  
Old 03-25-2013, 07:28 AM
hondo402000 hondo402000 is offline
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do they have trains you can drive your car on and train it for a day or 2?
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  #16  
Old 03-25-2013, 07:34 AM
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laser laser is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hondo402000 View Post
do they have trains you can drive your car on and train it for a day or 2?
Only if you are over 75 and want to go south to FL

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auto_Train
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  #17  
Old 03-25-2013, 08:28 AM
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Mark K Mark K is offline
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OP, maybe 4 years ago I did the drive from Cincinnati to Homestead, FL and didn't regret it. The only reason to drive was so I can have MT car while there (it was my VW, not BMW). However, my round trip is about 2/3 of your one way leg.

Here, I would drive to destination because I cannot rent MT car when I get there. Here, I would fly to destination because I cannot stand driving on US Interstates for long anymore.

When in Europe, if I drive, it is a joy. If I fly, I can rent whatever I want with MT when I get there - which is also a joy.

See your priorities and decide.
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  #18  
Old 03-25-2013, 09:54 AM
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DSXMachina DSXMachina is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kosinar View Post
Hi everyone. I am planning trip west for this year vacation. I will take 3 weeks to do it. I am in SC and first leg of the trip is 1870 miles. I would love to drive my 2012 335is convertible 3,200 miles between Las Vegas, San Francisco and few national parks. If i decide to drive there and back it would be 6,875 miles of drivind in 3 weeks. Other option would be to fly to SF, rent a car and fly back. I enjoy driving my Bimmer but it will take me at least 4 days to drive there and back. My wife is good sport and will go ether way. I would like to request and will appreciate your opinion.
I've driven coast to coast twice. I wouldn't suggest it in your case.
Basically two reasons. You are going to be doing a heck of a lot of driving in a car which is not a grand tourer. Your itinerary calls for an average 300 miles a day. Do you really want that much driving? Save yourself some time to actually enjoy all those sights you may never have another opportunity to enjoy. You are going to be in parts of the country where BMW parts and service are nowhere near your part of the state. Are you prepared to deal with the hassle that can become?
I say fly to a central point, rent something sporty but more common, and put the miles and the wear and tear on someone else's car.
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  #19  
Old 03-25-2013, 12:30 PM
ctuna ctuna is offline
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I like that train idea.

I like that train idea.
If only such a thing existed.
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  #20  
Old 03-25-2013, 01:31 PM
Lufthansa Lufthansa is offline
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Per my bucket list, I've driven (almost) cross-country the past two summers, once in the BMW and the other in the Lexus, and for me, it's therapy and my passion. We have such a beautiful and diverse country. Obviously one must have the time to do so comfortably, and stop or diverge when the geography compels. My desire is to drive the cross-county roads I've rarely or never been on. I've now driven I-10, 70, and 90. This summer I want to drive I-80. My wife wants us to drive (again) the Coast Hwy. from San Diego to Canada. Decisions, decisions.
Obviously by now you know my advice.

BTW, looking at your neck of the woods, I drove the Tail of the Dragon (Rte. 129) while in the BMW two summers ago - it was definitely the highlight of my journey.

Bon voyage!
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  #21  
Old 03-25-2013, 03:34 PM
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3ismagic# 3ismagic# is offline
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Last summer I did two long drives in my E90.

1. A family move from Phoenix to PA 2,200 miles
2. From PA to Lake Superior in the UP of Michigan 1,800 miles roundtrip

The 335d is the perfect highway cruiser and back road carver.

In the words of Frank Turner:
"If you're all about the destination, then taking a f*cking flight.
and we're going nowhere slowly but were seeing all the sights.
And we're definitely going to hell, but we'll have all the best stories to tell."
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  #22  
Old 03-25-2013, 03:45 PM
MAGjersey MAGjersey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSXMachina View Post
I say fly to a central point, rent something sporty but more common, and put the miles and the wear and tear on someone else's car.
Couldn't agree more.
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  #23  
Old 03-25-2013, 04:30 PM
kosinar kosinar is offline
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Thanks to everyone for imput. I know that until maybe Colorado there is nothing much to look at. I went to Colorado to hunt for elk few times. One time when I was 10 years younger I drove my Expedition pulling trailer with 3 four wheelers and tent for 23 hours straight 1,200 miles. It was crazy and not my choice but those times are gone. In January my wife found beautiful blue 2004 330i convertible with only 24,000 miles and she had to have it. It was 700 miles each way. Drove there both of us in my car and next day back wife driving her and I driving mine. It was not bad at all. I could fly and rent the car but I dread to drive Honda on California coastal HWY wishing I was in my Bimmer. And you are wright. Car could suffer some damage but I think that memories from the trip will be worth it. I am still on the fence. Maybe I am just trying to rationalize but even if I fly I will waste two days to fly there and back. If I drive I would spend 4 days to get there and back. If choosing between driving 12 hours or spend one day in airports plus getting molested by our brave TSA I choose driving. I joined AAA just to get educated route suggestion to my favorite destinations. Nothing will be cast in stone. If we like one particular location we can stay there longer and skip others. I still have time to make up my mind. We will go first week of July. There is one more question for experienced travelers. I have decent camera outfit but I was thinking about buying GoPro video camera as addition to my setup. Did any of you found it usefull for similar trip? Thank you in advance for your opinions.
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  #24  
Old 03-25-2013, 05:36 PM
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GarySL GarySL is offline
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Fly, for sure.

California is big enough itself. Save the time it will take to get to those places in the state that you want to savor. Like the redwoods, or Yosemite, or Sequoia/Kings Canyon, or the south coast, or the north coast...
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  #25  
Old 03-26-2013, 05:37 AM
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DSXMachina DSXMachina is offline
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GoPro? I have one. How would you use it, planning on something YouTube worthy in your car? Use your smart phone's video camera unless you are big into Cinerama. In that case you don't want a GoPro anyway.
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