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Thread: New owner with a questions for a cross country trip

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Posts
    32

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    Congrats on a great purchase and an fantastic road trip plan! A couple of things to consider in planning your pick up...
    If you decide to go with the aero screen, will the tonneau fit with the aero screen in place?
    If you decide to go with the windscreen, think about mirrors. The mirrors that are on the aero screen will need some fussing with the mounts to use them with the windscreen and will the doors still work with however you mount them? Running with the doors on and windscreen is tremendously more comfortable on longer rides than without the doors and would be my choice, but I've never had the aero experience to compare (I think I'd have to wear a full face helmut and shield or worry constantly about a rock or bug). SPA mirrors fit easily on the windscreen and work with the doors on or off (I have an extra set if you're interested). Does the car have a center mirror? With the harness on, you can't easily see over your shoulder and I think that you're actually more invisible than on a motorcycle because you're lower to the ground and below the nightlines of trucks and SUV's.
    It's been on the track for years - Does the horn and do all of the lights work? You should also think about mounting a third brake light onto the roll bar - Just a few minutes if you have what you need.
    Congrats again - I envy your epic trip plan!

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Cincinnati
    Posts
    3,746

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    Sounds like a great plan. My thoughts on this, having done one long (1200 mile) trip and lots of shorter trips:
    1] Ear plugs AND ear muffs (like you use to operate a lawnmower), or earplugs and a helmet, tho as others have noted, the helmet isolates you from the sights and smells that help make the trip pretty amazing,
    2] Cell phone AND a Garmin. The cell can do Google maps, play music into your ear buds if you choose, etc. THe Garmin provides directions when there is no cell coverage, which is likely to occur during parts of the trip.
    3] Sunscreen and a big floppy hat, like a Tiley.
    4] Light weight clothes, it is hotter than hell in a Caterham, even when it is cool out. You are basically sitting in the engine bay, with the exhaust on your left side.
    5] A portable bag/small backpack for all of your valuables. Unlike any other car, or even cruiser bikes, there is zero lockable storage in a Caterham. So unless you are a very trusting person, you will not want to leave phones, wallet, Garmin, etc in the car when you go into McD's (BTW, you wont be using the drive thru, it will be 2' above you) or when you take a bathroom break. I also used a small 4' steel wire bike lock to tie everything else down. It will not stop a serious thief but will stop someone from reaching in and grabbing a loose item.
    6] A small tool chest and duct tape/gorilla tape and some string and wire. I have fixed broken accelerator cables and falling off rear wings with the tape. Since you wont always have cell coverage you may be forced to fix things yourself. My accelerator cable failed in the middle of the Smokey Mountains as dusk was fast approaching. It was totally deserted, no cell coverage, and I had owned the car 1 week and had no idea how the cable worked or why it failed, but I learned fast! And I am as mechanically challenged as anyone on this forum.
    7] A flashlight and a "miners" light that fits on your head so you have both hands to fix whatever goes wrong after dark, using both hands.
    8] Some spare fuses. And be aware that some are more essential than others. So perhaps if you lose your headlights in the middle of the night you can pull a less essential fuse to fix it.
    9] If you have the "full visibility" or "high visibility" top, it converts into something close to a bikini top. Take out the side curtains and unzip the rear window and its very close to being a bikini. BTW, the side curtains fold upwards in half. So you can leave them in place and once you get going, shove the lower half of the drivers side up and wind pressure will keep it there, letting tons of cool air in but , with the top half up, protect your ears from the wind buffeting. As I type this I still have tinnitus from my first road trip in my Caterham, 13 years ago.
    9, pt 2] The top and side curtains fit in the "boot". Of course, if you have all of your clothes there, it will be full. Maybe take your cloths etc in a duffel bag and bungee it on top of the "boot" when the top is down. With the top up, it will fit behind the seats and the full boot.
    10] A Triple A card.
    11] A positive attitude towards people. At first the fact that the car attracts non-stop attention is fun (What is it, is it a kit car, what is the top speed, what did it cost, etc., etc.?). Eventually you may just want to be left alone, after reciting the same info at every stop, every day. Too bad, folks simply can not help themselves. At one point I thought about printing a handout with all the info to give to then endless inquiries. And I consider myself a friendly guy.
    12] One or both of Ross's Lotus Seven books to read at night.
    And remember the se7er's motto: when plans fall apart, the adventure begins. Enjoy (I'm jealous)!
    Last edited by Kitcat; 06-24-2020 at 10:33 AM.
    Kitcat:AKA, Sir Spinsalot
    '97 Caterham Super Sprint, 1700 Crossflow-sold
    '09 Birkin S3, Duratec-sold
    '03 Caterham Zetec track car
    '19 Honda Type R, sold
    '19 Miata Clubsport

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Posts
    138

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    Consider buying the "antique" helmet that I use to prevent my glasses and hearing aids from blowing off!

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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    1987 Caterham 1700 Supersprint
    2002 Porsche Boxster
    2004 Porsche Boxster S
    1941 Dodge Luxury Liner
    2009 Mercedes CLK 350 Cabriolet
    2017 Chevrolet Volt

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Posts
    20

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    Thank you all for the tips. Very much appreciated.

    It sounds like I have a lot of transferable skills from motorcycle trips that will serve me well.

    Can't wait to fly out and see the new car.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Albany, NY
    Posts
    350

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    Inspect all the hoses/connections!

    Just remembered due to what happened last night that at the time of buying the car I had to replace almost every hose due to their condition.

    As a matter a fact, inspect fuel too. Mine was leaking almost every fluid it had. Gas/coolant/oil/transmission fluid. There is a rubber gasket below the sander in the tank which if I were a betting man I'd tell you is destroyed on that car, causing fuel to spill over from the top, especially if you fill it to the max.

    Get good AAA (AAA +RV) gives you 100 miles.

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    2001 Caterham Superlight R

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