Cars - Expensive and Dirty business

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Cars - Expensive and Dirty business

Postby charanya » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:23 pm

I find the transportation to be my biggest headache.

Rental cars are too expensive - around $600 for an SUV and marginal difference for a full size car!!!
If I brave it and bring my own car, I am worried sick about the health of my car and all the playa dust that can get into almost everything.
While I can do the most to protect my car by covering everything I can, I am still worried.

Then comes the cleaning - be it rental or own, cleaning seems to be another expensive affair. Sigh!

What's your take on it? I know there are many veteran burners. What is the best and cheapest way to go about it?
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Re: Cars - Expensive and Dirty business

Postby BAS » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:33 pm

I dunno-- I just drove my '98 Saturn Wagon out to the playa and back, with no real problems in 2006. I eventually got the playa dust out, but the cooler managed to leak onto the back of the backseat and stain the fabric. The biggest scare I got was backing over an abandoned bicycle when I broke camp.

Then again, I tend to view my car as a tool which will eventually wear out anyway. YMMV.
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Re: Cars - Expensive and Dirty business

Postby aknod » Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:19 pm

In 2008 I drove my F150 double cab Lariat to the playa. It was disaster inside when I got back (12 hour dust storms FTW!). I spent some time trying to get it clean, gave up, cringed, and paid a professional shop to detail it (in and out). Cost was ~$225 (this was in Bellevue, WA, FWIW). Truck was fine after that and I didn't have any other issues long term. If I did it again, I would have covered the air conditioner vents and maybe put down that carpet protector film. If I was really paranoid, I would cover the dash in plastic when I got on-playa and not uncover it until after. Those precautions might have saved me the $$$.
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Re: Cars - Expensive and Dirty business

Postby danibel » Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:43 pm

It may not be practical or feasible for all, but I am buying a cargo van that will be used mostly the burn. I have the space to park it, and after renting one for two years, I am OVER cleaning another one again. I have found quite a few on CL for under $1000. I know I will have to invest a bit in the van to get it sierra/playa worthy, but I wish I had done it two years ago! I have paid $1200 in rental fees already! Plus the time and effort of cleaning the damn things.

PS. Amour All Leather wipes is your car interior's best friend against playa dust. 1) wipe off as much as you can with a DRY rag. 2) wipe off as much as you can with a rag dipped in light vinegar water. 3) go over it again (and when I say "it," I mean the plastic parts of your interior, dashboard, ect.) with an amour leather wipe. They get rid of that last trace of grey...
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Re: Cars - Expensive and Dirty business

Postby HandJamMasterC » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:13 pm

I've driven my Toyota truck 3 years to the Burn, and this will be year 4. No problem - just wash it, clean it inside and out, change the oil and don't worry about it.
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Re: Cars - Expensive and Dirty business

Postby oneeyeddick » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:19 pm

Sure you can say that with a Toyota.
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Re: Cars - Expensive and Dirty business

Postby Korwedge » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:36 pm

I always turn off all the vents and keep the windows rolled up when off the pavement (even if it's hot). Once I find my campsite, I lock the car and never open until exodus day. Stays pretty clean inside that way. Once on pavement again, I open the vents and turn on the a/c, a little poof of playa dust, and then clean air :)
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Re: Cars - Expensive and Dirty business

Postby Ugly Dougly » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:39 pm

Wax it before you go out. Find a charity carwash to clean it afterburn. Detail it yourself and have the air filter and oil changed when you get back.
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Re: Cars - Expensive and Dirty business

Postby SnowBlind » Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:26 am

Korwedge wrote:I always turn off all the vents and keep the windows rolled up when off the pavement (even if it's hot). Once I find my campsite, I lock the car and never open until exodus day. Stays pretty clean inside that way. Once on pavement again, I open the vents and turn on the a/c, a little poof of playa dust, and then clean air :)


I put it on recirculation. That way you still have AC going, but you don't suck in outside air. Most american cars go to recirculation if you put the AC to the 'max' setting.

The other thing I do is put some plastic sheets (like you use for painting) in the trunk and the seats where I load stuff. That pays off at the end of the week when you load your stuff that's coated in dust back into the car.

And +1 for not opening the car all week. Some people practically live out of their car, and that's cool, but you *will* get tons more dust into it that way.
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Re: Cars - Expensive and Dirty business

Postby Savannah » Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:34 am

If you rent, don't get an SUV if you can help it. They almost always cost way more than a humble van/cargo van, and SUVs have less space inside.

Rental SUVs are not for off-roading or rugged purposes anyway--they're intended for families, or people who just like driving SUVS. Whereas cargo vans have slightly lower expectations of perfection and treatment, because people use them to move or haul lots of stuff/people.
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Re: Cars - Expensive and Dirty business

Postby FIGJAM » Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:43 am

And since cargo vans don't have all that fabric, you can park on a hill and hose them out. 8)
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Re: Cars - Expensive and Dirty business

Postby Savannah » Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:47 am

That's what my campmate did in 2009. Pressure washer. I wasn't there for it, but apparently it was fast as a flash.
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Re: Cars - Expensive and Dirty business

Postby SnowBlind » Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:56 am

I love the part about parking on a hill.
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Re: Cars - Expensive and Dirty business

Postby Savannah » Fri Aug 12, 2011 12:04 pm

:lol:
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Re: Cars - Expensive and Dirty business

Postby swampdog » Fri Aug 12, 2011 12:21 pm

When I've kept a car shut up tight during the event I've had very little problem with dust. Give it a good washing, maybe steam clean the engine, you're good to go. One year I slept in the back seat of my truck and forgot to seal the windows every morning. That was a mess. Still is, for that matter.
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