Who else thinks a caravan is a great idea?

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Who else thinks a caravan is a great idea?

Postby xypher » Wed May 09, 2012 9:33 am

So I'm a first timer that's coming from Knoxville TN. First I was gonna make the drive out, then I was gonna fly, then drive...etc you get the idea.
It's been a struggle to figure out what to do so far because I don't really want to drive 5000+ alone.

Then I had this great idea. A caravan! It would be so cool to try to find out who else is going to need a ride and who has extra seats to offer, then coordinate a growing caravan from one side of the country to the other.

For example; Someone coming from new york that has a large vehicle who is picking up several people on the way to say, nebraska, can meet up with me coming from knoxville. [I have room for one by the way]
Then say someone from the southeast wants to join our caravan. They can meet up with me before I leave town, then we depart together and we meet up with Mr. New York. We can repeat this trend all the way to BRC.

The idea is that it's a way to meet new people, make friends, and help them out at the same time. Also this can be an experiment in people coming together to reach goals. I think that it's a very uplifting idea. It's not really the same kind of experience you would get from meeting and riding down with a couple people from ride-share. It's a little more large-scale then that.

And who knows, maybe we could start a camp based around having a large army of friends that we join up and drive with on our way to BRC every year. That would be awesome!

Any thoughts or comments on this idea?
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Re: Who else thinks a caravan is a great idea?

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed May 09, 2012 9:40 am

It's your idea, run with it.* Two issues stand out for me:
Different entry times
What if a car breaks down
There's a rideshare board on the main site. That might be a good place to start. Although, "social media" might end up being a good way to maintain contact until things are going.

I'm coming from the Bay Area (San Francisco) so it's not for me, but I would have loved to be with other people last year...

*This is what's known as the "do-ocracy statement".
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Re: Who else thinks a caravan is a great idea?

Postby Dr. Pyro » Wed May 09, 2012 9:45 am

I like the idea of a caravan, but I'm coming from Auburn, California which is only 220 miles from Black Rock City. We do pick up cars and people at the Donner Summit Rest Area, Sands in Reno, and occasionally in Wadsworth. It's easy. The problem with a long cross-country caravan is that you are only as fast as your slowest person. You need to stop more often for gas (different vehicles have vastly different capacities), potty breaks, food, stretching, etc. So more cars/vans/RVs in the caravan, the slower you become. Now, if you have plenty of time (say 5 days to travel across country), then it's not so bad. Also a good idea is to be able to communicate; CBs are great for this. That way if somebody pulls off, the rest of the caravan can go on ahead and the people who stopped will know how far, and how long at what speed, it will take them to catch up (assuming they can do simple algebra). Caravans are fun but inherently inefficient. YMMV, but I doubt it.
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Re: Who else thinks a caravan is a great idea?

Postby xypher » Wed May 09, 2012 9:53 am

Yeah, I was thinking social media would play a big role in everything.

What do you mean by different entry times exactly?

And the car breaking down thing has crossed my mind. But if it were to happen I'm sure people in the caravan would offer to help. :) Plus it beats breaking down in the middle of nowhere without a single soul in site. :shock:
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Re: Who else thinks a caravan is a great idea?

Postby xypher » Wed May 09, 2012 10:08 am

Dr. Pyro wrote:I like the idea of a caravan, but I'm coming from Auburn, California which is only 220 miles from Black Rock City. We do pick up cars and people at the Donner Summit Rest Area, Sands in Reno, and occasionally in Wadsworth. It's easy. The problem with a long cross-country caravan is that you are only as fast as your slowest person. You need to stop more often for gas (different vehicles have vastly different capacities), potty breaks, food, stretching, etc. So more cars/vans/RVs in the caravan, the slower you become. Now, if you have plenty of time (say 5 days to travel across country), then it's not so bad. Also a good idea is to be able to communicate; CBs are great for this. That way if somebody pulls off, the rest of the caravan can go on ahead and the people who stopped will know how far, and how long at what speed, it will take them to catch up (assuming they can do simple algebra). Caravans are fun but inherently inefficient. YMMV, but I doubt it.


That bit about the longer the caravan is, the longer it takes makes sense. The idea was more for the fun and bonding aspect than efficiency anyway.

And i had thought about CB radios, but my initial thought was two-way radios from like Walmart or something. the thought is that they are slightly cheaper. i haven't researched it yet though.
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Re: Who else thinks a caravan is a great idea?

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed May 09, 2012 10:09 am

Some people might have early entry (say Friday before the gate opens) and others might not be able to get on the road as early and because they need to work or something. A caravan would probably work best for arrival on Monday or Tuesday.
To add to what Doc said, most places on the interstates *should* have cell phone coverage. actually, I could be wrong and it probably varies by carrier and plan.
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Re: Who else thinks a caravan is a great idea?

Postby FIGJAM » Wed May 09, 2012 10:32 am

Not a caravan, a.......


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Re: Who else thinks a caravan is a great idea?

Postby SnowBlind » Wed May 09, 2012 11:29 am

xypher wrote:And i had thought about CB radios, but my initial thought was two-way radios from like Walmart or something. the thought is that they are slightly cheaper. i haven't researched it yet though.


They have a fairly short range. They are good for talking while you are driving together, but useless if you get separated even a little bit. OTOH, since you have Cellphones as a backup, maybe that's OK.
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Re: Who else thinks a caravan is a great idea?

Postby dragonpilot » Wed May 09, 2012 12:55 pm

Define caravan. If you mean a string of vehicles parading down the interstates and highways following each other you may run afoul of some states' laws. If you mean a loosely organized group of vehicles that coordinate rendezvous at various way-points, communicating via CBs or cell phones, you'll prolly be OK.

The problems with the former are tying up non-caravan traffic, being totally reliant and trusting on whoever is leading, keeping your eyes glued on the bumper of the vehicle in front of you, and establishing a set of agreements for whatever comes up during the trip (ie: what do you do when someone breaks down).

The latter offers much more flexibility, requires a minimum of coordination, is much less fatiguing, and still achieves the camaraderie desired when the group pulls into its nightly rest stop...which is pretty much how we do it when we leave from Seattle.
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Re: Who else thinks a caravan is a great idea?

Postby Mojojita » Wed May 09, 2012 1:09 pm

One thing that has brought us a lot of joy over the years is that we use glass paint and put big burning man symbols on windows on each side and back of our old RV. The honks and waves all the way there are wonderful. We play "spot the burners" road trip game - look for telltale things on their vehicle like bikes, water bottles, pvc and tarps, giant art cars, etc... The parking lots in Reno at hotels and shopping centers are a howl! It is too easy on the drive back - we see playa covered vehicles hundreds and hundreds of miles away from BRC.
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Re: Who else thinks a caravan is a great idea?

Postby gyre » Wed May 09, 2012 5:27 pm

My plan would be the opposite, to minimize interaction with law enforcement and illegal searches and dismantling of my vehicle.

If I could look like I was going to Disney World I would.
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Re: Who else thinks a caravan is a great idea?

Postby gyre » Wed May 09, 2012 5:33 pm

Fyi, this is the good glass paint.

http://www.jurgenindustries.com/

The right red, blue and lemon yellow can be blended for infinite color range.
And the clear can be swirled through for the english streaky no one imports anymore.
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Re: Who else thinks a caravan is a great idea?

Postby trilobyte » Wed May 09, 2012 5:37 pm

Caravans can and do work, both for groups traveling from the same point of origin and for people picking up others along the way. One thing you'll want to consider, though, is that you want to plan a route that fairly efficient. In the case of someone in NY and picking up someone in Nebraska, Knoxville's kind of out of the way. The cost in fuel alone (remember, everyone's vehicles will be loaded down) could be prohibitive.

When planning a long haul caravan, I'd suggest you use the map as a guide. Try to connect with people in (or at least near) the towns and cities along the route. Or look at other towns and cities further away that would pass by you on their way (maybe North/South Carolina burners, etc). Post and use the rideshare board as well as the Share Resources board as necessary. Good luck!
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Re: Who else thinks a caravan is a great idea?

Postby gyre » Wed May 09, 2012 5:47 pm

If I drive straight in, I'll go through nebraska from Memphis.
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Re: Who else thinks a caravan is a great idea?

Postby TomServo » Wed May 09, 2012 5:59 pm

FIGJAM wrote:Not a caravan, a.......




I've done that before. Had that damned song stuck in my head every time.

To the OP....Sounds like tons-o-fun!
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Re: Who else thinks a caravan is a great idea?

Postby Captain Goddammit » Wed May 09, 2012 6:24 pm

FORGET the crappy WalMart radios! Get CBs. They aren't expensive and they work. The little handheld personal radios have the useful range of two tin cans with string between them, without the reliability.

I personally like the caravan plan because it's a lot more fun and a lot safer (in case you do break down in the middle of nowhere - but everyone is right, the bigger the slower! I find that two or three vehicles is about right.
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Re: Who else thinks a caravan is a great idea?

Postby TomServo » Wed May 09, 2012 6:39 pm

Channel 19
anything worth doing..is worth overdoing

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Re: Who else thinks a caravan is a great idea?

Postby xypher » Wed May 09, 2012 6:41 pm

Wow! Thanks for all the input everyone.

I'll keep CBs in mind and the bigger = slower effect as well. I don't even know if I'd be able to get a small caravan together this year.
I just don't think i know enough people yet and i kinda get the vibe that people are wary about getting rides from people out of state. But I'm still hopeful that i can get something together. :D
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Re: Who else thinks a caravan is a great idea?

Postby CaffeineGirl » Thu May 10, 2012 8:42 am

Last year we had a small caravan traveling the 500 miles from Vancouver WA to BRC, starting at 0:dark:30 and arriving at the gate about 7 PM. We had an RV, and overloaded SUV, and a small SUV hauling a trailer. A lot of the route is outside of cell range. It was a lot of fun, and worked well for trading off drivers and passengers, keeping everyone entertained and alert. However, even with driving thru in one day we still got separated a number of times. We did agree at points to meet at (summer lake hot springs, certain restaurants, gas stations, or viewpoints), and that worked the best for keeping us somewhat together, while allowing for the different vehicle speeds and fuel consumption. It also means you only travel as fast as the slowest vehicle. Burner symbols on the vehicles also help with meeting new friends along the way. On the way back, the dusty vehicle takes care of that.
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Re: Who else thinks a caravan is a great idea?

Postby elKay » Tue May 15, 2012 1:44 pm

We drove last year and had a blast meeting folks along the way there and back. It was my first drive west and I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to just pull over some place and park for the night. You sure can't do that here in Illinois, or there would be an officer knocking on your window before too long.

I think that a loose caravan would be fun. Maybe even as little as a few suggested stops.
One of the highlights of last year's trip was when we found a couple of apparently suffering young burners, out of their tiny car, waking up after sleeping on picnic tables at the salt flats and we made them some hot breakfast at sunrise.
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Re: Who else thinks a caravan is a great idea?

Postby danibel » Tue May 15, 2012 1:48 pm

Mojojita wrote:One thing that has brought us a lot of joy over the years is that we use glass paint and put big burning man symbols on windows on each side and back of our old RV. The honks and waves all the way there are wonderful. We play "spot the burners" road trip game - look for telltale things on their vehicle like bikes, water bottles, pvc and tarps, giant art cars, etc... The parking lots in Reno at hotels and shopping centers are a howl! It is too easy on the drive back - we see playa covered vehicles hundreds and hundreds of miles away from BRC.



We do this too! I do enjoy the challenge of spotting them on the way in! Like you said, it's too easy on the way home! :)
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Re: Who else thinks a caravan is a great idea?

Postby Savannah » Tue May 15, 2012 1:51 pm

danibel wrote:
Mojojita wrote:One thing that has brought us a lot of joy over the years is that we use glass paint and put big burning man symbols on windows on each side and back of our old RV. The honks and waves all the way there are wonderful. We play "spot the burners" road trip game - look for telltale things on their vehicle like bikes, water bottles, pvc and tarps, giant art cars, etc... The parking lots in Reno at hotels and shopping centers are a howl! It is too easy on the drive back - we see playa covered vehicles hundreds and hundreds of miles away from BRC.



We do this too! I do enjoy the challenge of spotting them on the way in! Like you said, it's too easy on the way home! :)


My co-pilot and I once got totally fooled by a station wagon half full of a girls' softball team.

We couldn't help it; the vehicle was chock-full of stuff, and they'd written WEASELS RIPPED OUR FLESH on the back window in pink neon paint pen.
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Re: Who else thinks a caravan is a great idea?

Postby gyre » Tue May 15, 2012 5:02 pm

I presume you caught the reference.
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Re: Who else thinks a caravan is a great idea?

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue May 15, 2012 7:32 pm

Spot the Burner on 80 east is a joke... No way you can lose... Even when the gates aren't open.

Of course, I don't have anyone to play with anymore...
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Re: Who else thinks a caravan is a great idea?

Postby Savannah » Tue May 15, 2012 9:48 pm

gyre wrote:I presume you caught the reference.


This is the one I like.

Image
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