Driving from Vancouver to Disneyland takes stamina, patience, and a seriously reliable vehicle. This isn’t a drive for the faint of heart, because you’ll encounter flats, forests, and mountains, plus possibly some of the worst highway traffic I’ve ever seen on a road that’s supposed to be 120km/70 miles per hour speed limit.
I’ve done the drive on the I5 in a Pontiac Montana, 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan (twice), and this year I took my brand new 2013 Dodge Caravan. Out of all these cars, my new, shiny red Dodge Caravan is the one I want to be riding in when I’m traveling that nasty 5 hour stretch from Sacramento to Los Angeles – you know, when it hits 42 degrees (107F for those wondering). You do NOT want to break down there.
Last week I drove 2,058.9 km (1279.34 miles) in my new van and here’s what I noticed that was different about my 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan than any other vehicle I’ve taken:
I hit the ‘Econo Mode‘ button and I got a whopping 800km to a tank of gas when I drove from Belligham to Oregon. For real. I almost died from shock.
Gas Cost 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan
To drive from Aldergrove, British Columbia to Disneyland where we’re staying, it cost me $155 in gas.
Seriously. For 5 people to travel from near Vancouver to Disneyland cost $155. It took me 20 hours and I stopped over night once. I have never, ever had a trip that cost so little before.
I’ve had stow and go seats before, but the compartment of the 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan is extra spacious. I stowed all the kids bags underneath and the pillows, etc in the back. I still have a ton of room for all the cool trip souvenirs we’re bringing back, and even the kids say they have more than enough room to spread out. More room = less fist fights, thank you.
The built-in DVD player doesn’t hurt either, and because the 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan has an audio system where I can put all audio to the back speakers, I don’t have to listen to Sponge Bob over and over and over again.
I stick to the speed limit, but when I was cruising up those mountains in Northern California I was kicking butt and taking names. Even in Econo Mode when the motor keeps the RPMs low to conserve gas, I still had power to spare.
This doesn’t have much to do with road trips, but can I just stop for a minute here and say that DAMN, this is a good looking minivan. I get asked in parking lots how I like it, and that shiny red paint is a show stopper when it’s washed. Even covered in sand from the ocean (as it now is) and basking out in 100 degree heat, that car looks good. I’d also like to high five whomever developed that air conditioner system that keeps the kids in the back cool while still chilling me out on the first setting.
I do this road trip every year, and this year I did it by myself with 4 kids in the backseat. How can I feel so comfortable driving for 20 hours alone with my kids? Because I trust my minivan, and that goes a long way to having a great trip no matter where you’re driving.
Doing a road trip soon? Check out all of my road trip posts and hotel reviews.