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Am I Missing Something?

2014 Camry with 19,600 miles
Three tires patched approx 4k to 5k miles ago
Oil changed, tires rotated approx 600 miles ago
When tires were rotated, all three patches were sound with no problems. Tire tread still excellent. No air leaks at all since the tires were patched. No driving, handling problems. No reason not to trust tires despite the patches. Service department vetted the tires as safe, good, totally road worthy only a month and about 600 miles ago.

I am about to make a 800 mile round trip, 95% interstate driving. The car is only two years old (barely broken in by my standards). Absolutely no issues or problems, runs like a dream.

Prep I have made for the trip:

  • regular weekly check of oil; full and clean
  • regular weekly check of tires; proper pressure with no loss, no sign of uneven wear, no cracks, etc.
  • regular weekly check of fluid levels; all full and normal, topped off windshield washer fluid
  • checked spare tire pressure, still at full pressure from my normal springtime check and adding air several weeks ago
  • cleaned car inside and outside with detail attention to clean glass all around and clean headlights and tailights
  • maps and road atlas onboard
  • cell phone with in-car charger cord
  • AAA membership active
  • window cleaning supplies onboard
  • emergency bottled water and snacks onboard

I am experienced making long road trips, usually alone. Just haven’t yet made farther than a 200 mile round trip drive in this car. And it has been two and a half years since my last 800 mile trip. But I have literally been on several cross country driving trips in excess of 15k miles in an older, far less reliable car with no problems, so a mere 800 mile trip doesn’t faze me. I know my physical limitations and allow extra time for more and longer rest breaks than when younger. (Okay, so I am 61 years old but hardly antique.)

Despite all this, for some reason many family and friends who have never even seen this car, nice newish Camry that it is, think I should rent a car to make this trip. Really??? It is only one day’s drive from St. Louis to Dubuque, two days in Dubuque, and one day back. Newish car with low miles, trustworthy with no problems, tires vetted as no worries, etc. I have total confidence in this car.

So what reason is there for almost universal pressure to rent a car for such a short trip??? Am I missing something???

…still reading, still learning…

My family figures I make decisions about maintaining cars and what car to drive where. Why would your family have an opinion on this? Take the Camry.

@UncleTurbo. I live alone. Guess perhaps folks somehow think I am getting “too old” to make a trip alone. Cannot fathom why a rental car would make me more secure than a car I know, maintain well and just had serviced a month ago. BTW, despite a bum knee and severe arthritis I walk between 2.5 to 7.0 miles most days.

I suppose my question gets down to wondering if there is some popular reason for renting cars for simple trips that originate driving directly from and back to my home???

I see no reason in the world to rent a car. Drive your Camry without worry. If your car was 15 years old with 200k miles on it then a rental car could be considered a good move.

And major league kudos to you for checking fluid, tires, and being prepared with the extras.
There’s a segment of people out there who will take off on trips without even raising the hood to check anything. Sometimes they’re spotted on the side of the road…

I do the same thing whenever I take a road trip. I can’t stand starting off with a dirty car so it gets thoroughly cleaned both in and out. Just improves my outlook a bit… :smile:

I just bought an ex-rental car, it has 30K miles on it so you can do worse if you want to.

I will just add a flat repair kit, one of those inflator sprays just in case you are stuck somewhere, AAA is not helping and you don’t feel safe to change the tire.

Now, get back to us when you are 91, we might have different plans for you :smile:

@ok4450. A clean car always is more comfy! And somehow seems more roadworthy. :slight_smile:

@galant. Ah, hadn’t thought of a fix flat kit. No way I can physically change a tire. My hands could never manage it.

I agree. That’s a hop skip and a jump of a trip. No big deal. One thing though is check the pressure in the spare tire is all and make sure the jack and everything is in order. You could get a rental with more miles on it than that. To be perfectly honest though it would drive me nuts to have three patched tires on a new car. I remember when you ran over the debris and all and there is no reason to think the repairs won’t hold up for the life of the tire, but it would still drive me a little nuts until I changed them. You are checking the pressure regularly (TPMS?) and every thing is fine so no big deal. So have a good trip.

@Bing. Yes, I check the tire pressure regularly, especially with patched tires. No TPMS in this car. Only car with TPMS I ever had was the Impala. I do miss TPMS and the compass. But I always manually double checked tire pressure on the Impala anyway so reverting to no TPMS is no hardship. Forty years habit dies hard.

I agree - this car is ideal for your trip.
If it were me, rather than fix-a-flat, I travel with a 12v tire inflator. Then for any slow leak, I can easily get to a garage.

Take the Camry and enjoy yourself.


“Am I missing something???”

Yes, You Are!
You are forgetting to breathe and relax. You deserve it!
You’ve done everything and beyond. There are certain things that can happen to you that you have no control over at all (and not necessarily when travelling). I won’t elaborate and I don’t have access to what they might be. You’ve even mentioned some car and house issues here…

You know how that goes… , but You have successfully made it for 61 years, so far, wiser and better prepared!

A week ago, I hopped in my old Bonneville (over 175,000 miles on it, but reasonably maintained) and went nearly 600 miles (round trip), leaving early and coming home late the same day, just to look at a car that was for sale. I was disappointed by the sale car, but I had no problems on the trip, and I’m several years older than you.

You’ve dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s. Excellent! That’s all you can do. Anything else is out of your hands. Ignore the well meaning relatives, relax and enjoy yourself. Your trip will go well.

Bon Voyage!

Your Camry should be just fine. I have taken a 7000 mile trip with a 10 year old Buick station wagon with 100,000 miles on it pulling a camper and only had one bad spark plug wire, replaced at Walmart for $15.

As with any trip I take I carry a cell phone, my AAA card and credit cards. That’s just peace of mind.

So, ignore your relatives and enjoy the trip. It’s all about reducing risk as much as you can. A thousand miles is nothing.

I don’t think you could be any more prepared unless you towed a backup car behind the Camry.

A lot of people like to tell me to rent cars for road trips too. Sometimes I suspect it’s because they do such a bad job at maintaining their vehicles that they aren’t road-trip-worthy, and so they project their vehicles’ inadequacies onto mine.

I’ve made many long road trips in my 180,000+ mile MR2. By comparison your car is so young it hasn’t even been built yet. :wink:

Are you a smoker?

"A lot of people like to tell me to rent cars for road trips too. Sometimes I suspect it’s because they do such a bad job at maintaining their vehicles that they aren’t road-trip-worthy, and so they project their vehicles’ inadequacies onto mine. "

I drive my own car on road trips and I rent cars for road trips.
There are times when renting for a trip is the right choice and it doesn’t have to do with car age or mileage, maintenance or lack of it.

This relatively short road trip that is being discussed is not one where renting makes sense.

Sure, if there are extenuating reasons for renting a car on a road trip, do it. But automatically telling me to rent a car on a road trip just because… Well, I don’t exactly know why is silly.

I get particularly amused when people find out I’m going on a road trip to a racing event with a bunch of other import heads and they tell me to go rent a car… Erm, taking my MR2 is kinda the point!

"I get particularly amused when people find out I’m going on a road trip to a racing event with a bunch of other import heads and they tell me to go rent a car… Erm, taking my MR2 is kinda the point!"

I hear you! I go out for a 5k run and well-meaning folks pull along-side and offer me rides… :wink:

I asked Marnet if he smokes because I won’t ride in a car the interior of which is permeated with old cigarette smoke. I’m thinking that if he smokes, that might be the reason everyone is telling him to rent a car.

Marnet is She!

Oops. Sincere apologies, Marnet. I was unaware of that.