[V8] Trip report - Thanksgiving holiday

Ed Kellock ekellock at gmail.com
Thu Dec 1 11:35:26 EST 2005

 "This is a really great car." quote from copilot about 30 minutes before
the completion of the journey.

Colorado Springs to Los Angeles (Santa Barbara & Palos Verdes), round trip.
Left Friday 11/18, returned Monday 11/28.

Overnight in St. George, UT on the way out, then Kingman, AZ & Santa Fe, NM
on the return.

Just under 2500 miles in about 32 hours.

Nearly $400 in premium fuel (at wildly varying prices).

23 mpg on the way there, 15 on the return, pulling a trailer.

My car came with a DaLan hitch when I bought it used in 1999. I've made good
use of it since. This time was a 4x8 Uhaul trailer which weighs 780 pounds
with a max gross weight of a ton. I'm pretty sure I was at or very near that
(books, record albums, furniture, an old Schwinn, household appliances,

On the way there, I was absolutely amazed at the speed of the "flow of
traffic". Through the Rockies on I70, traffic was flowing at between 85 and
95 mph. I happily flowed along with. Down I15 to St. George at night, about
the same, even with a road that looked (but fortunately was not) as slick as
petroleum jelly smeared on black ice. The rest of the way down I15 into the
LA basin, average speed was between 90 and 100+. I let a number of SUVs
drive off toward the horizon when I set my cruise control at 90-95. Even
through LA on 210/134/101 to Santa Barbara, traffic was rarely under 70 mph,
often 85+.

On the return, I set the cruise at 80. I chose my Nokian NSW's for the trip
and had those inflated to 40 all around. The trailer said 45 each for its
tires, done. With the load I had in it, the tires were well up inside the
fenders. And my car was pretty close to being on its bump stops in the rear,
what with 3 separate stops at Trader Joe's for wine and other necessities.
;-) (BTW, for TJ fans, there's one in Santa Fe now. Only a 4-hour drive from
home, yea!) Nevertheless, I was still able to lift the tongue of the trailer
when absolutely necessary so I believe I had it packed well, weight
distribution wise. It did virtually nothing but track perfectly behind the
car all the way home.

Lots of hills to climb too. At 80, I only needed to downshift to 4th as the
elevations increased. On I25 up through northern NM and CO, there were a few
3rd gear climbs, Raton Pass most notably, but even there, I was able to
maintain 75+, leaving a Nissan Titan far behind. Hmph. Maybe he was just
observing the speed limit... would have been quite out of character for him
considering the previous 100 miles. Anyway....

It's almost criminal to keep this car at 6000 feet elevation. It is such a
beast at sea level I almost didn't know how to drive it. Not!

Fortunately didn't have any inclement weather except for some crosswinds
coming up I25. Prior to that we lucked out with mostly all tail winds across

Trips like this make all the care and pampering worth it. And as noted by my
copilot, no "special Audi procedures" were required the entire time, save
for a rap or two on the dash to "refresh" the temp and fuel gauges.


Colorado Springs
'91 V8q 5-speed "a really great car" now with 144k miles

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