Subaru Caravan FAQ

The primary purpose of this post is to educate n00bs on how to properly travel in small or large groups from short to long distances. This post is based on the experiences of the Hampton Roads Subaru Club in Norfolk/Viginia Beach, VA. Believe it or not, this FAQ really helps as we’ve had wonderful 4 hour trips and really crappy 5 mile trips that have been the genesis of this knowledge.

Is it possible to stay in one long line? No. Abandon all hope of staying in complete formation from start to finish and let all attendees know this. This will stop people from running red lights. Running red lights makes you look like you lack certain chromosomes and also generates tickets. Also let people know there is no need to redline clutch dump at every stop sign/light and 100 MPH through school zones in order to catch up. Stragglers will eventually catch up and if not, several smaller groups can be fun too!

What is the best lane of travel? The slow lane, without a doubt.

What about taking up two lanes? Generally bad ju-ju unless you are on a multi-lane highway. As a general rule of thumb, you can go two wide on a three lane road, three wide on a four lane road, etc. for short periods of time. But try to stay single file as much as possible to avoid the act and appearance of being a rolling roadblock.

What is the best speed for staying together as much as possible? The speed limit. Have the lead person set their cruise control for the speed limit and keep it there. When going the speed limit, this allows stragglers to go 5-15 over the speed limit to eventually catch up. While speeding is not cool, most people don’t bat an eye at 5-15 over. As well, when going the speed limit, EVERYONE passes you and looks. After all, part of the journey’s purpose is to front….so front!

Baring sticking to the speed limit, settle on a speed before hand. Also realize that some members may have lots of tickets, need new brake pads, are limping along on a tire with a screw in it, etc. Needless to say, it’s best to cater your speed to the slowest guy. It’s a trip and supposed to be fun for all so stow your GT30 turbo, Ohlin’s suspension, and gummy bear tires for once and conform.

What about breaks? It’s best to plan these out ahead of time. Use your state’s DOT facilities as they off the best ingress and egress from the highway. For gas/food stops try to use large city areas for easiest access. Rural exits tend to have a limit selection and sometimes you find the “just off the highway Wendy’s” is actually 5 miles away.

For unplanned breaks, it’s nice for the lead car (AKA the rabbit) to have a cell phone so that they might lead the pack off the highway due to anyone’s call. In lieu of a cell phone, the person who needs a break (AKA the turtle) can speed up, overtake the lead car, become the rabbit, and lead the group off the highway.

What should I do before getting into a caravan? Always arrive with a full tank of gas, drinks, snacks, cash, a pack of smokes/dip, or whatnot. No one wants to wait while you get gas and a ham sandwich. Show some respect you schmuck! You should also have a set of printed out directions in case you get lost from the pack.

What’s the most important part of the caravan? Probably the pre-caravan driver’s meeting. The should be held by the caravan organizer. The rules, route, stops, and etiquette should be explained. Let any MaD tYte JDM y0 street racer types know that you will not tolerate BOV popping, racing, weaving, or other asshattery. If they wish to do this, they are to leave early or late, but generally NOT be a part of the main group.

Other things to remember:

a. Have money for tolls if applicable in your area or on your trip. Yes, you have EZ Pass, but you will look cooler if you pay the 75 cents like everyone else.
b. Keep an eye out for flashing lights behind you. This may mean the Subaru owner behind you may want you to stop immediately.
c. Have fun. Schedule Indian Runs. An Indian Run is where the Turtle goes from the back of the pack, passes everyone, and becomes the Rabbit. It makes the time go by and you get to see/hear other cars from different angles. This is also the perfect opportunity for passengers to take pictures or for people to throw the shocker at each other.
d. Communication can be useful. Aside from the Rabbit having a cell phone as discussed, two way radios and CBs are other methods of passing information and time. When using two way radios it is always cool to say, “***KKKKKKKKRRRCK*** Hey, what’s up!?! ***KKKKKKKKRRRCK***” with the KKKKKKKKRRRCK sound mimicing the static on/off sound of the mic keying even though microphones manufactured past 1957 no longer do this.

Leave a Reply

You can use these XHTML tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <strong>