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Well...

We are taking our first road trip in the Enclave this coming weekend for Spring Break and driving from DFW to Fort Lauderdale in one day.

We've made this trip several times and it's really not too bad. We leave on a Friday evening and I drive until Pensacola when the sun is coming up. My wife takes over until Orlando, and then I take us the rest of the way in to Fort Lauderdale.

Well... that was always with the Town and Country minivan. It had a lot more storage space than the Enclave has, and the 2nd row captain's chairs actually reclined so the kids could get some decent rest, while the 3rd kid laid down across the 3rd row.

Anway... since this is our first real test of a family of 5 in the Enclave over a significant distance... I was wondering if any of you had any suggestions to make the trip go a bit more smoothly... especially if you've also come from a minivan to a Lambda variant.

Kids are 9, 11, and 16. We don't have the video system and didn't feel we needed it since they use their iPads more than anything else anyway. We will of course be using the supplied USB charging ports for the various electronics. ;)

Alrighty... tips, tricks, suggestions?

Thanks in advance folks!

Bob
 

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I traveled with 5 in a Traverse that is set up the same as the Enclave. As for space the smallest person goes in the back in the 40 section, witch is the small seat. The wide seat goes down for storage. Added a hitch and a carry all platform. With the carry all i had a nice big leather bag that was the size of the platform wide and about 2 feet tall. This always supplied enough room. Of course you have to pack as light as you can. I had all females so i had too carry a big stick. I no longer need too travel that way, the girls have grown and travel with their own cars. My nephew inlaw now uses the carry all and stacks plastic bins with strap tie downs. The carry all was a great asset.
 

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Ive made trips that were 29.x (engine run time hours ) long- and 39 hrs long overall.
meaning 10 hrs were spent at rest stops, eating, checkpoints, toll booths, gas, etc.

Kids were 1 to 6 on the multiple trips over the years. Our large german shepherd came along on several of the trips.
But a hitch rack was great.
Cheap portable DVD players WITH headphones were EXCELLENT buys with an assortment of kids cartoon. Elmo, Charlie Brown, He-Man....
Now with ipads etc--- prob a different story.

Teens-- I guess thats a whole new ball game.

But what helps is making pit stops a little more often- help people stretch out.

Top up your wiper fluid.


THe difference is your wife assists with the driving... for quite a distance.
My wife does not like to drive on the long trips.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
All great suggestions so far folks! I really appreciate it.

It's too late to try the hitch rack... but that will definitely be on our list for future road trips.

Also, our Enclave came with the Roof Side Rails, but not the Cross Rails... so I'm placing an order for those this week. Still will be too late for our trip.

I've added a couple of quick charge USB chargers to all available charging ports in the car, and we've essentially told the kiddos to pack a bit lighter this time around. There's nothing that we can't get... if we need it during the week. 16 year old prefers the 3rd row so she can stretch out or lay down across the whole back seat. Worse case scenario... we'll drop the 40 side of the 3rd row and give her the 60 percent side. But... I'm hoping to prevent that all together.

At this point... I don't think we'll be able to see out the rear window at all. :surprise:

Fluids & Tires are good... it just came off the dealer lot last week, and I rechecked everything when I got home. Even finagled new wipers and a new windshield from the dealer... new windshield goes in tomorrow morning.

We travel primarily at night to prevent the need for pitstops starting out. In the morning we'll be in Pensacola, so it will be easier to stop more and we'll feel like we've made "progress". Travelling with all girls/women isn't always the easiest... but I try to make it work. :wink:

Thanks again for the tips folks... if you have anymore... keep them coming. This certainly won't be the last road-trip we take in the Enclave. We bought a 7 passenger car for a reason. :smile:
 

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THe one thing I found with traveling with women--- they need pitstops- more often.

But since youre getting the cross rails- you can get the cloth cargo bag.


I have everyone put soft clothes in plastic bags (2 reasons- easy to squash and plastic bags in case it rains--- the cargo bags on the roof are water repellent-- not water proof. At 60-80 MPH--- water will find its way in)
I also use bungee cords to flatten out the cargo bag once its filled. a little more aerodynamic.
This frees up lots of space on the inside for more cargo or free space for a comfy ride.


And by the way--- an easy way to get access to you roof bag/crossrails---
is to open your rear doors--- flip the seatback down-- and step on the seatbacks.
its flat- and gives you quite a reach- vs standing on the door plate.

I have the canvasback- so stepping and cleaning are easy.
If you have no protector- place some paper of a piece of old cloth.
 

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One thing......

Now is the time--- to grab your manual-- and do a test run of grabbing the tools in the storage area- and lowering- cleaning- airing up your spare, and raising it back up.

When you get a flat- at 2am in the dark.... is not the time to try to figure out how to get the spare tire down.
I would not be surprissed if its really dirty (metal rim) and extremely low on air.
I had a how to (spare) but pics are not viewable.
unless you have that webbrowser workaround for photobucket that someone posted last week.

http://www.enclaveforum.net/117198-post10.html

By the way-- some vehicles came with plastic gloves, and some plastic to place the dirty tire on.
 

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I for one tried the soft roof bag and dumped it immediately. Gas mileage was horrible, to much wind resistants, It was like i was towing an anchor. With the carry all it was easy to load and never knew it was there.
 

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Ive had the bag on top, cargo rack on the rear, 4 inside, german shepherd, and tons of cargo in the rear at the same time....

and still achieved 19-23 MPG doing 75-80 on 3700 mile trips.

Maybe you used one of those big square bags?

.
 

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I would not recommend using travel companies, since they are of no use at all. We drove in two cars and with five children and I will say that it was very easy. It was about two years ago, and I will never forget this trip. I would recommend to you before the trip, to determine the exact location, see reviews and photos so that there are no collapses. You can do this here http://travelazzi.com/ . I myself use this service and am very satisfied.
 
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