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I thought I'd share with you a quick run-down of my trip to Las Vegas, which ended yesterday. We set off on January 2. Me, wife, in-laws and our two toddlers (6 total), plus luggage for 6 days. I was amazed how much space there was in the trunk while using all three rows for passengers. All our luggage went in the trunk and under the rear bench without much of a squeeze - and those of you with young kids know how much stuff you have to take. I also mounted our 9" TV/VCR between the driver and passenger seats using a Steel Horse TV Tote (see earlier threads on the subject). With passengers and luggage I estimate we loaded the van with about 1000 lbs.

Anyway, first day we went 260 miles from San Francisco to Bakersfield and stayed the night. Poured with rain almost the whole way. Next day we drove the remaining 280 or so miles to Las Vegas, with some rain and fog early on. The road (Highway 58 east) was closed due to a crash in the fog, so we had to take a number of detours. Still, got to Las Vegas in pretty good time.

While in Las Vegas we used the van to drive up and down the strip and visit the Hoover Dam.

We returned in one go yesterday, 560 miles in 11 hours (including 5 stops).

Some observations:

1) The squeaky sliding door rubber seals are a definite irritation. I liberally applied silicone spray to them before we departed, but after a couple of hours in the rain and having the wet doors opened and closed a couple of times they started squeaking again. I hope Honda can replace them with better seals in the future.

2) The engine and transmission are simply amazing. Always finds the right gear at the right time, and bags of power for overtaking on the freeway. At one point I had a Ford Expedition up my tailpipe while going along I-15 at about 70 mph. I was in the left lane and there was a truck in front of me who was also doing about 70 mph, but wouldn't pull over. I could see the guy in the Expedition looking around us to see if he could overtake, and he was right behind me. I floored it, moved into the right hand lane and overtook the truck and another vehicle in front of it, accelerating to about 90 mph in the process. I then eased off the gas and settled down to 75 mph. Needless to say the Expedition kept his distance after that. And that was fully loaded! The van will happily cruise at 80 mph indicated, with power to spare. I suspect the van could comfortably cruise at 100 if you wanted, although fuel consumption would suffer. On numerous other occasions on was on a single lane road and was able to overtake trucks and other vehicles quickly and safely. Definitely nice to have the power in hand.

3) The 9" TV/VCR worked very well. Kept my 3.5 year-old quiet and my 1.5 year-old distracted. On the trip back they watched TV for about 4 hours, in absolute silence. Bliss!

4) The rear shocks are a bit weak. There was a definite sag in the rear with the wheels splayed outwards when fully loaded. Didn't really notice it when driving, but the shocks should probably be a bit stiffer.

5) Averaged 22.2 mpg for the drive to Las Vegas (with some non-freeway detours and in-town driving), 19 mpg in Las Vegas (up and down the Strip), and 23.6 mpg on the drive back (all freeway, with the A/C off for probably 30% of the journey). Pretty respectable figures for an engine that is still breaking in (3200 miles) and a van loaded with 1000 lbs of people/stuff. Drove about 1350 miles total.

6) Got a slight scratch on the leading edge of the driver side sliding door. Our stroller fell against it. Annoying but I can touch it up.

7) Spilled some cherry cola on one of the flip-out cup holders on the side of a second row seat. It looked like it had stained as I couldn't wipe it off. Removed the cup holder and boiled it in a pan (!) and the stain lifted out.

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Richard
2002 Granite Green EX-L
Splash Guards, Cargo Tray, Weathertech Mats
 

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Nice trip! I'm glad you did not get into that mess on Hwy 58! You need AirLifts when you go with the load you carry. They are a good product and there is good install information on this site. Shocks will not help with the sagging rear end.

Please be careful of that real high speed running. Remember, you are driving a soccerbus with a maximum load in it. If you have to take evasive action sometime, at that speed, you could end up rolling down the road. The Odyssey is a very safe van, but.........

Jerry O.

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2001 Odyssey GG LX
 
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