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Traveling with your 5th Scale

This is by far no defacto statement of what you should do when traveling within the US with your equipment. This is just my observations of my recent trip and what I did and would recommend.

The first thing to decide is whether you are taking your car with you on the plane or shipping it ahead of time. Shipping it can be beneficial if you have someone trusted on the other end to receive it. The cost of taking it with you on the plane needs to be compared with shipping it and how much you will be packing in each container.

For me I had the ability of having someone to ship to and accept the packages I was sending.

I sent two packages. One container with the car, parts, minimum compliment of tires and some tools weighing in at 65 lbs. The second container was for two bodies. Shipping with Fedex from Los Angeles to Miami via ground (4-5 days) was $75 each way for the car and $35 each way for the bodies. Had I had a container big enough for the car and body I could have eliminated that cost. So for this comparison we will just focus on the container with the car.

The second container I took with me on the plane. This had my motors, other tools, chargers, power supplies and misc parts this one weighed in at 60 lbs. This one was the killer because it was 10 pounds over Jet Blue's limit so add $100 each way for that one.

Now into your race logistics

If you are lucky enough to have a trusted competitor at the track you are visiting that can give you accurate tire data you can focus on exactly what you may need with some slight variations rather than bringing the kitchen sink  which is what I did. Luckily for me my sponsor shipped everything I asked for and I just had to pay for what I used or wanted to keep but for the sake of the expense report I will list that cost in the total.

Hotel / Motel

This preference is individual. I like the Inn / Motel because  I can usually get a spot right in front of my door and wheel my containers right into my room after a day at the track. For the event in Miami you are looking at $100 a day for a 4 day event.

Rental Car

Well my points are with Enterprise. They actually had a good deal on a mid size SUV (probably because I booked so far in advance). $385

Now for the packing tips

Your Car

This is my opinion and I will explain why. Gas smell is bad. From the last event some racers had items confiscated by the airlines.

1) At least 3 days before you plan to pack your car remove the gas tank and at minimum clean the outside (Dawn works great). Then rinse the inside with water a few times and set the tank aside with the cap open so it can air out. Usually this is enough. If not, you can clean the inside with dawn as well. Then take the tank and put it in a zip lock.

2) Remove the engine (why you ask, I'll get to that), remove the exhaust, remove the carb. While holding the carb with the bulb pointed up, press the bulb to pump out all the gas left in the primer. Wipe the top of the carb intake. If you had any build up around the top or bottom because of a leak clean that off as well. Place the carb in a zip lock. Now look at the motor, clean off any residue from oil and gas on the motor. Tape up the exhaust and intake ports. Wrap the engine in bubble wrap with a few layers and tape it shut nice and tight. Take a few sniffs to see if you can smell gas. If not you are good. If you have a ziplock big enough for the motor I would do that too.

Now the reason for this is a matter of limiting damages. On one flight a racers car went through inspection and they smelled gas. He got lucky because they removed the gas tank and repacked the car and sent it on. Another racer wasn't so lucky, they confiscated his whole car. So if you take the tank and the engine out of the equation, you will at least arrive with your car and maybe someone would have a tank and / or motor you could borrow rather than having nothing at all.

So for my nice little 4 day trip from Los Angeles to Miami

Airfare (jet Blue by far the cheapest and direct) $375

Rental Car $385

Hotel $457

Subtotal $1217

Shipping and Baggage Cost $420

Tires $520 (This can be less if you know what you need)

Bodies $390 (Gotta look good for the main)

Total $2547



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WC5S 2019