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Road Trips Discussions about road trips you have made with your TDI.

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Old May 20th, 2008, 13:31   #1
liQuid03x
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Default Quebec Highway 389, 500 Trans-Labrador, Down to Newfoundland St-John's, back to NS

Alright, has anyone ever done Quebec's highway 389, the only road to labrador city, then gone on the Trans-Labrador highway in a SEDAN?

I'm asking, because I'm seriously thinking of planning a trip from Moncton, NB, all the way up Quebec and through Labrador, down to St-John's, then Ferry over to Nova Scotia, and back to Moncton. A big circle! I'd love to take the Jetta TDi, but I'm not sure if it can handle the roads, or lack thereof.

Anybody with experience, tips?
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Old May 20th, 2008, 16:12   #2
FL2AK-tdi
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Originally Posted by liQuid03x
Alright, has anyone ever done Quebec's highway 389, the only road to labrador city, then gone on the Trans-Labrador highway in a SEDAN?

I'm asking, because I'm seriously thinking of planning a trip from Moncton, NB, all the way up Quebec and through Labrador, down to St-John's, then Ferry over to Nova Scotia, and back to Moncton. A big circle! I'd love to take the Jetta TDi, but I'm not sure if it can handle the roads, or lack thereof.

Anybody with experience, tips?
Wow, that sounds like a cool trip! I just finsihed a Canadian Studies course and we talked about that area some; I didn't realize that the roads were that bad, however.

I once drove the Dalton Highway up to Prudhoe Bay, AK, which is 414 miles one-way of nothing but rocks and gravel. Be cautious and wear your skidplate! Let me know how it goes; I'll want to do it next summer.

Bon Chance!
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I'm used to reliable cars that rarely break (Toyotas) so owning a VW will be a new territory for me.
Quote:
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...you [are] a loyal VW owner, wether you like it or not

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I'm just not buying the whole, 01M sucks...end of story bit.

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Old May 20th, 2008, 17:18   #3
liQuid03x
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Edit: Nevermind, the skid plate is there hahaa.

Can jetta's be lifted a few more inches at all? Total newbie here.
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Last edited by liQuid03x; May 20th, 2008 at 17:23.
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Old May 20th, 2008, 17:41   #4
FL2AK-tdi
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Edit: Nevermind, the skid plate is there hahaa.

Can jetta's be lifted a few more inches at all? Total newbie here.
Yes, they can-to a point.

Metalnerd sells a lift kit that comes in 1" and 1.5" versions. Serach around here someplace, I think I oonce started a thread about them.

Apparently, it's all some what experimental/beta mode. Basically, the kit is something like machined metal disks that go over or under the shock and strut mounts. I think that a wheel alignment is required after installation.

A few people here have them and like them and one of the gurus spoke well of them. I chose not to go that route as I did not wish to deal with the excessive wear on the transaxles vreated by changing the stock geometry.

They were pretty affordable if I remember, something like $150 US, which is like $8 Canadian isn't it?

My car did very well on the Dalton Hwy until I drove it off a pavement break into a hole big enough to take both front tires at the same time; so the whole weight of the car went onto the skidplate and crushed the oil pan. But that wasa very extreme scenario, and turly, I wasn't paying attention when it happened. (Most expensive Mountain Dew I ever opened.)

I think you'll have a great trip. Je suis tres envieux.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by butter nuts
I'm used to reliable cars that rarely break (Toyotas) so owning a VW will be a new territory for me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JASONP
...you [are] a loyal VW owner, wether you like it or not

Quote:
Originally Posted by NB_TDi
I'm just not buying the whole, 01M sucks...end of story bit.

2001 Jetta Sedan GLS. 01M trans. Koni Reds. Evo Skidplate. Otherwise stock.

I <3 my automatic transmission. =)

They say that if you play a Windows CD backwards, it plays satanic music; that's nothing, if you play it forward, it installs Windows!

Last edited by FL2AK-tdi; May 20th, 2008 at 17:45.
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Old May 20th, 2008, 18:53   #5
liQuid03x
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Basically, as long as I'm careful, I think the car can handle the route. I should probably use some winter tires, or at least something with more tread, right? I don't really want to get stuck in the mud... I could always bring a winch with me haha! I'm planning this trip for the last two weeks of august, so I just need to prepare myself and the car.
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Old May 20th, 2008, 22:42   #6
FL2AK-tdi
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Basically, as long as I'm careful, I think the car can handle the route. I should probably use some winter tires, or at least something with more tread, right? I don't really want to get stuck in the mud... I could always bring a winch with me haha! I'm planning this trip for the last two weeks of august, so I just need to prepare myself and the car.
Buy a 10' length of deck planking at Lowe's and cut it into two, 3-4' sections; that will give you two planks to drive through mud over, if you get stuck. The third, smaller piece will make a stable base for the scissor jack, should you need to change a tire on soft ground.

I did my trip on michellin energy mxv4's. carry a second, mounted spare.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by butter nuts
I'm used to reliable cars that rarely break (Toyotas) so owning a VW will be a new territory for me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JASONP
...you [are] a loyal VW owner, wether you like it or not

Quote:
Originally Posted by NB_TDi
I'm just not buying the whole, 01M sucks...end of story bit.

2001 Jetta Sedan GLS. 01M trans. Koni Reds. Evo Skidplate. Otherwise stock.

I <3 my automatic transmission. =)

They say that if you play a Windows CD backwards, it plays satanic music; that's nothing, if you play it forward, it installs Windows!
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Old May 24th, 2008, 06:01   #7
yatzee
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This is a very odd - I was just chatting with a buddy about doing this exact trip this summer in my TDi.


There seems to be quite little information about the roads, in particular from Cartwright to Blanc-Sablon - it doesn't even show on Mapquest until you zoom in a lot.
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Old May 24th, 2008, 10:34   #8
FL2AK-tdi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yatzee
This is a very odd - I was just chatting with a buddy about doing this exact trip this summer in my TDi.


There seems to be quite little information about the roads, in particular from Cartwright to Blanc-Sablon - it doesn't even show on Mapquest until you zoom in a lot.
What is the Canadian equivalent of the U.S Geological Suvery? (USGS)

Perhaps you could get topographical maps of the area from them? (or from the USGS)
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by butter nuts
I'm used to reliable cars that rarely break (Toyotas) so owning a VW will be a new territory for me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JASONP
...you [are] a loyal VW owner, wether you like it or not

Quote:
Originally Posted by NB_TDi
I'm just not buying the whole, 01M sucks...end of story bit.

2001 Jetta Sedan GLS. 01M trans. Koni Reds. Evo Skidplate. Otherwise stock.

I <3 my automatic transmission. =)

They say that if you play a Windows CD backwards, it plays satanic music; that's nothing, if you play it forward, it installs Windows!
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Old May 24th, 2008, 11:39   #9
yatzee
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Not sure who in the govt would know... I'll try to do a search in that direction.

I've looked at the topographical maps that are on google maps - the road doesn't look all that bad, but looks can be deceiving.

My big concern is what I can expect my average speed to be on this trip. That will determine whether I can jam it into 9 days off or not.
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Old May 24th, 2008, 11:50   #10
FL2AK-tdi
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Originally Posted by yatzee
Not sure who in the govt would know... I'll try to do a search in that direction.

I've looked at the topographical maps that are on google maps - the road doesn't look all that bad, but looks can be deceiving.

My big concern is what I can expect my average speed to be on this trip. That will determine whether I can jam it into 9 days off or not.
Well, the sped limit on the Dalton is 45 mph and that's about all you can do. Apparently, the faster you try to drive, the more likely you are to puncture a tire. e did 800 miles in days, but the first day we drove until 3 am as it was 24 hrs of daylight.

Hope that helps.

As fr as the maps, yes the topo will show you the grades of the road but not hte road conditions.

is the road patrolled by law enforcement at all? Go chat with the RCMPs nearest to it. When I was in canada, heading for the Al-Can, I stopped at an RCMP station and talked for about 20 mins with hem. When I asked about driving the Cassiar Highway in lieu of the AL-Can, the mounty said "not in THAT car." By the way, yor cops are SOOOOOOO much nicer than ours. Our cops won't even help old people change tires.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by butter nuts
I'm used to reliable cars that rarely break (Toyotas) so owning a VW will be a new territory for me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JASONP
...you [are] a loyal VW owner, wether you like it or not

Quote:
Originally Posted by NB_TDi
I'm just not buying the whole, 01M sucks...end of story bit.

2001 Jetta Sedan GLS. 01M trans. Koni Reds. Evo Skidplate. Otherwise stock.

I <3 my automatic transmission. =)

They say that if you play a Windows CD backwards, it plays satanic music; that's nothing, if you play it forward, it installs Windows!
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Old May 24th, 2008, 12:04   #11
kevinb
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I have done the trip to Goose Bay a few times, once in my 01 jetta tdi, once in a 97 golf. Route 389 is paved and winding up to the deserted mining town Gangon, gravel the rest of the way to Fermont and paved from Fermont to Lab City. I travelled on the road from Bed Bay to Cartwright a few years back and the road was excellent. The roads are really good in the last few years, the only thing you have to be careful of is the big rigs on turns and the stones that fly from them. A skid plate would probably be a good investment, after all it is a gravel road in the middle of nowhere, anything can happen. I plan to make the trip as soon as they connect the road so I don't have to take the ferry from Goose Bay to Cartwright. It is a nice drive, one you won't forget. Do a search for 'Labrador Road Trip' here on the club. It's a trip I made at Christmas a few years ago.
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Old May 24th, 2008, 12:19   #12
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hey kevin - thanks for chiming in - it's good to get some 1st hand input!

How long did the drive take you? And you did over christmas?!?
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Old May 24th, 2008, 15:29   #13
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I made it to Baie Comeau the first night and arrived in Churchill Falls late on the second day. It's approx 1900 km from Pickering to Churchill Falls, so those two days are long. We did stop a few times to take pics and stretch our legs but mostly it was driving. Yes, we did the trip in Dec. I was my inlaws last Christmas in Churchill before retirement. It was cold when we arrived, it warmed up to almost zero, then took a nosedive to about a steady -25 for the rest of the stay. There is a fuel stop halfway between Baie Comeau and Lab City, if you are taking a TDI you'll be o.k., otherwise fuel there. When are you planning this trip?
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Old May 25th, 2008, 18:43   #14
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well, there aren't any concrete plans yet. I'm currently thinking 1st week of July, but it depends if I can find someone to come with me.

So did a full day from Baie Comeau to Churchhill Falls... Do you recall how much furthur it is to Goose Bay from there?
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Old May 27th, 2008, 11:25   #15
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Goose bay is another 300 km. The road is very good and very well maintained.

The only part of the whole trip that will annoy you is just before you get to Fermont. You follow the railroad tracks and cross over them about 12 times, IIRC. The road is usually rough and it's a pan in the a$$ crossing over the tracks.
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