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Premium Member
3,818 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Weeks before Subiefest
With Subiefest 3 fast approaching, we had little time to plan anything beyond the caravan but we refused to give up. With about 3 weeks to go, I hit the road in search of the perfect RV, receiving directions to the nearest RV rental places from Sashin who was at his computer. The first place I stopped had a few RVs within our budget but they didn't quite meet our quality standards.

Sashin found another location about twenty minutes away, but it cost significantly more than we originally budgeted. Still, we decided it was a good idea to check it out anyway. When I got there, I couldn't believe the size of this RV. It stretched 36 feet long and stood 12 feet tall.

What looked like this on their website:

Looked like this in person:

There were 5 beds and it could easily sleep 6-8 people and the sides slid out for more interior space!

I snapped some pics and texted them to Sashin. He agreed that we found the perfect RV for Subiefest 3.

Day before Subiefest
I picked up the RV a day before the caravan was scheduled to leave on Saturday morning for a little surprise I had planned. When I arrived, the RV was ready to rock-n-roll. I sat in the driver's seat, adjusted the mirrors, and quickly realized that this wasn't quite like the 26 foot U-Haul I had rented for Subie Extravaganza a month earlier. The RV was 10 feet longer and wider too. It was one of those challenges you just accept because its too late to reconsider; after all I already signed my life away.

The RV accelerated with the speed of tank and swayed back and forth like a tall palm tree in the wind as I pulled out of the rental facility's driveway; anybody make sway bars or a turbocharger for this box on wheels? Other cars on the road drove in the opposite side of their lanes to avoid getting close to the RV; the reason being that I initially experienced some trouble keeping the RV in the center of my lane.

By the time I drove onto the freeway and got up to speed, I realized that driving something this large at 55mph or more required incredible concentration and focus as well as a huge stopping area between me and the car in front of me. I was headed for in Lake Forest where Torsten (Grand Champion of Subie Extravaganza's Karting Tournament) would be applying some stickers for,, and as well as some sponsor stickers.

My stomach continued to growl at me on the way because I didn't eat breakfast so I stopped at Chipotle for my first pit stop and photo opportunity. However, parking the RV wasn't an easy task. People stared at me like I was crazy for thinking I could find a large enough space to park an RV this size. It wasn't until I reached the opposite end of the parking lot did I spot a row of open parking spaces. As I walked away from the RV for the first time, I couldn't believe how big it actually was...

Of course, everyone wanted Chipotle at the same time I did and I think I stood in one of the longest lines that any Chipotle has ever had:

I departed for after I finished eating. Torsten had been printing out the last few stickers when I arrived.

Neither he nor I realized just how many stickers there were until we had to cut and arrange them on the table.

Since this wasn't a wrap and we didn't have any time to mockup a design on the computer, we resorted to using masking tape to make a mockup of where all the stickers would go before we permanently fixed them to the RV. We determined the best location for the largest stickers first using some 8 foot ladders to reach those parts of the RV out of our reach.

At 9pm, we took a pizza break before we began work to finalize the location of all the other stickers.

Premium Member
3,818 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Subiefest 2008: Day 1
With 6 hours left before the RV was scheduled to be at the caravan's rendezvous point, which was was over 100 miles away, we began applying the stickers. Before each sticker could be applied to the sides of the vehicle, we measured the distance from either the top or bottom of the RV to ensure that no sticker was crooked. It was a tedious process that we finally completed at 4:30 Saturday morning and Torsten jokingly named it , "Decal Camouflage," as he looked at it from afar.

Given the early morning time, neither Torsten nor I thought we could make the caravan so we both headed to our separate homes to get some sleep. On my hour-and-half drive home and in spite of no sleep, the pre-Subiefest excitement came over me and I decided that I couldn't miss the 100+ car caravan that had been planned by Sashin for months. I arrived home at 5:45 am, took a shower and packed a bunch of stuff in the RV. At 6:45, Chris and his friend arrived, we loaded them up, and departed at 7 o'clock; the time the caravan was supposed to leave Yimisport, which was 15 minutes away.

Fortunately, Sashin held up the caravan until we arrived. While everyone at Yimisport waited, some of Subie owners got a little anxious and found a dry creek bed to have some pre-Subiefest fun:

I don't think I have ever seen as many cars as I did when we pulled up to Yimisport. We literally pulled onto a street blanketed in Subarus.

But we didn't stay long...we literally did a U-turn, Sashin got on with a walkie talkie he was using to communicate with other leaders in the caravan, and we departed to the final destination: Subiefest 3. We faced a major take a slight detour or go the planned route up a large hill where we knew a Sheriff was parked, checking the speeds of traffic coming in the opposite direction. We decided to stick to the route and at most the Sheriff would pick off a few cars from the caravan (for what violation we didn't know) before we could get to the freeway. Fortunately, the Sheriff didn't bother us as the caravan passed him doing the speed limit.

Have you ever attempted to roll 100 cars deep? Every red light, stop sign, or turn, slows down the caravan. As we approached the freeway onramp, I knew that the RV would be slower than just about everybody in the caravan so I floored it until we hit 70 mph. We relied on people in the back of the caravan to tell us whether we were going too fast or too slow. For almost 75 miles, we caravaned to Subiefest 3 and even grew the caravan more as we overtook other Subie owners on their way to Subiefest 3.

For some stretches, we maintained a single line and for others we maintained two lines. It was definitely a site that didn't go unnoticed. In fact, several Subie owners that lived closer to Willow Springs waited on the overpasses for our caravan to pass to get some great shots:

We managed to snap a few pics of what it looked like in the RV's rear view mirror the whole trip and as we exited the freeway:

Finally, the last leg of the trip was driving through a school zone and then 6 miles of a 50 mph zone. As we passed drivers waiting to turn onto the road, I realized how upset they were going to be when they discovered a caravan of 100 cars behind me. They probably had to wait a good five minutes for everyone to pass. Hopefully, that experience will not dissuade them from buying a Subaru in the future.

As we pulled up to the Willow Springs gate, everyone got out of their car for a good stretch and took a ton of photos because its definitely not a site you see everyday.

It was still early in the morning when we rolled into the gigantic parking area and you could still breathe the cool morning air, but I don't think everyone was prepared for the 100+ degree heat that came later that afternoon. The temperatures soared into the high nineties at about noon, forcing us to turn on the RV's generator and crank up the AC so Damion, son (and wife) could escape the heat (as well as the rest of us), but it was still hot:

While some Subaru enthusiasts were celebrating the gathering of different regions in a single place, others took advantage of the opportunity that Subaru of America provided them with the launch of the very first WRX Track Attack.

The WRX TRACK Attack gave enthusiasts the chance to get behind the wheel of the all new 2009 WRX (as well as the STI) on the fastest track in the country. The Subaru staff provided enthusiasts with a small Subaru towel soaked in ice water (to place on their necks to cool them down) while they received their helmets and instructions. Testing out the beefed up performance of the WRX impressed quite a few people to the point that they began asking when the 09s would be arriving at their local dealerships; some even contemplated trading their other non-Subarus in for a new WRX.

The WRX Track Attack was held between the Subiefest Time Attack sessions, which featured many of the whose who in the Subaru Performance and Tuning World, such as Crawford Performance, Cobb Tuning, Harman Motive, EDO Performance, HB Speed, Robispec, Yimisport, South Coast Subaru, Snail Performance, SubieTech, Garage GT, Method 4 Motorsports, and last but not least ESX Motorsports.

Time Attack is all about pushing the car's performance to the limit to capture the single fastest lap time. As a result, no time attack race is complete without a few engine failures and Subiefest 3 was no different. Several tuners blew their motors (rumor is that there were 3) and one other experienced a bad engine fire on the first half of the course:

Still, it was great seeing all of the support from the aftermarket community. Many of the participants were helping each other out in the pitts by either lending a hand or supplying parts. Overall, it was an awesome day.

Ken Block also came out with his Gymkhana STI and spent some time signing autographs and taking pictures with enthusiasts:


Premium Member
3,818 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Subiefest 2008: Day 2
After somewhat of a sleepless night, we awoke to the cool morning we remembered from the day before. Because we ran the generator most of the night (to power the AC), the RV's gas tank was less than 1/4 full so I wanted to fill it up so we could run the AC the rest of the day. Before we left for the gas station, I bought a breakfast burrito from the snack bar and snapped this pic on my way back, which shows the size of the RV in comparison to the other Subarus parked around us:

Later in the day it looked like the docks where Subarus are offloaded before being transported to dealerships:

Pulling the RV into the gas station created a big spectical because we had to pull in and do a 3 point U-turn just to get the RV lined up with the pumps correctly. It winded up costing $200 to fill up the RV's gas tank from 1/4 tank; apparently running the generator to keep cool isn't cheap.

We stopped at the grocery store on the way back and bought over 500 popsicles. I pulled the RV back into the Willow Springs motorsports park and traveled past some parts of the vendor area as well as some tuners while doing a parade lap around the pitts to give our previous Subie Extravaganza sponsors some added exposure.

We slid the sides of the RV out, turned on the generator, cranked the AC, and began filling up buckets of ice for the popsicles:

Some SoCalSubies members (Torsten, Ferdie, and others) let the Subiefest announcer know that we were handing out free popsicles and ice cream next to the Harman Motive tent. People started to come in droves, some even multiple times; tt was a total hit.

Both days, Subaru had the rally team trailer out along with Pastrana's rally car, allowing enthusiasts to get up close and personal with the vehicle:

We did a few more parade laps and said our goodbyes. We must have been delusional at this point because we slid our helmets on for a photo opportunity and the last parade lap around the pit area, which got a lot of attention.

About an hour and a half later, we arrived home and spent another 2 hours removing stickers.

We are looking forward to Subiefest 4! Thank you to all those who did all of the planning, those who came out attended, and all those who supported Subiefest 3 in some way.

The Silverback Mod
05 Black OBS
8,896 Posts
Kevin! Thanks for posting all that. It was awesome ~ sorry to have missed it. I didn't know you were a 'Baller', but that was quite the rig you were driving !
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