Are you planning a road trip? On top of making sure that you are ready for the adventure ahead, it’s essential to make sure that your vehicle is prepared. Here are just some of the things that you may want to do before setting off.
Photo by Uriel Mont
Top up all fluids
It’s just good practice to make sure that all essential car fluids are topped up. This includes:
- Engine oil
- Engine coolant
- Brake fluid
- Steering fluid
- Windscreen wash
It’s easier to do this before you set off than to try to find shops that sell these fluids en route. Of course, you should also top up your fuel before you begin your journey.
Check your tires
If your tires are damaged, or the tread depth is very worn, you’ll want to replace them before you set off. You may even want to buy some hardy tires that are specialised for lengthy driving. Companies such as Border Bandag tyre service can help you find the perfect fit for you. Make sure that all four tyres are the same type.
On top of ensuring that tires are in good condition, you should make sure they are well-inflated. Driving for long periods on underinflated tyres can increase the risk of a blowout. Pump these up before you set off.
Replace any other worn parts
Getting your car serviced beforehand could be worthwhile to check for any other worn parts that may benefit from being replaced. You don’t want to head out on a road trip with worn brakes or a worn clutch. Replacing dim headlights and damaged windscreen wipers could also be worthwhile.
Maximise luggage storage
Maximising storage will allow you to bring more stuff – or, at the very least, pick up more souvenirs on the way. Start by getting rid of anything in your car boot that doesn’t need to be there. Next, consider whether you want to put down back seats.
Adding a trailer or a roof box could be another way of maximising storage. Roof boxes tend to be more practical for general luggage than trailers (you can compare these here at Auto Express). You could also consider fitting racks for equipment like bicycles.
Invest in some of these handy items
A few of these items could come in handy during your road trip. They include:
- A cooler: This could be very useful for keeping drinks and cold snacks cool.
- Wet wipes: A pack of wet wipes could come in handy for wiping up any unwanted spillages (useful if you’re travelling with kids).
- Car bin: This gives you somewhere to keep trash contained.
- Solar panel: Car solar panels can help you keep the car’s battery charged on the go so that you don’t have to worry about using mod-cons and charging devices.
Plan to sleep in your car?
To save money on accommodation, you could consider sleeping in your car. Most cars are pretty uncomfortable to sleep in, so you may want to bring a few extras to make car camping cosier. This could include an airbed, a sleeping bag and some pillows. A windscreen shield could also help block light out and give you some privacy.
Remember that the more luggage you bring, the less space you’ll have to sleep. Packing light could allow you to put down back seats and use the whole of the car to sleep in (you may be able to keep this space free by putting everything in a roof box or trailer).
Packing a tent is another option. There are even tents that you can pitch up on top of your car.