Road trips with family or friends are super fun and exciting. You get the chance to explore new roads, tourist spots, and new places with your friends and family. To enjoy the road trip fully, you have to make sure that you are prepared well for the journey. Here are 5 things you should do in preparation for a road trip.
Ensure That You Checkup and Service Your Vehicle
According to Finn Murphy – a seasoned trucker and author of The Long Haul, there are several key things you should do before getting out of your driveway to embark on a road trip. For starters, you should check the level of fluids in your vehicle (engine oil, brake oil and transmission fluids) as well as the state of your tires.
To assess whether your tires are in good condition or too worn out for the upcoming trip, you should take a penny and insert it in one tire groove. The “In God We Trust” side of the penny should be on the inside. If you can see the groove of the tire does not fully cover the top of Lincoln’s head, it means that your tire treads are worn out and you need to replace the tire before starting your trip.
Additionally, you should also check the state of your wipers to find out if they are functioning optimally. “One of the worst experiences you can have is discovering that your wipers don’t work when you are cruising the highway in torrential rain,” says Finn Murphy. He also advises that you ensure that you have a fully stocked first-aid kit in your vehicle as well as the number of a roadside service company in all the locations you will be passing through.
Ensure That You Have a Detailed Route Plan
Finn Murphy also advises that you mark out specific spots where you will make pit stops on your trip to refuel, use the restroom and exercise cramped muscles or stay. Check out these Durham hotels. There are many apps that you can use to find such useful information.
For example, you can use iExit and GasBuddy to gas stations in your vicinity retailing fuel at the cheapest rates, and, you can also rely on iExit if you are looking to find great eateries in your vicinity. If you are looking to identify places where you can make fun pit stops especially if you are traveling with your family, you can use the Roadtrippers app.
Jeanette Casselano – a spokesperson for the AAA also advises that if you are going on a long road trip, you should try to make stops at least every 2 hours or every hundred miles. “It’s good for your body and will make you a more alert driver.”
Ensure That You Do Not Overload Your Vehicle
An overloaded car usually consumes too much gas, puts too much stress on tires not to mention that it is a major safety hazard. To understand how much weight your car can hold, look up the vehicle’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) in the manual provided by the car manufacturer.
To understand how much extra weight you can add to your car without overloading it, take the GVWR and subtract the weight of the car (without any cargo) as well as the weight of all the passengers who will be in the vehicle for the road trip. “When packing items in your car, stow the heavy items at the bottom with the lighter items going at the top.
Further, ensure that you pack your items towards the center of the car,” says Finn Murphy. This method of packing items when hitting the road usually limits the chance that your items will be projected out of place when you brake suddenly and it also helps keep the car’s center of gravity low which can help prevent it from rolling over.
Ensure Your Seats Are Set Up For Maximum Comfort During The Drive
According to Robert Gillanders – a physical therapy specialist based in Bethesda, Maryland, you should adjust your car seats so that the hips are always slightly higher than the knees when you are seated. Further, if your car is equipped with bucket seats, you should consider placing a rolled towel or cushion to support the small of your back.
For a great drive, you should also adjust the car’s steering wheel to the 9’’ and 3’’ position instead of the conventional 10’’ and 2’’ position which is no longer considered that safe because of the airbags found inside the steering wheel. Once you are comfortably settled in your car, you should then adjust your side mirrors to a position where you can observe the road without craning or straining your neck.
Be Sure To Maximize Your Gas Mileage
Frequent and impromptu acceleration and braking tend to consume a lot of gas not to mention it can be annoying to your passengers. As such, once you hit the highway, consider using the cruise control feature in your vehicle. As mentioned earlier, ensure that you pack prudently since excessive weight can also increase the amount of gas you use per mile.
If you are going to utilize the roof canopy of your car, consider stowing things that are lightweight in nature but bulky such as skis and sleeping bags on this spot. To stow things on the roof canopy safely, consider acquiring an aerodynamic hard-cased roof carrier or a racksack (you can find a great one at www.weathertech.com for around $230) so that you can maximize the mileage that you can cover for each liter of gas.